Wednesday, 13 December 2017

A QUESTION OF DEGREE (II)



A race no one can win






Yesterday’s jottings on education are turning into a disquisition, and we haven’t even got the little ones out of primary school yet. A couple more considerations linked to our table of liberal arts, the marriage of the classical quadrivium and trivium

Firstly, music. Children, of course, have almost constant access to music now, and I imagine state schools no longer have music hours as we did. The mindless trash that children now gorge on actually suits cultural Marxists perfectly. It is something they do not need to attempt to influence on the principle of the old engineering saying; If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. There is a later humorous variation to that phrase that actually applies perfectly to the cultural Marxists and, by extension, technocratic politician; If it ain’t broke, fix it ‘till it is.

I am not suggesting that 11-year-olds sit around listening to Bach and Bocherini all day. At 11, I was listening to T Rex and David Bowie. But kids should be encouraged to play instruments – real instruments - and to listen to a range of music. Of course, our friends at the politburo will have already arranged the expunging of music by dead white males from the curriculum. Dead white males now include, of course, Marc Bolan and David Bowie.

Next, this sporting life. Now, I appreciate that some kids must have loathed sports at school, but the combination of exercise and competitiveness is essential, and that is another reason the elites will have their people disrupt the possibility of sport. I had a moderately successful sporting childhood, excelling at football – soccer – and rugby union. I was fitter as a 16-year-old than at any other point in my life, and winning meant everything.

Of course, we all know that we are now in the age where all must have prizes, and the notion of winners and losers no longer applies to schoolchildren. Another subtle move to disjoint children from the reality that lies in their future, and ensuring that there will be yet another factor the state will have to do for them when they get older and realise the world is a rough, tough place where you can and will win or lose.

So, let us move our little sprogs on to ‘uni’. The old disciplines are withering on the vine, victims of ideological purges, witch-hunts for racism, sexism, colonialism, transphobia, Islamophobia. There will be another one along in a minute.

I wrote about the cleansing of the ‘too white’ syllabus in the USA two years ago here in the New English Review. There has been no sign of any let-up since. Of course, one thing you have to remember is that, for example, philosophy is rather difficult. It’s hard to understand. You have to work at it before it clicks. That doesn’t really suit the modern student.

How much easier to read Queer Studies, or Black Studies, or Women’s Studies, or BeyoncĂ©’s Lyrics Studies, or whatever faddish crap is on the menu this week. And you still get your degree!

You don’t, however, get to think. And that is both shameful and a shame.

The Left run education. This means that education, in any meaningful sense, is over. The future beckons darkly for a people whose majority are stupid.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

A QUESTION OF DEGREE



Do your children need these?
Or lectures on transgenderism?





School's out completely.

Alice Cooper




I went to university at Sussex, in the pretty hills of East Sussex, England, arriving in 1981 at the age of 20, with Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy and a framed painting of Lord Byron – ooh, and some Joy division recordings - and finally graduating in 1994, with a doctorate in philosophy.

Philosophy has never earned me a penny – or a ‘red cent’, for my north American chums - and yet I consider myself a successful product of the British education system. The benefits of my university education are not, alas, of much use to the society that largely funded it. But it has served me.

I was fortunate in that my degree, my MA, and the first two years of my PhD were paid for by the state. Now, of course, the encouragement of vast swathes of youth to attend ‘uni’ as they call it, is also a ruse to produced tenured debtors, always owing the state money and, with it, a strange type of loyalty.

I was fortunate in another respect also. My university career taught me how to think, not what to think. This process, which should be self-explanatorily obvious, has been exactly reversed now, another unsavoury product of north American culture imported by Britain.

I have strolled the labyrinths of memory many times looking for evidence, chez alma mater, of indoctrination, propaganda, political correctness, and all the other methods by which cultural Marxism closes down debate, stifles thought, and criminalises viewpoints with which it does not agree. I can’t find any.

Yes, there were few bolshy tutors, but they tended to act like pop stars at lectures rather than grim and embittered ideologues. There was a smattering of finger-wagging by some of the girl students if an off-colour joke was made, but none of the screeching harpies infesting the modern campus. I was once hissed during my presentation of a seminar paper on Martin Heidegger, but that is hardly the wholesale barracking and no-platforming that passes for debate today.

What happened? In just 35 years, what the hell happened?

The only answer can be that cultural Marxism upped its game. Universities like mine were churning out students who could think for themselves, and that is not part of the modern way. Universities today are to provide a tightly orchestrated script. (Sorry about the mixed metaphor. The state obviously wasted its money after all.)

It was the man Peter Hitchens refers to as ‘the Blair creature’ who is largely responsible for the current state of affairs in British academia. When he bleated his famous mantra that his priority on taking power was ‘education, education, education’, he wasn’t lying. He merely neglected to mention what he intended to do to education. Now that the sacred grove of academe has been asphalted over, we can see what he really had in mind.

Education is possibly the most important resource a society has at its disposal. Control that, and you control the society. It is glaringly obvious to those of us of a conservative nature that children should be taught some type of baccalaureate-style curriculum using the main disciplines.

As a broad guide, the classical quadrivium and trivium – which combined make up the ‘seven liberal arts’ - were as follows:



Arithmetic

Geometry

Astronomy

Music

Grammar

Logic

Rhetoric



Yes, I appreciate that your five-year-old child is probably not suited to studying astronomy and logic, but bear with me and, like a good chef, we will try to reduce the sauce.

Arithmetic is essential, but not for the reasons the elites think. It is typical of technocrats to believe that the calculator is a good thing because it speeds up the arithmetical process. It is more efficient, you see. However, getting the right answer is not the aim, or not the only aim, of the exercise.

Cogitation, as it was classically known, is the process by which we think and assess and reject wrong answers while retrieving the correct ones. I well remember answering mathematical questions in school examinations, and it being required to leave my ‘workings’ in the margin. A calculator rather does away with all that. It is a little like going to the gymnasium to make your muscles bulge that little bit more, and having a pal do the heavy lifting for you while you doodle.

Geometry has a similar function, but is more of a side-show, and mensuration will probably only be any use if you become a carpet-layer. Modern children are, once they have selected their gender for the week, more likely to learn about menstruation. If you can teach a child why the triangle has the same properties in Paris, Myanmar and Gambia, and that it had the same properties the day Julius Caesar was born as it does today, that  would kick-start the engine of thought.

I think we can give the little ones a pass on astronomy. The only stars in their galaxy today are reality TV, pop and film stars. Besides, astronomy is probably riddled with racism.

But, laying the comfortable cloak of humour aside, what are the other essentials for a rounded education of the type which would be anathema to the cultural Marxist?

Finally, the trivium, and a little unpacking is required.

In the classical world, again daubing with a broad brush, logic told you what it was possible to say that had meaning, grammar taught you how you could say it, and rhetoric told you, more or less, when and in what style to say. But we aren’t going to give the flower of our youth Horace’s Ars rhetorics. Oh no.

 The answer? Literature. Dickens. Hardy. Conrad. Austen. Melville. Cervantes. Waugh. Powell. You can write your own list. Good literature teaches while entertaining, unlike television, which leeches while enervating.

The great literature of one’s nation and language is the best schooling a child could have. And that is exactly why the new apparatchiks and kommissars are coming after it with all guns blazing. I don’t know if you are familiar with Sweden’s little cartoon girl heroine, Pippi Longstocking, who has a pony which she carries if the going gets too tough. Anyway, Pippi is being phased out as assiduous weevils comb the text with the zeal of a deconstructionist, the better to detect racism or one of the other badthink noms de guerre. They will always find it. Their latest wheeze in the USA is to post ‘trigger warnings-  so that some books may be avoided to avoid upsetting the sensitive plant that is the modern student.

Reading is not television or a computer screen. Yes, yes, I know. Please pay attention. TV and its analogue in the computer screen are passive information providers. What you see is what you get. You sit there and it does all the work. Books, even in electronic form, are active information providers. The child – indeed, the adult – has to make a conscious effort to translate the words on the page into images and concepts, which means the interpretative part of the mind is doing some work, rather than being a peasant lying on the floor with his mouth gaping while his fellow peasant pours in wine. Again, the mind is being sharpened and honed rather than dulled and fed with moron-food like a foie gras goose.

Time is pressing, as it will, and I will make this a two-parter. Tune in again tomorrow, fellow dissidents. And you, officer.

Monday, 11 December 2017

AUTHORITY FIGURES





An authority figure. Literally Hitler.



The Progressive SJW Left has a lexicon. There are various words which act as though they were magical spells, and can paralyse their opponents merely by their utterance, much as Oberon enchants humans and fairies alike in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These talismanic words will be familiar to you. Racism. Sexism, White privilege. Islamophobia. Fascist. Toxic masculinity. Micro-aggression. The list goes on. I am sure someone somewhere has produced a glossary.

Politicians too have their list of catchphrases and metaphors and platitudinous, bland stock terms. Management, as I have had much cause to note, always uses a curious bestiary of odd phrases and terms, and they expect you to use them too, if you are an employee. And here is where we inch closer to a truth.

The use of what we might call a co-axial language, a language within a language, is always used both to regulate argument in order to prevent debate, and also to humiliate the person forced to listen to the terminology. As is absolutely axiomatic, to be called racist is simultaneously to be transported to pariah status, and thus humiliated, and also to be made to understand that the accuser – who holds the book of spells – is right and you are wrong. One of the most dread of these words of power from the Leftist grimoire is a curious one; Oppression.

Let us suppose that we are watching a post-match interview with a soccer manager. His team have been humbled 6-0. At home. Now, nothing that a soccer manager ever says is of any interest whatsoever, and they are another tribe with its own dictionary of clichés although, it must be said, they are not using them to try to get anyone sent to prison for defying them.

Now, what is our man likely to say for himself and his wretched team? Suppose that the interviewer has asked him to explain his team’s woeful performance. Something like this as a reply would be typical;



“We just didn’t have it today. They turned up and we didn’t. The early penalty didn’t help, and it might have swung the game, but basically there are no excuses. We’ve got to turn it around before the derby. Simple as that.”



And so on. Anodyne stuff in which the interviewer’s only interest is whether a revelation or ‘gaffe’ is made. I am assuming, incidentally, that there are still English soccer managers. Now imagine, as before, he is asked to explain his lads’ crushing defeat, and replies simply, as follows;



“We were oppressed”.



‘Oppression’, as used in the Leftist playbook, is simply what white people have always done to non-whites and are still doing today, everywhere and at all times. It is a constant, like Newton’s laws of thermodynamics or prime numbers. But what could oppression be? As Marcus Aurelius writes; Ask of each thing, what is it? What is its nature?

A definition does not always help these days, as the world’s famous dictionary publishers gradually wheel round like an old flotilla of ships to follow the tides of political correctness. But I have a sentimental attachment to the Oxford English Dictionary. When we get to ‘oppression’, however, I am afraid, as Jeeves might say to Bertie Wooster, I have disturbing news. Two of the three definitions given need not concern us, but the first has implications which should very much worry us;

Prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or…

Yes? Or what?

…exercise of authority.

Excuse me? Come again? Prolonged exercise of authority is oppression? Can you see the panoramic vistas opening up for the SJW? To return to our football thought experiment, perhaps it was the referee who was oppressing both teams.

If ‘oppression’ has come to mean the prolonged exercise of authority, then the only world which would be free of oppression would be one in which there was no authority. And that world, gentle reader, would be like some unholy hybrid of Lesotho, a fight between rival football fans, and a Glasgow boozer. Authority is the slowly crumbling brick wall between order and anarchy. If you are a conservative, I am sure you would agree.

To equate oppression with prolonged authority is to make a very definite ideological statement, one which, if carried through, undoes civilization like a shoelace. It means that a legally sanctioned ability and duty to impose order on disorder is something not to be desired. As Carson Wells, shortly before his death, says to psychopath Anton Chigurgh in No Country for Old Men;

“Do you have any idea how fucking crazy you are?”

It is very difficult to deny that the OED definition is utterly accurate when applied to the modern West. The anomaly is that it is not the perceived oppressed who are actually oppressed – this is a fine time to be black in the West, if you play your cards right, and a jackpot era for Muslims - it is the perceived oppressors. As we have so often seen, the world has been turned upside-down, and we are through the looking-glass.

Those currently being subjected to oppression, by the OED definition at least, are being subjected to prolonged periods of authority. However, instead of the authority being of the type to strengthen a personality or to curb that which deleterious in that personality, this new authority is exemplified the diktats of the Progressive apparatchiks, the marionettes and martinets who ride and watch the picket fences of acceptable discourse, the people who decide what you can and can’t say and, by extension, what you can and can’t think.

One hesitates to bring up Orwell yet again, but he did see this coming. Control language, and you have all the authority. Oppression is constantly presented as non-whites crushed behind the iron heel of white supremacy. In fact, oppression now is those non-whites, aided and abetted by their white enablers, who are oppressing the dissident voices of those who are noticing what is going on around them, and who will speak out about it.

The difference between the two sides is a simple one. Where the Left sees oppression as productive of a necessary state of victimhood, shared as it is between select identitarian groups favoured by the self-loathing Left, the dissident Right sees it as a challenge. One thing I admire about the new Right is that they – perhaps we – will not crawl into the foetal position and become victims. The fight is there for the taking. It’s time to take the weapons from the wall.


Sunday, 10 December 2017

IN THE PENAL COLONY


Sorry, old chap



Guilt is never to be doubted.
Franz Kafka, In the Penal Colony

Sadiq Khan is, as I have said before, almost certainly the head of the Islamic fifth column in the UK. At present, this little poseur is in India, purportedly ginning up business deals between that country and London. Why would the capital’s mayor be fulfilling that function? Do businesses themselves not employ people to do that for them? He will be doing nothing of the sort. He is working for the caliphate. He is the enemy.

He has also spent an inordinate amount of time fighting Trump through social media. I hope that has properly ruined his chances of a visitor visa to the US. What part of the job specification for Mayor of London includes this type of toxic diplomacy? Crime is soaring in my home city, but its silly and malevolent little mayor mayor is worried about a foreign president visiting.

While he is poncing around in swaddling clothes and looking all serious, he has exercised another function in the service of Islam which has been imported from the USA, or at least its brown lobby. He wants an apology.

I don’t really know anything about the Amritsar massacre. Apparently, 100 years ago, a Colonel Dyer ordered the shooting of a gaggle of Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs who were protesting the colonisation of India. Where, exactly, does the little punk Khan think he would be if Britain – and largely England – had not civilized his pathetic country? Wiping away his snot in some Bangalore shithole, is the most likely answer.

The problem is two-fold.

Firstly, without the colonisation of less-developed nations by culturally superior ones, the former would never have been dragged up the steep hill that leads to civilization. Look at what Rome did for Europe.

Secondly, the Left have discovered a brilliant magic trick; pretend that the past can be judged by the moral standards of the present.

Today’s ‘morals’, of course, are no such thing. They are a carefully constructed set of technocratic protocols designed by ideologues to control the people who wish the world to be run according to the will of the people. Why they would be applicable to the past is a mystery. If you were confronted with a Model-T Ford which wasn’t running right, would you use computer diagnostics to assess the problem? The whole myth of what we might call retrospective moral equivalence is not intended in any moral sense. It is simply the way that power is exercised in the modern world, as opposed to a time when there were real men and, for that matter, real women too.

Khan, an odious little man, could not give a good damn about the Amritsar massacre. His demand is simply the next incremental step in a process whereby Muslim high command is testing how far backwards the British establishment will bend over. Jump! Certainly sir. How high?

The modern trend for forcing apologies is a way to humiliate the party doing the apologizing. And once you force an apology for one historical event, you simply move on to the next. Will Khan be apologizing to the London victims of acid attacks since he pulled police officers from the streets to work on his expensive and pointless ‘online hate speech hub’? Thoughtcrime is more important than actual crime for this toxic gnome.

As an addendum, if the British government makes this apology, who will they be apologising to? I am a philosopher. Can I get an apology for the Muslim destruction of the great library at Alexandria? Families, says little action-puppet Khan, need closure. What utter rot. Does he honestly expect that there are families weeping and wailing and gnashing their teeth over a century-old show of force?

Families. Curiously, Muslim families are a relatively cohesive unit where Western families are not. It is the Western governments who have destroyed the notion of family. And we all know why. But you can’t breed us out. We have the IQ and the capability. You just have various days of rage.

So screw apologising for the supposed misdeeds of the past. When do we get a Muslim apology for the tens of thousands of people they have killed since 9/11, for example? Theresa May will probably make the commanded gesture, though, as there is nothing she would not do to curry favour with the increasingly influential Muslim lobby and voting bloc.

Khan is a punk, a little showman, a tiny dancer. If the British government apologises for Amritsar – sounds like a Wetherspoon curry – he will have won another little battle for Muslim high command.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

FILM NIGHT: KING OF NEW YORK



Walken on Snow White




You know how I love money.

King of New York



I don’t want to make money that way.

King of New York





There is a cinematic genre that dare not speak its name, probably because it doesn’t have one. It is that class of film featuring gangsters with a moral code. In other words, bad guys who want to do good things. Of course, in England, the exemplars in real life were the Kray Twins. It is legendary that these violent siblings were extremely generous to their own, east-end of London people. It is also axiomatic that every Londoner of my generation has a Kray twins story. Here is mine.

It is around 1978. I am living at my mother’s boyfriend’s house, and I am sitting around, bored and drinking endless cups of coffee. My identical twin brothers – I mean they are identical with one another, and are five years younger than me - have actually gone to school for once – and it was me that got them ready to go – and I have not yet discovered literature. I am probably watching A Clockwork Orange on video. Again. The telephone rings. I answer. The conversation runs as follows:

SELF: Hello?

VOICE: Is Robert there?

SELF: No. He’s at work.

VOICE: Well, is Barry there?

SELF: No. Barry doesn’t live here.

VOICE: I know he doesn’t, son. But he is sometimes there, isn’t he.

SELF: Yeah. Sometimes.

VOICE: Well, when you see Robert, tell him to tell Barry to call Charlie. (Hangs up).

Robert was my mother’s boyfriend. Barry was his criminal friend. The voice on the ‘phone belonged to Charlie Kray, the twins’ elder brother. Some say that Barry – names changed for obvious fucking reasons – helped to dispose of the body of Jack ‘The Hat’ McVitie, who Reggie knifed to death. I couldn’t say. As my mother never fails to remind me, the difference in ages between Charlie Kray and Ronnie and Reggie Kray is exactly the same as the age difference between me and my identical twin brothers. But I digress. I only used the story to make you fear and respect me. Back to the movies.

King of New York is a1990 movie, directed by maverick director Abel Ferrara and starring the unique north American actor Christopher Walken as Frank White, a gangster released from prison who proceeds to exact revenge. The moral anomaly is that his revenge is not exacted on the forces of law and order, but on the criminal fraternity.

White proceeds to wipe out every villain in New York because he wants to help a children’s hospital. And here we get to the heart of the matter. Is it good to do bad things in the cause of good. I neglect to use a question mark there because I think they are redundant. Sometimes questions are just statements, and the listener can add the question mark if they wish. I live in a country where they use two of the fuckers, and one of them is upside down.

Walken is, as ever, extraordinary in the film. He achieves what only one other actor, in my movie-watching experience, has achieved. He has dead eyes. The other is Michael Caine in Get Carter. There is a scene in which Walken is leaving an illegal card game. His enemy, Arty Clay, says,

You think you’re gonna live long enough to spend that money, you fucking hump?

Ferrara uses a close-up of Walken’s face. Watch the dead eyes. It can’t be easy to do.

Walken’s portrayal of White features the whole Walken playbook. He breaks sentences where you would least expect them to be broken. The smile that plays around his lips is not a smile of joy. I will have to confirm this, but I don’t believe he swears or cusses in the whole movie. Ferrara uses Walken to create the tension in a very tense film. It is surprisingly similar, in the portrayal of New York, to Blade Runner. Rain and darkness and city lights and menace.

A young and slim Laurence Fishburne provides the nigger minstrel role. I have never seen a pimp roll like it. I don’t really know Wesley Snipes, but he plays a clipped and classy role. David Caruso I don’t know at all, but he stands out as the cop who assembles a team to go, off the record, after Frank. Steve Buscemi is like those soccer players who play seven minutes per match, but always do something worthwhile. Victor Argo’s face looks familiar, but his role as the police chief whose moral conundrum is compounded by White is a stone-faced masterpiece.

The musical score is, in a way, similar to the Ennio Morricone score to Pacino’s Scarface, but far more sophisticated and atmospheric. Heavy on the synthesisers, but it haunts and accompanies the moodiness of the interior scenes.

The moralistic gangster movie could have begun, for all I know, with the amazing penultimate scene in the 1938 movie Angels with Dirty Faces, starring Jimmy Cagney as doomed criminal Rocky Sullivan and, I think, Ray Milland as the priest. Don’t watch the scene out of context, as it makes no sense. The whole movie is just great.

King of New York provides the ultimate moral paradox. What happens when bad guys do good things? Nowadays, of course, we are surrounded by people pretending to be good while doing the worst things. White – and perhaps there is some semiotics in the name – is basically anti-cocaine. In the scene - around 1 hour 11 minutes, where he speaks to the police chief - he lays his moral code bare. It is a wonderful speech. I don’t believe the character takes coke in the whole movie, but he has this to say to the policeman who is failing to remove that drug and its dealers from the streets;

America spends a hundred billion dollars a year on getting high. I’m not your problem. I’m just a business man.

Friday, 8 December 2017

DOWN TIME



A Human Rights Commissioner wants them dead




My hands were clenched in fists of rage.

Don McClean, American Pie





As the Western world descends into a civilisational twilight of its own making, it is difficult to hide a smirk. Insanity, for the insane, is difficult to gauge, because it poses as normality. But to the outside observer it is still madness and, just as Victorians in England would pay a shilling to visit Bedlam – the insane asylum – and watch the inmates for their viewing pleasure, there being no television at the time, so too it can be pleasing to pull up a chair, crack open a cold one, and peruse the entertainment on offer.

Personally, I am rather enjoying it. If a child touches a hot-plate once, and burns its chubby little arm, you feel sorry for the mite, and tend to its wounds, if it is within reach of your own arm. You assume it has, as they say, learnt its lesson. If it returns to the stove and repeats the exercise, you might think, well, it’s your fucking fault, you stupid little sod.

However, some aspects of the cancer that Progressives have deliberately introduced into Western civilization do not make me smile. They make me seriously consider popping back over to Europe, purchasing a gun, and a fine and burnished pair of cunt-kicking boots, and doing what my late father would have called the necessary. We are here today, brethren, to talk of Down Syndrome.

Review, if you will, the following from a man who has been gifted a presumably well-paid post as a member of the UN Human Rights Committee;

If you tell a woman, “Your child has Dow…” — what is it called? Down syndrome, Dawn syndrome — if you tell her that, or that he may have a handicap forever, for the rest of his life, you should make this woman… it should be possible for her to resort to abortion to avoid the handicap as a preventive measure.

As Hannibal Lecter says to Questura Chief Inspector Pazzi before he hangs him and rips out his bowels, okey-dokey. Here we go. I will transport you back, if I may, to the glorious English summer of 1981…

That’s me, there, in the grounds of what was then called a mentally handicapped hospital. It sounds a strange construction now, as though the hospital itself were mentally handicapped. I may add that I was not among the inmates. I was wearing a white coat in my role as an auxiliary nurse, as that position was then called. It was called the Royal Earlswood Hospital, and is, or was, on the way to Gatwick Airport on the Surrey/Sussex border (counties, for my US readership, a bit like states but without separate jurisdiction), and it was rumoured that the appellation was given because an illegitimate child of a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria was incarcerated there. The legend runs that the Queen herself would visit via a secret tunnel from the railway station to the hospital itself. I am no historian, but the tunnel exists. I have seen and walked it. It’s a scary place.

If I had not gained the A-level passes necessary to go to university, I intended to train in the field of mental handicap, and become a nurse. It is undoubtedly the most rewarding job I have ever had, although upsetting at times. Suffering imposed by nature rather than culpable stupidity is a wrenching sight. That summer, I found that I had gained the grades. I subsequently went to university, and now have a PhD in Philosophy. But that is not the point.

The point is this. Many people were incarcerated in this Gothic mansion – it is luxury apartments now, as you would expect. Foucault was right about some things – who really didn’t belong there. Illegitimate children of the upper classes. Simple, backwards kids. I once met a man who didn’t really understand how you work pajama buttons. But he could beat me at chess and, frankly, I am pretty good. I once met a black lad who hallucinated constantly. I was told and warned about this. Why did he hallucinate, I hear you cry?

Because he drank lead-based paint when he was he was a small boy. He mistook it for milkshake. Have you any idea what lead-based paint can do to the basic cerebellum? And if you think I am making light of this, I imagine you don’t know me in private life.

Let us go on.

I worked on two wards and, because I was a sort of free-lancer, I didn’t know which it would be until I pitched up for work on any given day. I worked on one ward which held deeply troubled children. It wasn’t easy, but it was more character-building than the diversity courses a contemporary nurse is forced to attend, on pain of having a flag for racism put against her name.

I worked with many boys with Down Syndrome. LPife expectancy was shorter for these folk then. I believe it was in the mid-thirties. Down Syndrome people are the nicest, warmest, most wonderful creatures I believe I have ever met. They learn, but more slowly. They are affectionate, often given to rewarding you with little kisses on the cheek. They will talk candidly to you about their desires and frustrations. And they were, in 1981, effectively imprisoned.

And this little shit on the Human Rights Commission now wants them denied entry to life. His name?

His name is Yad Ben Achour. He is Tunisian.

Is it something like a quarter of the world’s population who are Muslim? If they were not alive, and a quarter of the world’s population were people with Down Syndrome, most of our current troubles would be over.

I have recently changed my mind on abortion – rape-induced conception aside – but let me know when they produce an ultrasound machine that can detect a Muslim in the womb, and I will change it back.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

ON GEESE AND GOLDEN EGGS



Think again, Mohammed




British security services, when not attending diversity training, are working tirelessly to prevent terrorist attacks which have nothing to do with the religion of peace ™, we are told. The latest thwarted atrocity was to have blown up Downing Street and assassinated Theresa May. Of course, many non-Muslims will have sympathized with these aims, but I don’t think Muslim high command in Britain, led by Sadiq Khan, would have approved of this particular mission.

In Aesop’s fable of the goose that laid golden eggs, the greedy farmer decides that a daily egg is not enough, and kills the goose before cutting it open to get rich quick by getting at the many eggs he assumes are inside the creature. The result was, of course, no eggs and a dead goose. He never actually struck me as much of a farmer, but we will let considerations of dairy farming practices pass for now.

Politicians such as Theresa May, when it comes to the gradual Islamisation of Britain, are very much the goose in the story. Why blow her up? In fact, all that might have achieved would have been a clear path for Jacob Rees-Mogg, under whose tutelage the Conservative Party’s attitude towards Islam might well change.

No, if you wish shariah creep to continue, and the furtherance of Islamic aims to be boosted, May and her ilk are best not subjected to the Guido Fawkes treatment. It would have made spectacular news footage, of course, particularly when May’s interior, Terminator-like skeleton strode from the flames. But I have always thought that Muslims ought to lay off the carnage. They don’t need it.

As I have said before, Islam is metaphysically equipped to play the long game. The political class is quite happy to accede to their every wish. Local councils are falling over themselves to grant as many planning permissions for mosques as requested. Shops, hospitals, prisons and schools can’t go halal quickly enough. Mowing people down on the pavement, decapitating soldiers, butchering revelers and blowing up the Prime Minister can only serve to radicalize non-Muslims, the last thing the elites and Muslim high command would wish for.

The British people, like all the secular West, have no god – he having been done in with a Nietzschean flourish – and thus no sense of continuity. They have become existential in the most crass sense of the word, their future being merely the next shiny object, exotic holiday in other people’s misery, piss-up, or boxed set of Sherlock. Not so the ummah. They can play a waiting game because they se history as a Hegelian preparation for their coming dominance.

May is an appalling Prime Minister just as she was a pathetic Home Secretary. She it was who banned Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer – major anti-jihadists - from Britain while allowing an endless stream of jihadi preachers into the country. If Labour get in, it may be an even more glorious time for the jihadis, with Diane Abbott at the helm as Home Secretary. So I would leave the political class alone, if I were Muslim high command. Golden eggs indeed.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

ERRATA



My mistake



Two major howlers in the last few postcards. Firstly, while managing the London bar in 1994, mentioned in the review of the film Magic, I did not chat or joke with Simon Cowell. It was, of course, noted Shakespearean actor Simon Callow.

Secondly, part of the point of the postcard concerning fake news was to show you the pair of fake Timberlands I bought. Picture enclosed.

I hate to be harsh where my staff are concerned, but the sub-editor concerned has been turned out of Traumaville Towers, in the pitch dark, wearing a blindfold but no Wellington boots, into the most snake-infested region of the jungle. We shall see what his progress is in the morning. Tough old game, publishing.

FAKE NEWS: LYING BY OMMISSION



With just five of those letters,
you can make a naughty word.




As Time magazine seems poised to put Colin Kaepernick on its cover as man of the year, we ought to think too of the concept of the year. Kaepernick is the American Football player with the golliwog hair cut who was the first to ‘take a knee’ when his country’s national anthem was played before a game. He was soon followed by other black men – along with some white virtue-signallers – who also disrespected the anthem of their nation. You know, that mean old U S of A, the country that has enriched Kaepernick and his brethren beyond the wildest dreams of anyone so inclined as to worship the money gods. But what is the idea of the year?

Surely, fake news. I believe it has made the dictionary, if two words can be an entry. I’m not sure of that claim. It may be fake news. But then, I am not a journalist. I am a commentator. And what is what the media want done away with.

Now, fakes are not always easy to spot. I certainly didn’t pay close enough attention to the boots I bought when my shoes finally fell apart. Someone I used to work for in London, a private investigator, specialises in this type of commercial deception. With information, however, there is no logo to inspect closely, no stitching to confirm as genuine, no way of getting at the veridity of the product.

One of the most chilling phrases race huckster and ex-community activist Barack Hussein Obama made in the eight years he tried to destroy the USA was when he suggested that truth needs a curator. Oh, my. And who, exactly, would that be?

A British politician, being part of a class of people without an original thought in their heads, would probably say that one of who he disapproved ‘curating’ the truth would be like Dracula being left in charge of the blood bank. What a tiresome phrase that is. Most politicians are quite seriously illiterate when it comes to great literature, or they would understand that Dracula would not sit in the blood bank mixing big old Bloody Maries (Marys?) with the red stuff. A great part of Dracula’s hunger in Stoker’s book was the domination of innocence, the draining of the virgin. But you would not expect the automata who use the ‘blood bank’ phrase to have any more knowledge of master literature than they gained from watching movie adaptations. But I digress.

Both Left and Right are, of course, accusing the other camp of fake news. But what is fake news? Falsification of facts, events or statistics? Lying by omission? The alteration of a fact or facts to suit one’s own agenda rather than the agenda it indicates its allegiance to? Simple, old-fashioned political spin? The promotion of a news agenda to the exclusion of others? The dressing up of opinion in the apparel of factuality? The requisitioning of pop stars and movie stars to push a contentious point? There is no clear answer.

When a British politician claimed, many years ago now, that something like 13,000 Poles would take advantage of European freedom of movement to come to the UK, and in fact over 600,000 arrived, mostly in the major cities of the UK, is that fake news? When 100,000 of the Poles who remained in their native country recently took to the streets to celebrate the anniversary of their national independence, and the BBC failed to mention it at all, is that fake news? When a Muslim grooming gang is called ‘of Asian origin’ without mentioning the common currency of Islam? When campus rapes and hate crimes are shown to be hoaxes, but the implication – and direct claim by one member of a US faculty – that it doesn’t matter if the events never happened because it brings attention to rape and racism, is that fake news?

An old BBC programme called, I think, the Today programme, used to have a feature every April Fool’s Day which was clearly faked, but intended to be funny. The most famous was probably the spaghetti trees. Workers on ladders were seen clipping strands of spaghetti which had clearly been put into trees for the purposes of the gag. This, it was jokingly claimed, was where spaghetti came from. Fake news, but not intended to subvert or destroy a civilisation or promote a toxic ideology.

For me, fake news is what they don’t tell you. Fake news in absentia. And it is what you don’t know that can kill you.

Monday, 4 December 2017

UNCIVIL WAR: HOW SOON IS NOW?



Yes, but which way is it pointing?




Sometimes it is the smallest comment that inspires the biggest thoughts. That is certainly true in these interesting times. I read a passing comment today on a website I respect very much, and it referred to what the writer called the coming ‘reckoning’ with regard to the eventual and active defiance of indigenous Western peoples against forced and hostile immigration. He meant, of course, the coming inter-ethnic, inter-cultural, and religious spats which will eventually link arms and become something resembling civil war. And then war.

One knows that the website – Gates of Vienna – is pretty much sniffing out the truth, because two British politicians petitioned to have it closed down. You know, truth about Islam and all that, although that is not quite the way that they put it. Hate speech. Nazis. Divisiveness. If you are here, you are familiar with the lexicon, a glossary divided between willful ignorance and those with vested interests.

What interested me was that the writer, and host of the blog, said it would not be in his lifetime. Now, he is a reasonably old man, but I have often wondered whether or not there would be a major conflagration between the various warring sects being carefully assembled by the toxic Marxists who rule us while I was still bothering the planet. He obviously thinks not. But things can happen quickly now, partly due to technology, and partly due to the polarized animosity deftly constructed by the elites and their little helpers.

I imagined that 9/11 would have been the start of something extraordinary. It was, but not quite – actually, not at all – in the way I would have expected.

A strong country, in the wake of 9/11, would have done the following:


·        All US troops out of any Muslim majority country or area.

·        Internment. Just like the Japs after Pearl Harbour.

·        Destruction of every mosque in the US.

·        Closure of every US embassy in Muslim-controlled country.

·        Immediate cessation of all Muslim immigration.

·        Immediate cessation of all foreign aid budget to Muslim-controlled countries.



But, instead, it became a two-decade appeasement that made Chamberlain look like Atilla the Hun.

Is this a Jewish-made problem? I can’t say, and there are so many conspiracy theories flying around the internet, it is worse than betting on horses in a handicap race where all the riders are drunk and the horses have gone into the stalls backwards.

But there is something coming. And it is a part of someone’s plan. Perhaps Allah does exist, after all. Only he would know.

THE USES OF IMMIGRATION



Well, the original immigrants did...




Immigration is necessary, we are told with metronomic regularity, and indeed it is. But not for the usual socio-economic reasons we are lyingly fobbed off with. It is necessary as a stick with which the elites can beat the non-elites. Immigration, as far as ordinary people are concerned, is punitive, and this takes a number of forms.

The most visible advantage for the ruling class is that immigration, and immigrants, allow them to wear a mask of virtue and goodness, moral rectitude and right-thinking. Larvatus prodeo, writes Nietzsche. I advance wearing my mask. It is a truly nauseating to watch the political class throughout the West in their chorus of praise for the innocence and sanctity of the arrivistes. It is a mix of Rousseanism and what psychologists call conventional reinforcement, also known as a pathological need to be liked. Film and pop stars have it. It is now entry-level requirement for any aspiring politician to praise immigration, even though most of them will be secretly indifferent, or even antipathetic. And this orgy of pretended virtues leads to, and is guaranteed by, the next advantageous aspect of immigration for the leaders of the Progressive class.

In a gesture of pure dialectical opposition, the elites are partly able to announce their goodness by denouncing those who question immigration. The reasoning is simple, and runs; One of the many reasons I am good is because you are bad. I once saw a child having a tantrum in a supermarket. Other small children looked on, pausing occasionally to look up at Mummy or Daddy as if to say, do you see how good I am now? This creates the pariah class. Tommy Robinson, Nigel Farage, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Pamela Geller, Geert Wilders, Jayda Fransen. The list is a long one and becoming longer. It is the sounding-board against which the elites foment praise of themselves.

Less visible are the motives of the mercantile, corporate and banking class, for whom the political class is the provisional wing. Mass immigration – less so in the case of Muslims – creates a pool of cheap labour. This depresses wages overall and increases profit margins, as well as making it easier to hire temporary labour without being tied to providing employment benefits.

The next page in the immigration playbook is a little sketchier. There is no doubt, none whatsoever, that anti-white rhetoric is increasing exponentially. The situation is far worse in the USA, but as these faddish, cultural Marxist trends traipse wearily over the Atlantic, so too Britain is becoming a union whose academic institutions are beginning to dance to a different drummer. The importation of the swarthy folk so beloved of the British Left adds to the pressure on straight, white men. Factor in the promotion of non-heterosexual practices, and it is clear that the white man has a new burden. In addition, miscegenation and race-mixing is being actively promoted in Sweden and Germany. White privilege, if such exists, is rapidly being forcibly replaced with black and non-white privilege.

Moving on, and in connection with previous points, the regulatory aspects of the West are using immigration to denigrate the indigenous populations, and to produce an ideological inventory which can be used gradually to replace teaching people how to think with teaching them what to think. And so universities have moved from being agorae in which ideas can be freely discussed to ideological hothouses in which acceptable opinion is grown. So too, the police have gone from being law enforcers to aggravated paramilitary social workers who will give immigrants a pass for even serious crimes while imprisoning the indigenous population for the slightest commentary they – or their paymasters – deem ‘offensive’. Education and the law have been politicised – as have social services and the whole public sector – with the necessary fuel of mass immigration.

Following on from the ideological subversion of the police in the UK is an incidental aside. Muslim immigration actually leads to a parallel police force. Shariah creep is only denied by the wily Left, and there are demonstrably shariah zones In major cities, in which alcohol, displays of homosexuality, unaccompanied women, dogs and so on are not allowed, de facto. Part of the reason the elites want Muslim immigration is to police the rest of us.

A German politician recently stated that immigration is necessary to keep the welfare system healthy. This is a little like saying that junkies are necessary to keep drug-dealers in a comfortable financial state. What he meant was that high welfare enables governments to keep taxes high, and use the resultant excess for their vanity projects and to pay off their lobbyists and their clients.

Finally, the elites have realised that it not even necessary to import your dysfunction. One can simply use the raw material one already has. You can create victim groups now the way children make little dollies from Play-Doh. This is the thinking behind transgenderism, to question the integrity of which is now equivalent to racism, an over-worn phrase reaching the end of its career and in need of replacement. Of course, the head-on collision between Islam in the West, as well as black culture, and what those cultures view as extreme sexual deviance, and the new sprouting off homosexual-related deviancies, is an extra spicy element in this malevolent mix.

Actually, you have to admire the elites and their thinkers. They wanted to destroy a world and they have done so. But that is a little like applauding a serial killer for the ingenuity with which he disposed of his victims.

The elites, of course, do not have to inhabit the world they are making so onerous for everyone else. And they must be astonished that the little people have not gone full pitchfork-and-burning-torches. But make absolutely no mistake. They have no feeling for the hordes they import, nor the children’s minds they are warping with all this psycho-sexual malevolence. They are simply bad people in power. Perhaps humankind really is done, and the world may one day become a happier place when we are all gone.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

FILM NIGHT: MAGIC


Shut up, you dummy




In 1994, had you happened to be strolling through the achingly hip area of north London known as Camden Town, and had chanced into a particular and well-known restaurant, and made your way to the bar, the chances are high that I would have served you your heart’s desire.

I managed the bar there for a couple of years and, although I won’t name it, the restaurant was famous for not recognising the famous, if you see what I mean. Let me explain.

You see, although we are told that the famous adore attention, sometimes they just want a quiet meal without the fawning attentions of admirers and fans. There is, or was, a restaurant in Covent Garden with a similar policy. Staff members caught by the floor manager trying to prise autographs or confess undying love to pop or film stars could reckon on instant dismissal. So it was that my then-girlfriend had to serve Freddy Mercury and Brian May without any visible recognition of who they were.

One of her colleagues served dinner to, and was paid and handsomely tipped by, David Bowie. The bill was extravagant, and Bowie paid by cheque. When the waitress had to present her takings to the floor manager at the end of the shift, she paid the bill in cash, herself, and took Bowie’s cheque home and framed it. Technically, she had not infringed company policy.

In my restaurant, I served many actors and TV and film personalities. My personal favourites, simply for their everyday politeness, were John Motson, the football commentator, and Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley, who could charm the birds from the trees. I once served a pretty and extremely small girl, and then remarked to a passing waitress how much she resembled Helena Bonham-Carter. You clown, she replied. That is Helena Bonham-Carter. I served Martin Amis, and his mother, had a slightly off-policy lunchtime chat with Stuart Goddard – aka Adam Ant – and often joked with Simon Cowell, Alan Bennett, and Jonathan Miller. Terry Jones, from Monty Python, was by far the funniest guest, although that was balanced by having to serve Dolores what’s-her-name, from The Cranberries, who is an absolute fucking bitch.

One lunchtime shift, we were told that something irregular was about to happen. The manager was not wrong. Two goons turned up, classic CIA look, dark suits, buzz-cuts and shades. Bloody hell, I thought, don’t tell me Bill Clinton is turning up. Lock up your waitresses, I might have thought now. Curiously, it was not the President of the USA who was to be joining us for luncheon. In a way, it was another President.

Anthony Hopkins is, of course, best known for his iconic role as demonic cannibal psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter. At this time, however, he was playing Richard Nixon, and the film was then being shot, I imagine partly in London. Anyway, Hopkins being of the Stanislavsky school of method acting, he had two ‘agents’ come to the restaurant to check security. They were hilarious. They looked under tables and chairs. They came behind the bar, presumably to look for assassins and snipers. Fortunately, I had given my assassins and snipers the afternoon off.

When the great man himself arrived, he was clearly not himself. I have always admired the method actors. Another personality to inhabit. We will have more to say about dual personalities.

Magic is an obscure 1978 movie, directed by Richard ‘Dickie’ Attenborough, and featuring a young Hopkins as a magician and ventriloquist called Corky. It also stars Burgess Meredith, possibly most famous for playing The Penguin in the original US series of Batman, and the deceptively attractive Ann-Margret. It also stars Fats, Corky’s ventriloquist’s dummy.

Now, you might watch this movie and find it so hokey that you will spend the rest of your days ridiculing my cinematic taste in the market square. But if you know anything about DID, or Disassociative Identity Disorder – which used to be known as Multiple Personality Disorder – you may find it a genuinely frightening film.

No spoilers here, as I think you should watch the movie. Hopkins is low-key and sleepy eyed, Meredith is a burnished mogul, and plays it deep and straight, and Ann-Margret really was an attractive woman who could also act, unlike today’s bimbo parade.

But it is the dummy that holds the attention. Yes, there is something of the over-rated and under-talented Stephen King about the tale, and sinister toys and clowns and dolls have become a stock of horror films. But Fats the ventriloquist’s dummy is Corky’s alter ego. Until you realise he isn’t. The scene with the card trick, with Ann-Margret, is electric, but it is the scene between Hopkins and Meredith, when the latter tells Corky he wants to keep Fats quiet for five minutes, that I found genuinely terrifying.

As I say, you need to understand DID to get the full force of the movie, and you may find it a little 70s, but I think Magic  is a genuinely disturbing study in madness. It can be found on YouTube, and it may wile away an evening. It also features one of my favourite final scenes, one of those Truffaut 400 Blows freeze-frame hommage so often used. But, in context, it scared me.

Now that Hollywood has become a cross between a bully-pulpit infested with virtue-signalling idiots, and a malfunctioning factory producing politically correct shit, I find myself re-visiting the 1970s more and more often.

Magic.