Felix Yz

Felix Yz is a book designed to normalize and condition children (age range: 10-14) into accepting transgenderism, pronoun creativity, and further, outer reaches of ‘gender identity’:

When Felix Yz was three years old, a hyperintelligent fourth-dimensional being became fused inside him after one of his father’s science experiments went terribly wrong. The creature is friendly, but Felix—now thirteen—won’t be able to grow to adulthood while they’re still melded together. So a risky Procedure is planned to separate them . . . but it may end up killing them both instead.

This book is Felix’s secret blog, a chronicle of the days leading up to the Procedure. Some days it’s business as usual—time with his close-knit family, run-ins with a bully at school, anxiety about his crush. But life becomes more out of the ordinary with the arrival of an Estonian chess Grandmaster, the revelation of family secrets, and a train-hopping journey. When it all might be over in a few days, what matters most?

Told in an unforgettable voice full of heart and humor, Felix Yz is a groundbreaking story about how we are all separate, but all connected too.

Library Journal gushes:

Most notable among the supporting cast is his gender-fluid grandparent Grandy, who alternates among male, female, and no presentation depending on the day of the week. Grandy’s presence allows for an explanation of choosing one’s own pronouns (here: vo, ven, veir, veirs, veirself) and offers, along with the biracial Hector, more ways for Felix to better understand how all people contain multitudes.

  • An NPR Best Book of 2017!
  • A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2017!
  • A VOYA Top Shelf pick for 2017!
  • An ALA 2018 Rainbow List Top Ten pick!

About the book’s author:

Lisa Bunker

Lisa Bunker has written stories all her life. Before setting up shop as a full-time author and trans activist she had a 30-year career in non-commercial broadcasting, most recently as Program Director of the community radio station in Portland, Maine. Besides Maine she has made homes in New Mexico, southern California, Seattle, and the Florida panhandle. She currently lives in Exeter, New Hampshire with her partner and her cat. She has two grown children. When not writing she reads, plays piano, knits, takes long walks, does yoga, and studies languages. She is not as good at chess as she would like to be, but still plays anyway. Her author website is at www.lisabunker.net, and you can find her on Twitter @LisaBunker.

Lisa Bunker is a transgendered ‘woman’:

I would say my status as a transgender person is one facet, among many, of who I am. Of course it matters, it’s had a big impact on my life and the arc of my life, but it doesn’t define me. You can’t say, oh, Lisa Bunker, she’s trans, and have that explain me any more than my faith, or my nationality, or how tall I am, or the color of my eyes, or anything else.

So yes, writing stories featuring LGBTQ characters without that being the main point, and without shaking a figure and lecturing at the reader or anybody else. It’s just a thing about Felix, and his grandparent is genderqueer, and his mother is bisexual, and there are a couple of other LGBTQ characters as well in this story…

For my little family of three, myself and my two children, and my partner two, so I am a transgender woman, I am engaged to be married to another woman. I have two children, one of whom is genderqueer, doesn’t identify as either male or female and uses the pronouns they or them, and then I have my son who is the only cisgender heterosexual person, our token straight kid.

This is how it happens, how Culture changes to Weimar 2.0. Books like this (intended for children) are authored, published, then gushed over and promoted by liberal culture-influencers. By the time Boomer conservatives (and conservative parents) are aware of it, it is too late to provide a counter-narrative.

And there is no counter-narrative, not in the form of a children’s book. Such a book would be a Hate Book, written by a Nazi who is literally Hitler.

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NYT: “Beyond My White Sydney Bubble”

In “Beyond My White Sydney Bubble”, Lisa Pryor offers a maudlin paean to Multiculturalism:

SYDNEY, Australia — I have spent most of my life among the mostly white and Australian-born. But slowly over the last few years I have been moving beyond the comfort of my own ethnic group…

We are living multiculturalism, muddling through it. It is not perfect, but it is glorious and I would never go back. I have come to believe Anglo-Celtic Australia needs to work harder to integrate into this new mainstream…

Within this syrupy idealism, however, are a couple of rather strange passages. In virtue signaling her embrace of The Other, Pryor writes:

I have discovered that it is possible to arrange evening social events that are not centered on alcohol, unthinkable among white Australians. I have discovered other night lives in my city that I have not been a part of before, like chocolate cafes and karaoke lounges.

If all your friends are alcoholics or semi-alcoholics, then maybe you need to get new friends. Drinking is not a sign of ‘whiteness’. But a nice wine does compliment all those exotic and vibrantly diverse restaurants!

Then comes the strangest ‘defense’ of whiteness (?) I’ve yet encountered:

But I’ve also learned to stand up for, and explain, my culture. I remember a conversation about premarital sex. “Excuse me, that is part of my culture,” I said. My mother would have been horrified if I married someone without first having sex with that person.

C’mon NYT, can’t you come up with better “white people suck” op-eds than this?

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The New Yorker Interviews Two Starbucks Employees Who Took the Training

The New Yorker sends an intrepid reporter to report back on how the StarbucKKKs racism training session went (“What Two Starbucks Employees Made of the Company’s Ant-Bias Training”). He interviews two baristas with the company. They appear to be a representative cross-segment of the avg Starbucks employee and (possibly) customer:

The first, a barista in his sixties, who asked not to be named, described himself as “a white Jewish guy, living in a very blue town in a very blue state,” by which he meant Massachusetts. “I’m fascinated by the idea that all eight thousand stores are getting the same four-hour training,” he said, before heading in to the store where he’s worked for five years, a place mostly patronized, he said, by “older Jewish regulars.”…

The second employee I spoke to was Jaime Prater, a forty-two-year-old Starbucks shift manager in Los Angeles, who identifies as biracial and gay

If places as progressive as this are full of invisible racism, just imagine how risible the rest of the country is.

The Jew Barista appears to have flunked the course:

The barista couldn’t think of an instance, during his Starbucks tenure, when he’d acted with bias, he said…

He added, “Do I know that I have bias? Absolutely. But I’m very conscious and aware of ethical stuff.”

He recalled a phrase repeated often during the training, “Become ‘color brave.’ ” He said, “I still don’t know what that means, exactly, to be honest.”

It means to be a wide open canvas, upon which POCs and corporate HR SJWs shall paint whatever they want.

The Gay Biracial Barista (named Prater) seems to have been more properly conditioned, but then again, he may have an unfair advantage, sorta like SAT questions with a cultural context that favors whites:

“Race is always on my mind, being biracial…”

Prater also acknowledged his own biases, such as when “I might have an issue with Jane Doe Caucasian Lady walking down the street, assuming she’s entitled.”

I’m pretty sure throwing around epithets like ‘Jane Doe Caucasian Lady’ is something the anti-racism class is designed to put an end to. But then again, maybe the opposite is true.

Both baristas feel that heightening their Extrasensory Anti-Bias Perception ought to come with a pay raise:

Prater thought that Starbucks deserved credit for “rolling out the red carpet and spending millions on training technology, paperwork, books, and all of these things.” But he still felt ambivalence, for other reasons. “The lowest-paid workers are taxed with giving the best face of the company, when no loyalty, no guaranteed hours are given to them,” he said. He added, “Even though it’s a really great first step, it’s a big ask for a taxed workforce: to tell people doing five things at once, at the lowest end of the totem pole, to also be extra racially sensitive. It almost seems unfair to me.”

On this, Prater and the barista in Massachusetts agreed. “When you’ve got a line of customers out the door,” the latter said, “how do you deal with whatever incident may be happening in the store at a given moment? It’s all a free-flowing theatrical event you’re trying to manage.”

Indeed! When there’s a long line of irate customers waiting for their triple mocha soy latte, who can be expected to simultaneously gauge when one particular customer you just asked “would you like some room for cream?” took this as an invasive, penetrative, racial slight?

Finally, there was this hoot:

There were transitional segments narrated by the rapper Common. “A number of people said, ‘What’s the deal with Common?’ ” the Massachusetts barista told me. “I know who he is, but I couldn’t tell you anything he’s done.”

I can tell you what he’s done: gotten free P.R.

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NYT’s Racism Confessionals

Hopefully, the NYT can make this into a regular series, so liberal whites can atone endlessly, and to ever deeper and greater levels (“9 People Reveal a Time They Racially Stereotyped a Stranger”):

Years ago, I was at the local park with my little son. He’d thrown his toy into the large pond. As I contemplated how I might retrieve it and still keep my son safe, a group of young black men approached us, dressed in durags, baggy pants and dreads.

My son and I were on the ground and the young men stood over and around us. I didn’t immediately assume we were in any danger, but I did wonder what was going on, since they were intentionally engaging with us.

I consciously did not flinch because I think a lot about racism and I don’t want to be that person. Instead, I smiled at them and said hello.

Short of possessing perfect information about an individual’s intentions, heuristics is in play. The presence of durags, baggy pants and dreads (in conjunction with skin color) serve as a complex nexus of information-bearing traits, which then guides a person’s decision-making. (Were the person above to have noticed a group of black men dressed in khakis or suits, they probably would have been a lot less tense and anxious.)

Naturally, the above story has a happy ending:

Then, one of the young men smiled back and asked if I would like them to retrieve the toy.

I was very touched and of course said, “Yes, please!” They linked hands and reached out into the pond and got the toy.

I had to dab my eyes with a Kleenex on that one.

Now, this above story could have ended in a very different way, in which case the NYT would avoid reporting on it like the plague. (See Derb’s “The Talk”.)

Maybe Jessie Jackson can email in his own sin in this regard:

“There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps… then turn around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”

I wonder why there are no stories of people sinfully stereotyping, say, an Asian person as a potential criminal?

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First Look at “First Reformed” (2018)

Is Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed” an SJW fantasy, a critique of SJW-ness’ telos, a parody of SJW-ness, or some strange combination thereof? Schrader himself has always struck me as a conservative guy, or at a minimum not a PC guy.

From the sounds of it, “First Reformed” appears to be a further riff on themes Schrader explored in his screenplay for “Taxi Driver” (which was directed by Martin Scorcese.)

In “First Reformed”, Ethan Hawke’s Reverend Toller comes to identify himself with radical environmentalism and antinatalism:

The movie, which stars Ethan Hawke as an upstate New York minister who is undergoing a crisis of faith/health/isolation/midlife woe, is an austerely unabashed and compelling oddball, a pastiche of “Diary of a Country Priest” and “Winter Light” and what you might call the Schrader Paradigm, the one derived from “The Searchers” that he used (and made iconic) in his screenplay for “Taxi Driver,” and then in “Hardcore” and “Light Sleeper”: the loner who goes down a blood trail of redemption, trying to rescue a ravaged maiden who was taken by the forces of sin but remains, in his mind, unspoiled.

That said, there’s an additional component to “First Reformed” that, I think, accounts for some of the cartwheels that critics have done over it. The picture is a gravely absorbing cinematic-spiritual journey, but it’s also a message movie about environmental catastrophe in which the hero, emerging from his dour despair, begins to find a purpose in becoming radicalized. He gooses himself awake, and by the time the film reaches its nutty inspired climax, this somberly cautious and reflective man is flirting with strapping on a suicide vest. For a lot of indie-film buffs who consider themselves social justice warriors, that’s close to a feel-good ending…

He views himself as an enlightened activist, but he’s also a messianic narcissist who has figured out a way to make climate change all about him.

I’m looking forward to checking this film out.

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Christof Koch on ‘What is Consciousness?’

In Scientific American, Christof Koch (a giant in the field of consciousness studies) summarizes the latest status of neuronal correlates of consciousness (NCC) research, as well as the Integrated information theory (IIT), which has been the most significant theoretical development in consciousness studies in decades (“What Is Consciousness?”).

The IIT approach precludes AI from ever being conscious in the way that we, as humans, experience consciousness, which is in line with Nagel’s bat argument & Searle’s Chinese Room argument. The Hard Problem will never be transcended by AI:

IIT also predicts that a sophisticated simulation of a human brain running on a digital computer cannot be conscious—even if it can speak in a manner indistinguishable from a human being. Just as simulating the massive gravitational attraction of a black hole does not actually deform spacetime around the computer implementing the astrophysical code, programming for consciousness will never create a conscious computer. Consciousness cannot be computed: it must be built into the structure of the system.

Two challenges lie ahead. One is to use the increasingly refined tools at our disposal to observe and probe the vast coalitions of highly heterogeneous neurons making up the brain to further delineate the neuronal footprints of consciousness. This effort will take decades, given the byzantine complexity of the central nervous system. The other is to verify or falsify the two, currently dominant, theories. Or, perhaps, to construct a better theory out of fragments of these two that will satisfactorily explain the central puzzle of our existence: how a three-pound organ with the consistency of tofu exudes the feeling of life.

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P.C. at Hanging Rock

We live at a time when even The Globe Theater, where Shakespeare’s plays were originally unveiled, has gone Full Woke.

Following Peter Weir’s celebrated 1975 cinematic adaptation of Joan Lindsay’s 1967 novel Picnic at Hanging Rock, Amazon has created a new miniseries on the book, which prompts a NYT reviewer to wring their hands in anxiety. In 2018, this is how a film review now begins:

As a novel (in 1967) and a film (in 1975), “Picnic at Hanging Rock” had a couple of features that could be problematic in 2018.

Set in 1900 in the Australian countryside, where provincial gentility rubbed up against indigenous culture and wild nature, the story centered on a series of disappearances and deaths of girls and women — symbolically done in by, or perhaps mystically transcending, their repressive environment. It was not a story of empowerment.

Even worse, by current standards, the instigating mystery — the disappearance of three boarding-school girls and one of their teachers during a hike up Hanging Rock, an actual geological feature near Melbourne — was left unsolved. Did they jump, did they run, were they killed, were they transported? No definitive answer was provided. In the peak-TV era, there is no greater heresy.

So what were the creators of a new, six-episode “Picnic at Hanging Rock,” made for Australian television and streaming on Amazon beginning Friday, to do?…

Such a conundrum.

Here’s a radical idea: Be as faithful to the novel as you can.

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NYT: “Mourning My (((White))) Husband in the Age of Trump”

Every single unrelenting day, the NYT features at least one story or op-ed designed to say “white people are evil”. There are several today. One is an op-ed titled “Mourning My White Husband in the Age of Trump” by Erin Aubry Kaplan who “teaches writing at Antioch University, Los Angeles, and is the author of “Black Talk, Blue Thoughts and Walking the Color Line” and “I Heart Obama.””

She’s a black woman who talks about the marriage to her late, Jewish liberal husband.

When I married in 2000, I changed my name. I expanded it — kept my name but added my husband’s name, Kaplan, without a hyphen. I wanted my name to reflect a conjoining that was also an evolution, literally one thing following another. This was an experiment, as all marriages are, that felt exciting and open-ended, not least because I’m black and my husband was white.

A hyphenated-woman. Oh boy, strap yourselves in, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

Throughout our relationship, we shared a political lens… I never had to explain or defend my racial frustrations, anxiety or even paranoia.

I can only imagine.

I could write a dissertation deconstructing the loaded emotions and latent propositions in the following passage about her husband.

I am a journalist who had been covering black matters for years at that point, and Alan was a locally famous high school teacher of American history who believed that race and racism had shaped America far more than it was willing to admit. Not surprisingly, he didn’t think changing my name was a great idea. “Black people know you as Erin Aubry,” he said bluntly. “They’ll resent a name so obviously white and Jewish. It’ll get in your way.”

He wasn’t being snide or heroic. One of the many things he’d figured out is that white people showing up in a black space, including the intimate space of a relationship, is seen by many black folks as an incursion, even if they don’t say so. That he understood and was even sympathetic to this view impressed me, but I changed my name anyway. It felt romantic.

She is basically admitting that, yes, black people don’t like it when white people enter their space. There’s zero awareness about the double-standard in this regard. Furthermore, she finds her husband’s realization of this black-initiated discrimination… romantic.

However, the best paragraph has got to be:

Alan’s anger about racial inequality was rooted in his work, but it wasn’t something he left in the classroom — and I loved that about him. Ever the teacher, sometimes he’d challenge me to justify my feelings with evidence; other times he’d cite a book or article he’d read recently — by Chris Hedges, Naomi Wolf, Chalmers Johnson — that put my feelings into a bigger, more complicated context than I sometimes wanted to consider.

A black woman encouraged to justify her feelings with evidence? That sounds like a recipe for an ass-whoopin’. And, better yet, a ‘racially frustrated’ liberal black woman had her liberal black views “challenged” by stalwart conservatives such as Chris Hedges and Naomi Wolf.

Ah, but her response is revealing:

“I’m not one of your students,” I’d say impatiently. “I don’t have to write a paragraph supporting my opinion that Trent Lott is racist. He’s racist!”

“That’s true, but that doesn’t mean you can be a lazy thinker,” he’d shoot back. “If you don’t have a strong argument, people can take you apart. They’ll take black people apart. You’ll lose what you should win.”

Read that passage carefully. Does it not sound like that, in all likelihood, Erin had a repeated propensity to be a lazy thinker, and that her lib husband was trying to nudge her to engage with critical reasoning?

Another revealing quote:

At the same time, he had racial blind spots; he could still be a white guy with privilege who thought his views should wield more influence than they did…

Our different upbringings made for different outlooks. In Alan’s privilege he expected change; in my non-privilege, I expected struggle. For all his wokeness, he couldn’t escape his American sense of entitlement, and sometimes I watched it from the outside with a kind of bewilderment, even admiration.

He could still be a “white guy with privilege”? Again, zero awareness of how this comes across to anyone but the most liberal of NYT’s readers. This marriage appears to be a microcosm of the current war within the Left between increasingly radical, racialized POCs and liberal ‘whites’.

With Alan I could say all the things too risky or too subtle to say to white people at parties or in public. Today, while I’m determined not to hold back with white folks anymore — in the age of lies-as-truth, honesty feels like the only path left — the not-holding-back feels like a job. It’s not an act of love, at least not in the immediate way it had been for me.

Good lord: she thinks she’s been too timid. Yes, the Left needs to be more open in their Hate. They have been too silent for too long!

An open question is whether Trump’s entering the Presidential race hastened her husband’s death.

In Alan’s last days, when he was conscious (but unable to speak) and I was sure he’d recover, I tried to re-enlist him in our running conversation. I gestured to the news playing on the TV in his hospital room. “Look, Alan, Trump is running for president,” I exclaimed. “Can you believe it?”

I knew the answer: Of course he believed it. He’d been talking his entire career, and our entire marriage, about the gravitational pull of racial fear and loathing on politics, and Mr. Trump’s swiftly rising appeal was the storm that had been gathering during eight years of Barack Obama.

Yet for the first time, he seemed utterly uninterested in such news; as I ranted at the screen, he turned his eyes away. Maybe he knew what was coming, and knew he wasn’t going to be here for it.

In all seriousness, how many more of these op-eds do we have to endure?

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Post-Racial Royal Wedding = Rorschach Test

Much like the election of Zero, the Post-Racial Royal Wedding™ has become a Rorschach Test upon which angry progressives can project their Id, with all its fears and desires:

Among the group of black women with whom I watched the ceremony early Saturday morning in New Jersey, she was a source of pride. Yet out of a sense of sisterly protection, we were also worried about her as she sat there alone, without siblings or friends…

She was alone in her Resistance. She’s just like Rosa Parks!

As a noted feminist, Ms. Markle has been far more explicit about her commitment to workplace gender equality, the #MeToo movement and championing the rights of girls. Yet, in this age of Black Lives Matter, she is rarely on record for expressing similar remarks about racial justice or delving into the richness of her African-American heritage.

On Saturday, she clapped back. Through a series of thoughtfully curated and expertly executed performances, the world came to see Ms. Markle as she wants to be seen and, arguably, has always seen herself. As a woman who embraces blackness as forthrightly and easily as she wears a Givenchy wedding dress and Queen Mary’s diamond tiara.

Much has already been made of Bishop Michael Bruce Curry, the first African-American head of the Episcopal Church, who embraced the soaring rhetoric and improvisational splendor of the African-American sermonic tradition in his invocation. And the 19-year-old cello soloist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, the first black musician to win the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year Award in its 40-year history, gave a spellbinding, virtuoso performance that gently reminded us of the long history and thriving present of black classical musicians.

Long history? Thriving present?

In the end, the most significant celebration of racial and gender identity was completely unscripted. As the newlyweds left Windsor Castle, my friends and I rejoiced at another sound we immediately recognized: Interspersed among the crowd’s gleeful cheers, there was a cacophony of black women offering up another song — ululations recognized as congratulatory greetings throughout the African diaspora — to welcome Ms. Markle and her new husband home.

And in the famously reserved country of England, what is more quintessentially British than ululations?

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Language as a Weapon

Invited onstage, a white woman simply sings Kendrick Lamar’s lyrics, which is a cardinal sin… for a white person.

The Racial Culture War is being fought in the trenches of grammar.

Grammar is a weapon, a nexus of power.

The N-word moves from being a word with a complicated history to being a totem, a talismanic signifier of identity, closed off to others.

Collectively, we can sense in the air a Coming Era where certain people (white people) saying certain words is not only frowned upon socially, but becomes a crime (with the full force of the government standing behind the prohibition), as we are seeing happen in Britain today.

The instances are many: Michael Eric Dyson’s grunting and predatory taunting of Jordan Peterson (see 0:30 to 0:46, as well as elsewhere in this video), simply for uttering a phrase with the remotest possibility of being misinterpreted along PC grammar rules, is the same dynamic.

The speech utterance itself, regardless of context, becomes an assertion, confession, and ‘empirical’ proof of the speaker’s racism.

Throw the principle of charity out the window. It is itself a tool of the white supremacist cishet patriarchy.

Because society has capitulated on the N-word (Sidenote: it disgusts me that I myself feel compelled to say “N-word”, for rational fear of hassles & headaches I neither want nor need), the PC Brigade smells blood in the air, as well as a path to victory, so the dynamic naturally expands to wider domains of language.

“Meritocracy”? Racist.

“Objectivity”? Racist.

“The West”? Racist.

Ad infinitum.

Posted in Left, Political Correctness, Race | Comments Off on Language as a Weapon