January 31, 2015

Dudley House, London

Dudley House, London

Thick snow is falling hard and heavy, muffling sounds and turning the village from picturesque into postcard-beautiful. I am lying in bed listening to a Mozart version of “Ave Maria,” with a heavenly soprano almost bringing tears to my eyes with the loveliness of it. This is the civilization of our ancestors, one that gave us Mozart and Schubert and Beethoven and built cathedrals all over the most wondrous continent in the world—and it is now being replaced by a higher one, in which distinctions of ethnicity and religion will no longer be tolerated.

The human race has a limitless capacity for self-improvement, and it shows where architecture, the arts, and music are concerned, not to mention literature. You might think me jaundiced, but the Parthenon’s perfection is less impressive than the Trump Tower’s glitz, and Cellini’s Narcissus raises fewer eyebrows than Hirst’s Shark. And what about the “Ode to Joy”? Can one really compare it to the rap that blasts 24 hours a day among those who are with-it? Nah, of course not; anyone who disagrees must be getting old.

“This is what a democracy should be like. People like Lords Rothschild and Cholmondeley should advise young, self-made Qataris on how to spend money they earned honestly and through hard work.”

Just as “Ave Maria” was coming to an end, I opened the papers and felt proud to see Prince Charles and David Cameron kissing Saudi ass, to be followed by Obama couple of days later. Oswald Spengler came to mind. What did he know that we don’t? Three thousand years of civilization took an upward swing when TV was invented, and taking drugs became de rigueur, and popping pills and pop music became one and the same. Those ancient Greeks were bores, and I’m not referring to myself but Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, not to mention Aristophanes. So were the wops—the Titians and Tiepolos—and the frogs. The latter built a few churches that now lie empty. Give me Norman Foster any day.

And give me Frantz Fanon above all dead white males, like Goethe and his ilk. Like a certain Harold MacMillan, who told his flock it never had it so good back in 1959, I say to you now we’re in the money. All we have to do is forget our prejudices, allow more Africans and Muslims in, especially uneducated poor ones, and turn against Christianity in general and the Catholic Church in particular. Presto, we will have proved the doomsayers wrong once and for all.

This is Simon Cowell time, as well as Wendi Murdoch. Sodom and Gomorrah is a myth, so stick to Simon and Wendi. Better yet, to the Kardashians. Watch as many reality shows as you can, and try to emulate the accents and the topics they discuss. Ditto for sci-fi and zombie movies. Encourage modern professional athletes to be more violent—nerds like Jesse Owens and Stanley Matthews should have their names removed from memory. Oscar Wilde died in disgrace, and no wonder. He dared say this: “Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming.” Which means things were getting better even back then.

And this brings me to beauty and an article in Vanity Fair about Dudley House in London’s Park Lane. It was written by a man I know and like, Jim Reginato, with pictures by Jonathan Becker, another friend. The house has been purchased and redone by a 33-year-old Qatari by the name of Al-Thani, who, according to the article, is now a leading member of English society, frolicking with its golden youth, and his circle includes the Queen. I told you at the start that things were improving. Even the dear old Queen now hangs out with people whose ancestors coupled with camels and produced the Thani dynasty.


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