Future historians, if there are any, will look on our epoch as one of bad temper. The ease with which people are provoked to the expression of outrage suggests that it has a very important function in our mental life, if not necessarily in our mental equilibrium. Outrage is a substitute for religion: It convinces us that our existence has some kind of meaning or significance beyond itself, that is to say beyond the paltry flux of day-to-day existence, especially when that existence is a securely comfortable one. Therefore we go looking for things to be outraged about as anteaters look for ants. Of all emotions, outrage is not only one of the most pleasurable but also one of the most reliable.

A professor in California has recently found herself the object of outrage after expressing her own outrage in class. The following headline in The Washington Post drew my attention to her story:

A professor called Trump’s election an “€˜act of terrorism.”€™ Then she became the victim of terror.

Olga Perez Stable Cox is described by the newspaper as a “€œhuman sexuality professor,”€ a description that I freely confess brought a smile to my face. What must her practical classes be like? “€œToday we are doing autoerotic asphyxiation. Take out your ropes, boys and girls. Do I have any volunteers?”€

A little further on, the article confirmed my belief that most tertiary education in the Western world is now the means by which we make youth pay for (or at least run up debts for, which as we know is not quite the same thing) its own unemployment:

“€œThoughts and feelings are not like pus in an abscess that unless drained by expression will cause a kind of mental septicemia.”€

Professor Olga Cox’s class on human sexuality has a reputation for being a uniquely open forum, one that functioned, at times, like a communal therapy session for hundreds of students at a time.

This, in the mouth of The Washington Post, is praise; but it made me think of a cartoon in Punch, circa 1950, in which a child psychiatrist says to a respectable mother, as her malicious-looking little child leaves his consulting room, “€œAnd remember, Mrs. Jones, if that doesn”€™t work, give him a good slap.”€

Anyhow, Professor Olga Cox expressed her opinion in class that the election of Donald Trump was an act of terrorism and an assault on America. One of her students recorded her saying it and spread it via his mobile telephone. Before long, Professor Cox was the object not only of vile abuse, but of implicit and even explicit threat. Someone published her home address, which could have been taken as an incitement to attack and even kill her (what was the point of publishing it otherwise?). Understandably, she became very frightened, for, as she said, there are a sufficient number of lunatics in society for one of them to carry out the act implicitly called for.

But to return for a moment to the classroom: It is obvious that she should not have said what she said. As a characterization of events in America it is so inaccurate or imprecise, at the same time so feeble and inflammatory, that it bespeaks either an inability to control herself or a lack of intellect (or both), neither of them admirable qualities in a university teacher. And the classroom is no place for teachers to express their raw political opinions to young people who are dependent upon them for good grades. 

On the other hand, the student who recorded and spread her comments widely was also acting in a destructive fashion, perhaps without fully realizing it. If everything we say or do can be recorded and published without our consent, we shall soon be living in a North Korea of the soul. No conversation will be truly private, no group of people to be trusted not to contain its digital Judas. The only safety will be in silence.

Of the abuse Professor Cox received, including suggestions that she shoot herself, nothing needs to be said, except that those who indulged in it almost certainly enjoyed it.

Perhaps the heart of the problem lies in the sub-Freudian doctrine that self-expression is an unmitigated good, and self-containment treason to one’s own self. This doctrine is very widely, if not universally, believed, but it is a savage doctrine, especially in an age of instantaneous communication, for it destroys the distinction between legitimate and illegitimate criticism, and the limits to what may be said by civilized beings”€”limits that we must lay down for ourselves if we do not want to live in a dictatorship of law that will bully but not control us.

Call me old-fashioned and I will thank you for the compliment. Call me a fool for rosy nostalgia and more thanks will be in order. Yes, Fred and Ginger are my favorite movie couple, and last year while recuperating from a broken leg, I watched four of their movies back-to-back shown on Turner Classic Movies. I haven’t stepped into a movie theater in years, and only watch TCM and a few sports on the idiot box. The latter has recently become even worse after the Trump victory. Watching know-nothing talking heads repeat ad nauseam how Americans turned out to be racists and homophobes, and the fury unleashed by “traumatized” students, is sickening enough. Add to that the utter idiocy of most programs and the terminally adolescent and moronic late-night talk shows, and a black-and-white Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie from 1935 is like an ice-cold beer at the end of a two-hour walk across the Sahara.

Fred and Ginger flicks transcended the boundaries of identity because today’s marketeers, interested in identities they can target, did not exist. Everyone was white and good-looking, had wonderful and impeccable manners, and dressed more elegantly than the Duke of Windsor, of necktie-knot fame. Mind you, there were black porters on the train and serving on the liners taking Fred and Ginger down South America way, but that was about it. They were called escape flicks for the poor and unemployed. They have now become escape clauses for the permanently traumatized by the atrocious manners of the great unwashed, people like yours truly.

“A Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie is like an ice-cold beer at the end of a two-hour walk across the Sahara.”

So you can imagine what a delightful surprise it was to see a movie called La La Land, starring the divine Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. They might not dance like Fred and Ginger, and they’re not dressed as elegantly, but it’s a bittersweet fairy tale with the couple and others bursting into song à la ’50s musicals. Stone and Gosling are actors first and not dancers, but practice makes perfect and their hoofing is as professional as it gets. Fred and Ginger were the opposite—hoofers first, then actors. Perhaps that’s why I prefer them, their inability to act down-to-earth, or naturally. There’s too much “naturally” nowadays, too much swearing, and much too much information. Give me a fairy tale any day.

And two weeks after the Donald’s victory—another fairy tale—I got from TCM just what the doctor ordered. Love Me Tonight was made in 1932 and stars Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald, also Myrna Loy, C. Aubrey Smith, and Charlie Ruggles. Chevalier is a Parisian tailor who is owed a fortune by a count. He drives to the count’s ch”teau where the count’s father, the duke, is among the richest in France. On the way he almost runs over the beautiful Jeanette, who is riding and singing “Isn’t It Romantic,” by Rodgers and Hart. The handsome tailor sings “Mimi” to her—another great song—but she finds him too fresh. She is a widowed princess and lives with her uncle, the duke.

Once in the ch”teau—a Hollywood version with giant pillars and marble floors and endless grand staircases—the tailor is introduced to the duke by the indebted count as a baron, and he meets again the blond princess who still thinks he’s fresh. “You don’t act like a baron,” she tells him. Three spinster sisters of the duke, however, take a liking to him, as does the duke, and he’s invited to stay. Soon he and the princess are madly in love. “I love you,” he tells her. She slaps him. “I love you,” he tells her again, and gets slapped again. “I love you,” he says for a third time, and she pounces on him and kisses him.

Then the you-know-what hits the fan. He confesses that he’s a tailor and she goes into shock. The three spinsters faint. The butlers, footmen, and scullery maids are furious. A tailor! “I knew it,” says a gossip. “He was no gentleman, his clothes were too finely cut.”

Of course, all’s well that ends well, and the princess chases the tailor returning to Paris brokenhearted and they live happily ever after. It is a Hollywood film. The Europeans would never give it such an ending. Eighty-one years later, tailors are the dukes of today’s culture. Tom Ford, Valentino, Ralph Lauren: all glorified seamstresses, billionaires, and taken seriously by what passes for society. If you get a chance, go see the movie and dream. The clothes are great, the music’s even greater, and it has a sense of humor. A tailor, a tailor, even an atomic bomb explosion would not have shocked them as much as a tailor among them. Those were the days.

Can anyone make sense of the Middle East? Certainly those of us who perforce rely on television and newspaper reporting and analysis are in a poor position to do so, for all the professionalism and expertise of journalists and pundits. But it seems that the State Department, the Foreign Office in London, and the Quai d”€™Orsay are equally at a loss. Over much of the region they can”€™t even be sure which side they want to win, let alone which of the many sides they should support with money, weapons, training, etc. Not so very long ago, the line was that the moderate Syrian opposition”€”the Free Syrian Army”€”deserved and should receive our backing. They were reportedly democratically inclined. Perhaps they are, or were, though they have also been financed by the Saudis and the Gulf States, not exactly beacons of democracy. The Saudis want a Sunni-dominated Syria, and that’s the end of it. However, the so-called moderates ain”€™t going to win; any support given prolongs the agony.

At first we were determined that President Bashar al-Assad must go. Turkey agreed with that, because Assad was backed by Iran and Russia. Now Turkey’s President Erdogan has switched horses and is collaborating with Russia; he is Vladimir Putin’s new best friend in the region. Together they are trying to make sure that Assad not only survives but comes out on top. This will be a nasty toad for the West to swallow, but swallow it is what we”€™ll have to do.

“€œMeddling in lands may appeal to imperialist ambitions, but it usually gets you into trouble.”€

We can all agree that ISIS”€”the Islamic State”€”and the various offshoots of Al-Qaeda are the enemy, and Mr. Trump tells us that ISIS is to be destroyed. Perhaps it will be”€”the organization, anyway. But ISIS is also an idea or ideology, and bombing its positions, degrading its military capacity, won”€™t kill the idea. Quite the contrary; it might even strengthen it. Martyrdom is sexy.

In any case, vile as it is, ISIS may be said to be in one sense irrelevant to the problems of the region. They would be there just the same if ISIS and Al-Qaeda had never come into being. They all stem from the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire during or as a result of the First World War. That empire had long been in decline, and in its decline it was for the most part lightly governed and in matters of religion tolerant. Christians and Jews lived, mostly unmolested, in towns and cities throughout the empire. There was a large Greek population in Turkey itself, and cities like Beirut, Aleppo, and Alexandria were cosmopolitan.

The empire collapsed. Turkey became a nationalist state but also, under Kemal Ataturk, a secular one. It is still nationalist, but less secular with every year that the Erdogan regime survives. Meanwhile, Britain and France, as two of the victorious powers, took it upon themselves to reorder the region, creating new states, notably Iraq, and drawing their boundaries, or creating new states out of Ottoman provinces that, for one reason or another, were not deemed ready for independence. Chief of these was Palestine, a mandate conferred on Britain by the League of Nations”€”the mandate eagerly accepted and soon regretted.

None of these creations was a nation-state. There was the idea of the Arab nation, and it’s an idea that has never found practical expression. In most of the new states people felt loyalty to their tribe and their religion, not to the state. With peace, civil order, and good government, the idea of a patriotic loyalty to Iraq or Syria might have developed. But these things have always been in short supply. Almost everywhere order has been maintained by force, not by consensus.

If 2015 was the year of the tranny, 2016 was the year of the cuck. Comedy became a venue for social justice whiners and sex became rape. While castigating white men for letting Trump happen, blacks rioted in the streets based on Facebook memes and Muslims murdered Americans in the name of Islam. It was a topsy-turvy year of hate-crime hoaxes where white people could do no good and brown people could do no wrong. Ultimately, Obama’s last year will go down as the year alt-left fanaticism led to the death of the left. It also begat Trump.

We started the year with Gary Nathaniel Moore awaiting trial for burning a mosque. They assumed it was yet another anti-Muslim hate crime, with both CNN and NBC parroting CAIR’s assessment that the arson reflected a “€œrecent spike in hate incidents targeting mosques nationwide.”€ When we learned Gary was a black Muslim who attended the mosque, the MSM quickly shifted their attention to some white dude who put strips of bacon on a Muslim doorknob.

January was also the month we saw LaVoy Finicum shot dead by federal agents. This would be a great martyr opportunity for anarchists were LaVoy not cursed with the unbearable whiteness of being. Sure, the government was imprisoning ranchers such as Dwight Hammond and his son Steven for crimes as ridiculous as starting helpful brush fires, and sure, the Bundys were brave enough (and armed enough) to force the government to stand down, but they all look like country singers so, no cool T-shirts for you!

The obsession with all things brown brought 16-year-old Marlin Stivani Nivarlain to Northern Iraq where she served ISIS as a piece of human garbage until being rescued by Kurdish special forces. She was shocked to discover it’s a “€œreally hard life”€ over there.

“€œApril was the month everyone told us they were going to move to Canada if Trump won. None of them did.”€

A 1.5% Indian girl was wrenched from her family and brought to another white family who might be a fraction of a percent more Indian. Six-year-old Lexi Page was a victim of the Indian Child Welfare Act, which purports to be about Indian reunification but is really about white guilt and revenge. The Supreme Court is currently pondering their next move, but it’s not looking good and in all honesty, the damage has been done.

This was the month everyone told us they were going to move to Canada if Trump won. None of them did.

Things appeared to be dying down as we approached the spring. The only story that sticks out during this time for me was when food blogger Nick Solares was suspended from his job at Eater.com for possibly being in a band that may have been racist a quarter century ago. I remember his band Youth Defense League from the “€™80s. They were right-wing but Nazi skinheads hated them for refusing to embrace racism.

Brexit happened, which is British for “€œTrump is going to win.”€

This was the summer of Leslie Jones. The remarkably unattractive black woman who was hired at SNL because someone dared to blaspheme black women had her feelings hurt on Twitter when someone pretended to be her. The person responsible was possibly a fan of Milo Yiannopoulos”€™ so Twitter reacted by banning Milo. Soon after, Jones was rewarded with a trip to the Olympics where she delivered pithy gems such as “€œSlay all day”€ and “€œThere is a country called Georgia.”€ 

Oh yeah, five cops were shot and killed in Dallas by a member of the New Black Panthers. Beyoncé likes to dress up like one and dance around during football games but that’s a black issue so get over it.

The end of summer brought one of my favorite stories of the year when a waitress with green hair and tons of stupid tattoos got to pretend she was Rosa Parks. Apparently, some customers at Red Robin didn”€™t appreciate their server’s punk rock look (which was originally designed to ostracize) and so they said as much. The reaction was peak victimhood with a “€œflood of support”€ that included other servers wearing green wigs and applying temporary tattoos.

Keith Scott was shot by police after refusing to cooperate. He was armed but the story became all about him being assassinated by police while reading a book because he’s black. Without so much as a quick Google, this meme became a massive riot that left black male Justin Carr dead after he was shot in the head by another black protester. His mother said he “€œdied for a cause.”€ She’s retarded.

Over one weekend in September, we had almost a dozen bombs planted in NYC by Muslim Khan Rahami and a mass stabbing in Minnesota by Muslim Dahir Adan. The press took it easy on them, as the lone wolves were likely just following orders.

While this was going on, the war on nonliberal professors was ramped up. University of Toronto’s Jordan Peterson was attacked by his own administration and students for refusing to kowtow to this ridiculous notion that you need to ask someone what pronoun to call them. The University of Ottawa’s Janice Fiamengo has also been swallowed up by this PC fascism and is currently going through some kind of Orwellian review involving a bunch of stupid committees who will fine her if they deem her work offensive. One of the strangest cases in this crusade to make universities completely Marxist is NYU’s Michael Rectenwald. Though he is liberal, he dared to mock safe spaces and trigger warnings and was summarily fired. However, after Trump won, the “€œdeplorable“€ professor was rehired, promoted, and given a raise. It’s a heartening story, but 2016 is still the year we had a professor say, “€œAll I want for Christmas is white genocide.”€

The election consumed this month and it was particularly fun because the left was totally convinced they were going to win. They still did promotions and sang songs, but they were victory songs. Hillary even bought fireworks. Those of us who knew Trump was going to win braced ourselves for the temper tantrums.

Yeah, that’s right”€”I went there. No, I don”€™t mean the gay bar (although I did go there, too). I mean I used “€œtail”€ instead of “€œtale”€ because the story I”€™m telling involves a dog, a pun so tired and hackneyed it’s beneath even the most banal of writers. But by this time in December, I”€™m usually in a banal state of mind, having been subjected to over a month of mindless, endlessly repeated Christmas carols and tired, recycled holiday images everywhere I go. It’s always fun at first (I actually love Christmas), but by the end of the month, I get holiday fatigue. In fact, so fatigued am I that when my young female friend said to me, “€œLet’s go to a gay bar,”€ I actually said yes, just to break the holiday tedium. Still, it was an out-of-character response for a man who is (a) not gay, (b) way past the point in life in which the bar scene is novel or fun, and (c) did I mention, not gay.

So off my friend and I went, on a Thursday night in the pouring rain, to West Hollywood. Along for the ride was my friend’s service dog. And no, it isn”€™t one of those Paris Hilton “€œemotional support dogs.”€ I”€™m talking an actual service dog, with papers to prove it. Sadly, each bar we visited on the legendary Santa Monica gay-bar strip was a disappointment to my friend. None of them were gay enough. She didn”€™t want to see gaggles of young straight chicks whooping it up at bars where they feel safe from being hit on, surrounded by young straight dudes trying to hit on women who have their guard down because they”€™re in a gay bar. She wanted to see Milo-level faggotry. So, being the dutiful male that I am, I asked a waitress where we could find a truly gay gay bar, the genuine article, the real McCoit. Without hesitation, she gave me the name of the bar we sought (which I”€™m withholding on purpose, due to possible pending litigation).

“€œInside the bar not a creature was stirring, not even a…I could make a gerbil quip here, but I won”€™t.”€

Rain coming down steadily, my friend, her dog, and I headed down the street toward our fruity El Dorado. Upon entering, we found the place nearly deserted. This was not a good night to be out. It was a weeknight and the weather was cold and wet, so inside the bar not a creature was stirring, not even a…I could make a gerbil quip here, but I won”€™t; I”€™m on thin enough ice with the “€œtail”€ thing. We sat at the bar. I ordered two beers”€”one for me, one for my friend”€”and I closed out. The night seemed to be a bust. No local gay “€œcolor,”€ no excitement.

That was about to change.

We were approached by the guy who was working security at the door, a young black gentleman with a very pleasant demeanor. Quite apologetically, he told us we couldn”€™t sit at the bar with the dog. We didn”€™t have to leave, because he knew it was a service dog, but, at the manager’s insistence, we had to sit by the front door, in a “€œspecial”€ area where service dogs were allowed. Now, I”€™ve gotten to know the Americans with Disabilities Act pretty well over the past year (hanging out with a service dog will do that to you), and I calmly explained that the ADA prohibits the “€œsegregation”€ of anyone with a service animal. Anywhere other customers can go, so can someone with a service dog. The law is quite clear on that point, especially regarding how it applies to bars and restaurants. If we would be allowed to sit somewhere without the dog, we must be allowed to sit somewhere with it. 

There’s no need to drag (no pun intended) the story out at this point. In the bar’s manager, my friend and I finally encountered the Waldo Lydecker stereotype we”€™d been seeking all night. He was fussy, prissy, inflexible, and downright cunty. The ADA didn”€™t apply to him. The law be damned; it was his bar, his rules. My young friend was equally inflexible; the law was on her side, so she wasn”€™t going to back down either. The authorities were called, and things got ugly. But I”€™m going to stop the story there, because I have a larger point to make (and also, you know, pending litigation and such). The next morning, I struggled to understand the manager’s hostile obstinacy. Was it because my friend and I rather obviously presented as straight? Had it been anti-hetero (how I hate this word) “€œdiscrimination”€? I decided to call a friend who manages a lesbian bar in another part of town. I explained the situation from the night before. She was direct in her response: “€œIt was less likely anti-straight bias than it was all about the dog. Lots of queer bar owners hate the ADA because of the service-dog regulations.”€

I was surprised. “€œBut I thought gays loved their dogs…you know, pampering them, dressing them up in little hats and bow ties and shit.”€

“€œExactly,”€ my friend answered. “€œQueers are always trying to bring their non-service dogs into gay bars, and the owners and managers hate the ADA for the fact that it makes it almost impossible to turn them away. It’s a feeling of government intrusion; the owners feel like their right to run their own business is being violated by a law that demands access in the name of civil rights.”€

I checked online, and I”€™ll be damned…yes, it’s a “€œthing.”€ All over the country, gays with service dogs complain, on Yelp, on social media, and in the LGBT press, about the resistance they get at gay bars. One example of many is this article in Living Out magazine titled “€œSeeing in the Dark: Gay Bars in Dire Need of Disability Training.”€ In the piece, the author, a blind gay man, writes about the difficulty of going to LGBT bars with a service dog:

I have had a hard time in gay clubs in Miami, New York City, and Los Angeles, to name a few. More and more, I see straight places offering more accommodations for people with disabilities, while gay establishments continue to offer poor service.

Okay, this is rich. Gay club owners getting pissed off about federal laws mandating access in the name of civil rights. But here’s the thing: The gay bar owners have a point regarding service dogs and the ADA. The law is a hot mess of government illogic. Establishments are allowed to bar any dogs that are not “€œgenuine”€ service animals (as opposed to simple pets or “€œemotional support animals”€), but, and here comes government doing what it does best”€”crafting irrational and contradictory rules and regulations”€”establishments may not demand proof that a dog is a genuine service animal. In other words, you can ban non-service animals, but you are banned from asking for proof that an animal is a service animal; you have to take the customer’s word for it.

In plain talk, any dog can go into any establishment as long as the owner says it’s a service dog. The owner might be telling the truth, or the owner might be lying, but it makes no difference: Poochie-Pie gets to come in. Business owners may ask one question”€”what service does the dog perform? But again, the customer must be taken at his/her/its word; the merchant can”€™t ask for proof. That’s the law.

NEW YORK”€”I don”€™t wanna say Donald Trump has contempt for established rules, but he’s planning his third term.

This is a boon for the media, though, because at least once a day the Trump press corps gets to say, You won”€™t believe what this guy did now.

The usual progression goes as follows:

(1) Trump does something mundane that would normally not be noticed”€”like taking a congratulatory phone call from the president of Taiwan.

(2) The Washington bureau chief of The Philadelphia Inquirer goes, “€œWait! Was that normal? Is there protocol for that? Won”€™t that piss off China? I think I”€™ll go ask my blabbermouth source in the State Department what he thinks about it.”€

(3) Stanley P. Macpherson Jr., Deputy Assistant Secretary for South Asia, answers his phone and says, “€œOh yeah, Stu, he’s playing with fire. This is off the record, right? That one phone call could set the country back thirty years in terms of China policy.”€

(4) Headline the next day: TRUMP CLUELESS ABOUT CHINA.

What is not stated in the Inquirer article is that (a) Stanley Macpherson worked for Hillary Clinton and liked her, (b) Stanley puckers up every time he hears Trump talk about “€œdraining the swamp,”€ and (c) Stanley believes that, if there are budget cuts next year, his staff is likely to be on the “€œtake no prisoners”€ list.

“€œI just got off the phone with Steve Bannon and, in spite of anything you might have read, this is the lineup for 2017.”€

Probably the worst thing you can say to Donald Trump is “€œMr. President, you have to do it that way because we”€™ve done it that way for the past fifty years.”€

That’s like telling an alcoholic, “€œDon”€™t touch this Macallan single malt I”€™m leaving on your nightstand over the weekend.”€

Fortunately I”€™m here to explain the Trump mind.

Let’s start with the Environmental Protection Agency:

Scott Pruitt, the Attorney General of Oklahoma, is being appointed by Trump to head the EPA because Trump wants to piss off the environmentalists. “€œEnvironmental”€ is in the name of the agency”€”hence, Trumpian logic applied, you need somebody who is gonna nuke the D.C. attitude. Pruitt has defended ExxonMobil, sued the EPA numerous times over the Clean Power Plan, and is basically in favor of fracking, canceling the Paris climate deal, and packaging mercury, arsenic, and California smog as ingredients in craft beers sold at minor-league ballparks. But those are not even the most annoying things about him. He’s also a deacon at the First Baptist Church of Broken Arrow and a trustee of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, which is located in “€œThe Ville”€”€”Louisville, Kentucky. People in Kentucky think the EPA was invented to destroy their coalfields.

I once participated in a seminar on Muslim immigration that included Anglican clerics from Oxford University and senior professors from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. By the end of the weekend, several of the Oxford dons had to be straitjacketed so that they wouldn”€™t go off in search of automatic weapons”€”that’s how fundamentalist SBTS is. Pruitt is not just a pollution-lover, he’s one of those annoying guys who comes to your house on Thursday night and makes you give money to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

But Scott Pruitt is really just a decoy. He’s an obvious target so that nobody will notice the rest of the upcoming Trump appointments. I just got off the phone with Steve Bannon and, in spite of anything you might have read, this is the lineup for 2017:

CIA Director: This will be Boris Vasilievich Mistrovokolsky, currently manager of a power plant in Tajikistan but well-known to Trump as the Interim Director of Construction Contracts for the new Trump International Hotel and Spa in Baku, Azerbaijan. Mistrovokolsky vows to make the CIA “€œmore transparent.”€

Drug Czar: Eddie “€œFingers”€ Felson, former jazz trumpet with the Miles Davis band, thirty-year heroin user. Determined to get rid of the needle-free drug culture based around crystal meth and return the country to its roots.

Press Secretary: Heather McCrory, YouTube baton-twirling star voted “€œhottest on Snapchat”€ three years in a row by the glee club of Milhaus High School in Encino, California. Heather vows to live-tweet every press briefing and get rid of the “€œreporters”€ who work for “€œnewspapers”€ and “€œtelevision networks,”€ since she gets all her information from Netflix.

National Security Advisor: Vinnie Campesino, former head of security for both Miss World and Miss Teen USA, who can bench-press 400 pounds and once pried a spiked piña colada away from Charlie Sheen’s death grip. Vinnie is fond of quoting Rowdy Roddy Piper in a scene from They Live: “€œI”€™m here to chew bubble gum and kick ass, and I”€™m all out of bubble gum.”€

Considering the state of this world, it is perfectly understandable to find oneself being constantly annoyed.

As each year winds to an end, I find myself surveying the past twelve months and thinking about who annoyed me. I have previously published lists of my findings for 2012, 2013, and 2014. Last year I took a hiatus, apparently because something more timely caught my attention and annoyed me instead.

When choosing my finalists for 2016, fame was not a consideration. I”€™m sure you”€™ve heard of some people on this list, while I suspect that most of them are new to you. These are merely the human annoyances that I, poring over my extensive notes from the past year, find myself most personally aggravated by as I peck out this article on a dark and wintry eve.

My selections are rated in escalating levels of annoyance. Nonwhites are cut some slack because they don”€™t know any better, while white ethnomasochists get top billing.

Without further ado, I present to you this past year’s most annoying personages.

“€œConsidering the state of this world, it is perfectly understandable to find oneself being constantly annoyed.”€

This less-than-svelte dusky dumpling writes for perennial commie rag The Nation about “€œrace, justice and the environment,”€ so you can assume she couldn”€™t think her way out of a brown paper bag, even one made from recycled products. This year not only did she smear the game Pokémon Go as “€œracist,”€ she blamed the 300+ deaths in Haiti from Hurricane Matthew not on Hurricane Matthew, but on “€œenvironmental racism.”€ In lieu of any new evidence that changes my mind, I will assume that anyone who mixes intangibles such as “€œjustice”€ and “€œracism”€ alongside environmental issues is a stooge of globalist propaganda. Many scientists agree that the weather sometimes changes, so obviously we need a world government with a centralized taxing authority.

Another minority hire who mixes anti-white animus with pseudo-academic environmental gibberish, Ms. Finney is paid in real live US tax dollars to be a “€œdiversity advisor“€ for the US National Parks Advisory Board. In her book Black Faces, White Spaces, she attempts to argue that black people avoid scenic rural areas because they have a history of being oppressed “€œin forests and other green areas.”€ Yes”€”she actually wrote that. This year she attempted to argue that black Americans avoid the nation’s National Parks “€œbecause they were lynched on the trees.”€ Fire this woman now.

“€¨This hostile and overweight black male lawyer edits a website called Above the Law. In a recent article called “€œHere’s How Black People Could Use Jury Nullification To Break The Justice System,”€ he encouraged jurors to “€œacquit any person charged with a crime against white men and white male institutions”€:

Assault? Acquit. Burglary? Acquit. Insider trading? Acquit….Murder?…what the hell do you think is happening to black people out here? What the hell do you think we”€™re complaining about when your cops shoot us or choke us? Acquit….White people aren”€™t willing to indict a cop for choking a black man to death in broad daylight. Imagine if black people weren”€™t willing to indict a citizen for punching a white guy in the mouth?

What the hell do I think is happening to black people out here? Well, in 92.5% of the cases when they”€™re murdered, they”€™re being killed by other black people. Maybe instead of acquitting people who victimized whites, juries should ramp up their conviction rates of blacks who murder blacks? Scratch that”€”it doesn”€™t appear that his goal is to protect blacks as much as it is to harm whites.

This year Khan was elected “€œthe first Muslim mayor of any major Western city“€ and thus served as a symbolic “€œfuck you”€ to indigenous Britons who don”€™t want their soggy island turned into an Islamic satellite state. When English voters chose to leave the EU, he threatened to defy their mandate. He immediately set about to further crush the national consciousness by installing a series of gay-friendly traffic lights in London, to ban public advertising that featured women with desirable bodies, and complained that the board which governs the London Underground is too white. He is a sneaky snake and is not to be trusted.

A staff writer for the resolutely cuckolded National Review“€”which devoted an entire issue in a failed and flailing attempt to stop Donald Trump”€”Williamson wrote a screed decrying America’s white working class that bordered on Tim Wise levels of genocidal disdain:

[N]obody did this to them. They failed themselves…. The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. … The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles.

As the election proved, America’s white working class is very much alive. It is National Review that deserves to die.

The clearest evidence that American journalism is dead is the fact that this idiot has a column in a New York daily, although the Daily News quickly shut off all comments on his articles when it became apparent that he wouldn”€™t know a fact if it beat him over the head like the LAPD clobbered Rodney King. This summer the dubiously black Mr. King threatened to help overthrow the US government if Donald Trump were elected president. Apparently operating free from the constraints of fact-checkers, King also stated that “€œExtrajudicial deaths of men, women and children at the hands of police have never been this widespread in the history of America,”€ even though the facts clearly state that such killings have plummeted since the 1960s. A symptom rather than a cause of what ails America, King maintains his editorial position for no other reason than the fact that he claims to be black.

Small enough to be dwarfed by horse jockeys, this quintessential neocon windbag postures as someone who fights leftist witch-hunting yet revealed himself as a hypocrite when he encouraged that “€œlegitimate racists“€ should be targeted and have their careers hurt:

Of course there are legitimate racists, and we should target them, and we should find them, and we should hurt their careers, because racism is unacceptable.

Since there is no way to quantify “€œracism,”€ there is no way to determine whether someone is a “€œlegitimate racist,”€ although by Mr. Shapiro’s definition, a Jewish ethnostate in the Middle East is not “€œracist,”€ while Donald Trump’s legions of supporters are filled with subhuman “€œanti-Semites.”€

In true neo-McCarthyite fashion, Shapiro published a list in late August of “€œ20 alt-right-friendly or alt-right people/outlets.”€ A hearty seven of those listed have written for Taki’s Magazine.

The Week’s Most Inveterate, Degenerate, and Confederate Headlines

Ivanka Trump is the beautiful and eminently bangable blonde daughter of President-Elect and Emperor-to-Be Donald Trump. She is such a prize specimen of femininity that her father once agreed she’s a “€œpiece of ass“€ and that if she wasn”€™t his daughter, he”€™d probably be dating her. Unlike her half-sister Tiffany, who is widely suspected of being a family embarrassment, Ivanka was deeply involved in her father’s presidential campaign and will be active in his administration. She is so wonderfully humble that she routinely flies in coach rather than first-class with her family.

Because gay New York progressives hate everything that is righteous and beautiful and seek to destroy it until everything is as obnoxious and poop-smeared as they are, a vile and dirty lawyer named Daniel Jennings Goldstein harassed Ms. Trump as she was seated with her husband and three children among the commoners on a JetBlue flight last Thursday. Goldstein is married to another man named Matt Lasner, and through some mysterious miracle of birth, they were able to have a child together.

According to a witness, Goldstein began “€œvisibly shaking”€ when he saw Ms. Trump on the plane, presumably because he has the emotional maturity of a toddler. He allegedly began saying aloud:

Oh my god. This is a nightmare….Your father is ruining the country, and now they ruin our flight….Why is she on our flight? She should be flying private.

Because our country is headed back toward greatness and will no longer tolerate the emotionally stunted public hissy-fits of gay lawyers who cannot tolerate ideological diversity nor accept electoral humiliation, Mr. Goldstein, his “€œhusband,”€ and their Miracle Gay Baby were promptly removed from the plane.

“€œIslamophobia is a serious disease. You catch it from Muslims.”€

Because Islam is the religion of peace and Europe is unbearably white, the EU’s unelected overlords have been inundating the Pale Continent with a spicy dark brown infusion of Muslim men who enjoy raping white women and destroying Western culture.

Last Monday an African refugee named Anis Amri hijacked a bus in Berlin and plowed through a crowd of people at a Christmas market. The attack left twelve dead, including the original driver, and fifty-six injured. Amri, who arrived via raft from Africa in 2011, escaped after his attack from Germany to Italy, where he was shot dead by a policeman on Friday. The mass attack was reminiscent of a cargo truck assault that led to 87 deaths in Nice, France in July.

Islamophobia is a serious disease. You catch it from Muslims.

Robert Menard is the mayor of Beziers, France, and is described by the BBC as “€œFrance’s strongest far-right mayor,”€ although we are unsure whether he achieved this designation through arm-wrestling or power-lifting.

During a September 5 interview with a French news channel, Menard made the following unforgivable comments:

In a class in the city center in my town, 91 percent of the children are Muslims. Obviously, this is a problem. There are limits to tolerance.

Also in September, Menard used Twitter to describe the infusion of hostile Muslims into Europe as “€œthe great replacement.”€

Because of these comments, he is now facing trial on March 8 on charges of “€œincitement to hatred or discrimination.”€

However one may feel about Muslims, we see nothing wrong with inciting hatred toward the EU tyrants for criminalizing any speech by indigenous Europeans who dare to protest their ongoing and obviously pre-planned erasure.

Businessman Carl Paladino has the most severe case of anus eyes of any failed gubernatorial candidate in New York State history. But he can be forgiven for this accident of nature due to some highly salty comments he made about affirmative action recipient Michelle Obama.

Miz Obama, who last month was described by a West Virginia mayor as an “€œape in heels,”€ once again fell victim to the suggestion that she is simian in origin. In an interview with an alternative publication in Buffalo, Paladino was asked about whom he”€™d like to see “€œgo away,”€ and he chose Michelle Obama:

I”€™d like (Michelle Obama) to return to being a male and let loose in the outback of Zimbabwe where she lives comfortably in a cave with Maxie, the gorilla.

After the predictable public scolding, Paladino remained unbowed. In an official statement, he said his comments had nothing to do with race (presumably because gorillas aren”€™t human) and referred to Barack Obama as a “€œlazy ass president”€ whom he hopes contracts mad cow disease by having sexual congress with cattle:

He dies before his trial and is buried in a cow pasture next to (Obama adviser) Valerie Jarret (sic), who died weeks prior, after being convicted of sedition and treason, when a Jihadi cell mate mistook her for being a nice person and decapitated her.

May God bless and keep this man.

For the past three months or so I have suffered from, or at least experienced, a condition called discoid eczema on the instep of the sole of my right foot. It is always satisfying for a doctor to diagnose himself: I remember once examining my own blood for malaria, and my delight at finding it.

I had similar eczema more than thirty years ago, which remitted spontaneously, never until recently to return. It is not now very troubling and it behaves exactly as the textbooks say it should, for example by itching at night. I, of course, behave exactly as the textbooks advise against; that is to say, I rub the eczematous patch vigorously to relieve the itch. The immediate relief is such that I am almost disappointed when the eczema fails to itch, for then there is nothing to relieve.

I do not mention this slight infirmity as an appeal for sympathy. Hundreds of millions of people in the world suffer incomparably worse than I, at the very moment I write this, and are therefore more deserving of sympathy. No; I merely want to make a philosophical point, namely that the world is, and ever will be, full of insoluble or unsolved mysteries, whatever our pretensions to absolute understanding.

“€œThere is an infinity of things about the past that, even in principle, can never be known.”€

According to the textbooks, dry skin predisposes to eczema of the discoid kind, but that only pushes the question one step back: Why dry skin? Besides, no one claims that dry skin is the whole explanation; not everyone with dry skin suffers from discoid eczema.

There is also a genetic predisposition to the condition, no doubt, but that is unlikely to be the whole explanation either. Perhaps some combination of the two factors explains the condition in my case?

But that leaves many questions unanswered. Why has it returned now, after an interval of a third of a century? I doubt that my skin is any drier now than it was, say, twenty years ago, and in any case the hypothesis that it is drier is impossible to test.

My psychological state, perhaps? But what psychological state, exactly? I am not aware of any particular stress at the moment, let alone a stress in common with any that I suffered more than thirty years ago. Sometimes I worry a bit about the possibility of a world economic collapse that would leave me destitute, and sometimes I recall that nearly seven-eighths of my life is over, actuarially speaking. The turn of the millennium seems to me only a moment ago, and I can expect, statistically, to live only a similar moment longer. But most of the time I live as I have always done; that is to say, as if life will never end. I do not think that my eczema is a dermatological memento mori.

But even if it were, it would still not explain certain facts about it. Why does it affect the sole of my right foot and nowhere else? What is special about that area of my body that it should be the site of this condition? And why are there four little patches of it and not, say, three or five or seven? Why does only one of those patches ever itch, and then only sometimes?

I suppose someone might reply that in principle these not-very-compelling mysteries could all be solved. I am not actually sure that this is so; for example, even histological examination establishing a difference between the four eczematous areas and the surrounding skin would not solve any of them. A very elaborate theory indeed would have to be propounded to cover just the few mysteries that I have evoked. But let us for a moment grant that, if they were studied long and hard enough, all these little mysteries could in theory be solved, that a moment could come when there was nothing left to ask because everything was known. In practice, no one ever would solve them because the time and effort required would be completely disproportionate to the knowledge gained by doing so. In other words, I must live with these mysteries and will go to my grave not knowing the answer or answers to any of them.

The Electoral College has spoken, and it’s full steam ahead for President-to-be Trump. Many foreigners”€”and I daresay a number of Americans too”€”are puzzled by the Electoral College and its survival into modern times. Certainly its function ain”€™t what it used to be. It was devised as a means to keep popular democracy in check. Instead of being allowed to choose the president, the mass of citizens were permitted only to choose wise men to form the Electoral College, and it would be the wise men who actually elected the president. Now, of course, it has become a simple exercise in rubber-stamping, even though six of the electors apparently displayed a degree of independence this time.

Meanwhile, we have the Trump Cabinet to savor”€”the richest, apparently, ever assembled, though it includes a couple of generals who will seem like poor relations at the Cabinet table. Many, however, will be happy to see it is more or less free of professional career politicians. Instead, alongside the generals, we have a Cabinet of billionaire businessmen and moneylenders. (They prefer to describe themselves as investment bankers, but moneylending is their true trade; or, of course, gambling.)

“€œWhenever democratic governments seem to stumble, there is a demand for businessmen in place of career politicians.”€

Many will be pleased. Whenever democratic governments seem to stumble, there is a demand for businessmen in place of these career politicians who have never run a whelk stall or candy store. It’s understandable. As Mr. Trump likes to remind us, he is very “€œsmart”€ and so he has picked a team that, being composed of very rich men, is also evidently very “€œsmart.”€ So indeed, on their own terms and in their own trade, we may agree they are.

The trouble is that the demands of government and business are very different. It’s fairly easy to measure the success of a business. Does it make a profit? Does it increase its market share? Does it satisfy its customers? The first two questions are easily answered. The third is a bit more difficult, for even a failing business may have a good many happy customers; some of us, for example, will have eaten well in restaurants that sadly closed down.

Government, however, is a different matter. Though we like to think it should manage the public finances with some degree of competence, the success of much for which it is responsible isn”€™t, and can”€™t be, measured in monetary terms. Nobody expects the government to make a profit out of public education or social security. The government has responsibility for defense, and even though what President Eisenhower called the military”€“industrial complex may yield profits for manufacturers, the success of a defense policy is judged by quite different standards. The same goes for bodies like the CIA and the FBI, or indeed police forces or the administration of justice. The conduct of a nation’s foreign policy is a matter of making fine and often difficult judgments, and it will often be years before the wisdom or otherwise of these judgments can be determined. The international agreement made with Iran on its development of nuclear power is a good example. Some think that agreement rash and foolish; others think it prudent. Is the world safer or more dangerous as a result of this agreement? We can”€™t tell now; we may not know the answer for a long time.