Harrison Bergeron

The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

Read Vonnegut’s great short story here, or watch an excellent adaptation, below.

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Marty’s Don’s Party Party

Don’s Party is a great Australian movie. It is set entirely on the night of the 1969 Federal election, when Gough Whitlam was destined to lead Labor to victory for the first time in twenty years. David Denby wrote,

Don’s Party is derivative of Pinter, Fellini, Antonioni, Albee, and about a dozen others, and it’s a dispiriting, ugly experience, cliche’d rather than illuminating, smarmy rather than funny.

As we said, a great movie. Continue reading “Marty’s Don’s Party Party”

RatS 23: David Karoly – CSIRO and the Suppression of Science

So much crap, so little time. We’re desperately trying to get to the Australian Curriculum. Courtesy of the Evil Mathologre, however, we have about 2000 essays to grade. And, due to “must  be done” renovations, The Boss is demanding that the massive Everything in our garage be moved two meters to the left. (We suggested it’d just be easier to move the garage two meters to the right, but The Boss didn’t buy it.) Before all that, however, there are a couple posts that really need to be done, including this one, on CSIRO.

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RatS 22: Taibbi – PayPal’s IndyMedia Wipeout

Matt Taibbi has another in his infinite series of posts on powerful and sanctimonious thugs, this one free to the public. This time it’s PayPal doing the thugging, and thieving, and not for the first time, or second time, all the while preening as the defender of Truth, Justice and the American Way. A nice touch is that this time the thugging seems to be in partnership with the Anti-Defamation League. Proving, as if it were needed, that the Old Jews can be just as much assholes as the New Jews.

Read Taibbi’s post, and then scream.

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RatS 21: Taibbi – Twitter’s Chickens Come Home to Roost

(29/04/22 Update below) We had thought about posting on this one but, given the paywall, we had decided against. Now we’ve decided for it. With Elon Musk having arranged to buy Twitter, and given our post yesterday on Twitter Fun, it seems worthwhile.

People are going nuts at the prospect of Musk controlling Twitter. They’ve been going nuts since it became clear a couple weeks ago that Musk was eyeing the company. It is appalling. One doesn’t have be a fan of Musk to be disgusted by the manipulative, hypocritical and, most importantly and nauseatingly, censorious twaddle that would-be-respectable journalists are currently spewing.

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Governor DeSantis’s Critical Race Theory and the Rejection of Mathematics Texts

Last week, the big, crazy news out of big, crazy America was the Florida Department of Education’s decision to reject 54 school mathematics texts. The reasons? Well, supposedly the rejected texts

included references to Critical Race Theory (CRT), inclusions of Common Core, and the unsolicited addition of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) in mathematics.

The claim was immediately undermined, however, by the FDOE’s declining to provide any such references, or to even identify the rejected texts. Continue reading “Governor DeSantis’s Critical Race Theory and the Rejection of Mathematics Texts”

RatS 20: Michael Lind – The End of Progressive Intellectual Life

Following on from Laura Kipnis, we had also never previously heard of Michael Lind. Unlike Kipnis, who seems consistently great, Lind is a mixed bag. He has a superior tone, which doesn’t sit well with some of his less-than-superior judgments; anybody who writes a book titled Vietnam: The Necessary War is on the thinnest of ice. Nonetheless, Lind is smart and thoughtful and, critically, he is willing to write what he thinks, is willing to annoy anybody.

Last week, Lind had an excellent essay published in Tablet. Titled The End of Progressive Intellectual Life, it begins,

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