• It has finally happened, though it was bound to come to this eventually:
George Orwell’s iconic novel 1984, written in 1949 about the horrors of censorship and the threat of authoritarianism, is being censored by a university. The University of Northampton in Orwell’s own England has issued a trigger warning on the book, with staff claiming that the book contains “explicit material” and that some student may find the work to be “offensive and unsettling.”
• Aaaannndd guess what’s racist now: potholders. I’m not making this up. It’s in USA Today, so it must be true.
Last month, the day after Christmas, I taught two of our young granddaughters how to weave potholders. . .
You know how the mind works. One thing reminds us of this, and then this, and then this. . . I thought about how too many white parents and elected officials these days don’t want their white children to learn about our country’s history of racism.
• Meanwhile, you may recall mention recently of M&M candies going woke. Well, apparently M&Ms aren’t nearly progressive enough. So says the Washington Post, so it must be true. (Actually the article turns out to be an attack on Mars candy for being so silly, but still, we waste pixels on this?)
. . . The great sin here isn’t the intent to make people feel included or seen; it’s the hypocrisy, and the ham-handedness, too. If I’m buying a pack of candy containing God-knows-what from a multinational conglomerate, I’ve likely made my peace with their whole deal and would rather them keep their pseudo-progressive piffle to themselves while they loot the planet. They’ve got a business plan to stick to, and my candy canonically struggling with anxiety won’t change that. Just let my chocolates be chocolates.
• More evidence of oppressive Baby Boomer tyranny over our culture (it’s in The Atlantic, so you know it must be super-true):
Old songs now represent 70 percent of the U.S. music market. Even worse: The new-music market is actually shrinking.
Old songs now represent 70 percent of the U.S. music market, according to the latest numbers from MRC Data, a music-analytics firm. Those who make a living from new music—especially that endangered species known as theworking musician—should look at these figures with fear and trembling. But the news gets worse: The new-music market is actually shrinking. All the growth in the market is coming from old songs. . .
The current list of most-downloaded tracks on iTunes is filled with the names of bands from the previous century, such as Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Police. . .
Never before in history have new tracks attained hit status while generating so little cultural impact. In fact, the audience seems to be embracing the hits of decades past instead. Success was always short-lived in the music business, but now even new songs that become bona fide hits can pass unnoticed by much of the population.