By Cyberquill • 02/26/2016 •
Racial minorities—blacks in particular—and women form the two major historically discriminated-against classes of people in the United States. (Hard to say which is worse, sexism or racism, but ideally you wouldn’t want to be accused of either.)
The bad news is that this year’s Academy Awards feature exactly zero non-white nominees in the acting categories.
The good news is that, as always, exactly 50% of acting nominees are female; and, as always, half of all acting Oscars will go to women.
Obviously, by way of segregating actors by sex, a gender-based quota system was effectively built into the very fabric of the Academy Awards; one that fairly accurately reflects the proportion of the sexes among the general population; whereas no such mandatory quota has been introduced for … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 01/04/2016 •
For the mother of all looming calamities, all but guaranteed to put paid to civilization and mankind as we know it in the not too unforeseeable future, compared to some of its ineluctable side effects like environmental destruction and mass migrations, the global overpopulation disaster itself appears to cause surprisingly few tongues to wag and scant ink to spill by way of sounding the ground proximity warning system in humanity’s cockpit.
One of Mahatma Gandhi’s most popular aphorisms may provide the most plausible explanation for the universal reluctance to call a spade a spade, as it were, when it comes to global overcrowding. Gandhi famously decreed that “we must be the change we want to see in this world.”
In other words, if we think there are too many people in the world, we’re obviously one of them. It follows that the most intuitive measure to take in keeping with … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 11/26/2015 •
We live in a society that places ever more importance upon respecting the way individuals self-identify.
If someone refers to herself as a woman, it’s not in our place to question her femininity simply because she lacks certain assets traditionally associated with being female, or because, as per our blinkered expectations, some of her anatomical appurtenances squarely contradict her claim to womanhood as we’ve been conditioned to define it.
And if someone is 90% one race and 10% another, the progressive and hence enlightened stance is to regard that person as whichever race he or she identifies with, not whichever race we may intuitively assign him or her based on percentages and stereotypes. (This goes so far that we’ve had a somewhat serious debate over whether an all-white lady ought to be granted her wish to be accepted as black because that’s how she views herself.)
Yet then we’re told that violent jihadists aren’t really Muslims no matter how much they … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 09/14/2015 •
If you’re like most people, you own not one but several keys, a good number of which you prize so highly that you carry them around with you at all times.
But what is a key for? What does it represent?
A key represents two things. It represents (1) a border, and (2) the fear that this border may be crossed by anyone except yourself and perhaps a limited number of other designated copy holders of precisely that key.
In other words, show me an unapologetic key holder, and I’ll show you a xenophobe. For how can you be one without the other?
If you insist that you don’t have a xenophobic bone in your body, I suggest you walk your talk and unlock all your doors (front door, car door, garden gate, etc.) and then throw away all your keys.
After all, it’s enough to simply close your apartment door in order to protect yourself from that chilly draft … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 08/22/2015 •
One of the criticisms leveled at the Black Lives Matter movement is that its slogan says black lives matter instead of all lives matter.
Given the disproportionate plight of African-Americans versus whites in terms of general upward mobility and the potential for finding themselves at the receiving end of a deadly weapon, I personally don’t mind the movement’s exclusive focus on the value of black lives. My problem with it, as I’ve stated in several previous posts on the subject, lies in the highly selective application of its stated motto as if some black lives mattered more than others—a lot more.
My little white mind has difficulty wrapping itself around the concept that a movement that calls itself “Black Lives Matter” appears to aim its attention almost … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 08/05/2015 •
Sherlock Holmes taught us that “when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”
When it comes to sexism—and racism, for that matter—people split into two camps:
For one camp, the mere contingency that sexism (or racism) might lie at the root of a given state of affairs suffices to convince them that sexism (or racism) is to … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 07/19/2015 •
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When asked whether Bill Cosby’s U.S. Medal of Freedom ought to be revoked in light of the funnyman’s latterly somewhat depreciated status as a national role model, President Obama replied that there existed no known mechanism for such a revoker, but added in general terms that “this country, any civilized country, should have no tolerance for rape.”
There are, of course, different types of rape, the surreptitious admixture of a soporific agent to a victim’s … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 07/09/2015 •
All people are born equal, but some are born more equal than others.
Most of us, for instance, are expected, indeed required, in situations where gender-segregation applies, to use whichever facilities (bathrooms, locker rooms, etc.) correspond to the sex we were endowed with by our Creator.
The equaler among us, however, get to choose. … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 07/02/2015 •
Do you, or does anyone, need a written constitution in order to be able to tell right from wrong?
Of course not. We all have our own moral compass built into us.
I, for one, know in my heart that setting puppies on fire is wrong. I don’t know how I know. I just know. I don’t go, “Hmm. I’m not sure. Let me grab my copy of the U.S. Constitution for guidance and see if it covers acts like dousing the neighbor’s lab with gasoline and flinging a burning match in its … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 06/25/2015 •
Pope Francis has released his second encyclical, titled Laudato si’, subtitled On the Care of Our Common Home, in which he lowers the papal boom on mankind for its reckless stewardship of the planet, proclaiming that “a very solid scientific consensus indicates that we are presently witnessing a disturbing warming of the climatic system” and that, although “it is true that there are other factors” (like volcanic activity, the solar cycle, and variations in the earth’s orbit), “most global warming in recent decades … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 06/21/2015 •
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By now, we all know the names, faces, and biographies of the nine black individuals shot to death by that 21-year-old white racist whackjob terrorist hate criminal in South Carolina.
But who can name any of the dozens of American blacks murdered in the weeks leading up to the Charleston … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 06/19/2015 •
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When I first auditioned her she was so awesome she blew me away. She had so much soul — the only thing white about her was her skin.” (Motown founder Berry Gordy reacts to the untimely death of singer Teena Marie in 2010)
On 7 June 1892, Homer Plessy, a man legally classified as black, boarded a “whites only” railroad car with the express intent of getting arrested for this transgression. The purpose of the exercise was to set a test case that would furnish the opportunity to challenge on appeal the underlying … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 06/08/2015 •
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How come the lady can wear whatever she wants, but the dudes are all expected to sport the same drab and dorky suit & tie ensemble in order to project competence and authority?
And when was the last time you saw a red-carpet breakdown of what the men were wearing at the Oscars?
By Cyberquill • 06/07/2015 •
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For the third time in a little over a century, the German-speaking part of the world mourns the passing of Winnetou, chief of the Apaches and anthropomorphic condensation symbol of all things good and noble mankind has to offer at its best.
First, in the late 1800s, his creator, German novelist Karl May, killed him off on the page. Just as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had learned the hard way only a few years earlier, audiences ill appreciate having their favorite protagonists put to the sword (or the ravine or the bullet), and so Mr May, too, quickly … Read More →
By Cyberquill • 06/03/2015 •
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Geraldine and Daphne Jenner
Earlier this year, at a time when the nation’s attention was conveniently diverted by the various shenanigans of Brian Williams and Bill Cosby, a cabal of diabolical legislators in Florida, quietly and under the public radar, proposed “one of the most viciously sadistic, hypocritical bills the legislature has ever considered,” namely a law that would “forbid trans people from using the public bathroom that matches their true gender.” (You can read more about this iniquitous inequity here.)
No matter how deeply under your rock you may have been hiding for no matter how long, by now it … Read More →