Sunday, April 29, 2007

World of Decency!

Sorry for the light posting around these parts recently ... various members of the AW team have been busy, on holiday, placed in internal exile to Siberia for bourgeois revisionism, etc. I'll try to do a portmanteau "catch-up" post some time this week.

No, I don't know what Nick's pissy little rant about Elizabeth Butler-Shloss is all about either, but it doesn't really seem to have much to do with Decency so I'm gonna let it slide. I would almost be tentatively prepared to advance the theory that Nick's been offered the Mad Mel spot in the Mail[1], but told that he can't have it until he can prove that his heart has been eaten up from the inside by necrotising fasciitis and replace with a tarry black ball of pure hate.

I think the interesting thing in the Observer is Denis MacShane's column in which he explains that the left-wing position on the French elections is, of course, support for the right-wing candidate. He really doesn't seem to have thought it through - it looks like he's started from the initial point that support for Sarko has to be the right thing to do since the Left are against it, and tried to come up with a grab bag of snarks about Royal to try and make an article out of it. MacShane isn't being hypocritical of course - he's maintaining his loyalty to the one political movement he's ever supported, namely Atlanticism. But it is rather annoying that he pretends that this has anything to do with any sort of left-wing or progressive values; he is simply a patriot of the United States of America.

Luckily good old Bill Keegan is there, completely slicing and dicing both the analytical vacancy and the pretentiousness of Decent Denis' column - it is a real shame Keegan gets so little prominence these days. I get the feeling that the Observer is rather embarrassed by him, which is entirely the opposite way to how it ought to be.

[1]Who has, I see, completely lost it, with her latest article in the Speccie which posits an international conspiracy of basically everyone in the world except her and John Bolton to cover up the Iraqi WMDs.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

C'mon Aaro!

Bet he's regretting entering London again now. Terrible conditions for a marathon. 'Perhaps not a day for personal bests today,' said Steve Cram with equal gifts for pleonasm and understatement.

Baldini to win or at least make the top three.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Not that there is anything to be proud of in being called a sleep-walker

Being slightly drunk, I give you this: The Lion And The Unicorn.
AS I write, highly civilized human beings are flying overhead, trying to kill me.
They do not feel any enmity against me as an individual, nor I against them. They are 'only doing their duty', as the saying goes. Most of them, I have no doubt, are kind-hearted law-abiding men who would never dream of committing murder in private life. On the other hand, if one of them succeeds in blowing me to pieces with a well-placed bomb, he will never sleep any the worse for it. He is serving his country, which has the power to absolve him from evil.
One cannot see the modern world as it is unless one recognizes the overwhelming strength of patriotism, national loyalty. In certain circumstances it can break down, at certain levels of civilization it does not exist, but as a positive force there is nothing to set beside it. Christianity and international Socialism are as weak as straw in comparison with it. Hitler and Mussolini rose to power in their own countries very largely because they could grasp this fact and their opponents could not.
Also, one must admit that the divisions between nation and nation are founded on real differences of outlook. Till recently it was thought proper to pretend that all human beings are very much alike, but in fact anyone able to use his eyes knows that the average of human behaviour differs enormously from country to country. Things that could happen in one country could not happen in another. Hitler's June purge, for instance, could not have happened in England. And, as western peoples go, the English are very highly differentiated. There is a sort of back-handed admission of this in the dislike which nearly all foreigners feel for our national way of life. Few Europeans can endure living in England, and even Americans often feel more at home in Europe.
When you come back to England from any foreign country, you have immediately the sensation of breathing a different air. Even in the first few minutes dozens of small things conspire to give you this feeling. The beer is bitterer, the coins are heavier, the grass is greener, the advertisements are more blatant. The crowds in the big towns, with their mild knobby faces, their bad teeth and gentle manners, are different from a European crowd. Then the vastness of England swallows you up, and you lose for a while your feeling that the whole nation has a single identifiable character. Are there really such things as nations? Are we not forty-six million individuals, all different? And the diversity of it, the chaos! The clatter of clogs in the Lancashire mill towns, the to-and-fro of the lorries on the Great North Road, the queues outside the Labour Exchanges, the rattle of pin-tables in the Soho pubs, the old maids hiking to Holy Communion through the mists of the autumn morning—all these are not only fragments, but characteristic fragments, of the English scene. How can one make a pattern out of this muddle?
But talk to foreigners, read foreign books or newspapers, and you are brought back to the same thought. Yes, there is something distinctive and recognizable in English civilization. It is a culture as individual as that of Spain. It is somehow bound up with solid breakfasts and gloomy Sundays, smoky towns and winding roads, green fields and red pillar-boxes. It has a flavour of its own. Moreover it is continuous, it stretches into the future and the past, there is something in it that persists, as in a living creature. What can the England of 1940 have in common with the England of 1840? But then, what have you in common with the child of five whose photograph your mother keeps on the mantelpiece? Nothing, except that you happen to be the same person.

Regular reader will have already seen the implicit racism in this disgraceful article. Instead of affirming universal brotherhood, the writer (I shudder to name him) positively affirms national differences. Next thing you know, he'll be condoning the stoning of women. We are all made from the same DNA, ergo, we are all the same. Whoever wrote this trash (English word, in Shakespeare) is a racist hypogriff, er, crite.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Abject Indifference To The Rise Of Radical Islamism

Dear me, it's been a while. I may be about to disqualify myself as an AaroWatcher - I've found a prospective article for Democratiya, which, not only do I understand, but I postively agree with. Of course, the piece, which I urge you to read, may not make the hallowed pages, because it does fail to mention moral relativism, still less seeing it as the root cause for the Holocaust and migrant workers smelling funny. I can't see that Democratiya will reject it, however, as someone very clever once said, "If you publish Oliver Kamm, you'll publish any old crap." If they do, however, a career as David Miliband's ghost writer surely beckons, should young David need to devote himself full-time to not standing as leader of the Labour Party. I, for one, find his efforts toward not standing as leader of the Labour Party somewhat lacklustre and lacking true conviction, doubtless because he has to split his time being Secretary of State for the Environment, and I bet taking dictation and typing all day just fags you out, as well as blogging and stuff.

Via Harry who not only disagrees, but cites Krugman as proof of his case! If he can't even get Steve Tyler's name right, I don't see why we should take him seriously.