Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A new desideratum for the modern age

Comment from Britain

In case you missed it, one of Martin Amis’s girlfriends from the 1970s has published an article about his womanising ways and the girls he loved and left. It has caused a minor storm because Amis is arguably our most famous living author — and certainly the most glamorous — and because Marty gave his approval for this kiss-and-tell.

There are plenty of people who would go to court not to have details of their private lives revealed in print. But Amis not only doesn’t care, he positively welcomed the exposure. This got me thinking: wouldn’t it be great to be so confident of your sexual history — so sure that your lovers numbered the smartest, most attractive people of your generation — that naming them could only make you look better? How rare must that be? Thanks to Amis, we now have a new definition of success: having a sexual history that you can afford to boast about, with no exceptions.

The importance of racking up a sexual history that you can be proud of is not something they teach you in school, but it has to be more useful in the long term than metalwork. Look around and the world is roughly divided into people whose SH has held them back and people who don’t need to lie in bed at night wondering if anyone is going to find out about the heroin dealer/sex pest/con artist/embarrassing loser they lived with for six months after college.

The truth is, nothing damages a girl’s respect factor faster than a dalliance with Calum Best (oh Lindsay, how could you?). And if you’re a bloke, it’s probably better to have had a three-month stint inside for pension fraud than a fling with the former Mrs Paul McCartney. Take Sienna Miller — lovely girl, but her SH is so dodgy, it has affected her karma and left her looking like a romantic liability. And George Clooney is a super guy but for one niggling detail: the line-up of strikingly unremarkable exes.

To score high in the sexual-history stakes, you don’t have to be the opposite of promiscuous, or even faithful — you merely need to demonstrate that you have good taste and the power to pull people worth pulling (it’s a bonus if, like Marty, you leave all your lovers “numb and shattered”, but at the very least, the experience needs to have been memorable). And a quality sexual history works for both parties. We don’t like to admit it, but how you rate the women in your man’s past (and who dumped who) directly affects your perception of them. If you admire the girls who came before you, then it’s okay to be tainted by association. But if your boyfriend’s exes are a pretty sad bunch who tend to be the ones to leave, and you definitely wouldn’t want to borrow their clothes, it can’t help but make you question if he’s worth it.

Maybe that’s the point in the end. I don’t particularly want to be able to say I’ve slept with Mick Jagger, but I wouldn’t mind being lumped in a category with the young Marianne Faithfull, Marsha Hunt, Sophie Dahl, Carla Bruni... Best stop there on account of the lawyers.


There is ONE crime that the British police will respond promptly to

Any attack on one of their own. It shows what could be done (but rarely if ever is) when other people are under attack. Many complaints to British police result in no action at all

There are often complaints about the length of time it takes for the police to respond to an emergency call. In the interest of balance and fairness, I must point out that such a miserable experience is by no means a universal one.

A cacophony of angry, shouting male voices, accompanied by the loud barking of dogs the other day, quite naturally drew me to the window, outside of which there was indeed a serious-looking altercation, half-obscured down an alley.

I'd barely taken a step towards the phone when a car carrying four armed police skidded to a halt, and the occupants waded into the fray. Impressive.

But it didn't stop there. Another armed response unit soon arrived on the scene, followed by three regular squad cars and five police vans, one little, four big. There were so many police it was impossible to count them all, and they were soon marching the small group of miscreants into some of the dizzying choice of available vehicles.

The alley in which the captured youths had congregated is notorious for its open drug dealing and its crude dogfights. Residents were amazed that such routine activity, long-since recognised as nothing we should trouble the police too much about, had finally attracted the undivided attention of the law.

Later, it emerged that two police on the beat had, unusually, challenged the assembled group, and that more than one had been moronic enough to take a swing at them. It's good to know that there are some crimes serious enough to be addressed with efficiency, passion and unlimited manpower. Sort of.


Defending America’s First Amendment

As limited government advocates fight to preserve individual liberties amid the onrush of President Barack Obama’s “Era of Obscenely Big Government,” one fundamental American freedom that we must be increasingly vigilant in protecting is the freedom of speech. After all, every imposition of this basic right is a threat against our ability to protect all of the others.

Sadly, under the Washington banner of “campaign finance reform,” Americans have seen their right to free political speech materially impeded upon in recent years. Meanwhile, President Obama’s “Internet security” efforts could be the next politically-correct “buzz-term” for speech suppression. And speaking of which, let’s not forget the so-called “P.C. police” – i.e. the TV talking head enforcers of our nation’s new lexicon of “P.C.” phraseology, who are always on alert for fresh “violations.”

Yet even as our leaders fail to recognize – and fully protect – free speech amid these evolving encumbrances, those who advocate for virtually every belief under the sun recognize its sanctity.

One reason for free speech’s unwavering public support is the relative inviolability of the First Amendment at all points along our nation’s political spectrum. As the expression goes, we may not like what others have to say, but we will zealously defend their right to say it. And that’s how it has to be. Otherwise, one of our bedrock national freedoms would be left to the shifting sands of today’s “political discourse,” which is perhaps what many Washington politicians are hoping for.

Recently, though, another threat to Americans’ freedom of speech has emerged – this time from the other side of the ocean. An egregious pattern of global “venue-shopping” on libel cases is taking shape, with Americans being sued for defamation in British courts – by people who aren’t citizens of either country.

These lawsuits are filed in Great Britain because of the nation’s notoriously backward libel laws, which start with the presumption of guilt against publishers. Making matters worse from an intimidation standpoint, British courts force those publishers who manage to successfully “prove their innocence” to pick up the tab for legal fees. Neither of these concepts fit even remotely within the American definition of First Amendment jurisprudence– but that’s not stopping British courts from holding Americans liable all the same.

In fact, in a recent case an American author was convicted of libel in a British court and ordered to pay damages to a Saudi Arabian businessman – a ruling which has obviously had a chilling effect on American publishers. According to this author’s attorneys, British libel law “is being used as a tool to silence critics and endanger (America’s) national security.”

Far from hyperbole, if this trend is allowed to continue we could quickly find ourselves in a situation where terrorists are able to preemptively suppress investigations into their activities simply by filing "defamation" suits in British courts. Also, any American individual or entity that makes even the most dubious connection to Great Britain could use the English courts as a speech suppression tool for domestic purposes.

Not surprisingly, the real medium of concern here isn’t published books, it’s the Internet. “The global nature of the (Internet) means that anything published anywhere could quite easily be claimed to lead to damages under UK law,” one web forum recently noted.

That’s a truly frightening prospect – whether you’re editing web copy for CNN or FOX News, writing a blog for Townhall or the Daily Kos, or simply posting an update to your social networking page. Do we really live in an information age where all it takes to wind up on the receiving end of a costly lawsuit is a single Briton accessing our Facebook page?

This is precisely the sort of speech suppression that American libel laws are designed to safeguard us against – but if censors have found a way around those laws, can our freedom of speech truly be called safe?

It can’t – which is why Americans of all political persuasions must demand that their right to free speech be preserved, protected and defended against all enemies, foreign and domestic.


Why may no-one be proud to be White?

Someone finally said it. How many are actually paying attention to this? There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, etc.

And then there are just Americans. You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction. You call me 'White boy,' 'Cracker,' 'Honkey,' 'Whitey,' 'Caveman'... and that's OK.

But when I call you, Nigger, Kike, Towel head, Sand-nigger, Camel Jockey, Beaner, Gook, or Chink .. You call me a racist.

You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you... so why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live?

You have the United Negro College Fund. You have Martin Luther King Day. You have Black History Month. You have Cesar Chavez Day. You have Yom Hashoah. You have Ma'uled Al-Nabi. You have the NAACP.

You have BET... If we had WET (White Entertainment Television), we'd be racists. If we had a White Pride Day, you would call us racists. If we had White History Month, we'd be racists. If we had any organization for only whites to 'advance' OUR lives, we'd be racists.

We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce. Wonder who pays for that??

A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant, but any color can be in the Miss America pageant.

If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships... You know we'd be racists.

There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US. Yet if there were 'White colleges', that would be a racist college.

In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights. If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists.

You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you're not afraid to announce it. But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists.

You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us. But, when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you call him a racist. Why is it that only whites can be racists??

From a widely circulated email


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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