The microaggression concept
"You might believe, and I do, that the excessive policing of language inhibits our ability to be honest with one another and creates a feeling of “walking on eggshells” that is corrosive of warm and healthy social relations. You might also believe, as I also do, that we should be careful about unfalsifiable and subjective concepts that become all-encompassing."
microagressions  privilege  racism  whiteprivilege 
february 2018
Racism Will No Longer Be Accepted For Delivery
(I work as a receptionist for a small video editing company. The boss is the epitome of evil, a real piece of s***. She seems to really have it out for our delivery man, who is African-American. We have a table in the lobby with a book where all packages going out are written down. The delivery man is supposed to come by, check the table, and pick up any packages that are there. The table is in front of a large window and it is pretty obvious if there are any packages going out. The boss storms in and angrily asks:)

Boss: “Is the delivery guy coming in and getting the packages?”

Me: “He is checking daily, yes.”

Boss: “That isn’t what I asked. Is he physically coming into the building?”

Me: “Well, no. If the table is empty he—”

(The boss storms off and gets on the phone and calls, screaming at the poor customer service person. My boss gets so obsessive that she even starts checking the surveillance cameras to make sure he comes into the lobby and doesn’t just open the door and peek in. She insists that he come all the way into the lobby, close the door behind him, stand at the table for a few seconds, and then leave. I am getting more than annoyed by this. She calls almost daily, screaming about the poor guy. One day he calls me because he is running behind and asks if there are any packages. I tell him he is in luck; not only are there none, but the boss is out that day. The next day he comes in and the boss is there to yell at him again. She has checked the surveillance tapes. When he leaves, she comes to my desk and says that he had better just do his job.)

Me: “You know that these delivery guys only have so much time to deliver, and any place they can shave off a few seconds really helps them.”

Boss: “I don’t care. The only thing that n***** should say, is, ‘Yeth, Masta.’”

(Then she storms off to call and complain again. I am in too much shock and, shamefully, I say nothing. I am gone by the next week. I get a great job as a receptionist at a company a few miles down the road, and who should walk in my first week there but the delivery guy, with a trainee in tow. We greet each other like old friends.)

Delivery Guy: “I am so glad to see you here away from that awful woman.”

Me: “I am, too. I am so glad I got to see you! And I am so sorry for the horrible way she treats you.”

Delivery Guy: “I just don’t know what her problem is.”

Me: “You don’t know?” *he shakes his head, and I quietly tell him, embarrassed* “It’s because you are black.”

(He and the trainee both look shocked.)

Me: “She would not have given you any trouble if you were white. She only called and made up ridiculous complaints because she hated you because of the color of your skin. She is a horrible racist. I can’t even begin to repeat the horrible racist comments she would make when you left the building or after she would get off the phone with customer service complaining about you. I just couldn’t stand being there anymore, which is why I left.”

(He shakes my hand and leaves. The next week, he comes in without the trainee.)

Me: “Hello, again! Is your trainee out on his own?”

Delivery Guy: “That wasn’t my trainee; that was my manager. You saved my job.”

Me: “What? How?”

Delivery Guy: “That blasted ex-boss of yours called and complained so much that when a normal and justified complaint came in, the company was going to fire me. The manager was going around with me to see what I was doing wrong and if I was even going to have the chance to keep my job. After we left here, he told me I was good, and there would be no more talk about it. As a matter of fact, the delivery company cancelled your ex-boss’s contract and told her they would no longer deliver for or to her. She will have to drive to the hub to get any packages that are mailed to her.”

(I was so thrilled. Several years later I got to congratulate him on a well-deserved promotion before I left on maternity leave.)
racism  forcluelesswhitepeople  whiteprivilege  notalwaysright 
december 2017
Is it ok to hate Tories
If the left hate the tories, it is because of the latter’s deliberate indifference to the dreadful consequences of their words and policies: a problem completely demonstrated by Ms Soubry’s response.

As long as there is a massive power difference those below them, hatred will naturally be the response. If you don’t understand that — or worse, you choose to ignore it — you should not be an MP.
tories-hate-the-disabled-and-poor  tories-want-the-disabled-and-poor-to-die  tories-are-evil  hate  privilege  forcluelessrichpeople  forcluelesssanepeople  forcluelessablepeople 
december 2017
Paris of Troy came in secret to Sparta and abducted Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world. When her husband, King Menelaus, learned of the crime, he did what any red-blooded Achaean warrior would: he filed a lawsuit.
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Paris of Troy came in secret to Sparta and abducted Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world. When her husband, King Menelaus, learned of the crime, he did what any red-blooded Achaean warrior would: he filed a lawsuit.
Mighty and dreadful were the ranks of his lawyers, for he ransacked all the vast treasuries of golden Sparta for attorneys' fees. To lead these hosts, he called upon great Agamemnon, son of Atreus, prince of the Bar Association of all Greece. So heavy was his briefcase that ten normal men could not lift it; so strong his glasses that they struck lesser men blind. Behind him marched the ten thousand lawyers of Mycenae, intelligent men all, each bearing gold-plated pens and wallets of real leather.

From Ithaka came wily Odysseus the divorce lawyer, who read law briefs as effortlessly as other men read newspapers. Close behind followed Diomedes, master of the closing argument, and mighty Ajax, whose fees could bankrupt entire villages. Next there arrived ancient Nestor and the lawyers of Pylos, clad in Arcadian polyester and fat with take-out meals.

Last of all came god-like Achilles, son of Thetis the sea-nymph. Proudly he came, clad in the custom-tailored suit fashioned by Hephaestus, craftsman of the gods, and upon his tie were painted scenes from the all great court cases of history. Here one could see Plessy debating Fergusen, and there, surrounded by a chorus of monkeys, Clarence Darrow gave his closing argument against William Jennings Bryan. Upon its bottom was the fearsome face of Rhadamanthus, judge of the Underworld, glaring balefully at the wincing image of O.J. Simpson.

By his side came his junior partner, Patroclus. Never before in judicial history have two lawyers been as inseparable as Achilles and Patroclus, nor shall ever they be again. Whenever Achilles argued a case, there sat Patroclus in the audience box, cheering him on, and whenever Patroclus argued a case, Achilles would stay up long into the night, helping him practice and prepare. As inseparable were they as thunder and lightning, as fire and smoke, as night and darkness.

When Priam, King of Troy, learned of the host gathered under the banners of Agamemnon, he turned pale with fear. Well he knew of the rage of Menelaus, of the compensatory damages he would demand, and of the additional punitive damages he would exact. Mighty was the wealth of Troy, jewels and coronets fashioned by gods and heroes, but all to naught would it come if Agamemnon's attorneys won their suit. And he begged of his son Paris that he return Helen to Menelaus, and agree to settle the matter out of court, lest the mighty walls of Troy be torn down and sold for scrap to pay for the Spartan king's emotional distress.

In that hour, almost did Paris turn away from the lawsuit, and petition for a pre-trial settlement. But Pallas Athena, whose bore a grudge ancient and implacable against Troy, hardened his heart, and a great resolve grew inside him to let the suit go to trial. And so he called upon all of the mighty attorneys of Ilium to build a case for the defense.

First he hired goddess-born Aeneas, son of Aphrodite, who could make juries swoon merely by winking at them, and Helenus the oracle, who knew what witnesses would say before they were even called to the stand. Penthesilea he hired, the Amazon lawyer who had cut off her left breast in order to better hold a briefcase, and Memnon, from deepest Ethiopia, an expert in civil rights suits. And to lead the defense team, he hired mighty Hector, driver of sports cars, whose Ferrari was as red as the blood of the rams sacrificed on the heights of Mount Ida, and faster than swift-winged Zephyrus.

When Agamemnon heard the news that Paris had hired mighty Hector's law firm, he knew that there would be no out-of-court settlement. So he rented from the men of Mycenae a thousand great corporate jets, to fly over the Aegean and bring his hosts to Troy. After many trials the hosts of the Achaeans at last reached the airport of Ilium, and from there headed to the great courtroom that stood by the banks of the Simois. Like to the courtrooms of Olympus it stood, its great stone blocks hewed by Heracles in days of old. Tall and strait were its fluted columns, like oaks as they rustle in the sacred groves of Dodona, and as comfy were its seats as the beds of the sea-nymphs in the grottos of Amphitrite. When a lawyer spoke, the microphones magnified his voice to sound like the bellowing of bulls, and when he was silent, a terrible hush would descend, like the quietude of the halls of Hades.

For a lawsuit of such import, Minos himself had come as judge. Two great Cyclopes had arisen from Tartarus as bailiffs, and the Fates, ever spinning their cloth, were the court clerks. One of the Cyclopes handed Minos his gavel, a thunderbolt fashioned in the smithies of Hephaestus, and so the trial began.

When Agamemnon arose to speak, so dreadful was his opening argument that the greater part of the Trojans turned to flee, as if their city had already been confiscated. So when Poseidon, the Maker of Earthquakes, strikes his trident into the deep; fish and seals flee in terror, and the ground itself shakes like a wounded thing; not otherwise did the opening arguments of Agamemnon shake the courtroom of Ilium. And when he had finished, the jury all stood as one man, ready and willing to pronounce Paris guilty of wrongful abduction.

But then Hector, driver of sports cars, rose to speak. And as he spoke, he accused the Achaeans of wasting the time of the courtroom, so obviously frivolous was their suit. The everlasting love between Helen and Paris he referenced, and the decision of Aphrodite, goddess of love, that Paris should have the most beautiful woman in the world as his wife. Even as he spoke, the jury conferred, deciding as one man that Paris was utterly innocent, that the Danaeans should not only return home to their shores but that the gold of Agamemnon should pay Paris' attorneys' fees, so frivolous his lawsuit. And when he had finished this, next he attacked the Achaeans' corporate jets, demanding to know whether they had the proper clearances to land in Trojan airspace, whether their pilots were properly trained, and more than all these, he attacked their safety certification. Upon hearing this, the Achaeans quaked with fear, knowing that at any moment their jets might be confiscated and themselves stranded in Troy without hope of return.

But before Minos could order the Greek jets confiscated, Achilles rose to speak. Much did the attorneys of Greece and Troy marvel at his suit, crafted by the gods, and at his tie, decorated as it was with the great court cases of history. But even more marvelled they at his savage objections, his terrifying points of order, his encyclopaedic knowledge of airline safety regulations. And with each section of the airline safety code he explained, Patroclus egged him on, until the Trojans fled the courtroom in fear, until sunset was upon them, and so ended the first day of the trial.

And in the Four Seasons' hotel, where the Greeks had made their camp, there was much rejoicing, and downing of great quantities of wine and spirits. But Calchas, the oracle, grew wary, and begged that the party might end and the Greeks get some rest for the days that were to come. Still further they partied, until, even at the stroke of midnight, Agamemnon drunk with wine and victory started making out with Briseis, secretary to Achilles.

Then god-like Achilles waxed great in anger, and demanded an apology from Agamemnon. But Agamemnon, angry as he was at being upstaged by Achilles in the deliberations of the day, refused. And at that point, Achilles swore a mighty oath - that until Agamemnon gave him control of the prosecutorial team, he should argue no more, but sit in his room at the Four Seasons skulking and watching Pay-Per-View movies.

As the next day dawned, the motorcade of the rented cars of the Greek attorneys drove to the courtroom with heavy hearts. But the Trojans, seeing that their foe had lost its champion, redoubled their efforts. Goddess-born Aeneas called Aphrodite to the stand and established that she had given Paris permission to carry Helen away. Then swarthy Memnon played the race card, asking whether Paris was being persecuted for his Trojan ancestry, and Penthesilia established a history of marital strife between Menelaus and Helen. And far-shooting Apollo himself blessed the Trojans, so that each of their objections hit true, and he set a veil of confusion upon the Greek cross-examiners, whose words seemed like mere babble, and whose points the jury missed entirely.

As dusk fell, the Greeks stood on the verge of being kicked out of Troy entirely. They returned to their camp at the Four Seasons full of fear, and immediately Agamemnon rented out the conference room and held a meeting with wily Odysseus. The prince of Ithaca begged him to allow Achilles to lead the prosecution, but Agamemnon's heart was hard, and three times he placed a curse upon the son of Peleus, and upon the day he ever entered law school. Then Odysseus knew he would have to develop a plan on his own.

And so Odysseus dressed Patroclus up in the god-tailored suit of Achilles, and draped around him the tie of Achilles, and handed unto him business cards saying "Achilles, son of Peleus, Attorney at Law". And all to whom he gave these business cards believed him to be Achilles, and so the Trojan lawyers fled from the courtroom as he arrived. Inspired, Patroclus made many incisive points, and all the members of the jury and the audience marvelled at the might and the wisdom of Achilles.

But Hector alone was unfazed, and he stood and countered all of Patroclus' arguments. Then he attacked Patroclus himself, impugning his honor, revealing that he had lied about his identity to … [more]
satire  funny  myths 
december 2017
The Guardian fucks up on personality disorders
(Rebuttal - Our concern and disappointment over article on personality disorders)

Personality disorders at work: how to spot them and what you can do
A boss or colleague with borderline or narcissistic disorder traits can leave you feeling manipulated and affect your performance
Psychopaths do exist in the workplace but you are more likely to have a boss with a personality disorder.
Psychopaths do exist in the workplace but you are more likely to have

Dr Mary Lamia
Clinical psychologist and professor

Wednesday 25 October 2017 02.00 EDT Last modified on Wednesday 25 October 2017 04.54 EDT
With psychopaths and sociopaths increasingly becoming the subject matter of fiction and nonfiction, we might assume people with antisocial personality disorders are hiding in cubicles in every office building.

People with antisocial personalities do exist in the workplace, but since they are unable to conform to society, their employment is unsteady. Instead, you are more likely to have a boss or co-worker who has a borderline or narcissistic personality disorder.

Narcissistic and borderline personality disorders are separate entities, although they share some common behaviours and involve deep, internalised shame.

Borderline personality disorders
People affected by these have a pattern of instability in their relationships and tend to be impulsive. Nevertheless, many of them function well enough in the workplace to stay in jobs long term. That’s not good news if you work with one of them, since they are divisive, use power tactics, show intense or inappropriate anger, and regard others as either all good or all bad. Terrified of abandonment and tending to feel empty, jealous or envious, they often secure their ties to others in coercive ways.

Horrible bosses: how not to be a terrible manager
Read more
A person with a borderline personality disorder, for example, would admit to ignoring the presence of particular co-workers when they passed them in an empty hallway to intimidate them. Secret self-damaging behaviours such as substance abuse, binge eating or excessive spending are also typical of people with this disorder.

If you work for or with someone who has a borderline personality disorder you are likely to experience similar emotions to them – what psychologists refer to as “affective contagion”.

Spending a lot of time around someone who is depressed, for example, may lead to you feeling depressed. In interactions with people who have a borderline personality disorder, you may feel the same sense of inadequacy, disconnection, helplessness or anger they experience.

You are likely to find high-functioning narcissists who are accomplished and innovative in leadership positions. Their characteristics include sophistication, hyper-intellectualism, a relentless pursuit of perfection, a concentrated focus on their goals and a devotion to their endeavours, all of which serve to avoid or reduce the underlying shame at the core of their being. Their employees and co-workers learn to refrain from offering criticism unless it is solicited and often ride along with them on the wave of success.

Although the potential for humiliation lies beneath the surface of the facade they present publicly, don’t imagine that underneath it all narcissists have low self-esteem. By using coping mechanisms that involve the avoidance of shame, they become arrogant, exhibitionistic, admiration seeking, grandiose or entitled.

The psychology of a workplace bully
Read more
Like people with BPD, people who have a narcissistic personality disorder attempt to rid themselves of intolerable shame by behaving in ways that lead others to experience the emotion instead. People who bully others have similar skills.

For example, a narcissistic boss receives word that an important contract may be rejected, which would have the potential to shame them. In turn, the boss denigrates the performance of an employee in various ways (unrelated to the contract issue), which leaves that person feeling inadequate. Or a narcissistic sales manager who automatically rejects their self-doubt and insecurity might intimidate their sales staff.

At the extreme, these individuals behave in ways that abuse the emotions of others for their own goals; they control another person’s behaviour through provoking negative emotions in them. A CEO who fears their closest colleague may quit might secure their bond in manipulative ways, such as making an irresistible promise of future advancement or by eroding the subordinate’s self-esteem and diminishing their importance.

The secret to a high salary? Emotional intelligence
Read more
What can you do?
Work relationships can be challenging if you have to deal with someone who has a disordered personality. Recognise that when a boss or a colleague has a personality disorder they will approach situations differently to you. They will not want to rehash the past if any wrongdoing is their own, but prefer to “forget about it” and move on as though particular events have not happened. If you push the issue, you are likely to encounter rage.

However, some who are especially skilful may inquire about any hurt or anger you feel, but inevitably they will blame it on you and not their behaviour. The same principles you might use to handle a workplace bully apply when dealing with personality disorders – in particular, maintaining your confidence, competence and composure. Trying to get on their good side will only make you look weak.

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borderlinepersonalitydisorder  npd  guardian  stigma  bpd-lies 
october 2017
Trafficked and enslaved: the teenagers tending UK cannabis farms
Bao is now at college, filling in the gaps in his education, which ended when he was 10. He is hoping to raise awareness of a hidden phenomenon. “When I see people smoking cannabis, I feel that they are exploiting children like me. I want people to know that people suffer in the process of producing cannabis.”
drugs  cannabis  peopletrafficking  trafficking  slavery 
october 2017
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