Tuesday 16 April 2024

Outrageous Excuses 22

16 April 2024: it should be a good week for excuses. Meanwhile here are a few from the recent past.

Sometimes people want to point out that they are holier than thou:

@FLKDayton It blows me away how many people justify not tipping delivery drivers on the basis of "it's an exploitative system," and rather than advocating for better labor laws, they exploit them further and think they've done something meaningful. 

@danwaterfield: Guy who’s against smallpox eradication on vegan moral grounds.

Woman announces she is not giving her spouse or children any presents this year because the best Christmas present is no present and her six-year-old understands. (Peak middle-class, especially the meanness.)

Teaching women to protect themselves against rape is turning them into victims

@fem_mb: My friend told me today that she's conflicted about going to a pro basketball game because it might be racist for a white woman to “watch black men performing in a coliseum setting”.

A flatmate thought it was OK to shave your legs but not your knees. She also thought it was wrong to pluck your eyebrows – instead she kept them raised in a surprised expression. 

@laureningram: Ultimately as a c*s person it’s not up to me to decide if Hogwarts: Legacy is tr*nsphobic. The tr*ns people in my life, and online, have told me it is. So I won’t be buying it.

We have to say “adult female human” because “adult human female” is a Terf dogwhistle.

Reading is precious: that’s why I’m giving away my books. (Rhiannon Lucy Cossett in the Guardian, headline. Original head read “But the cult of book ownership can be smug and middle class”.)

@Alicemakochieng: I've never watched or downloaded Netflix and I am happy to remain ignorant. I don't even watch TV, and no TV in our lounge or bedroom. My family is happy, we're good. We have super fast home wifi, for other things - work and leisure. We watched The Crown for history, on an app.

No need to worry about Brexit-caused shortages – seasonal fruit and veg are more nutritious. In fact there is something rather immoral about eating fruit and veg out of season (as we have been doing for the past 50 years or more).


“We need to look at the bigger picture” is a constant. Also “Other things are more important: what about global warming, world hunger etc.” It helps to quote a worldwide problem which one person is powerless to affect.

"I resigned because I didn't want to be a distraction from more important things."

The Christie estate is run by Christie’s great-grandson, James Prichard, who has said that allowing Sally Phelps to change the ending of Ordeal by Innocence was one of the hardest decisions of his working life. He previously told The Telegraph: “I think sometimes you do have to make hard and radical decisions. Yes, we will upset a lot of my great-grandmother’s fans and to some extent I apologise to them and to some extent I don’t. This is not a decision we take lightly. We do set out to use the Agatha Christie story. If we weren’t doing that, why would anyone even bother to attach us to the project and pay us for the privilege? But sometimes you just have to take those decisions.” (Daily Telegraph)

@Wommando Yorkshire: Paedophile comedian, Christopher Thomas Binns, 53, caught with over 25,000 child sexual abuse images, is spared jail. Binns's excuse was that he'd been under the influence of an overdose of prescription drugs for ADHD, which induced OCD.

@LabelFreeBrands Earlier some TRAs were saying “the shark stuffed animal isn’t about mocking the surfer who lost her arm to a shark attack! It’s just Blähaj, the IKEA shark that tr*ns activists have adopted as their mascot! It’s a meme!

I said it was cheese because I didn’t think you’d know what tofu was. (Nothing to Declare, paraphrase)

@exiliaex: Tankie is a derogatory term that usually refers to people who paper over atrocities via some sort of transcendental justification (historical progress, revolutionary-communist necessity, etc)

@DrFrancisYoung: The Moderator of the Church of Scotland describes selling off kirks as “a real opportunity to reimagine ourselves and to let go of some of the baggage that’s held us down.” 

My husband has flown to Fiji for a wedding and this is his luggage.” (The bags contain nothing but black market cigarettes. Nothing to Declare Officer: Her story has changed several times.)

Reasons why women shouldn’t have the vote: 90% of the women either do not want it, or do not care. It means competition of women with men instead of co-operation. 80% of the women eligible to vote are married and can only double or annul their husbands’ votes. It can be of no benefit commensurate with the additional expense involved. In some States more voting women than voting men will place the government under petticoat rule.

@DiscussingFilm Disney’s live-action ‘BAMBI’ remake will be a modernised retelling. “I think that to be able to bring it to life for kids these days in a way that maybe they relate to a little bit more would be of service to the original.”

@msloobylou: At the @NPGLondon they have spelled Dora Bryan’s name incorrectly. A guard said the gallery believes names can be spelled different ways. 

Lots of justifications for some celeb publishing a novel she “wrote” after a few Zoom sessions with a ghost. But the ghost’s name is on the title page! It was all perfectly open!

According to one pundit on unherd, climate protesters all have emotional problems, it’s not about saving the planet.

Trans person at a rally who said something like “If you see a TERF, punch them in the effing face” now says it was a publicity stunt.

Yes, I know it isn’t true, but if we say so it'll upset a lot of people.

Aug 2023: John Eliot Gardiner has been reported as slapping and punching a choir member who exited the wrong way during an opera. Official explanation: “The incident may have arisen as a result of a recent change in medication” and Sir J had been suffering from “extreme heat in France”. “I am taking a step back in order to get the specialist help I recognise that I have needed for some time,” said JEG in early Sept.

@BestForBritain: Challenged by @hilarybennmp on having cartoons removed at a refugee centre for children, Jenrick changes his story a third time. Last week it was that the centre looked too welcoming. Then murals were not Home Office approved. Now, they weren't age appropriate for teens. 

Men are violent, love sport, start wars etc because they are jealous of women's ability to give birth. (Caitlin Moran, paraphrase)

Boris Johnson’s late-night announcement that he was quitting as an MP with immediate effect ensured that he was “shaping the narrative, he was creating the headlines, he was the agent of change”, says BBC political editor Chris Mason. (This is more putting a positive spin on disaster.)

I was rude, aggressive and abusive because “I was in a bad mood.”

Most people I’ve spoken to for this book are veterans of film and television productions where off-color humor, barbed banter and incisive, even stinging, comments are common. None have a real problem with those things, in the right settings and proportions. In fact, humor is not just a form of creativity, it can serve as a necessary pressure-relief valve. (Maureen Ryan, Vanity Fair. Her book is about bullying and racism.)

TikTok prankster who harassed lone women after dark says “I was egged on and my ego got a hold of me... I just do it for fun”. (He is in custody pending inquiries, May 2023.)

@HistoryBoomer: People use made-up quotes or quotes with the wrong source all the time. When called out, they often say they don't care. "So what? It's the words that matter!" I don't understand that way of thinking. Honestly boggles my brain. The truth always matters.

Martin Rowson’s caricature of Richard Sharp has been taken down. (“Those aren’t gold pieces, they are polyps on the mantle of the vampire squid.”)

Actress Eva Green described a film crew as “shitty peasants... from Hampshire”, and called the producer a “moron”. She explained it was “just my Frenchness coming out” and that it made her express things “in a very direct way”. (2023-04-29)

April 2023: Diane Abbott writes to the Observer claiming that racism only applies to white prejudice against black people. For everybody else, it’s just like being bullied for having red hair – and Jewish people were never made to sit at the back of the bus. She gets a huge amount of flak, and writes a letter of apology claiming “The errors arose in an initial draft being sent”.

@tehbewilderness: That didn't happen. And if it did, it wasn't that bad. And if it was, that's not a big deal. And if it is, that's not my fault. And if it was, I didn't mean it. And if I did, you deserved it.

She wasn't in a very good place in life at the time. (She had a public meltdown.)

Supporting Allison Bailey (she sued Stonewall and her chambers) is “stirring up hate and division”.  (She won.)

@NoXYinXXprisons: Over a year ago, around the time of the Prisons Amendments to the PCSC Bill, someone in Westminster told me "prisons must take its turn". That there should not be too much focus on prisons because the "bigger picture" needed to be considered. 

@dyslexiamama: So we’ve gone from phonics instruction creates “word callers” to phonics instruction makes kids stop and sound out every single word whether they need to or not. What will the next excuse be? (Earlier excuses: phonics makes children read non-existent words. With phonics, children “bark at print” and don’t understand what they’re reading. Well, they won’t understand it if they can’t read it, will they?)

Shaima Dallili was sacked as president of the NUS for an anti-Semitic tweet. “She has since apologised, saying she was now ‘a different person’,” says the Times Jan 2022.

@brokenbottleboy: They have made an opera of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas... The book that the Auschwitz Memorial said “should be avoided by anyone who studies or teaches about the history of the Holocaust.” The Today programme just played an excerpt; it was a woman wailing, “Why is that fence there? Why is that fence there?” The composer of the opera just said, “The book is, on balance, more true than it is false.” No. It’s not. It’s false. Completely.

@JimmyJenkins: Arizona Department of Corrections Director just told the state legislature we can't shut down private prisons because too many communities rely on the cheap labor they provide and they would "collapse" without it. (I remember when they said that about growing tobacco.)

DANGER! Woman’s suffrage would double the Irresponsible vote. It is a menace to the home, men’s employment and to all business. (All women in the UK got the vote in 1928 – and all men.)

It’s no good making straws available in restaurants for disabled people to ask for them because the disabled are very badly treated in general and some people write articles saying that disabled students shouldn’t get special accommodations because it destroys everybody’s education. And the restaurants are bound to say “So, you don’t care about the oceans, then?” as they begrudgingly hand out a straw. (@EbThen, paraphrase. Since then re-usable straws have become available, and restaurants hand out paper straws and everyone has moved on to the next flap.)

We shouldn’t use wind turbines to create electricity because wind power enabled the trans-Atlantic slave trade. (@ezraklein, paraphrase. Also "conclusion a long way from premise". Any others on this template? Yes, see below.)

An office within the University of Southern California's School of Social Work says it is removing the term "field" from its curriculum because it may have racist connotations related to slavery. The newly renamed Office of Practicum Education, formerly known as the Office of Field Education, within the university's Suzanne-Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, is making the change in order to be more inclusive, according to a memo sent out to faculty and students this week and obtained by NPR. "This change supports anti-racist social work practice by replacing language that could be considered anti-Black or anti-immigrant in favour of inclusive language," the memo reads. "Language can be powerful, and phrases such as 'going into the field' or 'field work' may have connotations for descendants of slavery and immigrant workers that are not benign." (npr.org)

More here, and links to the rest. 

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