Get PJ Media on your Apple

Belmont Club

On the Immortality of Weeds

April 2nd, 2013 - 7:21 pm

The conviction of Briton Michael Philpott for the crime of burning down a house to get his kid’s welfare checks back inspired A. N. Wilson of the Daily Mail to brand him the “perfect parable for our age … his house, his booze, his drugs, his women and his 17 children were paid for by a benefits system meant to be a safety net for the truly needy.” “Shameless Mick”  gamed the system. ‘Michael Philpott did not want to work. He just wanted a house full of kids and the benefit money that brings.’”

When he lost custody of the kids to his former girlfriend Philpott set a scare fire to the house so the judge would conclude his ex was an unreliable parent and give the kids with their welfare checks back to him. But the fire burned out of control and incinerated all the kids in the house. The judge concluded instead that he was guilty of manslaughter.

Philpott is part of a new and burgeoning profession called voting for a living. And it’s not just confined to the poor. Jonathan Foreman’s book on the foreign aid racket Aiding and Abetting explains that if you really want into the big time then compassion’s the game for you.

There is an argument that the aid industry’s primary economic function is as a system of ‘outdoor relief’, or rather high-status employment, for members of the upper and middle classes in Britain and elsewhere. Clare Lockhart, co-author of Fixing Failed States, likens the aid industry to the Victorian Church of England, a prestigious institution in which third sons of elite families could work without soiling their hands in trade or industry.  Today, for university educated, idealistic young people (who may not have many marketable skills at home and whose background is no longer a guarantee of a fulfilling job at home), aid work offers prestige, moral glamour, adventure, foreign travel and, for some, a good living.

There’s nothing like caring for others to really do well for yourself.  France was recently shaken by news that its professional athletes had to pay a 75% tax on their earnings while the former Socialist Minister of Finance, who publicly inveighed against rich people salting their savings overseas finally admitted that he had a secret Swiss banking account. “Jérôme Cahuzac, who until two weeks ago was responsible for cracking down on tax evasion, admitted to having hidden funds in a secret Swiss bank on Tuesday. Judges have now placed Cahuzac under formal investigation.”

On his blog, Cahuzac said he was “devastated by remorse” and begged forgiveness from French President François Hollande.

“I ask the President, the Prime Minister, my former colleagues in government, to forgive me for the damage I have caused them,” he wrote, adding that he had some 600,000 euros in a foreign bank account that he had held in his name for around 20 years.

Cahuzac’s remorse may be for himself. Too bad I was caught. Remarkably for our caring age, shamelessness is unabashedly back. People will apparently consent to any exhibition; lie cheat and steal to whatever degree or shame and degrade themselves to any extent to earn a buck. And it’s OK, especially if you get on a reality show.

“Shameless Mick” Philpott for example, lost no time exploiting his momentary notoriety to say on a talk show that he was “having a threesome with his fellow defendants on the night of the fire, while he also claimed not to have showered for 12 weeks before the fire.” If you had paid him to take a dump on TV he probably would have.

One might conclude that the shameless have got the better of the world, were it not for the fact that it is so overrun by that other paradox, an excess of militantly godless morality. Big size soft drinks, pictures of guns, and words too numerous to mention are all proscribed. People shamble along in a rigid PC respectability every day; and yet there is something disturbingly passive and dead about the population who votes for a living instead of working for it.

Why do we live in an age of both intense public piety and almost no personal morality. It’s a paradox worth examining. Why can a single politically incorrect or ‘uncaring’ public statement ruin a career while private villainy so unimportant.  Why are the only sins that count today political ones? Why is it that the only mistake possible today is holding the wrong views, as David Gregory showed. Hate the “high-powered magazine” and its ok to hold the high powered magazine. It’s almost as if where you are in the system, not what you actually do that counts. Especially if what you do is work for a living. Public piety is everything; in our own personal behavior nothing matters. One writer in Bribanes Times asks:

Does this go some way to explaining a phenomenon I like to call ‘hot chicks and douche bags?’

You see it all the time. Beautiful, lovely women who generally make very sensible life decisions sometimes wind up with lads who, to the outside world, don’t appear to be their equal. Why? Are they trying to fix him? Are they attracted to his hopelessness? Do they not know their own value?

What value is that? Isn’t it true that the individual has no inherent value; an idea that is asserted in so many way. Judging douchebags would be judgmental but a fetus is not really a person until society declares him to be.  Aren’t individuals a byproduct of the social construct? And isn’t it true that only system causes  count in explaining our personal failures.

Have you had an abused childhood, lacked counseling, were bullied or experienced racism lately? Well that explains everything, because you’re just an empty vessel into which society pours its wine.

Consequently the answer to “Shameless Mick” or stolen Foreign Aid or lying politicians or douchebags is always in some kind of bureaucratic reform, licensing or regulation. Weeds exist because something is wrong with the garden.  And mass killings happen because “someone” — never yourself — forgot to proscribe the guns.  The cycle is familiar. Another Philpott, another regulation. Another terrorist bombing another body search for everyone.

And so we go through life helpless and passive. The English chavs, the foreign aid victims, the taxpayers and the modern hot chick alike stumble through existence waiting for some political party to deliver them from evil. For things just happen to us now.

One of the unreckoned costs of curtailing freedom, of denigrating the role of the individual, has been to subtract an essential ingredient from reality. Our individual wills are really an illusion, isn’t that settled science?  The real hidden cost to believing that “you didn’t build that”  or it’s equivalent “you didn’t do that”  is a fundamental impoverishment of in the concept of what it means to be alive.  In his own way “Shameless Mick” thought of himself as some kind of success, someone who had done a great thing. He had achieved that great transcendence,  minor celebrity.

he lay face down on the corridor floor in ‘‘a childish performance and a plan to make him look like someone who was distraught and unable to stand’’.

Moments later, Philpott joked to female police officers he would marry them, and later propositioned another officer to go back to his hotel room.

Marie Smith, the manager of the Royal Derby Hospital morgue, where the children’s bodies were taken, said Philpott had pretended to faint, referred to his dead children as ‘‘little —–’’ and held a police officer in a headlock during ‘‘horseplay’’.

And yet he didn’t earn a dime. Who are ye Mick? Are you someone I can hate or  feel anything human for?  Or did you never exist at all and simply know it?

The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99

Tip Jar or Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
I think I sense the true, final cost of all of this - I am losing all of the mercy and all of the pity I once had for those around me. I feel it slipping away from me day by day.

When the break comes, and it will, mercy and pity will be needed more than ever - but there will be none to be found.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (26)
All Comments   (26)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Wowzer Dowzer, DeGette is a specatcularly stupid cow:

I think this is all in the same conference or hearing.

If anyone sums up in a nutshell what the Left is like these days, it might well be DeGette. :-)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Also somewhat OT, but relevant to the underlying theme of arrogant, clueless, mysanthropic elites:

Rep. Degette has her "let them eat cake" moment. The difference is Marie Antoinette was only talking about cake. And this is only the second time a Democratic legislator has made an insolent and despiccable remark, and from the same state no less:
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Slightly off topic: The people over at Zero Hedge are scratching their heads in wonder. Today the Fed spent billions trying to prop up the bond and stock markets, refer to:

However the DJIA is currently down 85.57 !

What's going on here? The DJIA is supposed to always go up, independently of how bad the economic news is.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Listen friends, and mark my words in this moment and this hour--
God is jealous for his name for his name is jealous.

Nor is this a charming flower to set before a man
nor one of his commands.

Yet, without Jesus, this is more than we can love as we desire peace,
and less than we can know as we desire joy.

For the sacred fire
that makes us liars--
I mean, that separates speech from dreams,
and separates our flesh from the future--
is God’s power manifested.
So, in the year and the hour-- for his sake, invest your desire in Jesus.
Follow his holy fire for right now. Right now he intercedes for us in heaven!

Some will say we are people of the way.
We are people of the way.
We praise his holy name
I am who I am.
I cause things to be.
I am the first cause of creation.
We praise his holy name

And say “Thank you Jesus for your precious blood--
better, so much better than the blood of Abel.

How then should we pray?

I pray bless me a lot oh God.
Show me your kingdom and righteousness
in such a way that my thoughts words and deeds
reflect your wisdom and power--
and that-- for the sake of your honor and glory.
So that I will live in your presence
in this life and the next.
For your name sake
Let me hear my children praise your name
And their children too.
Let them woo 10 generations
coiled up in their dimensions
to the praise of your name.
Let my enemies,neighbors,family, friends,
strangers praise Jesus.
the risen Lord
I pray all this in Jesus name.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
""""" One might conclude that the shameless have got the better of the world, were it not for the fact that it is so overrun by that other paradox, an excess of militantly godless morality. """""

The goal is to create superbly [physically] healthy degenerates. Malicious versions of the Eloi. But even malicious Eloi can't stand up to the Morlocks of the world, and shall be eaten anyway
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment

…meanwhile the onerous regulations continue and the administration that cut its teeth on community organization, which is essentially an NGO writ small has decreed that that the banks, now that they are flush with funds from the public purse, must once again make risky loans to unqualified homeowners. It offers no jobs to pay ones’ dues but the opportunity to strangle oneself and debauch ones’ credit with a loan. So in effect, the administration is seeking to mine the last ounce of dignity from the American people.

The only reason I can see it to prop up the investments of the wealthy in the real estate market and to plunder, once again, the public treasury. The economy does not support a thriving housing market. Not without a thriving underlying economy to support it. 47 million or a full 14% of the country is on food stamps. How does that indicate the need for more home ownership? Any NGO with half a brain would know that the economy is decrepit and has not been improving since the disaster began. Official statistics have become a rats nest of deceit and obfuscation. These NGO’s (MSM) spent the GWB years talking down the economy so they are certain all they need to do now is talk it up and it will rebound but the only thing that is going to rebound for sure is disillusionment as each contrived talking point is shown to be false.

If one could prescribe a recipe for disaster then Obama is a master chef. What was healthy before the economy laid an egg? Defense, healthcare, and small business and the Marxists couldn’t keep their greedy paws off of any of them. I suppose their motto is regulate them to death or let them perish.

There are those who think that the feckless leadership of this country are unable to assert any actions to change events in the world but I say that what we have here is a passive aggressive regime that will force the hands of others like they have in the MENA theater. If you think that Obama is incapable of starting a world war just consider who was at the helm during WWI, WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam. World war is a democrat legacy and may be the best solution for the party to rid itself of the mess it has created.

The cost is there will be no mercy left in the world for anybody.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The Armed Forces are often accused of fighting the last war. More common is the government bureaucrat pushing the last program. A bureaucrat who appears less busy is not moving to GS-15 or even the heights of the SES. If in a moribund or even temporarily inapplicable department they still must show energy and activity, perhaps more so than in whatever is 'hot' this cycle. (key word 'show').
HUD folk still have the last mandate received, need seem busy in order to survive the sequester review of budgets, maintain agency size and increase their power base (gifts to the 'peeps). They do what they did so well...bully banks, implement silly policies, decide who should and should not own a home, decide who does or does not WANT to own a home, create graft opportunities for the lobbying groups.
$125k GS 15, flex time, lots of paid holidays, three years to retire at age 55, an $80k pension. Part time employment as a 'contractor' for the old department at about $100k per per. Life is good.
What's good for the nation? "Not my job. I do what Congress last told me to do"
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think I sense the true, final cost of all of this - I am losing all of the mercy and all of the pity I once had for those around me. I feel it slipping away from me day by day.

When the break comes, and it will, mercy and pity will be needed more than ever - but there will be none to be found.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
A 75% tax on earnings. That little. I read often that Democrats want a 90% income tax, like under Eisenhower. And for useless occupations like entertainers (athletes, musicians, artists, actors, directors, etc.) 90% seems too little.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The purpose of being a government functionary is to avoid its laws. Cahuzac is not unusual. I assume his ilk also enforces the pedophile laws in the EU, which, as scandals show, are routinely violated by government officials.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
When I am told I am just a social construct that has no reality higher than a human collective, I just tune out. I'd prefer to read St Thomas or Lao Tsu. At least I can understand them. When in turn I am told I am delusional I wind my neck in and smile all the way down at that infinite regression of turtles that support their universe.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 Next View All

One Trackback to “On the Immortality of Weeds”