Taki's Top Drawer

Post Oscar Blues

Prizes and awards depend on whims of insiders, nothing more, nothing less. Certain themes are sacrosanct, such as disabilities. Hence Daniel Day Lewis in My Left Foot and Geoffrey Rush in Shine. The Academy also has intellectual pretensions. Shakespearian and Mozartian themes have won the biggest prize, as has a Shakespearian actor like John Gielgud in the ridiculous ...

Skiing in Lederhosen

When an Italian finishes making love he looks at the mirror, flexes his muscles and tells himself, Magnifico! When a Frenchman is through, he tells the lady that she may have captured his body but not his soul. When an Englishman finally manages it he asks, "Was it good for you too, ...

Taki’s List

Poetry is in trouble. It is garbage being written by modernists—stuff that doesn’t rhyme and makes no sense but is considered art. Let’s stick to the past. Dante, the all time numero uno, Homer, Pushkin, Keats, Byron, Coleridge, Shelley, that’s what I call poetry. Instead of attacking Iraq, Bush should have started a war against modernism. Shoot all poets who don’t write in iambic ...

Our Very Own War Criminals

The United States has no right to use nuclear weapons except in response to a nuclear attack. Nuking a nation that does not possess them, and has not attacked us, is in fact a war crime—the kind of crime for which we rightly hanged the Nazis at Nuremberg. (What a pity that we couldn’t have swung the Russians, too—and perhaps the Brits and Americans who ordered bombings like ...

Incapable of Yodeling

Courchevel, the French Riviera, even St Moritz have been Dresdened by the Russians, their obnoxious spending and lack of basic manners amounting to a grotesque deformity. Here in Gstaad we live in fear of the coming oligarch invasion.... Foreigners, with lotsa moolah, flashy cars, pulled women and incapable of ...

Boats Before Bullets

Owning a boat, especially a sailing yacht, is like having a beautiful mistress with your wife's approval. This is the good news. The bad is that a boat is even more expensive than a high class ...

Billionaire Kleptocrat-Towelheads

The Boston Globe praises Saudi Arabia and its rulers for its diplomatic finesse in brokering a cease-fire between Hamas and Fatah. This is the way it should be. When someone finally does something good, they should be praised. Up to a point, that is. For far too long the Saudi ruling kleptocracy—because that’s all it really is—has bought safety for itself by paying off regional thugs and relying on the American safety ...

Drool Britannia

Oh, to be in England! The once upon a time green and pleasant land is now Europe’s burglary capital, the most violent country in the old continent, Albania included. It’s gotten so bad that the paralyzed Blair government has reverted to television slogans such as: “Don’t moan, take action: it’s your street too.” Sure, and pigs may fly. In Britain’s mean streets taking action is taking your life in your hands. One ...

Get Carter

A London friend has sent me a book whose subject caused a few faint complaints in the beginning but has now escalated to a full-scale furore, Jimmy Carter’s Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. Racist and anti-Semitic have been the operative words used by outraged pundits to describe it, while people such as the Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and the director of the Anti-Defamation League Abe Foxman have gone overboard in ...

Dictatorial Style

Style is the most abused word in the English language. It is usually attributed to fashionable people by those not in the know. Style, however, is an elusive quality, and few fashionable people and almost no celebrities possess it outright. No one is capable of buying it, although thousands try. The dictionary defines ‘style’ as a noticeably superior quality. It is of an abstract nature and one either has it or one does ...

Why I publish this magazine

I want to shake up the stodgy world of so-called ‘conservative’ opinion. For the past ten years at least, the conservative movement has been dominated by a bunch of pudgy, pasty-faced kids in bow-ties and blue blazers who spent their youths playing Risk in gothic dormitories, while sipping port and smoking their father’s stolen cigars. Thanks to the tragedy of September 11—and a compliant and dim-witted ...

There Are No Neocons in Foxholes

The only good thing to emerge from that tragic war - one that I covered and one that I backed to the hilt until the very last day - was that it ruined LBJ's prospects of running for a second term. It cost 58,000 American lives, and close to two million Vietnamese ones - north and south - and made celebrities out of opportunists like Jane Fonda's husband, Tom Hayden, clowns like Abbie Hoffman, and professional busybodies like ...

It’s Easy Being Green

So here at last is Taki's way to save the planet without pain. But before we begin, a warning: don't try doing it all at once. Melting glaciers, violent hurricanes, flash floods, terrible droughts, the threat to polar bears in the shrinking Arctic Sea ice, and the real possibility of fires in the Amazon rainforest cannot be reversed overnight. The unmentionables want us to believe that climate change is liberal propaganda, but ...

What is Left? What is Right? Does it Matter?

All governments are monopolies of organized force, inherently unjustifiable. And once accepted, they are bound to get out of control sooner or later. No, there is no longer a Right or a Left. Bush’s mammoth expansion of government power and spending makes LBJ look like Robert Taft, the last true conservative—and peace lover, I might add. Labels are for ...

History Lesson

OK, 2007 is upon us, and the end of history, as in Francis Fukuyama’s fearless forecast of 1990, has turned out to be full of you-know-what. In fact, never in seven centuries, give or take a few, has this planet of ours been in more turmoil. Fukuyama is a great scholar, and he meant well, but what he got wrong was religious fervour and human nature. Basically, the urge to control one another’s behaviour. Better yet, the ...

The Neocon Con

To West Point, where sitting in the midst of the corps of cadets on a soft autumn evening watching a football game evokes memories of the America I used to know as a schoolboy. The soldier ethic — i.e., the virtues of the past — is everywhere. Courtesy, formality, self-restraint, good manners and not a small amount of very attractive female soldiers, to boot. The virtues of the military are those of a past aristocratic ...


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