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The Battle of the Books

 

As journalists these days are staking out their position on the Tree of Life, somewhere between amphibians and reptiles, I was reminded of one of the great works of Jonathan Swift, probably the most imaginative English writer in the last few hundred years.

In “The Battle of the Books” he recounts a war between the writers of the Ancient World and their modern critics, carried out as a phantasmagorical war of books that takes place in St James’s Library. The modern “critics”, of course, are full of contempt for traditional wisdom built up through the Ages, and so full of themselves, puffed up with their progressive modernisms.

[Immediately, that brings to mind the whole slew of modern journalists, pretending to report and analyze, but really venting their collective leftist spleen against President Trump, his family, their country and all normal, sane people.]

Momus, the patron of the Moderns, in conducting the battle,

… fearing the worst, and calling to mind an ancient prophecy which bore no very good face to his children the Moderns, bent his flight to the region of a malignant deity called Criticism. She dwelt on the top of a snowy mountain in Nova Zembla; there Momus found her extended in her den, upon the spoils of numberless volumes, half devoured. At her right hand sat Ignorance, her father and husband, blind with age; at her left, Pride, her mother, dressing her up in the scraps of paper herself had torn. There was Opinion, her sister, light of foot, hood-winked, and head-strong, yet giddy and perpetually turning. About her played her children, Noise and Impudence, Dulness and Vanity, Positiveness, Pedantry, and Ill-manners. The goddess herself had claws like a cat; her head, and ears, and voice resembled those of an ass; her teeth fallen out before, her eyes turned inward, as if she looked only upon herself; her diet was the overflowing of her own gall; her spleen was so large as to stand prominent, like a dug of the first rate; nor wanted excrescences in form of teats, at which a crew of ugly monsters were greedily sucking; and, what is wonderful to conceive, the bulk of spleen increased faster than the sucking could diminish it.

Momus then entreats the goddess Criticism to hasten to the British Isle, thereby

…having thus delivered himself, stayed not for an answer, but left the goddess to her own resentment. Up she rose in a rage, and, as it is the form on such occasions, began a soliloquy: “It is I” (said she) “who give wisdom to infants and idiots; by me children grow wiser than their parents, by me beaux become politicians, and schoolboys judges of philosophy; by me sophisters debate and conclude upon the depths of knowledge; and coffee-house wits, instinct by me, can correct an author’s style, and display his minutest errors, without understanding a syllable of his matter or his language; by me striplings spend their judgment, as they do their estate, before it comes into their hands. It is I who have deposed wit and knowledge from their empire over poetry, and advanced myself in their stead. And shall a few upstart Ancients dare to oppose me? But come, my aged parent, and you, my children dear, and thou, my beauteous sister; let us ascend my chariot, and haste to assist our devout Moderns, who are now sacrificing to us a hecatomb, as I perceive by that grateful smell which from thence reaches my nostrils.”

Ah!, to be blessed with Swift’s powers of invective…one can but dream.

Rebel Yell

You Are Being Policed

As Mark Steyn has said, “Everything in England is policed, except crime.”
For all you folks concerned about the expanding police presence in our society, watch this video [How the Police have become the Paramilitary Arm of Political Correctness]. Its origin is in the UK, but the same applies to all of us in the US, Canada, England, France, wherever. The police forces are increasingly becoming a political police force, enforcing thought control throughout the populace, and certainly not protecting the rights of free citizens. Most of the commentary in this video is from an ex-police officer in England, which should tell you how far the rot has gone.

It is also good advice to any citizen these days—Don’t Talk To The Police, under any circumstances. As Professor James Duane says [here], “It. Can. Not. Help. You.—There. Is. No. Way. It. Can. Help. You.”

Be Warned.

Rebel Yell

Bolsonaro—The Right Way to Go!

President-elect Bolsonaro hasn’t even been sworn in yet, and he’s pledged to allow all Brazilians without criminal records to own firearms; to move the Brazilian Embassy to Jerusalem, and, to not sign the insane UN Migration Pact.

Wow, three home runs before the game starts. Will he out-Trump Trump?

No doubt come January 1st, many feminist knickers will be twisted into Gordian knots, screams of outrage will emanate from the hordes of thingies with dubious and unclassifiable libidos, and the MSM will beclown themselves with MAD magazine-type lies about the new Brazil.

We could use a guy like that in Canada.

Rebel Yell

Can Socialists Be Happy?

Can Socialists be Happy? is the title of an amusing little essay by George Orwell, which touches on the subjects of Christmas and socialist Utopias. The short answer is, —No. The sterile socialist utopias of Wells’s Men Like Gods and William Morris’s News from Nowhere elicit no joy in Orwell’s heart.

Christmas, of course, from A Christmas Carol, Dickens’ timeless Victorian parable of the redemption of an old miser, Ebenezer Scrooge. [Every Christmas Eve, I watch the 1951 movie with Alistair Sim playing Scrooge—the definitive version]. And despite Orwell’s critiques of Dickens, elaborated extensively in his essay on Dickens, he cannot help but express a liking for him.

I must confess a grudging admiration for Dickens, ever since as a very young boy, reading Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol from my grandfather’s beautiful leather-bound Dickens collection, complete in that old thin paper and sinister illustrations. Although he can be overly verbose, and sentimentality oozes from his every pore, he has a knack for creating characters with real feelings and emotions, real joys and sorrows, rather than fabricated professions of goodwill. I can still feel the cold of English houses and almost feel Bob Cratchit shivering on Christmas Eve as he toils for Scrooge. But,

…however thick Dickens may lay on the paint, however disgusting the ‘pathos’ of Tiny Tim may be, the Cratchit family give the impression of enjoying themselves. They sound happy as, for instance, the citizens of William Morris’s News From Nowhere don’t sound happy. Moreover and Dickens’s understanding of this is one of the secrets of his power their happiness derives mainly from contrast. They are in high spirits because for once in a way they have enough to eat. The wolf is at the door, but he is wagging his tail. The steam of the Christmas pudding drifts across a background of pawnshops and sweated labour, and in a double sense the ghost of Scrooge stands beside the dinner table. Bob Cratchit even wants to drink to Scrooge’s health, which Mrs Cratchit rightly refuses. The Cratchits are able to enjoy Christmas precisely because it only comes once a year. Their happiness is convincing just because Christmas only comes once a year. Their happiness is convincing just because it is described as incomplete.

…As all happiness is; incomplete and never a thing in itself.

All the imagined socialist utopias never get beyond seeing happiness as a kind of maudlin cleanliness, populated by nice, but drab and boring, people, much like the decaffeinated personalities of the progressives of today. Imagine waking up in that kind of world…

It is a world whose keynotes are enlightened hedonism and scientific curiosity. All the evils and miseries we now suffer from have vanished. Ignorance, war, poverty, dirt, disease, frustration, hunger, fear, overwork, superstition all vanished. So expressed, it is impossible to deny that that is the kind of world we all hope for. We all want to abolish the things Wells wants to abolish. But is there anyone who actually wants to live in a Wellsian Utopia? On the contrary, not to live in a world like that, not to wake up in a hygenic garden suburb infested by naked schoolmarms, has actually become a conscious political motive.

Orwell had a horror of the joyless, antiseptic, hectoring feminism that contaminates so much of our civil discourse today. Nowadays, the infestation of “naked schoolmarms” would be replaced by a tyrannical collective of ham planets with blue armpit hair beating young boys until they do have periods.

On the question of utopias…

All ‘favourable’ Utopias seem to be alike in postulating perfection while being unable to suggest happiness. News From Nowhere is a sort of goody-goody version of the Wellsian Utopia. Everyone is kindly and reasonable, all the upholstery comes from Liberty’s, but the impression left behind is of a sort of watery melancholy. But it is more impressive that Jonathan Swift, one of the greatest imaginative writers who have ever lived, is no more successful in constructing a ‘favourable’ Utopia than the others.

Because utopia is planned, and boring, only dull and boring people can inhabit it.

Dickens can describe a poverty-stricken family tucking into a roast goose, and can make them appear happy; on the other hand, the inhabitants of perfect universes seem to have no spontaneous gaiety and are usually somewhat repulsive into the bargain.

…which, in a nutshell, describes the drab personalities that inhabit the tedium of progressive politics today.

Dickens could portray happiness because he was a free man, and a decent man, much in the way Orwell was himself. And this is one of the many reasons Orwell (and, no doubt, Dickens) is hated by the Left and doctrinaire socialists in general. That the Cratchits may be poor is one thing, but that they should be happy, if only occasionally, is something that infuriates the legions of the perpetually morose. Orwell imagined Dickens thus

Well, in the case of Dickens I see a face that is not quite the face of Dickens’s photographs, though it resembles it. It is the face of a man of about forty, with a small beard and a high colour. He is laughing, with a touch of anger in his laughter, but no triumph, no malignity. It is the face of a man who is always fighting against something, but who fights in the open and is not frightened, the face of a man who is generously angry — in other words, of a nineteenth-century liberal, a free intelligence, a type hated with equal hatred by all the smelly little orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls.

The smelly little orthodoxies are now almost suffocating us.

Rebel Yell

Fake News on Acid

Everyone knows that the “news” is mostly fake, especially that from state propaganda organizations like the BBC, CBC and from their shriek sheets and fish wrap like Time and Newsweak. However, sometimes we are treated to a story that not only confirms our worst thoughts about the media, but shows us that “It’s worse that we thought!”—complete with climate alarmist horror.

Der Spiegel, a sort-of Time magazine of Angela Merkel’s Islamo-Reich, recently had to fire one of its reporters for malpractice. It appears that he was exposed as a fraud who simply made up stories, aka lies, and passed it all off as news. Naturally, it was all “news” that supported the liberal-left program and portrayed all conservatives and right-wingers as uneducated and stupid.

Claas Relotius, the journalist in question, had been to the US to do some “investigative journalism”, aka produce more lies, on rural America (Fergus Falls, Minn.), Trumpland, just after the 2016 election. Breitbart has all the gory details.

But the real thing is this: Relotius had, for nearly ten years, been supplying his concoctions to all and sundry as “news”. Of course, how many “investigative journalists” actually checked what he said? None, of course, because modern journalism is just left-wing propaganda—it has nothing to do with reporting news.

What broke the case was two eagle-eyed and diligent Fergus Falls residents who actually read what Relotius has written about their home town and saw that it was all lies. Their exposure was a work of actual journalism, and beautifully done at that. I won’t repeat it, you should read the whole thing [here].

Der Spiegel’s management whined:

Claas Relotius committed his deception intentionally, methodically and with criminal intent. For example, he included individuals in his stories who he had never met or spoken to, telling their stories or quoting them. Instead, he would reveal, he based the depictions on other media or video recordings. By doing so, he created composite characters of people who actually did exist but whose stories Relotius had fabricated. He also made up dialogue and quotes.

Further, the Grauniad reported:

Earlier this month, he won Germany’s Reporterpreis (Reporter of the Year) for his story about a young Syrian boy, which the jurors praised for its “lightness, poetry and relevance”. It has since emerged that all the sources for his reportage were at best hazy, and much of what he wrote was made up.

And guess who awarded this clown the “Journalist of the Year 2014”? None other than America’s premier Fake News Network—CNN!

One would call them all the “gutter press”, but that would be insulting to gutters that actually provide a useful service in this world.

Rebel Yell

The Betrayal of Britain

 

The betrayal of the British people continues apace.  Below, some comments from “Brother Anthony” on Breitbart.  Bravo, Sir!

 

This Parliament is the most wretched collection of self-serving traitors, liars, unconvicted criminals, free loaders, sexual deviants and morally destitute posers assembled in the Palace of Westminster since 1653 and it is immaterial which way or how they vote, abstain, waffle, equivocate, delay and butt-cover.

For four days they stood and pontificated, wallowing righteously in a sea of vacuous platitudes and imagined threats whilst dragging this issue deeper into a slough of despond than even Bunyan could have imagined. Most of them cannot even deliver a coherent speech without the use of copious notes and even then their verbal incontinence is painful to the eye and ear of those of the morbidly fascinated who, like me, steeled themselves to watch the ‘debate’ via ‘Parliament live’.

History will record this collection of political dwarves as unfit for any purpose other than their own enrichment and the survival of they and their comrades in the Globalist International; they are totally without virtue and ridden with vice – my dog has more integrity and sense of patriotism than they; he would not refuse to address the grievances of his pack nor their will as expressed through a Referendum and would not sell them to the Euro-Globalists for thirty pieces of Euros (or tins of dog food) and a seat at High Table in a canine Brussels or Socialist International.

Barely any of this two legged “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others” parliamentary rabble could lie straight on the Rack never mind present as anything resembling pillars of rectitude. Betrayal is their watchword and the adulation of their acolytes and paymasters their bread of life. However, bear in mind that if May & Co sign us up to the UN Immigration Pact, as is looking more and more likely, then the Brexit debacle however it turns out will be of no long-term importance as Muslim psychopaths from all over the world together with sub-Saharan primitives will soon flood in to finish us off once and for all.

In the final analysis it is now glaringly obvious that we the people are of no consequence to those we have elected to govern us, simply irritants to be ignored after each election day, and thus they that govern are no longer of consequence to us either so let us be done with the lot of them and start again no matter how difficult and painful that will be, and it will be because there is no solution left to us via the ballot box and the final resolution will have to be found in the fog and turmoil of violent insurrection.

 

Rebel Yell

Those Needle-Hooks of Experience

In Evelyn Waugh’s great novel Brideshead Revisited, he recounts a Christmas event at Brideshead where Rex Mottram presents Julia with a tortoise with her initials embossed in diamonds on the creature’s shell—wherein “this slightly obscene object…became a memorable part of the evening, one of those needle-hooks of experience which catch the attention when larger matters are at stake.”

Except Rex’s present denoted a much larger, but less obvious, threat in the story.

Such, I believe, are the events surrounding the Asia Bibi affair. Here, we have a woman, a Pakistani Christian, who has already spent eight years in jail awaiting death for blasphemy. Now she has been relieved of that immediate sentence. However, the “religion of peace” is in full fury, with mobs of thousands demanding her death and not only hers, the judges and other officials in government. In Britain, Muslims parade in the streets with “Hang Asia” placards, inciting murder, knowing they are immune from prosecution, protected by the dhimmi “police force”.

Her request for asylum in Britain has been turned down by the British government. The Guardian reports…

The Foreign Office has been accused of allowing government asylum policy to be dictated to by a Pakistan mob after it was confirmed it urged the Home Office not to grant Asia Bibi political asylum in the UK out of fear for the safety of UK consular staff.
Asia Bibi, a Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy, is seeking asylum after threats to her life in Pakistan. The former UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson was among many MPs calling for her and her family to be granted sanctuary in Britain.

James Delingpole of Breitbart remarks…

Unfortunately, the British government appears to have wussed out. Theresa May and her advisors, it has been reported, do not want to give refuge to this exhausted, sick, middle aged Christian woman because – allegedly – it would “cause security concerns and unrest among certain sections of the community and would also be a security threat to British embassies abroad which might be targeted by Islamist terrorists.”

As you know, “unrest among certain sections of the community” is Newspeak for violent threats from Islamic thugs in Britain, following the lead of their tribe in Pakistan.

If ever there has been a more craven act of base cowardice on the part of the British government, I would like to be informed as to what it might be.

If ever anyone on this benighted planet deserved asylum, it is Asia Bibi. Here we see an act of bravery, unmatched by any of our tawdry leaders, unheard of in our decadent society today. This woman has refused to recant her faith in Jesus, and has walked the walk, after eight years in solitary confinement, only to be refused sanctuary by an allegedly free and Christian nation in the West. Britain admits thousands of Muslim jihadists and hate mongers ever year, assuring them of their “human rights” while they milk the British taxpayer. And not one act of mercy can be shown to a suffering woman and her family, now almost certain to be murdered by Islamic savages, by a government that brags about compassion and tolerance.

And where are the feminists? Where are the incessantly jabbering wimmin? Surely they could quit their yoga and basket weaving for a day to call for Asia Bibi’s rescue? No, they are too busy whining about intersectional transitioning.

This act of the British government is a defining moment in the surrender of British freedoms, and, more importantly, common decency, to the ravenous Islamic mob seeking revenge, whether in England or Pakistan. The pusillanimous civil servants in the Foreign Office, the Wormtongues of that insipid crone in Downing Street, have, yet again, left an indelible stain on whatever remains of the British State. In terms of appeasement, it is far worse than the meanderings of Neville Chamberlain. He was a man of modest ability who knew the horrors of war and sought to avoid them, however misguided he may have been. Moreover, he reflected majority British opinion at the time.

The case of Theresa May is quite different. No war is imminent, no threats are being made to the British nation. All that is required is to show some backbone and common decency in the face of unspeakable savagery.

And she cannot do it. This dhimmified toady of Islam will forever be remembered for this—an act of cowardice so avoidable and so despicable as to be worthy of being regarded as a turning point in the history of her party. She, however, is just another pustule on the scrofulous corpse of what used to be the British Conservative Party.

A pox on the lot of them!

Rebel Yell

First All-Black South African Bank Collapses

If you wonder why most of Africa after the end of white rule wallows in corruption, poverty and tyranny, yet another lesson was provided recently by the collapse of the VBS Mutual Bank, hailed as the first bank in South Africa to be run exclusively by Africans—black Africans, that is.

An official inquiry set up by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has found that: “…its owners stole all the cash and bribed government and local government officials into depositing money in the operation,” as the New Observer reports. Further,

…the SARB report found that R1,894,923,674 (US$ 130 million) was transferred from the Bank to fifty three individuals between 15 March 2015 and 17 June 2018. According to the report, R16,148,569 (US$1.09 million) went to Brian Shivambu, younger brother of the anti-white Economic Freedom Fighter senior politician Floyd Shivambu.

News24 South Africa comments on the recommendation that at least 50 persons be prosecuted:

This includes the bank’s former executives and their associates, shareholder executives, politicians and their relatives and auditors who signed off on the bank’s “fraudulent” financials. The criminal charges should stem from evidence of fraud, corruption and bribery perpetrated by the bank’s leadership and public officials with whom they were in cahoots.

Not only that, the monies accreted by these crooks came from local municipalities controlled by, you guessed it, the African National Congress (ANC), the gang of communist bandits that passes for a government in South Africa. Senior ANC officials were the instigators in fleecing the municipalities, that is, robbing the taxpayers, and channeling the loot to the VBS bank.

The SARB report [available here], entitled “The Great Bank Heist”, makes fascinating reading to the extent that it makes the Mafia look like schoolboy amateurs. The report contains chapters with delicious titles such as “The Extent of the Looting” and “The Methods of Looting and Pillaging”. And, as news24 South Africa reports:

Motau [the main author of the SARB report] also recommends that VBS be wound up (liquidated), as he does not believe there is any prospect of saving it.
“It is corrupt and rotten to the core. Indeed, there is hardly a person in its employ in any position of authority who is not, in some way or the other, complicit.”
Motau found there was “widescale looting and pillaging of the monies placed on deposit at VBS”.

However, the author of the SARB report was not without a sense of irony; the first page begins thus:

More than forty years ago the most daring heist in South Africa’s banking history took place. A group of industrious thieves, led by the elusive Mister Nightingale, skillfully tunneled
their way some twenty -one meters underground into the vault of the Standard Bank in Krugersdorp. The bold bank robbers withdrew the princely sum of R400 000. They disappeared with the loot and no arrests were ever made.

I have, for the past five months, investigated the sorry affairs of the VBS Mutual Bank. My report will reveal that the perpetrators of the heist at VBS made away with almost R2 billion. And they certainly did not put in anything like the hard work and effort of Mister Nightingale and his team.

I trust that, in this case, arrests will be made.

Rebel Yell

Whiter than White


How sweet it is, sometimes. Watching Senator Elizabeth Warren make an absolute fool of herself and demonstrating liberal hypocrisy in spades at the same time was a delight.

She gets a job as a professor at Harvard, the premier anti-White race-conscious university in the US, posing as a “woman of color”, the “color” being claimed is Native American Indian, Cherokee in particular. Saying “colored woman” would, of course, be a hate crime as Newspeak is changed every day to suit the Commissars.

The standard leftist drone is that race is not biological, is a “social construct”, is only skin color, everyone is the same, and other obviously nonsensical piffle. That may work when the object is to land a well-paying sinecure at an institution of higher ignorance, where the standard modus operandi in matters of race is to deceive, but in the real world one has to realize that race is real.

Every day modern genetics is discovering more facts about the human genome and the variations in the genome that can clearly be associated with racial differences. So Senator Warren takes a DNA test which results in showing her heritage to be about 1/1024 th Native American Indian. [It may be less than that as, apparently, the comparison sets involved South American Indians too.]

So Senator Warren puts Ivory soap [99.44% pure!] in the shade—she is as White as they come.

Here’s the doublethink. Like all liberals, she claimed the non-existence of race as a biological reality, then, when caught lying about her ancestry to get a job, immediately appealed to the reality of race as shown in her DNA, albeit no more than the average White American. Two contradictory thoughts at the same time, the very definition of doublethink. The obvious conclusion to be drawn from recognizing the reality of race is that genetics may affect all manner of differences between races, including the taboo subject of intelligence. That of course must be suppressed.

Anyhow, it’s interesting that she appeals to a 1/1000 th part Indian ancestry as justification for her absurd claim of being an Indian. This degree of racial differentiation is about one hundred times as fine as that practiced by the most race-conscious state in modern times–the Third Reich! Way to go, Liz.

I was glad to see that the Cherokee Nation told her where to go.

Rebel Yell