Thursday, 26 March 2015

Jazz hands? Shouldn’t the feminist students’ correct response be that flappy-hands, on-the-verge-of-tears thing luvvies do?

NUS feminist doing jazz hands
You’ve probably already heard about the request by some ultra-feminist attendees at the National Union of Students annual women’s conference to do “jazz hands” rather than applaud or whoop during speeches. After I read the following tweets, I checked the date on the newspaper in case I’d lost a week and it was April Fools’ Day. It wasn’t. It seems these were sent by real people (using the term “real” loosely):

'Whooping is fun for some, but can be super inaccessible for others, so please try not to whoop! Jazz hands work just as well.' 
'Some delegates are requesting that we move to jazz hands rather than clapping, as it's triggering anxiety. Please be mindful! #nuswomen15'
Nona Buckley-Irvine, General Secretary at the London School of Economics Students' Union, had this to say to the Daily Mail (here):

'Jazz hands are used throughout NUS in place of clapping as a way to show appreciation of someone's point without interrupting or causing disturbance, as it can create anxiety. I'm relatively new to this and it did feel odd at first, but once you've used jazz hands a couple of times it becomes a genuinely nice way to show solidarity with a point and it does add to creating a more inclusive atmosphere.'

Oh, for Pete’s sake! Inclusive of whom?  People who are too wet to live?

Okay, fish in a barrel and all that.  But it does rather highlight the fascistic tendency among urban compassionistas to make normal people (among whom I would count those who don’t suffer panic attack when other members of an audience applaud) – fit their lives around abnormal people (e.g. those afflicted by various socially crippling phobias).

I suspect most of us don’t really mind suffering mild inconvenience in order to accommodate people with severe physical or mental problems. But it’s utterly unreasonable to expect the world – i.e. customs, traditions, buildings, transport systems etc. - to be reconfigured in order that wheelchair-users, epileptics and those who suffer from, say, clinical depression don’t have to make allowances for their various conditions. If we followed the example of the NUS’s feminazi wing, everyone would be forced to use a wheelchair in order to make Stephen Hawking feel “included”.

It’s quite simple – if you suffer from claustrophobia, don’t go potholing; if you’re an agoraphobic, don’t attend events at Wembley Stadium or visit the Grand Canyon; if you’re in a wheelchair, don’t sign up for an ascent of Everest – and if you start hyperventilating when a “sister” shrieks, “Woo! Way to go, girl!” in response to a rousing speech attacking Tory cuts or calling for all men to be castrated, don’t attend NUS women’s conferences.

Where do these young women learn this crap? At home? If so, more children need to be taken into care. At school? If so, the teachers responsible should be fired AND be forced to attend the next NUS Women’s Conference.

Anyway, shouldn’t the correct approval response from an audience consisting of sensitive young women be that flappy-hands, on-the-verge-of-tears thing actresses tend to do when accepting an award?


  1. I cannot make myself believe these things are real...I see it, I hear it, I read it but nearly everyday I'm confronted with things I just cannot believe.

    1. I remember when a radical offshoot of the Hippies - the Yippies - used to scare everyone by threatening to spike the nation's water supply with LSD. I sometimes suspect that they've finally got round to doing it.

  2. I must admit, I'm with them about the whooping.

    Obviously another needless import from the USA (why do we always go for the bad stuff?), it has now even crept into historical dramas, with a crowd of 1920s English people whooping, during a recent episode of Selfridge!

    And yes, I have just outed myself for watching that nonsense.

    As for the NUT, I'm sure I'm detecting a definite increase in the general level of SJW craziness lately, so you might be on to something with that LSD notion.

    1. What is meant by Whooping.

      Surely I must have whooped at some point...maybe at a football game but I couldn't tell you what it was. It's one of those things where an outsider is probably better positioned to explain.

    2. First, GCooper, any man who watches Sunday night girlie shows on TV should be ashamed of himself. What else? Suits? Grey's Anatomy? Poldark? Now, I'm really worried about you.

      Second, whooping. I have never whooped, Mr. B. Ever. Not once. I'd remember. It's that sound American TV audiences make to signal approval of something someone has said - it's particularly noticeable during chat shows when a guest boasts about their sexual, chemical or alcoholic excesses - or apologises for them, or reveals that they're about to get married or expecting a baby or... well, anything at all really. It began to creep in here about 25 years ago with audience participation game shows, then really got motoring ten years' ago with the advent of glitzy reality TV "talent" shows, and now British audiences do it all the bloody time. In America, it's fine - here, it's (a) embarrassing and (b) annoying, because the British are not natural whoopers (just as they're not natural high-fivers). To us older folk, it feels contrived, out of character and phoney.

      The first time I became aware of it here was at a Dwight Yoakam concert in Hammersmith c. 1992. The audience - all English, I suspect, mainly middle-aged, and mainly drunk - started going whoo-hoo and bellowing between and during songs. I tried to go with the flow, but all I wanted to do was stand up and shout, "Pull yourselves together. You may want to be Americans, but you're just not! Get over it." In the States, that sort of exuberance is charming (if that doesn't sound patronising) - I think we envy it - but we tend to move straight from moroseness to drunken aggression, leaving out the charming bit in the middle.

      As for only importing American bad stuff rather than all the good stuff, I don't really agree - as we used to say in TV, it's fine leaving them: its only when it gets here and English people adopt it ("have a nice day", "tell me about it, "Yo!", "Whoo-hoo!" or, as Archbishop Sentamu ejaculated when asked for his rection to the appointment of a second female bishop last week, "Yippee, yippee, yippee!") that it grates.

  3. Thinking it over, shouldnl't the deligates be ululating rather than whooping?

  4. Having run out of episodes of Breaking Bad and wanting to watch something with the boss, the choice is rather limited. Have I Got a Bit More Marxism For you, perhaps? That sneering little ponce Theroux? Poldark, which you have already damned?

    And I still maintain that the adoption of whooping is more socially damaging than our last round with Yersinia petsis. That simply killed people. Whooping sucks out their brains and leaves them prey to other imported nonsense, such at the very 'Jazz hands' you were posting about.

    Or, indeed, Selfridge. He was a bloody import, too.

    1. I have I suspected, at football games. Just as the team is getting ready to come out.

      During the scream bloody murder but, it follows a peculiar logic. When the home team is at the line of scrimmage calling plays and blocking assignments the stadium is quiet as a nave (except for the pathetic little band of visiting fans). When the away team is at the's ear shattering. Mostly intelligible can really get volume out of that. The idea is to disrupt the visiting teams play calling with the goal of drawing them offside or making them use a time out because they can't communicate.

      Cup your hands around your mouth and ARHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

      Then it's silent while the play runs it's course...everybody is focused on the result. If it's big for the home explodes.

      LSU fans caused a small earthquake to register at the University geology dept in 1986 against Auburn.

    2. GCooper - too late for excuses, ladyboy! Your secret has exited the cupboard.

      May I recommend the very silly but thoroughly enjoyable - and MANLY - "Person of Interest" and "The Blacklist", both of which are fast-paced and violent. And "Fortitude" for the laughs. Ditto DCI Banks, but only because it's so "grim up North", it's hilarious, and because Stephen Thompkinson's expression suggests he's permanently trying to eject a particularly recalcitrant stool.

      On Sunday evening, I hand the TV over to my wife and go and do virile things for the evening while she gets her fix of girlie dramas. I will admit to regularly watching Masterchef, but in a very gruff, heterosexual manner.

    3. Impressive racket, Mr. B! And perfectly acceptable - that's straightforward yelling and baying and screaming: I can't hear anyone going "Whoooooo!" as if some Hollywood star had just announced he'd been through rehab or become a global UNICEF goodwill ambassador or whatever. (Surely the noise you made was a rebel yell?)

      At soccer, there are no periods of silence, unless the spectators are suffering through a pointless 0-0 draw somewhere up North in the pissing rain on a freezing day - but longeurs usually provide an opportunity for bellowed insults or chants ( which are also often insulting).