The Treacherous Code of The Virtue Signaller

I read an interesting comment this morning. It had been posted on social media in response to several other posters having criticised the perceived prevalence of rape culture among refugees and, in particular, migrants from Islamic countries.

Refuting claims that followers of Islam are more prone to disrespect women’s rights, the poster criticised what he saw as the marginalising of rape and sex attacks, by reducing victims to ‘a cudgel with which to bash society’s most vulnerable’.

An interesting point of view and certainly one that requires a deal of reflection—but it is also a view loaded with hypocrisy. Firstly, in using ‘society’s most vulnerable’ to reduce an argument is facetious in itself; secondly,  it effectively dismisses the numerous claims and reports by those who have been victims of attacks by migrants.

It is also a conjecturable response. Whilst of course there are racists sentiments lurking behind even the most informed comments on social media, that does not equate to all arguments being such.

There has been a pattern of similar arguments emerging with regard to halal/kosher slaughter: the complete assumption that opponents of such ludicrous rituals care not for animal rights, but are simply being racist. No. There are may people who care deeply about animal rights, as they do the rights and safety of women—whether this leads to criticism of Islam or not.

It has been a long time since I had any inclination to engage with the public sphere, I find it is very depressing, but it cannot be ignored that western countries have had to issue migrants with pictorial instructions in an effort to promote correct behaviour and healthier attitudes towards women—I should point out, should any social justice warriors ever read this, that yes, I am taking western attitudes to be ‘correct behaviour’ in this instance.

Considering the subject of whether or not rape culture was more prevalent in the countries of origin of refugees, I was reminded of a story of the American solider, Dan Quinn, who was dismissed from his post after fisticuffs with an Afghan militia member. The American forces were issued instructions that they were to ‘turn a blind eye’ to the rife child sex abuse that the Afghan officers partook in. Apparently, Quinn was unable to do so and was subsequently disciplined.

This surely raises the question that, if rape culture is no more prevalent in these cultures, then what possible advantage would the US forces have by issuing a decree to ignore noncery?

Collective bed-wetters such as Antifa and the so-called Alt-Left have faced a number of contradictions lately, but none pose such a consistent conundrum as Islam. Cognitive dissonance has been the order of the day, with squawks of racism being the last line of defence, in lieu of reasoned argument.

The poster of the comment I mentioned had also shared ‘Happy Eid Muburak’ constantly on his profile, but had made no mention of the holidays of any other religions. Strange. This is what led me to the conclusion that his beautifully written comment was little more than an attempt to defend Islam at all costs, effectively using the rape victims as his own cudgel, with which to bash people who held different views to his own.

Another wasted intellect.






Pomona, National Theatre – Reviewed

Pomona National Theatre Review, Pomona Review.

Written by Alistair Mcdowall and set in the underbelly of Manchester, Pomona is a kind of looping dystopian nightmare that unfolds in cars, brothels and a mysterious underground lair. Dealing with themes including sexual exploitation, violence and organ harvesting, it’s not exactly upbeat stuff.

The play opens with a healthy dose of the surreal – a man in underpants and a duffel coat gorges on chicken nuggets whilst giving a ranting synopsis of Raiders of the Lost Ark to a young girl. Watching silently in the corner is a strange figure in a bizarre octopoid mask…

Initially the weirdness is more of a curious novelty, but the story soon starts to unfold and quickly engages. At times the plot seemed a little confusing -the idiosyncratic style and surreality were a little bewildering and I am certain that a few of the key themes went over my head, but Pomona is generally easy to follow.

Ollie (Nadia Clifford) searches for her twin sister who, along with several other women, has disappeared. She soon finds that everything is leading her to Pomona. Ollie’s search is interwoven with two other characters playing a role playing game, which simultaneously gives the audience a kind of alternate reality.

The ominous Pomona itself, a mysterious concrete wasteland hidden in the centre of the city, was obviously symbolising something of the unknown and unpalatable aspects of life, that are concealed – or ignored – despite being all around us. An ambitious attempt, but I felt that the story was perhaps not the best vehicle to convey such messages.

The cyclical narrative was both interesting and slightly infuriating. Whilst it was thought provoking, the movie goer in me, raised on classic American adventures (such as Indiana Jones!), wanted to see some sort of traditional resolution to the story, but many questions went unanswered. I may be missing the point, but at times I felt the play was a little too disjointed.

The performances were commendable; the characters were individually captivating, though the interaction between each occasionally seemed superficial.  I felt that Clifford was a little weak at the beginning. Perhaps she was just initially overshadowed by the more interesting character of Zeppo (Guy Rhys) who, along with Sam Swann as Charlie, gave the standout performance.

Strobe lighting, complete darkness and chaotic scene overlaps added to the excitement; though giving a distinct impression that the play was aimed at a more youthful audience, they were a creative way of meeting the challenge of an arena stage.

Thought provoking and entertaining, the story was just a little too movie-like to not be resolved.