Taki's Top Drawer

Hitler and Goebbels visit UFA, 1935

The New Weimar?

Living as we are under the collective inferiority of the West, and humbled as we are when faced with the cultural achievements of tribal Africans, primitive Amazonian tribesmen, Saudi Arabian witch doctors, and savages in general, I was relieved to see that Hollywood is hard at work in maintaining the myth that everything that the West has achieved since the Greeks was due to the white man’s cruelty and ability to steal from ...

Adoration of the Magi, Rubens, 1634

Believe It or Not

My, my, how the years pass by. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve written a Christmas piece for Takimag, but the years have passed in an eye blink. Recently I asked myself, why do bad things happen to good people? (Well, not very good people, but well-intentioned.) This question has occupied thinkers throughout the ages. People who do not believe in a good God should logically have no problem with the existence of evil. In ...

Free Speech at Last!

I find it deliciously ironic and very satisfying. We suddenly have free speech at American universities, at least while Jewish billionaires are threatening to stop the moola. The presidents of top universities have cried uncle and have pledged that free speech will be for them what money was to Shylock. The only problem is that unlike Shylock, they are owed nothing and in fact are the ones who caused the problem in the first ...

Dubai, UAE

COP Out

I suppose it was the Almighty’s sense of humor to cover Western Europe with snow while those who flew into Dubai on private jets warned of planetary disasters due to fossil fuels. The United Nations climate conference is and always will be a contradiction, especially when held in a place whose wealth is uniquely derived from fossil fuel. COP28 is a joke, a lot of fat cats reading acronym-ridden speeches and with as much ...

Napoleon, aged 23

The Emperor’s New Film

The French are up in arms, as always; the Brits have raised eyebrows; and the Americans are nonplussed, as they thought Napoleon was a brandy. The brouhaha has to do with the latest movie about the Emperor of the French, one I am told contains great battle scenes but also saturnine mumbles from Joaquin Phoenix as Napoleon. When I was young, the Corsican-born great was my hero. Did you, by the way, know that Napo ranks third ...

The Deadly Pattern

The question was a valid one: “How could you, a conservative and a gentleman, be for them?” The man is an acquaintance of long standing, also a gent, so I bothered to explain: “Because I’ve been there and have seen what’s going on up close.” Needless to say, it was the Middle East we were talking about, and my sympathy for the Palestinians, as opposed to tiny Israel surrounded by hostile Arab nations. I was based ...

A Pretty Good Revenge

“Vengeance is mine,” is the Lord’s saying, but also the title of a best-selling Mickey Spillane trashy novel of the ’50s. The slaughter that’s taking place in the Middle East as I write this is all about vengeance, but then most wars are about revenge. In May 1946, in Tokyo, the American victors decided to put on trial the Japanese losers, with 28 defendants sitting before judges chosen from nations on the winning ...

Good Fellowes

Okay, you fans of such classics as Age of Innocence, House of Mirth, and Ethan Frome, Julian Fellowes is no Edith Wharton, but for the dregs of what’s left of society today, he’ll do. He’s a Brit, a funny little fellow—pun intended—whom I sat next to at a London gentlemen’s club luncheon long ago. He had not as yet found fame and fortune for his Downton Abbey TV series, and he seemed awfully anxious to please. “My ...

Gale Storm

Hat’s Off to the Morons

I spotted a tiny faux pas, as they say in the land of cheese and garlic, and only mention it for the follow-up. I was watching a black-and-white movie made in 1948 starring Gale Storm, a beautiful young American actress in her debut role, when in a scene she exits an elevator accompanied by three men all wearing fedoras. Believe it or not, it could not have happened in real life. All men wore hats back then, and all men removed ...

Lt. Gen. Valin, Chief of Staff, French Air Force, awarding Croix De Guerre with palm to Col. James Stewart

Anonymity Wins the Day

Oh dear! A rift has taken place in Hollywood over the killings that are going on in Gaza as I write; mind you, it is a rare one because lefty Tinseltown speaks with one mind when it comes to politics. Conservative actors and executives over the hundred or so years that Hollywood has existed have been few, but they definitely counted when Uncle Sam called during World War II. Jimmy Stewart, a conservative, flew twenty missions ...

Bordering on Insanity

David Kaufman is an unknown writing protest letters to British newspapers against Elon Musk and the Fall of Rome. He equates the rise of the former with the demise of the latter. Losers like Kaufman tend to stretch things a bit in order to attract attention. I’m a Musk fan, but the reason I disagree with Kaufman is because Rome did not fall because of “tax dodgers and semi-cultivated usurpers” but because in the mid–4th ...

Tales From the Crypto

From the horror that is Gaza to horror comedy here in the Big Bagel. Sam Bankman-Fried is on trial for stealing 8 billion smackers from investors, but as he has pleaded not guilty, I suppose I have to give him the benefit of the doubt. SBF, as I shall call him for the duration, is not burdened by guilt, nor is he worried by his lack of hygiene and many other things, I’m told. Before his fall last November, SBF was the darling ...

Benjamin Netanyahu

The Gaza Conundrum

A major in the reserves of the Israeli army, Nir Avishai Cohen, got it more right than all the blowhards pumping out hot air about Gaza all week: Love Israel, Support Palestine is the name of his book written and published last year, and in a newspaper article after the horrors had begun, he reconfirmed it. And added to it: “There’s no such thing as unavoidable,” he wrote. The ideology of the elite, whatever side ...

Israel and Gaza - Iron dome rockets

The Present Tragedy

GSTAAD—My last days in good old Helvetia before heading for sunny London and grubby old New York. And they are beautiful days and crispy nights here while the bells are ringing. The cows and the goats are down from the heights, and they make for an improved atmosphere as the new rich have departed for places like Dubai or Monte Carlo. I’ve been reading up on Elon Musk and how bitchy some reviewers of his biography have ...

Sam Bankman-Fried

My NBF

I had a good talk with my NBF, Owen Matthews, at the Spectator writers’ party, agreeing on the two subjects we discussed: Russia and women. I won’t exaggerate the enormity of our aggregate knowledge—and the way we have deployed it in our service especially where the fairer sex is concerned—suffice it to say that it is far beyond the comprehension of most individuals who concern themselves only with money. Speaking of ...

Jodie Foster

Ever Moore

Lord Moore and I go back a ways, more than forty-some-odd years. I clearly remember the first time we met at editor Alexander Chancellor’s office at The Spectator. I was called in and Alexander introduced me to a fresh 25-year-old-looking Charles, who had just been named foreign editor. “He went to our old school,” joked Alexander, knowing full well I was not an old Etonian. “I don’t remember you there,” said I. ...


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