On Clothing and Beautification Norms

Leftwing social critics of the modern tradition describe social norms as arbitrary, especially as they relate to gender. They (henceforth, “leftists”) have an equally noticeable tendency to be wrong, and I bet the matters described herein are no exception.

First, the word “arbitrary” denotes that which happens without reason. With leftists, it means, “For reasons that I should not be expected to care about,” so obviously I will not bother to argue against that. I will give some possible reasons, and then people’s moral proclivities be what they may.

Men and women have different clothing norms almost everywhere, with exceptions, just as there are exceptions to the proposition that nodding of the head up and down is an affirmative gesture. The latter is overwhelmingly common in a vast range of cultures, but it does not follow from its being less than totally universal that it is arbitrary. There is some reason that the tendency exists, even if it is just as simple as copying a high-status group.

Likewise: clothes. Dresses and skirts are strongly associated with femaleness and trousers only weakly with maleness, to such a degree that a skirt on a male is sometimes seen as an aberration and trousers on women not. Some have tried, without lasting success, to change this.

It is questionable how common clothing styles now associated with women have been on men for much of history. The kinds of “skirt-like” or “dress-like” attire that have been somewhat common among men at various points include pulpit robes or cassocks, which have specialised uses; they are not everyday attire for the wearers, and many are relics of the Roman tradition, which I will get to later. Indeed, trousers were apparently common only on men in medieval England, and certainly among the Germanic tribes (Didorus Siculus, V, section 30) and Persians. Charlemagne (Laver. pp. 52-3) donned the tunic, which is dress-like enough, for ceremonial reasons and otherwise wore trousers.

Nevertheless, tunics and kirtles were easy to see on both sexes when they were popular. So one could easily get the impression that trousers and trouser-like garments have become less gendered through time, whereas skirt-like and dress-like garments have become more so. What changed?

The reasons people wore particular types of clothing were different in the past. Practicality, cost, class divisions, and social conservatism were high in the past. Setting aside the thorny question of how knee-length vestments and tights became high-status among European males of the upper class, one can look at the Romans. Braccae (woollen trousers) were associated with barbarians and trousers were seldom worn by Romans. Nevertheless, soldiers did use trousers when practical, especially in the cold regions of the empire. Rome held its clothing conventions in high enough esteem that, after the Empire’s collapse, they were still followed for reasons of tradition qua tradition, and status.

In many professions, especially in the industrial era, skirts and dresses would have proven impractical for a lot of work, most conspicuously among working-class men, and to the extent that this was true, wearing those garments would have been associated with impracticality and therefore low status. The examples are fairly obvious, but this is of questionable relevance to the present day when the majority of work is in the tertiary and quaternary sectors.

It looks almost as though before the 1800s some men wore trousers but far fewer women, and trousers were not “in” as the default male fashion choice until the 1800s.

Finally, perhaps most saliently, clothing for purely ornamental purposes was rare historically outside the elite. Aristocrats especially the French, and Georgian-era gentry, were known for it, but never the average person. This changed in the 20th century, especially the second half. Interestingly, trousers started to become fashionable among women in the West at about the same time that short skirts did. For trousers, I would guess it was a matter of practicality and, secondarily, dissociation from any historic tradition, e.g. that of the Romans or the Catholic Church. In the latter, changing sexual mores (hence, miniskirts) and social mores; the trouser’s association with work, an essential part of the male sex role, came to embody a kind of archetype which some women sought to copy as the 20th century went along.

The association of long (e.g. ankle-length) skirts and dresses with chastity was probably not as strong in the early 20th century as later, because there was less in public life with which to contrast it, i.e. the miniskirt-wearers were barely present.

Today, almost the only reasons to be choosy about what one wears are aesthetic, whether sexual or not. Thus, the vast majority of men do not even wear shorts unless 1) the weather is unbearably hot or 2) they are performing some activity that necessitates it or makes it easier, e.g. running and swimming. No one is interested in seeing men’s legs per se except homosexual men. By contrast, women’s legs are objects of intense desire and adoration for legions. So, in the present, a man who wears a long skirt or dress is giving off signals of chastity or sexual innocence, which is ridiculous in men. If he wears a short skirt or dress, he is giving off signals of sexual attractiveness, which, again, is absurd; the visual advertisement of these qualities is nearly meaningless in men: especially for chastity, but even for attractiveness unless he is profoundly physically attractive.

Other social changes have come about along the same course for comparable reasons, such as the practice of leg-shaving, far more common in women than men, and in men it is typically to highlight musculature: athletes, swimmers, models, etc.

One finds oneself suspicious of anyone claiming that a social trend emerged from the aether simply because of marketing or propaganda. The evidence that propaganda, after controlling for confounding factors, affects public opinion is thin. It is not even true of Hitler’s speeches. There are always confounds: some economic, some endogenous and innate. It is sometimes claimed that the preference for shaven legs came about in the early 20th century in response to specific ad campaigns, which explains why one sees loads of old paintings of women with visibly hairy legs. At least, it would explain that if it were true.

Few women have their legs shaved the year round unless they live in a climate wherein they can expect to have their legs bare on any given day. In the past, when women seldom used their legs as sexual ornaments, it is reasonable to deduce that shaving was even rarer but became common once they did commonly use them for that purpose. Are we really to believe that this is a coincidence?

Women have sparser leg hair than men to begin with, which is a neotenous trait along with lack of facial hair, lower height, paedomorphism in facial structure, etc, all of which are considered highly attractive in women. Since relative lack of hirsutism is a sex-typical trait in females and the heightened neoteny that shaving projects is attractive, women who frequently have their legs bared shave them. This is descriptive, not to say that anyone of either sex is ethically obliged to be attractive. However, what constitutes an attractive feature is fairly universal.

Tangentially, something similar occurred to cause the gradual skin-lightening of Europeans. Women almost universally have lighter skin than men, and more sex-typical features are preferred in mates. Europe is thought to have had a female-skewed sex ratio for much of its prehistory, thus increasing competition among females for mates and upwardly modulating selection upon elements of female sexual attractiveness, many of which spilled over into males either as byproducts or due to bidirectional sexual selection. This is one reason among many why Europeans are the most attractive race.

All this could be obvious. Much of it may have been once. Alas, few have any interest in finding the knowledge themselves.

Emily Ratajkowski’s Modest Proposal

In response to Alabama’s recent, controversial, abortion legislation, model and former Blurred Lines music video star, Emily Ratajkowski, posed nude on Instagram, bemoaning how the bill would “perpetuate the industrial prison complex by preventing women of low economic opportunity the right to choose to not reproduce,” and further how: “the states trying to ban abortion are the states that have the highest proportions of black women living there.” Ratajkowski, a sex-positive feminist, was obviously blind to her implicit appeal to eugenics, but Breitbart journalist John Nolte jumped at the opportunity to push the recently-popular narrative that “Democrats are the real racists,” going so far as to claim that “Ratajkowski Believes Killing Black Babies Is a Public Service”, and accusing her of white-supremacy, even comparing her comment to “anything you would read at ‘The Daily Stormer’”. In fact, Ratajkowski’s sentiments are neither as “woke” as she’d like to think, or as fascist as Nolte would like to accuse her of but reflect a kind of pragmatism taboo to both the mainstream left and the mainstream right: an overlooked meeting point between humanitarian concerns and elitist/conservative-minded population control.

The relationship between legalized abortion and falling crime rates has, in fact, been well studied, with results pointing to the not-at-all surprising notion that requiring every pregnancy to go to term, no matter how unwanted or inauspicious, may not actually be great for society. Many scholars cite Roe V. Wade as the prime culprit in the staggering, American, crime-drop of the 1990’s, for example. The demographic angle on this truth is touchier but also founded in reality. Blacks are disproportionately likely to be affected by those conditions which lead to poverty and crime, and sure enough, the most recent data shows them representing 54% of those incarcerated in Alabama despite representing just 26% of the population, and this still after comprising a majority of the aborted pregnancies in the state (62% in 2017). Ratajkowski’s point is basically that we as a society are churning out large numbers of people who are predestined by sociocultural conditions and the prison industrial complex to live miserable lives, and that this is especially obvious in a state like Alabama. It’s hard to imagine that inviting the number of single, black, Alabaman mothers to skyrocket—as does the state’s new abortion bill—wont perpetuate increases in poverty, general unrest, and higher incarceration rates in Alabama’s awful prisons (the deadliest in the country). Certainly, this outcome seems more likely than “one of those black babies” emerging from one of the worst public school systems in the country to “cure cancer” as John Nolte chides us.

It would seem that promoting absolute control over reproduction to those members of society most affected by adversity would be something that both humanitarians of the left, and those concerned with conserving social order and demographics on the right should find common ground on—but such agreement is far from sight.

As exemplified by the Nolte article, the right is utterly delusional on this point: willing only to make moralistic arguments against abortion, and as a result unwilling to engage with any arguments for it no matter how pragmatic. Allergic to coupling their opposition to abortion with any reasonable plans to increase the social welfare of those most likely to seek it out, the pro-life GOP must rely on the myth that anyone can lead a good and productive life if only they pick themselves up by their bootstraps. As usual, their exaggerated focus on the individual and personal responsibility makes them blind to dynamics that can only be grasped on a larger scale. The pro-life movement is part the same principles-based conservative tradition that supports starting foreign wars in order to spread “freedom and democracy” worldwide. It riles up a certain, obnoxious, segment of the population but its big-picture, long-term, effects are disastrous and tend to have the very opposite effect of “conserving” anything. “Never mind all the refugees! Never mind all the unwanted children! Freedom and democracy are absolute ends in themselves, and abortion is murder!” In this sense, the pro-life victory in Alabama must be viewed in the same vein as so many other “accomplishments” of the Trump era: rather than moving conservatism toward something more nationalistic and pragmatic—as promised and as is necessary—Trump has come to embody the last desperate gasp of boomer Conservative talking points.

The left occasionally makes valid points about abortion but no longer connects them with any broader program for maintaining a healthy, cohesive society. Rather, the pro-choice movement is now packaged with disastrous policies like laissez-faire immigration, support for the reproduction-incentivizing welfare state, and, increasingly, a general devotion to demographic change and cultural dissolution. And yet, occasionally someone like Ratajkowski comes along and says something on the abortion issue that makes one grow nostalgic for the more sensible tone of the early 20th century progressive era.

There is, of course, a precedent for talking about the eugenics of birth control and the historical figure who best represents these ideas is none other than progressive era figurehead and Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger. Pro-lifers love to talk about how Sanger was pro-eugenics and therefore basically Hitler. Many of them would be surprised to learn that Sanger was in fact anti-abortion and simply a radical proponent of contraception. She was indeed pro-eugenics but wasn’t a mere social Darwinist. For Sanger, eugenics and a humanitarian concern for the poor went hand-in-hand. Not only would birth-control reduce the population of an underclass whose high fertility rates had a demonstrably negative impact on society, but also it could improve that class’s standard of living. Just as critics of immigration accurately point out that immigration has a negative impact on the citizens of a country who must compete with new arrivals for jobs, Sanger argued that promoting birth control to adversely affected communities would empower them to advance. That such a promotion of birth control would also have a eugenic effect was simply another, complementary benefit. Her biggest crime, it seems, was to question the idea that all lives are necessarily good and valuable things—a cardinal offense in a mass-democratic society.

The fact is, it’s easier to virtue signal against eugenics than to provide the underclass a decent life. Leave it to the irrational banter of the culture wars to prevent us from having a more productive conversation about reproductive rights.

The Good Guys and the Bad Guys

Renowned Wikifeet model and male tear bathhouse patron, Jessica Valenti posted a brief but lucid defense of NYTimes tech writer Sarah Jeong’s extensive history of anti-white tweets:

“Sarah Jeong is good, her haters are bad (terrible, even). It’s not difficult. I support whatever women need to do – including snarky tweets – to negotiate this racist, sexist website.”

So there you have it. Sarah Jeong is one of the good guys, and her haters (aka white people who responded harshly to her openly hostile tweets about them) are the bad guys.

Nevermind the fact that Twitter is an incredibly easy website to navigate and millions of people manage to do so without constantly expressing their hatred for white men and women. Valenti sneakily attempts to make this a “women being harassed online by men” issue when it isn’t. White women are also increasingly the target of unprovoked vitriol from the likes of intersectional identitarians like Jeong.

For her part, Jeong also misrepresented the situation in that she claimed her anti-white tweets were “counter trolling” in response to harassment she was receiving. However, she conveniently left out the fact that the “harassment” itself was in response to similar inflammatory tweets she made toward the same groups. It’s not like these trolls just randomly appeared in her mentions for no reason, simply to attack her because she’s a woman of color (barf.)

I don’t really have a problem with my co-ethnic, Jessica Valenti (a fellow Italian.) She’s one of my favorite feminists, and as the intersectional community becomes increasingly dominated by hostile non-whites, she’ll eventually find herself cast out, perceived as just another Becky the way Rose McGowan was. A temporary useful ally, soon to be pushed aside. For now though, Valenti still sees herself as one of the good guys…and so do I. After all, both sides are the same.

Anyway, if I’m being totally honest, this whole article was mostly just an excuse to post the theme song from Any Which Way You Can, which struck me as oddly relevant.

Rose McGowan – “Hateful” in a Flash

Rose McGowan got heckled by some insane transwoman the other day, and the video went viral. Apparently this was because McGowan had made some “transphobic” comments in an interview with RuPaul. Basically, Rose talked about how transwomen were different than other women because they didn’t have the same biological experiences (like periods, etc.) As these were obviously empirically true statements, I suppose it’s not surprising they caused such outrage. Of course transwomen are not the same as biological women. For one thing, they are born with penises. So that’s one difference right there. Anyone could have learned this much by simply watching Kindergarten Cop.

I mean how dumb/insane do you have to be to go after someone like Rose McGowan because she “doesn’t do enough for transwomen” or whatever. Even the great-hearted among us can only politely entertain this kind of stupidity with a straight face for so long.

In all honesty, this is exactly the kind of thing that pushes people over the edge. You go through life walking on eggshells, careful to be respectful and not offend others, but you discover it’s never enough. So you just stop caring and even begin to take pleasure in offending them. Others who haven’t had quite reached their breaking point yet (some perhaps never will) wonder how you can say such “insensitive,” and “hurtful” things. but they don’t realize how you’ve come to be desensitized. Tell people enough times that they are racist/sexist/transphobic no matter what they say or do, and they will eventually decide it’s not worth trying to appease the unappeasable. This doesn’t mean they will subsequently go out of their way to be huge assholes to everyone, but they might very well stop caring so much if sharing their honest opinion or joke causes people to think they’re huge assholes. Rose McGowan’s not there yet. She’s still under the illusion that there’s a place for “white feminists” within the intersectional community. There isn’t really. These people will never accept them as their own, and the behavioral demands and speech parameters will only get more unreasonable as time goes on.

Admittedly, I haven’t seen too many of Rose McGowan’s movies. I vaguely remember watching The Doom Generation, but since I watched it at a girl’s house with a few friends on some random night in 1997, I wasn’t really paying attention. It seemed like a movie that was trying too hard to seem hip and edgy. Rose also had a small role in the movie Encino Man, which I never realized until I noticed it in her Wikipedia (it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the movie.) Perhaps, in the case of Encino Man was just too preoccupied with Megan Ward, who had already left a lasting impression on my psyche with her demonic mirror seduction scene in Amityville 1992: It’s About Time. Oh, and I forgot that McGowan had a supporting role in Scream also, where she gets killed while trying to escape through a doggy door.

The only real Rose McGowan centric film I’ve seen in its entirety is Devil in the Flesh, a throwaway direct-to-video “erotic” thriller from 1998 where McGowan plays,a psycho teenage girl who becomes infatuated with her teacher and tries to murder his fiancee (after successfully killing several other people.) I recall being highly annoyed with this film as a young man, because it did not deliver any payoffs on the sexual tension building up in the plot. It fell clearly into the “more tease than sleaze” category. People who make these kinds of erotic thriller movies need to realize that the viewers aren’t rooting for the good guys (or the bad guys for that matter.) They’re rooting for sex scenes to happen involving the most physically attractive characters in the movie, prefaced by an underlying sexual tension within the context of a forbidden premise. The viewer wants to see the teacher succumb to his psycho student’s advances (after resisting at first.) The viewer doesn’t care about him being a good guy and saving the day by rescuing his cheesy fiancee. Not in this kind of movie anyway. As a side note, in the sequel Devil in the Flesh II (this time starring Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) the girl does manage to successfully seduce her teacher, (albeit with the same predictably disappointing ending) so in this sense it is the superior film.

Fast forward 20 years and these days McGowan has a shaved head because she no longer wants to be seen as a “sex object.” It might seem strange coming from someone who wrote the paragraphs above, but I can’t say that I blame her really. Even average everyday girls get hit on or have to fend off creeps in pretty much any situation where human interaction can possibly occur. I can only imagine that for an actress with a public image as a sex symbol, this kind of attention would be amplified to unimaginable levels. At some point a girl may want to be noticed for something else, anything else. Not only that, but McGowan herself has (allegedly) been subjected to actual abuse by Harvey Weinstein and probably a few others as well.

So she’s a hardcore feminist activist now and an icon. Good for her I suppose. As a cynical, somewhat apathetic guy I find her interviews painful to watch, with all the excessive, misplaced self-aggrandizement and melodramatic talk about “bravery,” “revolutions” etc. It all comes across really awkward and delusional to anyone outside of her own head. It is also pretty lame to use “Brave” as the title of your autobiographical book about yourself. Still, I can’t bring myself to dislike her. For all her bombastic bluster, she still seems like a nice girl and a sincere person. This is a girl that had a rough time and went through some bad stuff and just wants to break free of all the bullshit. Anyone that displays an ability to stop giving a fuck about conforming to groupthink on any level always has the potential to go further, even if they ultimately choose to just embrace a bunch of other dumb stuff instead.

Skirting the Issue With Tara McCarthy

For a long time, this site sported the tagline, “The Left Wing of the AltRight.” Not many people have noticed that several months ago,(around the time I wrote this article) I changed it to “The Left of the AltRight,” which signified a location change from the outer left ideological sphere of the AltRight, to the actual outside of it. This wasn’t due to any particular change of beliefs on my behalf, but rather the AltRight’s endless purges and the shrinking of the ideological sphere itself to a point where some of us suddenly found ourselves no longer within it. It has been reduced to mostly a club for a small group of relatively insufferable people who waste most of their time trashing and alienating their few public advocates.

It’s essentially become a bunch of snake handlers raving about sodomites and porn and women and “degeneracy.” Yeah if I wanted all that I’d just go downtown Friday night and listen to those annoying weirdos with megaphones that yell stuff all night and hand out those cheesy fake “million dollar bill” bible pamphlets. Imagine having those obnoxious busybodies as your neighbors, monitoring your interactions and peering in your window late at night. The “movement” as it is, is filled with such socially insufferable people who an ardent pro-white individual might even conclude that diversity and multiculturalism aren’t all that bad comparatively. It’s a group with strategy that seems limited to street fighting fantasies, reading old books and Little House on the Prairie LARPing.

This brings us to the case of Tara McCarthy, who (quite reasonably) is beginning to wonder whether it is worthwhile to publicly advocate for people who show nothing but disdain for her:

Here’s my unsolicited advice: Don’t bother, Tara. It’s not worth it. You’ll never appease these kinds of people and the only way forward is to become part of something that they would never want to be included in. The best way to get away from people you don’t want to be around is to set up shop somewhere they would never want to go. If you market your content to radical traditionalists and uptight sexual puritans that want “white sharia” (or a slightly milder version) and guys that don’t believe women should be involved in politics or speak in public without a male chaperone, then ultimately you can expect to clash with your audience as they inevitably begin to scrutinize you according to those same standards.

Better yet, just ditch “traditionalism” and avoid the confusion altogether. Then those annoying people can fight among themselves forever about what’s “trad,” and you can focus on creatively adapting to the future. Those traditions which you find aesthetically appealing or practically useful in a technologically advanced society can be retained, and those which are incompatible or no longer offer a significant adaptive advantage can be discarded.

The Golden One recent made a video coming to Tara’s defense, which she quickly touted on Twitter as validation. This was somewhat amusing though, because The Golden One’s rationale for supporting her is that he sees women like her essentially as “useful idiots” (though he does not use those words) toward dismantling the left’s narrative that the AltRight is nothing but bitter incel losers. He doesn’t truly *believe* women should be allowed or trusted to be involved in politics on any genuine level. He just sees it as temporarily useful for optics purposes. Once the march through the institutions has been completed, the law will be laid down and all women will be forced to remain barefoot and pregnant, and only their husbands will be allowed to do the talking.

Ramzpaul provided a much better and more authentic defense of women in the AltRight. He also indirectly addresses an issue that I find common in the AltRight, which is the frequent inadvertent signaling of their own lack of self-control. They seem incapable of mastering simple skills like multitasking and time management. According to them, you’re either a guy who sits home and jacks off to porn all day, or a married family man with six children. Does it not occur to them that most people are perfectly capable of being married, having children, working a full-time job and jacking off every few days? They take the same tact with just about everything. There’s nothing preventing a woman from working, taking care of her children and making youtube videos about politics or any other subject. Millions of women can and do manage their time just fine in this way.

A friend of mine and fellow blogger recently made a similar observation:

“I get the impression that a lot of trads have extremely addictive personalities, such that they’re incapable of moderation. ‘If you open up the door for just a little bit of muh degeneracy, how do you prevent yourself from sliding into a meth-fueled gay orgy?’ Gosh, I dunno, somehow I manage to avoid it. Using intelligence to determine that too much of behavior X might cause one problems in the long run is apparently out of the question for them. You have to have some sort of blanket prohibition passed down from on high.”

Anyway good luck with the AltRight, Tara. I think I’m about finished with trying to influence it though, so I shouldn’t comment on it much more, else I’m liable to end up some kind of permanent concern troll. I prefer to just quietly leave and do my own thing. I recognize that ship has sailed for good. AltRight is a basically Westboro Baptist and Return of Kings hybrid ideology now. You can be pro-white without being in the AltRight and having to entertain their pet add-on issues or be constantly weighed down by all their psychological baggage. There are a lot of creative paths toward securing a future, and there are allies to be found in unlikely places.

De Senium Britanniae

I eschewed my usual route to university on this day and so did not go to the usual metro station. That may have been the greatest displeasure of all, to consider losing the good graces of the Wraith of the Low Morning. Daily and as regular as the metro, and presumably some time between midnight and 6 AM, he, probably a young male with an IQ south of the 20th percentile, goes to that station and impresses his artistic genius upon the pristine laboratorial white of that one wall panel in every hue of the rainbow. The paint is often still wet to the touch as I stand admiring it at 9:25 AM. By the next day there is always a new inscription, the old hidden under a new coat of paint – the work of another person (again, probably a man) to whose annoyance the Wraith’s work is continually done. Not even God knows what is going on in the Wraith’s troubled head. Maybe his only taste of self-actualisation, whatever that means, is the testosterone high he gets as he imagines himself embroiled in some titanic battle of wits with the man who erases his work. Maybe he is a smoker and cannot stand the no-smoking warning. Maybe he fancies himself the next Banksy. Maybe he likes to see his work erased so he can do something new, but there seems little variation except changes in colour. Maybe he is an idiot savant, or perhaps a savant idiot. Now I try to envision his children. And then I stop.

Almost no normal person considers the metro carriage an appropriate place for social engagement apart from drunkards. It is a place where one, in effect, shuts oneself off from communication with the outside world for the twenty minutes or however long it takes to get to your stop. It is a place to stare into space dejectedly, read, pretend to read, plan essays, and scroll through faked shark-attack videos on your phone. Passengers thus tend to look on with horrified or puzzled expressions when someone starts to act out in a strange way.

On this particular afternoon the metro was just about empty, and there would have been little to comment on were it not for a tangerine-faced chav and her black friend, he with his trousers at half mast, stepping into the carriage about halfway into my journey, so I had the chance to observe them for the next few stops. It is more accurate, though, to say that I had no choice in the matter. At moments their voices seemed nearly indistinguishable in pitch and timbre despite his being male and a foot taller than she. It is generally the case that people who truly embody this archetype, the chav, have no self-awareness or indeed self-consciousness; this girl probably behaves like this in every situation that presents itself. They were having something that sounded vaguely like an argument at first. They threw themselves at each other in strange, stereotyped motions until eventually they just ran out of energy, as well as words, and started nondescriptly grunting in each other’s faces until they reached, and almost missed, their stop. Non-white chavs are a recently divergent subspecies who seem to have developed alongside the standard variety but were not nearly so common round these parts, I am sure, until this decade. Well, they have certainly integrated – just not into anything that is actually worth it.

The female embodied this archetype astonishingly well. All of the apparent default-setting fashion choices: the skin-tight leggings (and she will still be wearing those in her forties), the dyed tar-black hair, etc. Females, for obvious reasons, want to be physically appealing, but by the time the female chav has reached late adolescence she has often destroyed herself to the point where there is little to work with, and she may already have had two or three or twenty-three children. By her late twenties she could be a grandmother. Thus, by that time she usually settles into a pattern of bizarre peacock-like ostentation: brightly coloured trainers, preposterously large (plastic, typically) jewellery, etc, which is apparently not so much supposed to be attractive as it is – well, God knows.

Once off the metro there is much to see. On the way into school I damn near had a heart attack because I had forgotten to use my alcoholic hand sanitiser. I normally use it as soon as I am out of the station because the metro is a virtual pathologist’s lab, unguarded and constantly excreting new strains of the common cold virus among other things, especially in the cold months of the year. Winter here tends to render the sky a constant, thick, overcast grey interspersed with ten-hour (or longer) periods of black. Students from warmer climes seem fairly well adjusted here, though. I see them on my way in and out of the school; the Africans, the Han Chinese nouveau riche, and the beautiful dewy-eyed Koreans girls moving in packs about 20cm below my eye level and twittering incomprehensibly to one another. That sometimes puts me dimly in mind of an oddly psychologically distorting experience I had some months back, of the two Korean girls walking in front of me with their hands entwined at the Schoenbrunn Palace, both about my age. It is interesting to see Orientals as transfixed as they were by Occidental history. More than I was, frankly – since I take pleasure in almost no activities. They looked dazed, and, I thought, a little sad. It will be sadder yet to see the condition of Vienna and other European cities at the end of this century.

This is more than I can say for the Chinese students here. They were in British universities in great numbers, so I am told, as far back as the early 2000s, and their proficiency in English seems not to have improved any. Their mother country has a lot more to be hopeful about than we have at this point, but I do not think their parents are going to see much return on their investment when they go home.

Then there was my class. The classmates are a strange lot, which I like. Twelve persons in total; there used to be thirteen. All white, which is unsurprising given the subject matter. Eleven Britons and one non-Briton. Eight extraverts, three introverts, one schizoid personality. I determined that, crudely I admit, by checking who was and was not talking in the corridor before class. Of those not talking, only the foreign girl was not looking at her phone. I do not know which iteration of the iPhone everybody is on, but smartphone upgrades seem about the only tangible technological innovation in the Occident at this moment. Certainly it is the only innovation most people care about. Only two individuals with northern accents, which seems a recurring pattern, surprisingly. So far there have been none of the ubiquitous (and tedious) jousting matches people have about regional accents in England, such as hotly debating where to draw a line on a map dividing north from south. There were also two nose piercings, one exposed midriff (bearing in mind it was 5°C outside), a girl with teal hair, and a girl with rose-pink hair. Seven females and five males – all of the males seem to be in the lower two quartiles of height. I am 172cm tall (about 26th percentile for a male), but I was not the shortest among them. It is probably these people to whom I should feel the strongest cultural affinity; the SWPLs of Britain’s young middle class. Yet, you would not know it if you saw how I (do not) interact with them. Maybe I could deal with them as long as politics was off the table? This time someone was talking about trans awareness week in the corridor. Every week now seems to require a similar “awareness” from you. This is the girl who ended up in the basement at 6 PM one day because she could not find the exit of the building.

Not much to report about that class per se – at least nothing that I can remember.

Once it was over, I cogitated on some of these things as I made my way towards the library to wait for the second class of the day. By this time it was dark.

A small percentage of men and a smaller percentage of women engage with politics beyond trivia such as voting. Among these, reproductive concern is, as everywhere, in play. In general, women want to be protected and provided for and will cling to anything that offers that promise, such as feminism (or whatever else). Men want to climb the male reproductive success hierarchy and will gravitate towards that wherever they find it. Additionally, Jonathan Haidt’s neuropolitics is at work: neurological liberals and neurological conservatives. The extent to which reproductive concerns motivate a person is a matter of degree, I think; it depends on the individual’s temperament and, probably above all else, intelligence. But I am not quite sure where “trans awareness week” figures into all that. Maybe it should be obvious to me. Someone really ought to find a way to incorporate philosophical or mathematical concepts into the morphology of a language – something that would allow you to plug many explanatory factors into a cohesive multivariate structure (in the manner of a statistical analysis) without the endless repetitions, reframing, and blether that come when you attempt it in English. Ithkuil? We are the wrong species for such a project right now, however, and Mira est Lingua Latina sed mortua. I once joked about forcing everyone in the northern hemisphere to learn multiple European languages as well as Ithkuil, and perhaps I can make that my job if I someday ascend to posthuman godhood. But I doubt it.

Some appreciation for high culture is here. Not too far from the library I heard a Chopin nocturne being played a few weeks back. Stravinsky would have been more exciting, but it nevertheless felt noteworthy. It is a point of contrast to what many of my young compatriots have plugged into their ears as they sit in the library; the nu metal, and the indie, which ought to be called “post-indie” at this stage, every song being a pastiche of familiar indie clichés both lyrically and structurally, which seems rather self-defeating.

The old buildings here are so unkempt. Fungal spores cover the windowpanes. That makes a good half-arse of a metaphor for the landscape that surrounds me. What was once Britain’s industrial heartland, where valorous and beautiful men toiled sleeplessly in the mines, the shipyards, the fields, the factories, where the nation’s productive class reached its apogee, is now a shadow of a shadow of what it was. My brothers will leave for Australia at some point, I think. Although I do not blame them, I am not sure what solace they will find there either.

Back on the metro, and this time I made sure to scrub my hands with unusual vigour.