Long-Time Favorite

(I was reading this article and it triggered a train of thought which is worthy of a post.)

I am sometimes asked which classical novelist is my favorite, and honestly, I have a tough time answering the question.  Victor Hugo?  Balzac?  Dumas?  Mann?  Hardy?  Robert Graves?  D.H. Lawrence?

Wait, go back a bit;  Hardy?  Jude The Obscure, Far From The Madding Crowd, The Mayor Of Casterbridgethat Thomas Hardy?

Indeed.  My first exposure to Hardy was The Mayor Of Casterbridge (our 12th-grade set work).  I was utterly captivated, and despite the oncoming final exams and the endless study involved, I still somehow managed to squeeze in Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Return Of The Native  and The Woodlanders  before year’s end.  In my lifetime, I have read all his “major” novels (i.e. the Wessex series) at least twice each, and Casterbridge maybe six times.

Here’s why.  I was (still am) a rebellious soul who has always looked on the customs and mores of society (of any era) with a critical and jaundiced eye.  (That I have a favorite era — late Victorian / Edwardian — does not stop me from being critical of it, understanding its shortcomings and loving it nevertheless, especially when I compare it to our modern, soulless technocracy.)

Hardy was probably one of the most critical writers of my favorite era, ever.  In fact, so scathing was his “realistic” perspective that many people believe that he finally eschewed novel-writing for poetry because of the opprobrium he received for his baleful scrutiny.

And for the 16-year-old Kim, full of ignorant passion and rebellion, Hardy was fuel to the fire — not for his displeasure with the Victorian era, but for his displeasure per se.  It became easy to criticize apartheid-era South African society (and I did) using Hardy’s prose as my role model.  It may therefore come as no surprise to my Loyal Readers that I haven’t changed a bit, except that now my ire is directed towards our contemporary society of the early 21st century.

My only regret is that I don’t have Hardy’s skill as a novelist — nobody does — but that doesn’t stop me from reading him, over and over again.

In fact, I think it’s high time for me to re-read… hmmmm, which one… Native?  Jude?  Casterbridge?

I’ll let you know.

Yes, Of Course

From Myron Magnet at City Journal (on another topic):

“Don’t you think the whole effort of modernism—in architecture, in literature, in music, in painting—might have been a huge dead end, from which Western culture will painfully have to extricate itself?”

Longtime Readers of my fevered scribblings and rants will know that I am an implacable enemy of Modernism (and its bastard child, Postmodernism), so to me, Magnet’s question should really be a statement, with no conditional verbs.

Modernism has been a spiritual dead end, in its subjugation of beauty and form into soulless utilitarianism and the inscrutable abstract, and wherever its proponents (Le Corbusier, Duchamps, Von Der Rohe, Kandinsky and all the other charlatans) might be today, I hope the temperature is set to “BROIL”.

 Kandinsky: Garden of Love II

As for Magnet’s primary thesis (that of the imperilment of free speech), I think I’ve covered it already in my recent “Kicking Down Fences” post, but that shouldn’t stop you from reading Magnet’s greatly-superior take on the topic.

Hate Speech

…or as it used to be called in the Gude Ole Daze, invective, seems to have been cowed by Political Correctness because Feewings are more important than truth, or even humor.  Take this little passage from Taki’s Magazine, for instance, in describing the travails of CanuckiPM Zoolander:

As the telegenic fist-puppet of the global elite, Justin Trudeau does everything his string-pullers tell him to do: He pretends that Muslims are human, that trannies are women, that white people need to be eliminated, and that women never lie about rape.
Earlier this year, Trudeau threw his support behind the castration-crazy witch hunt known as #MeToo, a vanity project in which women receive love, cash, interview requests, and the sweet taste of revenge by boasting that they were sexually assaulted by powerful men. He called it “a movement whose time has come”:

“Sexual harassment is a systemic problem. It is unacceptable. When women speak up, it is our duty to listen to them and to believe them.”

Yeah, that’s going to be problematic for the boyish man whom many suspect is the bastard love child of Fidel Castro and Trudeau’s schlong-gobbling whore of a mother.

There’s so much fine invective here, it’s difficult to know where to start:  hell, the “telegenic fist-puppet” quip alone is worth the price of admission.  But it’s the description of Margaret Trudeau where the Invective Parade gets the brass band going, and I howled with laughter when I read it.

Lest anyone think that part’s libelous, I should point out that La Margaret’s lack of morals was not only well-known but documented, having had affairs with, by her own admission, more than one of the Rolling Stones during one of their tours of The Great White Space, as well as with other famous people.  And the affection towards Commie politicians shown by Her Groupieness makes the “love child” barb not only possible, but highly likely.  And let’s be honest:  she “let it all hang out” (literally) on more than one occasion:

Read more

Artsy-Fartsy

I have long thought that “post-modern” (and maybe even “modern”) art is a load of crock, camouflage for the untalented to pretend their talent. It started, of course, with the post-WWI Dadaists (who were really nihilists) and really took off with Marcel Duchamps (may his  current body/spirit temperature be set to “BROIL” for all eternity). I mean, seriously?

Now comes this article, which looks at post-modernism’s more deadly aims:

If wisdom begins with the definition of terms, what do you call efforts to deliberately lie about what those definitions actually are? The manipulation of our shared understanding is too calculated to be merely inept; too consistent to be ascribed to simple ignorance; too debased to be just misguided. There is strategy here, relentlessly advanced and ferociously enforced.
Misdirection is at the core of the whole rotten Postmodern gambit. “Who is there among you, who, if his son. asks him for bread, will give him a stone?” The contemporary technocratic managerial class, that’s who. Our culture is saturated with globalist diktats that that are fundamentally at odds with reality. They not only give us stones for bread, they give us leftist activism in place of art, and tell us to swallow it.

Quite right. I’ve studied Art Appreciation quite thoroughly — because Art had always been a hole in my store of knowledge as a younger man, I had to fill it — but try as I may, I could not “get” Modern or Post-Modern Art. When a piece has to be “explained” as to its meaning or direction by either the artist or an “expert” (who may be completely wrong, by the way), I think it’s essentially meaningless. Or, if the interpretation of the work is completely in the eye of the beholder, it’s equally meaningless — it’s a blank page, in other words. (The gallery pic above is therefore quite instructive, in this regard.)

I make a clear distinction between these schools of art and Impressionism, by the way, because at their worst, Impressionist paintings gave you an insight into the artist’s view of the world, even though that view might have been disturbing (hello, Picasso):

But modernist / post-modernist art is nothing like that. Instead, we’re treated to the chaotic randomness of, for instance, Jackson Pollock:

…which tells us absolutely nothing, about anything.

I can live with some of the Modernists like Egon Schiele:

…and ditto the modern Impressionists, like Leonid Afremov:

(That’s his Winter Sun, and it’s hanging on my wall as we speak.)

But the whole school of Post-Modernism screams “FAKE!” at me, every time I see it, and the attempt to redefine terms — as the author explains in the above article — likewise revolts me, and I’m calling bullshit on the whole thing.

It’s not art; it’s anti-art. And a pox on them for their attempts to redefine and, ultimately, to destroy beauty.

About Time, Too

I’ve always enjoyed Taki Theodoracopulos’s pet online project, Taki’s Magazine.  I especially love the old Greek bastard’s own wicked articles, with all the name-dropping and gossip flavoring. Almost without exception too, the writers have been a type after my own heart: intelligent, educated, fearless and completely irreverent, they’re willing to tackle even the most fearsome of sacred cows.

Much less so were the morons who commented on the articles. Almost without exception, they were a bunch of ignorant assholes for whom no dire situation or event was not at least partially caused by the Jooos (especially, as Taki puts it, “(((the Rothschilds)))”) who are seated at the heart of the Great Jewish / Bilderberg / Katahdin /  Illuminati Conspiracy (or some bullshit like that).

So Taki finally got sick of all those commentators’ illiterate and malicious doggerel, and took out the Comments section. Now, if you want to make a comment, you have to send Taki’s Mag an email with your comment, and they’ll publish them later in the week IF they feel the comment is worthy. I suspect that only about 0.05% of the emails will ever see the light of day: good.

At last, I can wholeheartedly endorse Taki’s Magazine because it’s excellent. Even David Cole and Pat Buchanan don’t get up my nose that much anymore (mostly because I only read those of their posts which cover topics I’m interested in). Even if I don’t agree with the rest of the Taki’s Mag articles — or even just parts thereof — I read them anyway, because regardless of my opinion, they’re pretty compelling reading.

Hell, Joe Bob Briggs alone makes visiting the website a fine experience; but to be honest, you could say that about almost all the writers. And that’s something I cannot say about any other online (or even Dead Tree) publication.

Enjoy.

Fashion Stakes

As my Longtime Readers all know: like a doomed moth to a searing flame, I’m helplessly drawn to the spectacle of women dressing up to attend horse racing events. (I just can’t help myself, Doctor, please help me — no, don’t.)

Anyway, a couple of races have gone by and I was too busy Ubering to do them justice, but now that the weekend is upon me, I’m ready to rock and roll.

As British horse races go, Cheltenham is about as different from Aintree as single malt Scotch is to moonshine — they both contain the same basic ingredient, but…

So this year at Cheltenham was pretty much the same as it’s always been:

And even when the booze flowed, it wasn’t at all Aintree-like:

And of course, my latest obsession object of desire would-be girlfriend Carol Vorderman put in an appearance:

The men also looked quite dapper, especially ex-Top Gear Token Dwarf Richard Hammond (with wife Mindy):

…and even his partner-in-crime, the usually-disheveled Jeremy Clarkson (with his latest Irish squeeze) did his best:

…although recently-fired-from-Top-Gear Chris Evans failed dismally:

(Don’t even get me started on all the fashion faux pas in just that one outfit…)

The ladies, in general, looked quite lovely (with lots of un-PC fur, worn quite unashamedly):

This was in steep contrast to their Australian cousins at some race in Oz, who showed the class for which Strine women are famous:

But wait! How did this vision of pulchritude get in through the gates?

Ah yes, of course [sigh]:

Ugh.

Ladies: if you want to be thought of as classy (at least for a first impression), you need to cover up your cutaneous mutilation with clothing such as worn by cycling gold medalist Victoria Pendleton:

The last time I looked, even the pretty Olympienne has a tiny one on her inner forearm [deeper sigh]. But in her earlier days:

I’ll never understand the self-mutilation thing.

Anyway, speaking of regrettable decisions: Aintree’s coming up soon, which means… Train Smash Women!   One can only hope they do as well as they did last year.

Watch this space.