William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Don’t Go To Confession; Humpty-Dumptying The English Language; More

Australian Anglicans unveil their new confessional.

Australian Anglicans unveil their new confessional.

A Time To Die

The play is done! But, as you can see, you cannot see it. This being the 5th of July and a Saturday in what must be a very long weekend, I decided to hold off posting it until next week when there is a better chance of people being near their computers.

Regular readers will remember that George R.R. Martin offered to accept $20,000 from any of his readers who longed to be killed off in a ghastly manner in his next novel. Not being as famous as Martin, I offered the same service for the low, low introductory price of $10.

Though the hour is late, there is still a chance to participate. Click the Donate tab at the top and I’ll find a way to squeeze you into your grave. But before you do, you’d better…

Go To Confession

But not in the Anglican Church in Australia. The enlightened leaders of that organization are now forcing priests to rat out parishioners who confess to acts which carry jail terms of at least five years.

“Forgive me, enlightened one, for I have sinned. It has been forty-two weeks since my last confession.”

“Go on, my son.”

“I accidentally side-swiped another car on my way home last week and didn’t report it.”

Sounds of pages flipping. “Were you at the time going more than 40 KPH?”

“Um, I don’t recall. Maybe.”

“Hmm….” More page flipping. “Well, was the other car moving at the time?”

“No, it was parked.”

Flip, flip, flip. “Now we’re getting somewhere. Was this on a public street or in a private lot? Such as might be found at a Drake’s Supermarket?”

“Right on the street.”

“One final question. Were you drinking at the time?”

“Well, I might have had one or two beers at the pub. But I was fine to drive.”

“My son, according to the Criminal Code, if you’re found guilty—and you have just confessed to the crime, so that is not really in question—your offense has a maximum sentence of six years. I’ll be sending a recording of this conversation to the police. Slide your ID through the slot. I’d advise you not to attempt to flee. That can add considerably to your tariff…”

Confession no longer means what it used to mean, and this is because of…

Humpty Dumpty’s Revenge

‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

How many remember Carroll wrote Alice as a parody of intellectual insanity? Never mind. Satire isn’t what it used to be. The danger of the absurd becoming the normal is too great to attempt it.

Case in point. The enlightened leaders of Vancouver’s public schools have, in their new “LGBTTQ+” policy, mandated the use of “gender-free pronouns xe, xem and xyr” (PDF). These replace the usual masculine and feminine pronouns, which, if accidentally heard by (say) a boy pretending to be a girl, might hurt his feelings.

“The Vancouver Board of Education’s policy also includes making restroom and sports activities accessible to all transgender students, regardless of their biological sex.”

How many boys will pretend, at least for the day, to be girls to have access to the girls’ locker room?

Mike Lombardi, vice chairman of the Vancouver Board of Education, said his Humpty-Dumptying of the English language will “create a safe learning environment for every child.”

Don’t giggle, dear reader. Just wait until the school board sends home a form which has been purged of “hurtful” (science- and reality-based) pronouns and which requires you to participate in the Humpty-Dumptying. If you refuse, it will be you who is deemed to be mentally ill, not the fantasists.

Gender no longer means biological sex or grammatical classification of nouns but, “A socially constructed concept of identity based on roles, activities, and appearance such as masculine, feminine, androgynous, etc.”

So if you believe you are a fish, you are a fish. And everybody else ought to believe you’re a fish, too. Who insists you are not a fish is a speciophobe. In this way, socially constructed means self constructed. Reality does not choose your identity, you do. And your choice cannot be questioned. Whatever crime against reality you commit, others must also commit to honor your choice.

This is the way of the malleist. Reality itself must obey our commands.

17 Comments

  1. Very US-centric view. Europeans are busy with the football world cup in Brazil, and the Tour de France.

  2. Briggs

    July 5, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Hans,

    US-centric? But I spoke only of Australia and Canada.

    Incidentally, Argentina over Belgium and Holland over Costa Rica.

  3. US-centric? I remember in grammar school always having the impression that the only reason Canada wasn’t a US state was because we hadn’t approved their application.

    – MJM

  4. Sander van der Wal

    July 5, 2014 at 9:32 am

    Isn’t the Anglican Church in Australia the State Church? In that case, what took them so long to figure out this is a good idea?

  5. Mr. Briggs,

    Bribes being offered to promote the new construct:
    “University offers female students extra credit for not shaving their armpits”
    http://www.campusreform.org/?ID=5735

    From one of the students: “The experience helped me better understand how pervasive gendered socialization is in our culture.”

  6. Bruce: Wow, who knew not shaving your armpits could be life-changing? Actually, how much life could you possibly have if not shaving your armpits changes it? Very, very, very sad indeed.
    As to confession: It may be necessary to leave out the third party in confession, as is the practice of many denominations. The advantage is no one can force God to rat you out.

  7. McFadden,
    Are you sure? I remember reading that during the war of 1812 the northern New England states threatened to leave the union and join Canada. I’ve also wondered why it is assumed that Canada would join as one state and not ten.

    All,
    With respect to the confession I guess they are going for the short term gain and ignoring the inevitable loss of trust and the avoidance of confession altogether. To be fair Briggs you should have linked to an Anglican and not a Catholic source.

    As to Humpty Dumpty we have another example of the need to abolish the prison like system of compulsory schooling. It reminds me of the Shakers who were so successful in enforcing their gender free communities that they disappeared entirely.

  8. Scotian, yep, that was definitely my impression as a kid. Heh, of course I think I also assumed that the Catholics just wouldn’t let the Protestants join our religion. :> And, of course, that New York City was where everyone would prefer to live.

    :>
    MJM

  9. McFadden,
    Whenever anyone says New York City I’m reminded of this.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vgrGyR6EYbY

  10. @Sherei

    “As to confession: It may be necessary to leave out the third party in confession, as is the practice of many denominations. The advantage is no one can force God to rat you out.”

    Sheri, what third party are you talking about?There is only one God and Xe is the State.

  11. anona: My bad. I for a moment lapsed into the completely unacceptable idea that there is a God outside of the State and that said God might actually have gender. Twenty lashings for my momentary foray outside of PC. 🙂

  12. If you say the word G*d, are you offending the theistically-challenged?

    😕
    MJM

  13. Sander, there is no state church in Australia.

  14. Reminds me of the Ad asking for ‘reliable’ workers which was rejected as discriminatory:

    http://www.therightperspective.org/2010/01/26/employer-cant-advertise-for-reliable-workers/

  15. Briggs, I read the reference you gave to the Vancouver school authority. I may have missed it, but I couldnt find the mandate for the use of pronoun “xe” etc that you stated. If one is careful, especially by use of the “they” pronoun, you can write gender-free english using standard words.

  16. Rj:
    Outside of Vancouver one may be able to get by using genderless pronouns to refer to person regardless of their gender identity. Rule 3 makes clear that within the Vancouver schools one must use xyr prefered pronouns (see the non-exclusive list in the definition of pronouns) to refer to those of trans gender instead of genderless pronouns.

  17. If Elizabeth Warren can become a Cherokee merely by asserting that she is one, I see no reason a boy can’t become a girl by assertion. Of course, being transgendered can be hazardous to your health. A year or so back a transgendered fellow went into the women restroom at a fast food place and the irate women beat the crap out of him. Obviously the women were in need of some sensitivity training.

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