Monday, January 07, 2019

Against Chill

Alana Massey is becoming a traditional woman

In recent years, “chill” has become one of the most desirable qualities in a romantic prospect. But it is a garbage virtue that will destroy the species.

The Great Chill Massacre of 2014 was not premeditated. When I woke up that morning, I had no idea that I’d end the day going from casually dating six men to formally and intentionally dating zero. But then two of the six men coincidentally sent texts admiring my “chill,” and it became clear that drastic and draconian measures would be required to set the record straight. It seems that my poker face is too perfect when men report a desire to “see what happens.” My willingness to call dates “hanging out” in perpetuity sometimes gives the impression that I am in possession of the amorphous and increasingly desirable characteristic of Chill.

And so in a fit of shamelessness and glory, I sent some variation of the text, “I’m actually looking for something serious so I’m not planning to see you anymore” to all six of them. Incredulity and attempts to lure me back into my Chill with more empty promises that we could “see where it goes” were ignored or actively mocked. I killed what little Chill I actually had and I shed no tears for it.

To the uninitiated, having Chill and being cool are synonyms. They describe a person with a laid-back attitude, an absence of neurosis, and reasonably interesting tastes and passions. But the person with Chill is crucially missing these last ingredients because they are too far removed from anything that looks like intensity to have passions. They have discernible tastes and beliefs but they are unlikely to materialize as passionate. Passion is polarizing; being enthusiastic or worked up is downright obsessive. Excessive Chill is “You do you” taken to its most extreme conclusion, giving everyone’s opinions and interests equal value so long as they’re authentically ours.

In an infamous passage in Gone Girl, the elusive “Cool Girl” is described as a woman who declares, “I am a hot, brilliant, funny woman who adores football, poker, dirty jokes, and burping, who plays video games, drinks cheap beer, loves threesomes and anal sex, and jams hot dogs and hamburgers into her mouth like she’s hosting the world’s biggest culinary gang bang while somehow maintaining a size 2.” The “Cool Girl” is, of course, remarkably dull in her interests because they center almost exclusively on the man with whom she is so inexplicably enraptured. But the “Cool Girl” has no Chill. She likes him far too much and lets it show. Chill is different — it is agreeable because it is emotionally vacant. Chill is what Cool would look like with a lobotomy and no hobbies. And for a large subset of the population, Chill is one of the most desirable qualities in a romantic prospect.

I am originally from San Diego where Chill was as much a part of our culture as burritos and surfing and lifted Toyota Tacoma trucks. It was an insistence on going with the flow, rolling with the punches. It would have been about saying “C’est la vie!” to all the shitty shit that happened if more people there had taken French. The ever-reliable Urban Dictionary has 111 definitions of “chill,” the first of which appeared in June 2002. Most of these descriptions describe the act of chilling, which is either hanging out or smoking weed, and sometimes both. The others describe being chill, an adjective to describe being calm, laid back, or relaxed. The first instance of Chill as a noun appears in 2013 under the term “No Chill” and describes a range of people who are reckless or lacking rationality. These definitions are deceptively simple ways of asking people to have fewer strong emotions.

Early adopters of the sexual liberation and drug culture in the 1960s had a prototype for Chill in their sexual mores and free spirits. Each decade since has seen an increasing interest in eschewing anything that might limit the free expression and experience of one’s interior life and carnal desires. But this kind of Chill still had an emotional dimension. Hippies coined the term “free love” rather than “free sex.” The pioneers who brought “open relationship” into the mainstream vernacular the early aughts to describe non-traditional partnerships still acknowledged that feelings were involved at some level. An open relationship is, after all, still a relationship.

Chill has now slithered into our romantic lives and forced those among us who would like to exchange feelings and accountability to compete in the Blasé Olympics with whomever we are dating. Oh, I’m sorry, I mean whomever we are “hanging out with.” Whomever we are “talking to.” Chill asks us to remove the language of courtship and desire lest we appear invested somehow in other human beings. To even acknowledge that there might be an emotional dimension to talking or dating or hanging out or coming over or fucking or whatever the kids are calling it all these days feels forbidden. It is a game of chicken where the first person to confess their frustration or confusion loses.

But Chill is not the opposite of uptight. It is the opposite of demanding accountability. Chill is a sinister refashioning of “Calm down!” from an enraging and highly gendered command into an admirable attitude. Chill suggests that young love is best expressed as competitive ambivalence. Chill demands that you see a Read receipt followed by a “Hey, was asleep” text three hours later and not proceed to throw your phone into the nearest volcano. Chill asks you to be like, “LOL, what volcano?” Chill presides over the funeral of reasonable expectations. Chill takes and never gives. Chill is pathologically unfeeling but not even interesting enough to kill anyone. Chill is a garbage virtue that will destroy the species. Fuck Chill.

As is evident by now, I have Net Zero Chill. Anyone with real Chill would never do something so erratic and shrill as capitalize the first letter of the word. Because that is making it a thing. And people with Chill do not make anything a thing. Indeed, when asked the status of their relationship, the response with the most Chill is, “Oh, we’re not a thing.” We have reached a point where the best possible answer is to deny that the two of you even exist. I don’t think that it is so much to ask that I be considered a thing — at least some kind of thing — if I am engaging in emotional or sexual intimacy with someone.

I routinely happen upon men who are perplexed when I eventually declare that I want to know where we stand. Indecision is not a noble virtue. If a man is in “Not really feeling this becoming more than what it is,” territory, I should be made aware in no uncertain terms. If a man is in “I am waiting for someone else to be my girlfriend but I’ll keep you around till I find her” territory, I ought to know that too. My feelings, and the feelings of many people I know, are more hurt by the prolonged waiting for a concrete answer while we sit quietly with our feigned Chill. It is as if I’ve broken some unwritten law when I ask what they are looking for and am dissatisfied with the answer “I don’t really like to put labels on things.” But putting labels on things are how people find the exit during a fire and make sure they’re adding vanilla extract to the cake instead of arsenic.

My aim is not to force everyone to return in lock-step to monogamous relationships that begin after exactly 8.3 dates and result in marriage 29 months later. Such relationships are not for everyone. I am a firm believer that everyone ought to exercise their God-given right to use Tinder in whatever fashion is most suitable for their present relationship goals (or lack thereof). But it ought to be acknowledged that the two of us are not, in fact, just chilling when we get together.

So, ladies and gentleman and people who do not believe in the binary, we have reached peak Chill. Or at least I hope we have. Because Chill is the opposite of something else too: warmth. And kindness, and earnestness, and vulnerability. And we need just enough of those things to occasionally do something so remarkably unchill as fall in love.


Nanny’s back – and we don’t mean Mary Poppins

‘Tis the season to be jolly, to eat, drink and be merry – unless the zealots of public health have their way. Miserablism is a full-time job and 2018 was packed with crappy, illiberal new measures to suck the fun out of life in the name of extending it.

For once, tobacco got off relatively lightly this year – but only because there have been so many crackdowns on the evil weed that it’s hard to think of anything else to do short of an outright ban. Nonetheless, the Scottish National Party, emphasising the pettiness of its prohibitionism, had a go in its latest tobacco-control strategy, published in June. The report suggested making it harder for residents of social housing to smoke, imposing bans on smoking within 15 metres of hospital buildings, and even making cigarettes ugly to complement the already ugly ‘plain packs’. The barmy plan promotes e-cigarettes as a means of quitting – but makes it harder to advertise them! The one entirely predictable policy was ever-more lavish funding for the anti-smoking lobby.

But the SNP has competition in the nannying stakes from another devolved government – in Wales. There, the new first minister, Mark Drakeford, wants to extend the smoking ban to ‘outdoor areas of cafés and restaurants and city and town centres’. The risks from ‘passive smoking’ indoors are trivial – despite all the claims of anti-smoking campaigners and medics to the contrary – so they must be almost non-existent outdoors. Which only goes to show that the justification for the original smoking ban – to protect non-smokers – was pure tosh. Rather, the ban was driven by a moralistic disdain for smoking and smokers.

It’s enough to drive you to drink. But even buying a drop of booze became harder in 2018. The SNP finally got its way and introduced minimum unit pricing for alcohol. Although the law enabling minimum pricing was passed in 2012, legal challenges kept it on ice until this year. From May, a unit of alcohol could not be sold for less than 50 pence in Scotland, bumping up the price of cheaper drinks, particularly big bottles of strong cider, but also having a significant effect on all cheaper drinks. For example, those adverts for World Cup / Christmas supermarket bargain crates of lager now all come with an asterisk and small print: ‘Not available in Scotland.’ The Welsh Assembly, ever keen to join the ‘fun’, has now voted to follow suit and introduce minimum unit pricing.

Minimum unit pricing does not affect the drinking habits of the well-to-do. Their bottles of single-malt whisky and Chateauneuf-du-Pape are already far more expensive than 50 pence per unit. But for the hard-up looking to get a relaxing drink, the law means they must drink less or sacrifice something else – food, heating, etc. For the majority of the population, this law will make us all a little bit worse off while hardened drinkers will carry on regardless. The law will have no effect on harmful drinking. The irony is that in the years before the law was passed, harmful drinking levels had fallen sharply anyway. Let’s be thankful that the prohibitionists couldn’t claim the credit, or even more draconian anti-alcohol laws would be dreamed up and enacted, based on the ‘success’ of minimum unit pricing.

But while the Scottish government fixing prices is a major development, the biggest change this year was the introduction of the Soft Drinks Industry Levy – aka, the ‘sugar tax’. For drinks with more than eight grams of sugar per 100ml, the levy is 24 pence per litre. For drinks with more than five grams of sugar per 100ml but less than eight grams, the levy is 18 pence per litre. That means a 330ml can of high-sugar drink costs eight pence more than before; a two-litre bottle costs 48 pence more. While Coca-Cola and Pepsi have resolutely refused to change their recipes for fear of a consumer backlash, almost every other high-sugar drink has been ‘reformulated’, replacing some of the sugar with artificial sweetener, in order to beat the tax.

The effect is that sugar consumption may go down a little, but not sufficiently to make any significant difference to obesity or diabetes. Hugely popular drinks like Irn-Bru and Lucozade have seen sales fall as customers turn away from the new, half-sugar / half-sweetener recipes. The real victim has been our ability to choose what we want to drink for ourselves – all to satisfy the health zealots, while achieving nothing.

The trouble with these stupid and illiberal laws is that they rarely get repealed, even when they have been shown to be a failure. Instead, new ideas get dreamt up by the public-health lobby – people who don’t smoke, barely drink and have a hot flush of guilt over scoffing one sweet from a box of chocolates – to continue to make life consistently worse for the rest of us. Indeed, thanks to government pressure for ‘voluntary’ sugar reductions by food manufacturers, those boxes of chocolates have been a lot smaller this festive season.

Even that is not enough for England’s chief medical officer, Dame Sally Davies, who proudly claims the title of the nation’s ‘chief nanny’ and believes that the industry ‘has not delivered’ on voluntary measures (that is, ludicrous and sweeping goals set in Whitehall, divorced from common sense). In her end-of-year report, Davies calls on the government to ‘review the use of fiscal disincentives in relation to foods that are high in sugar and salt and also incentives to increase fruit and vegetable consumption’ – in other words, impose taxes on ‘unhealthy’ foods and subsidise ‘healthy’ foods. And the news last week that Public Health England is pushing for calorie caps on restaurant dishes and supermarket foods shows that the Charge of the Lite Brigade against every kind of food is in full flow.

It’s not really a ‘nanny state’. After all, the most famous nanny of them all assured us that a ‘spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down’. The state would love to ban sugar altogether. The public-health monomaniacs are less like Mary Poppins and more like the Grinch.


UK: Ethiopian-born auxiliary cop who claimed he suffered 'deep-seated and cunning racism' in police force loses battle after it's revealed he made catalogue of errors including one that could have seen him ARRESTED

Ethiopian-born Tegegn Bayissa had claimed his career was wrecked by ‘deep-seated and cunning’ racism.

The police community support officer blamed colleagues’ prejudice for their refusal to let him patrol unattended.

He insisted it was the only possible explanation, given that his role was ‘not rocket science’ and one that even a teenager could perform.

But when he brought a race discrimination claim, the true reason emerged – for the PCSO had made a catalogue of basic errors, one of which could have seen him arrested.

After hearing how senior officers had given Mr Bayissa every chance to learn the ropes, an employment tribunal rejected his claim on every one of 47 points.

However, Greater Manchester Police has now been left with a reported £20,000 legal bill after he said he was unable to cover its costs.

University-educated Mr Bayissa joined the force as a £25,000-a-year PCSO in 2014 as part of a drive to attract more ethnic minority officers.

Humiliatingly, he managed to mess up a routine exercise security-marking bicycles at a family fun day, failing to apply lacquer on top of the ink which meant the details could be wiped off easily by a thief.

He was given a warning after failing to report an assault following a road crash, admitting he did not know what officers were meant to do after a traffic accident.

On one occasion he found a mobile phone, but instead of handing it in to lost property he put it in his drawer – which could have led to his arrest.

One shopkeeper on his beat refused to believe he was a genuine PCSO because he did not appear to know what he was doing.

Mr Bayissa claimed that ‘officers had been desperate to find fault in his actions’. In 2016 he quit, launching a race claim.

Mr Bayissa argued that he was a victim of ‘deep-seated and cunning police racism’, asking: ‘What part of PCSO’s role is so difficult for a man who has a university level education?

'A teenager with not much life experience can work as a PCSO. The role ... was not rocket science.’

However, the tribunal panel disagreed, saying that senior officers had displayed huge patience as he struggled.

Mr Bayissa had been ‘resistant to the suggestion that there was anything he could learn arising from incidents he had encountered’, they said, adding: ‘It appears to us that [he] underestimated the difficulty of the role.’

Yesterday at his Manchester home Mr Bayissa, who is now unemployed, said he did not accept the tribunal’s conclusions but had run out of money to appeal – or pay the police’s legal costs.


Antisemitic Doctor Who Said She’d Give Jews The Wrong Medication No Longer Employed At Ohio Hospital

An Ohio hospital confirmed Monday that it no longer employs a doctor who made anti-Semitic comments and promised to give Jewish patients the wrong medication.

The Cleveland Clinic said in its statement that it became aware of the social media posts by Lara Kollab, 27, who worked at the clinic from July to September 2018, and that her beliefs conflicted with those of the clinic. The hospital did not state, however, whether Kollab had been let go as a direct result of her tweets.

Kollab had a history of making violently anti-Semitic comments on social media. An online compilation of Kollab’s tweets showed she often referred to Jews as “dogs,” invoked Allah to kill them, and denigrated both Israel and the U.S.

“Cleveland Clinic was recently made aware of  comments posted to social media by a former employee,” the hospital’s Monday statement reads.

“This individual was employed as a supervised resident at our hospital from July to September 2018. She is no longer working at Cleveland Clinic. In no way do these beliefs reflect those of our organization. We fully embrace diversity, inclusion and a culture of safety and respect across our entire health system,” the statement adds.

Kollab since deleted her tweets, but Canary Mission, a website devoted to exposing those who openly support antisemitism or terrorist organizations, compiled, translated and took screenshots of some of them. They show calls for violence against the Jews, claims that the Holocaust is exaggerated, and open support for terrorists.

Strangely, Kollab graduated from Touro College Of Osteopathic Medicine with a D.O. in 2018, which is an expressly Jewish Orthodox institution.

While Kollab is no longer employed at the hospital, her medical license is still active until 2021



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the  incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of  other countries.  The only real difference, however, is how much power they have.  In America, their power is limited by democracy.  To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already  very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges.  They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did:  None.  So look to the colleges to see  what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way.  It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH,   EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


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