Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Sam de Brito confesses that he is a slave to female looks
I wonder how common Sam's problem is? After all, most women (except those with tickets on themselves) do find themselves a partner. The women in my life have ranged from pretty plain to quite beautiful (though the average has been pretty fair) but it is always the ability to have an intelligent conversation with them that has been my criterion for interest in them -- JR
I know a woman who I reckon would date a Nazi (and probably creepy Hugh Hefner) just as long as they kept the expensive dinners, trips away and rooms with a view coming.
This woman is pretty boring, rather duplicitous and not particularly bright. In fact, her only marketable virtues are great legs and a face so beautiful it would make a priest kick a hole in a stained-glass window.
However, the most annoying thing about her is I know if she caught me after three or four neat single malts and ushered me into a nightclub toilet cubicle, I'd collaborate like Vichy France.
I could probably even fall in love with her, convincing myself she was into me for me - not my wealth, talent and good looks, oops, wrong guy, that's her boyfriend.
One of the more frustrating parts of being male - well, this male at least - is being attracted to crappy women; vacuous, venal or just plain nasty chicks.
Women have this problem, too, the much-documented female attraction to bad boys, jerks and players. But then, I often hear women say: "Once I knew what a douche he was, I wasn't attracted to him any more."
With many guys, even when we find out a woman is completely soulless, if she's hot enough, we'll still go there. Hell, if she's hot enough, we'll marry her.
Maybe - as is often my mistake - I'm confusing the personal and anecdotal for the norm, because I suffer terribly from this weakness (which is why I never go to strip clubs - far too risky).
However, I know enough men who share my breathtaking superficiality that it makes me wonder if the desire to bed beautiful, crappy people is not imprinted on the monkey minds of some of us less-evolved primates?
Good old Hefner seems to be an acute sufferer, having just last week reconciled with his 26-year-old fiancee, Crystal, after she dumped him days before their wedding. She later told US radio host Howard Stern their lovemaking lasted "like two seconds" and, staggeringly, that she was "not turned on by Hef".
Still, Hefner, 86, has gone back there and, like many, many men who have admired the wire-service pictures of the fabulously perky Crystal, I say: "Who can blame him?"
I consider all the qualities I want in a partner - compassion, intelligence, a sense of humour, loyalty, kindness - and they can be obliterated in an instant on a Friday night by a beautiful face and pair of molten legs.
Many would argue this is because men like me - who suffer from a compulsion to be with beautiful women - are insecure, that we care more about what others think of us than the heart that beats beside us in bed.
That's where I have to disagree - because it's not just about her heart, but also her legs, stomach, bottom, breasts, shoulders, neck, mouth and eyes.
I wish I was joking.
Enoch Powell still speaks to us today
Charles Moore reviews "Enoch at 100", edited by Greville Howard
Enoch Powell was, until the rise of Margaret Thatcher, the most famous politician in Britain. This was because of his “Rivers of Blood” speech in April 1968, in which he warned of the effects of mass immigration. No single speech since the war has caused greater controversy.
At the time, Enoch (as with Boris today, friend and foe alike referred to him by his unusual Christian name) was a polariser. He had fervent supporters and violent – sometimes literally violent – opponents. Luckily, this no longer applies. Powell died in 1998. He would have been 100 this year. The 21st century can consider him in the perspective of history.
But why should one bother? What is there to learn from a politician who, in career terms, failed, never rising higher than being minister of health?
This book, friendly to Enoch, but critical too, provides excellent answers. The speech of Powell’s which it quotes most frequently is one in which he himself addressed the question. “At the end of a lifetime in politics,” he said, “when a man looks back, he discovers that the things he most opposed have come to pass and that nearly all the objects he set out with are not merely not accomplished, but seem to belong to a different world from the one he lives in.” Yet it turns out that failure has its uses. It can make people see more clearly than success.
Enoch had a powerful mind and remarkable gifts of expression. He could think boldly about a huge range of subjects, and then argue about them with intellectual force and high emotion. The editor of this book, Greville Howard, rightly mixes essays about Enoch with whole speeches by the man himself. The reader picks up his strangely compelling tone of voice – the odd combination of eccentric professor and mass orator, of almost archaic obscurity and devastating clarity.
Here you can learn not only Powell’s thoughts on his main subjects – immigration, Europe, Northern Ireland – but also his groundbreaking ideas about what causes inflation, his bold approach to energy policy, his hostility (deranged by conspiracy theory) to the United States, his skills and deficiencies as a textual critic of ancient Greek and of the Bible, his wisdom on reforming the House of Lords (don’t!), and even the poems which he wrote each year for his beloved wife Pam, who is still alive. (Frank Field, in a touching essay, refers to “the mystery of Enoch and his so lovable Pam”. The greatest pleasure in this book is the first ever interview with Pam. She displays all the warm common sense without which her otherwise lonely husband would surely have gone off the rails.)
People used to complain about Powell’s “remorseless logic”. It is true that he had the donnish fault of believing he could conclusively prove something which had not occurred to others. But I would say that his greater fault, and yet his great virtue also, was his romanticism. His first passionate devotion was to the British Empire, especially in India, where he served during the war. After the loss of India, love spurned drove him towards a view of Britain so post-imperial that it had no room for foreign alliances and global reach at all.
He rejected the United Nations, nuclear deterrence, the “special relationship”, international human rights and, of course, the European Union. His attitude to the British constitution was rather like that of a jealous Muslim father who locks his daughter indoors whenever she so much as looks at a young man from the wrong tribe. For example, I remember him arguing, in 1982, that the realm of England could not contain the Pope of Rome, who, for the first time in history, was about to visit. Needless to say, Pope John Paul II came, and went, and the nation survived.
But Powell’s passion was a virtue as well, because political leaders should be able to feel and to dramatise the history that makes a nation what it is. In an amusing essay here, Anne Robinson recalls her formidable mother, and her firm belief that Enoch was speaking for England.
His commitment to the British nation state, and above all to the Parliament which embodied it, made him pay relentless attention to the visceral issues which lay behind the questions of the day. “Enoch was right”, taxi drivers always used to say 25 years ago. They meant, right about the dangers of mass immigration. Some of them were racists, but I don’t think most were. They had a pride in the identity of their nation and a fear when they felt it threatened. Powell spoke to these feelings, and although his language was inflammatory, he was right to raise the subject. In a well-balanced, often critical essay in this book, Tom Bower goes through the whole “Rivers of Blood” legacy. He points out that Powell’s prediction of the scale of the problem turned out to be more accurate than that of his critics.
The first words of the “Rivers of Blood” speech are: “The supreme function of statesmanship is to provide against preventable evils.” Powell tried sincerely to do this. He did it most systematically on the question of Europe. If you read his speeches of the Seventies, some of which appear in this book, you will concede that his account of what “going into Europe” meant has turned out to be factually correct (even if, unlike Powell, you support what has happened). Nowadays, people often say, in reference to the EU or the euro, that “no one ever told us this”. Powell did: it was just that not enough people were in the mood to listen. If you read this book, you will get in the mood. You will find the passions of 40 years ago strangely relevant to the problems we now confront.
I Hate Mike Adams
I love being hated. And if you don’t think I’m hated then you haven’t read my most recent rating on www.RateMyProfessor.com. For those too lazy to click the link (that means liberals), I’ve reprinted the latest rating below:
“I hate this guy on a personal level. He is a hyper-conservative homophobic a**hole. I disagree with his beliefs in every way and have never in my life had a professor or teacher I disliked more. I have to admit he's a good professor as far as covering course material in a clear manner, but his class policy is also very strict.”
In just four sentences, this student has succinctly summarized at least six major problems with liberalism in America. They follow in no particular order of importance:
1. Hate speech is a one-way street. When conservatives speak, their speech can still be labeled “hate speech” even if it does not contain the word “hate.” But liberals can avoid a charge of hate speech even when using the phrase “I hate” as an opener. Liberal hate is well-intentioned and tends to focus on broader social goals. It isn’t the words that determine whether something is free speech. It’s the sentiment that lies behind them.
2. Everyone else is extreme. The term hyper-conservative is usually applied to people who believe crazy things like “marriage involves one man and one woman” or “it’s wrong to dismember innocent babies.” According to liberals, about 80% of the population is “hyper-conservative” for one reason or another.
3. Every disagreement involves a “phobia.” A phobia is an irrational fear of something. Liberals usually apply this term to people like me who are not afraid to say anything. Absence of fear? Irrational fear? It’s all the same in the mind of the liberal.
4. Disagreement with ideas justifies personal vilification. Note that the above-quoted student links total disagreement with ideas to maximum “dislike” for individuals. Also, note that he does so in the same sentence. The cause/effect connection is inescapable. Because he disagreed with my “beliefs” the liberal student “disliked” me more than any other teacher. The student makes no effort to give any other reason than the ideas themselves. In other words, hatred of ideas = hatred of persons. And the former justifies the latter.
5. Qualifications are of minimal relevance. Eventually, the liberal student admits I cover the material in a “clear manner” - but not until after all the other personal attacks are aired. Personal characteristics are more important than competence. That is why a liberal clings to affirmative action like a conservative clings to guns and religion.
6. Standards are a form of oppression. Maybe he was mad that my ban on laptops in class kept him from getting status updates from the Perez Hilton Facebook fan page while listening to my lectures. Regardless, the insistence that we all follow rules did not mesh with his otherwise stellar commitment to equality. Liberals think standards are fine as long as they are applied to other people. When applied to everyone, the interest in equality is often replaced by an interest in tolerance.
Oddly enough, I feel sorry for this disgruntled student - although I’m glad he helped everyone better understand the liberal mindset. But he should not have had to wait until the end of the semester to express his hatred. So I’m coming to the rescue with a new plan than will help angry liberals (please pardon the redundancy) while earning me money for guns, cigars, guitars, and ammunition.
My plan is pure genius. It’s the new “I Hate Mike Adams” t-shirt, which will be available in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes. This new t-shirt will be sold at all of my speeches under the following variable pricing scheme:
$12 for conservatives
$15 for liberals
$20 for feminists
$50 for homosexual rights activists
My reasoning for variable pricing is simply that some groups are angrier than others and will get more benefit from expressing their hatred. So, naturally, they should have to pay more. If you are a liberal, feminist, or homosexual activist who is taking one of my courses then feel free to wear it to class.
The “I Hate Mike Adams” t-shirt will replace the need for anonymous hate speech on RateMyProfessors.com. Everyone can come out of the closet at once and start contributing to my early retirement. And that’s a cause that both Mike Adams and his haters can get behind!
Australia: Must not re-enact history?
The British Raj is part of Indian history and in my experience Indians are more likely to be amused by it -- particularly by British eccentricities -- than anything else. And since the Indians attending the function below thought it was fun one has to conclude that only sourpusses are complaining about it
A colonial-themed event at a university has resurrected an uneasy past. The dress code on the invitation "white tie or colonial uniform" seemed innocent enough. College students arrived at St Paul's great hall dressed in immaculate black dinner suits with matching white handkerchiefs.
They were met by a team of Indian and south Asian waiters, dressed in colourful traditional cultural garments and college students dressed in formal attire, who served them Indian delicacies and curries.
It was St Paul's yearly "upscale" dinner. This time the theme was "end of the British Raj".
But within days of the grand event, ideological war broke out at the University of Sydney over whether the elite college, which is no stranger to controversy, was basking in the glory of colonialism and slavery. Before long, vicious vitriol began ricocheting across Facebook.
"I am Indian and I used to go to college. My relatives suffered in colonial India. This theme offended me and brought me to the brink of tears," one female student wrote.
"Please, can you all come to our next party? It's Mexican themed, and we'll be celebrating all the abductions and beheadings you can poke a stick at," a student responded.
"I have this turban and - what luck! - it's just your size," another provoked.
Had it not been a letter to the student newspaper, Honi Soit, from an outraged arts student, Mason McCann, the white tie event may have gone unnoticed.
"I do not think the party was a celebration of Indian culture, it was a celebration of imperialism," Mr McCann told The Sun-Herald.
"The party demonstrates a serious deep disconnect between the culture of St Paul's and the culture of the University of Sydney. I am deeply offended by it. "They have a responsibility as a prestigious and old institution to project a positive public image to both the other students and the public, and I think that party succeeded in doing just the opposite of that."
In response to Mr McCann's letter which was published in full, Hugo Rourke from St Paul's, who as senior student speaks on behalf of his peers, wrote to Honi Soit to justify the party. "It was a successful event, held in good taste and enjoyed by attendees and employees alike," he wrote, seemingly shocked that the event would cause such uproar.
The catering company for the event, Sodexo, were similarly taken aback by the suggestion their workers had been forced to don cultural garb.
Its state manager, Ram Devagiri, said his staff, who all have a south Asian backgrounds and work at the college full-time serving three meals a day, were having an "absolute ball" at the party and had become "annoyed" at the insinuation there were racial undertones at play. "They are not happy that they are being dragged through this, because they actually had a great time that evening," he said.
"We didn't go out looking for a couple of Indian-looking blokes and bring them in. They work there all the time."
But when it was revealed that Mr Rourke's published response had been edited, the debate shifted to Facebook and racial vilification was exposed.
"If you can find me anyone of Indian heritage who was at all offended by the evening at St. Paul's for (Jazz Dinner Dance) I'd be astounded," one flabbergasted St Paul's student wrote.
"That's it, ban ALL the upscale parties!!" another wrote.
On Wednesday, the Student Representative Council passed a motion condemning the themed party by writing a letter to the college's spokesman, the warden, Dr Ivan Head, asking for an explanation.
"The meeting was very controversial, there was a lot of debate about it," said SRC welfare officer Rafi Alam. "Most of the people who said it wasn't racist were white people who go to college or have friends in college, but the non-whites were quite upset about it," Mr Alam said, who has a Bangladeshi background.
It is understood that a handful of students boycotted the dinner.
Mr Alam said the party proved that "racial subtext" existed at the university.
When The Sun- Herald contacted Mr Rourke, he "had nothing to say on the matter". The warden, Dr Head, did not return calls.
Does the St Paul's party constitute discrimination? The president of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, Stepan Kerkyasharian, said that as long as there was no insistence that only people from the Indian subcontinent could serve as waiters, then what happened at the St Paul's function "would not be discrimination".
Re-enacting a period in history like the British Raj "may offend some people but I don't think the act itself constitutes discrimination or vilification".
"I think if [re-enactment] is done accurately and in good faith and the re-enactment itself is not offensive, is not intended to vilify and is not discriminatory, then one has to accept the historical reality," Mr Kerkyasharian said.
"If the message here was, 'Look, Indians are slaves … or Indians are only good as waiters' I would find that objectionable.
"But if the intent was to create this historical imagery … I wouldn't see that as deliberately derogatory or deliberate vilification of people of an Indian background," Mr Kerkyasharian said.
The popularity of re-enactment is growing and the Australasian Living History Federation now boasts 85 member organisations that specialise in eras ranging from the ancient to the medieval, Napoleonic, Victorian, US Civil War, colonial Australia and the two world wars.
The federation's secretary, Jessica Robinson, said some re-enactments had caused anger and those with particular potential to offend included the US Civil War, the world wars, the Crusades and colonial Australia.
But she is adamant that, when done sensitively, they can all be re-enacted without the performances in any way glorifying slavery, Nazism, religious hatred or the conquest of Aboriginal people.
"Our main rule is that we don't want re-enactment to be a vehicle for any kind of political ideology that someone is trying to force through in the modern era," Ms Robinson said.
Jeff Yuille is a corporal in the 2nd Virginia Living History Group, which celebrates the Confederate regiment of the same name that fought for the South in the US Civil War. Its members dress in period costume, camp out, eat period food and sometimes stage mock battles against other living history groups representing Union soldiers from the North.
Although some believe any celebration of the Confederacy is a de facto celebration of slavery and racism, Mr Yuille said his group had never experienced any protests.
Criticism of the British Raj function, he said, sounded like "political correctness gone mad" and only represented the view of a "crazy minority". "They are reliving history," he said of the event.
Stephen Gapps is a historian and curator at the National Maritime Museum who conducted his PhD thesis on the history of historical re-enactment. "I think some events are difficult to re-enact because of the long memories of the terrible events, particularly colonial [Australian] stuff and the US Civil War," he said. "Some things should not be re-enacted, like events from the Holocaust," Dr Gapps added.
But he believes that if controversial topics are tackled with authenticity and sensitivity and "get people from both arguments involved in the beginning", they can be cathartic rather than divisive.
Dr Gapps said Colonial Williamsburg, an American historical theme park, represented an 18th-century landscape where slavery was common, but previously "hardly any elements of the presentation dealt with slavery".
It was decided to get black Americans involved in recreating a slave auction - a move that attracted hundreds of protesters - but they walked away from the performance saying "it was fantastic and it showed the humanity of the situation".
Holding a British Raj dinner was "fraught with danger", said Dr Gapps, because Sydney has a big sub-continental population, so it had to be approached carefully.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). 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.