Conservative Timekeeping

One of the problems of having a conservative outlook is that it permeates every part of your life. Just because something is called “new and improved” does not necessarily make it so — which is even more the case when it comes to societal conditions, of course, in that if one is aware of history, there isn’t much new, and even less is an improvement that hasn’t been tried before, mostly ending in failure.

One might think that this isn’t the case with technology, but even there I look at things with a jaundiced eye. Automotive technology is certainly better than it was a hundred years ago, but we’ve climbed that far up the quality/performance curve to where today’s model is enormously better than the Model T, but not that much better than last year’s model. (And I still prefer a stick shift to an automatic transmission, and a bolt-action rifle to a semi-auto one, to name but two of thousands of examples.)

All this came to mind when I was having a couple of welcome-home drinks with Doc Russia, and he mentioned the fact that he was looking at buying a decent “dress” wristwatch, but because his experience with watches has been limited to utility rather than appearance, he was somewhat at a loss as to what he should be looking at.

As it happens, watches and clocks are something of a passion of mine — if I ever won the lottery, I’d be in deep trouble — so I was happy to offer some words of advice. (I’ve owned several decent watches in the course of my life: Omega, Longines, Piguet and so on, which has made me keenly aware of the value of a good watch — and not just one which keeps perfect time.)

Buying a watch is about as personal a decision as one can find — hell, I’ve known men to spend more time on deciding which watch to buy than selecting a car or even a wife — so there are all sorts of combinations / permutations of features and characteristics which go into one’s final decision which are, to put it mildly, very much individualistic. I realize that in today’s world, such a discussion is akin to such old-fashioned purchase decisions as to the best buggy whip to buy, or even (gasp) the best bolt-action rifles for your needs and wallet, but nevertheless, here we go.

At the outset, I’m going to exclude from this post any discussion of being comfortable with a drugstore digital battery-powered cheapie which keeps perfect time and costs less than fifty bucks. I have absolutely no problem with this attitude — hell, I’ve owned more than one Timex or Casio in my time too — and I’m also not going to engage with people who’ve quit wearing wristwatches altogether, leaving the timekeeping function to their cell phone. It’s the modern thing, and of course it’s your choice. That’s all well and good, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. Remember, we’re not talking utility as the primary driving factor in buying a new watch; we’re talking class, beauty, style and quality of workmanship. This is akin to the difference between buying a Toyota Corolla and, say, a Lexus. Both do the same job, both are of excellent quality, but each offers a different style of delivery. This is no less true of watches.

As with all things, you have to start with budget. (If you don’t, you’ll just get frustrated.) Doc’s budget is between $5,000 and $7,000, which offers a wide range of options, all good ones. (Much more than this, say $10,000 plus, and we’re looking at investment watches, which creates a set of completely different purchase criteria.)

Let’s also stipulate that we’re looking for a wristwatch and not a pocket- or “waistcoat” watch, just to keep things simpler.

We should start with what I think is the most important criterion, which is movement: automatic, or manual wind? (There are few battery-powered watches in this price range, which I think is good. My everyday watch is a cheap-ish Dooney & Burke which, while very pretty, needs a new battery every eighteen months, and it drives me scatty.) Automatic is the lazy man’s choice — it self-winds by the movement on one’s wrist but to be honest, unless you’re spending a lot of money (more than our budget), the timekeeping is not always perfect to the millisecond and the watch may need to be adjusted occasionally. A manual wind — generally more precise and therefore more expensive — is of the “eight-day” type: one full wind will last for about a week, and then the watch will need to be rewound. I have no preference, myself, although I lean towards the manual (see “stick shift” and “bolt-action rifle” above): it’s the first of many personal choices we’re going to encounter. Here are some examples of manual-wind watches in our price range:

The last, the IWC Pilot, is normally outside our price range, but I’ve seen it on sale recently, so if you love it (and I do), you may be in luck.

With automatic (a.k.a. self-wind), prices almost halve. All the above examples which have automatic variants cost less than $5,000 — and with that premium removed, we also have a few more brand options within the price range:

…and so on.

Next, we come to appearance: white face, or black/colored? Myself, I prefer a white face, but some of the grays are quite gorgeous. Ditto the hands of the watch: simple, straight, ornate? And the numbers: regular, Roman, dashes, or Art Deco (to name but some). Other functions (date, day, month, stopwatch, moon phase etc.)? Leather strap, plastic strap or metal expandable strap? Once again, all this is a matter of personal choice. If you want or need a watch that does everything except make you coffee in the mornings, go for it.

Honestly, the choices are dizzying (in almost any price bracket), and there are hardly any bad choices once one gets over a thousand dollars. (Poor taste choices, however, are another story — but one man’s bad taste is another’s gotta-have, so I stay away from value judgments of that nature.) For myself, the plainer the better, and I don’t need a date because I hardly ever write checks anymore. I prefer the look of stainless steel over gold; although a decent gold watch always looks classy, the price premium is just more than I want to spend. I prefer a leather strap; I can’t wear the expandable metal straps because I have hairy arms and wrists, and the damn things pinch.

So here’s my shortlist of watches (in addition to all the above) which are more or less in Doc’s price range.

IWC (probably my favorite brand in this price range):


Maurice Lacroix and Glasshutte:

And finally, no piece like this would be complete without showing the watch I’d want to get as soon as the Powerball guys got their ducks in a row and finally gave me the winning ticket:

If you wanna know how much it costs, you can’t afford it. Note the Art Nouveau numbering, the faded and understated gold… yowzah.

If you want to play like I did, and see just what’s out there, go to Prestige Time and browse. I don’t think their prices are realistic, by the way: I haven’t found them to be anywhere near those quoted by reputable retail outlets. But they have a bunch of watches showcased, so enjoy.

The First 100 Days

I’ve said before that the first 100 days of a new presidency (any presidency, not just Trump’s) is a nonsensical quasi-deadline, an artifice created and imposed upon new presidents by the Jackals Of The Press (JOTP), as though there’s something magical about the number 100 — as opposed to 120, or 86, or 227, for example.

All that said, The Diplomad has an excellent summary of Trump’s first 100 days. While the summary of his achievements is fine, Diplomad also highlights the “achievements” of the Democratic Left and their fascistic cohorts:

Opponents tried to disrupt the inauguration, and have engaged in a consistent pattern of street violence and thuggery aimed at intimidating Trump supporters and trying to give the impression that the country is ungovernable unless the progressives are in charge. Nothing is off limits, including Trump’s family, in this assault on the new president. Unprecedented coarseness, violence, and fake news are all arrows in the progressive quiver and being unleashed on Trump and supporters daily.

Read the whole thing, because it’s better than anything I could have written.


Out And About

Sorry about the paucity of posts today. There are two reasons:

1. Last night Doc Russia and I were renewing our acquaintance, so to speak, in that he was telling me all about his African safari, showing me videos, pictures and so on.
2. Yes, there was a certain amount of liquor involved, hence my mild hangover and sleep-in this morning.
3. The place was devoid of food, so we had to remedy that by visiting several of the food emporia in the neighborhood.

Normal service will resume tomorrow, with a piece on the difficulty of buying watches.


So while I’ll be in Britishland for my sabbatical (as I’ve chosen to call it), I’ve been invited to go watch the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo in early August.

I love Edinburgh; been there twice, can’t wait to get back, but I have a perennial problem in that I can’t understand a frigging word the locals say (I and Robin Williams both). Seriously, I once listened to a cabbie ranting about (I think) the new Scottish House of Parliament, and I caught maybe a couple of words out of the whole diatribe. Something about “costing a wee fuckload o’ poonds”, I think. Or maybe it was “coasting awee doon the goons.” Whatever.

I mean, these tools make Billy Connolly sound like Prince Charles — and yet when I complain about their incomprehensibility, then somehow I’m the idiot. As I once tried to explain to some porridge monkey in a pub right before the fists started flying, my “colonial” accent can be understood in every country in the world where English is spoken — but the Scots can’t even be understood on the south side of the fucking River Tweed. (I may have put it somewhat more bluntly than that, now that I think back; my memory is a tad hazy, probably from the “wee concussion” that the doctor told me about the next day. I only understood about a quarter of what he was saying, too.)

Anyway, so I’ve been watching the outstanding show Shetland on Netflix to get used to the cadence of Scottish speech, and to the vocabulary. It probably won’t help, because the BBC (or whoever) forces them to soften the Scottish accent to make it more comprehensible to non-Scots: and it’s still only a 50-50 shot that you’ll understand what they’re talking about.

When Churchill described the Americans and British as “two peoples divided by a common language”, I think he was referring to the Scots and pretty much everyone else.

But hey… it’s the Tattoo. I’ll get by.

Blast From His Past

The Dallas Stars hockey team just finished a woeful season — from second in the league the season before, to “no playoffs for you this year”. One of their star players is #19 Tyler Seguin, who used to play for the Boston Bruins a few years back. Which is where this pic comes from:

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Here We Go Again

Buckle your seatbelts, folks: this one is going to make the Pussification rant seem like a ladies’ tea party.

Over at some website I’ve never heard of, a guy named Spencer Quinn has some nice (and some not-so-nice) things to say about Your Humble Narrator (and you really need to read the whole article before you read any further). I feel I need to respond, and in so doing, I’ll set the record straight and make my position on some of his discussion points perfectly clear.

My problem with the alt-Right is the same problem I have with libertarians: as commenter “Pat Buchanator” once put it at Instapundit: “This is how it always is with libertarians. No matter how appealing that quart of vanilla ice cream looks, there’s always that tablespoon of dog shit mixed in that turns you off.” Thus it is too with the alt-Right and me:  we start off with some common ground — quite a lot, actually — and then the conversation reaches that “Oh, bloody hell! Why did you have to go and spoil it?” moment, when Teh Crazy comes out of its hole.

My common ground with the alt-Right is this: like them, I think that Western civilization and culture is the greatest thing that ever occurred to mankind. It has elevated our society from brutishness and beastliness into civilization, quite possibly to the zenith of thought, achievement and prosperity. Just taking the period from Ancient Greece to the Internet, it is difficult to imagine how life would exist today were it not for Western culture — the sciences, economy, music, arts, literature, morals, manners and mores, the whole damn thing. Western civilization, in other words, is absolutely worth maintaining, prolonging, venerating and all that.

And here’s the first little roadblock that the alt-Right throws in my way: their distaste, and even hatred for Jews.

I have no idea why that is. Pound for pound, the Jews have contributed as much or more to Western civilization than any other group — it’s even called the “Judeo-Christian tradition”, FFS — and to discount this contribution deliberately, to me, shows a shallow intellect at best. (At worst, Hitler, but I’m not going to go there.) Of course, I know that many Jews are socialists, communists, progressives, one-worlders, and all those things that are not only themselves distasteful, but are contradictory to Western thought. Ending slavery in the Western hemisphere (an action performed solely by Western nations, lest we forget) is not the same as allowing Western culture to be perverted or submerged by inferior cultures — and let’s be perfectly honest, when compared to Western culture, all other cultures are in general absolutely inferior to ours. To say otherwise is to be ignorant of history, or to be able to consciously deny the fact of the matter despite all evidence to the contrary. Judaic culture, by the way, is not inferior to, say, Western culture and civilization because in no small part, theirs is almost indistinguishable from that of Western Europe because of their commonality. That Israeli liberals seem perfectly prepared to help bring about the destruction of Eretz Israel was always a mystery to me until it was explained to me (by one of my good friends, an Orthodox Jew) that these liberals hate the state of Israel because it is culturally closer to Western European democracy than it is to Eastern European socialism. And the liberal Israelis have camp-followers all over the world: in Europe, Britain, the United States and anywhere that Jews can be found in any numbers. Does that mean “conspiracy”? Sure, if you’re a moron, because there are many, many Jews who are conservative, too — but somehow, the Conspiracy seems to have passed them by? Not credible.

So: am I pro-Israel? You betcha. I’m even more supportive of Israel when I look at the nations of assholes who want Israel destroyed.

Do I think that a lot of Jews are liberal assholes? You betcha, again. (Don’t even ask me about Jews and their support for gun control, unless we also mention JPFO, who also seem to have missed the memo.)

Am I prepared to become an anti-Semite because of The Great Jewish Conspiracy? Think again, Adolf.

Would I stand aside if some anti-Semitic pricks started playing their little neo-Nazi reindeer games with Jews in the streets? Not only would I not stand aside, but I’d be standing between the two groups, telling the anti-Semites that they’d have to get past me first.

Ich habe Dachau gesehen.

And as long as I have breath in my body, “Never again!” will not be just an empty phrase, even if that seems to be the case with some Jews(!), who think that their tribe’s survival of the Holocaust was somehow irrelevant in today’s world.

So the minute some alt-Rightist starts with that anti-Semitic shit, I turn right off, because I will never be part of that insanity. (It doesn’t even have to be the alt-Right; over at Taki’s Magazine — which I generally love — I’ll be reading something amusing or educational, and then the Great Zionist Conspiracy gets mentioned, and figuratively speaking, I toss the magazine across the room.)

The next thing about the alt-Right that gets up my nose is their little unicorn-rainbow dream of a “White ethnostate”.  Once again, oh FFS. Let me tell you this: I grew up in a wannabe-White ethnostate, I knew White supremacists, and oh my gawd, I was even related to a bunch of them. They were all, to a man, mean-spirited, ugly people, and their system of government — apartheid — was even uglier than they were. Even though their philosophical underpinning made apparent sense — the catastrophe that was (and is) Black Africa showed that Blacks were incapable of self-government — but their prescription to protect themselves against that was horrible and ultimately doomed to failure, as events would prove. Forget that shit; I not only hated it, and them, but I rebelled against it, stopping well short of planting bombs and shooting random White people in the streets, however, because those are what we call today terrorists. Even with the best intentions in the world, I was not going to become a White Nelson Mandela (who was, lest we forget, as much of a terrorist as Yasser Arafat despite, like Arafat, becoming somehow acceptable in his later years as a head of state). As much as I loathed apartheid, I was not going to take that next step, because too many innocent people would be harmed. Remember that, because it will be important later.

Now some people, e.g. the aforementioned Mr. Quinn, have trouble reconciling my position with my somewhat trenchant thoughts set out in Let Africa Sink (I told you I’d need to republish it). They all miss the point. Let Africa Sink was written in a mood of profound sadness, pessimism and despair, and was never meant to be some kind of rallying-cry and blueprint for a bunch of sick racists. FFS: I am an African myself; I was born there, I lived there for a third of a century, and my family first arrived in the Cape in 1692. I have every right to call myself an African, as much or even more than Jesse Jackson can call himself an American. I left Africa because I saw absolutely no hope for the whole continent, not just South Africa (which, by the way, is well on the way to joining Zimbabwe, the Congo and all the other little beauty spots over there). I left because all I could see was a future of bloodshed, hatred, venality and human ruin. I have seen nothing since that has made me want to change my opinion by one iota. Africa, as a place and as a human entity, is fucked beyond words, and there is nothing, nothing that will end or even ameliorate that scenario.

Now stay with me here, because what sets me apart from the alt-Right is that I won’t — can’t — make the leap from Africa being so screwed to “Blacks are therefore inferior to Whites”. You know why I can’t? Because of Ben Carson, Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Richard Pryor and Denzel Washington (to name but some). Even an idiot like Maxine Waters, despite being a socialist to her core, has not advocated racial violence and anti-White terrorism (so far). In other words, when Black people aren’t Africans but Americans — Americans who moreover believe profoundly that Western European culture is far better than the alternative and who therefore espouse the principles of Western civilization despite their own ethnic heritage — it is impossible for me to say that in general principle, Black people are inferior to White people. Can’t go there, even if Carson et al. are woefully in the minority in the Black community. I can’t go there even in the face of evidence that Black-run cities (or, to be more correct, Democrat-run cities) are pathetic failures and African-style hellholes of poverty, corruption and homicide. I see little difference, by the way, between the looming disaster that is San Francisco (which is not run by Blacks) and the appalling tragedy of Detroit (which is, and has been for a long time). If a majority of Blacks espouse socialism, the fault is not their ethnicity but their education. (Hell, a sizable number of White people espouse socialism, too; don’t get me started on those idiots.)

If so many Blacks vote Democrat instead of Republican, and end up with failure in consequence, is that a reason to think that Blacks are that inferior to Whites? Let me point out a little-known fact: without the White (Afrikaans- and English-speaking) working-class voters, South Africa’s apartheid would have collapsed decades before it did; but like American Blacks were by Democrats, they were promised jobs, job security and social advancement by the Afrikaner nationalists, which meant that the White working classes bought into the eventual promise of apartheid: separate development. The “dumping grounds” of South African apartheid followed shortly thereafter. White voters, in other words, are just as capable of adopting an evil philosophy (apartheid) as Black voters are drawn towards supporting a different evil philosophy (socialism).

And that’s another part of alt-Right philosophy that pisses me off. If I may use the rhetoric of Albert Jay Nock: suppose that you’re right; suppose that we Whites should create an exclusive White ethnostate that bars (among so many others) Blacks and Jews: how, exactly, are you going to create this little White nationalist Nirvana? How are you going to move this from a unicorn’s wet dream to ugly (and it would be ugly) reality? It sure as hell isn’t going to happen in the United States, no matter how much you want to create the White Man’s Paradise in, say, Utah or Idaho, because there will have to be some rearrangement of peoples for that to happen — and I repeat, that ain’t gonna happen anywhere in the U.S. Good luck trying that elsewhere — well, maybe in South Africa’s Orania, but guess what: you alt-Righters won’t be welcome there because you’re not Afrikaans. See how this ethnic superiority thing works?

I saw at first hand how the South African government went about creating the reality of “separateness” in a multi-racial society, and let me tell you, it was revolting, appalling, and made me want to join Mandela’s Spear Of The Nation organization, albeit only for a short while. I’ll tell that story another time, because if I do so now, it will engender a red-hot anger in me that would make Pussification seem like a scholarly discourse.

Let me tell you all: underneath all the words about “White pride”, “promoting Western European values and culture” and “cultural superiority” are some really, really ugly beliefs, philosophies and plans of action; and I want absolutely no part of them.

I know that my way of supporting Western civilization might seem weak and ineffective to the alt-Right. I prefer to vote for politicians who prefer capitalism to socialism, Western culture over, say, Muslim culture or African culture. I prefer to write about Western civilization and extol it, letting people read my stuff and thereby (I hope) being persuaded to follow my example and in turn persuading others to be likewise. I raised my children in the Western tradition, and have drawn maybe thousands of people to my way of thinking — even if only by reading my stuff, they realize that they aren’t alone in their beliefs, and that our mostly-Anglocentric Western way of life is the right one.

Most of the human condition is dealing with The Pendulum: as our societies develop, the pendulum swings from Right to Left and back again. Often, the reverse swing is overly long, and that leads to all kinds of trouble. (The French Revolution’s Reign of Terror is an excellent example, by the way, albeit an example of showing that even Western civilization can screw things up.) The alt-Right, to me, represents just such an over-correction of The Pendulum’s erstwhile swing to the Left, and frankly, I don’t find much to recommend their fantasies.

I am aware that the alt-Right may turn on me and start with the name-calling, e.g. “race-traitor” (which sounds so much better in the original Afrikaans, volks-verraaier, and which has been used on me before), or their favorite, “cuckservative” (one who is nominally conservative, but actually in thrall to liberals), and all the other cute little epithets they’ve come up with to describe those who, if they aren’t with them, must be against them.

Guess what? I am against you. I’m against your anti-Semitism, your White supremacism, and all the other bullshit that you hide under camouflage phrases and euphemisms. I know exactly who you are, and I’m not one of you.

There is no “paradox” in my philosophy; I just refuse to succumb to the temptation of ascribing societal failures to outside influences such as the “Jewish Conspiracy” or “negroid inferiority”. (Historically, it reminds me too much of Weimar Germany and pre-1917 Bolshevism.) As Quinn noted, I don’t take that extra step in “logic” that will move me over to the alt-Right because quite simply, it’s a step too far. Sorry if that puzzles you. Life isn’t a simple case of black and white, or even Black and White: it’s far more complex than that, and I’m sorry if you can’t see it.

And one last thing: in his essay, Spencer Quinn has many kind words to say about my bravery and “brass balls” (as he puts it). Do not for one moment think that any of that is going to disappear should someone decide to confront me in person. Please remember that as a young man, I once stood up against the guns and sjamboks of Afrikaner apartheid; and I’m prepared, even in my old age, to stand up to you. I am a lot meaner now than I was then, and I have a lot less to lose. That’s not a challenge, by the way; as Quinn noted, I really just want to be left alone — and in the alt-Right’s case, that means not co-opting my writings in support of your foolishness.


Kim du Toit