David Thompson
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May 23, 2016

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bilbaoboy

David, David,

You sure know how to start the week!

David

You sure know how to start the week!

Hm. It occurs to me that this week’s selection is a tad grim, big bottom hiding apart. I am, though, in a good mood.

[ Beams enthusiastically. ]

Hal

. . . the imaginings of John Lennon

Truly, sometimes blog writers clawing for a start to a story are like a box of chocolates . . .

Dr Cromarty

Please tell me I'm not the only person who hates John Lennon's grizzly dirge Imagine?

That song has probably done more damage than Gramsci, served up as it is by vacuous, smug imbeciles at school assemblies as some sort of vehicle of spiritual wisdom.

David

Please tell me I’m not the only person who hates John Lennon’s grizzly dirge Imagine?

I shouldn’t think so, no.

bilbaoboy

It may only be a story but....

John was apparently showing a mate round his NY apartment and the mate was shocked at the amount of 'conspicuous wealth' as evidenced by fur coats etc.

The question was, 'but, but what about what you said in Imagine'

To which our hero replied (in a broad liverpudlian accent 'It's only a fu**ing song for f**ks sake'

And I am a Beatles fan!

Stuck-Record

Some time, maybe a 100 years in the future, after the migrant wars, the CultureWars intifada, the riots, rape gangs, Theodore Dalrymple will be taught in every class in the world.

He is a prophet of the coming Idiocracy.

Steve 2 - A Touch of Stevil

Hullo David,

The original Nick Cohen article on Venezuela is pretty good. You can't make pearls without grit though, and this speck of dust caught my eye:

A generation of American conservatives is being disgraced right now for their failure to stand up to Donald Trump – whose paranoia and mendacity, incidentally, imitates the Latin American caudillos in the Peronist and Chavista mould.

I've been following Mr Trump's fantastically coiffed adventures for some time now, and I have to say, and excuse my language, bah wizzums!

Trump Derangement Syndrome is a fully fledged Thing on both sides of the Atlantic now - I was at a public sector jamboree in Edinburgh recently and between the brain-meltingly dull presentations on "inclusion" some of the tax-guzzling worthies were fiercely virtue-signalling their disdain for all things Trump.

Which is pretty remarkable. I doubt David Cameron's name is ever mentioned at equivalent shindigs in the US.

So Nick Cohen's strange decision to invoke the name of Trump in an article that has nothing to do with the US presidential election, pretty models, golf courses, or improbably leonine hair suggests that he too has caught Trump Fever.

Symptoms include saying things that are 180 degrees askew of reality. For example, the supposed "failure" of "conservatives" to "stand up" to the Trumpmonster.

They spent hundreds of millions of dollars on ad campaigns to brand him a sexistracisthitlerbully. They used every arcane party rule to deny him delegates. They even tried parachuting in poor Mitt Romney, who is basically an animatronic version of a respectable American conservative. Nothing worked.

What else could they do? Hire the A-Team?

Trump's inevitable rise to power has nothing to do with "conservatives" not doing enough to tone-police conservatism, quite the contrary. Trump is what happens when millions of conservative-leaning voters finally get sick of their useless political leaders selling out their interests at every opportunity.

"Vote for us, so we can do the same things the Left will do, only with a bit more free market boilerplate!" does not a sustainable political movement create.

Mr Cameron, who is currently trying to sell us the vision that Britain outside the EU will be a cross between Mad Max and Children of the Stones, might want to take notes.

Joan

And where what is given is given as of right, not only will a recipient feel no gratitude for it

"Benefits cap is forcing me to work" says "mother of eight"...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQoVBVPetrc

David

“Benefits cap is forcing me to work” says “mother of eight”...

I can’t recall if it’s that interview or another in which Single Mother of Eight™ uses her numerous unsupportable offspring as a shield from criticism, a kind of emotional blackmail, implying that critics would have her brood starve or have them deprived of her motherly attention while she ventures out to work, or that they just popped out of her, all eight of them, during a particularly vigorous fit of coughing. There doesn’t seem to be much reflection on exactly how many incredibly stupid and antisocial decisions have to be made, and made repeatedly, in order to be in a situation where you can do that. And do it seemingly with no shame.

Liz

exactly how many incredibly stupid and antisocial decisions have to be made, and made repeatedly

That.

jabrwok

RE: "tight pants".

Meh. Young girls tend to dress like sluts too often nowadays, and the boys dress like homeless thugs. I say bring back school uniforms, or at least strict, and strictly *enforced* dress codes. And yes, make them sexually distinct. Long skirts for the girls, pants for the boy. The experiment with androgyny and pubescent good judgement is a failure. Hell, sexually segregated schools, or at least *classes*, would also be a good idea. Hormone monsters need as few distractions as possible when trying to learn state capitals and SOHCAHTOA.

As for the fat girls getting bullied, well, if they're too stupid to adjust their sartorial choices (and there are plenty of options short of burkas, despite the implication of the linked article) then my sympathy is limited. The world is a harsh place, and it will rarely adjust itself to accommodate the individual. Either lose the excess weight, learn to dress flatteringly, or get used to being mocked.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I can’t recall if it’s that interview or another in which Single Mother of Eight™ uses her numerous unsupportable offspring as an emotional shield from criticism...

I rather liked in the linked interview that she appeared to be claiming that dropping eight was actually a good thing because they will all grow up and go to university and get good jobs and thus she is a net contributor to society in a British version of the Order of Maternal Glory sort of way.

Captain Nemo

Dr Cromarty, you're not the only person who loathes that John Lennon dirge. I do too. The following line really irks me; "Imagine no possessions". Well John, millions of very poor people all around the globe don't have to "imagine" it, because it's their reality. And I'm not too sure that those people, whose fondest wish is to have a few meagre possessions, and who, incidentally, generally live under regimes you support[ed], will take kindly to being told by a man with millions of pounds in the bank, houses on several continents and a brace of Rolls-Royce motorcars in the garage, that that is how they should live.

Liz

If you mention Facebook censorship...

http://heatst.com/tech/facebook-censors-conservative-lauren-southern-for-mentioning-censorship/

...you'll be censored by Facebook.

Tom

@jabrwok

The sex segregated schools issue is interesting depending upon whether or not you believe any of the recent studies regarding outcomes based on sex segregated schools. Personally I've got to the point where I only believe the calendar, and I'm not quite sure it's not putting me on every now and then.

Apparently boys do better in mixed schools and girls do better when segregated. My fifteen year-old is in an all boys school and doing very well so I'm not sure I believe those 'studies'. According to him the other boys are very competitive (boys? competitive? who'd've thunk it?) about marks and try to edge each other out for the top spot.

However, after a week-long school exchange in France where he attended classes with fifteen year-old French girls his view is definitely bending towards mixed schooling. And as soon as he can come up with the fees we'll consider letting him go to one.

David

And as soon as he can come up with the fees we’ll consider letting him go to one.

I see what you did there.

David

He is a prophet of the coming Idiocracy.

On the subject of dependency and gratitude, this, also by Dalrymple, and written in the wake of the 2011 riots, may be worth revisiting:

The riots are the apotheosis of the welfare state and popular culture in their British form. A population thinks (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class) that it is entitled to a high standard of consumption, irrespective of its personal efforts; and therefore it regards the fact that it does not receive that high standard, by comparison with the rest of society, as a sign of injustice. It believes itself deprived (because it has often been told so by intellectuals and the political class), even though each member of it has received an education costing $80,000, toward which neither he nor - quite likely - any member of his family has made much of a contribution; indeed, he may well have lived his entire life at others’ expense, such that every mouthful of food he has ever eaten, every shirt he has ever worn, every television he has ever watched, has been provided by others. Even if he were to recognise this, he would not be grateful, for dependency does not promote gratitude. On the contrary, he would simply feel that the subventions were not sufficient to allow him to live as he would have liked.

Via here.

Lancastrian Oik

At the start of the "Imagine" video, both of the Lennons are wearing what look like fur coats as they stroll hand-in-hand through their 72-acre Tittenhurst Park estate. "No possessions"- yeah, right.

I think that's the most annoying thing about "Imagine". Not only is it a poor effort musically, with a dreary, repetitive melody which is badly arranged and desperately in need of a good middle eight and/or a key change to lift it, the juxtaposition of the Lennons' hedonistic excesses with the platitude-heavy lyrics makes it clear that this is a song written in bad faith.

When the kids at assembly are performing this dirge, they will be doing so at the behest of some dippy arts/humanities teacher who (especially if over the age of 40) will probably have a few Beatles/Lennon albums and will also possess a good working knowledge of the band's history, included what happened to John Lennon and Yoko Ono after the split. That should trigger one of a whole range of reactions to "Imagine" from "The cynical bastard!" to "What a hypocrite!" and make him or her think twice about having kids trot out the pile of trite bollocks. The mere fact that they are still falling for this forty-odd years after its release should tell you all you need to know when working out just how naive and stupid your kid's history/art/drama teacher really is.

If anyone would like to hear another song which includes a few hippy platitudes, but which has a proper tune and a storming guitar solo you could do worse than check out this from Brinsley Schwarz. By this stage the Brinsleys had morphed from being an idealistic, commune-dwelling bunch of hippies into a outfit with eyes on the big time and were desperate for a hit (they had been on tour with Paul McCartney and Wings and had seen first-hand what material success had done for Macca, who was wealthy beyond imagination but still a nice, kind, down-to-earth man. Exactly the sort of bloke Lennon was meant to be, but wasn't). As this was written by Nick Lowe I had always assumed it was meant to be slightly tongue-in-cheek (and I now have it on good authority from a source close to the band that is was- Elvis Costello, please take note).

Watcher in the dark

Future historians, and pyschologists, may well come to eventually understand why poor people of our time(s) got so fat and then thought it was a good to wear clothes that show the fat off, topped* by objections that no one should comment on how they look. For now, we contemporaries merely stare and wonder.

*I nearly said "muffin-topped" but that would be unfair. Naughty me.

Watcher in the dark

Lancastrian Oik wrote: "both of the Lennons"

Shouldn't that be "Lennonos"?

TheTooner

"...as soon as he can come up with the fees we'll consider letting him go to one."

So at home, at least, he is getting good lessons.

Criticas

Snug jeans and leggings would only be permissible if a looser secondary garment, say, a long shirt or dress, “covers the posterior in its entirety.”

They told me if I voted for Romney women would be back in Burkas! They were right!

Lancastrian Oik

So Nick Cohen's strange decision to invoke the name of Trump in an article that has nothing to do with the US presidential election, pretty models, golf courses, or improbably leonine hair suggests that he too has caught Trump Fever.

It's the Guardian, so probably the only way he could get it past the censors was by sticking in a completely otiose reference to The Donald.

And, to be fair, he does give Seumas Milne and Oliver Stone a right good kicking.

Milne, Corbyn, Abbott, Owen Jones and co.; their collective silence over the tragedy in Venezuela speaks volumes.

Tom

This is off the current topic(s) but I thought it might be interesting to the denizens here.

I was interested in whether or not the Austrians had elected 'junior grade Hitler', per the media at any rate, Norbert Hofer. Everything seemed to show the two candidates neck-and-neck which is odd as Hofer seemed quite popular whatever his political drawbacks.

Looking at the Ace of Spades HQ led to this comment which indicates all is not as it seems and the MSM may not be telling the whole story, I know, you're shocked.

http://acecomments.mu.nu/?blog=86&post=363619#c25280683

The info comes from Zombie, who has documented SJW madness in the San Francisco area for some time now. Zombie keeps a low profile, as you would need to when not 'of the body' in an area with a high concentration of SJWs, but has always been a reliable commentator.

Flubber

Re: Imagine

The point at which I wanted to physically maim people because of this shitty song, was when one loser dragged a piano into the middle of Paris after the Bataclan attack and trotted it out.

Yeah, the way to defeat an aggressive political ideology is to sing wishful thinking songs.. FFS.

The ISIS monkeys having witnessed this fuckwhittery, must have been thinking that Europe is just theirs for the taking...

Farnsworth M Muldoon

They told me if I voted for Romney women would be back in Burkas!

We don't have to get that extreme, hoop skirts will do just fine.

David

If anyone has trouble with comments not appearing, email me and I’ll give the spam filter a good shake.

David

One more time, as seen in the Guardian:

PiperPaul

"you'll be censored by Facebook"

No doubt shadowbanning is already in use.

Lancastrian Oik

....(T)his economy is not the Greece of Latin America

Agreed, it's far, far worse than that.

sackcloth and ashes

From the Nick Cohen article:

'Sex tourists need to believe that the women they buy are not like the women at home, who reject them as ugly and dull. These girls just want to have fun. Radical tourists need to believe foreigners do not want the rights they themselves take for granted at home. As they ask others to act out their “anti-imperialist” fantasies, they manage the unique and uniquely degrading feat of combining the delusions of the client, the neediness of the prostitute and the lies of the pimp'.

That's being directed at Jeremy Corbyn, Diane Abbott, Seumas Milne, Owen Jones, George Galloway, Ken Loach, Richard Burgon, and a cast of several score.

Talk about burning your bridges.

Charlie Suet

Crowbarring a reference to the evil Tories (or, in this case, Trump) is sadly a common flaw for Cohen. He can get good thing out from time to time but fundamentally he is still a tribalist who recognises some of the flaws of his tribe rather than an genuinely independent thinker.

Plus he's another one of those opinion columnists who regards engaging with even reasonable criticism as infra dig.

rabbit

The typical responses from left-wing commenters on Venezuela are...

1. That't not really socialism.
2. They had the wrong people in charge.
3. Foreign nations and private businesses derailed the revolution.
4. The capitalist press is exaggerating the problems.

Anything but face the idea that free markets and free enterprize are essential to the creation of a humane and affluent society.

WTP

rabbit, you missed the old stand-by:

5) The CIA has been disrupting their economy for x years.

Franklin

Sipping the Albino Squirrel: Nathan Heller talks to the snowflakes of intersectionality so you don't have to. Alternate title: Interview With An Emotional Vampire.

Dr Cromarty

6) Next time it'll work, for sure.

Jonathan

Britain outside the EU will be a cross between Mad Max and Children of the Stones,

Where can I sign up for this, Steve?

rabbit

Dr. Cromarty:

Point taken. Missed that one.

I have occasionally asked these commenters how many more must die before socialists "get it right." Most don't like the question. A few, disturbingly, don't seem to care how many die.

rabbit

The Guardian has ran a whole series of reports lately that have been highly critical of Maduro and his regime. Most interesting is this one from Nick Cohen.

Mark Weisbrot, a long-time Guardian contributor and head cheer-leader for Chavez and Maduro, wasn't mentioned by name in Cohen's article. I wonder, though, if The Guardian now regrets running columns like this.

David

Alternate title: Interview With An Emotional Vampire.

When the rotten, foul-smelling carcass of the so-called liberal arts is finally, mercifully buried, it will be due in very large part to these vain, revolting creatures. The ones who endlessly, compulsively categorise themselves, who “devote a lot of time to activism” while taking pride in their narrow, ignorant and cartoonish ideology, and who have, in their own words, “lost interest” in encountering views that differ from their own, even marginally.

Hal

Keeping up to date . . .

Hal

When the rotten, foul-smelling carcass of the so-called liberal arts is finally, mercifully buried, . . .

WTP

Re "Stick in the Mud"...I actually saw such an exhibit at the MOMA in NYC back in ... I believe the early 90's. But the cartoon has it slightly wrong. There were almost as many twigs as mud and they weren't set on the ground like a sculpture but hung on the wall like a painting. Obviously I'm a dumb-ass ignoramus who doesn't know the right words for such things, but I did see them. And yet they failed to "enlighten" me.

Kevin  Riches

Welfare?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XySyFOpQs5g&list=PL18F0C06CB9D1C1DB

Fred the Fourth

But, but, but Tom!
Fifteen year old French girls.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for your boy, you know (unless your name is e.g. Polanski).
Have a heart.

Fred the Fourth

of course, the correct response for Tom's son, assuming some desperation there, is one of those Europe On Two Pounds A Day deals. Airfare is left as an exercise for the creative reader...

Fred the Fourth

Tom: re the comment on the Austrian election, I just heard it reported that van der Bellen had won. Do you suppose this means that zombie's speculation about stealing the mail-in votes came true?

JuliaM

"Please tell me I'm not the only person who hates John Lennon's grizzly dirge Imagine?"

You most certainly are not.

abacab

You just know that if Herr van der Bellen had been right of centre there would have been unkind jokes regarding his name (Bellen in German is "bark", as in what a dog does.)

David

Then and now.

Henry

This is wonderfully appropriate to the Katherine Timpf piece

a ban on wearing tight pants in its schools because apparently “bigger girls” are getting bullied for the way that they look when they wear them

This sort of reasoning gives me an uncomfortable feeling.

Imagine being someone who is so stupid that they can to twist logic into knots like that. They could basically justify anything that occurred to them. And that is largely the point.

Just to spell things out in tedious detail: as we know, no one is forcing large ladies to make style choices that don't suit them (or to stop eating pizzas)

In a way, they are being removed from responsibility from their choices. There is also a considerable element of envy (of more svelte women) involved. Add in the customary mix of entitlement of victim groups and people from 200 years in the future might be able to understand the weirdness of our times..

jones

Does the Guardian not realise just how much respect it would garner by simply saying, "We got it so so wrong, we should look at our principles about these things"?.

Tom

"Fifteen year old French girls.
This is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for your boy..."
Fred the Fourth

I probably should have been more clear that the fifteen year-old females he'd be interacting with would be Irish as we live in Dublin. Only he could decide if they lived up to French girls.

..of course, the correct response for Tom's son, assuming some desperation there, is one of those Europe On Two Pounds A Day deals.
Fred the Fourth

He's both frugal and imaginative so if he really wanted to do it I'm certain he'd find a way.

...re the comment on the Austrian election, I just heard it reported that van der Bellen had won. Do you suppose this means that zombie's speculation about stealing the mail-in votes came true?
Fred the Fourth

I honestly don't know what to think. At this stage of my life I'm so jaded I don't trust anyone anymore. The recent Ben Rhodes\Obama Foreign Policy scandal shows the media is simply not an objective observer, at least for anyone with any remaining doubts. I don't want to get fitted for a tinfoil hat just yet but let's say the result of that election smells funny and I'm not entirely certain it was on the up and up. I should also make it quite clear that I wasn't pulling for Herr Hofer. I've not researched either candidate's positions but a quick perusal indicates neither of them was an ideal choice.

Please tell me I'm not the only person who hates John Lennon's grizzly dirge Imagine?
Dr Cromarty

To jump on the bandwagon with everyone else, no, you're not alone. In fact, I'm sure you could fill Wembley and quite few other stadia with people who loathe that depressing, nihilistic, dreck.

dicentra

In a way, they are being removed from responsibility from their choices.

Not "in a way": in every way.

Divesting oneself of all responsibility is the raisin tray of 3rd-wave feminism.

You've come a long way, baby.

ARGH

raisin tray

:)

dicentra

My French is impeccable.

Ness pah?

brilton

Re: the Lennon thing. I saw a 1968 interview with him and Victor Spinetti (who was doing a stage play adaptation of his books), and the interviewer asked Lennon what a "Brummerstriver" was (a term used in one of his poems). And Lennon answered that a Brummerstriver was a downtrodden worker who had to go to a job he doesn't like, every day, such a s steel works. Warming to his subject, he then enthused that people didn't *have* to go and do things they didn't want to do, that they didn't *have* to work at the local steel works.

I then watched a 1969 documentary called "Man Of The Decade", which was basically a camera crew following him and Yoko going about the place. And there he was, in the back of his Rolls Royce, which was crafted from British steel that all those Brummerstrivers didn't *have* to forge. He was chauffeured by a driver that didn't really *have* to drive a car for a living. (Imagine: pulling up on the side of the M!, and the chauffeur saying "You're right John, sod this job, I'm off. Bye bye").

And we were treated to footage of John magnanimously giving free LPs to visiting journalists that the record plant workers didn't *have* to pack and stack. And john and Yoko checking into a hotel a night time where the night clerk didn't really *have* to work there to check them in. And then being given breakfast in bed the next morning by room service staff that isn't really *have* to bother serving them. And on and on.

I'm a big Beatles fan, but over the years I've grown more lukewarm to Lennon"s views and politics. And a lot of the issues that he championed turned out to be wrong (e.g.: Hanratty, Michael X).

WTP

Come and keep your comrade warm
I'm back in the U.S.S.R.
Hey you don't know how lucky you are boys
Back in the U.S.S.R.

Heh. Lucky. OTOH, Taxman and if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao you ain't gonna make it with anyone anyhow. Seems like they got dumber as they got older. Bit of a Dorian Gray thing perhaps.

PiperPaul

"At this stage of my life I'm so jaded I don't trust anyone anymore."

Progressives' Mission Accomplished?

JL

"USSR" is actually a McCartney composition. I never knew what the hell it was about, but according to a quote in Wikipedia it was intended as a kind of Beach Boys parody, as well as a call out to Beatles fans in the Soviet realm.

Hedgehog

This discussion of John Lennon's, shall we say, economic idiocy combined with industrial-strength hypocrisy reminds me of a comment a hedge fund manager once made at a free-market conference I attended, along the lines of "I don't care what the monkey thinks as he turns the crank of the organ."

Something to keep in mind as we partake of the arts. I'm sure pretty much every opera singer (ok, so I enjoy opera. Sue me) has political opinions that are diametrically opposed to mine. I still like to hear them sing, though.

Of course there is the fact that a large part of the population puts way too much store in the opinions of performing monkeys that just happen to have a skill that has allowed them to become famous. Don't know if we can fix that. Probably not.

TDK

"Of course there is the fact that a large part of the population puts way too much store in the opinions of performing monkeys that just happen to have a skill that has allowed them to become famous."

Not sure that's true. The likes of Bono, Chris Martin, Saint Bob et al tend to preach to the choir. I suspect ordinary people are either oblivious to artist's views or else like them despite their views. David Bowie's popularity didn't vary as he flitted from socialism to fascism and back again. The subjects named above excepted, I imagine most stars tailor their pronouncements to ensure maximum coverage.

WTP

I suspect ordinary people are either oblivious to artist's views or else like them despite their views.

I don't think very many people pay attention to lyrics. Especially anything outside of the chorus. It both amuses and disturbs me how virtually every Forth of July the PA systems at picnics and fireworks shows are blasting Springsteen's Born in the USA (marginal) or The Guess Who's American Woman (flat out anti-American).

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