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Students at Imperial College London object to a sculpture "because of its 'obvious' interpretation as a person baring their erect penis."

The Guardian reports, in "Antony Gormley’s ‘phallic’ statue may damage our reputation, say students Imperial College/Union motion says students should have been consulted on work, due to ‘obvious’ erect penis interpretation."
[The students] note that while there is “nothing inherently wrong with phallic imagery in art”, the phallic interpretation’s preoccupation with the penis could be considered inappropriate for a grand public display. 
One of the key concerns for the union was the “exclusionary” phallic interpretation, when scientific research has been beset with issues around gender ratio and inclusion....
“College publicity regarding the statue chose an angle that avoided making the statue appear phallic,” the motion added. “This suggests that this interpretation, and backlash, was not unforeseen by some individuals within the college”....

The artist claims that he intended to represent a squatting man. But why would he choose squatting? That's suggestive of defecating. The title of the sculpture is "Alert." What's more alert — squatting or standing with an erect penis?

The artist says: "Balancing on the balls of the feet while squatting on its haunches and surveying the world around it the attitude of the sculpture is alive, alert and awake." Sorry. I'm not buying it. 

I found that via Instapundit, who writes

PHALLOPHOBIA RAISES ITS UGLY HEAD: College students upset at ‘phallic’ sculpture coming to campus.

It doesn’t look especially phallic to me, but what’s wrong with “an erect penis” anyway? Are you bigoted against people with penises? What about women with penises? Why do you hate women?

His link goes to The College Fix, which links to The Guardian, and The College Fix uses the angle that led the students to say that the college deliberately chose the angle that completely disguised the part that screams "semi-erect penis." That would be the second of the 6 images on the right side of this drawing:

Students at Imperial College London object to a sculpture

I don't see how you can deny that — seen from every angle other than the one The College Fix put at the top of its page — it looks like a man with a huge penis sticking straight out. 

It reminds me of things like this and the 6th image here. It's very common in the history of art.

Perhaps Glenn only looked at the photo of the frontward-facing sculpture. And it's funny to say "but what’s wrong with 'an erect penis' anyway?," but please notice that the students themselves wrote that there's "nothing inherently wrong with phallic imagery in art." Their point was that a celebration of the phallic doesn't belong in a central place on the grounds of an institution that should have a message of inclusiveness.

The college's answer to the student is not that a sculpture of man with an erect penises sends the message they want. It's: Sir Antony Gormley is a famous artist and he gave us this sculpture. So he chose, and what did he chose? Oh, no, it's not a man with an erect penis. It's a squatting man. Who believes it looks like a squatting man? So much for the pursuit of truth. At least, call it what it is and defend it. The obsequiousness to the gift-giving famous artist is embarrassing.

I've seen some mockery of the 25-year-old NYT op-ed writer who referred to the "bad vibes" economy.

On August 4th, the NYT published "The Vibes in the Economy Are … Weird. Really Weird" by Kyla Scanlon, who opined:
There is no recession yet. Right now we are in a “vibe-cession” of sorts — a period of declining expectations that people are feeling based on both real-world worries and past experiences. Things are off. And if they don’t improve, we will have to worry about more than bad vibes.
Instapundit quoted the Ace of Spades take, "New York Times Publishes Op-Ed From 25-Year-Old Female 'Economics Influencer' Absolving Biden of Blame for Economy and Instead Putting It Where It Belongs: On the 'Bad Vibes' The Public Is Putting Out About the Economy, Man."

I'm only writing about this to say that the 25-year-old did not introduce this "bad vibes" take to the NYT. The NYT has a senior economics correspondent named Neil Irwin, who writes at the NYT page called  The Upshot. Last December, he had a column called "What We Learned About the Economy in 2021/For once, the government tried overheating the economy. For better and worse, it succeeded." 
In surveys, Americans are remarkably unsatisfied with economic conditions. The growth numbers have been good. The vibes have been bad."
On July 29, Irwin was on an Axios podcast titled "Biden vs. the bad vibes economy."  There, he said:
I think what Chair J. Powell was saying at this press conference was very much the conventional wisdom of professional economists, which is that as of right now, we've had strong enough job growth, enough good things happening in the economy that this is not technically a recession yet. Uh, the question I asked and the question he answered was, do you believe we are currently in a recession? That's not the same thing as do you think we will be in a few months. Um, nobody's quite sure where this goes in a few months, but right now the, the jobs numbers and other, uh, numbers have been too strong. What matters is how Americans feel, how they're able to earn an income, live their daily lives, not have kind of soul-crushing inflation that saos [sic] away their paychecks. Until that changes, I think that the vibes, whatever we wanna call it, are still gonna be bad and the communications is a second order issue.

So I don't think "bad vibes" is the kind of talk you get when you let a 25-year-old speak. I think it's a phrase older analysts use too. In fact, "bad vibes" has been Boomer slang since the 60s.

Did Scanlon write a good enough op-ed to deserve to be in the NYT even though she's young? That's a question to be answered without down-rating her for saying "bad vibes."

As for the distinction between what the economy really is and what people feel it is — I will leave that to be bantered about by econ geeks. But I have the impression — I don't know but I feel — that the feeling about the economy is a big part of what the economy is. And those in power and those out of power will have different ways of talking about that as they try to influence economics and politics. 

They're all trying to influence, so is there any reason to put "economics influencer" in quotes when speaking about young Ms. Scanlon? Neither she nor the Times called her that. In fact, when I google her name and "economics influencer," I get little more than the Ace of Spades headline linked above. So the quotes are just scare quotes.

"Some of us have died off, of course, but the remnants of the legendary pig in a python generation are still wending our way through the snake’s entrails, tussling with each other as we pass through the intestines of the body politic."

That's a quote I'm reading at Instapundit this morning.

I must say that this is the first time in my life that I've wondered about whether snake intestines curl around like the intestines of a mammal. 

Of course, I've heard that pig/python metaphor used many times to describe my my my my my my generation, but I'd never thought about how winding the long road through the final part of the snake was supposed to be pictured.

"My sense is that a law or regulation is at best an opening bid. Is it binding, legally or morally? Maybe..."

"... but the presumption should be neutral at best, or, realistically, highly skeptical. After all, laws and regulations are the products of legislators and bureaucrats, who are presumptively corrupt and dishonest. And everybody know that, really."


Somin's piece is at Reason. Excerpt:
The obvious criticism of views like King's is that many people may have poor judgment about which laws are unjust. For example, those who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021 likely believed that enforcement of the laws against doing so would be unjust, because (in their view) Donald Trump had a right to stay in power. Similarly, both left and right-wing terrorists often believe they are justified in violating laws against murder and assault.

But the risk that individual citizens may be mistaken about matters of justice has to be balanced against the danger that government can be wrong about such things, as well. Even in democratic societies, there is a long and awful history of the latter. Throughout American history, many more people have been killed and oppressed by unjust exercises of government power than by individuals acting on mistaken assumptions about which laws are morally defensible. The toll of slavery and segregation (both imposed by law) alone easily outweighs that of all morally motivated private disobedience to law combined. The extent to which people should defer to the government's judgment on questions of justice depends heavily on how good that judgment is. All too often, the answer is that it is, at best, highly unreliable.

I'm not agreeing with everything I'm quoting. I'm offering it as worthy of contemplation and debate. 

So now it's "torture" for children to eat outside when it's 40°?

I'm seeing this over at Instapundit:

Here's the underlying Not the Bee article, showing that the outdoor lunch-eating happened in 40° weather:

Stunning footage circulated around the Internet this week of a school in Portland, Oregon forcing young children to eat their lunches outside, in 40-degree weather, on buckets, because school administrators were afraid of a COVID outbreak or something.

The kids had coats on. Outdoor eating is healthy. Hardiness is good! I remember when the right mocked the left for making kids into "snowflakes." 

"Snowflakes" is a bad metaphor for this issue — since real snowflakes do better in the cold — but you know what I mean. They melt in heat. Personally, I'd rather sit outside and eat when it's 40° than when it's 90°, but yeah, temperatures vary, and we need to adapt to the weather as it cycles around. Kids are strong and resilient. They even play in snow until their cheeks turn rosy. If you let them.

There's no way this outdoor lunch is torture or child abuse.

ADDED: "How to plan a snow picnic."

AND: The coolest kids are into snow picnics:

"Two programs at Harvard Law show close ties between the school, the Democratic Party, and liberal activist groups with an interest in fighting elections through the judicial system."

"Reporting the launch of the Election Law Clinic in April, Harvard Law Today said participating students will get course credit for working on political campaigns, as well as 'hands-on litigation and advocacy work across a range of election law areas, with an initial focus on redistricting and voter suppression cases. Clinic offerings include federal and state litigation projects, as well as some advocacy opportunities.'... Glenn Reynolds, the libertarian University of Tennessee law professor known for his Instapundit blog, tells RealClearInvestigations that if institutions such as Harvard start turning out significantly more students with expertise in election law, those lawyers will create a demand for their expertise and election litigation. 'That's just how the law works,' he says. The backgrounds of those staffing the putatively nonpartisan Election Law Clinic show a distinct progressive tilt...."

"When is a racial hate crime not a racial hate crime? When it doesn’t advance the left’s, and the Democrats’, narrative."

"When white teenager Kyle Rittenhouse shot three white men who were violently assaulting him, it somehow got treated by the press and politicians as a racial hate crime. President Joe Biden (falsely) called Rittenhouse a white supremacist, and the discussion of his case was so focused on racial issues that many Americans mistakenly thought that the three men Rittenhouse shot were black. But when a black man, Darrell Brooks, with a long history of posting hateful anti-white rhetoric on social media drove a car into a mostly white Christmas parade, killing six people and injuring dozens, the press was eager to wish the story away. (The New York Times buried it on page A22.) Even when a Black Lives Matter activist connected it to the Rittenhouse verdict, observing 'it sounds like the revolution has started,' the media generally downplayed it." 

"What can you say about an institution that is willing to break faith with its members and engage in blackmail and the subornation of false statements to wage a political vendetta?"

"Sadly, you’d have to say that it’s pretty typical these days. As we’ve seen in the willingness of the press, with help from the FBI and other government agencies, to spread many false stories, from the Russian 'collusion' myth to the phony reports on the Covington boys in Washington to the bogus University of Virginia 'rape' case, politics trumps all in America’s elite institutions. Which, by all appearances, aren’t so elite after all. Maybe we should stop acting as if they are."

Writes Glenn Reynolds, in "Students suing Yale Law show America’s elites have a low opinion of minorities" (NY Post).

"A friend messages: 'Jake Tapper thinks Alec Baldwin deserves "basic decency" from Republicans. Hahahahahahahahahaha.'"

"These guys can dish out the very nastiest stuff, but they can’t take it, because up to now they’ve been shielded by what Ann Althouse calls 'civility bullshit.' The only trouble is, people have realized it’s bullshit. You want civility and decency? Try displaying some."

Blogs Glenn Reynolds (at Instapundit).
Students at Imperial College London object to a sculpture "because of its 'obvious' interpretation as a person baring their erect penis.""Some of us have died off, of course, but the remnants of the legendary pig in a python generation are still wending our way through the snake’s entrails, tussling with each other as we pass through the intestines of the body politic."So now it's "torture" for children to eat outside when it's 40°?

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