Grandstanding Blackmail

If there’s any modern trend I hate, it’s the one where a guy makes a marriage proposal to his girlfriend in as public a manner as possible, supposedly to “show the world his devotion to her”. Here’s an excellent example of this nonsense.

Regardless of how any public marriage proposal is presented, it’s really nothing more than moral blackmail. When presented with a marriage proposal in front of hundreds of people, of course the hapless girl is going to say “yes”, if for no other reason than to spare her lovestruck swain considerable embarrassment and humiliation.

And yet that’s precisely what the conniving little shit deserves. On principle, every girl who gets a proposal via the stadium jumbotron screen should not only turn the proposal down, but walk out on the relationship for good — slap in the face is optional — because trust me, this manipulative behavior will not end there.

When I see this compilation, though, I feel better immediately.  (#3 is my absolute favorite, by the way.)

A marriage proposal is probably the most important decision a couple can make in their entire life — certainly, it’s one of the most intimate — and therefore it should not be stuck out in the public eye.

Say What?

From this blog comes the following piece of idiocy from the NRA’s Carry Guard program:

*NOTE: NRA Carry Guard Level One is designed for training with a semi-automatic handgun (Glock 19/17, Sig P226/P228 or equivalent). We will not allow revolvers or 1911s as your primary firearm in this class. [my emphasis]

Guess I won’t bother taking that class, then. Or maybe I will — only I’ll bring a Browning High Power as my primary, and my 1911 as a backup.

For those who are unaware of the irony (and there may be one or two), I should point out that both the Colt Government 1911A1 (1911) and the Browning High Power (BHP) were designed by the same man, John Moses Browning, and are functionally identical but for chambering (.45 ACP vs. 9mm Para respectively), magazine capacity (7-10 for the 1911, 12-15 for the BHP) and disassembly routine (which is irrelevant in this case). Other than that, both are single-action semi-automatic handguns, and I love both of them almost equally (because BHP = 9mm, a marginal self-defense cartridge).

 

I have no idea what the NRA was thinking (or if they were thinking at all), but the 1911 is one of America’s favorite carry pieces and to exclude this wonderful gun from a “carry” class is doing a huge disservice to a large number of gun owners.

On second thoughts, I won’t be taking the stupid class at all, because no doubt the NRA weasels would take issue with the way I carry my 1911 anyway.

But that’s a topic for another time, when I discuss handgun carry. Watch this space.

 

But Isn’t That Rayciss?

Here’s my suggestion for first responders who are called to an inner-city (i.e. Black) neighborhood:

“If you see them drowning. If you see them in a burning building. If they are bleeding out in an emergency room. If the ground is crumbling beneath them. If they are in a park and they turn their weapons on each other: do nothing. Least of all put your life on the line for theirs, and do not dare think doing so, putting your life on the line for theirs, gives you reason to feel celestial. Save the life of those that would kill you is the opposite of virtuous. Let. Them. Fucking. Die. And smile a bit when you do.”

Actually, those aren’t my words. They’re the words of some Black dude, talking about how first responders should let White people die.

And from my spies at CampusReform comes this delightful little rationale, from a college professor, no less:

“It is past time for the racially oppressed to do what people who believe themselves to be ‘white’ will not do, put end to the vectors of their destructive mythology of whiteness and their white supremacy system. #LetThemFuckingDie.”

I would point out the irony of someone making such a statement from a White creation (the university), but I suspect that irony is lost on racist cocksuckers like this one.

 

 

Quote Of The Day

From Johnny Depp:

“Flying commercial would be a fucking nightmare.”

Note the subjunctive: Depp has a private jet. So would anyone with sufficient funds, because TSA.

And yes, I’m familiar with the trenchant and cynical  Rich Man’s Maxim: “If it flies, floats or fucks, it’s cheaper to rent than to buy.”

And yes (Part Two), I know that Depp is a fuckup of a human being. Don’t care. He gets the (John) Barrymore Exemption because he’s a brilliant, exceptional actor.

Lousy Views

And another slam on flying, this time from former Queen guitarist Brian May:

“Travelling on planes has for years been something I have had to do, as part of my job,” explains May. “As I fly today with British Airways, I wonder if I am the only person left in the world who likes to relax in a comfortable seat and dreamily turn my head to the window and get lost in the ever-changing wonders of the planet as they drift by? I wonder this because I’m not aware of anyone except me complaining about the new way the seats are configured in BA First Class.”
May wails about the seating changes: “I hate it. It costs an arm and a leg to travel this way and I feel that we no longer get our money’s worth. In the old days you sat right next to the window and the view was wide and spectacular. Now they sit you about three feet from the window and so low down all you can see from your seat is a small patch of sky. It’s boring — frustrating.”

Believe it or not, he has a point. It does cost an arm and a leg to fly First Class (on any airline), and because a First Class ticket is also the most profitable sale an airline can make, it behooves them to look after their best customers — and clearly they aren’t, in this case anyway. And FFS: he’s Brian May of Queen; nobody ever played like he did, nobody ever sounded as good as he does, and nobody ever will unless it’s to copy him. If anyone has earned the right to complain about shitty service, he has.

Let’s not indulge in the Brit Wealth Envy thing and call him a pampered rich pussy, because the plain fact is that May works unbelievably hard. Because he’s one of the most sought-after lead guitarists in rock music, despite his age, recording sessions, concerts  and appearances take place all over the world for him — London one day, New York the next, Melbourne three days later, back to London after that, then on to Tokyo, ad infinitum — which means that he logs well over two hundred thousand miles a year flying from gig to gig. There is no way he could possibly do this in Economy (a.k.a. steerage), and anyone who’s ever flown just a quarter of what he has will not begrudge him his seat in First Class, because without that, and with his sheer volume of work, his job is frankly not doable.

And let’s be honest about this: he’s sixty-nine years old, and 6’2″ tall. He needs a comfortable seat, because after 10,000 miles in the torture device known as an Economy-class seat, he’d have to be carried off the plane straight into a hospital for traction to straighten out his back. Then, after doing his job, he’d have to do Economy all over again two days later? Please.

Of course the DM journalists have a go at him because they’re a bunch of Bolshie peasants whose total experience in commercial flying is Ryanair to Magaluf once a year at a cost of £45 (compared to May’s ticket price of about £15,000).

The hell with them. I’m on May’s side as much for that as for the fact that I bloody hate the airline companies. All of them. Bastards. [10,000-word rant deleted]

Feel free to add your own airline horror stories in Comments.

 

Guilty As Charged

From Longtime Reader SKB comes this point:

“Usually, your social commentary is just a bit too aristocratic, or ‘posh’, for my taste.”

SKB, round about now my old housemaster and various teachers who were entrusted with turning this young hooligan into a gentleman are beaming with pride. Mostly, I suspect, they would be relieved because let’s face it, this must have seemed at times to be a daunting, if not insuperable task.

Here’s the thing. For the last five years of my school life I had the great good fortune to attend a seriously “posh” (and spendy) boys-only private school in Johannesburg called St. John’s College. It was founded in the late 1890s and when I was there it was one of the the top five private boy’s schools in South Africa (the others being St. Andrew’s, Bishop’s, Michaelhouse and Hilton Colleges), and at the time all five were rated in the top 100 high schools in the world. Our “brother” school was Eton College in the U.K., and we had a continuous exchange program with both teachers and students. Here’s a sample pic of the school, taken from the “A” rugby field:

The large building on the left of the pic is the chapel — and actually, there are three chapels: the Crypt (semi-underground, and the oldest part of the school), the Main Chapel above it, and to the side the tiny All Souls Chapel which commemorates those past students and teachers killed in the various world wars. Here’s the Delville Wood Cross in the All Souls, made from one of the trees chopped down by shellfire in the 1916 battle and one of only five in existence:

And if you’ve been paying attention to my writings, Delville Wood was where my grandfather Charles Loxton fought and was wounded.

The buildings were designed by architect Sir Herbert Baker, who went on to design the South African Parliament buildings, in much the same style. This is the David Quad:

…and another view, taken from the other side:

The Darragh (dining) Hall:

Yeah, I know: Hogwarts. Except that all our teachers were like Snape. And finally, this is the “A” cricket field, which is on the other side of the school, on top of the ridge (the school is to the right):

In the traditional sense, a “college” is not a university; a university is a university. A college is a preparatory school for university. And so it was. Our academic life was rigorous to a degree which would nowadays be called “brutal”: bi-weekly (called “fortnightly” in the British fashion) examinations and report cards which went home to be signed and commented on by parents, and yes, we were “streamed” in A through D classes. So demanding was the work that a first-class pass (a “First”) in the final examination meant that one did not have to sit the entrance examinations for universities like Oxford or Cambridge; indeed, for a couple of subjects (e.g. Latin, which I took for all seven years), one could skip the first term at either of those universities. There was a post-grad year (called “The Sixth”) which offered U.K. A-levels, which I never took (and have regretted ever since).

Schoolwork wasn’t all. Sports, of course, were compulsory: cricket, swimming and athletics, along with electives of tennis and squash in the summer; and either rugby or field hockey in the winter. (Basketball was added much later — we called it “netball”, and it was only played in girls’ schools.) To say we were fit would be an understatement: pre-breakfast runs, calisthenics (“P.T.”) during school hours, and at least three afternoons a week devoted to sports (more if you played for a school team against other schools on Wednesdays and Saturdays). It wasn’t so much fitness as torture, but we were almost as fit as Olympic athletes as a result.

Discipline was likewise brutal (caning, detention, “hard labor” and suchlike exotica were routine), and it should come as no surprise for anyone to learn that I have the all-time record for the number of caning strokes — one hundred and twenty-eight — administered to my mischievous and it must be said deserving backside over the five years spent in College. (I only had a few, maybe a half-dozen or so, given to me in my two years in the Prep.) Caning was later abolished, which is why my total is the all-time record.

Above all, however, it should be said that St. John’s stressed two things: severely-circumscribed behavior (appearance, manners, discipline and religious discipline) and absolute freedom of thought. My last public speech at College, delivered without pre-censorship to the school, parents and staff, argued that prostitution should be legalized on health grounds. (Yes, I’ve changed the 16-year-old Kim’s opinion, although I still support the “health” rationale.) The next speaker’s topic was “Is religion still necessary in the modern world?” Neither speech drew anything but a dry “Interesting” from the Headmaster in his concluding comments, and all three speakers went on to get Firsts in the finals.

In short, St. John’s made absolutely no bones about the fact that we boys were going on to become productive citizens as part of the elite stratum of society. What we got out of our schooling was an absolute belief in ourselves and our worth to society, provided we didn’t take the wrong road (and lamentably, some did; but most didn’t). To be an Old Johannian means being a member of one of the most exclusive clubs in the world, and we can hold our head up in any company. As one of my school friends once put it: “There may be other places called ‘St. John’s College’ in the world; but ours is the only one that counts.”

So yes, SKB, my commentary is occasionally aristocratic and posh, not to mention elitist. You can blame St. John’s College for my upbringing, indoctrination and education, but I am unashamedly proud to be that way. Later this week, I’ll talk about The Club — otherwise known as “The Old School Tie Set”.

And for those who care, the School Prayer (from memory):

Lord God our Father, who art Light, Life and Love,
Look down with love upon our College of St. John.
Make it to be a home of religious discipline, sound learning and goodwill,
Which may send forth many, rightly-trained in body, mind and character,
To serve Thee well in church and state.
Supply our wants, and give us increase as shall seem Thee good;
And let Thine angels drive away all evil from us,
Through Thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Amen.