Stupor

I very honestly don’t understand how a person can be not bothered by this:

Officers in the Minneapolis Police Department were required to sit in on a lecture about the “infinite number” of gender pronouns, a source told The Minnesota Sun. The lecture was part of the department’s annual in-service training held Thursday and participation

was mandatory, claimed a source.

It’s sad to see people so easily abandon any understanding of human dignity out of simple inertia and cattle-like stupor.

P.S. Look at the slide at the link and tell me you wouldn’t be humiliated by something like that.

43 thoughts on “Stupor”

  1. I found the comparison interesting and wanted to ask whether you see any similarities:

    В конце минувшего месяца стало известно о 10-летнем запрете на въезд в Россию Карин Клеман, бывшей жене депутата Госдумы России от Астраханской области Олега Шеина. Она хотела принять участие в научной конференции и прочитать лекцию.

    Вот как «невъездная» гражданка Франции прокомментировала инцидент сайту Bombus.

    — Карин, что было темой не состоявшейся лекции?
    — Главная — сравнительный анализ движения «желтых жилетов», которое я изучаю последний год, и тех, кого в России называют «ватниками» — бедных работающих людей из глубинки. Когда я первый раз столкнулась с «желтыми жилетами», особенно в родной Лотарингии, они мне сильно напомнили людей, с которыми я беседовала и просто общалась в России. Это те же самые судьбы. Заброшенные и всеми забытые работяги, они живут в своих городах и поселках, тяжело трудятся, но получают очень маленькие зарплаты. Им все время приходится бороться за выживание. И они долгие годы вообще не понимали, что с ними происходит.

    https://ast-news.ru/node/eks-zhena-sheina-rasskazala-pochemu-eye-ne-pustili-v-rossiyu/

    There are also Rust Belt dwellers in US…

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  2. You know, I would need the slide to understand what Subjective, Possessive and etc. mean despite my degree.

    The last time I saw падежи was in Ukrainian school decades ago and it was in Russian, not English.

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    1. Looking at the slide in that linked image, I notice that what used to be called “Accusative Case” in English is now referred to as the “Objective Case.”

      Under today’s new grammar rules, is having an “Accusative Case” considered too threatening and triggering??

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      1. Not defending the training, but ‘objective case’ or ‘object case’ is a fairly common term for describing English pronouns. The name reflects the fact that all of the pronouns in English are exactly the same for both direct and indirect objects. “I saw him/her/them.” “I gave him/her/them a book.”

        The use of accusative case to describe English grammar was always a poor fit because the few case marked forms we have in English just don’t pattern the same way as cases in European languages with richer case morphology and distinct accusative cases.

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        1. “The name reflects the fact that all of the pronouns in English are exactly the same for both direct and indirect objects. “I saw him/her/them.” “I gave him/her/them a book.”

          So has the term “dative case” disappeared from English (or at least American) grammar school classes? Are American elementary schools now teaching that “objective case” includes both the old “accusative” and “dative” categories?

          Or do they even teach grammar at all anymore?

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          1. “do they even teach grammar at all”

            Considering the nonsense way they used to teach it, ignoring it entirely is an improvement. Object probably comes from English as a Second Language system. The grammar taught to non-native speakers is usually far superior to the stale and musty (and inaccurate!) version taught to natives.
            And the distinction between accusative and dative in English is semantic/syntactic and has nothing to do with morphology.
            Technically, you can account for almost all variation between I/me or she/her (etc) in English on the basis of word order and prosody without bringing case into the discussion at all but that’s a discussion for another day.

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  3. “tell me you wouldn’t be humiliated ”

    Well of course the humiliation is the point. Making functional adults repeat nonsense about men having periods and women having penises is just one more float in the parade of humiliations that the elite is subjecting the population to.

    Next on the agenda will be….. (everyone here probably knows).

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  4. Minnesota Sun: A Republican mega-donor site masquerading as ‘local news’

    The Minnesota Sun—according to the terms that appear when you Google it—promises to be the “most reliable local newspaper across Minnesota,” a provider of “unbiased updates” on investigative reports Minnesotans care about…

    It’s clear from the get-go that the Sun is a site with a certain point of view. What isn’t immediately clear is that it’s not totally local, and it’s not totally independent.

    A recent report by Snopes determined that the Sun, along with its sister publication, the Ohio Star, is one of several sites launched in political toss-up states by the same handful of Republican consultants. They’re funded in large part by the conservative candidates the sites cover.

    This all goes back to winter 2017, and the creation of another news site: the Tennessee Star. At the time, Snopes says, it was unclear where the site had come from or who was operating it, but it claimed to be a local newspaper and was mostly full of free content produced by organizations backed by “conservative mega-donors.”

    After Politico poked around in early 2018, it was revealed the site’s chief operators were three conservative activists with Tea Party ties: Michael Patrick Leahy, Steve Gill, and Christina Botteri. Gill, according to Snopes, also owns a media consulting company that at least one political action committee “paid before receiving positive coverage in the Tennessee Star.”

    “Though its owners claim that the Tennessee Star is funded by advertising revenue, it appears to be supported by wealthy benefactors,” Snopes said. “Whatever the Tennessee Star is, it is not a local newspaper producing transparent journalism.”

    The Star has since expanded its operations with the help of its new, Delaware-based company: Star News Digital Media, Inc. Its network includes the Ohio Star and the Minnesota Sun. Its goal, as stated in an article published last year, is to target “battleground states that will figure prominently in the outcome of the 2018 midterm elections and the 2020 presidential election.” Gill added that the company could expand to as many as 15 additional states within the year.

    Snopes’ analysis of Star News’ content found that many of the Sun’s stories—39 percent—are actually sourced from third-party organizations. Nearly 40 percent comes from the Daily Caller News Foundation, which is funded, in large part, by the Charles Koch Foundation or the Charles Koch Institute. Other notable sources include the Daily Caller (40 percent), Voice of America News (24 percent), the Daily Signal (9 percent), the Center for American Greatness (9) percent and ConservativeHQ.com (7 percent).

    Sometimes, the Sun and its sister publications fail to keep up even the appearance of being local. The Ohio Star once ran a letter to the editor titled, “If You Want to Change State Politics Then Support Bill Lee for Governor.” If you live in Ohio, supporting Bill Lee for governor will do absolutely nothing to change your state politics, as Lee is the governor of Tennessee.

    The Minnesota Sun, according to Snopes, used to have a weather bar on its homepage set to Columbus, Ohio. The website’s only listed physical address is also in Ohio.

    For the interested, on Google on a search for “Minnesota Sun” this is the first link before the actual site. On Duck Duck Go, it is the 7th result on the first page.

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  5. We saw a similar presentation in my human sexuality class in college. It did not have the effect of educating so much as it had the effect of making people angry and transphobic (I saw the evidence in the class’s anonymous discussion board.) I think it’s the inclusion of non-binary stuff in particular that enraged and confused people. Whatever effect this has on relations between police and the trans community, it can’t be good.

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    1. “We saw a similar presentation in my human sexuality class in college.”

      Times haven’t changed that much. When I joined the Air Force in the mid-1970’s, I was required to attend a “sensitivity training” class that warned us not to use terms like “circling the wagons” or “black magic.” Medical officers like me were told to “keep your hands off the help” (meaning nurses).

      Several of my classmates later remarked that they hadn’t been prejudiced until they’d attended the lessons.

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      1. What’s wrong with circling the wagons or black magic?

        Seriously, how does one expect even a very fluent and well-read immigrant to figure all this out?

        You people are not inclusive at all.

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        1. Circling the wagons is against attacks (or self-defense) by Native Americans.

          Black magic is a derogatory way to refer to animistic religions.

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          1. “Black magic is a derogatory way to refer to animistic religions”

            Really? Not a connection I make at all (I think of a magician with a top hat and evil looking goatee when I hear the terms).

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              1. “a magic show, not black magic”

                Well the first connotation I have when I hear/read ‘black magic’ is the old song ‘That old black magic’ which doesn’t evoke any kind of animistic practice for me.

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              1. “if it’s ok to say ‘Bible-thumping'”

                Evangelical Christians aren’t considered a persecuted minority in the U.S., so it’s okay to hammer on them all you want.

                “Black magic” conjures up images of certain impoverished minorities practicing voodoo.

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              2. “Well the first connotation I have when I hear/read ‘black magic’ is the old song ‘That old black magic’ which doesn’t evoke any kind of animistic practice for me.”

                Ah, Cliff, your first connotation is so un-PC and insensitive! Don’t you recall that Ella Fitzgerald’s hit “That Old Black Magic” was released way back in the the Dark Ages of the early 1960’s, about the same time that the popular very white jazz singer Keely Smith (who like Elizabeth Warren claimed Cherokee ancestry) released her hit album “CheroKeely Swings.”

                Both albums were big hits, and none of the un-woke fans of either singers raised hell about the OBVIOUS shameful cultural appropriation by these two clueless rich women.
                (No complaints from the French Creole voodoo practitioners in rural Louisiana or from the impoverished practicing black Haitians, either.)

                Thank goodness we live in a more enlightened age today!

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        2. I guessed what was wrong with circling the wagons because of reading Steinbeck’s short story “Leader of the People” (one of my favorites!) in which a grandfather is nostalgic about his youth of being the leader of several wagons travelling West till the sea and mourns the disappearance of the ‘westerning’, of the desire to go further and be more, from America.

          What I loved were the descriptions of the relationships between 3 generations: the heroic past of the founders (grandfather), the practical and somewhat cynical present symbolized by the father of the family (a husband of the grandpa’s daughter), and the future – a young grandson capable of understanding grandfather’s point of view.

          I know, presenting the grandfather as only heroic is rightly deeply problematic today, yet I cannot help seeing the parallels with the generation of Israeli founders, and think a degree of gratefulness and recognition is owned to those people, even in America. (In Israel, our founders are unquestionable heroes.) It is a potential interesting discussion and I wanted to ask what you think. May be, in a protected post. Are those issues seriously discussed? I know, in certain circles Columbus is and Thanksgiving, but it is not only about Columbus or woke circles. Is it a trivial, self-evident issue to all but myself? What should a today’s English teacher say about this story in class?

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  6. You have written about wonderful Spanish writers which remain sadly unknown outside of their country; I may have found a writer from Belarus who succeeded at last to be translated into Russian but, unfortunately, not yet into English. I am very interested in today’s Europe, so when I saw a 700+ page long novel on the topic at the local library, I had to take it home. It had been only half an hour ago, so cannot share my opinion yet, but the description sounds amazing:

    Рецензии на книгу «Собаки Европы» Ольгерд Бахаревич

    Кроме нескольких писательских премий, Ольгерд Бахаревич получил за «Собак Европы» одну совершенно необычную награду — специально для него учреждённую Читательскую премию, которую благодарные поклонники вручили ему за то, что он «поднял современную белорусскую литературу на совершенно новый уровень». Этот уровень заведомо подразумевает наднациональность, движение поверх языковых барьеров. И счастливо двуязычный автор, словно желая закрепить занятую высоту, заново написал свой роман, сделав его достоянием более широкого читательского круга — русскоязычного. К слову, так всегда поступал его великий предшественник и земляк Василь Быков. Что мы имеем: причудливый узел из шести историй — здесь вступают в странные алхимические реакции города и языки, люди и сюжеты, стихи и травмы, обрывки цитат и выдуманных воспоминаний. «Собаки Европы» Ольгерда Бахаревича — роман о человеческом и национальном одиночестве, об иллюзиях — о государстве, которому не нужно прошлое и которое уверено, что в его силах отменить будущее, о диктатуре слова, окраине империи и её европейской тоске. Издательство «Время» номинирует роман «Собаки Европы» на премию «Большая книга».

    You can see readers’ reviews на livelib.ru:
    https://www.livelib.ru/book/1002998254-sobaki-evropy-olgerd-baharevich

    Have found this article in English about the author, fascinating:

    Belarusian culture: Still a terra incognita
    Review of Alhierd Bacharevič’s Maje Dzievianostyja (My 1990s).
    https://neweasterneurope.eu/2019/06/05/belarusian-culture-still-a-terra-incognita%EF%BB%BF/

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    1. Very interesting. I requested it at the library but I don’t believe anybody can write anything worthwhile in Russian (or Ukrainian, or Belarusian.) I’d love to be wrong.

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    2. Hah. I read 20 pages on Google Books and it’s actually not horrible. I’m even very very cautiously optimistic.

      I don’t believe it’s possible to write literature in the post-soviet space but …. Who knows…. Miracles happen.

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      1. \ I don’t believe it’s possible to write literature in the post-soviet space

        Why not? Orwell wrote in one of his essays that literature is not created, not even in secret, under dictatorial regimes f.e. in Nazi Germany, but post-soviet space is not that extreme.

        Do you believe post-soviet people have been irreversibly damaged by their history despite your father being a writer himself? I see a contradiction here. 🙂

        Also, if you are in mood for reading about Europe, I still recommend Robert Menasse’s “Capital.” He is an Austrian writer, so not post-soviet, and the novel has received many prizes. I am kind of obsessed with it since I haven’t written a thesis because of not feeling enthusiastic about English novels dealing with today’s EU (mainly by immigrant writers). And now I found a not-immigrant novel with seeming sufficient depth, but it is in German. The writing is good, the characters – relatable, the structure – nice, and I recognized many themes in Menasse’s novel which made it much more than (only) a satire on EU despite its satiric angle being stressed in official ads. More than anything, it created a thoughtful mood with desire to analyze it using Baunan and other writers. (That’s exactly the feeling I hoped to have for thesis English novel. ) However, despite loving it and the prizes it received, I am unsure whether it is true art, a modern classic worthy of analysis, or only a very nice realistic novel about a fascinating to me subject. I thought if you read it, the riddle would be solved at last. 🙂 Wanted to send something to you, but now not at home and have problems with the file.

        In Russian it is Столица . Saw it at the local library only in Russian, don’t know whether your library has it and in which language.

        It has become the best book of the year to me.

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        1. It’s like killing off every member of a family and then expecting them to produce an heir 50 years later.

          Literature is highly genealogical. You first become a reader, and then, after reading a lot, you might become a writer. It doesn’t work any other way.

          But a reader of what? What would a writer in Russian or Ukrainian read? The most recent thing I discovered that can be called literature is Oles Gonchar’s Собор in Ukrainian and the Br. Vainery novel I mentioned. Both are from 1960s-1970s. There’s been nothing in the 1980s, nothing in the 1990s, nothing in the 21st century. What’s a writer to read? Tolstoy? Tolstoy’s world is dead and gone. Foreign language lit? Then you become like Сорокин, a Google Translate version of Western European postmodernists you don’t understand or even like much.

          I might check out Menasse but it won’t be right now. Maybe during the holidays.

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            1. \ And… unfortunately, I was right. He turned out to be another Sorokin. So sad because he’s clearly a gifted guy.

              May you explain again, please, what you mean by it? Is the book shallow? Untrue? Unsuitable for discussing FSU realities because of presenting false mentality \ inner world of the characters?

              Why not import a new style and use it to discuss FSU realities?

              I have not read European culture’s modernists (probably at all), so it is hard to understand what is the source of the problem. How I, as a reader, can see that the novel is not good? (Haven’t started it yet.) What ‘jumped’ into your eyes?

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              1. I’m a quarter of the book in, and there’s nothing whatsoever about the FSU realities. Not that there has to be but there’s nothing so far.

                For those who have no idea what we are talking about, this is a novel by a writer from Belarus, a desperately poor totalitarian country in Eastern Europe. In the novel, a group of neurotics and hipsters invent a new language whose foundational principles are very wokie-doodle and spend time practicing their new language and discussing extremely perverted porn.

                It’s not badly written but it tries so hard to be cosmopolitan, European, and liberated that it’s kind of pathetic. What’s really sad is that Belarus is a fascinating country with a very rich past and a painful tragic present. But the author has nothing much to say about it. He wants to imitate “Europeans” whom he doesn’t know or understand much. Contrast this with Castellanos Moya who doesn’t feel it’s beneath him to write about his small and poor country.

                As a result, the novel feels strained and recycled. And what a shame because this is an author who feels the language and has some beautiful turns of phrase.

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              2. And now it’s started getting good again. I’m glad I didn’t quit! It’s like something is struggling to get born in this book. It’s painful but there’s definitely something there.

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  7. Re “Dogs of Europe”, there is a short description of the theatre performance based on the novel:

    // Belarus Free Theatre is proud to announce the UK premiere of Dogs of Europe, a visceral, psychological drama set in the near future, depicting a dystopian super-state in which individual rights have given way to control.

    In 2049 a murder investigation sets a man on a quest, his search bringing him to former Belarus and Russia, now a single European territory ruled by an all-seeing secret service. But his journey becomes less about the origins of this reactionary regime, more a revelation about his own role in its creation. Based on the novel published in 2017, by contemporary Belarusian author Alhierd Bacharevic, Dogs of Europe is both an epic fantasy and a political thriller about the dangers of looking away when authoritarianism takes root.

    Exiled from their native country, the co-founders of Belarus Free Theatre are political refugees who make underground work that plays to courageous audiences in secret locations across Minsk. Everyone involved is under risk of intimidation, persecution and even arrest. Rehearsing from an adopted base in London and in Belarus via Skype, the company is known for its physical theatrical style and for its human rights campaigns. Having lived in democracies and a dictatorship, its staging of Dogs of Europe is especially prescient.

    Dogs of Europe is performed in Belarusian with English surtitles. //

    https://www.belarusfreetheatre.com/dogs-of-europe/

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Police officer pounding on someone’s door.
    “It’s the Minneapolis Police Department! We have a warrant! Open the door and tell us your pronouns right now!!”
    LOL.

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      1. Look, I want to know what they’re doing to train police officers not to treat everyone else as targets in first person shooters.

        Or to not act like steroid ridden angry idiots who escalate situations in the worst ways, judging by the hundred or so viral videos I’ve seen in the last five years? eight years?

        I don’t know if they’re training on pronouns under the idea that people will think, “oh look, they’re training on pronouns” and then automatically assume they’re doing real community work the same way stores have low prices on milk to trick people into thinking that groceries at the store are cheap.

        Likely result: someone will be murdered in bad policing, but as long as the cop on the body cam uses the right pronouns before five crucial minutes are lost on the recording, it’ll all be ok. Except for the murdered person and their family. :p

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  9. We all must be into transgendering and non-binarism, but support of equal pay for equal work and reproductive rights are optional … or even things you shouldn’t discuss in polite company for fear of offending someone.

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