December 03, 2013

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson

I have it on good authority that some women find Boris Johnson irresistibly attractive.

Now, the Brits are a comparatively homely race of people, but I’ll admit to finding some Englishmen pretty damn sexy, even a few categorically ugly ones (a lingering side effect of my punk-rock girlhood). God in His mercy gave Englishmen those accents to distract the female of the species from their teeth; it’s proven to be one of His more successful brainwaves.

But Boris Johnson looks like a melting snowman that got raped by an albino sea anemone. Sure, he’s successful and reasonably witty. Normally, like most (sane) females, I value such attributes more highly than good looks. That said, I still can’t get past all those photos of London’s mayor wearing a hideous bicycle helmet (is there any other kind?)…or hanging impotently from a zipline in front of millions of onlookers…or basically almost any photograph with Boris Johnson in it, actually. Sorry.

At this great distance, the man’s record in office neither interests nor affects me. Reading foreign”€”in every sense of the word”€”reports about my own city’s bulky, bumbling blond mayor this last little while has reinforced my long-held belief that reporters are mostly lazy, snobbish, tone-deaf, and unreliable. Therefore I’m not inclined to sift through dozens of contradictory OpEds about whether Johnson has been good for London.

“€œBoris Johnson looks like a melting snowman that got raped by an albino sea anemone.”€

I’m concerning myself entirely with his recent “Margaret Thatcher Lecture” at the Centre for Policy Studies, or, as I’ve dubbed it, his “Rivers of Cornflakes” speech.

By now, many readers will have heard tell of the so-called “backlash” caused by this supposedly “controversial” speech”€”or, more precisely, one of Johnson’s observations in particular.

“What could that have been?” ask the blessedly uninformed few. “Did the man call for the mass detention and execution of gypsies? He didn’t say ‘wogs,’ did he?”

Nope. Johnson merely observed that some people are smarter than others.

Here be the verse:

Whatever you may think of the value of IQ tests, it is surely relevant to a conversation about equality that as many as 16 per cent of our species have an IQ below 85, while about 2 per cent have an IQ above 130. The harder you shake the pack, the easier it will be for some cornflakes to get to the top.

I’ll leave it to our resident experts to parse Johnson’s statements about IQ. As for his inelegant cornflake metaphor, he returns to it later in his speech when advocating “apprenticeships and every other means of giving young people the cunning and confidence to succeed in a place of work.”

Sounds like he favors one form of statism (government-sponsored make-work projects) to another (government-sponsored don’t-work projects such as welfare). Yawn. As for some people being dumber than others, I noticed that within the first ten minutes of kindergarten. Yet Johnson’s mere mention of IQ is what’s evidently left his nation’s left reaching for their collective ideological EpiPens.

“Stupid poor people are stupid and poor, says massive blonde-haired child,” blurted the satirical site The Daily Mash, sounding not that much different, frankly, from some of its ostensibly serious media mates. “[W]hen they grow up, they can do all the stupid jobs while the clever people do all the clever jobs.”


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