Gotta Have Pitchurs

I’m by no means a fan of horror movies — in fact, I avoid them like the plague for two reasons: either they’re so cheesy and horrible that they anger me, or else they’re so good that I have to sleep with the lights on.

Over at Insty’s, Stephen Green has a link to 7 Indispensable Horror Movies or something — which I don’t care about in the slightest — but he does suggest that any list of good horror movies which does not include at least one performance by Ingrid Pitt is suspect. Of course, Stephen should know better than to talk about the exquisite Miss Pitt when she is largely unknown outside the horror genre. So as a public service, allow me to rectify his oversight:

 

…and something a little more spicy:

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Speed Bump

Via Insty, I was reading this article which talks about how the First Amendment is designed to protect unpopular speech, and everyone’s speech in general, when this little sentence stopped me in my tracks (with my emphasis on the part which did so):

For White and Czjetanovic, being white nationalists has no impact on their ability to do their jobs. Had they held other jobs in which their white nationalism would directly affect their job performance, perhaps the internet mob would be justified in its quest to take heads (white nationalists shouldn’t be teaching WWII history to impressionable middle school students, for example).

Here’s where this little thing falls apart. We conservatives have been aghast at how “impressionable middle school students” have, for decades now, been taught by Frankfurt-School socialists, who have been busy with their little Gramscian plan of inculcating Marxist principles and Weltanschauung into our kids — and now I’m supposed to bristle at the thought of white nationalists teaching in middle-school classrooms?

The author (Bethany Daniel) has done precisely what she argues against in her article: she’s conflated white supremacists with Western Civ devotees (like myself). Frankly, if a white nationalist teacher kept herself in check and kept the racist shit to herself while extolling the value of Western Civilization when teaching history to middleschoolers, I’d rather see that than some vapid socialist twerpette interpreting WWII as a struggle between the patriotic proletariat of the glorious Soviet Union and the oppressive capitalist systems of the West.

The difference is that socialists are quite unapologetic about their propagandizing — even while teaching impressionable middle school students — while we Western Civ boosters have to be constantly on the defensive about our position lest we offend someone in the Perpetually Offended Set because racism.

Screw that. Given that bias is inevitable in any teaching system, the goal should be to stop not just white nationalists from teaching, but Marxists as well. Sadly, the education hierarchy in the West is only doing half the job.

Servus Interruptus

For some reason, yesterday’s post about coffee failed to appear, but I managed to retrieve it and it’s up now.

As a bonus, here’s a funny one which proves that Old Farts not only have sex, they’re unashamed of the fact:

Of course, that is in Wisconsin, where there’s not much else to do other than go to Green Bay Packers games…

No More Instant

I suppose I should be grateful to Starbucks for one thing: they brought the concept of “brewed coffee” to the U.K., even if it was only their shitty burnt water. Now, of course, you have chains like Costa (excellent) and Caffé Nero (not-so-excellent), but I was struck by the fact quite forcefully when I ordered “filter” (i.e. not instant) coffee at a breakfast kiosk in Edinburgh’s Waverley Station last week, and it was quite acceptable. I was also reminded of that when at lunch at Fortnum’s a couple days back, I ordered an “Americano” (diluted espresso) and was served a lovely cup of coffee. In fact, you can order an Americano just about anywhere — which is a hellacious change over what used to be Instant Coffee Country.

It’s not Dunkin’ Donuts or Krispy Kreme coffee, but it will certainly do.

And Costa is pretty much ubiquitous — I think there are more of them than Starbucks, which is a relief because their coffee is better and about a third the price of Starbucks’s overpriced shit. Just about every larger gas station has a Costa dispensing machine, which makes traveling less of a caffeine-deprived nightmare, and in the towns, there are generally several Costa outlets.

Sadly, there are no Keurig machines in Britishland that I can see — certainly, none in the houses / apartments where I’ve been staying. Mostly, it’s the Nespresso option which is fine, but Nespresso seems incapable of making coffee that isn’t hair-raisingly strong, which I can only overcome by making two large cups of coffee from a single pod. I miss my trusty Keurig, and my Krispy Kreme Regular.

But it all beats instant.

Changed And Unchanged

So today I went to Harvey Nichols to make my token purchase (as promised here), and walked out without making one. Here’s what got up my nose about the place.

Harvey Nicks has changed. It’s no longer the calm, classy establishment I knew and loved from a dozen or so years ago. Now it’s brash, very pretentious and looks like someone in Marketing said, “I know! Let’s cater to parvenu Russian oil oligarchs’ wives and children!”

I was going to make a small purchase — I can’t afford Harvey Nicks’ prices on, well, anything — so I wanted to get something small, a present for a friend, nothing fancy, a beautiful bath soap that would be pure indulgence every time she used it. I walked up to the first salesgirl I saw at the cosmetics department and said, “I’m looking for some luxury bath soap. Where do you stock it?”
Soap?” The little tart acted as though she’d never heard of it.
“Yes… you know, a bar of something fragrant, something sinfully expensive and indulgent?”
Soap?” she repeated. “I don’t know… let me ask someone else,” and she sashayed off to another tart behind a different counter. Much whispered conversation, pointing and even a curl of the lip.

I was being snooted.

What was worse, I soon discovered, was that Harvey fucking Nichols does not stock any fucking bar soap, of any description — at least, not that I could discern or the snooty little shit knew about either.

So I left, and such was my dismay that I had to go to Fortnum & Mason for a recuperative lunch. So I did, hoping that Fortnum’s hadn’t made the same stupid marketing decision.

Bless the Lord, they haven’t. It’s still the same lovely, old-fashioned place that sells stuff like $1,500 carrier bags and $10,000 Christmas crackers, and which offers shoeshine service delivered by a young man in formal clothing.

I felt like I’d come home — or at least, home to Free Market Towers, which is very much like Fortnum’s, only without anything for sale. Anyway, after a frighteningly fine lunch of duck rarebit and coffee, I went up to the second floor (Ladies Accessories) and found… about a hundred different kinds of sinfully expensive and indulgent bath soaps. A delightful young lady — not a snooty little tart — with a charming French accent was only too happy to help me make a choice, showing me all over the floor to the different placements of said soaps, opening packages to let me inhale the fragrance, and in general making me feel like my business meant everything to her — and all this, for a $10 purchase, mind you.

So I ended up buying a lot more than one bar of soap — total purchase well over $40 — and then went down to buy small gifts of tea and such for my rotten, ungrateful and spoiled children.

Which I did. Then, still having not exhausted my ire at being condescended to by a snotty little shopgirl, I went down the street to the Maille mustard store, where a charming, helpful young man let me taste about a dozen exquisite mustards, and such was my self-restraint that I only bought half a dozen small jars thereof.

Such is the power of helpful, sincere and well-trained customer service.

And fuck Harvey Nichols. They’ve lost me as a customer, too.