August 19, 2023
On board Aello—she was built in 1921, a beautiful wooden ketch that is as graceful to look at as she’s uncomfortable for fat cats accustomed to gin palaces. I’ve sailed her throughout the years, the last time giving her to my children as I was in plaster having fallen from a balcony in Gstaad. This time it was worse. In fact it was the greatest no-show since Edward VIII skipped his coronation and showed up on the French Riviera instead. Michael Mailer had hinted that some Hollywood floozies were eager to sail around the Greek isles, but he arrived empty-handed. The absent floozies were missed but were immediately replaced by my son and his son, and off we went, four males looking for mates down the Peloponnese coast. Young Taki aged 17 won hands down, romancing the most beautiful 16-year-old in the whole of Greece, whose grandfather was a friend and her great-grandfather a crony of my father. Such are the joys of old age.
Aello’s crew of five was eager, willing, and able—there is nothing worse than reluctant, pusillanimous sailors—and there was even a surprise right off the bat. The Scot steward, Fraser Richardson, a handsome young man who has written a very good screenplay according to Michael Mailer, told me his grandmother Moira Macfadyen is a loyal and longtime reader of The Spectator. “So what else is new?” answered yours truly. “Everyone whose brain hasn’t turned to cheese reads Takimag.”
With family on board I decided to act responsibly and in a dignified manner. Once upon a time wild scenes of drunkenness and woman-chasing were par for the course. No longer. Our first port of call was Prince Pavlos’ and Princess Marie-Chantal’s villa high up on the island of Spetses, where the Greek royal couple were giving lunch to their five children and their friends. A great breeze, fifteen youngsters, very good wine, and some beautiful girls made me quickly forget any resolution I had made. Especially after being greeted by Poppy Delevingne like a returning Odysseus. Poppy is among the nicest girls around, and she’s high-stepping it with Pavlos’ son Constantine Alexios, a Greek prince with Hollywood-of-old looks.
Well-oiled after a lunch that lasted almost until dark, off we sailed across the bay to pay a brief visit to Peter and Lara Livanos, whose two great boats were anchored in front of their seaside mansion. More wine and more stimulating conversation followed. Peter Livanos, the King of LNGs, is a very wise businessman who reads history. The subject we discussed was—duh—China vs. the U.S. of A. Peter does not think that China will use violence to take Taiwan. The latter will fall into Chinese hands like a ripe apple sometime in the next fifty years. Unlike the hamburger eaters who have four or possibly eight years to make things happen, the undemocratic Chinese have time on their side.
The irony of all this is that even five years ago all of us would be on Uncle Sam’s side, dismissing the Chinese as robotic slaves of a dictatorship that threatens the world with their ideology. “No mas,” no more, as the boxer Alberto Duran announced when he quit during a fight with Sugar Ray Leonard. Uncle Sam has turned into an intolerant, stoned, cop-hating, woke-loving slob that promotes a culture where thieves and other miscreants are not depicted as criminals while honest people are shown as deserving to be robbed. And it gets a lot worse. The FBI, once upon a time an American institution of incorruptibility and fairness, is now a swamp of left-wing zealots waging war against the Catholic Church. The slur against the Church is that Catholics are potential domestic terrorists. And where does the info come from? The extremely corrupt left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, a rich pressure group that targets whites and conservatives and enjoys great influence in D.C.
Who would have believed it, that in the so-called land of the free, the FBI would turn out to be so corrupt as to wage war against faith in God? LGBTQ apparently has a lot to do with this outrage, working with the Southern Poverty Law Center to besmirch Catholics and what the Catholic Church represents. Douglas Murray exposed this in his New York column.
But why am I writing about pre-traumatic Uncle Sam-induced stress disorder and Chino-melancholia when on my last night in Spetses I discovered the greatest bar/dive packed with friends. Pavlos and M.C. were with someone whose parents—both now gone—first befriended the poor little Greek boy in Paris very long ago. The night of their wedding we went to Maxim’s, just the three of us, and it looked like a marriage made in that nice place up above. Alas, it didn’t last. But they had Arki Busson, the smartest boy of his generation, a terrific skier and a Romeo, now in his 50s and a self-made tycoon. We talked about the good old days, and health, and as Pavlos now trains hard in karate, the conversation turned to the Musk-vs.-Zuckerberg so-called upcoming fight. I’m not the Delphic Oracle, but it ain’t gonna happen. If it does, my moola is on Musk. Zuckie has never been hit, and lifting weights and training with real pros do not a fighter make. Take it from Taki, my money’s on Arki.