Have you ever talked yourself out of a job? The Cambridge University Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic have. The Dons have declared that Anglo-Saxons did not exist, which should free up a third of their time. A belief in this ancestral race contributes, say the department’s critics, to “the myth of nationalism.” Critical Race Theory works fine — just as long as you are critical of the right race.
There is a growing realization among academics that as long as they plough the lonely furrow of their obscure discipline, nothing much will happen in their little town. But get with the beat and start throwing accusations of racism at the discipline that, until now, has treated you so well, and you suddenly get to see your name in print. And when you say the magic word, people jump. White liberal academics are learning what blacks learned a long time ago: There are words of power, and chief among them is “racist.”
So, when Canadian academic Mary Rambaran-Olm quit her post at The International Society of Anglo-Saxonists in 2019, objecting to the Society’s “inherent whiteness,” her erstwhile employers changed their name to The International Society for the Study of Early Medieval England. This will do until someone finds the word “Medieval” problematic for some desperate and non-existent reason.
“The Anglo-Saxon myth perpetuates a false idea of what it means to be ‘native’ to Britain,” Ms. Rambaran-Olm wrote in the Smithsonian, and we see an old, familiar subtext to this fashionable nonsense: Black people are not the center of attention, a situation which they notoriously find problematic.
One of the mythical obsessions that go towards the putting of British history into blackface is that black people have always been around, particularly in England, and televisual drama reinforces this absurdity with black Tudors, black Victorians, and black Romans. None of this retrospective genealogical colonialism is true — but that doesn’t matter. Truth, like the Anglo-Saxons, has been consigned to the dustbin of history rather than being the entry-level requirement of its actual record. But doubtless we will soon see books and films denoting hard-working Medieval peasants as black as your hat and talking in patois.
And, now that I stop to think, I am sure that Beowulf was written by a fat black woman.
Political scandal has been the main news export from Scotland for some months, and this means other stories have slipped by unnoticed. With Nicola Sturgeon’s arrest dominating headlines, the largest study of opioid deaths in Scotland — studying 50,000 addicts over a decade — found that fatalities trebled in that time. The report passed without flourish, and this news was appalling — but unsurprising. Scotland has had the highest morbidity rate for drug and alcohol abuse in Europe for some time. But it was yet more bad timing for the beleaguered Scottish Nationalist Party, which had just overseen a £19 million cut in services to the addicted.
Addiction is a problem in more ways than the obvious plight of the addicted and the drain on health resources. There is an ethical aspect which involves the non-addicted community — that is, almost everybody. Government has as one of its priorities — or it should have — the protection of those who cannot care for themselves due to weakness. The problem is that this usually means those who are either physically or mentally weak or compromised. Drug addicts are both. Addiction is viewed as affliction across the West, a model quite possibly having its origins in the hyper-liberal Netherlands. Moral agency is not the model for addiction, which is rather based around the usual potpourri of supposed social and economic drivers.
Britain has a bad habit itself: importing the very worst aspects of American cultural dysfunction. If you have seen footage of the streets of cities such as Los Angeles and San Francisco recently, you may be watching the future of the United Kingdom — with Scotland, tragically, leading the charge.
Your rights stop where my felines begin
It was only a matter of time before today’s bored children tired of gender and the various shapes you can make out of it, like a kiddie’s building set, and looked in the dressing-up box for something more fun.
It seems that Rye College in East Sussex, England is upholding an old schoolroom tradition and now has a school cat. One of its students identifies as one, you see, and self-identification is more important to Generation Z than their passports.
An altercation took place between the teacher of a “life education” class – which is not as wholesome as it sounds — and a skeptical student who objected to the new dogma and taped the ensuing conversation. This went what the young people call “viral,” and so everyone got to hear the puzzled girl being called “despicable,” as well as the teacher’s suggestion that she “find another school” that will tolerate her heresy.
The story is laid out here at Spiked magazine, and the piece also showcases a piece of cognitive dissonance to match that of the teacher, who stated that she would not tolerate the girl’s views in her classroom. The author, Gareth Sturdy, is clearly watching the same game as the rest of us:
But the most disturbing aspect of the Rye College recording is not that kids are self-identifying as animals. It’s that teachers are refusing to countenance any criticism of identity politics, especially gender identity . . . [Schools] are confused about their purpose. They seem to have given up on the idea that they exist to transmit established, well-defined bodies of knowledge through expert teachers.
Very little to fault there. But are schools “confused about their purpose”? That depends entirely on what that purpose is. Mr. Sturdy’s piece has two words as serviceable bookends, one in the standfirst and one as the last word of the last line:
A recording of a classroom row has revealed the madness that gender ideology has unleashed in our schools.
It’s high time parents and (sensible) teachers united to return our schools to sanity.
Confusion, madness, insanity. Or design. What is happening in education is pure Bezmenov, no chaser. Destabilization in this case has willing allies: children. You need not be a child psychologist to know that if you wish to please a child, just give him a chance to show off and be the center of attention. Bingo. Children have also self-identified as dinosaurs, horses, and moons. Imagine the laughs we could have had with this at school.
In another very modern political touch, the school is now under investigation by Education Secretary Gillian Keegan, which means that a governmental adviser or focus group has informed the Prime Minister that he might find it expedient to deploy a pinch of what people actually want, just to promote the illusion of democracy in action.
Cats themselves are fairly unanimous on the matter, seeing no problem with Generation Z sleeping 16 hours a day, although they are slightly more dubious about the cleaning regime.
Just stop whining
Just Stop Oil (JSO) are a group of activists who wish mankind to stop using the black gold immediately and run everything on hemp juice and twigs. They are all white and middle-class, categories usually despised by the new breed of woke folk — unless, that is, they have taken up the fashionable cause JSO have.
Their signature tactic is the “slow walk,” whereby activists proceed at a funereal pace in front of traffic, forcing cars, trucks, and ambulances to match their pace. Some motorists’ tempers have recently frayed, particularly those of white men in white vans, which is always a warning signal in London’s urban jungle. Several protestors have been picked up and dumped unceremoniously by the side of the road by artisans eager to reach their place of work.
JSO were also responsible for disrupting the World Snooker Championships in April by climbing on a snooker table during a match and pouring orange power on the green baize. Similar attacks were made on the Rugby Union Final at Twickenham and the famous Epsom Derby horse race. To show they have an artistic side, JSO also took time to throw tomato soup over van Gogh’s Sunflowers in London’s National Gallery. (Creative counter-protestors missed the opportunity to throw sunflowers over Andy Warhol’s tomato soup cans.) At the time of writing, Britain’s Crown Court has just announced that it will charge none of those arrested on various bridges and main roads.
But who funds Just Stop Oil? An organization such as JSO will have ethically sourced their donations, I’m sure. What I’m also sure of is that every single self-righteous social menace among them will want one thing: the death of capitalism. Their largest donor is unfortunately the Climate Emergency Fund, who fund 105 other climate activist organizations from their Los Angeles base, are themselves funded by wealthy patrons, and were founded by Aileen Getty, the granddaughter of J. Paul Getty, who of course founded . . . the Getty Oil Company! The response would be very different if there were ties to slavery.
As for those unfortunates having to drive their cars at a walking pace on the way to an interview, or work, or the hospital, they will be pleased to know that another major donor to Just Stop Oil also happens to be one of the biggest donors to the Labour Party, quite probably the next party in power.
Where there’s oil, there’s money, but the only oil that needs to be stopped is that lubricating the Green activist machine.
The Empire Windrush strikes back
The 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT (His Majesty’s Transport) Empire Windrush has allowed one of Britain’s great ethnic lies to resurface. The accepted narrative on the Left is that the imperial British government, needing a few darkies to help after the war effort, arranged a sort of Caribbean Middle Passage to bring them over to work for whitey.
This is utterly false. The company which ran the Empire Windrush had spare berths — £48 for a regular berth, £28 for a soldier’s berth — and decided to maximize their profits by selling tickets to just over 1,000 blacks who wanted a new life where they spoke the language and recognized the customs by virtue of having been a British colony. As for an invitation, the Labour government of the day were not at all keen on the approaching ship of the saints.
But history is a moveable feast today, and if the new commissars say that the HMT Empire Windrush was an erstwhile slave ship, then that is what it was. It remains a moot point as to who the slaves are today.
Hoist the mainsail!
The Union Jackal.
* * *
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