January 16, 2016
War and Peace has been in the news lately, so what was it that Leo wrote about all happy families being alike? Tolstoy came to mind last week right here in Gstaad when I encountered probably the worst-looking family I’ve ever had the bad luck to run into in the past 79 years. I wonder if Count Tolstoy ever considered writing a saga about how ugly families are all different in their ugliness.
It was early evening when I walked into the Post Hotel, where Papa Hemingway once stayed while researching A Farewell to Arms. (He daily climbed on skins and schussed down after fortifying himself with glühwein.) Hemingway, alas, was not around, but a family from the Gulf was. To call it a freak show would be too charitable for my taste. (Bearded ladies and Siamese midgets have nothing on this bunch.) Dark brown, obese, Concorde-nosed children wearing Versace jumpsuits in leopard prints had six white bodyguards with earpieces jumping at their commands. The mother’s corpulence reminded me of a beached sunfish I had once plugged out dead off a Florida Key. Her only movement was guiding chips from her plate into her ravenous mouth. She wore Kardashian-like clothes with a winter beanie on her head with a fur ball on top. The husband was even more absorbed than the wife in his french fries. He looked angry and plebeian, a brutal lump of jelly, except when indulging his children while they screamed abuse at the bodyguards.
I sat as far away as possible with my back turned in order to be able to swallow, but it was hard going. A languorous sorrow for people no longer around engulfed me. “How in hell have we come to this?” I asked myself. I could hear the Gulf family slobbering down food and making doglike noises while drinking Cokes. I quickly paid my bill and ran out of the place. My depression did not lift until the next morning, when I had to return to the Post Hotel, where I was giving a lunch for—get this—16 loyal Spectator readers from South Africa. Yes, they are white, fourth-generation Anglos, and they live in Durban, and I met the head of the family and his wife during last summer’s Speccie cruise. The Arnold Taylors and their children and grandchildren drove over from Wengen for a boozy lunch that erased the horrible images of the night before, thank God. Mind you, other unpleasant memories filtered through, despite the wine. How hypocritical Britain sold out loyal whites in Rhodesia to the Mugabe mobs, and the abuse British media and the “bien-pensant” heaped on tough, white South Africans who had created a great country that a clown like Zuma is now trying to undo.
Arnold Taylor is a businessman who owns a lot of regional airlines all over Africa. He was a Springbok, a family man who believes that education is the best gift one can leave one’s children, the direct opposite of the horrors from the Gulf I had encountered the night before. These are the kind of people the European so-called elite waged war against throughout the Thatcher years. You know the kind: family-oriented, hardworking, religious, and patriotic. The type our media and intelligentsia loathe.
The poor little Greek boy noticed one thing while dodging immigrants last summer in the Aegean. Whenever the odd woman and child would emerge from a boat, the camera lenses would go into overdrive. The fact that 71 percent of all asylum seekers were men did not interest our “neutral” news reporters and photographers. Nor the fact that most migrant asylum seekers were in the late-teenage category, with an 11.3-boys-to-one-girl ratio. These so-called teenagers and young men will one day have on average between six and twelve children, and as the 2015 million-plus migrants will become more than 3 million by the end of this year alone, you, dear readers, do the math. The possible future will consist of a Europe with close to 50 percent of the under-40 population consisting of North Africans and Africans.