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Saturday, September 25, 2021

THE HAPPENING WORLD: Scientific American: “Jedi” are “prone to (white) saviorism and toxically masculine approaches to conflict resolution”

Scientific American, founded in 1845, was once a paragon of science communication to the intelligent layman. After it was sold to the Germans in 1986, it began an intellectual decline which was initially gradual and then increasingly precipitous. By the early 1990s I had taken to calling it “Scientific Enquirer”, as its pages were increasingly filled with midwit sensationalism and advocacy for collectivist policies. I let my subscription lapse in the mid-90s and have since rarely seen a citation of anything in it I'd be inclined to read. Now, they have apparently gone fully “woke”. Just read this piece, under the rubric “Inequality: Opinion”, titled “Why the Term ‘JEDI’ Is Problematic for Describing Programs That Promote Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion“, which has sufficient zingers per paragraph to help you meet your guffaw quota for the day. For example, “The space opera franchise has been critiqued for trafficking in injustices such as sexism, racism and ableism. … Star Wars arguably conflates ‘alienness’ with ‘nonwhiteness,’ often seeming to rely on racist stereotypes when depicting nonhuman species. The series regularly defaults onto ableist tropes, memorably in its portrayal of Darth Vader, which links the villain’s physical disability with machinic inhumanity and moral deviance, presenting his technology-assisted breathing as a sinister auditory marker of danger and doom. What’s more, the bodies and voices centered in Star Wars have, with few exceptions, historically been those of white men.” (Hello—Princess Leia, Chewbacca, C3PO, and R2-D2 are “white men”?)

Sic transit gloria Jedi. It seems to me that it's Scientific American that is “problematic” and “arguably” a disgrace to its distinguished history.

Posted at September 25, 2021 12:47