Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/1/18: Bias Makes You Stupid, But “The Big Stupid” REALLY Makes You Stupid..

Gooooooooood Morning!

1 The Big Stupid. There is a regular flow of ideas and theories from academia and politics that I categorize as “The Big Stupid”: irrational, ideologically-loaded, often dangerous assertions that are seductive to the weak-minded and easily-duped. The problem is that to keep these bad ideas from taking root, one has to actively engage in debunking them, which ironically gives their advocates staying power and credibility. One of the most popular of the current crop of Big Stupid positions is the attacks against “cultural appropriation,” which is a deceptive phrase designed to make something unequivocally good sound sinister. In this case, the completely positive and benign cultural process at the heart of the American experiment, the process of diverse people and cultures becoming one by sharing and adopting the best of what each has to offer, is being scorned as a tool of white supremacy, privilege, oppression and capitalism.

The latest screed in this particular Big Stupid is “Yoga and the Roots of Cultural Appropriation,” co-authored by Michigan State University professor Shreena Gandhi andantiracist white Jewish organizer, facilitator, and healer”  Lillie Wolff. Wolff got her degree from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and the article is published in a Kalamazoo College publication.  The river, Michigan city and College take their name from a Potawatomi Indian Tribe word, but that kind of “cultural appropriatiion” doesn’t matter to the authors, or something.

Don’t expect consistency in the Big Stupid.That would be stupid.

The article is full of Authentic Frontier Gibberish, Academic Division, of the sort that used to send me screaming out of late night bull sessions in college, like,

“Yoga, like so many other colonized systems of practice and knowledge, did not appear in the American spiritual landscape by coincidence; rather, its popularity was a direct consequence of a larger system of cultural appropriation that capitalism engenders and reifies. While the (mis)appropriation of yoga may not be a life-threatening racism, it is a part of systemic racism nonetheless, and it is important to ask, what are the impetuses for this cultural “grabbing”?”


“We would argue one of the goals of White Supremacy is to buffer white people from the pain that comes from the process of exchanging cultural grounding for the unearned power and privilege of whiteness. This looks like the hoarding of material resources and wealth into the hands, pockets, and bank accounts of white society. Meanwhile, in order to uphold the foundation and on-going functioning of white supremacist and racial capitalism, white people are taught to be ahistorical and emotionally repressed. In order to maintain the status quo, white people are taught to sublimate and anesthetize feeling.”

After all these years, I remain at a loss as to how to ethically handle such blather. My old method of simple saying, “You’re an idiot,” and leaving seems inadequate somehow, but you really can’t argue with “antiracists” who see nothing inconsistent about writing things like ” white people are taught to be ahistorical and emotionally repressed.”  But if you let these kinds of people—you know…morons—distribute their Big Stupid from prestigious platforms—the public’s sanity is endangered.

Suggestions welcome.

2.  Good. Gregory Salcido, a El Rancho (California) High School history and government teacher, attracted attention  and indignation after a video of him  berating  a student for wearing a military sweatshirt with a Marine logo was posted on Facebook by the student’s indignant mother.  Salcido called members of the military the  “lowest of the low” and ridiculed their their intelligence along with other insults. The episode prompted angry comments from White House Chief of Staff  John Kelly, and thousands demanded Salcido’s firing.

Today we learned that Salcido, who is also a Pico Rivera City Council member—I said it was California—has been fired. This isn’t a First Amendment issue, and don’t pay attention to any law professor who says it is. This is an inappropriate conduct on the job matter, and just firing for cause. The inappropriate conduct is called political indoctrination, as well as abuse of power and position.

Still, you can understand how he might have become confused, since, as MSNBC’s Joy Reid reminded us after the State of the Union, respect for the military is so 1950s.

3. Fictional unethical teachers never get fired, they just get cancelled…NBC launches a new sitcom tonight called “A.P Bio” From the New York Times review:

Glenn Howerton (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”) stars as Jack, a Harvard philosophy professor who slinks back to Toledo, Ohio, in disgrace after being denied tenure. He takes a job teaching advanced placement biology at a high school, though he refuses to actually teach anything. He announces this on the first day, and declares that he and his charges will spend their class time developing potential revenge strategies against his nemesis. He wears scuzzy sweatpants. He is mean. He says if the students tell anyone about what he’s doing, he’ll give them an F….

“Who will Jack bang?” our hero writes on the board, looking for recommendations. At one point he asks his students to write suggestive messages to his rival in a plot to trick him. This results in a teenage girl reading out loud to her teacher and class “ … gonna lick you up and down; drip, slurp, yum; give me that sweet, wet sugar mess.” In a poetry unit, sure. Go wild. But here it’s just creepy.

Even creepier is that everyone else seems to share Jack’s misguided sexual mores. Another teacher demands a student come up to the front of the room and point out, on her body, where her perineum is. A teacher at “teacher jail” laments being labeled the “teacher tickler” on account of tickling his colleagues, and is met with sympathy. Yet another teacher poses in a bathing suit for her art class, and all objections to this are labeled “shaming” and garner a protest….”

Now I understand why NBC didn’t see anything amiss with Matt Lauer’s conduct. Boy, it’s sure great to see that the entertainment industry has seen the light and no longer will trivialize sexual harassment and the abuse of power by men…4. And back to Stupid…Are people really buying the narrative from the news media and Democrats that if the “secret memo” shows corruption and bias in the FBI’s handling of the FISA request, releasing it is an unethical partisan attempt to blunt the Mueller investigation? I’ll have no comment on the memo itself until I see the thing, but the trustworthiness and independence of the FBI is always a legitimate source of scrutiny and skepticism.

Are people that historically ignorant? Do the FBI and the news media assume this? J. Edgar Hoover, who founded the Bureau, used secret files to blackmail politicians and elected officials for decades. He died, and the FBI’s # 2, angry that he didn’t get the top job,  leaked information to the Washington Post to bring down a President and smear the new Chief. Then we have Comey’s unethical (and perhaps illegal) stunts, and texts between FBI illicit lovers talking about how a Republican Presidential candidate has to be stopped—and both are recruited to hunt for impeachment justifications!

Why in the world would anyone not trust the objectivity and professionalism of that historically independent and noble government law enforcement agency during the administration of a President whose IRS sabotaged a Republican Presidential campaign in 2012, and whose Justice Department acted as a political arm of the White House?

If the secret memo shows the FBI to be as corrupt as some claim, then any doubts it casts on the Mueller investigation are appropriate and necessary.


Pointer: Jonathan Turley

25 thoughts on “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 2/1/18: Bias Makes You Stupid, But “The Big Stupid” REALLY Makes You Stupid..

  1. The Big Stupid. Great label for America’s colleges’ and universities’ relentless and ongoing and horribly successful project to miss-educate and indoctrinate the country’s population a generation at a time. Hand in hand with the media. Which scares me much more than a possible civil war.

  2. On the topic of the yoga issue…I honestly believe that there is just a basic, fundamental difference between people who agree with the white supremacy angle, and those who don’t. I read another article about a yoga studio who wanted to have a PoC only class once a month. Obviously there was backlash, but some people felt the backlash by white people calling it discrimatory was silly. The only reasons I found for thinking the backlash was silly are 1) white people have plenty of other places to go that they are welcome since they are the majority and rarely face discrimination, and 2) PoC feel uncomfortable and unwelcome in some spaces, therefore it’s okay to have spaces where they feel the most comfortable in by barring whites.

    People who agree with those 2 arguments are just in complete disagreement with me. Discrimination is wrong no matter who does it…that’s my view. When someone else thinks “discrimination is wrong but only against minorities, and it’s okay against white people since they face less discrimination overall”… we are at an impasse. I cant convince someone that discrimination is wrong against white people if they already think discrimination against white people is okay…It would be like trying to convince someone that blue is the best color when they already think it’s the ugliest color…The ones okay with “benign” discrimination have made discrimination a matter of opinion, not a matter of ethics.

  3. For an amusing read, check out the comments. Those are some way woke peoples. Yes, they are.

    On a serious note, are the authors really saying that “separate but equal” (which is what “hands off our culture” really means) is better than the proverbial melting pot of assimilation. If so, wow. We have come along way since apartheid was dismantled in South Africa, and Jim Crow was sent packing all those decades ago.


    • If you want a really amuising read, check out this Washington Post editorial.

      In a rising national tide of racial intolerance, colleges have not been spared puerile, pathetic and threatening incidents, which play on the volatile campus sensitivities of an era defined by trigger warnings and safe spaces. At AU, African American and other students demanded a “sanctuary space” be established for minority students at a campus cafeteria; a policy granting extensions for final exams to minority students; and an open-door policy for outside groups such as the NAACP to investigate hate crimes and racial incidents at the university.

      The story must be told.
      Your subscription supports journalism that matters.
      Try 1 month for $1

      Eager to ease tensions, administrators granted those demands, and have gone the extra mile, or miles, by agreeing to additional nighttime patrols and racial-sensitivity training for students; offering a $1,000 reward for information that helps to identify the banana vandal, whose blurry image appears on security camera videos; and contracting with a prominent historian of American race relations, Ibram X. Kendi, to set up an anti-racism center on campus.

      So they wanted to bring back segregation, and the editorial board praised the university.

  4. “Allow me to share something with the entire class. Last night as I was grading papers, I came across two gems both entitled “Cells are Bad” and both with just one paragraph which I unfortunately committed to memory: “Cells are bad. My uncle lives in a cell. It’s ten foot by twelve and he has to read the same boring, old magazine everyday. The end.” Although my standards are nowhere near where they used to be I could not bring myself to put As atop those beauties.”

    Some fictional teachers need to be fired.

  5. Yoga wouldn’t even exist if entrepreneurial Indians didn’t want White people doing it. What we now call “yoga” basically started by taking stretching exercises from the British military and adding mumbo-jumbo from Hindu religious texts so as to sell it to Westerners as “ancient Eastern techniques.”

    There is no ancient tradition of Hindu stretching exercises, and without “cultural appropriation” there would be no yoga. What a complete maroon this Wolff is.

  6. Isn’t immigration a form of cultural appropriation in which the many come to the USA to exploit our culture?

    Another way of looking at this is that our current immigration policies are a form of colonial imperialism insofar as we exploit these developing countries by taking away their most valuable resource – their labor resources. Colonialism has always been the practice of importing the low cost resources and use them and then send back to the originating country higher priced finished goods. If these labor resources were unable to leave and come here those nations would have the opportunity to grow and achieve the same quality of life we have in this country. Perhaps we should stop all immigration, send all recent immigrants back and put an end to this insidious form of colonial imperialism.

    Before I get bashed – this is sarcasm.

  7. 4. I’m pretty sure its release is partisan, but I don’t think that matters in this case. Whatever the motives for releasing it, if it is what we think it is and if its true, then everyone should be worried about it.

    I’m surprised you didn’t cover the release of a different draft to the president than the one they approved of. Jonathan Turley covered it and seems to think it is wrong.

  8. ”the completely positive and benign cultural process at the heart of the American experiment, the process of diverse people and cultures becoming one by sharing and adopting the best of what each has to offer”

    Well there’s a more concise way of explaining my view of Melting Pot American assimilation. I always take several sentences to describe this process to people.

    • My usual answer to anyone who uses the phrase ‘cultural appropriation’ is ‘Bite me.’

      I really work at restraining my right hand from letting them know I think they are number ‘1’… I hate it when it does that!

  9. #3 Sounds like it was pitched as a driven and edgy remake of “Welcome back, Kotter” with a revenge spin. Instead of learning tolerance and laughing, we get to be creeped out and cringe. Let’s just see what’s interesting in museums..

  10. “Yoga, like so many other colonized systems of practice and knowledge, did not appear in the American spiritual landscape by coincidence; rather, its popularity was a direct consequence of a larger system of cultural appropriation that capitalism engenders and reifies. While the (mis)appropriation of yoga may not be a life-threatening racism, it is a part of systemic racism nonetheless, and it is important to ask, what are the impetuses for this cultural ‘grabbing’?”

    Unfortunately for these oddballs (Shreena and Lillie) yoga comes from cultural traditions which are deeply embedded in racialist notions and practices. Traditional Indian culture is so strict, and so paranoid, that it is considered a misfortune if the shadow of a member of a lower caste falls on one! Not kidding.

    The Aryan conquest of the Indian continent is understood as that of an agile, aggressive and fair-colored people conquering and dominating the dark Dravidian culture native to India. Although they are said to have brought culture to these native peoples (the conquered) they did a great deal of ‘cultural approriation’ in all areas: art, religion, music.

    The establishment of castes, the caste-system, and the varnashrama philosophy (the division of society into castes) comes out of this conquest. In fact, the yoga traditions were on the whole aristocratic traditions and Brahmanic traditions and were valued and practiced by the upper echelons. Somewhat similar to European Christian traditions and of the Saints who, often, came from a high-born caste but sacrificed it to serve in the Church and higher things.

    From a page describing the Varnashrama system: “Human society is inherently divided into four orders. The first order is the intelligent class, second is the martial class, third is the productive class and the fourth is the labour class. The emergence of these divisions has been touched upon by many scholars and different reasoning have been put up for the same. This project has been taken up to explore such various possible interpretations for the emergence of Varnashrama Dharma.”

    Guess what color is down there laboring?

    If one wished to get a little romantic and to insist that white people are related to Aryan culture (the conquering culture that came from the north, possibly from Southern Russia originally) and that it is these white American people Shreena and Lillie are speaking about, it could be said to be not cultural appropriation but cultural re-appropriation! That is, they are reconnecting with aristocratic and priestly traditions that were part and parcel of their ‘cultural heritage’.

    Indeed the Indo-Aryan language has left all manner of different traces in English. Including: mother (matar), father (pitar), brother, sister, daughter (brahtar, svasar, duhitar), the word church (charcha) and the word matter (same as mother, matar). Not to mention mind (manah) and saint (sant).

    Now, if that is understood then it should be understandable that the white people get to be at the front of the class and the darkies in the back. Or, even better, that the darkies in the class should offer to serve the fair and noble ones by giving space, opening doors, fetching water and suchlike (das and dasa are Indian terms which mean ‘servant’ but are more closely related to a word for ‘slave’ and the ‘das’ designation was applied by the Aryan overload to their Dravidian charges).

    Yoga is part of an ideological system that is anything but ‘progressive’, in fact it is quite the opposite. It recognizes and honors hierarchies, both cosmic and terrestrial, and at its philosophical core is completely resistant to caste-mixing.

    Sorry Shreena, sorry Lillie!

      • I do recognize a ‘problem’ as you say, but I am uncertain as yet how to characterize it. I do seem to be a problem —- for you, for some —- because I choose to allow myself to think freely. It is really as simple as that and I regret if my self-declaration makes you seem smaller. It is a fact though: I choose to think freely. To talk about what I see. To broach ideas and perspectives that, certainly unpopular, seem to make people feel uncomfortable.

        But another part of the problem is that you-plural do not seem aware of what is happening to you. Put another way: what is being done to you. If you are a white person you should become aware that an attack of very large and significant proportion is being brought out against you. The attack is ideological but also psychological and visceral. As far as I am able to tell *you* (and I gather you are ‘conservative’ of some sort and stripe) have no defense at all.

        “One of the most popular of the current crop of Big Stupid positions is the attacks against “cultural appropriation,” which is a deceptive phrase designed to make something unequivocally good sound sinister. In this case, the completely positive and benign cultural process at the heart of the American experiment, the process of diverse people and cultures becoming one by sharing and adopting the best of what each has to offer, is being scorned as a tool of white supremacy, privilege, oppression and capitalism.”

        The ‘American Experiment’ is coming to an end. And you are seeing the beginning of that end. My position is a fair and honest one and I express it through cool and rational prose. I am entitled to have my opinions. And I am within my rights to feel comfortable sharing my perspectives and my ideas. And I am not in any sense of the word alone in this. I represent a sort of silent minority. And because I am one of the ones who pipes up, I do understand how I am seen as the problem. But I am not the problem. The problem is what you and people like you have allowed to come into existence through lack of proper restraining intellect and the degree that you yourselves have become infected with (I say this literally, not figuratively) a Marxian ideology. I am the beginning of the solution to the problem, and I am certainly the beginning of a stance capable of ‘fighting back’ against the assault being leveled. And you? Where do you stand? You stand within tired, ineffective sloganism.

        I know that this must be very hard, and I really sympathize, but the ‘American experiment’ along with ‘Americanism’ and ‘the Americanopolis’ is now approaching a decadent post- phase. I assert that *you* must come to see this. This is a fair assertion given the conditions and the developments in the world right now. I will not say that ‘liberalism’ is absolutely destructive but I am inclining toward the conclusion, along with Tomas Sunic, that it ‘rots the soul’. And yes, I think that an aspect of this ‘rot’ has to do with forced melding of people through top-down social engineering projects. I state this, I think this, I write what I think and see. How can you blame me for that?

        You are seeing now, and you are living in the effects of these liberal multicultural projects. This is ‘Americanism’ in operation. It is bound up in state policies, in an entire outlook, in ideology, and with axiological assertions. What I represent, and what I aspire to represent, is a restructuring of a real and effective Conservatism.

        What is my fault Tex? Tell me what I am doing wrong. Show me the right way.

      • BTW I saw that movie:

        Jessup: I’ll answer the question. You want answers?
        Kaffee: I think I’m entitled!
        Jessup: You want answers?!
        Kaffee: I want the truth!
        Jessup: You can’t handle the truth!

        I find this all very interesting, and yes I keep pushing, being a sort of bother and a gadfly. And I always clearly explained who I am and what I am doing and why. And I did not ever lie. And I did always acknowledged that my opinions and ideas were challenging. And I hardly ever reacted against the inevitable insults. Yours too.

        But you are going to have to accept being challenged when it coes to the discover of and the revelation of ‘the truth’. And you are going to have to accept that you do not dominate conversations simply through your self-centered declarations.

        If you want ‘answers’ about America and what is happening, you are going to have to make a commitment to tell the truth. To invite it. To honor it. And telling the truth, today, now, will involve you in genuine pain.

  11. 1.

    2. Horrifying. As a teacher, nothing upsets me more than seeing teachers violating their students’ rights. I make every effort not to share my political opinions with my students, especially since I have them write about politics all the time and I want them all to feel safe expressing their opinions. This teacher goes far beyond that and into straight-up bigotry. It’s no better than a teacher lecturing a Muslim student for wearing a hijab.

    3. I have trouble watching any movie or TV show involving teachers. I imagine it’s similar to how doctors feel watching doctor shows, cops feel watching cop shows, or lawyers feel watching lawyer shows. I can’t help thinking “This is horrible teaching!” in response to nearly every scene that takes place in a classroom. The commercials for this show on my Hulu app have been so aggressive that I feel like I’ve been gaslit into finding them funny–it seemed so over the top that I couldn’t even criticize it. But if all the teachers are as bad as you say, not just the lead, I may have to pass for my own sanity.

    4. The memo can’t prove anything about the FBI, because it is clearly an out-of-context, partisan hit job. Releasing the primary sources behind the memo would be a different story.

  12. As a firm believer in the melting pot, thank you for taking up the topic of “cultural appropriation” as topic #1. I like your label too. Henceforth I’ll call them morons spreading the big stupid.

    “Cultural Appropriation” rejects mixed race people. Where do they fit in? One of the places where the morons have really gone to town is around food and cultural events. I recognize hurtful stereotypes were one of the many ways the insensitive or outright racists offended in the past. But honest, respectful and accurate emulation of other cultures is rejected by the morons just the same.

    As an example, a friend owns a Hawaiian restaurant. He’s full Hawaiian, and married a white woman. Can his 1/2 Hawaiian sons run the restaurant, or is that cultural appropriation? What about his 1/4 Hawaiian grandkids?

  13. Chris linked to this tweet as a comment on the yoga-as-appropriation rehearsal:

    Last week a leftist professor argued yoga was promoting white supremacy. This week a conservative blogger said it’s a pagan ritual.

    These people think they’re on different sides. They’re on the same side. Extreme stupidity.

    She did not argue that it promoted white supremacy but rather that white people ‘mine’ cultural content in the foreign, did it up as it were, and bring it back to their first-world nest where they … tweak it, twist it, modify it … and in the case of yoga studios and the cultural craze, make a fortune with it.

    Who knows who the conservative blogger was, but if he was a Traditionalist, and had any experience with traditional religion, he would certainly be right in saying that yoga is, through and through, part of ‘pagan ritual’. Something ‘pagan’ means anything non-Christian so a great many things are in truth ‘pagan’ in this sense. But putting that aside it is interesting to consider yoga and also Eastern spiritual and religious modes, which have certainly ‘invaded’ the West, as the indulgence of white culture in pagan and foreign importations. And if one pursues that observation as a criticism I think that it opens into interesting areas.

    But a quick statement is in order in respect to the ‘speaker’ in the tweet. The one who know who is, and who is not, stupid. It is obvious, or should be obvious, that this speaker is speaking from a position of ignorance and feigning intelligence and insight. And if that is so, then it is more possible to propose that she (it was a girl) is actually the stupid one. In other words it is non-intellgent to make shallow statements about things one does not really understand nor desire to understand.

    Yet the point of the statement is what interests me: an attempt to take up a position, as it were, in a perceived center strung between two determined ‘extremes’. I suggest that this is in fact stupidity. When ignorance or lack of insightfulness pretends to be something valuable or important it generally indicates that a fool is talking.

    I would suggest that there is a great deal more to be examined about what is referred to as ‘cultural appropriation’. True enough, the ones who are using it are only using it because they are working as hard as the Devil to do harm to ‘whiteness’, to white people, to white culture and achievement. It is obviously a mindf^*k game, but a rather viscious one, and one that certainly has effect.

    Yet it is certainly true that ‘white culture’, insofar as it is actively abandoning its own spiritual and religious traditions, which have also been made to appear vile and somehow harmful, is bereft of proper self-identification, perhaps ‘self-appreciation’ is the word, and attempts to go outside of itself and to ‘mine’ as I say in the quarry of the foreign and the exotic. In this sense then there is a strange sort of ‘appropriation’ and one notices that many people, in respect to yoga-practice, really do try to make it into an entire life-style. They try to get out of it, or they invest into it thinking they can get out of it, a sort of pure and total satisfaction. It is as if they are looking for some fulfilling essence and will themselves to find it there.

    But this is done, and has been done, for a good long time, yet perhaps more especially in the postwar ll era dn certainly in the Sixties. And it is a dubious activity when you think it through. I suggest it is a move or a motion that is an attempt to get something to the outside of one, that one should really have been able to get and have been getting inside of one. Obviously I mean ‘within our own traditions’, and also obviously within our own Christian cultural traditions.

    When it comes to the most important part of this bizarre public rehearsal (the cultural appropriation accusation/attack), and that has only to do with white people, the white person, his (or her) structure of identity and his power and confidence within himself and in defense of his people, the most important thing as I see it is the revovery of the inner structure of identity, that is, the inner edifice. And this is quite tragically what has been eroded and damaged. White people cannot defend themselves! They have no position within themselves that is ‘theirs’ and is unassailable but these ‘others’ (who self-declare as the other, and an adversarial other at that, and quite openly).

    The reason this has come about, the reason white people are so cowardly and weak, is really where the problem lies. They are trampled over, terrified, literally quaking. No one can help them because they are even terrified to accept help. But in the moment that the inner structuree of identity is discovered, and the moment that they give to themselves the honor due to their self, and when they can actually say to the attacker certain focussed words that would knock them back on their butts, and even if they could avenge themselves through an aggressive act, even violence! at that moment, and through those self-confident actions, they would reclaim the power they have given away.

    For the time being ‘they’ (these others) have all the power, all the confdence, and all the ground, and they have it because no self-respecting white person can stand up to their chorus. I find this really interesting. That these rehearsals are played out at a national level, and at the world-level.

    What this really has to do with, in my view, is power and the claiming of power. This is terrifying to people, and the white person more particularly, because to have legitimate power, and power that one believes in and knows to be good and necessary, is self-seen and self-understood as ‘being a Nazi’. I really do think that this Nazi-accusation business is at the core of the weakness and fearfulness and non-empoweredness of the average white person. They have no way to legitimately construct an identity-posture that enables them to stand up in the world.

    So, it seems to me interesting to consider the question of ‘sides’ as the tweeter mentioned. One must resplve not to be on the side of ‘extremely stupid’ and resolve to get on the side of the really and truly smart. And the really and truly smart will go to the true core of the question of identity and find that inner core, and live from it.

    You see Tex this is what I try to communicate to you *brutes* (a joke there!) and you have such a hard time even getting the basics. You literally cannot see what you are up against. You literally cannot see what is now required of you, for yourself and for your people, for your family, for your children. That is why the term ‘cuckservative’ is such an important one and why it really has meaning. The cuck sells himself out. He ‘trades his patrimony for a mess of pottage’ and then whimpers as his world is wrested away from him (or her as the case may be).

    Everything in our present is like a sign or an omen, a presage, and everything can be ‘read’ and ‘divined’.

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