April 08, 2023
NEW YORK—Is it poor little ol’ me imagining things, or are Americans becoming stupider by the minute? I’ve been traveling and running into the species, and I swear that the most intelligent thing I’ve heard recently from a New Yorker is “Like, you know, like, uh, you know, uh, like, uh…” This moron was talking in a loud voice and did not give the impression of having been hit rather hard over the head with a baseball bat, but there he was, just another inarticulate and tongue-tied youngster showing signs of early dementia due to watching too much television. Mind you, once upon a time American “exceptionalism” led the New World’s ascendancy in a number of fields, including the arts. So what happened? A very difficult question to answer, but the “gringos” seem to be inured to brain-deadening TV and movies, hamburgers, celebrity worship, drugs, antidepressants, videogames, #MeTooism, and psychoanalysis.
Let’s take it from the top: There has to be something very sick with someone who is so desperate to belong that they apply, beg, cajole, offer bribes, and debase themselves to those who are already members in order to join…a gym. I read somewhere how some fitness centers in the States now refer to themselves as wellness destinations, and pathetic wannabes go through such exertions in order to join. Back in the good old days, joining a gym was automatic, but now it’s a status symbol. It is hard to believe the sweat one has to go through in order to eventually sweat. Only in America, as the saying goes.
But why am I surprised? Most of the people one sees in the street are high on pot or stronger stuff. The few who are sober, or so it seems to me, are in even more trouble: They’re seeking analytic treatment. There are 106,000 licensed psychologists in the United States, and more and more are applying for licenses as the American dream goes up in smoke. Being a shrink has to be the greatest con ever, as one sits in a room with a patient who talks for an hour and then pays $400-plus for the privilege. The Europeans may have invented this swindle, but the Americans have perfected it.
There is no proof, according to the great psychoanalyst professor Dr. Taki, and no magic bullet for mental health. The one time I was in a shrink’s company it was a social occasion, and I had been asked to speak with her by the mother of my children. This was a very long time ago, and the lady shrink was a friend of Alexandra, who had mentioned to her my skirt chasing. We had a pleasant little chat and I admitted to her that I loved my wife and would never leave her, but whenever I saw a pretty girl all bets were off. Just as I said it, she let out a shriek and collapsed on her sofa. Aha, I said to myself, the truth hurts and they cannot handle it. But I was wrong. Months went by before Alexandra informed me that the shrink collapsed because she had just passed a kidney stone.
Never mind. Some American feminists are now calling all that Freudian crap patriarchal garbage, and that makes me feel like seeing a shrink as I’m torn about who is worse, the militant feminists or the Freudians. But enough about Freud and frauds; trying to always be a bit happier is a unique American perversion, just as is vulgarity and hyperbole. What is in retreat in America is religion and long-held core values. By contrast, the only value that keeps on growing in stature is money. Children are deemed less important now, as is patriotism, especially among young Americans who think individualism and a sense of entitlement are far more important.
No wonder I have not made a new American friend since JFK was in the White House. Back then, victimhood was not only inadmissible; people did not brag about it, as they do now. Looking back, I never saw this coming. Young people today—or so I’m told—are taught to apologize for their country’s history. When I was in school we pledged allegiance to the flag and took it for granted that we were on God’s side. Now, as is the case with Stanford University, the term “American” is seen as “harmful language.”
And good old Britain, once known for its restraint and understatement, is not far behind. Frivolous and absurd human beings are going after Britain’s past with a vengeance; all one has to do is watch British TV or listen to the unfunny vulgarians who are called comedians nowadays. The irony in America is that close to 60 percent of people 65 years and older still believe very strongly in religion and patriotism. Which means the battle lines have been drawn, at least as far as I’m concerned. Young versus old, something I never thought I’d see because I’ve always loved young people—okay, young women—and at an advanced age I still think and act like a young man.
So, what is to be done? The daily Goebbels-like propaganda against white males and the police by Hollywood and the media has outdone even the limping Nazi doctor. Consult Dr. Taki, never believe a word the Bagel Times or The Washington Post publishes, do not watch television except for Fox News, and when asked who is your favorite American statesman, answer Robert E. Lee. He’s certainly mine.