Sunday, March 31, 2013

One in ten Yale chicks are whores

Basing percentages on a sample of 40 is pretty shaky, though

Nine percent of Yale University students who participated in a recent survey on sexual behavior reported having been paid for sex at least once. Three percent said they had participated in bestiality, and more than half said they had “engaged in consensual pain” during sex.

The survey was administered to a group of about forty students on Saturday, during a workshop meant to prompt students to “reconsider their idea of ‘normal’,” according to the Yale Daily News.

The workshop was taught by Jill McDevitt, a 27-year-old “sexologist” who also owns a sex shop in West Chester, Pennsylvaina, which sells vibrators and various sex toys.

She has posted videos of her educational workshops online, including one in which she demonstrates oral sex on a carrot.

“People don’t think a college student at an Ivy League university would accept payment for sex but I’ve never had asked this question on a college campus and not had ‘yes’ answers,” McDevitt told the Yale Daily News.

It is not clear to what extent the participants in the survey represent the student body as a whole. However, it will come as a shock to many that a significant number of students at an elite Ivy League school have accepted payment for sex, or have engaged in  bestiality.

McDevitt’s workshop was part of a series of sex-themed events held at Yale University over three days, called “Sex Weekend.”

Another event during Sex Weekend included instruction in sadism and masochism, based on the book 50 Shades of Gray.

McDevitt also asked students to report on their “incest fantasies.”

One student who participated in the McDevitt workshop, Alex Saeedy, spoke favorably of the event. In a statement to the YDN, he said he felt the point of the event was “to bring up things we thought were so taboo and desire or urges we criticize are just regular parts of sexual psychology.”

Others on campus, however, did not approve of the tone of the events.  In an interview with The College Fix, sophomore Elaina Plott said, “I think sex week in general is very sad because it reduces sex to such a triviality, and to something we talk about in such an alarmingly casual manner.”

Another current Yale student, who wished to remain anonymous, called this year’s Sex Weekend “another tasteless exhibitionist parade.”

Yale has a long history of hosting sex-themed events at the university that appear, on the whole, to be intended more to titillate students than to educate them. Sex Weekend is organized by students, but is overseen and approved by university administrators, who grant the use of classrooms and university facilities for the events.

Numerous U.S. universities have begun to host “Sex Weeks” in recent years, a trend that was pioneered by Yale. Past events at Yale have included appearances by porn stars, live nudity, sex-toy giveaways, and screenings of a hard-core porn films, including one that reportedly depicted “fantasy rape.”

At the time of publication, Yale officials had not responded to The College Fix’s email request for comments on the events that took place last weekend.


Gay and Godless on the Public-School Stage

Liberals who demand church-state separation would pitch a fit if a public school decided to perform a play that reverently told stories of the Old Testament, whether it was the story of creation, the story of Noah, or Moses or Joseph and his brothers.

But somehow, if a public school decides to put on a play mocking God and the Old Testament, that is not a church-state violation. The separation police don't want religious (or atheist) minorities to face religious indoctrination in a public school. But anti-religious indoctrination mocking the Judeo-Christian majority is a glorious festival of free speech.

Take, for example, the taxpayer-funded Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter School in the People's Republic of Massachusetts. The school is in South Hadley, part of the same community of Northampton which was happily nicknamed "Lesbianville, USA" after the 2000 census showed more lesbians live there per capita than anywhere in the country. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has a house there.

Smack dab in the middle of the Lenten season, as many Christians prepare for Easter, the school scheduled performances of a play called "The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told." Make no mistake: This is a deliberate, and intentionally vicious, attack on Christianity.

"Fabulous" was written by the gay Jewish playwright and screenwriter Paul Rudnick. In this deconstruction of the Bible, God first creates two gay couples, Adam and Steve and Mabel and Jane.

These four are expelled from Eden and end up on Noah's ark, where Steve invents infidelity by having an affair with a rhinoceros. (Since that is somehow not enough, the women are sexually paired with a rabbit and a pig.) When the ark lands, this gay quartet discovers a strange race of humans who describe the horror of procreation. "We're gay," Adam announces. "We don't have children. We have taste."

The first act concludes with Adam and Steve being two of the wise men at the Nativity. The second scene opens in the current day, with a depiction of the birth of Jesus in a New York apartment with the "wise man" Steve now being HIV-positive and the lesbian Jane in the place of Mary, the Mother of God, who complains, "I'm not supposed to be pregnant, I'm a bulldyke!"

Mabel arranges to be married to Jane by a handicapped lesbian rabbi with a cable-access TV show. We're also "treated" to Santa Claus as an "exquisitely curdled fairy."

It's one thing for this Bible shredding play to be performed in a community theater by adults. It's another thing entirely for these to be acted out in a public school by teenagers.

For his part, Rudnick is quite clear he doesn't believe in God. (Shocker.) In the script's introduction, he writes, "I believe in what human beings can do when you give them fifty bucks to guy some cheap red polyester velvet. Some people need more, something with vengeance and commandments and jihads."

He approached the play with the notion "Certainly my version of biblical matters could be every bit as absurd as the King James take. Creation tales tend towards the delirious; trying to explain the cosmos inevitably leads to comedy."

The Left rebels against God, and then declare they are the open-minded, peaceful ones. Pat James, a lesbian who bought a bunch of tickets for each performance, insisted, "The Haydenville Congregational Church is supportive all the way. We are an open and affirming congregation."

Does Rudnick's play sound like something you could support as "affirming"? This is the point. They're not only insulting they're dishonest. They know that to traditional Jews and Christians, this is a double-middle-finger salute. It only "affirms" by mockery. Why not just say so?

Because they're hypocrites. Leftists, more the radical ones, have an Orwellian habit of describing themselves as "inclusive" and "welcoming," but they shriek intolerance for people they think are intolerant. They don't have the decency to wonder if productions like these are the polar opposite of "open and affirming." They reject decency itself.

Then there was the school's principal, Tom Goldman, who asked, "Is it the role of public school to facilitate an exchange of ideas on the themes explored in this particular play? This is an excellent question, with answers that I imagine will be debated in what I hope will be climate of civility and a desire to understand others' viewpoints."

This man has the backbone of a noodle.

So to create an "exchange of ideas," the first thing you do is leave a flaming bag of dung on someone's doorstep? The Left has a bad habit of calling something a mere "dialogue" when they are dictating their terms of surrender to the culture. The note about hoping for a "climate of civility" is especially ridiculous, since there is no civility in the product on stage.


We must stop Britain turning into a land without memory

It may enrage some historians, but Education Secretary Michael Gove is right that children should learn things by heart

Four centuries ago, John Donne wrote a poem called “Good Friday, 1613. Riding Westward”. Because of the call of pleasure or business, the author is riding to the west, away from Jesus, who will rise (there is a pun on “sun” and “son”) in the east. He knows he should not be doing this, but he is “almost glad” to be facing the wrong way because the day of Christ’s suffering is something he cannot bear to see.

Donne is conscious that Jesus sees him, though, from the Cross. He asks Jesus to punish him for turning his back on him, and so improve him that he may become the image of Christ, fit to look upon: “Restore thine image, so much, by thy grace, / That thou may’st know me, and I’ll turn my face.”

In honour of this poem, which I have always admired, I decided to mark its 400 years by riding westward on Good Friday yesterday. It was penitentially cold, and my horse, probably not out of piety, was anxious to turn back and gallop east, in the direction of his stable. I had to struggle to keep him going forward.

I reflected, on our anniversary journey, of how our civilisation has changed since Donne rode and wrote. On almost any measure – of health, literacy, longevity, civil peace, parliamentary democracy, science, transport, the emancipation of women, prosperity, dentistry – things have got better. Only someone who knows very little about life in 1613 could say that he would rather have been alive then than now. I felt pleased that I would soon be back home in my warm house with all mod cons.

But there is a couplet in the poem which made me pause. Speaking of the narrative of the Passion, Donne says: “Though these things, as I ride, be from mine eye, / They are present yet unto my memory.” He was writing in a culture when certain things of overwhelming importance were present in the memory of virtually every human being. We do not live in such a culture, and it shows.

Partly, of course, it is a matter of technology. Bertie Wooster had to ask Jeeves for information and the 99.999 per cent of people who lacked a valet for the purpose had to burnish their own memory. Now we can almost all Google. This is the mental equivalent of the microwave, and very useful it is.

I notice, however, that the decline of memory also has an ideological component. If you look at the extraordinary rows that have broken out about Michael Gove’s revised National Curriculum for history, you will see what I mean.

What Mr Gove is proposing is a return to narrative. He wants children to know the history of this country in the right order, from the Stone Age to now. On this basis, they should also build knowledge of European history and world history. He is suspicious of the emphasis in the current history curriculum on learning “skills” (such as the evaluation of different sources) if these skills are divorced from the framework of chronology and wider acquaintance with history. He notices the stupefying boredom, complication and bad exams which this emphasis has produced. He thinks it is better to know the names and dates of our kings and queens than to be plunged into comparing the attitudes of different historians to an isolated historical problem.

All this is sensible, though no doubt parts of it are difficult to implement. Yet it has enraged some distinguished historians. They hate the idea that children might have to learn facts. They use the tired old references to Dickens’s flinty-faced hardware merchant Mr Gradgrind (“Facts alone are what is wanted in life”) that I have heard trotted out in every argument about education for 30 or 40 years. They protest at “rote learning”. They regard the notion that things need to be remembered as offensive.

They also hate the suggestion that some things are more worth learning than others. Richard Evans is the Regius Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge. Inexplicably, given his views, he was offered a knighthood by this Government and, equally inexplicably, given his views, he accepted it. He has berated his fellow professor, Simon Schama, who has helped Mr Gove, for speaking warmly of “a sense of shared memory”. This is insulting, he thinks, to British people of different racial origins. It would be better to teach our Afro-Caribbean citizens the history of Benin and Oyo, for example.

Sir Richard suspects that we are threatened with “celebratory history”. He cannot bear to think that pupils might be taught that good old British Wellington won the battle of Waterloo: the true victors were Blucher and his Germans. Professor David Cannadine, another prominent historian, thinks that Mr Gove’s ideas are “blinkered” because they centre on the history of Britain. He mocks the idea that children aged five or six could “debate and discuss the concept of nation”.

Professional historians are right to be chary of history as propaganda or as good, but untrue stories (for example, there is no evidence that Alfred burnt the cakes). But it is surely a fundamentally wrong attitude to education which says that children should not learn some things indelibly. It is essential that, from very early on, some things become literally unforgettable. Children’s elders need to work out what those things are, and then make sure that they learn them, whether or not, at the time of learning, they fully understand.

This, after all, is how language itself works. A child starts to wield a word before he or she quite knows what it means. He imitates, at first; but from imitation, comprehension gradually flows. He hears a rhyme, and he likes its noise and enjoys repeating it, often before grasping fully what it is about. He hears a story, or a prayer, and bits of it stir him. The more of it he remembers, the more it will gradually mean to him.

It is also natural for knowledge to emanate outwards. One learns things first from one’s family, then from one’s teachers, then from the wider society and media. By analogy, this is the only sensible way to learn history. You will naturally want to learn first about the country in which you live. Contrary to Professor Cannadine, the concept of nation has a meaning for the very young, as anyone who travels abroad with small children will attest. Your own country is the most accessible model for understanding all countries, just as mastery of your own language helps you master other ones. It is a matter of working with the materials to hand.

If all this is denied, what happens is that the well-educated become very privileged and everyone else is cut off. The Evanses and Cannadines and other priests of knowledge can move freely in the world they have created for themselves, but the millions who have never really learnt anything important are held down in ignorance.

It is an extraordinary feature of the great religions that they are the only known structures of ideas and stories which deal with this problem. The teachings and life of Jesus were once known to all Europeans, and resonated just as much (possibly more) with the poor as with the mighty. John Donne knew that the memory on which he relied was one shared by all classes. Today, bogus egalitarianism has killed memory among uneducated people, and therefore increased social division. Experts attack “rote learning”, but I prefer the phrase “learning by heart”. Head and heart together is what we need, but our culture has separated them.


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