June 03, 2023
NEW YORK—He’s oilier than Molière’s Tartuffe but gets away with more. His latest con involves the martial art of jiujitsu, where he managed to get a referee to reverse his decision. I’ve been competing in martial arts for close to sixty years now and have rarely—in fact, never—witnessed a ref reverse his or her decision, but I’m no con man like Zuckerberg.
Some of you old-timers may even remember something called fair play. Bad calls are inevitable in sport, and one is used to taking the bad ones with the good ones because in the end, they all even out. Facebook’s honcho ended up a multibillionaire under a bit of a cloud, accused of having stolen the idea from twin brothers who could not have been overly smart to trust him in the first place.
Never mind. I find anyone who went to Harvard suspect, except for Michael Mailer, that is, but getting a ref to reverse his decision in jiujitsu takes the lying artistry of Baron Munchausen combined with the false humility of Uriah Heep. If any of you missed it, the papers were full of pictures of the great martial artist wearing a yellow belt—the equivalent of second grade in school—competing against one wearing a white belt (kindergarten) and after a brief conversation with the ref, getting him to alter his decision. It was followed by lots of pictures of the great warrior having won the gold medal.
Well, I don’t criticize lower belts, but I’ve yet to see after close to sixty years of competing anyone appealing or even conferring with a ref. It simply isn’t done in martial contests, not by martial artists anyway. All one does is bow after a decision, end of story. Leave it to someone like Zuckie baby to argue and persuade the ref—obviously a total fool—to reverse his decision. Mind you, I should not be surprised. Even societies that were once in an enviable position have been dragged down by today’s culture, so why not the noble martial arts one? But this is not the reason I’m writing about the multibillionaire “martial artist,” but my friend Douglas Murray is.
Facebook has killed a Douglas Murray article, using the usual double-talk these literary abortionists employ when they read something that doesn’t fit into their woke-lefty standards: “It violated community standards on hate speech.” As his editor pointed out, it gave no details. Peachy, ain’t it? A malign ideology has taken hold both in the U.K. as well as in the US of A. Any criticism of woke status quo is considered hate speech, and it has become the ultimate censor. As in Orwell’s 1984, truth is now hate, and freedom of speech is prejudice.
What is to be done? What is to be undone would be closer to solving the problem. The war on intolerance has been manna from heaven for those who tolerate not an iota of dissent. Anti-West and anti-tradition rhetoric is now the status quo, with punks like those Silicon Valley freaks leading the charge. That stunning good-looker Jeff Bezos, who owns The Washington Post, and the even better-looking Sulzberger chappie, proud owner of the Bagel Times, along with the Silicon freaks, Hollywood and the TV networks, are sitting pretty and looking down on the rest of us peasants who still respect our past culture and what Western culture has achieved.
Lest anyone doubt the ominous situation for anyone not woke, a new opera that celebrates the life and death of George Floyd will probably become a staple in American classical music from now on. What I’m betting on is that Daniel Penny, a white ex-Marine who choked to death a black criminal threatening people in a subway car, will not have an opera written about his exploits but will most likely go to jail.
Again, never mind. Everyone I know seems to be against something nowadays, but it’s not the first time, as the book I was reading this week reminded me. Yet again I am reading about George Washington and the American Revolution and how decent a man and soldier General Howe was and how hard he tried to persuade the rebels to put down their arms and become second-rate British citizens again. What reminded me of today’s split society was how divided Americans were—and remained so—even after the revolution.
Incidentally, did you know that the final attack by Washington on Redoubt No. 10 in Yorktown was led by the great Alexander Hamilton, who was desperate for battlefield glory? Whose side would I have been on had I been a well-off Philadelphian once the revolt had begun? That’s an easy one. I would have remained a loyalist. I remember being insulted in my boarding school when I defended the great traitor in history class. Benedict Arnold won the Battle of Saratoga and while in hospital was cheated of his victory, which was claimed by Horatio Gates. He was refused funds he was owed by a do-nothing Congress and was even court-martialed. And he was, after all, an Englishman.
The closest I ever got to any of those great types was the ball I went to given by Sheila Rochambeau in the Rochambeau château in 1963. It was the Frenchman with his fleet that spelled doom for the Brits and Cornwallis. Without him we’d all be speaking Brit over here today.