00m59s — Trusting to Trump. (Not a bait and switch.)
08m02s — Too much politics. (It's even in your cornflakes.)
12m15s — Poking the dragon. (Ambiguity has served us well.)
23m20s — The Maltolt of Wools. (British constitutional ructions.)
32m11s — A nationalist ceiling? (Prospects for Europe.)
40m15s — White lives matter. (Majoritarianism no tyranny.)
46m45s — 50 years of white ethnomasochism. (Remembering Susan Sontag.)
48m28s — Time's Man of the Year. (Written up in MSM boilerplate.)
50m57s — Spartacus turns 100. (But Lonely Are the Brave was better.)
52m06s — John Glenn, R.I.P. (1962 was the golden time.)
54m35s — Signoff. (With voices from the VDARE.com Christmas party.)
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, folks, this is your unambiguously genial host John Derbyshire bringing you news and views on the passing parade.
This week's podcast will be rounded off with some voices from the VDARE.com Christmas Party, from those participants I can get to before they fall down incapably drunk.
That's for the end of the show, however. First, the news, beginning of course with Trump news. What's our man been up to?
Instead Trump has tapped retired Marine General John Kelly to head the Department of Homeland Security. From the little résumés on Kelly that we've been getting in the news reports, he looks like a pretty good egg. I see no evidence that he knows anything about the immigration rackets, though. Kris Kobach knows everything about them.
The best spin I can put on this is that Trump wanted a national security guy minding the borders and visa systems, with maybe an immigration wonk to back him up as Deputy Secretary. That might work. Let's hope Kobach gets the deputy spot.
Steven Mnuchin is to be the nominee for Treasury Secretary. Mnuchin is a bigshot financial honcho out of Central Casting: New York Jewish, executive at Goldman Sachs, ran a hedge fund, dabbled in movies, big house in the Hamptons, the whole nine yards.
With all that financial background, I guess we can be confident that Mnuchin knows the difference between a stock and a bond, which is definitely a thing you'd want in your Treasury Secretary. This pick looks a bit odd, though, against Trump's campaign rhetoric about globalist financiers stamping on the faces of American workers.
That especially applies to the Goldman Sachs connection. A different President's pick for a different cabinet post, sixty-odd years ago, did not quite say, "What's Good for General Motors Is Good for America"; but the assumption among our ruling classes, populists included, does seem to be that what's good for Goldman Sachs is good for America.
I'm just resigned to this. It's Goldman Sachs' world; we just live in it. Full disclosure: Mrs Derbyshire was once a Goldman Sachs employee.
There were a bunch of other lesser cabinet picks I can't summon up much interest in. From the point of view of preserving and strengthening our nation, Senator Jeff at Justice is worth the whole lot of them together. I'll rejoice in that, while warning once again that the CultMarx mob will stop at nothing to prevent Jeff Sessions' appointment. They know very well what it would mean for their program.
I'm certainly not as negative on Trump's picks as lefty commentator Nomi Prins at The Unz Review. December 8th Mr, Ms, or Mx Prins ran a column sneering at Trump's cabinet choices as a bunch of crony capitalists. Sample quote:
The rarified world of his cabinet choices is certainly a universe away from the struggling working class folks he bamboozled with promises of bringing back American [scare quotes] "greatness."End scare quotes, end quote.
"Bait and switch" Nomi Prins calls it. He then wanders off into a parallel with the presidency of Warren Harding, recycling all the old FDR-era narrative about do-nothing Harding and Coolidge stuffing their administrations with tax-cutting billionaires like Andrew Mellon, bringing on the Great Depression by their foolish inattention.
I'm going to say the things that always need to be said in response to that narrative.
The notion that Trump's anti-globalist rhetoric was just for the campaign trail anyway doesn't hold up. The campaign's over, but Trump has been out there on a thank-you tour of battleground states: last week, Ohio, this week, North Carolina and Iowa. The speeches he's given at these events are just like those he gave when campaigning.
If Trump was playing bait and switch with his voters, there's no sign of the switch. The default assumption should be that he meant what he said and will govern accordingly. That's sure going to be my working assumption until I see something different.
He did not believe that politics were very important or that people should get excited about them or allow them to penetrate too far into their everyday lives.End blessed quote.
What a falling-off there has been! Nowadays you can't walk your dog without someone making a political act out of it.
Or eat your breakfast cereal. The Kellogg Company, which makes Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, Special K, Raisin Bran, Fruit Loops, and a multitude of other breakfast products, announced last week that it would no longer advertise at Breitbart.com.
Kellogg explained their decision as an issue of company "values." Their spokesman said it has, quote, "nothing to do with politics," end quote. [Laugh].
All the news outlets reporting Kellogg's decision included the line, quote: "Breitbart has been condemned for featuring racist, sexist and anti-Semitic content," end quote.
Has it? Condemned by who? As far as I have been able to track this down, the condemnor is the Southern Poverty Law Center, a shameless money racket run by CultMarx cranks that has somehow become the authority on who is or is not politically respectable.
Breitbart has reacted by launching a boycott of Kellogg's products. I urge you to join that boycott, if you are one of those consumers who has been purchasing Kellogg's tasteless, overpriced products.
I'm a Quaker Oats man myself. I recommend to listeners my Five Fruits Breakfast: a nice bowl of oats with raisins and a sliced banana mixed in — that's two fruits, you see? — followed by a handful of prunes for three, washed down with a glass of orange juice — four — spiced up with a squirt of lemon, for five.
The Kellogg decision illustrates my main point here: There is far too much politics going on. Contra the spirit of the twenty-ninth President, saint and patriot Warren Harding, politics has penetrated way too far into our everyday lives.
And as Mark Steyn pointed out in his own commentary on the Kellogg business, the target here is not really Breitbart but President-elect Trump.
Sixty-three million Americans voted for Donald Trump as their President. Kellogg apparently believes that those sixty-three million do not share their company "values." Kellogg doesn't want those 63 million as customers. All right: It's now up to us of the 63 million to reciprocate by boycotting Kellogg.
Up to you, I mean. Apart from a brief flirtation with Raisin Bran forty years ago, I never liked their stuff anyway.Admiral Zheng He and his voyages 600 years ago. That was a one-off, though, a one-off with no consequences, an outlier in four thousand years of nothing. That aside, Imperial China didn't do seafaring.
They therefore didn't bother with Taiwan, which is a hundred miles off the south Chinese coast. Nobody bothered with it until the 1620s, when Europeans set up some trading posts.
Then in the 1640s the Chinese lost their country to an invading Siberian tribe called the Manchus. One of the losing Chinese generals decamped to Taiwan, chased out the Europeans, and made it a base from which he hoped to recapture mainland China from the Manchus.
That didn't work out; but once the Manchus had settled in as rulers of China, they annexed Taiwan anyway, to end its use as a revanchist base. They didn't do anything much with it, and it didn't even become a full Chinese province until 1887.
Eight years after that, Japan took it over as a colony. Fifty years after that, Japan lost WW2, and Taiwan went back to China, then under the dictatorship of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek — or, as American General Joe Stilwell called him, Generalissimo Cash My Check.
Four years on, so we're now in 1949, Chiang lost his civil war with Mao Tse-tung's communists. Like his fellow-countryman of 300 years earlier, Chiang decamped to Taiwan.
So Taiwan has been a Chinese province, ruled from mainland China, for just twelve years of its entire history.
Now, sixty-seven years further on from 1949, Taiwan's still going its own way, although now under democratically-elected governments, while the ChiComs claim it as a renegade province.
The sacred duty of all patriotic Chinese, the ChiComs tell their subjects, is to bring Taiwan back to the warm, loving embrace of the Motherland, if they have to kill every damn Taiwanese to do it.
I was in Taiwan in July, and wrote up some notes on the place in my VDARE.com monthly diary. So now I get to quote myself, self-quote:
The young Saint Augustine asked the Lord to give him chastity and continence, "but not yet" (sed noli modo). Taiwan's approach to its National Question is Augustinian in that sense.End self-quote. That's the context for Trump's taking the phone call from President Tsai.
One of the big two political parties, the KMT, favors union with the mainland — but not yet! The other, the DPP, favors Taiwan becoming an independent nation — but not yet!
Thus the island floats forward in a happy cloud of ambiguity: self-governing, with its own laws, historical narrative, parliament, and military, yet recognized as a nation by almost nobody at all.
(Taiwan even has its own calendar, counting years from the overthrow of the imperial system in 1912 — Year One. In public documents and inscriptions, this is Year 105.)
This cheerful blurring of reality plays into the Chinese love of pretense and deceit, but I don't suppose it can last for ever. It may not even outlast the present dictator of communist China, Xi Jinping, who is exceptionally aggressive and assertive, although so far mainly against his own domestic political opponents.
So, was taking the call brilliant, dumb, or just careless?
My first reaction was glee. Taking that call was a poke in the eye to the ChiComs, an unelected gangster dictatorship who it is impossible for any decent person to regard other than with disgust. And sure enough, when news of the call came out, the ChiComs sputtered and blustered and wagged their bloodstained fingers at us, and made patronizing remarks about Trump being a "rookie" who has a lot to learn about the niceties of international diplomacy.
And the nastiness of the ChiComs aside, I'm temperamentally at odds with that "Chinese love of pretense and deceit." I like things plain and open. I like to hear things spoken about in terms of what they actually are, not what we'd wish them to be, or what powerful people insist we pretend they are.
These temperamental preferences haven't been very good for my career, but I'm too old to change them. I believe in reality, and plain speaking about it.
The reality is, that Taiwan is de facto independent of China, with a much better, more humane and modern, political system — a natural ally for the U.S.A. I couldn't see any reason not to take a call from its President.
Then, reflecting, I developed reservations. That "happy cloud of ambiguity" that Taiwan has been hiding in all these decades, while at odds with my personal inclinations, has actually served the place pretty well. It's served the rest of the world well, too, helping to keep the peace. Why not let sleeping dogs lie?
Are they going to stay sleeping, though? Won't the ChiComs grab the place sometime soon, when they feel strong enough?
Well, possibly; but taking Taiwan by brute military force is not going to be easy for the Commies, and presumably they know this.
A military assault would cost the ChiComs big in lives, a thing that, after forty years of the one-child policy, they're sensitive about.
Military analyst Norm Friedman, writing in the Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute the other day, makes the following point, quote from Norm:
Recently a single Chinese peacekeeping soldier in Africa died in an ambush, and that single casualty to a one-child family apparently generated enormous sentiment against the peacekeeping mission. There are numerous indications that the current Chinese government fears but cannot completely control dissent. The sheer blood cost of an expedition to Taiwan may well deter an assault on the island.End quote. There are lower-level approaches the ChiComs might take: cyber-harassment, blockade. There are deterrent factors there, too, though.
The Taiwanese company Foxconn, for example, employs hundreds of thousands of Chinese on the mainland in huge factories generating billions in revenue. What happens to all those workers, all that money, if the ChiComs put the screws on Taiwan's economy?
Against my own temperament, I come down at last on the happy cloud of ambiguity and the sleeping dogs — on the side of pretense, of averting one's eyes from reality.
There's just no percentage for the U.S.A. in stirring up the Taiwan issue. Chances are those sleeping dogs will stay sleeping for a decade or two yet.
Nice to hear from you, Madame President, and jolly good luck to that little country of yours that we're not supposed to call a country; but we have all the work we can handle right now.
05 — The Maltolt of Wools. I've been meaning to say something about Brexit, the referendum in Britain six months ago to leave the European Union. It's still causing a huge constitutional fuss over there.I've hesitated to comment, though, because, in the first place the little I ever knew about the British Constitution has long since drained away down the foggy ruins of Time, and in the second place I don't think Britain's foggy affairs are of much importance to the U.S.A.
There seems to be some interest among listeners, though; and as a true-born Englishman, with the blood of Alfred the Great flowing in my veins along with some residual traces of custard, marmite, and treacle, I ought to make an effort to pronounce authoritatively on the rights and wrongs of Brexit. So here goes nothing.
First, here's how out of date my constitutional knowledge is: I didn't know that Britain has a Supreme Court.
Where the hell did that come from? They never used to have one. Court of final appeal used to be the Law Lords sitting in Parliament — in, of course, the House of Lords.
I blew the dust off my old school copy of Taswell-Langmead's English Constitutional History, 1946 edition, and looked up some appropriate index entries. As always with that magisterial work, though, I soon got lost in the fourteenth century among the King's Continual Council, Tallagio non Concedendo, and the Maltolt of Wools.
It's a fascinating book with a strange musty appeal; but you really shouldn't pick it up unless you have half a day to kill.
Of the year 1406, for example, Taswell-Langmead (who was just one guy: it's a double-barrelled name) writes, quote:
The political scene in fact was sombre. Scots ravaged the north; pirates controlled the English Channel; Wales was in revolt aided by French and Spanish arms and an English Earl; religious dissidents attacked the Church and alleged that Richard II was in Scotland; the king was ill and listless.End quote. Well, who wouldn't be? You think we have problems!
And how can you not go on reading from that passage? … With a background app running in your brain, wondering how historians of the future will write about us. "The political scene was sombre …" When is it not sombre?
Whatever. Taswell-Langmead has no mention of a Supreme Court. Britain has somehow acquired one, though.
Digging around, I see that this innovation was the brainchild of the sinister Tony Blair. In other words, it was the demon spawn of a wily mediocrity who despised his own nation and all its traditional ways, and did his utmost to swap out Britain's deplorably white Anglo-Saxon population for the morally superior people of Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
As a result of Blair's initiative, the Brits got a Supreme Court, independent of Parliament, in 2009. Britain is now engaged in a three-way American-style tussle between the authority of this court, the authority of Parliament, and the authority of the Executive, which is to say dithering nonentity Theresa May and her cabinet.
The constitutional point at issue is whether the Executive can take Britain out of the EU without further parliamentary debate — without the formal assent of both houses of Parliament, Commons and Lords, perhaps even — I'm not clear on this point — without actual legislation.
The courts — not this newfangled Supreme Court, the regular courts — ruled last month that parliamentary action was required. That's now under appeal to the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile the Prime Minister has asked the House of Commons to approve her notifying the EU next March of Britain's intention to leave. The Commons did so after a six-hour debate, voting 461 to 89.
That's not the full parliamentary action the courts insisted on, though, so the whole business is still up in the air.
So the Brits had a referendum, in which a slim majority voted to leave the EU. The House of Commons has approved the government telling the EU about this, since presumably it wan't reported in the newspapers over there on the Continent.
Now we just have to hear from the Supreme Court about what else, if anything, Parliament must do; also, at some point I suppose, from the upper chamber, the House of Lords.
The Lords are a paper tiger, though. They can delay things, but can't stop them. The Supreme Court's the unknown here, unknown to me at any rate.
How does all this play into the large international theme of popular will versus globalist elites? Somewhat messily — like our own November election result, with its constitutional win for Trump against a popular vote for Clinton.
There is not much doubt about the inclinations of Britain's Supreme Court justices.
At first glance they look encouraging: eleven beefy old farts, one of them female, all of them white, as English a collection of faces as you could see.
The British upper crust has always included a good complement of ethnomasochists and traitors, though, and I'm not surprised to learn that several of the justices are big fans of the EU with close connections to its oriental-style bureaucracy of mandarins and eunuchs.
On the other hand, the supremacy of Parliament, with the House of Commons taking most of the weight, is not a bad principle. It is so not a bad principle, we copied it over into the U.S. Constitution, with the House of Representatives given the loudest voice in public decision-making.
And that's what the courts are saying. As suspicious as I am of the justices and their preferences, and as righteously as I loathe Tony Blair and all his works, I hope the Supreme Court will reaffirm the supremacy of Parliament.
It's a mess, though, and the political scene over there is sombre. Still, at least Scots aren't ravaging the north.
The Italians have been having a wee constitutional crisis of their own. I find it hard to take this seriously, just because Italian politics has been a joke for as long as I can remember … which is long. The average duration of an Italian government since WW2 has been a little over one year.
There's plainly some deep systemic problem there. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi proposed some constitutional reforms, simplifying and centralizing the system. Whether they would have solved the problem, I'm not qualified to say. You'd think people would want something done, though.
Apparently not, not what Renzi was proposing, anyway. Last weekend's referendum rejected Renzi's reforms. It was a big vote for the status quo.
There's a lot of spin on nationalist websites that this was another result in the Brexit-Trump category, indignant patriots voting against globalism. It really doesn't look like that, though. My personal compass on these matters is the hyper-globalist, open-borders, anti-Brexit, anti-Trump magazine The Economist. That magazine urged Italians to vote No on Renzi's reforms, as they did.
It's all moot, anyway. Italy has been ferrying in illegals from sub-Saharan Africa at an ever-accelerating rate: thirteen and a half thousand just last month — that's compared with only three thousand in November last year.
There's boocoo more where they came from, and no sign the Italians can muster the will to turn off the spigot. Italy's a goner.
If Italians think their government this past seventy years has been dysfunctional, wait till the lads from Lagos and Ouagadougou take over.
The result in Austria, also last weekend, was more clear. This was a re-run of the Presidential election held in May. Nationalist candidate Norbert Hofer had a very narrow loss back then, and the nation's Supreme Court ordered a re-run. This time Hofer lost by a bigger margin, seven percent.
The New York Times was gleeful. They couldn't wait to tell us that Hofer's party, the Freedom Party, is, quote, "far-right," and was, quote, "founded in the 1950s by former Nazis." For goodness' sake: Pretty much every adult in 1950s Austria was either a former Nazi or a former Communist. The Sound of Music is not a historical documentary.
Up in Holland, meanwhile, nationalist Geert Wilders, leader of a major political party also named Freedom Party, was convicted in a court of law for the crimes of discrimination and inciting hatred.
What Wilders had actually done was to promise a rally of his supporters that if he got power, there would be fewer Moroccans in Holland. Oh, the humanity!
No sentence has been announced, and Wilders has said he'll appeal.
And Marine Le Pen — who is not actually a leatherneck, "Marine" is her name — Ms Le Pen, leader of French nationalists, has called for an end to free education for the children of illegal immigrants.
I am quietly amazed that this is even news. Who thinks that foreign scofflaws should be awarded public goods at the expense of native taxpayers? Well, of course, all goodthinkful persons do — everybody except those, you know, far-right ex-Nazis.
France has an election coming up next Spring, and Ms Le Pen is a leading candidate for President. Current polling says she'll likely make it to the final runoff in May, but then lose big to an establishment candidate.
There you see a problem with all these European nationalist movements. There seems to be a ceiling in their support, a ceiling well below fifty percent. Most voters prefer establishment suits like the winner in Austria.
Even where proportional representation makes coalition governments necessary, nobody wants to be in coalition with the nationalist party, because … you know. Far-right … ex-Nazi … nativist … Hitlery Hitlery Hitlery Hitler.
Christian missionaries in the Far East used to talk — perhaps they still do — about the twenty percent ceiling. In places where Christians have been able freely to proselytize among East Asians — places like Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea — under favorable conditions you can convert around twenty percent of the locals, but after that you get stuck.
(That's the way I remember hearing it, anyway; although the CIA World Factbook gives South Korea as 32 percent Christian. All right: a thirty percent rule.)
Politics and religion draw on some of the same mental modules; so perhaps there is a similar ceiling for nationalist politics among white Europeans. Perhaps the nationalist parties over there are doomed never to get above thirty percent support, and so never to get power.
If that's the case, and given the number of Third Worlders pouring in to the continent to swing the balance even further against native nationalism, Europe is toast. I hope it's not the case, but as of this week the omens aren't good.
07 — White lives matter Last week's little Radio Derb riff on the misuse of the term "white supremacy" brought in several emails along the following lines.This isn't one of them; it's a generic summary of several. So it's not really a quote, but I'll say "quote" anyway. Quote:
Yo Derb: You have many times stated your belief that for a nation to be stable and prosperous, it needs to have a supermajority of one race. Since the U.S.A.'s supermajority would presumably be white, wouldn't that opinion be called "white supremacy" by the PC enforcers? What should it be called?End quote.
It's a fair question; and yes, in the context of the U.S.A. that point of view, which I do indeed hold, would certainly get called "white supremacist," no matter how strongly I insisted — as I would, and do — that racial minorities, while being kept at minorities by sensible immigration laws, enjoy full legal equality and all constitutional rights; and notwithstanding that I'd urge the same principle on Japan, where the result would be yellow supremacy (which is what they've in fact got and seem determined to preserve), and India — brown supremacy — and Zimbabwe — black supremacy — and so on.
As for giving that opinion a name, "majoritarian" is the first candidate that comes to mind. That's already got a meaning, though, and it's a negative one, according to Encyclopædia Britannica.
A majoritarian wants to, in the usage of for example de Tocqueville, quote from Britannica, "tyrannize over any and all minorities." Someone like a modern Japanese, who wants his country to stay Japanese but doesn't want to tyrannize minorities, can't fairly be called a majoritarian.
It's hard to find a term that really fits. Since this point of view is the opposite of multiculturalism, "mono-culturalism" might work, except that it fudges the racial factor. Switzerland is monoracial, but is it monocultural? Discuss among yourselves.
All that is by way of directing your attention to a column by the lovely and sapient Ilana Mercer, published in The Daily Caller, December 8th. Ilana's fulcrum is the recent report that in seventeen states of the Union, deaths in 2014 outpaced births among non-Hispanic whites.
Ilana notes that one news story on this ran under the headline: Aging white population speeding diversity. That, she says correctly, confuses cause with effect. With over 1 million mostly nonwhite immigrants being settled every year, and native whites marginalized and discriminated against via a multitude of policies from H-1B visas to affirmative action, the white decline is not surprising.
Longish quote from Ilana, quote:
Declining birthrates have long been the excuse advanced by central planners for sticking with mass immigration policies. The aging white population is not replacing itself, say proponents of doomsday demographics. Young, Third World immigrants are essential to shore-up the welfare state.End quote. That actually is a bit white supremacist, in that it suggests that the West's better human capital and superior ideas made us great.
However, the now-waning West became great not because it was more populated than the rest of the world and outbred it. The West was great because of its human capital — innovation, exploration, science, philosophy; because of superior ideas, and the willingness to defend such a civilization.
America doesn't need more people; it needs to allow its own people to recover.
I don't think Ilana wants to tyrannize anyone, though, any more than I do; and I'd personally argue that even if we Europeans were uncreative losers, we'd still be wise to maintain supermajorities in our countries, for the sake of social harmony.
So I'm open-minded on what we should call people like me and Ilana, and our Japanese, Indian, and Zimbabwean equivalents. If "majoritarian" and "monoculturist" don't work, what might work? Suggestions gratefully received.Imprimis: Following on from that last: We're coming up to 2017, which is fifty years on from 1967.
That gives me the opportunity to pick up my thread of anti-anti-white commentary, in fact to plant a commemorative marker on that theme.
How so? Well, it was in 1967 that Susan Sontag, in an article for Partisan Review, opined publicly that, quote: "The white race is the cancer of human history."
Hatred of white people was around long before that, of course. Check out the history of Haiti. Black, brown, and yellow people have been hating whites for centuries — with good cause, in some cases.
White self-hatred, though — white ethnomasochism — is quite a recent thing. Susan Sontag's clear, unambiguous expression of it fifty years ago was probably not the very beginning of it, but it's a convenient marker.
I can't find a precise date for the Partisan Review article in which Ms Sontag expressed herself; but at some point next year it will be valid to say: Happy 50th birthday, white ethnomasochism!
What they've actually made him, of course, is Person of the Year … but the hell with that.
The accompanying story, by Michael Scherer, is mainstream-media boilerplate. Ctrl-F "demagogue"? Yep. Ctrl-F "racist"? Yep. Ctrl-F "dangerous"? Strike three.
In the weeks after his victory, hundreds of incidents of harassment, many using his name — against women, Muslims, immigrants and racial minorities — were reported across the country.End quote. What does "harassment" mean there? A rude yell when someone has snuck into someone else's parking place?
What, come to think of it, does "immigrant" mean? I've lived in these United States forty years as an immigrant easily identifiable by voice, but nobody has ever harassed me for it. Why not?
Were there any recorded incidents of Americans being "harassed" by women, Muslims, immigrants, and racial minorities? If there had been, would Time have reported them?
Who was doing the counting there, anyway? The Southern Poverty Law Center? Who paid for all that counting — George Soros?
Et cetera, et cetera — you can parse this MSM CultMarx Narrative glop for yourself. And they wonder how Trump got elected!
The actual news story here, far as most of us are concerned, is that Time magazine is still in business. Who knew?
First, Kirk Douglas turned one hundred on Friday. Happy birthday, guy, and many more.
The news stories on this all show Kirk in gladiator outfit for the 1960 movie Spartacus. Fair enough, and I guess box office numbers rule in these matters.
For me personally, though, he's Jack Burns in that atmospheric little 1962 movie Lonely Are the Brave. Douglas liked that one best of all the films he'd done. I haven't seen all his films, nor even half of them, but I don't see how a movie can be any better. The 1956 novel it was taken from, Edward Abbey's Brave Cowboy, is up there in literary excellence, too.
In February 1962, a few weeks before the release of Lonely Are the Brave, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth.
Do you suspect I'm now going to tell you that American civilization peaked in 1962, and that it's been all downhill since? Well, no, I'm not going to tell you that. I'm a reactionary traditionalist, for sure, but I ain't stupid.
The world changes, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse — more for the better on balance, I think. We recall the past with a nostalgic glow, more fondly than it deserves, as having provided the scenic backdrop to our own salad days. I know all this.
Some cultural artefacts of the present day — I'm actually thinking of those DVD series that the wife and I binge-watch on Saturday evenings — are as good as any old movie. And yes, America still has plenty of gutsy young men willing to do dangerous things on behalf of their country.
That all said, the early 1960s were a golden time, an extraordinary time in our national life. And yes, something's been lost since then. Alongside all the gains, which I acknowledge, something's been lost; something that, if we could recapture it, would do wonders for our health as a nation.
Goodnight, John Glenn. Happy birthday, Kirk Douglas. Good luck, America!
One reason I didn't was that I was lurking around with my recording gadget to get some voices for this podcast. Here are those voices.
Missing only is Gavin McInnes, who gave me a long and spirited sound clip to post … but I pressed the wrong button on the gadget.
Sorry, Gavin. I really shouldn't be let loose with any technology more advanced than a bootjack.
OK, here are some voices.
[Clip: James Fulford … Ann Coulter … John Miano … Nicholas Stix … Peter Brimelow.]Once again, many thanks to all who attended.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches]