The Burkini Model

Zuhdi Jasser on the burkini-clad model posing for Sports Illustrated:

If the point is to please the very conservative, Orthodox Muslims, they are hardly sitting there waiting for the new edition of Sports Illustrated.

It’s hilarious, and of course Jasser is making a joke to highlight the idiocy of the situation. The burkini model is there to let people virtue-signal by praising her “courage” and “feminism.” This isn’t about Muslims or for Muslims. People want to boost their progressive credentials by making socially appropriate noises. The model is an accessory. Like an expensive handbag among very rich folks.

What I always wonder is how the progressive snowflakes always know the approved position on everything. How do they know so fast that the burkini model should get heart emojis and not angry or sad emojis? Does the mothership beam the message directly into their brains?

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The Cuteness Factor

That’s why watching South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who represents a population smaller than a New York City council district, outpoll Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren makes many of us want to eat glass; an entirely rational reaction to a datapoint that might discourage anyone without a Y chromosome.

I know it sucks but politics is about personality as much as it is about the issues. One would think that anybody over the age of 5 would figure this out and get over it without needing to eat glass. Vapid non-entities like Bill Clinton, Sarah Palin, Justin Trudeau, Beto or AOC attract a massive following because many people perceive them as cute. I’m not immune because much of my life of Bernie is a result of his accent and the Jewish grandpa spiel.

It’s ridiculous to make Warren’s lack of support about sexism, especially when comparing it with the success of a gay guy. He’s cute, he’s charming, and yes, he’s a total idiot but… see above.

Progress

Another victory for the neoliberal definition of progress:

A trans woman with “a male body with male physiology” set four new world records while winning a women’s powerlifiting event in America. On Instagram, transgender powerlifter Mary Gregory shared her joy at winning ‘nine out of nine’ events at the Raw Powerlifting Federation Event – and setting new world records for Masters Squat, Open bench, Masters dead lift and Masters total.

Surveillance Capitalism, 6

Here is Zuboff’s definition of surveillance capitalism:

Surveillance capitalism… is the foundational framework for a surveillance-based economic order: a surveillance economy.

What does this mean?

We are no longer the subjects of value realization. Nor are we, as some have insisted, the “product” of Google’s sales. Instead, we are the objects from which raw materials are extracted and expropriated.

In short, what industrial capitalism did with physical nature, surveillance capitalism did with human nature.

What’s the problem with that, you might ask? Well, think about the impact of the industrial revolution on physical nature.

As Zuboff says,

The essence of the exploitation here is the rendering of our lives as behavioral data for the sake of others’ improved control of us.

Control and, obviously, modification.

I have to run to class now but tell me, does anybody need page numbers for the quotes? I can provide them if necessary.