Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Happy belated Christmas and Samuel Johnson

I see that I put up a post complaining about self-righteous progressives on Christmas day, so I had better try and add some seasonal light-heartedness to my blog.

In fact I've spent much of the last month focusing on the more spiritual and nurturing side of things (though for all the  bloody good it's done my temper, I wonder if I ought to have bothered..). But I wanted to share some wonderful, if slightly acerbic, Samuel Johnson-related quotes.

Firstly, a segment of Horace Walpole's systematic character assassination of Johnson. Wikipedia tells us that

"Horatio Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford (24 September 1717 – 2 March 1797), also known as Horace Walpole, was an English art historianman of lettersantiquarian and Whig politician"

He was also the son of the first Prime Minister of Britain - it's always difficult to be the son of a famous & respected father - and a writer. His fiction seems to have been of limited interest, but his letters are fascinating for anyone interested in those times. Here he is on the celebrated Dr Johnson and the 'zanies' who admire him:

"The Signora talks of her Doctor's expanded mind, and has contributed her mite to show that never mind was narrower. In fact the poor man is to be pitied: he was mad, and his disciples did not find it out, but have unveiled all his defects: nay, have exhibited all his brutalities as wit, and his lowest conundrums as humour"

and this is my favourite bit (I am going to use this one myself):

"What will posterity think of us when it reads what an idol we adored"

Perhaps a Whig politician of those times would find many things about a Tory disagreeable (I'm astonished by people whose judgements of others depend entirely on their politics, rather than objective examination of their qualities). Johnson was indeed something of a Tory who embellished his reports of Parliamentary debates so that "the Whig dogs should not have the best of it"

I should say that I actually rather like Samuel Johnson, but when I read that last quote, I'm uncomfortably reminded of how I feel when I find there is enough public demand for Russel Brand to appear on TV again, and for him to have a "Booky wook" published. I'd anyway like to let Dr Johnson have the last word(s) here with a couple of his remarks:

"I have found you an argument, sir. I am not obliged to find you an understanding"

(I'm definitely using that one, as well... I get the same feeling very often on Twitter). A bit of wisdom:

"Sir, I look upon every day to be lost, in which I do not make a new acquaintance"

and finally, for Christmas, a note of mystery

"This world, where much is to be done and little to be known"

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

The childish tricks of the progressive left

Everything is racism

It seems to me that British (nay Western) life has become dominated by accusations of racism - often on the smallest pretext - to the point where discussion of politics becomes all but impossible, and therefore doesn't happen properly. Rulers in Europe are committed to mass immigration, and reportedly are considering whether to classify and dissent on the subject as "hate-speech". (this development is, in itself, a serious infringement of freedom of speech)

But whatever the ruling classes think they are doing we can't pretend that the obsession with racism is confined to them - it is rampant among well-off liberals living in London, Oxford and other university cities in Britain. I myself know well (and have written about) some of the types who keep the perpetual racism narrative alive. You'll be at a kids' party talking to other parents, or sipping cocktails in someone's spacious garden - often living in the whitest districts in Britain - and the conversation will veer towards "racism" as if attracted by a sort of black hole, from which nothing can ever escape.

There's a video on Youtube where a reformed SJW explains how she used to be actively looking for racism, almost hoping to see some so she could step in and be the hero. This is very common and illustrates the skewed perspective of such people. It's hard enough to understand life as it is, but you simply cannot see things clearly if you start out looking for a particular phenomenon, and ignoring everything else..

The trap being used to silence conservatives

We're bombarded with anti-white-male political correctness. I travel on my bus to work and I see posters advertising a 6th form college, that show several girls and a coloured boy. An advert for a martial arts class that has the same ratio - no white boys. I try to ignore this and open the newspaper that's free on the bus and by God it's Metro - the . At the weekend, I go to a nativity and open the carol booklet, and I see pictures of girls singing, with a boy in blurry focus very much in the background. And yesterday I watched Carols for Kings, once the glory of the BBC and one of the most powerful expressions of British spirituality you'll see still alive and well. But the powers tht be have screwed with this tradition, too. Most of the readers of lessons were women - the ratio was so blatant that they can only have been trying to make a pointl most readers had a north American accent, weirdly; there was one Muslim (naturally, at a Christian service...) and eventually I think one white male got to read a lesson.

The denizens of Twitter, as usual, paid scant attention to the beautiful music being played and got down to the serious business of pushing progressive politics. A user claimed to be disgusted with the whole thing - he didn't explain why - and people lined up to ask "Why?", "Please tell us why?". They'd made up their mind already.

That's the trap - we're having a particular agenda shovelled over us every day, and if you complain there are enough fanatics out there waiting to a) say how much they approve of it and b) are looking out for anyone who doesn't approve of it, so they can closely question that person and imply or just say outright that they are racist.

"Let's do something to wind up the Gammon brigade"

Sometimes the whole trap is quite deliberate. The Labour government who started mass immigration into the UK were open about their wish to rub conservatives' noses in it. They knew full well that they could not only secure votes, but accuse anyone who opposed the policy of racism. It was win-win for them. I'm certain the BBC do the same thing. When the new Dr Who was announced as a woman (what a joke that is, by the way, done purely for political reasons when there were already excellent Time Lady characters in the Rani and Romana) the usual Twitter crowd - aching to display some virtue, were circling like a pack of vultures waiting for someone to complain - simply so they could call that person a "misogynist". They gleefully announced how the best thing about this was that it "upset the Gammon brigade".

There is something wrong with us if our priority is to wind up someone from a group we want to accuse of hatred

They can keep this game up forever, and it is openly anti white-male - I don't think there is any controversial in my saying that. The discrimination against white, straight men,  flagrantly illegal though it is - is openly on view) The only antidote to it is for us all to call it out for what it is, unafraid of being accused of "hate-speech".

That and the fact that the opportunistic accusations of hatred are so reflexive, and often on such spurious grounds, that terms like "racism" will lose their power. This would weaken the grievance industry, but would hardly be a good thing in itself.