The Silly Season

Inside a Battle Over Race, Class and Power at Smith College

In midsummer of 2018, Oumou Kanoute, a Black student at Smith College, recounted a distressing American tale:
She was eating lunch in a dorm lounge when a janitor and a campus police officer walked over and asked her what she was doing there.

The officer, who could have been carrying a “lethal weapon,” left her near “meltdown,” Ms. Kanoute wrote on Facebook, saying that this encounter continued a yearlong pattern of harassment at Smith.

Ms. Kanoute was determined to have eaten in a deserted dorm that had been closed for the summer; the janitor had been encouraged to notify security if he saw unauthorized people there. The officer, like all campus police, was unarmed. ”

Here, in what is likely the sign of some internal power struggle, the NYTimes is actually dissing some young moron who thinks that all the janitors of the world are out to get her, rather than honoring her lived experience

But there is a deeper significance: this must be the most boring story ever told. When I was bitten by a spider in my back yard and alternated between agony and a strange crisp energy, that was more interesting. When ants came over the wall from next door (where the lady lived who once worked on the Manhattan Project) and kidnapped our ants, that was more interesting.  When my youngest boy tried to crawl through the fence to the condo behind us and got his punkin head stuck, _that_ was more interesting.

When my Dad’s sister won the golf tournament at the country club but was denied the prize because she wasn’t a guy,  followed by my uncle Dean’s protest (crapping in every hole in the golf course just before he went off to the Army)  – that too was more interesting.

I would imagine that many of my readers have had experiences  ( possibly in the last half hour) even more worthy of coverage in the Paper of Record than Ms. Kanoute’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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71 Responses to The Silly Season

  1. Dr J Thompson says:

    As a young boy, first seeing ants milk aphids was interesting. However, this is a story about a dog not barking, so that is like seeing the first daffodil of spring.

  2. Rosenmops says:

    Maybe Ms. Kanoute is a lunatic since she made a gigantic commotion over nothing. But the university and the entire wokerati immediatly jumped to her defense without bothering to find out what had actually happened. Don’t these fools have any sense of shame or common sense? The entire thing is a ridiculous storm in a teacup.

    • Woof says:

      There is a whole subset of reporters employed by the main stream media who have the job of finding weak and powerless people to destroy for the crime of being insufficiently politically correct. Glen Greenwald wrote an article on these disgusting people last month called “The Journalistic Tattletale and Censorship Industry Suffers Several Well-Deserved Blows”. That this boring non-story got published may be a sign that there might be some internal push back on these types of hit pieces, which have caused more that a few unfortunate victims to kill themselves. The Nick Sandman lawsuits may also have had an effect.

    • saintonge235 says:

      Question Asked And Answered dept.:

      “Don’t these fools have any sense of shame or common sense?”

      No, they don’t.

      Next Question, Please.

  3. Henry Scrope says:

    She’s probably getting money for this, or access to greivance jobs that give her access to money.

    Like those people in the middle ages who saw the Virgin Mary in a bush or something.

    • amac78 says:

      “Like those people in the middle ages who saw the Virgin Mary”

      Depends. The noblewoman you are thinking of — was her post at MedievalFacebook.com about the vision, or was it focused on the insufficient deference shown by a janitor-peasant and a cafeteria-lady-peasant, and how clerics must punish them?

      If the latter, you have a pretty good analogy.

  4. Coagulopath says:

    One time I had 12 knight cards in Settlers of Catan. That was pretty wild.

  5. John Massey says:

    The time I was out in the bush taking photographs of a bridge over a medium sized stream (because we were planning to replace the bridge, and my job was to make sure the opening under the new bridge would be large enough to let all of the water through from an extreme storm event without the bridge being overtopped or impacted by water-borne debris). I sensed a movement near my foot, looked down, and there was the head of the biggest western tiger snake I had ever seen in my life. It was just raising up as if preparing to strike. (Most venomous snakes will run away from you if you give them the chance, but tiger snakes are aggressive and will go after you; and they jump). I very slowly and carefully walked backwards up the bank of the stream until I was out of range of the thing, and then stopped and started breathing again, with my knee caps shooting up and down my legs.

    Meanwhile, instead of chasing after me, the tiger snake opted to exit the scene and slid into the stream, possibly as shaken by the encounter as I was.

    OK, maybe that’s boring to everyone, but at the time it was as interesting as hell to me.

    I am proud to report that I did not shit in my pants.

  6. John Massey says:

    If anyone found that story interesting, I have other tales of encounters with venomous snakes (including in our large and overgrown front yard when I was a kid), and of driving through bushfires (definitely a stupid thing to do and not recommended).

    Then there was the time my mother got stung on the arse by a scorpion – that was very funny, and definitely qualified as interesting.

    Or when I was a little kid, 4 years old, going to our toilet, which was in an outhouse, and sitting there trying to do my business with redback spiders swinging from their webs inches from my face. That will get your attention for sure. I used to just go out in the back yard to piss – going to the toilet was not worth the risk. That was OK – I was encouraged to piss on the lemon tree, because it’s good for them. Makes them grow better, and enhances the flavour of the lemons (no it doesn’t – I just made up that last bit).

    Life growing up in Australia was hazardous.

    • gcochran9 says:

      When I was four, I was walking in the woods with my father and grandfather. It was late fall, and the leaves were down. Suddenly this thing – not a bird – popped out of a hole in a tree and flew to another tree. My first sight of a flying squirrel. Startled the hell out of me. I had no category for it.

    • Jacob says:

      I live in burgerland, so your snake stories might be wilder than mine. We get Western diamondback rattlesnakes out where my parents live — or, we used to, because we haven’t seen any in two or three years. Dad and I decapitated enough of them, apparently.

      Before we’d completed our best St. Patrick impression, one of them bit our dog clean through her eyelid & into her vitreous humor. The veterinarians in our area all gathered around to witness the modern medical marvel: dog bitten in eye.

      She can still see out of that eye, albeit very poorly.

    • Jacob says:

      We also had a leucistic California ground squirrel living on our property; this is not common. If you do find a leucistic squirrel, it’s probably an Eastern gray squirrel, and it doesn’t live where I live. This rare specimen dug out its burrow under a bush that I could see from the table I’d eat breakfast at, so I would watch it every morning.

  7. pyrrhus says:

    When I was 5, in those pre-Helicopter Parenting days. I roamed the woods catching things, including a bumble bee, which stung me…My mother put baking soda on it and sent me off again…If I had heard of the NYT, I could have reported her, but wouldn’t have, I suppose because she made great cookies…..

    • Jim says:

      Bumble bees are nothing compared to tropical bees. When I lived as a boy in Guam I once accidentally ran my bicycle into a palm tree which had a bee hive attached. The bees chased me all the way back to my home covering every exposed part of my body with
      many many stings.

      In Guam whenever you heard the buzz of
      a bee it was a good idea to run away as fast as possible.

      • zimriel says:

        I understand that Guam used to have birds that kept various bugs under control, but that some moron in the USAF let loose a pregnant snake whose progeny killed all the birds.

        • Jim Hobelman says:

          Guam had plenty of bugs including some very impressive centipedes and millipedes. When I lived there it had no snakes or large predators other than domestic cats. The largest wild animals were small jungle deer and wild pigs with fearsome tusks. Because of the absence of predators and abundance of bugs it was a shrew paradise. It also had lots of geckos and iguanas.

      • skeptic16 says:

        Did Guam ever tip over from the number of people on the island as congressman Hank Johnson feared?

        • Jim says:

          No despite being very frequently hit by very powerful typhoons it managed to keep upright. In one typhoon when I lived there the wind meter at the Naval Air Station blew out at something as I recall like 209 mph. But the island did not tip over.

  8. George says:

    I have one and it happened about five seconds ago: I just realized you haven’t been “honoured” with the blue check mark on Twitter. Any idea why?

  9. Kanoute’s story was an opportunity to enact a religious ritual. “Primitive” tribes used to tear out the hearts of their enemies or throw virgins into volcanos. This is the same thing.

  10. jbbigf says:

    While I agree that the woman’s tale is not very interesting, I think the story of how the university responded to it is certainly newsworthy.

    • Jason says:

      Whatever stupid thing is going on in universities at the moment becomes a societal norm 20 years later. This has been true since the 1930’s.
      The future looks grim… and retarded.

      • rgressis says:

        Do you think there’s any limit to the extremism? Like, do you think that we will pass mandates making it illegal for whites and Asians to go to college or become college professors? Or do you think it will be illegal to use he/she pronouns? Or do you think that whites and Asians will be required by the government to commit suicide? Like, do you think there is anything that could happen that would prevent any of these things?

        Personally, I don’t think any of these things will happen (though if you ask me why, I don’t think I could give a good answer, other than: Asians won’t stand for that), but I’m curious if you think I’m just being naive. I’ve never read about the Khmer Rouge, for example, and I know they made glasses-wearing a capital offense.

        • None of these things, but it will probably cost you your job if you make anyone from a “protected class” angry.

        • arch1 says:

          I don’t think those things will happen either. But I do hope that use of a single gender to represent all people (generic “he”, chairman, “man is the measure of all things”, etc.) fades away, and good riddance. As Doug Hofstadter highlighted long ago, most people would be put off by a language in which similar things were instead done along racial lines. Presumably (my take) familiarity blinds/desensitizes us to the analogous sexism in our own language.

  11. I wouldn’t get too excited about internal power struggles on the left or think this is a shift in the zeitgeist. Likely someone at Smith has pull with someone powerful at NYT. In the future, reporters will learn to only cover these types of stories when the accused is powerless or on the wrong team. The woke legion will similarly learn not to bother when off target.

  12. Curios says:

    “When my Dad’s sister won the golf tournament at the country club but was denied the prize because she wasn’t a guy, followed by my uncle Dean’s protest (crapping in every hole in the golf course just before he went off to the Army) – that too was more interesting.”

    How many holes are we talking here?

  13. Thiago Ribeiro says:

    “When ants came over the wall from next door (where the lady lived who once worked on the Manhattan Project) and kidnapped our ants, that was more interesting.”

    For ransom or forced work? Shouldn’t you have called an entomologist to write an article on it?

  14. Anon says:

    I would imagine that many of my readers have had experiences ( possibly in the last half hour) even more worthy of coverage in the Paper of Record than Ms. Kanoute’s.

    [looks around at Cheeto detritus, empty soda cans]

    Yes, yes I have

    • bomag says:

      Reminds me of an internet critic in the early days: “surfing the web is like eating cheetos: after half an hour, my fingers are orange and I’m no better off for the experience.”

  15. Rob says:

    “uncle Dean’s protest (crapping in every hole in the golf course just before he went off to the Army)”

    That is more interesting, what are the logistics of that? Did he walk (or ride) from hole to hole, pooing in every one? Did he have an 18 turd poop? That is amazing. Did he save up several goes, and bring a bucket(and wet-wipes)?

    Secondly, that is just mean. It doesn’t hurt anyone who made the decision not to give her the trophy. I garauntee they didn’t ask the grounds crew. Just disgusting work for an innocent someone.

    • gcochran9 says:

      Apparently a friend helped. Maybe they had saved up. For years I knew about the act but not the explanation – figured that Dean was just like that..

      • Ilya says:

        I liked how you implicitly specified that he was NOT a brother of your father, since you referred to your aunt with the more specific “Dad’s sister,” while referring to “Dean” as just “uncle.” Crapping into golf holes does NOT run in your family’s elite genes!

        But either way, I’m sure he was/is quite the charming fellow with IQ above 150. I hear it makes shit more intellectual, or something.

    • CMC says:

      It leverages the grounds crew. Can’t see how they would not have mentioned it/complained about it to their employers/supervisors. At that point it becomes a combat pay and discretion situation. Imagine a course with a reputation for… (‘Bad cup placement? That’s nothing, why I was at this course and….)

      It’s guerrippa war. 4P. Fudge projection. Special plops.

  16. Bob says:

    I look forward to Greg’s upcoming post.
    Life among the Punkin Heads, a progenitors tale.

  17. jb says:

    I don’t know. Insanity at Smith College? (I went to school near there). Power struggle (possibly inter-generational) at the New York Times? I all seems rather more consequential than a spider bite (I hate>/i> spiders!), and personally I find it highly interesting!

    • Bert says:

      Societally consequential (which must be judged retrospectively by a consensus of opinions) and interesting (which is usually apparent as an event is occurring and is always personal) are very different. Most college students, thousands of whom I’ve been acquainted with professionally and dozens personally, are empty vessels. They rarely have any actual “lived experience” that worthy of the term. Any inter-generational struggle at the New York Times stems from professional (I use the term loosely because journalism as practiced today is only as professional as prostitution.) power struggles, neither interesting nor consequential.

  18. Bob says:

    What’s unbelievable about this story is that Smith College is in Northampton, Mass, which I visited a few years ago. Northampton is a hardcore leftist town full of hippie types. That whole region of Western Mass is like that. It’s full of hardcore leftist college towns like nearby Amherst, Mt. Holyoke, etc. where the townies are even more leftist than the college kids. And it’s been this way for more than half a century. Hippies were migrating in earnest to Northampton and Western Mass since the 60s from NYC and other parts of the country for the cheaper rent. Western Mass is just by the Hudson River which goes directly north from NYC. That’s also why Vermont became a leftist/hippie destination. Lefties from NYC like Bernie Sanders followed the Hudson directly north into Vermont.

    Northampton used to be a conservative Protestant area more than a century ago. Calvin Coolidge was from there and his Presidential library is there. But it’s a totally far left area today, including the townies who have regular jobs and work at Smith. Most of them are lefty slackers, potheads, hippies, etc.

    • Rob says:

      My uncle was a prof at Trinity. That is totes Northampton. Well, I cam’t confirm it’s pre-leftist archaeology.

      Maybe early hippies were true believers, at least a lot of them. But later hippies heavily were a combination of congenital contrarians (I don’t mean that in a bad way, Greg), people whose life plants did not include the chance of getting blown in Vietnam, the latter sort returned to bourgeois society, but they were heavily supplemented by the tune in turn, on, and drop out crowd. After the but there were a lot of those after the empirical evidence against, at minimum, the second, was all in. I went to Reed Colloge, so I am not dissing the out group,

      I think being on team left, which included college students, and professional college students, included support for the working class. While the white working class abandoned the left as both good and bad reaction to the inclusion of blacks and Hispanics in the leftist coalition, the left never forgot their roots. So, even former hippies and ‘hippies’ who did not want to admit that their their fondness for the left was actually a fondness for marijuana, were very vulnerable to anything popular with blacks. Except for the rare things popular with buppies, of course.

  19. helytimes says:

    Great point, very funny. The NYT is obsessed with prestigious colleges, and you could argue they correctly read their audience!

  20. ASR says:

    The consequential part of the story is barely covered here. As a result of this immature female creature’s grotesquely overinflated sense of worth and privilege, faux agrievement, and resulting lies a number of working class individuals had their lives permanently altered for the worse. A longtime middle class female member of the Smith community felt compelled to resign her position with the College and enter upon a job search whose outcome is uncertain. Meanwhile, the thoroughly obnoxious twit whose lies created this mess seems to be walking away unpunished, insouciant, and convinced, against overwhelming evidence to the contrary, of her virtue and value to the community.

  21. Pierrepoint says:

    Sounds like a budding West African fraudster who was trying her luck. Top marks for the novel ‘eating while black’ angle, she’ll go far.

  22. dearieme says:

    “this must be the most boring story ever told”: context is all. It’s boring because essentially the same vacuous story is told again and again.

  23. david says:

    Douglas murray made a great point that we thought all these sjws and liberal arts students would go broke after college. Unfortunately they all got jobs working in diversity departments at big corporations. Theyre paid to racebait.

    At my job, We just created a “diversity and equity” department and moved this obese girl to the role. She makes it clear very often she has a black boyfriend, so she’s obviously very qualified for the position. Funny, the non-asian POCs we hire quit or get fired every few months. We just fired one today for low performance.

    • Rob says:

      Throughout corporate America management means to give D&E departments what I am deciding to call the “The HR lecture” which I have never heard of, nut I am guessing HR folks get upon rupturing to the department out of college, though I do not actually know that they get, but my cynicism tells me that they do, epecially because HR really became a big thing after the hug sexual harassment lawsuits of the eighties. In my head, it goes thusly:

      “The corporation pays your salary so that we are covered when employees sue the company for HR-related issues. Specifically, when they are alleging that their boss, or someone higher up in their chain of command for misbehavior. These lawsuits are Vampires. You provide the holy water. When the holy water fails, and the vampires come after us, we do not pay more for holy water. We get rid of the priests.”

      Maybe they work in that “even if firing the priests makes the company look bad, at the very least, when holy water does work, we do not pay the priest a bonus. I am not positive that happens, but even if it does not, HR is mainly women. Even if you think women are less intelligent than men (not me!) chances are you do not think women are less socially astute than men.

      D&E is both newer than HR and dumber. Possibilities include that they have been read the riot act, but did not understand. ‘Why is he telling me about European folklore?’ Or ‘Is telling me about Eastern European folklore. Is that cultural appropriation?’ But maybe D&E realizes that their only shot at corporate money is pleasing the corporate moneybags? If anything, they can still hope for D&E positions in startups? After all, everyone in D&E knows that not is super-important for a cash-strapped, judgment-proof startup.

      Are they judgment proof? Lawsuits take a long time to wind through the courts. They wouldn’t want either the possibility of a big payoff or the negative publicity hurting their chances of venture funding, would they?

      I have now provided as much value to a startup than their D&E guy will.

  24. Ilya says:

    Yes, they’ve been reporting no-news for quiet a while now.

    My local city’s Paper of Record once published a story about me spilling some leftover tea on an obnoxious chick. Truth be told, it was slightly more interesting than the one about the West African student. Of course, despite my official request later, the truth finders did not find it in them to update the story with more facts: namely, that the whole case ended up being dismissed.

    Hey, as long as there’s a reputation to tarnish with a fake scandal, then it must be time for “exposing the truth.”

  25. ArtM says:

    Maybe the New York Times can cover my ex-wife’s journey to the Afghanistan border to meet her soulmate after three years of chatting on Instagram.

  26. Maciano says:

    All blacks, all the time

    • bob sykes says:

      Paul Kersey’s Black Run America.

      In cop shows set in San Fran, there are whites and blacks but no Asians. In the shows set in LA, there are whites and blacks, but no Mexicans. In both cities, white are minority, and there are only a few per cent blacks.

  27. ghazisiz says:

    An ex-brother-in-law was arrested for trying to steal copper wiring, but was easily apprehended by the police, since live current was running through the wiring.
    Another ex-brother-in-law realized how much money could be made dealing cocaine, jumped into the business, and his first deal was with a narc. Result: three years in jail, and an end to his career as a physician.
    My girlfriend insisted that she had found a sure-fire way to get rich, and lost her entire savings to a Nigerian prince.
    The mind naturally chooses to forget misery, but I do remember these.

  28. Michel Rouzic says:

    The consequences of centuries of making a point of enforcing a tolerance for the most abject of heresies is always interesting to me. The end result is plainly seen here, people with crazy belief systems that are blatantly at odds with reality end up dominating because the only real universal sin when you believe that respecting all beliefs is paramount is to invalidate such beliefs with reality and tell people their beliefs are wrong. It’s an experiment centuries in the making that’s failing exactly as it’s supposed to, with an explosion of ever increasingly insane beliefs taking over, and it’s beautiful.

    • Ilya says:

      And said enforced crazy tolerance is the result of “spirit over the letter” and “turn the other cheek” — taken to extreme.

      • dearieme says:

        Yeah, I blame Jesus too. I’ll bet he was a mother’s boy. Mind you, he also said:

        “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.”

        Maybe he’d had a wee drinkie.

        • Ilya says:

          Not here for religious arguments, but that passage further confirms that sowing discord from within is in the cultural DNA. The appearance of Puritans, their Unitarian Universalist successors and the “Progressive” movement were all inevitable.
          Not sure, what “wee drinkie” means. Alcohol or urine or both? I cannot discount either.

          • dearieme says:

            Look here, my good man, I am perfectly happy to tease Christians but I am not going to suggest that Jesus drank pee.

            I am curious to know why he is often reported as drinking wine but never beer. Did the Jews not grow barley?

            • Ilya says:

              I hope he didn’t, though that might explain why the teachings were so peace-loving, like those of Aryan Hindus, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkOsgXHUGs0 . Cow urine was ancient Hindu Red Bull.

              I looked into the barley issue. Yes, the Hebrews grew barley, though it was mostly for animal feed and the grain of the poor. According to some interpretations, Numbers 28:7–10 and Proverbs 31:6 refer to beer.

  29. hotdogstreetseller says:

    So, not yet a Greg’s take on the new study publish by Clark about the importance of genetics on social outcomes?

  30. Nomen Est Omen says:

    But it’s very interesting that such an uninteresting story is regarded as interesting by the media. It’s also interesting that a group so intellectually undistinguished as Blacks should have been able to make themselves such figures of interest in a non-Black nation. Paradoxically, however, if you investigate further, the topic of Black cultural power ceases to be interesting.

  31. saintonge235 says:

    Just before reading this post, I played a game of spider solitaire on my computer that was quite difficult. Took me 819 moves to win. That was definitely more interesting than the chick in the dorm story.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Off-topic, but I’m posting this here because I don’t want you or I getting banned from Twatter for discussing this — for suggesting that obvious mental illness is in fact mental illness.

    Gcochran99 posted on twitter:
    “For example, choosing to use birth control is not a Darwinian mental illness, because it has really only been around for a short time. But if it had been available for a long time and you still chose to use it, you’d be crazy, in a Darwinian sense.”

    But plastic surgery and HRT (chemical sterilization) have only been around for a short time. So wouldn’t this argument suggest that there’s nothing abnormal (in this Darwinian sense) going on in the mind of a “transgender” “woman”? But I don’t quite believe that, and I’m guessing you probably don’t either. But that would seem the logical implication of your argument, am I wrong?

  33. megabar says:

    In fairness, ant warfare is pretty interesting.

  34. Peripatetic Commenter says:

    When you claim to be in a designated victim class it does not matter what you claim, it will be regarded as true.

  35. david chamberlin says:

    I would find two reality TV shows interesting, but it’s just wishful thinking, I have little use for the blabbing box. Matt Gaetz a Trump wannabe needs to find a new career, fast. His political aspirations are coming to a sudden end and his plan B of a becoming a newsmen is sure to fail as well. But hope springs eternal, he can have his own reality show following his life going forward to be called Rich Chomo is prison. Chomo for you people not up to date with your prison vocabulary is a child molestor. The the second reality story I would find interesting is The Shaquillies. Shaq artificially inseminates the tennis star Williams sisters with five kids apiece and the 10 of them are raised by at least four Mexican midgets in the LA area. oh any cute midgets will do, they don’t have to be Mexican. The show goes on for 21 years as the kids grow up to do whatever huge athletic black people do that are raised by cute midgets.

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