The Week’s Most Scrutinizing, Glutenizing, and Putinizing Headlines

The “Trudeau Doctrine” is very simple: If there’s even one Nazi flag at a peaceful protest, the entire protest is Nazi and must be dismantled by force, its participants imprisoned and impoverished. Never bother to find out who brought the flag or why. One flag = ruthless war of extermination against everyone present.

The Trudeau Doctrine has been lauded by U.S. leftists, who’ve long said that anything “Nazi” deserves to be punched, no questions asked.

So it’s rather surprising that Trudeau and the American left are angry at Putin for invading Ukraine. Putin made it quite clear in his Feb. 24 speech that he was only attacking in order to punch Nazis: “We will seek to denazify Ukraine,” to cleanse the nation of “far-right nationalists and neo-Nazis.”

Putin: the Antifa president!

This is some grade-A trolling. Putin, for his many faults, reads his enemies well (whereas Biden reads Where’s Waldo? not-so-well: “C’mon, man; where are ya?”). Western leftists have spent years pushing the line that the presence of even one “Nazi” in a thing means that the entire thing must be crushed, and all rights and rules suspended in the course of the task. And Western media has readily admitted the presence of Nazis in Ukraine (until last week, when it became a “manufactured claim”).

So there are Nazis that need punching.

Punch away, Vlad!

Even the American right is doing its part, with Tucker Carlson agreeing that Putin’s Nazi-hunting is legit because during WWII Ukraine “collaborated with the Nazis” while the Russians “fought fascism.”

Tucker “Wiesenthal” Carlson!

Putin may not be Sviatoslav Richter on the piano, but when it comes to playing Westerners, he’s a maestro.

If Putin isn’t expecting much in the way of retaliation from the West beyond a few limp-wristed hisses from government-funded drag queens (“boo, Pu, your invasion is borrr-rrring!”), he can hardly be blamed for that belief. After all, the West’s been on a decades-long mission of sissyfication and self-emasculation.

But in the U.K., that tide may be turning. Last week Boris Johnson’s Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi (Iraqi-raised, so he wasn’t indoctrinated to become Eddie Izzard) announced a new set of rules to “de-woke” public education.

Under the new guidelines, teachers are forbidden from pushing BLM propaganda and critical race theory. Teachers are also prohibited from portraying historical figures like Winston Churchill as “white oppressors” whose entire lives are defined by that time they dared to tell a diaper-clad wog, “You ain’t a betta man than I am.”

The goal is to reclaim the British educational system from fanatical leftists who seek to create generations of Brits who hate their homeland.

Across the Atlantic, U.S. teachers don’t have to contend with Nadhim Zahawi. Last week teachers in California debuted their latest advancement in educational technology: the “transition closet,” a cabinet filled with bras, dresses, and wigs that will be installed in schools. Boys will be instructed to enter the closet as male and come out as female, because teachers are some sick SOBs.

“Putin may not be Sviatoslav Richter on the piano, but when it comes to playing Westerners, he’s a maestro.”

Still, all might not be lost. The originator of the “trans closet,” who goes by the online name “@justaqueerteacher,” has agreed to donate several hundred of his magic tranny boxes to the Ukrainian war effort. Vodka will be used as bait to entice Russian soldiers to enter, and the hope is they’ll emerge as ladies after getting plastered and discovering their inner Catherine the Great.

Might it work? Is it possible that trannies will save Ukraine?


Seriously, no.

President Xi sits in his palatial office, a photo of Mao (with eyes that follow you across the room) over one shoulder, a velvet painting of LeBron James in a Speedo over the other.

His aide enters:

Aide: “You sent for me, sir?”

Xi: “Yes. Tell me, what is world opinion of our Winter Olympics?”

Aide: “Do you want the feel-good answer, or the one that will get me shot?”

Xi: “Surprise me.”

Aide: “Well…it’s being called the worst Olympics ever. The opening ceremony attracted a mere 14 million viewers, compared to 112 million who watched the American Super Bowl the same week. There was a doping scandal, weeping teen girl skaters berated on camera, complaints about the shabbiness of our Olympic Village, athlete malnourishment, midnight MSS raids, Covid outbreaks, and abysmal weather. Basically, the world couldn’t wait for it to be over.”

Xi: [Stroking his chin in contemplation] “I will spare your life, because as bad as the news is, it could’ve been worse. At least no athlete had his penis frozen solid.”

Aide: “Uh…please tell my wife I love her.”

In an Olympic first, Finnish cross-country skier Remi Lindholm nearly became a reluctant tranny when his “pole” froze during his final race. Intense windchill had so alarmed Olympic officials that the course was shortened from 50km to 20km.

Frostbite was the main concern.

But, you know, of fingers and such.

Sadly for Lindholm, Jack Front came nipping, but not for a nose. Lindholm’s, shall we say, “Mannerheim” was frozen solid during the race.

On the bright side, medics were able to thaw out his creamsicle, a painful process that shattered the stereotype of Finns as stoic. Word has it Lindholm’s screams were so loud, a Uyghur in a faraway gulag heard them and said, “Wow, I thought we had it bad.”

Lindholm finished 28th, a terrible showing under normal conditions but gold-medal-level for someone whose privates were cryogenically preserved without his consent.

Remote learning caused a multitude of problems for America’s students, but nobody suffered more than academia’s hate-crime hoaxers. These doughty individuals, dedicated to rooting out America’s Klansmen by pretending to be Klansmen and then rooting themselves out, had a terrible time during school closures. When you’re on a Zoom call with your class, it’s hard to hide the fact that you’re the one who just took a Sharpie and drew “blackie go home!” on your living-room wall.

You can’t tell blackie to go home when blackie is home.

With in-person learning now the norm again, hate-crime hoaxers are making up for lost time. Last week, we covered a hoax in which a black Southern Illinois University student taped “blackie go home” notes to her own dorm-room door, falsely accusing two white students of the offense.

Only days after that hoax was exposed, a black female student at McClatchy High School in Sacramento scrawled Jim Crow-era graffiti around campus, writing “black” and “white” over the school’s drinking fountains (Sacramento was, of course, the heart of the Confederacy). The young rapscallion was caught thanks to security cameras, but local black activists, not wanting to give up the dream, refused to accept the evidence, preferring instead to blame Bull Connor’s shape-shifting ghost.

And at Harvard, Michael Cheng, president of the Undergraduate Council, claimed to have found anti-Asian notes taped to his dorm door (Cheng didn’t say exactly what was on the notes, but it was most likely “blackie go home” with “blackie” crossed out and “chinky” written above).

When the council drafted a statement in support of its victimized president, Cheng rebuked the statement, because in the recent Undergraduate Council presidential election several members had backed a different candidate. That makes them as evil as whoever wrote the note, Cheng told The Harvard Crimson.

So not supporting an Asian who runs for office is now as bad as writing a racist hate note.

How much do parents pay to send their kids to Harvard?

When asked by the Crimson if it’s possible that he himself wrote the notes as a way of getting revenge against the council members who refused to back him in the election, Cheng’s eyes darted nervously side to side as an Oriental gong sounded in the background.

“Damn gong,” Cheng exclaimed. “I knew downloading that ‘stereotypical ethnic incidental music cue’ app was a mistake.”

Meet 32-year-old Oklahoma Democrat congressional candidate Abby Broyles. The perky blonde is looking to unseat GOP Rep. Stephanie Bice, who flipped the seat red in 2020.

And Broyles’ strategy?

Humiliating and vomiting on preteens.

Hey—is it any worse than what Biden would do to them?

Last week, Broyles visited a friend for a night of wine-drinking and girl talk.

Broyles really likes her wine.

The friend’s middle school daughter happened to be hosting a sleepover that same evening.

What could go wrong?

Apparently, everything. Broyles got so drunk, she began belittling and abusing the girls, hurling racial epithets and saying things one running for office shouldn’t say to children.

According to the NY Post, Broyles called one girl an “acne fucker,” and another a “Hispanic fucker.” When Broyles spilled wine on a girl’s blanket and the child asked for a dry one, Broyles called her a “judgy fucker.”

Eloquence worthy of Daniel Webster!

Then Broyles began projectile-vomiting, first in a laundry basket, then on the girls’ shoes.

Understandably, the parents were not pleased when they came to pick up their children in the morning. Several went to the press. And Broyles flatly told reporters that she’d never even been to the house: “I’ve been out of town on a fundraising trip. I don’t know these women and I don’t know what is behind this, but it’s just not true.”

A retch-wing conspiracy!

When confronted with the fact that she’d recorded a TikTok video with the girls that night while in her “not-yet-abusive” drunk phase, Broyles admitted that yes, she’d been to the house, but someone drugged her and forced her to hurl insults at the children.

And she spun that yarn with a straight face.

Forget Congress; put her on SCOTUS!

Was it Socrates who said that chaos was the natural state of mankind, and tyranny the usual remedy? Actually it was Santayana, and boy, did he ever get it right. My friend Christopher Mills has given me a terrific book, The Wages of Destruction, by Adam Tooze, about the breaking of the Nazi economy. I thought I knew everything there is to know about that period, but I hadn’t thought of global economic realities, the ones that actually won the war. Germany’s limited territory and lack of natural resources led to war. Germans had been starving since the end of the Great War, and needed the corn of the Ukraine and the oil deposits of Romania in order to feed themselves and keep warm. Once in power, all Hitler needed to do was deal; instead, well, you know the rest. Or do you?

Here are a few facts that had escaped me, as they also did many of our gloating historians: The global balance of economic and military power was from the start heavily stacked against Hitler, but the brilliant campaign against France blinded him to Germany’s weaknesses. At that time Germany’s economy was compared to that of Britain, the U.S., and France. But Germany’s economic superiority was a myth. The combined GDP of the British and the French empires exceeded that of Germany by 60 percent. In present-day terms—and read this carefully—Germany’s economy was comparable to that of Iran or South Africa. Two guesses why historians tend to overlook this. It shows the Wehrmacht as David and the Allies as Goliath. In view of the fact that Hitler’s crimes against Jews, Poles, homosexuals, gypsies, and others were so egregious, why exaggerate our victories against an underpowered opponent?

“P.J. was always upbeat about the state of things, even the dictatorship of woke.”

What I find amazing is how history is twisted by so-called experts, the kind who had most of the world believe that Putin had Trump in his pocket due to embarrassing tapes and had helped the orange man win the White House. Unaccountable inches of left-wing papers and TV stations in America and the U.K. banged on about this for three long years. At the end it turned out Hillary Clinton’s camp had dealt more with Putin than The Donald. No one has apologized and the public still reads and believes the stuff put out by The New York Times and The Guardian. How is that possible, I recently asked someone I consider quite knowledgeable, and he quipped, paraphrasing Mark Twain, or is it H.L. Mencken, that one never goes broke underestimating the public’s ability to believe left-wing conspiracy theories.

Right now we have a bunch of nobodies canceling people, plays, and books, ruining careers, and we do nothing about it. Publishers are scared to death of these nobodies, and one unproved accusation against a noted historian by a woman has ruined Blake Bailey’s career. Lies and unproven charges have become the norm, and instead of resisting such blatant rubbish, people are giving in by remaining silent. And by their silence they aid and abet the false charges and ghastly lies. It’s time to fight back and fight back with a vengeance.

Mind you, America has been one big lie for some time now, starting with the informal promise to Gorbachev that NATO would not expand to Russian borders. Yet Putin is now the bogeyman while the clowns of the E.U. and Biden are posing as tough guys à la Mussolini on parade. By the way, did you know that Ukrainian oligarchs are among the most corrupt and make some of their Russian counterparts look almost honest?

Never mind. I am very saddened by the death of my very good friend P.J. O’Rourke, as nice a man as I’ve ever known, one whose moral courage made him warn me about his closest friend’s wife who was spreading a terrible lie about me, that I was a police informer and had lefties tortured in Greece. (I wonder who made that one up, unless she did?) P.J. was always upbeat about the state of things, even the dictatorship of woke and transgender propaganda, and the last time we met in my flat we shared and killed a bottle of scotch whiskey, two cigars for P.J., ten ciggies for me. In a blurb for the greatest-ever prison book, P.J. wrote that “Taki is the funniest Greek since Aristophanes, plus he’s not dead and you can spell his name.”

And as the witch hunts continue against innocents while we do nothing, guess what the great Thomas Mann had to say about America while at Princeton in 1941: “If ever Fascism should come to America, it will come in the name of freedom.” When I read this I was flabbergasted, stunned. How perceptive could one be so many years ago, especially with Fascism almost triumphant and America peaceful and neutral? Bravo, Tommy boy, you saw it coming. The great German predicted it because he knew the difference between freedom and liberty, and the fact that Americans did not know. Free like Snoop Dog rapping during halftime at this year’s Super Bowl to say, “All you n—as out there, take your guns you use to shoot each other, and start shooting these bitch-ass motherf—ing police” (NY Post, Wednesday, Feb. 16). It’s called freedom in America, and Americans are now finally free to destroy the country, and we’re not doing so badly following their example ourselves.

When Russia’s Vladimir Putin demanded that the U.S. rule out Ukraine as a future member of the NATO alliance, the U.S. archly replied: NATO has an open-door policy. Any nation, including Ukraine, may apply for membership and be admitted. We’re not changing that.

In the Bucharest declaration of 2008, NATO had put Ukraine and Georgia, ever farther east in the Caucasus, on a path to membership in NATO and coverage under Article 5 of the treaty, which declares that an attack on any one member is an attack on all.

Unable to get a satisfactory answer to his demand, Putin invaded and settled the issue. Neither Ukraine nor Georgia will become members of NATO. To prevent that, Russia will go to war, as Russia did last night.

“Putin did exactly what he had warned us he would do.”

Putin did exactly what he had warned us he would do.

Whatever the character of the Russian president, now being hotly debated here in the USA, he has established his credibility.

When Putin warns that he will do something, he does it.

Thirty-six hours into this Russia-Ukraine war, potentially the worst in Europe since 1945, two questions need to be answered:

How did we get here? And where do we go from here?

How did we get to where Russia — believing its back is against a wall and the United States, by moving NATO ever closer, put it there — reached a point where it chose war with Ukraine rather than accepting the fate and future it believes the West has in store for Mother Russia?

Consider. Between 1989 and 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev let the Berlin Wall be pulled down, Germany be reunited and all the “captive nations” of Eastern Europe go free.

Having collapsed the Soviet empire, Gorbachev allowed the Soviet Union to dissolve itself into 15 independent nations. Communism was allowed to expire as the ruling ideology of Russia, the land where Leninism and Bolshevism first took root in 1917.

Gorbachev called off the Cold War in Europe by removing all of the causes on Moscow’s side of the historic divide.

Putin, a former KGB colonel, came to power in 1999 after the disastrous decadelong rule of Boris Yeltsin, who ran Russia into the ground.

In that year, 1999, Putin watched as America conducted a 78-day bombing campaign on Serbia, the Balkan nation that had historically been a protectorate of Mother Russia.

That year, also, three former Warsaw Pact nations, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, were brought into NATO.

Against whom were these countries to be protected by U.S. arms and the NATO alliance, the question was fairly asked.

The question seemed to be answered fully in 2004, when Slovenia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Romania and Bulgaria were admitted into NATO, a grouping that included three former republics of the USSR itself, as well as three more former Warsaw Pact nations.

Then, in 2008, came the Bucharest declaration that put Georgia and Ukraine, both bordering on Russia, on a path to NATO membership.

Georgia, the same year, attacked its seceded province of South Ossetia, where Russian troops were acting as peacekeepers, killing some.

This triggered a Putin counterattack through the Roki Tunnel in North Ossetia that liberated South Ossetia and moved into Georgia all the way to Gori, the birthplace of Stalin. George W. Bush, who had pledged “to end tyranny in our world,” did nothing. After briefly occupying part of Georgia, the Russians departed but stayed as protectors of the South Ossetians.

The U.S. establishment has declared this to have been a Russian war of aggression, but an EU investigation blamed Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili for starting the war.

In 2014, a democratically elected pro-Russian president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, was overthrown in Kyiv and replaced by a pro-Western regime. Rather than lose Sevastopol, Russia’s historic naval base in Crimea, Putin seized the peninsula and declared it Russian territory.

Teddy Roosevelt stole Panama with similar remorse.

Which brings us to today.

Whatever we may think of Putin, he is no Stalin. He has not murdered millions or created a gulag archipelago.

Nor is he “irrational,” as some pundits rail. He does not want a war with us, which would be worse than ruinous to us both.

Putin is a Russian nationalist, patriot, traditionalist and a cold and ruthless realist looking out to preserve Russia as the great and respected power it once was and he believes it can be again.

But it cannot be that if NATO expansion does not stop or if its sister state of Ukraine becomes part of a military alliance whose proudest boast is that it won the Cold War against the nation Putin has served all his life.

President Joe Biden almost hourly promises, “We are not going to war in Ukraine.” Why would he then not readily rule out NATO membership for Ukraine, which would require us to do something Biden himself says we Americans, for our own survival, should never do: go to war with Russia?

Every month when I am in England, I have lunch with an old friend in a restaurant about equidistant from our two homes, that is to say about fifty miles from each. The food is good, but I have a secret and rather peculiar additional reason for liking the restaurant. I like its men’s lavatory.

Above its urinals is wallpaper whose pattern consists of hundreds of Penny Black stamps. The Penny Black was the first postage stamp in the world ever printed, dating from 1840. When I was in my stamp-collecting phase—I think it followed the dinosaur phase, but it might have been the other way round—I held the Penny Black almost in religious veneration and it was my ambition to own one. I never achieved my ambition, however, for the Penny Black was always much more expensive than its successor, the Penny Red, of which I had several, and my pocket money was insufficient for the Black. Oddly enough, the words “Penny Black” still cause me a frisson, though I haven’t collected stamps for more than sixty years.

I enjoy relieving myself in (or should I say at?) the restaurant because I like to examine the wallpaper above the urinals. I have to relieve myself first because I have reached the age at which it is impossible for me to urinate and concentrate on something else at the same time. Once finished, however, I am free to examine the Penny Blacks at my leisure, apart from the time constraint because of the others at my table who are waiting for me.

“It seems to me that one of the paths to happiness open to men is an obsessional interest in something.”

For the information of those who never collected stamps (entirely a masculine hobby), the Penny Black was of a simple but brilliant design, essentially a black background with a profile bust of Queen Victoria in the twelfth year of her reign. But the simplicity of the design is deceptive, and viewed closer up there are, if not quite an infinite, at least a very large number of variations; so large, in fact, that one could devote one’s life to the study of them.

A great deal hangs on these variations. By great deal, of course, I mean the price attached to the various specimens. When I looked up “Penny Black” on Google, I was immediately offered a block of twelve unused such stamps for nearly $700,000 (but the postage was generously included in the price). Nearly 69,000,000 Penny Blacks were printed and an estimated 2 percent of them have survived to this day. They were printed from different plates so that the resultant stamps differed subtly. The sheets of Penny Blacks were not perforated, so that they had to be cut with scissors and those with clear margins are now worth much more to collectors than those more carelessly cut and left without margins. There is also the matter of the cancellation or franking to be considered, which is another study in itself. Whole guides to the Penny Black have been written.

No doubt the learning or erudition that attaches to Penny Blacks will seem arcane and even foolish to non-philatelists, especially to those who never succumbed in their childhood to the attraction of postage stamps. (Do children still collect stamps, I wonder?) My point, however, is that those who can immerse themselves in the arcana of some minute corner of the universe such as the Penny Black, and become expert in them, excite not my contempt because of the triviality of their subject, but rather my envy, for it seems to me that one of the paths to happiness open to men (particularly men) is precisely an obsessional interest in something. It is by this obsessional interest that the disappointments, daily worries, and chagrins of daily existence can be kept at bay. The world about may be collapsing, but there is always the consolation of their obsessional interest.

But surely, some might say, it is incumbent on obsessives at least to obsess about something important and not as fundamentally unimportant as the Penny Black. Here I remember Somerset Maugham’s short story “The Book Bag.” The story opens:

Some people read for instruction, which is praiseworthy, and some for pleasure, which is innocent, but not a few read from habit, and I suppose that this is neither innocent nor praiseworthy. Of that lamentable company am I.

I too am of this company, and like Maugham would rather read a train timetable than nothing at all. (What would I have been like before the invention of print, I wonder? Probably pretty short-lived.) Maugham goes on correctly to observe that readers tend to fancy themselves superior to nonreaders, but then asks:

From the standpoint of what eternity is it better to have read a thousand books than to have ploughed a million furrows?

If it is true that eternity is no more interested in us than is an elephant, say, when it treads on an ant, it matters not a fig (to eternity) whether our obsession be Penny Blacks or anything else. But the very concept of mattering implies a subject as well as an object. If there were no subjects in the universe, nothing could matter; but there are subjects in the universe, namely us (at the very least), so that there is something that matters, though it need not be—in fact, is not—the same thing that matters to all subjects.

Generally, people look down on philatelists. The great physicist Sir Ernest Rutherford once said that all science is either physics or stamp collecting, and clearly he did not think very much of the latter. But the world needs all kinds of people, not just scientists; it needs its obsessives as well as its imaginative thinkers. I fall somewhere in between the two: not patient enough for the former, not clever enough for the latter. As I have said, I don’t so much admire philatelists who excite themselves over the minutiae of their little rectangles, squares, and triangles of paper, as envy them. Their method of distancing themselves from the woes of the world is both effective and harmless, an achievement indeed.

Theodore Dalrymple’s latest book is Around the World in the Cinemas of Paris,
Mirabeau Press.

Amid the media’s 24/7 UKRAINE UPDATES, perhaps some enterprising journalist could write an article explaining how our esteem for that country’s borders benefits a single American — other than President Joe Biden.

Our own border has become a transmission belt for the third world, bringing in rapists, murderers, future welfare recipients and left-wing activists. The Democratic Party’s brilliant policy of defunding the police and emptying the prisons has, oddly enough, led to a breathtaking surge in violent crime. Our schools have been taken over by lunatics who teach white kids that they are evil — and probably transsexual. Inflation has hit a 40-year high.

“Why isn’t Latvia down in Texas right now, defending our borders?”

U.S. media: Whither Ukraine?

Midterms must be coming!

In 2020, Democratic data scientist David Shor advised his party: “Talk about the issues [voters] are with us on, and try really hard not to talk about the issues where we disagree. Which, in practice, means not talking about immigration.” (Emphasis mine.) After the election, he said that the main way the media’s COVID hysteria hurt Donald Trump was by preventing anyone from “talking about Hunter Biden or immigration.”

Evidently, the only issue where voters don’t vehemently disagree with Democrats this year is the precise border of a country they’d never given a moment’s thought to until five minutes ago.

What Republicans should be doing: talking about the issues Democrats are trying to avoid.

What Republicans are doing: talking about Ukraine.

Whenever you see any media talking about Ukraine, your Pavlovian response should be, Oh, I see. They don’t want me to think about immigration or crime.

It’s not only the Democrats drawing benefits from the media’s sudden Ukraine obsession. There’s also the military-industrial complex.

President Dwight Eisenhower led Allied troops in World War II, but in his farewell address from the White House, he warned of the “unwarranted influence” on the government by “the military-industrial complex.” In the 60 years since, these bloodsuckers have been bleeding our country dry, solely to make themselves rich.

As Americans discovered to their dismay when the pandemic hit, we can’t make our own masks, pharmaceuticals or aspirin. We can’t make our own computer chips, razors, bicycles, toys, sneakers, Levi’s jeans and on and on and on. But boy, do we make weapons! In our ruling class’s ideal country, there will be nothing but defense contractors, Black Lives Matter activists and Latin American gardeners.

Just five companies receive the lion’s share of taxpayer money for “defense” weaponry. In 2020, the U.S taxpayer doled out $75 billion to Lockheed Martin, $28 billion to Raytheon, $22 billion to General Dynamics, $22 billion to Boeing and $20 billion to Northrop Grumman. Since 2001, these five companies alone have cost the taxpayer $2.1 trillion.

To put this in perspective, the annual budget of the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development is a little more than $50 billion. (And we should zero-out that whole budget, too.) During the COVID pandemic, when the government ordered people not to work, the entire supplemental food budget was about $70 billion.

Ronald Reagan’s victory in the Cold War should have been a sad day at Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Boeing. Instead, it was the beginning of endless paydays. Today, the American taxpayer spends more on “defense” than during the Reagan buildup that crushed the USSR; more than during the Vietnam War, more even than the War on Terror after 9/11.

Worse, we’ve added a “think-tank industrial complex” — an army of useless, camera-ready blowhards to explain why our incessant meddling around the globe is always in America’s “vital national security interest.”

Why does NATO still exist? This alliance was the West’s response to Soviet aggression during the Cold War. Once the USSR collapsed (thanks to Reagan) and the Warsaw Pact disbanded, that should have been the end of it. Instead, we keep adding countries to the alliance — with a requirement of admission being that they buy their weapons from American defense contractors.

Everyone acknowledges that Vladimir Putin’s main concern is that Ukraine will be asked to join NATO. How about, as a compromise, the U.S. will pull out of NATO? (Another of Trump’s broken promises.)

Nope! Can’t shut down this utterly anachronistic organization, requiring America to defend the likes of Latvia, should some other pipsqueak nation violate its precious borders. (Why isn’t Latvia down in Texas right now, defending our borders?)

Far from unwinding NATO, our country’s leaders are constantly trying to expand it, thus increasing the odds that Americans will be forced to go to war over some other country’s sacred sovereignty. Pointless wars are the lifeblood of defense contractors! We pay the price and defense contractors get the money.

(Ike should be on Mount Rushmore for his “military-industrial complex” speech.)

This year, the worshipful reverence for Ukraine’s borders has the added bonus of blocking Americans from thinking about immigration and crime. Republicans ought to be talking their heads off about the unprecedented crisis at our border, Afghan “refugees” raping little kids in our country, illegal aliens hauling meth and fentanyl into our country, rampant shoplifting, carjacking and assaults destroying neighborhoods in our country.

Luckily, the GOP is too smart to fall for the media’s latest subject-changer.

Oh, wait —

@newtgingrich: “The Biden Administration talks and Putin acts. This is such a clear replay of Chamberlain trying to deal with Hitler that it is more than a little frightening. Putin is pushing day by day and has no fear of NATO because he has no fear of the United States or its President.”

GOP 2022 Contract With America: “Putin’s like Hitler.”

When it was suggested that I review the new nonfiction book The Nineties by Chuck Klosterman, I assumed he would be an ideal analyst of that distant decade because, after all, he’d written that very 1990s novel Fight Club, hadn’t he? But it turns out that was by Chuck Palahniuk, which shows you what an expert on the 1990s I am. Being fourteen years older than Klosterman, I can tell you a lot about 1976–1986. But the 1990s are a blur for me from too much having-a-life.

Klosterman, who was born on a farm in Minnesota, writes:

Transparency requires me to admit a few things here, if only to aid those primarily reading this book in order to locate its biases: I was born in 1972. I’m a white heterosexual cis male…. I am comfortable with my service as a demographic cliché.

Now that I’ve looked him up, I associate Klosterman with his frequent collaborator Bill Simmons, the revolutionary sports journalism impresario.

“Klosterman is still at it in a world grown suspicious of guys who are bright and white.”

Simmons’ big insight was that old-time newspapers assumed that there is a shortage of information. Hence, sportswriters would laboriously follow the hometown baseball team around the country so they could go down to the locker room to ask the game’s hero what kind of pitch he knocked out of the park.

Simmons realized that there is now an abundance of information, so there is a role for a new type of meta-journalist to trawl through as much of it as possible to notice patterns and causal mechanisms.

Klosterman, a rock critic, sportswriter, and all-purpose white male Gen-X culture nerd of the type who flourished before social media made the internet too easy, is still at it in a world grown suspicious of guys who are bright and white. He’s intensely intelligent, insightful, and sensible, qualities that don’t always coincide. He offers numerous fairly abstract conclusions about Generation X, but always based on countless examples.

He can also be very funny. For example, from his chapter on the Clear Craze:

Why, from roughly 1992 to 1995, did the beverage industry operate from the position that there was an underserved sector of the populace who desperately wanted transparent drinks?

Suddenly, store shelves were laden with Crystal Pepsi and Tab Clear, a vile-tasting caffeine-free diet drink self-defeatingly sold only in opaque cans. Supposedly Coke used Tab Clear to torpedo the expensive launch of Crystal Pepsi by confusing consumers through stupidity-by-association:

The prospect of a terrible beverage created to kamikaze a moronic beverage is an apt metaphor for this entire period of marketing.

And then there was Zima:

A concept like Zima—a citrusy version of Coors beer, scrubbed into translucence by charcoal filters—was the liquid manifestation of a cultural phase in which informed insincerity was the only way to understand anything…. Every new Zima went down slightly worse than the previous Zima. There was, however, something perversely enticing about a drink that seemed to come from a post-apocalyptic wasteland in which color did not exist. There was an ingrained assumption that Zima must be expressly targeted at somebody, but nobody knew who that was…. Zima was ridiculous…but did that actually mean it was brilliant? The only viable conclusion was “sort of.”

On the other hand, in 2022, Zima is one of the few things you can make fun of with no fear of getting your career canceled. Much of The Nineties appears pitched at such a high intellectual level that it’s likely to slip past members of the volunteer auxiliary thought police looking for crimethinkers.

First, What Would Kurt Cobain Do? Would the Nirvana frontman tormented by his own popularity go around shouting, “Booyah 1990s!”? If Seattle was the spiritual home of the 1990s to smart young rock writers like Klosterman, it’s worth noting that the Pacific Northwest appears to be the least extroverted place in America: hence, the Seattle Freeze. The ’90s white Gen-X affectations of irony, aloofness, fear of selling out, etc. were a kind of revenge against the capitalist, globalist pop commercialism of the ’80s:

The concept of “selling out”—and the degree to which that notion altered the meaning and perception of almost everything—is the single most nineties aspect of the nineties. The complexity, nuance, and application of the term sellout was both ubiquitous and impossible to grasp. Nothing was more inadvertently detrimental to the Gen X psyche.

These values are, of course, the antithesis of hip-hop’s. In one 1998 episode of The Larry Sanders Show, Phil the Writer has penned a sitcom pilot about a Seattle grunge band. The network is excited and thinks it would be perfect for Dave Chappelle to star in. Dave tells Phil he loves it, but just lose the five white guys, lose Seattle, and make it about a DJ in Baltimore.

Second, in the music criticism field, “rockists” like Klosterman are being put out to pasture to make room for “poptimists” who go on about how Beyoncé’s new hairstyle is fierce. So, Klosterman isn’t in a hurry to be too clear about what’s on his mind.

Hence, he tends to alternate between Walter Benjamin-level intellectualization and concrete clarity:

In the same way that every historical era feels extraordinary within the moment it happens, the present-tense status of culture exists in a constant state of crisis, with the tenor of the crisis shaped by whatever people assume to be the cause. The assumption in the nineties was commercialism. The assumption this morning is capitalism.

The stereotypical 1990s cultural personality, such as Cobain, worried about corporate commercialism. So the solution was to form your own grunge band, fanzine, Usenet forum, or start-up.

In contrast, the characteristic concern of the 2020s is capitalism. Specifically, the worry that corporate capitalism cannot wholly resist the menace of blue-collar populism unless the workers (the marketing interns, human resources executives, diversity consultants, sensitivity readers, and the like) seize the means of production at the giant media companies and enforce corporate values with an iron fist on the customers and the talent (e.g., independent thinkers like Klosterman) alike.

Hence, Klosterman treads gingerly around even that central cultural event of the 1990s, O.J. Simpson:

The detail always noted in remembrances of the Bronco chase is the throngs of bystanders cheering for Simpson as the car rolled down the freeway, congregating on overpasses and holding makeshift cardboard signs proclaiming, “The Juice Is Loose.” It seemed perverse then and still seems perverse now. Yet this can also be understood as the primordial impulse of what would eventually drive the mechanism of social media: the desire of uninformed people to be involved with the news, broadcasting their support for a homicidal maniac not because they liked him, but because it was exhilarating to participate in an experience all of society was experiencing at once.

That’s very interesting. I wouldn’t have thought of it.

Yet, I would make the point that after the growing political correctness of the early 1990s, the O.J. case probably delayed our current Great Awokening for two decades by making clear to even the nicest white person that, contrary to what you might assume from the media, blacks aren’t always right.

The Nineties does contain one moment in which Klosterman drops the double masks of 1990s irony and submission to 2020s tyranny and takes pride in his generation compared with today’s youth:

The enforced ennui and alienation of Gen X had one social upside: Self-righteous outrage was not considered cool, in an era when coolness counted for almost everything. Solipsism was preferable to narcissism. The idea of policing morality or blaming strangers for the condition of one’s own existence was perceived as overbearing and uncouth. If you weren’t happy, the preferred stance was to simply shrug and accept that you were unhappy.

I’ve devoted a lot of text to George Soros, the one-man army behind the U.S.’s catastrophic rise in violent crime, the obsessed, inflexible ideologue who personally funds the “progressive prosecution” and decarceration movements to the tune of billions annually ($18 billion in 2017 alone).

I’ve speculated about his motives here.

But what about his followers, his minions, the people trained and funded by Soros’ foundation? Soros has unique motives based on his personal life experiences. But how does he manage to attract thousands of fanatical loyalists—of all races—who don’t share those experiences?

“Every generation births these clods, and all it takes is one cunning human to make use of them.”

Let’s break that answer into sections.

Two Cults, Same Mindset
The two most destructive American-born or -based cults of the 20th century were Jonestown and Rajneeshpuram. Most Jonestown members were low-income low-IQ blacks. Women outnumbered men. Most of the Rajneeshees were upscale college-educated whites (about 25% of whom were Jews). Women outnumbered men.

Low-income, low-IQ blacks, upscale, primarily female college-educated whites, and Jews.

In other words, Biden voters.

Sorry, that sounded way too Sean Hannity. But it’s true that both cults were made up of core Democrat demographics.

The Jonestown blacks were suicidal, killing themselves and their children. The Rajneesh whites waged war on non-cultist whites who lived nearby, launching the first-ever mass bioterrorism attack in U.S. history.

Both cults had several things in common: The members were searching for a utopia; they spoke their own bizarre jargon and held beliefs that alienated them from the mainstream. That “the normies” didn’t speak their language made the cultists hostile and paranoid. It never occurred to them to think, “Wait, maybe we’re the nutcases.”

The Sniffing Teachers
“Multiple Chemical Sensitivity” (MCS) is a phony disease, a psychosomatic phantasm, the belief that the reason you “don’t feel well” is because you’re allergic to the modern world. MCS “sufferers” refuse to be around painted walls, cleaning products, and people who use soap or shampoo.

Every study ever undertaken has proven MCS to be nothing more than an anxiety disorder.

MCS “occurs” almost entirely in women. But here’s an interesting wrinkle: It’s also most prevalent among teachers. You can find individual cases (Connecticut, New Mexico, California, Washington, Vancouver, Nova Scotia) of “MCS teachers” raising hell at their school (obsessively sniffing students to make sure they didn’t use soap or shampoo, forcing districts to install fancy ventilation systems), and the proponents of MCS pseudoscience have written extensively about how teachers are the main “afflicted” group.

The largest law firm representing people with MCS brags on its website that teachers are among its main clients, and the Illinois medical clinic that specializes in “treating” MCS straight-out admits that most of its patients are teachers. Writing for the Duquette Functional Medical Clinic, MCS expert Dr. Ronald Grisanti observed: “Some physicians have coined the term ‘Toxic Teacher Syndrome’ due to the numbers of teachers suffering with the same symptoms.”

Grisanti states that every year “thousands of teachers” (mainly women) are afflicted with the illness. The Duquette paper, written in 2015 when Covid was just a glimmer in some Chinese bat’s eye, details dozens of efforts by MCS teachers across North America to have new ventilation systems installed to protect them from “toxic” students.

Before Covid, “thousands” of teachers were already claiming that their students were making them ill, and demanding special “safety precautions” before they’d return to the classroom.

I have some personal experience here. In 1991, I dated a woman who would go on to become a high-profile MCS poster girl. I’ll call her “Juliet.” She didn’t discover she had MCS until after we stopped dating (indeed, she wasn’t “diagnosed” until the 1995 indie film Safe came out, which introduced hypochondriacs to the ailment).

Juliet was what I call a “personal utopian.” Political utopians believe in governments or ideologies that can ostensibly bring about a perfect world. But personal utopians internalize that mania. They don’t accept that any human should ever have a “bad” day (sadness, sluggishness, irritability). They don’t believe it’s natural. Having a bad day means there’s something wrong with you, something that must be “cured.”

These are the people whose belief in “climate change” rests on the notion that the weather should be perfect every day. An abnormally cold week, or an abnormally hot one, means something’s wrong. It can’t possibly be natural.

If personal utopians stopped existing, the pharmaceutical industry would fold overnight, and therapists would become welfare cases.

It should be noted that two separate surveys found that the majority of Rajneesh women had spent years in therapy.

Juliet tried everything—yoga, meditation, crystals, mysticism, “holistic healing”—to rid her of imperfect days. Finally she realized it was MCS. She sued her employer for the right to work from home.

Classroom ventilation, toxic kids, remote employment…these things long predate Covid.

So Let’s Piece It Together
Certain unpleasantries always exist in our world, whether or not they make their existence known to us. The kind of people who joined Jonestown and Rajneeshpuram, and the teachers who saw their students as deadly, didn’t just arrive for that moment and disappear from the gene pool when they vanished from the headlines. Personal utopians searching for their own nirvana, for an end to “feeling bad,” are forever out there, lurking. Every generation births these clods, and all it takes is one cunning human to make use of them.

In 2020 the U.S. was hit by a perfect storm when Covid and George Floyd allowed many “cunning humans” to marshal the loons. The followers of the Covid cult, and the Soros cult, are the prototypical personal utopians. Covid cultists seek a world with “zero Covid,” an earth from which the bug has been banished. We cannot “return to normal” until Covid is gone. The reassurances we got in the early months about just trying to control the spread, or the deaths, or even the cases, were insincere PR to placate the sane; the social engineers trying to use Covid to remake society knew that their base was comprised of cultists who could be convinced that you can—and must—“eradicate” a highly contagious flu-like disease, as in, make it extinct instead of gradually less harmful (only two diseases have ever been considered “eradicated”—smallpox and bovine rinderpest. Diseases like Covid never “vanish”; they just mutate and become less deadly as humans evolve to handle them).

As we were pacified by talk of “spread” and “deaths,” the cultists with their “fear of feeling bad” were empowered to demand complete viral extirpation.

And the fact that teachers have played such a major role in Covid policy has meant that “sniffing teachers,” once a localized annoyance, now control national education policy, forcing their mania on everyone’s kids.

Meanwhile, following George Floyd, Soros marshaled his cultists—personal utopians united by a belief that “progressive prosecution” can bring about a complete end to human violence. As Harlem councilwoman and Soros minion Kristin Jordan recently tweeted, “abolition [of police] is an end to violence altogether.”

Soros conditioning contains concepts no less bizarre than what you’d have found in Rajneesh literature. Last year, in a widely shared op-ed, Soros Foundation “Justice Fellow” Mariame Kaba described one of the bedrock concepts of the cult: Human violence should not exist; it’s unnatural. Presently, we have police, and presently, there is human violence. Therefore, police cause violence, and if you get rid of police—not “reform” but remove—we’ll reach a utopia in which no human is ever again violent to another (that’s her literal claim).

You can see the parallels: cultists who think you can totally “vanish” Covid and cultists who think you can totally eradicate human violence, joined with a profession that attracts the most hypochondriacal women in the workforce.

As I said, a perfect storm. In 2020, we gave over a shocking amount of control over our daily lives to cultists. And it’s damn near destroying the nation, worse than anything since the Civil War.

Cult leaders don’t create their members. They look for people who already have a mind susceptible to cultism, and they give them focus, they channel them. Sniffing teachers would hardly be a menace without the obscene power granted them by high-level Democrats. Activists running for DA just to dismantle the office is not organic; it only happens because Soros trains the cultists and funds their campaigns (while Soros minions in the press do their part by discouraging people from fighting back, because it’s “racist”).

Remember my point about how these types of would-be cultists exist in every generation. The role of a good cult leader is to seek them out. A guy like Soros simply endows his foundation, gets it into the schools where young people are offered training and scholarships, and picks the best potential minions who show up to apply.

If we were talking about Hare Krishnas, Soros wouldn’t be the guy at the airport passing out fliers. He’d be the guy building the temples that attract the “seekers.”

If you’re a sane person and you find it difficult to understand how the Covid anti-normalcy loons and the Soros police-defunding loons can do what they do, how they don’t seem to care about the horrific effects on children of daily masking, how they don’t seem to care about the violent crime surge that’s killing so many innocent people, remember, these folks are chasing a utopia (zero Covid, the end of violence). All collateral damage is acceptable. The Jonestowners murdered a U.S. congressman and their own children, and the Rajneeshees tried to kill an entire town. Appeals to their humanity won’t work. They surrendered that when they joined.

So to wrap up, Soros’ motivations are uniquely his. But he understands that there are thousands of potential Jonestowners and Rajneeshees born every year. These people are fair game for the first cult leader who recruits them. That’s what Soros does, and he uses their weak minds to his advantage.

Reality Fights Back?
Now, I’m fond of saying “reality always wins” (heck, that would’ve been a snappy title for my January 2019 column, where I made that exact point verbatim and repeatedly). In the end, all cultists run up against reality. They never find their utopia. They become disillusioned and fade away, or they leave in a blaze of glory (Jonestown, Waco), or they disband because authorities cut the head off the snake (Bhagwan Rajneesh was eventually deported and his top deputies were arrested for the germ-warfare attack).

The problem is, even when reality does beat a cultist, there will be plenty more to fill that vacuum. With Democrats facing a difficult midterm, we’re seeing them gradually reduce the power of the Covid and Soros cultists in their midst.

That might give America a small reprieve.

For the moment.

But these kinds of mush-minded, gullible “searchers” are as normal in the human world as disease and violence, two things we’re never going to eradicate, any more than we’ll eradicate the lunatics who’ve brought America so much misery with their simple-minded, destructive quests for utopia.

The Week’s Most Degrading, Upbraiding, and Ukraine-Invading Headlines

In a 2004 episode of The Wire, drug kingpin and would-be legitimate businessman Stringer Bell gets “rainmade” by shifty city hall power broker Clay Davis. Bell had bribed Davis for the approval of contracts that never came through.

As Bell’s shyster Levy explains, “He rainmade you. A guy says if you pay him, he can make it rain. If and when it rains, he takes the credit. If and when it doesn’t, he finds reasons for you to pay him more.”

“Rainmaking” is a good grift; it’s also the best way to make an elderly dementia patient appear to be conducting foreign policy in his sleep (in the literal sense of that term).

Last week the NY Times ran a Biden PR piece explaining why President Snoozevelt is so alarmist about the “upcoming” Russian invasion of Ukraine: He hopes the alarmism will scare the Russkies from invading.

Nice rainmaking there, Ron Klain! If the Russians don’t invade, Biden takes credit for frightening them away. If they do, he takes credit for warning the world. It’s win-win, and he never even had to wake up.

Well, two can rainmake that game. The Week That Perished is alarmed to announce the imminent invasion of the U.S. by the island nation of Nauru. The first wave will involve special ops, who’ll confuse our dogs by pretending to throw a stick without actually throwing it. Wave 2, the “shock troops,” will stand on street corners next to the walk sign as if they’ve pushed the button. But they won’t, and everyone will have to run really fast when the light changes.

The final wave, the grunts, will cruise McDonald’s drive-throughs and ask about every single menu item until there’s a line stretching two blocks.

With America’s pedestrians winded, our fast-food aficionados emaciated, and our dogs deeply disillusioned, we’ll be presented with Nauru’s demands: a gift subscription to Netflix so the islanders can finally have something to watch on the nation’s only TV set.

This will happen next week. And if it doesn’t, you know who to thank!

Last week Reuters ran a breathless piece detailing the “plague” of “terroristic notes” being received by school board members whose only crime is telling white kids they’re evil and should die.

Reuters quoted from a bunch of anonymous hate-notes that board members totally didn’t write themselves.

Because, of course, there’s no way to fake an anonymous threat. Unless you’re able to use a pen.

Just ask Kaliyeha Clark-Mabins, a black student at Southern Illinois University who’s pursuing a Ph.D. in “White People Want to Touch My Hair.” Clark-Mabins claimed to have found two handwritten notes affixed to her dorm-room door. One said “BLACK PEOPLE DON’T BELONG,” the other “DIE BITCH.”

The latter is also the name of a critically lauded German film about a female dog.

In response to the Nazi notes, the university called in the feds (Clark-Mabins might’ve been too wrapped up in writing her term paper “Polly IS a Cracker: The Racist Microaggressions of Parrots” to remember that these days the FBI will assign thirty agents to a piece of Silly String if a black person claims it looks like a noose).

Clark-Mabins told the feds that the notes were the work of two white students, Amanda Jerome and Jimmi Thull. No word on why Clark-Mabins fingered those two, but it’s almost certainly because she knew they secretly wanted to touch her hair.

The university’s Black Student Union held marches calling for Jerome and Thull’s expulsion, and a petition demanding the whiteys’ immediate removal garnered over 1,800 signatures.

“There’s no way to fake an anonymous threat. Unless you’re able to use a pen.”

But then it turned out that Clark-Mabins wrote the notes herself.

Didn’t see that coming, huh?

And now she’s been criminally charged.

Perhaps she’ll be able to lecture her cellmate on microaggressions.

Last November, Thai fashion model Bew Jirajariyawetch was savagely beaten to the point of disfigurement in a random NYC subway attack. Last week, a suspect was arrested—a black gentleman with 44 priors.

Bew Jirajariyawetch’s attorney, who sadly is not named Jew Birajariyawetch because that would’ve been funny, slammed Manhattan’s soft-on-crime Soros-funded DA Alvin Bragg for refusing to keep hardened felons behind bars.

This was followed by last week’s brutal slaying of Christina Lee by yet another NYC black career thug who followed the young Asian into her apartment and stabbed her to death.

No word on how many priors that guy has, but Bragg put his money on 58 in the office pool.

In response to the daily epidemic of murders and assaults by black criminals with lengthy rap sheets, New York’s mayor Eric Adams, who ran on a “tough on crime” platform, has decided to switch to the far easier platform of “tough on white.” Adams held a presser in which he lambasted “white reporters and editors” for writing through a “white prism” that distorted their view of the city’s crime rate.

“I’m a black man that’s the mayor, but my story is being interpreted by people who don’t look like me,” Adams declared.

Well, thanks to the city’s crime policies, Bew Jirajariyawetch doesn’t look like anyone, except maybe the Elephant Man. So if reporters can only cover stories about people they look like, dig up Joseph Merrick and give him a metro beat at the Times (even 130 years dead, he’d still be a better reporter than anyone else on staff).

Adams threatened to stop talking to white reporters if they didn’t stop being so white.

And with that, the illusion that Adams was serious about fighting crime dissolved, as the city’s thugs danced in the streets like Ewoks, and the Force ghosts of David Dinkins, Al Sharpton’s liposucked blubber, and Tawana Brawley’s nonexistent rapist grinned with pride.

In 1933, FDR signed Executive Order 6102, which required Americans to turn in their gold. The government, the polio’d privateer explained, needed all the gold (his slogan “Where the gold at? I want the gold, give me the gold” has inspired generations of leprechaun hunters). Americans were hoarding, see? And as a result, rail-riding hobos couldn’t afford sacks for their sticks and Dust Bowl farmers couldn’t buy N95s.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez fancies herself a modern-day FDR. And indeed she is, if you take away Roosevelt’s intelligence, cunning, communication skills, and comprehension of cause and effect.

But yes, AOC is exactly like FDR, if one limits the scope of FDR’s life to the five minutes on April 12, 1945, when, following his massive cerebral hemorrhage, he retained a pulse but had no brain activity.

At that moment, FDR was just like AOC.

AOC wants to be the FDR of bread. In her worldview, all crime is caused by nonwhites trying to “find bread for their family.” Yes, looters might look like they’re sacking Nike retailers, but it’s only because we live in an age of bread-hoarders, so those loaves of rye, sourdough, and focaccia might be anywhere.

“Man, I stole me fifteen Adidases today, and not one baguette in the boxes.”

“Tell me about it, brother. That old lady I mugged didn’t even have no English muffins in her purse.”

Last week, AOC was at it again, telling reporters that the current nationwide surge in crime is due not to DAs refusing to prosecute hardcore criminals, but rather the expiration of the child tax credit, which is forcing nonwhites to steal…

Thought she was gonna say bread? Ha! Wrong, sucker. Now it’s baby formula.

“The child tax credit just ran out, on December 31st, and now people are stealing baby formula,” EEG-flatline FDR told the press.

Of course, there’s no evidence of anyone stealing baby formula, any more than there was of people stealing bread. Nevertheless, AOC should go full FDR and propose an executive order that will nationalize the Paneras and force whites to turn in their Gerbers, so that thugs won’t have to steal tires or flat-screens to get the bread and mush they need to survive.

It’s AOC’s New Meal.

Quintez Brown is Louisville’s “Mr. BLM.” The 21-year-old student at the University of Louisville personifies the organization in his hometown. But, as Sid Vicious might say, he’s had his fill, his share of looting. Yes, Quintez Brown decided to mature as an activist. No more smash-and-grabs, no more arson.

Quintez Brown was goin’ legit.

Time to run for office!

After all, in the past two years, Brown’s campaigned alongside local politicians who sought the BLM vote in this 24% black city. Brown was also a columnist for The Courier Journal, where, one can assume, he penned many a piece about white folks touching his hair.

Brown’s Twitter profile summed up his platform: “We have one scientific and correct solution, Pan-Africanism: the total liberation and unification of Africa under scientific socialism.”

“Scientific socialism” is as oxymoronic as “peaceful BLM activist.”

As Quintez Brown proved last week.

After filing his papers to run for city council, he learned that a white man—a dirty Jew, no less—was running for mayor.

It was the greatest outrage since Tuskegee Experimental Airman Emmett Till caught syphilAIDS from George Wallace (the comedian, not the governor).

So Quintez Brown decided to settle the election BLM-style. He loaded his gun, stormed into the office of Hebraic usurper Craig Greenberg, and emptied the weapon.

Not a single bullet hit anything but wall.

Although Brown was swiftly arrested, he’ll be receiving a special award at next month’s Oscars for his race-reversal Pulp Fiction “point-blank hand-cannon” reboot.

Even when he misses, Quintez Brown’s a hit!

GSTAAD—I cross-country ski the old-fashioned way, not skating but on machine-made narrow tracks. It is known to be the best exercise in the world, both upper and lower body getting the maximum workout as one churns along a beautiful course in Lauenen, a tiny nearby village that looks like Gstaad did sixty years ago. I used to bring my children to the lake here during the summer, warning them time and again about a horrible monster that lived underwater and specialized in grabbing little kids. They screamed and screamed in terror until they got a bit older and told me to stop talking nonsense and swam to their heart’s content. Disrespectful little jerks, but such are the joys of fatherhood.

I now cross-country ski more than downhill, if only because it’s such a bore putting the boots on. Even worse is the fear of falling, something I actually enjoyed doing at speed when I was young. The snow is still good, for Gstaad that is, and the weather ditto. I used to know everybody in this town but no longer. The place is full of unfamiliar faces, and some not so friendly, a modern-day phenomenon that illustrates new money, at least as far as I’m concerned. Will some modern-day Waugh (or Sinclair Lewis, for that matter) describe their pretensions and how pathetic their swashbuckling looks to an expert eye? Probably not, novelists nowadays are concerned only with their own feelings.

“In St. Moritz, the Corviglia wagons have been circled and the barbarians are outside and failing to get in.”

I ran into my old friend Nicolas Anouilh, son of the great French playwright Jean, the other day while we were both sliding and sweating in Lauenen and gossiped about the new arrivals. Nicolas prides himself on being a misanthrope, and I’m about to join his club. He’s off downhill skiing also, although he’s much younger than I. Forty-five years or so ago he watched me kick a bag every morning from his next-door chalet, and now he’s decided to start. He’s signed up to a kickboxing club in nearby Saanen and I will be joining him next week. This should be fun. Without having been there, I bet I know the type that will be kicking and boxing: locals with no talent but legs like tree trunks that hurt you more when you kick them hard, and rich boys trying to get tough in order to show off later that night in nightclubs. Oh yes, and women trying to improve their figures, and their figures do improve if they persist. What will be more interesting is sixty years of karate, boxing, and judo experience but aged 85, versus inexperienced youngsters aged 25.

While churning away in the Lauenen valley one has time to think—anything to keep the mind away from the physical fatigue. Boris is of course always in the news, and the other day Munira’s resignation brought back memories. (Munira in demotic Greek means “vagina.”) Munira’s hubby, Dougie Smith, is a hell of a poker player. We used to have a regular game that included Zac before he became Lord Goldsmith, and Bunter before he became Duke of Beaufort. Timmy Hanbury, Dougie, and I made up the regulars. I never won a single hand against Dougie or Zac, both of them besting me by calling my bluffs or wiping me out with better hands. Mind you, I was always too busy gambling rather heavily downstairs at Aspinall’s to concentrate on poker, especially Texas Hold’em, a game unfamiliar to the poor little Greek boy.

Dougie Smith, a Conservative Party adviser back then as he is now, ran an occasional shall-we-say risqué party where adults met other willing adults and you can imagine the rest. A friend of ours begged and begged and begged so finally Dougie gave in and allowed him to attend one such meeting dressed to the nines as a waiter serving refreshments to the weary swingers. Our friend walked in with a tray full of drinks and eager to serve, but he had not left his sense of the ridiculous behind him. As he approached a large fat man with a huge erection leering at an Amazon’s enormous poitrine, my friend literally burst out laughing, spilled the drinks all over the about-to-copulate couple, and was unceremoniously thrown out with prejudice. I believe Dougie decided that from that moment on self-service—no pun intended—would be the rule.

Otherwise, everything’s hunky-dory. Next week I fly to St. Moritz for the Corviglia Club’s 90th-anniversary party; the last time I was there was for the 75th with Tim Hoare and Nick Scott present and partying like crazy. Both now they have gone but are certainly not forgotten. The wife was glamour girl of the Corviglia back in the ’60s, and her presence is required. Prince Augusto Ruffo di Calabria, a good friend, is the president of the club. His wife Tana and her sister Milana Furstenberg were two beautiful Austrian princesses and both married princes. I’m looking forward to the bash and although St. Moritz has been overrun much more than Gstaad with NOCDs, there is a difference. In St. Moritz, the Corviglia wagons have been circled and the barbarians are outside and failing to get in. The barbarians rule the town, the hotels, and the nightclubs, but the encircled club looks as if it can withhold for another ninety years or so. I wish I could say the same about Gstaad, but then I’m a pessimist.

In the preface to the second edition of Brave New World, Aldous Huxley said that anyone who wanted to establish a modern dictatorship would be advised to allow the population complete sexual freedom and freedom to take drugs, leaving everything else to the control of the dictatorship. In my gloomier moments, I can’t help thinking that this is the condition at which we have arrived, though I know that gloom is not a perfect guide to reality.

In France there is a projected law that would allow people to choose as their surname that of either their mother or their father, and for children to change sides, as it were, once they reached maturity, fixed for the purposes of this projected law at the age of 13. There was no widespread agitation in favor of such a law; rather it is a response to a feminist demand that surnames should be put on a basis of reality. Given that single parenthood is now commonplace, and that most children living in single-parent households live with their mothers rather than their fathers, the law—if passed—will result in the feminization or matriarchalization of surnames. After all, many if not most single mothers have no particular desire to immortalize the names of their inseminators.

“A tiny pressure group exerts a huge influence on the legislature and legislation, like a panzer division slicing through the countryside with practically no serious opposition.”

But even in two-parent families of what used to be the traditional kind, the new law could, and probably would, provoke conflict. If a child is free to choose his surname, it would find itself in a situation in which it would be obliged to do so. One can just imagine the scene: a parent asking a child whether it wants to take the name of Mummy or Daddy, thereby favoring the one and disfavoring the other. Taking the hyphenated names of both is only a temporary expedient, available to the first generation at most, for there must be a limit to the number of names anyone bears, even in the Spanish and Portuguese traditions. Besides, which should come first? And however mature or accepting the parents may be, however reasonable or forgiving, the worm of jealousy is bound to enter the fruit of their love for their children. To ask a child whether it prefers Mummy or Daddy is to stir a psychological hornets’ nest.

True, according to the proposed law, the choice must be made once and for all; for once a mature person aged 13 has made its choice, it is stuck with it for life, unless it later changes its name altogether, which at the moment is a long and difficult process not to be undertaken lightly. The new law does stipulate, however, that a mature person should be able to change his or her surname, usually to the mother’s, by a very simple procedure, online in fact.

The stipulations of the new law are not strictly logical, or at least consistent. If one is allowed to choose in the first place, why not be allowed to choose and choose again, as many times as one likes, so that sometimes one is Jones, the child of Mr. Jones, and sometimes one is Smith, the son of Ms. Smith, according to taste and circumstances? Of course, this might be a boon to those fleeing the law, who desire a different identity: One robs as Jones but is arrested and questioned as Smith.

There are a couple of important points to be made. First, this is an instance of how, in modern democracies, the tail comes to wag the dog. This is happening with increasing frequency. A tiny pressure group exerts a huge influence on the legislature and legislation, like a panzer division slicing through the countryside with practically no serious opposition. Preemptive appeasement seems to be the main stance of the political class faced by such pressure groups: Not believing in anything much itself, except in its own survival, it is prepared to defend nothing, resist nothing, and fight for nothing. Tiny pressure groups, being monomaniacs, are therefore always fighting asymmetric wars: The subject of their monomania is all-important to them, but of marginal importance to everyone else. The pressure groups are like tiny insects making the life of a large beast intolerable. The easiest way to get rid of them is to give in to them and give them what they want.

The second thing about the law is that it seems to extend the realm of choice, the assumption being that choice is always and everywhere an unmitigated blessing, and that nothing (for example a system of naming) must be accepted not because it is fully rational, or because it accords with everyone’s deepest wishes, but simply because the acceptance of convention that is not obviously harmful in itself is a way of avoiding conflict. In some countries, people drive on the right, in others on the left. The one is not intrinsically better than the other, but to give people the choice, on the grounds that to do so would increase their freedom, would be silly, to put it no higher.

The refusal to accept that some things are beyond our personal choice is gaining ground, as a kind of mad egotistical Prometheanism. A man in the Netherlands wanted to reduce his age by about twenty years in order to be able to attract younger women than he was able to do at his real age, and appealed to the courts to change his date of birth (after all, he still felt frisky). The court refused, but the request was no more absurd than that of the ability on request to change the sex on one’s birth certificate, as is now possible in Britain, a falsification of history that out-Stalins Stalin, and would probably even have made old Josef Vissarionovich laugh at the absurdity of it. Apparently also, a man in Canada “identified” first as a woman and then as a wolf. As the advertising slogan puts it, be all you can be.

Reality, however, is not so easily mocked. When the American mystic Margaret Fuller said that she accepted the universe, Thomas Carlyle is reported to have said, “By gad, you’d better.” Now, of course, we have alternative universes.