Maybe Not

I followed a link from Insty to Amazon (“Top Books In Military History”) and found this:

Priceless.

That said, given the Smithsonian’s increasing descent into woke-based illiteracy, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the cover was printed incorrectly, the book is about WWI, and nobody in the layers and layers of fact-checkers picked it up.

Or else it’s the Ockham principle, which would simply say that Amazon done fucked up.

Children Not Wanted

This doesn’t refer to refusing to have kids.  Instead, I echo the words of Brit actor Laurence Fox:

Laurence Fox has revealed he once broke up with a girlfriend because she liked a pro-#MeToo TV advert. The actor, 41, told his ex-lover: ‘Bye. Sorry I can’t do this with you,’ after she praised Gillette for their TV campaign on ‘toxic masculinity’.
He also said he no longer dates women under 35 as they are ‘too woke’ and most of them are ‘absolutely bonkers’.

Of course, this is not my battlefield — I’m so far away from the dating pool that I’m positively dehydrated — but I can absolutely see where Fox’s frustration stems from.

All this is the toxic consequence of the combination of militant feminism and modernist principle, as seen in the very next sentence of the article:

It comes after a furious row over his [BBCTV] Question Time showdown with academic Rachel Boyle, which saw him call her a ‘racist’ for describing him a ‘white, privileged male’ in a debate about Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
[He] said ‘throwing the card of racism at everybody… [is] really starting to get boring’, triggering a Twitterstorm in which some praised him for his ‘common sense’ and others brand him a ‘disgrace’.

And he’s quite right.  Accusing someone of the “sin” of being a “White male [whatever]” is no less racist than calling someone a “Black gangster” or (ahem) a “woman driver” — it’s all racist / sexist bullshit.  (But lest I be lumped in with the appalling Mr. Fox, however, let me make it plain that there’s no such thing as a “Black gangster” and all  women are excellent drivers.)

I was chatting to the Son&Heir,  who has recently split from his long-time girlfriend, about this very topic, and he echoed Laurence Fox’s sentiments almost to the word.  Even in conservative north Texas, he finds women younger than him (at age 31) to be… I think the words he used were “inconsequential” and “flakey”.  As a result, his dates with the same woman are generally in the low single figures, as it takes him very little time to discover that underneath their superficial shallowness, “wokeness” and ignorance is… noting else.  To quote some other guy:  “They know absolutely nothing.”  He just laughs it off, as I suspect other young men of his intelligence, education and experience do when confronted with those same prospects.

Even worse is that older women of his generation come with either a world of psychological baggage or (sometimes “and”) a ready-made brood of children.  He doesn’t see why he should have to deal with their heritage of bad decisions and the consequences thereof, and I can’t say I blame him.

As for Laurence Fox, it comes as no surprise that he’s being attacked for pointing all this out.  What people often forget is that the little boy who announced that the Emperor was wearing no clothes was soon thereafter torn to shreds by the mob for showing such disrespect for the ruler.

‘Twas ever thus.

Monday Funnies

Wherein we drag ourselves out of bed to face the horror of another week… wait a minute, it’s Martin Luther King Day!!!  (a.k.a the holiday celebrated by many, while others go “Who?”)

Now on to the serious funnies [sic]

And to celebrate MLK Day properly, what better than a quickie with some vintage Pam Grier?

Would.  And so would anyone.  Now get off that lounger and celebrate the day.

Wonderful Women: C Is For Comely

Let’s start with Christina Applegate:

…all growed up from her Kelly Bundy years:

And of course there’s the other  Christina, still driving men mad:

Now let’s go across The Pond, for Claire Forlani:

…and still Over There, we have Claire Goose, who could waken anyone from the dead:

(photographer: Graham Steans)

And dipping over into La Bella Italia, we have una bella Italiana, Claudia Cardinale:

(C) ARCHIVIO GRAZIANO ARICI / ATTRICE / MOSTRA DEL CINEMA

Till next week….

Cute Lil’ Italian Thang

When Mazda reintroduced the concept of “sports car” to the automotive world, a whole bunch of other automakers, who had doubtless been told by Marketing that nobody wanted sports cars anymore, suddenly rediscovered the joys of a small, inexpensive, modestly-powered open-top car.

Of course, people had always wanted sports cars — what they wanted was a reliable sports car, which the Euros and Brits seemed to be incapable of producing (Alfa Romeo Spider, Triumph anything, MG anything, Fiat anything, and so on), while the US had never produced a sports car.  (Corvettes, Thunderbirds etc. aren’t sports cars.  The closest one we’ve ever had was the Saturn Sky/Pontiac Solstice, which was really the German-designed Opel GT anyway —


and  we were late to the party.  By the time these came onto the market in the mid-2000s, Mazda had gobbled up the market already.)

Anyway, Mazda ended all that, or to be more correct, they started it up again.  Now, all of a sudden, everyone else had to get back to the drawing board and play in this pool.

Enter Fiat’s little derivative of the older 124 Spider:  the Barchetta.

If it looks like the Mazda Miata, it’s probably not coincidental:

…because there are only so many ways you can design a sports car, after all.

Another sports car of the late 1970s was the Lotus Elan (which predated the Miata, and in fact was probably the car that Mazda used as their model):

Even Alfa Romeo replaced their old Spider (which was gorgeous) with a 90s lookalike (which wasn’t).  Here’s the 1980’s Spider:

Compare to the 2000 model:

‘Nuff said.

The only thing which set the Alfa apart from the rest was terminal unreliability a snarling 3.0-liter V6 which made the Spider so much quicker than the rather lackluster Mazda- and Fiat roadsters.  (Then of course there came new environmental restrictions [sigh]  and the V6 was replaced by a 2.0-liter turbo version.)

As Longtime Readers of this here website are know well, I love little two-seater sports cars, whether the 1930s MG TA, the Austin Healey MkIII or indeed, the modern Fiat 124 (a.k.a. the “Fiata” because in the Great Circle of Automotive Life, the 124 shares a chassis with the Miata.  Confused, yet?).

I don’t really care for the 1990s/2000s models, though, because that “bar-of-soap” shape was fashionable at the time but really, it’s dead boring.

However, all was not a complete waste of time.  Enter those maniacs at Abarth and a design firm named Stola,who took the staid little Fiat Barchetta and turned it into this:

Ooooh, baby… and that’s  the “cute lil’ Italian thang” in the title.

Another Dream Punctured

I have long lusted after owning a Maserati Quattroporte, which to me seemed to be the last (non-Bentley) word in luxury touring cars:

It combines everything I like about cars:  exquisite styling, a sumptuous interior and, lest we forget, a Ferrari-derived 3.8-liter V8 engine.

This morning, however, I took an Uber passenger to the airport, and in chatting about cars, I mentioned my yearning for the above Mazza.

“Nah,” was his comment.
“Why not?”
“Quality isn’t that good.”
“It’ll break down every week?” I said in jest.
“Not every  week…”

I should point out that said passenger was once a senior exec at Maserati USA.

So much for that dream.