Discover more from Conquest of the Useless
Cat shit 22
A false story about a student "identifying as a cat" is being weaponised by publications who have long since stopped identifying as journalistic enterprises.
Previously: Joe Rogan's Kobayashi Maru
'Debate me!' people are often trying to lure you into the (social) media equivalent of Star Trek's famous non-win scenario.
The audio clip is 3:20 long and begins with a teacher saying:
How dare you? You’ve just really upset someone. Saying things like ‘should be in an asylum’.
The students she’s speaking to reply:
I didn’t say that. I said if they want to identify as a cat or something then they’re like genuinely unwell… I was just saying about the genders. It’s my opinion.
The clip continues with the teacher and students debating gender, the teacher taking a trans-positive line while the two teenagers take a gender-critical line.
It’s not worthy of national newspaper coverage but the teacher was covertly recorded and the audio was passed to The Daily Mail.
Now the Mail, along with The Times, and The Telegraph — the three central pillars of anti-trans coverage in the UK — are pretending the story is about a child identifying as a cat rather than two students picking on another student by comparing their gender identity to "[identifying] as a cat or something…”
In The Telegraph, Madeline Grant — who may or may not identify as someone who dated Lawrence Fox — writes:
One day in the late 14th century, King Charles VI of France woke up labouring under the misapprehension that he was, in fact, made of glass. People immediately assumed madness; his courtiers and subjects, even the future pope. A regency council was formed. His wife and other relatives assumed the reins of government. All because, even in the midst of the superstitious medieval era, identifying as a window was considered a step too far. Fast forward to 2023, and we’d probably be dousing him in windolene and asking what pattern of curtain suited him best. It feels absurd to be typing this, but audio has emerged from an East Sussex school of a teacher reprimanding some pupils who’ve refused to treat as a reality another pupil’s claim that they are, in fact, a cat.
Grant is aware, as are her editors, that there was no child “identifying as a cat” and the claim that the teacher reprimanded students for not accepting the other student’s feline identity is totally in bad faith.
In the news pages, the Telegraph is delighted to report that:
A school at the centre of a row over children identifying as animals is facing a Government investigation, The Telegraph can reveal. A teacher at Rye College, a state secondary in East Sussex, was recorded telling a pupil who refused to accept her classmate was a cat that she was despicable. Gillian Keegan, the Education Secretary, is understood to have ordered an investigation into the Church of England school. The Telegraph has revealed that at other schools teachers are allowing children to identify as horses, dinosaurs and even moons. On Tuesday Downing Street told headteachers that they should not be teaching children that they can identify as cats or other animals.
This is a classic example of newspapers creating a ‘row’ and then reveling in each new development that it triggers; so the Telegraph gets a quote from the PM’s spokesperson which then leads to the Education Secretary being told '“something must be done” and that something being an ‘investigation’ which will either never report or be rigged to get the result that the Department for Education wanted in the first place.
The Telegraph’s ‘scoop’ on children identifying as horses, dinosaurs, and… even moons! could have been sourced by talking to any child involved in imaginative play on a primary school playground. That piece carried a triple byline — Gordon Rayner (associate editor), Eleanor Steafel (reporter), and Louisa Clarence-Smith (education editor). It howls:
Difficult as it may be to believe, children at a school in East Sussex were reprimanded last week for refusing to accept a classmate’s decision to self-identify as a cat. The Year 8 pupils were told they would be reported to a senior leader after their teacher said they had “really upset” the fellow pupil by telling them: “You’re a girl.”The incident at Rye College, first reported by The Daily Telegraph yesterday, was not a one-off. Inquiries by this newspaper have established that other children at other schools are also identifying as animals, and the responses of parents suggest that the schools in question are hopelessly out of their depth on the question of how to handle the pupils’ behaviour. The Telegraph has discovered that a pupil at a secondary school in the South West is insisting on being addressed as a dinosaur. At another secondary school in England, a pupil insists on identifying as a horse. Another wears a cape and wants to be acknowledged as a moon.
It is difficult to believe because it’s bollocks. Laplace said:
The weight of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be proportioned to its strangeness.
Carl Sagan rephrased it more snappily:
Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
The Daily Telegraph does not have extraordinary evidence, it has anonymous sources, obvious horseshit, and an ideological motivation to push this story.
The following paragraph is particularly unhinged reading for anyone with even a passing awareness of teenagers, internet culture, and “furries”:
Stories about children self-identifying as animals – sometimes referred to as “furries” – have been circulating for some time. Some of them, such as tales of schools providing litter trays to cater for children identifying as cats, have turned out to be hoaxes, which has made it all too easy to assume that the problem is either a myth or is wildly exaggerated.
The Telegraph is trying to pass off its own hoax by noting other hoaxes that this one definitely isn’t like. It would be funny if it were not for the fact that the government is attempting to push through a new Section 28 focused on trans children with an opposition under Keir Starmer that will nod it through.
While the Telegraph organisation has only recently gone bankrupt, its output has been morally bankrupt for years now.
Thanks for reading. Please consider sharing…
… and upgrading to a paid subscription to help me keep writing this (and get some bonuses too):