GSTAAD—Lord Belhaven and Stenton, a wonderful man and the quintessential English gentleman, died at 93 just before the end of the crappiest of years, but Robin was lucky in a way. No tubes, no hospital beds, not another Chinese virus statistic. His widow, Lady Belhaven, gave me the bad news over the telephone, and although she was devastated after a very long and happy marriage, she is very smart and realizes that it was a perfect death. He asked for a gin and tonic, went to bed, and never woke up.
Acknowledging the death of others is one thing, accepting one’s own demise another. That’s why old men send young men to die in war, a confidence trick perfected after the Napoleonic Wars. Greek and Roman generals led from the front, as did many kings who followed. Prince Bagration died in the Battle of Borodino, Sir Thomas Picton in Waterloo; Prince General Blucher, age 73, had two horses shot from under him while charging to save the day for Wellington. I suppose one’s immortality lives on in those you’ve touched, and, in turn, they live on if they’ve touched you. Death is the force that shows you what you love most and wish most to continue living. Remembering those who died makes them immortal.
Robin was of a generation that didn’t suffer from PTSD—that’s a medical word for trauma—an invented term by Big greedy Pharma so it can sell expensive medication to people convinced they’re suffering from psychological or chemical wounds. As a child I met many soldiers back from horrendous experiences, yet all I remember are funny things they told me, like my uncle being stabbed in his backside by a panicky Italian “Alpini” he had captured, then drawing his pistol, taking away the Italian’s stiletto, and forcing him to dress his wound.
Trauma is now as American as apple pie, and purported to be caused by many things: betrayal, moral injury, an abuse of authority, the loss of a pet, the closing of a nightclub, or the malfunction of a television set. Actually it’s a spiritual void that afflicts those who use social media and take celebrities seriously. Therapists and quacks are having a field day. Corny American columnists blather on for a culture with rites of passage, communal moments celebrating a moral transition, whatever that means. It means more mumbo jumbo by quacks. World War II and Korean War veterans didn’t make a fuss about their suffering, Vietnam vets did. Sixties shipwrecks ditto. The nihilism and cynicism that burned-out hippies and drug addicts made commonplace back in the ’60s spelled trauma later on. In stepped charlatans, mystics, and consciousness-raising gurus—for a price, of course. The great emotional therapist Taki has always called it a big con.
The rising suicide and depression rates in America, I think, flow from dependency on schlock music, TV, and movies that depict the world upside down: What is good and law-abiding is bad, what is vulgar, violent, and rotten is good. Andrew Roberts wrote a very important article in The Daily Telegraph on this subject, concentrating on film and how it depicts all our leaders as vile and all those against a Christian West as fine.
One family that lives around these parts that decided to do something about America’s spiritual void, and enrich itself in the process, is the Sackler family. Their company Perdue developed OxyContin, bribed doctors to prescribe it rather vigorously, and managed to kill more Americans than the two atom bombs dropped in Japan did Japanese. Oh yes, after 450,000 deaths, and as early as 2007, the Sacklers began to transfer $10 billion to their private accounts. As it now stands, they’ve got a minimum of 10 billion among them, after having paid around 2 billion in fines, and give me dirty looks because I dared call them what they are: murderers who belong behind bars. Some say the amount is 17 billion, not 10, but I choose to lowball on that one. There are more lawsuits against Perdue than I’ve had hangovers, but their moola is already overseas, and they’ve cut ties with Perdue, their baby. I will badly need some OxyContin if they get away with it, and I suspect they will avoid justice as they are trendy left-wing donors and such. The founder of Perdue once attacked The Gulag Archipelago as fascist propaganda in my presence. I should have busted him in the mouth but didn’t. He was too old even back then.
One who should have taken OxyContin last week was The Donald. He handed Biden a moral victory, buried his own legacy, and ensured the media’s grotesque un-reporting of Antifa and BLM violence will become standard. The hysteria following The Donald’s stupidity by a paper like The New York Times actually made me laugh. Where was the outrage when cities and private businesses were burned to the ground, when innocent bystanders were killed, when police stations were overrun and blown up in Portland? I’ll tell you where: They were turning a blind eye while helping Kamala Harris raise $35 million to defend rioters, that’s where. Throughout the summer and autumn, criminals were lionized, while rioting and looting by leftist thugs were called in National Public Radio broadcasts “legitimate acts of protest.” While condoning violence, or in the case of the NY Times ignoring it, the Fourth Estate is now shocked, shocked that Trump thugs attacked “our democracy.” Even Captain Renault would be ashamed of such double standards.
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