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Ed Driscoll

The Return of the Primitive

News You Can Use

August 27th, 2014 - 7:17 pm

And/or your Quote of the Day:

Instead of propagandizing young people with the fear-mongering lie how a homeless person is just the same as anyone else but for a few bad breaks, Miley would have done our culture a greater service by having her prop (let’s be real, he wasn’t really her date) admit to all of the awful life choices he made that led him to living on the streets.

How about this for a speech:

I’m homeless and I’m living on the streets and I don’t want this to happen to you. So don’t do what I did. Don’t break into an apartment, don’t smoke pot, don’t break parole. Get an education and have a solid and dependable plan for a job. Don’t move to LA (one of the most expensive cities in the country) and don’t try to be a model (one of the most unreliable professions in the world.)  

Live right. Get an education. Get a real job.  

It may not be a formula for fame and fortune, but it’s a formula for not being homeless.

“Miley’s Date Deserves To Be Homeless,” Larry O’Connor, the Washington Free Beacon, today.

“CNN: Hey, Our Suspicious Shooting Audio with More Shots than a Battle in Fallujah Might Be Real!”, Bryan Preston quips at the PJ Tatler:

Well, this is funny — and a little too representative of today’s so-called mainstream media.

So CNN was asking two guys who know nothing about the case to speculate about an unconfirmed alleged audio from an unidentified man.

The experts both expressed their strong doubts that the audio was real.

The CNN time-waster had a strong rebuttal, though.

After the first guest says it’s most likely a hoax, and might just be a Howard Stern prankster, he allows, more out of politeness than conviction, “But it could be real.”

And it could very easily be fake. No one knows, which is the point.

Bryan lists several reasons why CNN should have been suspicious about the audio — the one that jumped out at me on his list was “No one on the recording reacts to the supposed gun shots,” which if they’re loud enough to be picked up on audio, had to have been even louder in person. If you’re on the phone and hear gun shots — even a car backfiring — human emotion would force even the most intent hot chatter away from his reverie to respond, “Geez, what was that??” Plus, “There are at least ten audible ‘shots,’ more than any autopsy of Michael Brown has revealed (Officer Wilson may have missed some, but police will know from the number of shell casings at the scene, testimony, etc).”

Rather than vet the audio before airing, CNN of course rushed it out and just about put in a loop yesterday; from their ratings-hungry perspective, the “timing of the release made perfect sense,” John Nolte notes at Big Journalism:

The leftwing network dropped the audio the day after treating the funeral of Michael Brown as though he was a head of state. With the death porn concluded and the Ferguson streets quiet, CNN needed to fill the race-baiting vacuum with something.

This is the second time CNN has been unforgivably irresponsible with audio. Using unintelligible audio of George Zimmerman’s 911 call, CNN falsely claimed Zimmerman had described Trayvon Martin as a “f**ing coon” before fatally shooting the teenager. CNN not only fabricated this evidence against Zimmerman, after it was proven Zimmerman didn’t use the racial slur, CNN continued to lie to its audience and claim he had.

“Credit CNN for self-auditing,” P.J. Gladnick adds at NewsBusters, “but only after the fact. Their vetting capabilities still remain incredibly woeful. It was only this past Sunday that they got pranked for the umpteenth time by [infamous Howard Stern show fan, Captain Janks aka Tom Cipriano] while they were covering the Napa earthquake in California.”

You Stay Classy, Zara Clothing

August 27th, 2014 - 11:49 am

And by “classy,” read: grotesquely anti-Semitic:

I missed the memo — who set the world’s clock back to 1939?

Spot the Correlation

August 26th, 2014 - 11:48 pm

Shot:

Chaser:

 

Earlier: How to Lose Friends and Alienate Customers.

Related: “If I have understood this ridiculous situation correctly, the EPA is now in a position in which it may have to admit in court that some of its previous official statements about ocean acidification were not supported by available evidence.”

And from Roger L. Simon: “Climate Change to the Rescue?”

“Vox.com’s Matt Yglesias wants you to know that he’s ‘no angel,’” as spotted by James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal, who reads Vox.com so you don’t have to:

I had an “encounter” with the police when I was eighteen and getting ready to head off to college. . . .

I also dabbled in drugs and alcohol. Even used Swisher Sweets to roll blunts from time to time. For that matter, I also did some shoplifting. Got caught one time by a security guard at the K-Mart on Astor Place who confiscated the stuff I’d stolen and yelled at me a bunch. So I suppose that, when an undercover officer came upon me and two friends smoking cigarettes and drinking beer on a park bench that night, he could have shot us dead.

As Taranto quips, “We’d like Glenn Kessler or somebody to fact-check these claims. Why should we think Vox has street cred if it doesn’t have any other kind of cred?”

Fact checking is always necessary when ever Matt Yglesias speaks or sets fingers to a keyboard. Just ask Matt Yglesias:

yglesias_sophistry_8-10

How to Lose Friends and Alienate Customers

August 26th, 2014 - 6:35 pm

Now is the time when we juxtapose, Small Dead Animals-style:

“Today’s elite loathes the public. Nothing personal, just a fundamental difference in world view, but the hatred is unmistakable. Occasionally it escapes in scorching geysers. Michael Lewis reports in the New Republic on the ‘96 Dole presidential campaign: ‘The crowd flips the finger at the busloads of journalists and chant rude things at them as they enter each arena. The journalists, for their part, wear buttons that say ‘yeah, I’m the Media. Screw You.’* The crowd hates the reporters, the reporters hate the crowd — an even matchup, except that the reporters wield power and the crowed (in effect) wields none.”

David Gelernter, from his book Drawing Life, 1997.

Unless you have a monopoly, you can’t get away with sneering at your customers for very long. The newspaper’s monopoly died in 1995, when the internet brought information to the fingertips of anybody with a modem. The dinosaur media never understood that they were in a tar pit from that moment on, and now it’s too late for them to change their ways and crawl back out.

—Blogger Will Collier, 2009.

Print newspapers are going to die; at this point they’re living off coupons, on the print side, and old people, on the readership side. Newspaper circulation has fallen only a little bit among readers older than 65, but it has started low and fallen lower among the under-35 demographic. It doesn’t seem reasonable at this point to believe that those folks will ever pick up the newspaper habit. So as the readers die, and the advertising fades, the newspapers, too, will die one by one. The magazines, which already look anorexic compared with their earlier ad-stuffed selves, will undoubtedly follow.

“Stick a Fork in Your Newspaper,” Megan McCardle, Bloomberg View, yesterday.

*The late journalist and editor Ginny Carroll wore a button with that exact slogan when she appeared on C-Span in 1992:

“My reaction to that button [`Rather Biased'] and others, in part, is a button I bought yesterday that says `Yeah, I’m In The Media, Screw You!’….I do understand why a lot of people are upset with us, why we rank somewhere between terrorists and bank robbers on the approval scale. We do criticize. That’s part of our role. Our role is not just to parrot what people say, it’s to make people think. I think that sometimes I want to say to the electorate `Grow up!’”

When Carroll died in May of 2001 of hypertensive cardiovascular disease at age 53, the Chicago Tribune reported the above quote in her obituary, and that she had spent a decade as Newsweek’s bureau chief in first Detroit and then Houston.

Newsweek was founded in 1933 by a former editor of Time. The Washington Post purchased the magazine in 1961 for $8,000,000, and offloaded it for one dollar in 2010, perhaps having concluded that they had sufficiently alienated enough former and potential customers. Its new ownership would cease publishing a print version of the magazine at the end of 2013, and offload the tainted brandname itself last year.

There’s no doubt that anybody given the name Douglas McAuthur McCain by his parents would have a strong urge to consider enlisting in the military, if only to live up to all of the history implicit in your name (even if the spelling of your middle name isn’t quite spot-on, and your last name was purely a coincidence).

It helps, though, to carefully choose the correct fighting force when volunteering, as NBC reports (yes, I know, but presumably, some of these details might be correct). As Bill Murray and the late Harold Ramis sang while marching in Stripes, goofing on TV recruitment ads, “Pick a service, pick a challenge, set yourself apart: Army! Navy! Air Force! Marines!” Err, ISIS?

The battle in itself seemed tragically normal. Two Syrian opposition groups fought and there were heavy casualties on both sides. Then victorious rebels rifled through the pockets of the dead. One contained about $800 in cash — and an American passport.

Douglas McAuthur McCain, of San Diego, California, was killed over the weekend fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), according to the Free Syrian Army. Photos of McCain’s passport and of his body — which feature a distinctive neck tattoo — have been seen by NBC News. According to an activist linked to the Free Syrian Army who also saw the body and travel document, McCain was among three foreign jihadis fighting with ISIS who died during the battle.

NBC goes on to note that McCain was “a goofball in high school”:

Douglas McAuthur McCain was born in Illinois on Jan. 29, 1981. His family later moved to Minnesota’s Twin Cities area where he attended Robbinsdale Cooper High School in New Hope as part of the class of 1999.

Classmates at the school – which was described to NBC News as around 75 percent white and 10 percent African American – recalled an “always smiling” joker who liked to laugh and play basketball. McCain wasn’t on the high school team and didn’t come across as religious, according to one basketball buddy.

“He was a goofball in high school,” that classmate told NBC News. “Doug was a fun guy to be around. Played basketball, joked a lot, had a small sense of humor. Got along with most … Wasn’t the best athlete, but liked to play.”

Much more after the page break.

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New York, Paris, London, Munich

August 26th, 2014 - 11:47 am

It is indeed like 1938 all over again, alas.

Update: I had forgotten about this recent bit of (literally) blood libel, though to be fair, the grim news in recent weeks has been emerging in firehose-quantities:

Quote of the Day

August 25th, 2014 - 6:23 pm

“The only difference between the ideology of the French socialist minister and the Ferguson looter is scale. That and the immensely superior quality of the Frenchman’s comestibles. But the principles which govern both are the same. Eventually you run out of other people’s money and other people’s patience.  And that’s starting to happen all over the world right about now.”

Richard Fernandez at the Belmont Club today.

—Not to mention the same urge to declare Year Zero to banish all knowledge that came before, or what happens next. Or as the Weasel Zippers noted yesterday, “CBS Report: People In Ferguson Will Loot And Destroy Businesses Until Businesses Give Them Jobs:”

Tina Brown Could Not Be Reached for Comment

August 25th, 2014 - 3:33 pm

“Daily Beast Slams ‘Benedict Arnold’ Burger King for Planned ‘Inversion’” via a merger with the Canadian Tim Hortons chain, Ken Shepherd writes at Newsbusters:

Patriotism may be the last refuge of a scoundrel, as Samuel Johnson put it, but a lack of it may be the last refuge of corporate executives who have run out of ideas on how to improve their business,” groused Daily Beast global finance editor Daniel Gross in the open of his 9-paragraph screed “Burger King Plots Canadian Invasion to Save His Faltering Kingdom.” “It’s one thing for a fairly anonymous company that sells pumps or valves or industrial products to other businesses to renounce its citizenship for the sake of saving a few bucks on taxes. It’s quite another when you’re an iconic American consumer-facing company that relies on fickle consumers for a large share of its business,” Gross fumed.

Gosh. Wait’ll Gross discovers that the Daily Beast, the Website he writes for, was founded by a woman who left her country of origin in search of better business opportunities, and presumably, lower taxation, eventually becoming a citizen of her newly adopted homeland. How can he work for a corporation born of such scoundrelly* origins?

* Yes, it’s a word, according to cads and bounders and scalawags at the Oxford dictionary.

Update (8/26/14): “This is Awkward:” Warren Buffett, “who President Barack Obama has lauded and named a signature proposal after, is helping finance a deal that would allow Burger King Worldwide Inc. to reincorporate in Canada and potentially reduce its U.S. tax bill through a so-called inversion, the Journal reported late Monday.”

No word yet on how former President Obama will question his supporter’s distinct lack of patriotism.

The Irrelevant Majority

August 25th, 2014 - 3:14 pm

“NBC Reporter to Islamic Extremists: ‘You Do Not Even Represent A Fraction of Muslims Around the World,’”  Kyle Drennen writes at Newsbusters, watching NBC so that the rest of us don’t have to:

In a report aired on Monday’s NBC Today, correspondent Keir Simmons spoke with Islamic extremists in Britain acting as apologists for the ISIS terrorists who brutally murdered journalist James Foley. A soundbite played of one man ranting: “The question to ask is, who’s really to blame for the death of James Foley? I believe it is the foreign policy of Obama.”

Following the taped story, Simmons added: “It is so sickening, so disturbing to hear a group like that exercise their First Amendment rights…by saying things like that. But I said to them directly, ‘You do not even represent a fraction of Muslims around the world.’”

As Drennen notes, “In reality, millions of Muslims in the Middle East do subscribe to the notion that American foreign policy is the true cause of terrorist attacks against the United States and even justifies such acts.”

But in any case, the peaceful majority are irrelevant, as Brigitte Gabriel brilliantly noted earlier this summer:

Oh, and speaking of the peaceful majority, “What Happens to Palestinian Moderates? Shot in the streets with a pistol to the head after midday prayers.”

Related: “Jimmy Carter To Give Keynote Speech At Muslim Convention In Detroit,” Paul Bois notes at Ben Shapiro’s Truth Revolt Website today. As Jay Nordlinger noted in his classic “Carterpalooza” article in 2002, “No one quite realizes just how passionately anti-Israel Carter is. William Safire has reported that Cyrus Vance acknowledged that, if he had had a second term, Carter would have sold Israel down the river.”

Former President Carter must be very pleased with the progress of former President Obama’s administration in that department.

It’s easy to tear down civilization; the American left have been at it off and on since the late 19th century. Fred Siegel did a brilliant job of exploring the history of the American left during the first half of the 20th century in his book, The Revolt Against the Masses. As he wrote at the beginning of the book:

The best short credo of liberalism came from the pen of the once canonical left-wing literary historian Vernon Parrington in the late 1920s. “Rid society of the dictatorship of the middle class,” Parrington insisted, referring to both democracy and capitalism, “and the artist and the scientist will erect in America a civilization that may become, what civilization was in earlier days, a thing to be respected.”

And most readers of Ed Driscoll.com and PJ Media should be familiar enough with what the New Left have been doing since the 1960s to “rid society of the dictatorship of the middle class.” But then once the eggs have been broken, how do we make the omelet? How is utopia ushered in? Or as one of Gay Patriot’s co-bloggers asks, “What Happens When the Patriarchy Is Smashed?”

As someone clever pointed out, it’s interesting that the Feminist chose Chicago for their “Smash the Patriarchy” message, because nowhere has the Patriarchy been more successfully smashed than in the inner cities. Households led by fathers have become exceedingly rare,  single women raise families without husbands, and very few people participate in capitalist enterprises; the inner cities have become Radical Feminist utopia.

How’s that working out for them?

And speaking of smashing the patriarchy, “Is CNN ignoring the fact that Michael Brown has a father?”

And speaking of hitting the CTL-ALT-DLT keys on Western Civ, Dana Milbank of the Washington Post looks forward (to borrow the slogan of both MSNBC and former President Obama)  to “A Welcome End To American Whiteness.”

Glenn Reynolds accurately Milbank’s rantings as “Eliminationist Rhetoric,” and they’re further proof that the left continues to view Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism as a how-to guide, rather than a warning.

All of which are further reminders that when the destruction of whole classes of people is openly being called for…

“CBS Report: People In Ferguson Will Loot And Destroy Businesses Until Businesses Give Them Jobs,” as spotted by the Weasel Zippers blog.

So let’s review the formula at work here:

Step One: Destroy Businesses.
Step Two: ?
Step Three: Get Hired to Perform Meaningful Work.

What could go wrong? Besides, it worked so well in Detroit — where unemployment went from 3.4 percent before their mid-’60s riots to a massive 23 percent today.

Related: Bill Whittle on “Ferguson and the Real Race War.”

(Via Instapundit, with a memetic assist from South Park.)

Music as the healing universal language that unites us all, you’re doing it wrong:

(This seems to happen on a regular basis to the “gangsta” rap impresario.) And again:

When pre-Carson Tonight Show host Jack Paar died in 2004, Mark Steyn wrote that in sharp — and depressing — contrast to Paar’s sophisticated early 1960s middlebrow show, “Today’s pop culture is not Marshall McLuhan’s global village but a global housing project of warring ghettos. On the 21st century ‘Tonight Show’ the musical guests are relegated to twenty-seven minutes past midnight, because the country fans hate the hip-hop, and the hip-hoppers hate the Lite FM stuff, and if you put ’em on any earlier, the audience tunes out.”

Very early in the career of The Who, Kit Lambert, the band’s exceedingly bourgeois early manager, hyped the group by declaring, tongue firmly in cheek, “The Who are really a new form of crime. They are anti-social, armed against the bourgeoisie.” Similarly, it’s certainly a legitimate argument that the musicians who played Woodstock did much to cause the fall of South Vietnam to the totalitarian communist North — as Orwell said, the quickest way to end a war is to lose it. But again, at least they did so metaphorically, with guitars and amplifiers. When did pop culture decide to take the metaphor of “a global housing project of warring ghettos” far too literally?

Maureen Dowd, Straight-Up Racist

August 24th, 2014 - 2:55 pm

obama_plus_fours_3-19-11-2

If there’s one thing I know from watching MSNBC*, even before Barack Obama took office, is that any criticism of him — any criticism, no matter how mild — was at its core, entirely “about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up,” as a guest on the show hosted by the MSNBC anchor** Keith Olbermann said in April of 2009.

And any reference to golf is definitely racism double-plus straight up, as MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell declared on August 29th, 2012, on a show hosted by the MSNBC anchor*** Martin Bashir.

So when Maureen Dowd goofs on the president with a collection of bad golf jokes (link safe, goes to Twitchy), by the standards of her fellow Democrat operatives with bylines, it can mean only one thing: racism of the vilest sort.

How should the president respond? Perhaps the January 2010 issue of Golf Digest, which featured on its cover Tiger Woods caddying for Mr. Obama — the issue went to press about five minutes before the pristine MSM-airbrushed narratives of both men imploded for good — holds a clue. Golf Digest contributing editor John Feinstein wrote that one of the “10 Things Obama Might Learn From Tiger” was “How To Step On Their Necks:”

tiger-obama-golf-digest-12-09What makes Tiger Woods the most dominant athlete in the world (with apologies to Michael Phelps) isn’t so much his golf swing as what he does between golf swings. He’s cerebral in the sense that he lives to wear opponents out mentally every chance he gets.

President Obama surely knows how to compete. And yet, if you watched him debate John McCain, it was clear that Obama didn’t have Woods’ sense of the kill — knowing when an opponent is weak and the time is right to step on his neck. If Obama versus McCain had been match play, Obama wouldn’t have closed out his opponent until the 17th hole. When Stephen Ames made the mistake a few years ago of saying that he didn’t think Woods was quite as unbeatable as he had once been, he had the misfortune of facing Woods in the first round of a match-play event soon after. Woods won, 9 and 8. Asked post-match if he had anything to say about Ames’ comments, Woods smiled and said, “Nine and eight.”

President Obama should learn from Tiger. Sometimes you beat a guy 9 and 8, not 2 and 1. Teach him a lesson.****

That’s right — it’s time for Mr. Obama to teach Maureen Dowd a lesson, as her fellow MSMer demands of the president.

Either that, or it’s time for the rest of the media to come to grips with how misguided it’s been in its slavish throne-sniffing devotion to Mr. Obama. (QED: the notion of a rookie senator “teaching a lesson” to a former Navy pilot who spent years in a North Vietnamese prison camp by metaphorically “stepping on his neck” — completely forgetting how much McCain got of the real thing from the NVA. I wonder if Golf Digest’s editors, having outed themselves as crafting a publication that alienates half their potential readers feel any shame in retrospect at their hagiography?)

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Barbarism Endures

August 23rd, 2014 - 1:52 pm

“Progressives can’t wish away human nature,” Charles C. W. Cooke writes, noting that unlike the lightning-quick deaths inflicted by the blades of the guillotine or Henry VIII’s axemen, “American journalist James Foley, by contrast, had his throat slowly cut with a tiny, possibly blunted knife, his head clumsily sawn off over seven agonizing minutes. Goats have been afforded better endings. Can this be real?”

Many among us seem incapable of believing that it is. On Reddit, users are furiously debating whether the footage was faked. Elsewhere, others are seeking explanations as to what might have pushed Foley’s killers to such extraordinary lengths. Perhaps, they ask, IS’s behavior is the fault of something else. The United States’ invasion of Iraq, maybe? Or the legacy of colonialism, or of global inequality? Do these men just need running water? This instinct is folly, the product of the mistaken conviction that man is perfectible and his nature pliant, and that there is something intrinsically different about our age. “The lessons of history endure,” Oklahoma University’s J. Rufus Fears observed beautifully, “because human nature never changed.” “All the human emotions,” Fears added,

are the same today as in Egypt of the pharaohs or China in the time of Confucius: Love, hate, ambition, the lust for power, kindness, generosity, and inhumanity. The good and bad of human nature is simply poured into new vehicles created by science and technology.

Of late, some of those “bad” attributes have been poured into vehicles that have guns mounted on their sides and driven with brutal force across Mesopotamia. The stated aim is the “establishment of the Islamic khilafah” — a neo-caliphate that would stretch across the whole world, subjugating everything in its path and bringing all mankind under its ghastly authority. Such promises seem almost risible when sampled from the comfort of North America. But there is little that is amusing for those who find themselves in the way — no comfort to be taken from arbitrary assurances about the “right” and “wrong” sides of history, or consolation to be derived in verbal condemnations from distant powers. Our security and our “progress” is what we make of it, for there are no wars to end all wars; there are plenty of barbarians in the year 2014; and it definitely, most definitely, can happen again.

And speaking of barbaric deaths, while the brutality of ISIS has been well-documented of late, Claudia Rosett ponders why the New York Times and the UN can’t rouse themselves from their slumber to protest the mass public executions in Gaza.

Update: “Somehow we keep missing the point: the story did get out; the severed head is the message.”

Has Man Reached His Intellectual Peak?

August 22nd, 2014 - 3:38 pm

Well considering it’s Friday afternoon, for this week, probably. But as the London Daily Mail recently asked, “Are we becoming more STUPID? IQ scores are decreasing — and some experts argue it’s because humans have reached their intellectual peak:”

Evidence suggests that the IQs of people in the UK, Denmark and Australia have declined in the last decade.

Opinion is divided as to whether the trend is long-term, but some researchers believe that humans have already reached intellectual peak.

An IQ test used to determine whether Danish men are fit to serve in the military has revealed scores have fallen by 1.5 points since 1998.

And standard tests issued in the UK and Australia echo the results, according to journalist Bob Holmes, writing in New Scientist.

The most pessimistic explanation as to why humans seem to be becoming less intelligent is that we have effectively reached our intellectual peak.

Between the 1930s and 1980s, the average IQ score in the US rose by three points and in post-war Japan and Denmark, test scores also increased significantly — a trend known as the ‘Flynn effect’.

This increase in intelligence was due to improved nutrition and living conditions – as well as better education — says James Flynn of the University of Otago, after whom the effect is named.

Now some experts believe we are starting to see the end of the Flynn effect in developed countries – and that IQ scores are not just levelling out, but declining.

Scientists including Dr Flynn think better education can reverse the trend and point out the perceived decline could just be a blip. However, other scientists are not so optimistic.

Better education? Well, there’s certainly lots of room for improvement there, considering how political correctness has transformed history education into a grievance industry and dramatically dumbed-down textbooks in general, as Bill Whittle recently noted, comparing a century-old sixth-grade reader with today’s equivalents:

But the dumbing down and related coarsening of the culture is a trend that dates back to at least the 1960s, particularly in England, as Peter Hitchens noted in his bracing 1999 book, The Abolition of Britain. In his chapter on the collapse of Britain’s culture — both its highbrow and pop divisions — Hitchens wrote:

The novelist Kingsley Amis, deeply depressed by the collapse of knowledge and good judgement in the literary and  political worlds, wrote a withering satire on the decay of national culture at the end of the 1970s (Russian Hide and Seek, 1980). Just as Evelyn Waugh had once suggested that the Labour government of 1945 was similar to living under foreign occupation, Amis suggested that the trashing of our culture and literacy were so severe that only a ruthless foreign invader could possibly make them worse. [See also: collapse of American education system -- Ed] His book is a portrait of a nation without a memory, its ancient buildings demolished, its trees hacked down, its people barely educated and bottomlessly ignorant of their origins and past, living on stewed beets, pork bellies and windfall apples. A small and dwindling group of ‘pre-wars’ maintain the memories of what has been lost, but those memories are fading, and so all trace of them will die with this elderly generation. Amis describes an attempt to revive enthusiasm for Shakespeare after half a century of Soviet occupation, during which British history, literature and religion have been ruthlessly suppressed. A group of Soviet ‘liberals’ are trying to give the people their culture back, and are staging a performance of Romeo and Juliet in along-closed provincial theatre.

The actress playing Juliet, an English girl brought up long after the occupation, attempts to speak some lines from the play. She does not understand the rhythm of the verse, the classical allusions to Phoebus and Phaeton mean nothing to her, in fact she hasn’t a clue what she is saying. But nobody notices. [See also: MSM's lack of reaction to President Obama's weird ignorance of much of American history and culture -- Ed]

At this point, Hitchens quotes from a character in Amis’ novel, the “Armenian cultural commissar” who’s overseeing the play’s production, despite having absolutely no sense of the subjects of any of Shakespeare’s plays. He describes Romeo and Juliet as a play in which “a young man meets a girl at a party and feels her up in public, in front of her parents, in fact,” along with noting that “it’s so hard to understand these characters and to make out what’s one meant to think about them.” Still though, he thinks that the play’s violence will help sell it, “and the costumes and sets are going to be spectacular.” See also: mindset behind recent Hollywood comic book-style adaptation of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby.

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Harry Reid’s Latest Racist Gaffe

August 22nd, 2014 - 2:04 pm

“Sen. Harry Reid Launches Racist Jokes Before Asian Audience,” as spotted by Bryan Preston at the PJ Tatler:

The Daily Caller has a story on this remarkable video of Sen. Harry Reid speaking before the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce. In it, Sen. Reid engages in ethnic humor. First he jokes about Asians being smarter than everyone else — a racial stereotype, albeit a positive one. Later, he jokes that he “can’t keep his Wongs straight.” That joke has a bit more bite. Would Reid joke to a white audience that he can’t keep his Smiths straight? Is he suggesting that all Asians look alike?

I’m asking as the husband of a Japanese woman…

Sen. Reid has a history of making racial remarks, as when he noted that Barack Obama was a viable black presidential candidate because he is “clean and articulate.” He had to apologize directly to Obama for that one.

The Senator’s efforts did not help his chosen candidate for Nevada lieutenant governor. He sought the Asian Chamber’s endorsement for Democrat Lucy Flores. But the Chamber backed Republican Mark Hutchison instead.

Hey, it’s not like Harry Reid routinely holds whole masses of people in contempt, right?

Yes, of course he does:

Hey, it’s not like Harry Reid has a long history of saying a variety of vile things and putting his Florsheim in his mouth on a regular basis, right?

Again, of course he does:

Democrat house organ the New York Times has already entered into “addition through subtraction” mode that of course it would be great for Hillary if Republicans controlled both houses of Congress next year. Harry Reid, already risking a bruising 2016 reelection bid as a result of his punitive leftwing anger at pretty much the entire world may have just made their job easier. The GOP now has a way to nationalize this fall’s elections: Give us back the Senate, and move unrepentant racist Harry Reid to the back bench where he can do as little harm as possible.

Oh, That Liberal Fascism

August 21st, 2014 - 1:08 pm

“Michael Brown and the paramilitarized Ferguson Police Department are two sides of the same coin,” Richard Fernandez writes at the Belmont Club:

Yesterday’s post about the inexorable expansion of government can be read in conjunction with Roger Simon’s current piece about how the Great Society laid the foundations for the riots in Ferguson.

Ironically, Michael Brown and the paramilitarized Ferguson Police Department are two sides of the same coin. They are the joint product of the politics of grievance and the growing expansion of government. The taxes that made the mobs dependent also armed the paramilitary police that contain them.   You have one government department handing out Obamaphones and another handing out MRAPs to the cops. HHS gives out Obamacare and the IRS enforces it.

A giant bureaucracy tasked with providing all “positive rights” rumbles on, even as progressive politics unleashes more “community organizers” while erecting a giant political machine to meet those same growing expectations.  It calls to and answers itself. The result on a community scale is Ferguson. The result on a national scale is Barack Obama.

Dependence is met with welfare; crime countered by replacing the family — after destroying it first — with state adoption and child protection agencies.  Two monstrous excrescences grow from the soil to dizzying heights. It was supposed to be a win-win: the Hoary Hosts of Hoggoth (represented by the youths) would be governed and fed by the All-Seeing Eye of Agamotto. In charge of it all would be our very own Dr. Barack Strange Obama, who would preside over both the youths and their keepers.

And it continues apace. Soon Eric Holder will tell us whom to blame. And as Foxtrot Alpha explains, maybe systems like the “Wide Area Aerial Surveillance, the all-seeing eye in the sky that will change our lives forever” will tell us whom to find. Yet both, as Roger Simon notes, will utterly fail to spot the real culprit: the system that created this dynamic in the first place.

If only there was a book that explored the dangers of socialism run amok and how we got here.

Britain’s anti-Semitic Whiff of Weimar

August 21st, 2014 - 12:46 pm

“There is a whiff of Weimar in the air in Britain,” Douglas Murray writes in the UK Spectator:

There is a whiff of Weimar in the air in Britain. Barely a week now passes without some further denigration caused by anti-Semitic, sorry, pro-Palestine demonstrators targeting businesses run by Jews/stores selling products produced by the Jewish state. You know, like Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Marks and Spencer, Starbucks and so on. Most of this fairly random targeting of whatever business sounds a bit Jewish goes unnoticed. Sometimes protestors manage to get the business closed – as with the Ahava store in liberal, enlightened Brighton. Generally they just succeed in intimidating shoppers and making it easier for people to shop elsewhere in some non-Semitic store.

Sometimes the protestors, like this young man in Manchester, are open about their feelings and taunt any nearby Jews by telling them, for instance, how highly they think of Hitler (‘I love Hitler. I’m big on my boy Hitler’ says this nicely integrated young man):

It’s quite a disgusting video, but actually Britain went Weimar almost three quarters of a century ago when in the immediate aftermath of vanquishing National Socialism in Germany, English elites decided to inflict a nationalizing socialism all their own upon the nation.

The bill is both literally and figuratively coming due, both home and abroad — such as Iraq — where, as Mark Steyn writes, “American Decapitated by Englishman,” given the accent of the terrorist who decapitated American journalist James Foley:

His executioner — the man standing next to him in the picture at right — was speaking with a British accent. That’s to say, he’s one of thousands of citizens of western nations — British, American, European, Canadian and Australian — who’ve flocked to join the planet’s coolest new gang and saw the heads off anyone who gets in their way: Christian, Yazedi, Kurd, Shia, Alawite, and, indeed, plenty of little schoolgirls in pretty pink dresses.

See also: the aftermath of those who became jaded and bored by the decadence of the original Weimar.