Sunday, February 18, 2018

I discover more about Canada: meet Tabatha Southey & Jonathan Kay's mom

I didn't even know who Justin Trudeau was until he came to the United States in early 2016 and such a big deal was made about his bromance with Obama. But even that barely registered. It was sort of like, oh, I guess they have a new Prime Minister in Canada now and he's young and handsome and gets along well with the President.

It took the election of Donald Trump to really make me appreciate Canada and Justin Trudeau.

There were so many things I didn't know about Canada until the past year. For instance, the capital is Ottawa, not Toronto. Did you know that? If you're like most Americans, you didn't. Here are Americans being asked who Justin Trudeau is right after he was elected.

So of course I had no idea who Tabatha Southey was.

While researching Steve Pinker's connections to the alt-right I came to realize that Quillette, which he frequently linked to from Twitter (although at this point not since January 31), was not only frequently running pro-evolutionary psychology articles but was running evo-psycho articles by people who not only believe in the innate intellectual inferiority of blacks, but in some cases believe that black people are also more innately criminal than other "races." Those people happen to be American college professors specializing in Criminal Justice. Some of them had also appeared on alt-right Stefan Molyneux's Youtube channel. A couple of their articles for Quillette have been reposted at white supremacist American Renaissance.

So my antennae have been out for Quillette content on Twitter, and when I came across Tabatha Southey's comment,  festooned with a Great Auk, I naturally Liked and Retweeted it. And naturally got into arguments with people who attacked her on the thread. But for all I knew she was just some random person with good taste.

And even when Jonathan Kay (who I knew of only because he ghost-wrote Justin Trudeau's "Common Ground") and his fellow Quillette author Debrah Soh, (whom I had also never heard of prior to this string of events) were freaking out about Southey's remark about Quillette, days later, I still wasn't clued in.

Then I Googled her. Turns out she's a big fucking deal in the Canadian literary scene. And has been for at least over a decade. So big that according to Kay, Ezra Levant even attacked her on Sun News (the video is unfortunately no longer available.) And she in turn has written about Levant. I'm surprised I didn't read that piece, because I was Googling for stories about Levant at that time in connection with the awful events of Charlottesville.

And now I realize I have already linked to an article by Southey on this blog on January 28, a piece in Maclean's which asks the immortal question: Is Jordan Peterson the stupid man's smart person?

Jonathan Kay sniffed that the Effin Birds project isn't funny but actually it is. I don't think Kay has much of a sense of humor though. Southey made good use of his Tweet.

In turns out that Kay is pretty vicious: he told people to block me on Twitter saying I was "Not right above the shoulders" in response to my pointing out that Quillette provides wingnut welfare to hacks. Although since he is a three-time (so far) author at Quillette, I don't suppose his response was exactly a calm and disinterested assessment of my rightness above the shoulders.

I posted that on my Twitter and asked if he's always been that vicious. I was told he was like his mother, a Canadian right-winger, except she is "even worse." 

This is Kay's mother. No surprise she's a fan of Christina "Koch hack" Sommers and Jordan "lobster man" Peterson.

I sure have learned a lot about Canadians in the past year.

Anyway, back to Southey - in spite of Kay's comment she is still quite funny. The funniest I've found so far is from a couple of years ago. I LOL'd.
For a while when I was a little girl, my older brother and I made a lot of underwear jokes. We were like the George Burns and Gracie Allen of undergarments, only loud, and our routines were mostly just one of us saying the word "underwear," and the other one laughing; anyone else saying the word "underwear" could easily set us off as well.
Getting us dressed in the morning took forever. Trips to the laundromat were so gleeful, it was like the dryers emitted laughing gas. Finally, my poor mother reached the end of her knicker-quip tether, and this is what she did: One Saturday morning she took all the underwear in the house: mine, my brother's, hers and my dad's Y-fronts – a cotton comedy cornerstone right there – and she put them all on my parents' bed and basically said, "You have until sundown, go nuts." And that's what we did, and then, almost miraculously, we were done with underwear.
And so I'm going to offer the world a chance to do much the same now. World, you have one week to make Hot Justin Trudeau jokes, and enjoy sexy-world-leader innuendo with impunity. Please make the most of this week and then, come Nov. 1, let's be done with this. 
You want to say, "Whoa, I'd respect his arctic sovereignty," this is your moment.
Dying to shout, "Man, I'd enter that into my Hansard," when images of Justin Trudeau come on the TV screen at your local bar, you go right ahead.
Any journalists thinking of asking, "Hey, soon-to-be-prime mister, did it hurt when you fell from heaven, and do you feel that the increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere affected your rate of descent?" at Mr. Trudeau's next press conference, this is your time. 
Want to comment, "I know he's prime minister but he's welcome to be chief of my staff" on the next news article you see speculating about the Trudeau cabinet picks, by all means, do so now. 
Ditto "I'd like to be first past his post," and "I'll bet that's a right honourable member."

Although perhaps my laugh was partly out of guilt since I have been known to say that Justin Trudeau can eat my poutine any time.

While he’s hardly alone, Damore’s laborious effort provides indisputable evidence of the attitudes that many women in STEM face. When a woman submits her resume, she knows it may be read by a Damore. When she negotiates a raise—an arena in which she’s damned if she does and, as the Google memo explains, too innately high in “agreeableness” if she doesn’t—she weighs the possibility that she’s negotiating with a Damore. When a woman takes maternity leave, she wonders how many of her colleagues are Damores, dismissing her as someone innately lacking the “drive for status.” 
Damores are everywhere. Great flocks of Damores perch in their offices—or worse, on the corner of your desk when you’re up to your neck in stack traces—depositing their opinions on IQ differences on passersby and filling the air with their cry of “Women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas.”