December 22, 2006
reading as I was your magnum (opus) in the week in which the bipartisan Baker-Hamilton select crew of idiots forgot to recommend to Dubya he convert to Islam before asking Ohmygodwhatajerk for help in Iraq, I had more fun with “America Alone” than you can imagine. Seriously: I was breaking into howling fits just looking at the cover with the star-spangled chiffon getting surrounded by the Paki-Saudi federation (if that what the green rags were suggesting). So, it’s the End of the World as We Know It, hey, Mark ?
I am sure relieved to read that it’s only the Caliphate that’s upon me and my dwindling brood, if I hold onto the idea that socialized medicine is part of the Western Civilization as I want to know it. I don’t mind, really. It’s nothing much compared with the scare of my farts turning into naphtalene balls in global flash freeze, that Al Gladbag and his camp of nuts threaten me with. Me, I scare easily but you ain’t got nothing compared to that ! Besides, I read Sax Rohmer when I was eleven. I also read the books of Karl May at that age, his volumes on Wild, Wild, Wild West in America where he was Old Shatterhand and volumes on the Near-to-his-Heart Orient of despots where he morphed into the noble prince Kara-ben-Nemsi (which I am told in Arabic means, if-you-are-running-with-a-tail-between-your-legs-make-sure-everone-knows-you-are-executing-an-exit-strategy).
Mark, I love the tough talk from a barbudo (; I almost ordered the t-shirt too) ! Of course the Arabs are “hard” by nature – my history tells me, only if they don’t have opposition – and the European chickenshit which craves 30-hour work-week, 6 weeks of vacation, and state-run dental plan for kids is just too “soft” as an opposition. Did I mention Euro-Disney ? Ok, I’ll get to that later.
But you are right, the Euros have grown too wimpy. In the old days, if mass laziness erupted and the drinking classes opted to disown the curse, to live off soup kitchens and under the bridges, an economic crisis all but destroyed the diligent enterpreneurs. Today, the bums get welfare, and with so much Chinese labour and Japanese robots that you can cover the whole Earth knee-deep in cheap junk in just six months, the horrid effects of laziness do not stick out so much. But the Big Nanny sure found a new way to torture the rich: the “antisocial” social democrats have all but destroyed the future of the young turning them into burlaks of social security payouts for their dole-addicted moms and dads. Oh, you don’t know what burlaks are. Sorry, here you go . Not a bright future, is it ? I am sure it scares the living shit out of coke-snorting execs of tax-proof multinationals. It does not scare me but I sympathize. The fear of the paranoiac, my mom used to tell me, is just as real ! Now of course, Gladbag prefers Theo Colborn’s version that makes PCBs and dioxin concentrations recorded on Baffin Island the reason for my getting sexually defective, and our boys staring squarely into the catastrophy of deformed organs and anemic sperm count (see Cloborn/Dumanoski/Myers, “Our Stolen Future”, with foreplay by Al Gore).
You know, I’ve been thinking: how come someone as bright as Mark Steyn can’t see the obvious. It’s the idea of Europe uniting, stupid ! Surely, it’s a sign of the Apocalypse. The Wart on the body of Asia shall writhe in plagues of locusts and Saracens, who will chastise all paleface, but especially the Danes who knowing better caved in and signed for Maastricht European Butter – the grade Maria Schneider fetches Brando in Ultimo tango a Parigi. You contempate the French national soccer team and you know something is terribly wrong with the sense of identity of the current breed of Europeans. Call me racist, I don’t give a hoot! I take one look at Vieira, Henry, Trezeguet, Wiltford, Djibril Sisse, lined up before a kickoff fidgeting through, or trying to lipsync, la Marseilleuse, and I know that these are not Frenchmen. And sure enough, when it comes to a decision on the field to exact a price for a slur on the honour of his sister by SpongeMarco Quadratipantolini and grin-and-bearing a tired putain gavot for the glory of France, it’s a head-butting no-brainer to Zizou.
But you see, the interesting thing on the shifting demographics of Europe (and the U.S. which you deal with only in passing), is that the falling birth-rates do not explain the place being overrun by people and culture hostile to its makeup. There is no war between the Arab countries and Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Sweden, Denmark to account for the influx of bearded and veiled foreigners to those lands. There is no way the differential birth rates between Muslims and Swedes should play a significant role in the demographics of Sweden, unless the Swedes are dead resolved to be overrun by Muslims. So, the problem may be not so much birth rates – which seem to be lowering, as a general rule, with rising standard of living – as it is immigration and naturalization policies. And there, the sick-man Europe copies America as diligently and/or shamelessly as Die Harald Schmidt Show copies David Letterman’s nightly dose of cynicism for the urban insomniacs (even to the top-ten lists, for crying out loud). So consider it possible that Europe has really wanted to be Die Vereinigten Staaten all along (in the Karl May way), and if it fucks itself up in the process of creating das echt-amerikanische Schmelztiegel of humanity, it has very little to do with the excesses of the homegrown Left. Much more with the Give me Your Tired, Your Oppressed, Your Tyrannized ! The Lying Bitch was made in Paris too, by the way ! The truly oppressed did not dream of Democracy and Liberty in Amerika; by a large margin they dreamt of making tons of money off suckers dumber than themselves.
The copying of things American comes mostly as a cultural reflex, although sometimes, once upon a Clinton, the State Department gets involved directly. When the new Czech state made a feeble attempt to control the influx of the Carpathian Roma in 1994, Washington underlinks bullied Klaus just short of threatening to send in the bombers. At issue was the “unfair targeting of an identifiable ethnic group” in requiring that an applicant for Czech citizenship, if not native, produce a proof of two-year residency, and – therein the blatant discrimination - a clean criminal record (in any jurisdiction) for the last five years. Can’t do that ! You can’t ask an illiterate, unemployed, wandering nomad to keep his nose clean that long ! So what, he sells drugs, he is involved in international prostitution-slavery rackets, he may own an army of underage pickpockets, he cares a flying fart about Czechs and their history, he can’t speak the language ! Is any of that a reason why he should not be a Czech citizen ? Is that any reason why he should be discriminated against ? No way ! “NO HISTORY, NO BULLSHIT”, as Richard Holbrooke used to check Milosevic at Dayton whenever the former commie banker thought a few shots of rye would soften the American view regarding the origins of ethnic tensions on the Drina. And to drive home the American point of view, Holbrooke eventually used Albanian narco-mafia to drive the Serbs out of their Holy Land.
But as I said, Europe mostly copies the US voluntarily. The problem is that, because the Overseas Nirvana which Europe dreamed up has evolved differently, there will always be no-fly zones on the mutual admiration map between the two versions of the West. Ergo, I don’t think you can Americanize Europe or vice versa, either from the Left or from the Right. What appears to you as sissy statism, has had a long history and came to be built into a consensus within the states on the Continent, states which were much varied and more class-conscious than America ever was. Nothing speaks better of this than the history of social security. It saw the light first in Germany, in the years of its aspiring to the status of a world superpower. When the scandalized Junker deputies protested to Bismarck who introduced the old-age pension and health insurance acts, that this was socialism, the old man snarled back: “call it whatever you want, it’s all the same to me”. According to your theory the Hun should have been hamburger the moment Limeys and Frogs took a run at their trenches in Belgium in 1914: fucking statist sissies who need a doctor and a pension to fight for their Kaiser. Well ok, it would have been a walkover, you say, had the Frenchies not dragged in the dole in 1905, and the fox-killing foggies did not give in to the Mob on the poll tax. But you know what ? I think, Bismarck was a smart man. He took the wind out of not just Lasalle’s sails but destroyed the Marxist litanies in Germany for two generations. Made patriots out of Bolshevik scoundrels like Kautsky and Bernstein. Drove Lenin nuts. Hell, even he signed up with Kaiser eventually, and wore a toupee for a while !
On second thought, let’s not do Euro-Disney. But I tell you, very often America exports sick shit to Europe (and Canada). Take for example fist-fucking,….naw, not that either, better let’s do Catharine Mackinnnon: you know the feminist jurist who says that if woman says she was raped, and it turns she is mentally ill, she was still raped. But where Mackinnon has been laughed off as a legal loon in the States (I think her’s was the only case in modern history that the U.S. Supreme Court dismissed without a comment – the Minneapolis anti-pornography by-law), in places like Canada or Bosnia she is worshipped as demigod. Thanks to Cathy, who authored here in Ottawa a bizarre piece of legislation which requires a man to take “reasonable steps to ascertaining he has obtained consent to sex” before erection, no male can ever have any degree of certainty about anything happening between the sheets any more. I wrote to our Minister of Justice (Alan Rock) with a request to explain to me the requirements of the mysterious new section 273.2(b) of the Criminal Code, i.e. how to make love to my wife and stay legal in Canada. What does 'reasonable' mean in this sudden state intervention into necking and foreplay ? Am I supposed to obtain some sort of a token nod or wink, or should I be asking my wife something formally to satisfy the requirement that I take reasonable steps toward ascertaing that I have a state-approved licence to proceed cautiously in a limited and non-exclusive act of lovemaking to my beloved with due note that such is subject to instant review and renewal if said respondent to sex appears uninterested or falling into a state of stupour in which she is incapable of consent in accordance with s.273.1(2)b, etc, etc...and would it please the Minister to inform me if French kissing is considered a form of criminal suasion when administered for the express purpose of obtaining connivance in more flagrant acts of debauchery with a view to the requirement of s.273.2(a)(ii), prohibiting 'recklessness'. The office of the Justice Ministry informed me dryly that: '...these provisions have been in effect for just over three years and the case law is developing. However, no two cases are exactly the same. It is not possible to lay down guidelines for what may constitute reasonable steps. Yours very truly…’ Ach so, I get it ! Cathy can’t tells us what the untried test of honest belief in consent is because we have not thrown enough men in jail yet for us to know exactly what it is that they should be doing ? Hmmm…, makes you kind of wonder what her definition of a ‘lawful burden’ on a defender would be. Me, personally – maybe I am weird - I would prefer to be told what it is that I should be doing before being thrown in jail because I didn’t.
So, let’s just say I have some sympathy with the European stereotype of viewing the Americans generically as cuckoos. Dennis Hopper did a great job in animating the Angst in Wim Wenders’ Der Amerikanische Freund in case you are pining for a great Euroflick and are tired of Isabelle undressing for her pimp as Violette Nozière. But even one better, Henry Miller came to animate the part to 1930's Paris in person.
Miller’s sole interests in life were to drink, to whore and to write, which horrified George Orwell who had, but a little while before, done the same things in the same place, except as a committed socialist. What horrified Orwell of course was that Miller drank, whored and wrote first-class smut without the need to commit to a belief in a bright future for humanity. To Orwell who met Miller on his way to Spanish civil war, where he would find himself unable to shoot at a fascist bathing in his underwear, where he would himself get shot through the neck, and where he would discover that his beloved Leftie friends exhibited all the traits they despised so in the fascists, to this man it was incomprehensible at the time, that the American literary genius would be happy the way he was. And Miller was content, at the knowledge that the world (as we know it) was doomed, not because of a manic Austrian corporal and his Latin buddies, not even because of the Red menace, but because his pickled brain knew the American Dream would slowly poison the very idea that lies under all cultures, namely the idea that human life has a meaning. Here is what he wrote:
'Nobody thinks any more how marvelous is that the whole world is diseased. No point of reference, no frame of health. God might as well be typhoid fever. No absolutes. Only light years of deferred progress. When I think of those centuries in which all Europe grappled with the Black Plague I realize how radiant life can be only if we are bitten in the right place ! The dance and fever in the midst of that corruption ! And syphilis ! The advent of syphilis! There it was like a morning star hanging over the rim of the world.....Aye, the great world of syphilis is setting. Low visibility: forecast for the Bronx, for America. Low visibility accompanied by great gales of laughter. No new stars on the horizons. Catastrophes...only catastrophes ! ....I see America spreading disaster. I see America as a black curse upon the world. I see a long night setting in and the mushroom which has poisoned the world withering at the roots.'
It’s easy to dismiss Miller as a derelict, an obnoxious dopey without breeding, culture, sense of uprightness, decency. But it is also possible to see him on those terms as a self-parody of America, and ourselves in Black Spring of his history where we witness its spreading democracy in the world. Having defeated the false messianic hopes of an evil empire, America embarked on a great virtual crusade against the terror of the homicidal urge itself ! In the name of deferred progress ! In the name of liberty ! In the name of homeland security ! Think of it as America's greatest project, its most noble effort, its final destiny ! No, you don’t even be an anti-Yank to think that way: the Americans’ are no more guilty of spreading a cultural disaster than a friendly dog is in spreading infected fleas.
I am not saying it’s that way, Mark, I am saying, consider it. Think it possible that Charles Dickens is not the evil that we should fear the most. Maybe, the greater danger is the Lone Superpower Narcissus torn between two Grand Lunacies, transfixed like Buridan’s ass between the Leftist and Rightist Utopias. The self-destructive struggle between the thoughtless, futureless America as a 24-7 pandemonium of self-seeking and self-gratification and the America obsessing as a self-glorified multi-culti SuperVirgin liberating the world from immigration paperwork and fighting Evil on a shoe-string budget, has now been playing out in Iraq where the Hapless Granfaloon has been taunted and dissed, and fought to a standstill by a swarm of bare-assed suicide bombers. And that, my friend, is the reality of America going solo. Methinks, anyhow.