Blame Canada

by Belle Waring on November 14, 2006

If the incoming populist Democrats would only slap a softwood-style tariff on foreign pundits, we would be spared much suffering. Plain People of the Internet, I give you Mark Steyn, on why weak-willed women are leading the West down the path to Eurabia:


I heard it anecdotally from two friends in the space of a week…You wear the head scarf and a head to toe dress or you’re not showing bare legs, bare arms, uncovered hair. They were stunned at how much more relaxing it was to stroll across the park, stroll to the corner store. They suddenly felt far more secure, they felt far more safe, they weren’t jeered at for being an infidel whore or anything – and I would imagine that, you know, it’s not actually that big a stage from sort of passing for Muslim in the street to actually embracing it in some kind of way of residual way at least nominally for the advantages of a quiet life.

That’s why they do it. I mean, I was told by some French guy that 4 out of 5 converts in Islam in Europe, to Islam, are women. I don’t know what basis he produced that statistic. When I talk to people, they don’t actually disagree with it if you ask around. [Fact-esque!—Belle]

It gets way better below the fold.

I get the feeling here without wishing to be any more homophobic than I’m normally accused of, but in my part of country, almost every lesbian you run across tends to be someone who’s just been in a couple of really bad marriages and despaired of men and I notice that in Europe, a sort of similar trend is that women who have been in a couple of bad marriages with western men basically embrace Islam as a way of, you know—and again, whether it’s your sort of boorish English soccer lout or your kind of sweet, you know, new male that, “I’ll do the ironing, darling” type, that it does seem that the women up here in the north country embrace lesbianism just as a kind of general weariness with the available range of males. So I noticed that there’s something similar with the women in Islam in France and Belgium. (laughs)

Yep, that’s what turns women gay, all right, bad marriages. Older gay women never have bad marriages in their past because they were, you know, gay and closeted. Nor does anyone ever just plain turn out gay, at least not in Vermont where Steyn now lives. And those same insidious forces that turn women gay, such as not getting enough good lovin’ from the right man, are working in Europe to turn women…into Muslims! (Gay Muslims?) I suspect feminism is to blame for the neutered “I’ll do the ironing” types. Women! They say they want a sensitive man, and then when they have one they realize he’s not up to the job and then they just stop breeding and go and convert to Islam. Bitches.

It’s a refreshing frappe of ignorance, suspicion, and homophobia topped with whipped misogyny and dusted with grated stupid! Read the whole interview, which manages to tie together anti-feminist concerns about how white women aren’t “breeding” properly, pants-pissing fear of Muslim people, dark insinuations that Quebec is responsible for Canada’s sitting out the great adventure that is the war in Iraq, and concern about bilingualism in America! Did you know they put Spanish instructions as well as English ones on a payphone in Burlington, Vermont even though there are only “7 Hispanics in the whole of Vermont”? Some French guy told him that.

Bonus “oh God we’re so fucked” point: Steyn met “the President in the Oval Office a few days ago and he asked me to sign the book for him and I gather it’s now on his bedside table.”

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11.14.06 at 9:48 pm

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1

Uncle Kvetch 11.14.06 at 9:52 am

It’s a refreshing frappe of ignorance, suspicion, and homophobia topped with whipped misogyny and dusted with grated stupid!

Thank you so much for this, Belle…you just made my day.

Read the whole interview

Um…I’ll take your word for it, thanks anyway.

2

john c. halasz 11.14.06 at 10:22 am

Well, it’s true that you scarcely see any Hispanics here in Vermont. That’s because they’re working 7/52 on the dairy farms, hiding out from la Migra.

3

paul 11.14.06 at 10:43 am

Is this just misogyny, or perhaps also misandry and self-hate mixed with pathetically ignorant homoerotic racism? Just what is it about those upstanding, virile yet non-loutish muslim men that leads european women, in Steyn’s fevered imagination, to flock to them?

Of course for Steyn it’s all about the men (because women couldn’t possibly decide their attractions or their creeds by themselves). But in particular this seems to be an updated version of the old “Big Black Bucks are Defiling our Pure White Women (because we Pasty-Faced Couch Potatoes Just Can’t Compete).”

4

Aidan Kehoe 11.14.06 at 10:56 am

Is this just misogyny, or perhaps also misandry and self-hate mixed with pathetically ignorant homoerotic racism? Just what is it about those upstanding, virile yet non-loutish muslim men that leads european women, in Steyn’s fevered imagination, to flock to them?

I doubt strongly that he believes a whit of what he’s saying. He managed to get people’s attention and lots of writing gigs by selling that sort of stupidity to people who seem to have never met a Muslim or a European in their life, so why not mine that seam of ignorant fear for all he can?

5

David W. 11.14.06 at 11:10 am

Shorter Mark Steyn: “Come poop with me!”

6

herr ziffer 11.14.06 at 11:12 am

Out of curiosity, do you guys ever actually discuss philosophy on this blog, or is it mostly bitching about other people’s blogs.

It’s not that you owe me anything, but the internet doesn’t really need another DailyKos, does it? I started subscribing to this blog because it has philosophy prominently displayed in its discription, but I have yet to read anything about Kant, Hegel, Plato or Aristotle around here.

And again, don’t get me wrong – I’m sounding like some NPR listener calling in to say they won’t listen anymore after hearing some story that offended them. Who cares, right?

But did this blog used to have more philosophy? Did it at least have philosophical gossip (have you heard what happened at Yale Philosophy? stuff like that) or, if necessary, how would Cassirer view the role of the enlightenment tradition in the execution of the occupation of Baghdad.

Was it ever anything like that? I ask out of curiosity. It must certainly be difficult to maintain a blog at that level, and the tendency toward devolution is a compelling force.

7

Brendan 11.14.06 at 11:22 am

Incidentally, whereas Mark Steyn can occasionally be at least vaguely (if inadvertantly) amusing (I seem to remember somewhere him blaming the rise of ‘Islamism’ on the prevalence of lesbianism in the West…since the girls like to be with the girls, the horny boys have no choice but to get bitter and crash phallic airliners into the aptly named ‘twin towers’ (as in, ‘Dolly Parton has a great pair of….’). So really it’s all Germaine Greer’s fault).

But some of his followers aren’t nearly so funny. Here’s some quotes (linked, approvingly, from Steyn’s website) to a site reviewing his book.

‘In his compelling new book, America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It, conservative commentator extraordinaire Mark Steyn analyzes the current state of the “clash of civilizations” (in Samuel P. Huntington’s much-used phrase) between Islam and the West. Steyn focuses on the demographic, cultural, and political forces that are rapidly moving Europe towards an Islamified future, and the United States towards a lonely position as the only western country with the size and strength to withstand the Islamic onslaught….Unfortunately, like so many other conservative commentators who take a hard line in the present “war on terror,” Steyn does not come out and say what he surely must mean – which is that Islam itself is the enemy….Islam [...] is a totalitarian political ideology, akin to communism, that is fundamentally inconsistent with Western understandings of individual freedom, sexual equality, material prosperity, and representative government, not to mention our Judeo-Christian heritage….Yet after spending page after page highlighting the demographic disaster that awaits Europe (and to a much lesser extent the United States), Steyn fails to state the logical conclusion, which is that Muslim immigration must be stopped. Period…. Indeed, in the context of our conflict with Islam, it is difficult to conceive of anything less than a full-blown resurgence of American and European nationalism being sufficient to hold off the Islamification (or dhimmification) of much of the West….With any significant resurgence of nationalism, however, will come, inevitably, ethnic and religious chauvinism. While such chauvinism does not have to devolve into murderous fascism, it will result in a less tolerant and accommodating attitude towards foreigners.’ (Note: the author makes clear that this is a good thing). (italics added)

‘ethnic and religious chauvinism is at the heart of the “civilizational confidence” that Steyn rightly ascribes to the Muslim world…Steyn then goes on to recount his favorite anecdote about a British general in colonial India who, when faced with the traditional Hindu practice of “suttee” – the burning of widows on the funeral pyres of their dead husbands – told his Indian subjects:

“You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”

For Steyn, this is the quintessential example of Western “will” that we need to emulate today. But if this isn’t a call for more killing in the service of Western values, I don’t know what it is.’ (note: the author again makes clear that (even) more killing in the name of Western values is necessary, inevitable, and desirable).

8

Rasselas 11.14.06 at 11:40 am

Philosophy is the craft of thinking slowly; blogging, the racket of opining quickly.

9

Rasselas 11.14.06 at 11:49 am

For the benefit of the unironic, I was.

10

Martin Bento 11.14.06 at 11:56 am

Maybe we need a name for a new genre here: writing that is indistinguishable from a parody of itself. There’s something recursive about that. I know it’s now somewhat standard to say the wingers have made satire obsolete, but it in a way they haven’t; they’ve just made it a trick of the light. Read this aloud in one voice, it’s wingerism; in another, it’s the psycho monologue from a “hip” midnight movie.

11

kvenlander 11.14.06 at 12:04 pm

Wow. CT hits the trifecta: Hitchens, Tacky, and Steyn in a row. I don’t think my constitution is strong enough to read all three this morning.

Thanks, I guess.

12

abb1 11.14.06 at 12:08 pm

…but I have yet to read anything about Kant, Hegel, Plato or Aristotle around here.

Yeah, thankfully it’s more like Voltaire than Aristotle.

13

Eszter 11.14.06 at 12:13 pm

Herr Ziffer – We haven’t yet set up an email address for request of refunds by unsatisfied customers. We’ll let you know once we get around to it.

Thanks for this, Belle!

14

raj 11.14.06 at 12:16 pm

As far as I can tell, the idiot Steyn came to prominence as being a columnist for con-man Conrad Black’s National Post. Why anyone takes Steyn seriously is a mystery to me.

15

Alejandro 11.14.06 at 12:16 pm

What Martin Bento asks for already exists in the slightly dfferent context of online debates on Creationism and other varietes of Fundamentalism. It is called Poe’s Law (for a certain Nathan Poe, unrelated to Edgar) and states:

“Without the use of a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to make a parody of Fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.”

There used to be a Wikipedia entry, but it has been deleted. The cache is here.

16

John Emerson 11.14.06 at 12:19 pm

Herr Ziffer, http://www.idiocentrism.com is the world’s prime philosophy blog.

17

dave heasman 11.14.06 at 12:39 pm

“As far as I can tell, the idiot Steyn came to prominence as being a columnist for con-man Conrad Black’s National Post”

I remember him as a very knowledgeable reviewer of the musical theatre.
“Why anyone takes Steyn seriously is a mystery to me.”
He really did know those onions. Politics, demography, the difference between (invented?) anecdote, data and information not so much.

18

David Weman 11.14.06 at 12:41 pm

19

Barry 11.14.06 at 1:00 pm

Paul: “Of course for Steyn it’s all about the men (because women couldn’t possibly decide their attractions or their creeds by themselves). But in particular this seems to be an updated version of the old “Big Black Bucks are Defiling our Pure White Women (because we Pasty-Faced Couch Potatoes Just Can’t Compete).” “

In other words, like the rest of the neo-conment, Steyn doesn’t even come up with his own lies.

20

Matt S 11.14.06 at 1:01 pm

Steyn is a more prominent version of James Lileks: cute and clever prose covering frightening reactionary political views.

21

Barry 11.14.06 at 1:07 pm

sorry, ‘neo-conmen’.

22

Walt 11.14.06 at 1:15 pm

Herr Ziffer: I’ve been reading since Day 1, and it’s mostly politics. Which from my point of view is good, since I’d rather stick a fork in my eye than discuss Aristotle.

23

bob mcmanus 11.14.06 at 1:17 pm

“and I gather it’s now on his bedside table.”

Aw Gawd these fascists are just so funny!

No use permitting
some prophet of doom
To wipe every smile away.
Come hear the music play.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret!

24

ajay 11.14.06 at 1:44 pm

I love his predictions on “a couple of countries [in Europe] in civil war in 20 years’ time”. Do tell more!

Actually, I can think of a few reasonable possibilities. Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Macedonia, Albania, Armenia, Bosnia – none of them inevitable, or even more likely than not, but all of them non-ludicrous.

But I don’t think that’s what he’s talking about…

25

ajay 11.14.06 at 1:45 pm

And one more thing – it looks really, really bad for an American to be blaming other countries for producing too many right-wing nutcase pundits. It’s like an Australian complaining that Canada has too many beer-drinking cricket obsessives.

26

Barry 11.14.06 at 2:19 pm

Ajay, what us USA-ains are b*tching about is that we have too many of our own, homegrown whackjobs. We don’t need more. Let’s have every country export them to Iraq.

27

Fitz 11.14.06 at 2:40 pm

“It’s a refreshing frappe of ignorance, suspicion, and homophobia topped with whipped misogyny and dusted with grated stupid! Read the whole interview, which manages to tie together anti-feminist concerns about how white women aren’t “breeding” properly, pants-pissing fear of Muslim people,”

Except demographics is destiny. The facts are in; we know what “modernity” leads to as far as birth rates in Europe. This connects (naturally) to everything from marriage, to women’s rights, to careerism, to homosexuality.

One has to be able to look at it as a comprehensive whole. Apparently Mark is making an attempt (one you laugh at).

The cultural left on the other hand can only look at the wreckage of its own sexual revolution… and continue to make mock any one who challenges its premises.

28

Walt 11.14.06 at 2:51 pm

We laugh at it because it’s funny. If it wasn’t funny, there wouldn’t be any laughing.

29

Fitz 11.14.06 at 3:08 pm

Perhaps laughter is preferable to taking the man seriously?

30

Kevin 11.14.06 at 3:09 pm

Comment 17: I remember him as a very knowledgeable reviewer of the musical theatre.

That he was, which would probably explain all his sabre-rattling – massive overcompensation. If I recall correctly, his book on musical theatre actually includes a chapter titled “The Fags”, the further to establish his manly credentials. You know, he’s not that way or anything, he just enjoys a good night of theatre.

That said, I think I’m going to start referring to him as “alleged heterosexual, Mark Steyn”.

31

Steve LaBonne 11.14.06 at 3:16 pm

Perhaps laughter is preferable to taking the man seriously?

In Steyn’s case (in addition to his other stupidities the man is an “Intelligent” Design sympathizer and a climate denialist), only the former option is even possible.

32

Fitz 11.14.06 at 3:23 pm

This is all to vulgar and common place, you dismiss the man (the way the left always does) by calling him names, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobic, racist… and even go as far as calling him a closeted homosexual (or is that what homophobic really means).

Meanwhile his observations are backed by solid fact. European countries have birthrates averaging 1.6, a society that does not reproduce itself is a dying society.

When will the cultural left actually have the courage to critique its own society. When will this infantile counterculture and obsession with disregarding authority blow over and make way for clearer thinking?

33

Fitz 11.14.06 at 3:40 pm

“What’s the Muslim population of Rotterdam? Forty percent. What’s the most popular baby boy’s name in Belgium? Mohammed. In Amsterdam? Mohammed. In Malmo, Sweden? Mohammed. By 2005, it was the fifth most popular boy’s name in the United Kingdom.”

34

georgiana 11.14.06 at 3:44 pm

Um. How come the US in your argument = Europe? If you want serious, then tell me exactly why US is the same as Europe? And in what way are US policies like the Low Countries (a fairly small portion of Europe)? And how is Jacques Chirac is a left anything? Uh. Tony Blair may be Labor, but his foreign policy resembles Mr. Bush’s, who I believe is considered right-of-center. And, at last check the US of A ushered in its 300 millionth resident. Not exactly a sign of population loss. Now, Russia on the other hand is in the midst of a serious and difficult to undo population decline. Now there’s a demographic problem. What does any of this have to do with the cultural left and authority?

35

Steve LaBonne 11.14.06 at 3:49 pm

Poor fitz, like other sex-obsessed wingers, clearly just isn’t getting any. I suggest that he consider showering before heading for the bar. Moving out of his mother’s basement would no doubt help as well.

36

Fitz 11.14.06 at 3:53 pm

“What does any of this have to do with the cultural left and authority?”

Its inability to posit a sexual ethic, value life, affirm marriage, relax feminists quest for statistical parity…

Generally the entire sexual revolution,( feminist revolution, divorce revolution, gay revolution)

We could be having these important conversations in our Universities…but the cultural left is so pre-eminent — they wont allow it.

Psychologists consider self preservation a determiner of a healthy mind.

Civilizational despair and an inability to stand up to thug-ery (Danish cartoons ect.) Multiculturalism (just read above)

All denote a profound inability to define ourselves confidently.

(just read the responses above)

37

Steve LaBonne 11.14.06 at 3:56 pm

I have tons of confidence, fitz. Seems to be quite some projection going on here. Don’t worry, you can come out from under the bed now, the scary brown people and nasty fenminists won’t hurt you.

38

David W. 11.14.06 at 3:56 pm

Fitz the Concern Troll writes:

“… By 2005, it [Mohammed] was the fifth most popular boy’s name in the United Kingdom.”

Wrong:

Top 100 names for baby boys in England and Wales

In 2005, Mohammed comes in at #23.

39

georgiana 11.14.06 at 3:59 pm

My apologies for encouraging the thread hijacking.

And one more voice that just loved

It’s a refreshing frappe of ignorance, suspicion, and homophobia topped with whipped misogyny and dusted with grated stupid!

. I nearly spit my coffee out reading it.

40

Fitz 11.14.06 at 4:08 pm

Yes, as stated…name calling.. Questioning ones sexuality.. Anything but confront the argument.

And the
“you need to get laid” approach…genius (Just exactly how much sex should I be getting? with who? Anybody?)

Take one look at cable T.V. or a News stand : and ask yourselves..
Who is more “sex obsessed” – the cultural right or popular culture?
Feminism a=has been a profoundly powerful cultural force, I love when they need to paint themselves as non-existent wall flowers in order to escape scrutiny.

I submit: We as a people; have yet to honestly confront the sexual revolution.

41

Steve LaBonne 11.14.06 at 4:14 pm

david w.’s comment should be a hint that you need to get your facts straight before going on blathering. Meanwhile Belle has given the “argument” all the confrontation it deserves, and aptly summarized it in the sentence that gave georgiana her close call with coffee-spewing. For those of us who don’t live in our mother’s basements and who have some contact with the real world, there’s really nothing else to say. So you might want to take your act to a winger blog where you’ll get lots more positive reinforcement from your fellow mental cases.

42

Glorious Godfrey 11.14.06 at 4:18 pm

Oh, how very typical: you’ll just pile on fitz for ripping to shreds the lies you comfort each other with. Nothing brings out the viciousness in a liberal faster than harsh realities. Anything that disagrees with your soppy “feel-good” and “togetherness” cultism.

Europe is a dying, weimarized place, torn between the amoral relativism of Foucault and his ilk (the pig wrote about the “prodigious jubilation” of 9/11 and the “insufferable superpower”) and the Panglosianism of the “welfare” state on one hand and Mahometan aggression and prolificacy on the other. China is resurgent. Africa is not helping.

The dark ages are bearing down on us again and you go on about carbon emissions and how smashing it was to live in the DDR. It’s pathetic.

America remains the only beacon of hope. If Hillary wins in ’08, all is lost.

But that’s what you elitist types are rooting for anyway, eh?

43

novakant 11.14.06 at 4:20 pm

Here’s another vote for more philosophy, both as far as content and style are concerned. Why should we waste our time bitching about right-wing nutcases? Anyways, I enjoyed the few times there actually ensued a philosphical argument, but maybe I’m suffering from withdrawal syndroms, while those still in academia are in turn bored to death with such stuff.

44

Glorious Godfrey 11.14.06 at 4:23 pm

And, for the record, fitz is totally right on that “sexual revolution” business.

Nobody needs to “get laid”.

45

abb1 11.14.06 at 4:23 pm

What’s short for ‘Mohammed’ – ‘Mo’? Then, I’m afraid, it’s as American as apple pie.

46

Fitz 11.14.06 at 4:23 pm

“For those of us who don’t live in our mother’s basements and who have some contact with the real world, there’s really nothing else to say. So you might want to take your act to a winger blog where you’ll get lots more positive reinforcement from your fellow mental cases.”

Real World? Basement? Mental Cases?

This is what passes for an argument here?

Ok Real world aficionados,
What the illegitimacy rate among the Underclass?

What’s the Moynihan Report? What was the rate then? What is it Now?

Is it all snark and no substance around here?

47

Steve LaBonne 11.14.06 at 4:25 pm

I too always enjoy the philosophy posts. Like a lot of scientists I have a (hopelessly) amateur interest in the philosophy of science, and I always learn something of interest from CT posts in any area of analytical philosophy. (Also they get me to shut up since I’m hopelessly unqualified to contribute to the discussions. ;) )

48

Fitz 11.14.06 at 4:29 pm

Rock on Steve-O

I got a Bachelors in philosophy before I got a Law degree..

Who’s arguing Philosophy ( I guess you would rather)

Me and Mark Stein are arguing the profound demographic changes in Europe (unparallel since the bubonic plague)

Tell me to go get laid.

49

MQ 11.14.06 at 4:31 pm

The habit of close attention to right-wing nutcases was established over a period when they appeared to rule the world. That period hopefully ended last Tuesday, so perhaps this is a bit of a hangover. Still, they are fun to make fun of.

Steyn is batshit crazy, but IMO there is a good case for Europe banning or at least greatly reducing Muslim immigration. I do think that the “bien-pensant” left refuses to take seriously the problems created by immigration, probably because of a reluctance to properly value nationalism and the nation-state. Which like all major institutions, is both the root of human evil and the only usable vehicle for addressing it.

50

MQ 11.14.06 at 4:33 pm

Let me rewrite the last sentence: “Which like all mass institutions, is both a vehicle for expressing human evil and a critical tool with which to address it”.

51

BruceR 11.14.06 at 4:35 pm

Small correction: Steyn lives in New Hampshire, not Vermont. He does frequently make fun of Vermont, however.

52

Glorious Godfrey 11.14.06 at 4:36 pm

>>>>Me and Mark Stein are arguing the profound demographic changes in Europe (unparallel since the bubonic plague)

Yeah, I’ve heard of that one. That was in London about the time of the Wars of Religion, wasn’t it?

Because that’s what’s in the works for Europe, boys and gals: a war of religions. Secularists (who are bigger fanatics than mullahs) vs. Islamofascists.

53

Fitz 11.14.06 at 4:37 pm

Steyn is batshit crazy, Is that a clinical diagnosis doctor?

“ but IMO there is a good case for Europe banning or at least greatly reducing Muslim immigration. I do think that the “bien-pensant” left refuses to take seriously the problems created by immigration, probably because of a reluctance to properly value nationalism and the nation-state.”

Gosh…an intelligent comment that at least gives some credence to civilizational basics like the ability (i.e. – moral authority) to control ones own borders.

To bad capitalism is built on a growth model & Frenchmen are not reproducing themselves enough to ensure even their anemic growth rates.

54

BruceR 11.14.06 at 4:39 pm

Also, it’s unquestionable that public opposition to the Iraq war in 2003 was significantly stronger in Quebec than in the rest of Canada, and that Quebec public opposition has been a significant complication in the Canadian prosecution of wars several times previously. You should have given him that one.

55

Glorious Godfrey 11.14.06 at 4:41 pm

Too rigth, fitz! And if you discount the Arabs, who are doing all the growing, you’ll find that the Frenchmen are growing in the negative.

56

Michael Sullivan 11.14.06 at 4:42 pm

All comments from #33/fitz:

What’s the Muslim population of Rotterdam? Forty percent.

Maybe, though I can’t find a source that says so. Most figures on the web seem to suggest that 40% of Rotterdam is foreign born. I doubt they’re all Muslims.

Regardless, it’s a deceptive figure. Rotterdam is a large port with a very large immigrant population. The Netherlands as a whole has a Muslim population comprising 6.1% of its population. (Source: Wikipedia, reporting from the Dutch census bureau)

What’s the most popular baby boy’s name in Belgium? Mohammed.

Not according to the Belgian government, which puts Mohamed at #11 in 2004.

In Amsterdam? Mohammed. In Malmo, Sweden? Mohammed.

Where in the world would you be getting per-city baby names, and why would they have any relevence to anything? Anyhow, Mohammed and variants don’t break the top 20 in the Netherlands as a whole or Sweden as a whole.

By 2005, it was the fifth most popular boy’s name in the United Kingdom.

And this has already been disposed of. Do you want to cite some sources? Because it looks to me like literally everything you said in that post is untrue.

57

anon 11.14.06 at 4:44 pm

“I was told by some French guy that 4 out of 5 converts in Islam in Europe, to Islam, are women… When I talk to people, they don’t actually disagree with it… women who have been in a couple of bad marriages with western men basically embrace Islam”

I hate to ask, but the real reason for this is circumcision, isn’t it?

I know someone whose family converted to Islam when he was 15-16 and basically got peer-pressured into it. I realise there are varying interpretations of what’s required supported by various sects, but there are reasons why men convert less than women and people in a dependent position may not really get to make an independent choice of what to do.

My mum once fell in with the wrong crowd and took me to an evangelical meeting, I got out okay, but when conversion is tied up with surgery and stuff it makes me quite uncomfortable.

58

georgiana 11.14.06 at 4:44 pm

MQ

Would you kindly do the courtesy of recognizing that individual countries have immigration policies. Is Italy facing the same issues as Spain and France are? For example Spain has a very similar problem to the US: geographic proximity to a much poorer region, whose inhabitants are willing to risk their lives to immigrate, legally or not, as a real chance of improving their lives. Perhaps we should be discussing the international regimes and consequences that drive those immigration trends? Also some of the immigration problems in Europe derive from problems of integration. The Americas (not just the US) offer some lessons in what (not) to do in absorbing diverse cultures. Are any of these useful to Europe, particularly in forming new ideas of national identity that do not depend on ethnic identity?

In other words a ban or limits may be wise, but only in the context of larger policy issues. By itself, a ban won’t work.

59

Glorious Godfrey 11.14.06 at 4:48 pm

>>>>I hate to ask, but the real reason for this is circumcision, isn’t it?

It just showcases the extent of self-hatred among liberal women after sexual revolutions: they’ll become Muslims to get their clitorises cut to pieces.

60

David W. 11.14.06 at 4:57 pm

brucer, here’s what Steyn said about bilingualism:

Anyway, you don’t have to look very far to understand that bilingualism, in particular, is very destabilizing. You just look north of the border to Quebec. The reason there are no Canadian troops in Iraq is because French-speaking Quebec took a different view from English speaking Canada on that and the French speakers prevailed. That’s the point. It becomes very difficult to have a shared culture, even a shared world view, if you’re in a bilingual society.

Which is why France and Germany were both opposed to the Iraq War of course, because neither is populated by English speakers! ;o)

61

Brendan 11.14.06 at 4:59 pm

Hey Fitz man….’ European countries have birthrates averaging 1.6, a society that does not reproduce itself is a dying society.’…And what is the birthrate in China? Is that a ‘dying society’?

[Incidentally I want to have this thread frozen so that when I am an old man in 50 years time, and the New Great Threat to the West is India and Not Really All That Communist Any More China, I can use it in the debates about why the Chinese are taking over because of their…er…terrifyingly low birth rate. Or something).

62

Steve LaBonne 11.14.06 at 5:09 pm

And it’s not just that the Quebecois speak French- they also eat poutine, which is full of… cheese! No accident, eh? My god, Steyn has some brilliant insights.

63

Glorious Godfrey 11.14.06 at 5:10 pm

>>>>>It becomes very difficult to have a shared culture, even a shared world view, if you’re in a bilingual society.

Which is why France and Germany were both opposed to the Iraq War of course, because neither is populated by English speakers!

Haha. Yer funny.

But you know what? Germany is bilingual or trilingual too. They have Danes, Frisians and even Sorbs in there too.

Anyway. Bilingualism, French lingualism, socialism… it’s all grist to the mill of the Islamofascists.

64

Doctor Slack 11.14.06 at 5:19 pm

Damn, even by Steyn standards that’s hilariously bad.

MQ: I do think that the “bien-pensant” left refuses to take seriously the problems created by immigration, probably because of a reluctance to properly value nationalism and the nation-state.

I think The Left(tm) rightly refuses to take seriously the same old crappy arguments about the problems created by immigration, because they almost invariably turn out to be thinly-veiled racist garbage. I’ve lost count of the number of times this or that immigrant group was supposed to have “swamped” civilization by now; the only apparent innovation of the “Eurabia” meme is that it adds to the usual stew of fear-mongering and dishonesty the basic inaccuracy of lumping French-born Muslims in with “immigrants.”

I’m loving fitz, though. Extra Clash of Civilizations crazy-points for the shuddering reference to “Dutch cartoons,” because what kind of world are we living in when Jyllands-Posten can’t engage in some good old-fashioned hypocritical race-baiting? Keep fighting the good fight, dude.

65

Glorious Godfrey 11.14.06 at 5:59 pm

>>>>>I think The Left™ rightly refuses to take seriously the same old crappy arguments about the problems created by immigration, because they almost invariably turn out to be thinly-veiled racist garbage. I’ve lost count of the number of times this or that immigrant group was supposed to have “swamped” civilization by now;

Oh yeah, the racism gambit. Well, if you are unable to see the damage that immigration has already wrought on the fabric of society, I think that nothing can be done for you. I guess you took one too many woman studies/chick lit courses back in academia…

>>>>the only apparent innovation of the “Eurabia” meme is that it adds to the usual stew of fear-mongering and dishonesty the basic inaccuracy of lumping French-born Muslims in with “immigrants.”

The only “innovation” is that the Islamofascists are taking the perverse logic of integration denialism to a whole new level, that´s the size of it. Capice?

>>>>I’m loving fitz, though. Extra Clash of Civilizations crazy-points for the shuddering reference to “Dutch cartoons,” because what kind of world are we living in when Jyllands-Posten can’t engage in some good old-fashioned hypocritical race-baiting? Keep fighting the good fight, dude.

Yeah, Derrida forbid that a newspaper points out the obvious…

66

John Emerson 11.14.06 at 6:41 pm

Look at Switzerland. Two religions, four official languages, and they haven’t invaded anyone for centuries.

67

John Emerson 11.14.06 at 6:44 pm

The good Dutch cartoon is “Fokke & Sukke”. They have an English version: “Duck & Birdie”. (The original name scares Americans.)

Duck & Birdie

68

~~~~ 11.14.06 at 7:04 pm

“The original name scares Americans”

It’s just a variation on Suske and Wiske

69

Say No to Steyn 11.14.06 at 7:08 pm

Oh…Steyn. Dull as dishwater, even when it comes to his home and native frozen wasteland. Opposition to the Iraq invasion was overwhelmingly strong in French Canada (which isn’t just Quebec), which constitutes roughly 30% of the Canadian population. Support for the invasion in English Canada never got much better than 50% and declined quickly by the summer of 2003 when maudlin triumphalism started hinting at…quagmire. The only Canadians who strongly supported it for any length of time (and who abandoned it last year some time) were the rightwingers like…well, Steyn.

70

josh 11.14.06 at 7:21 pm

Thanks for this, Belle. Friends keep telling me that Steyn’s worth reading, and I feel that — no matter how unhinged he seemed the last time I gave it a try — I ought to give him another chance. I now feel that I can give up that struggle.
He’s really like Derbyshire without the charm, isn’t he?

71

Chris Baldwin 11.14.06 at 7:33 pm

‘“What’s the Muslim population of Rotterdam? Forty percent. What’s the most popular baby boy’s name in Belgium? Mohammed. In Amsterdam? Mohammed. In Malmo, Sweden? Mohammed. By 2005, it was the fifth most popular boy’s name in the United Kingdom.”’ – Fitz

Tosser.

72

Tim 11.14.06 at 7:59 pm

Here’s another vote for more philosophy and fewer left/right flame wars.

73

Walt 11.14.06 at 8:31 pm

Fitz: What’s the point in arguing with you? Some people are just stupid, and no amount of arguing with them will do any good. We can’t explain calculus to a cat, electromagnetism to an eel, and the meaning of racism to you. Insults are all we have left. Like most dumb people, you’re too dumb to know that you’re dumb. I realize that seeing a stupid person like George Bush in the White House was good for your self-esteem, but those days are over now. You and Mark Steyn and the rest of your Eurabia-loving crowd have officially joined the Mensheviks on the dustbin of history.

74

no sorrow here 11.14.06 at 8:48 pm

#65 should ring a bell for long-time readers of this blog. Capice?

Once you’ve heard that jazzy mix of hep-cat slang and confused analytic verbiage, it’s hard to forget.

I think the Troll of Sorrow is in the house. Follow the normal instructions.

75

RobW 11.14.06 at 8:53 pm

So glad fitz and godfrey dropped by. It’s always useful to see the clownface of the enemy.

76

Doctor Slack 11.14.06 at 8:59 pm

I guess you took one too many woman studies/chick lit courses back in academia…

ToS? Is that you, old buddy?

77

greensmile 11.14.06 at 9:13 pm

It is a sad day for MacLeans when they publish an article that is picked up and praised by the rabid mr. belman at Israpundit. I’d take care to wipe my feet when I return from Canada but the doodoo is just at thick down here.

The odd thing is that if you picked your topics with just a little care and provided a third language neither a Wahabi cleric nor Steyn spoke and an interpreter, they could agree on many things…that I would NOT agree on.

78

bob mcmanus 11.14.06 at 9:17 pm

I want wingnut philosophy flame wars. I wasn’t so long ago that Long Sunday wasn’t the only blog defending Carl Schmitt against his Emersonian misinterpreters.

79

MQ 11.14.06 at 9:18 pm

I believe in democracy, and I think the only way we have found to make it work is within the nation-state. To that end, I think the current citizenry of a nation should get to vote on issues that affect their quality of life. Letting in lots of foreigners affects quality of life in many ways. There are readily available, effective tools to change the number of foreigners one lets in, and they are much more workable and predictable in their effects than most government programs. This is a perfectly straightforward and unexceptional set of points. I protest when leftists constantly stigmatize the natural human desire to preserve one’s way of life by restricting access to it as “racist” or “stupid” or “impossible”.

Now, there is another policy debate as to whether immigration actually should be restricted. I would say yes, definitely, in many cases in Europe and to a (much) lesser extent in teh U.S., as I think immigration levels have outrun absorptive capacity. But that is another debate. Let’s at least let the issue on the table and not pull this elitist crap where a legitimate and popular democratic issue is “racist” or crazy or whatever.

80

Jonathan 11.14.06 at 9:49 pm

Godfrey–did you suggest above that Foucault had commented on 9/11? If so, please put me in contact with your medium. (“quelqun’un de très grand à Madrid” y intéressé, d’où security very good!)

81

wsam 11.14.06 at 10:46 pm

Mark Steyn is part of a latest plot by Canada to confuse and disorient America. He is proving even more effective than having the Blue Jays win the World Series two years in a row.

He gets his instructions from Celine Dion, who in turn recieves instruction from Alex Trebec.

Viva Canada!!!

82

Seth Edenbaum 11.14.06 at 11:07 pm

There are times when this blog becomes a parody of Bloomsbury Socialism, straight out of a John Boorman movie [Zardoz]. Arrogance, snobbery, and the perspective of very comfortable and sunny bubble.
I worked alongside immigrants 20 years. I live with them now. They’re the only Americans I can stand these days. And yet I know what it means to have to compete them them. Have any of you ever been underbid by a Polish or a Chinese contractor? Would any of you ever hire any other kind? Union? I doubt it.
As a construction worker, my pay scale has been flat for years. Or worse.

There’s an immigration crisis in Europe, brought on by the Europeans themselves and their history as Empire, but also because Europeans adhere to an ethnic idea of statehood.
A annoying Frog with brown skin and dreadlocks to me is still a Frog. Most white Frogs think otherwise. That’s a problem. And the resultant policies across Europe have made a mess of things. And it’s a big mess.

In the US, I’m sorry to tell you, since it’s done most of you nothing but good, immigration has caused trouble. But of course as in Europe the most powerful people opposed to it share a lot of the blame. Recently of course, NAFTA was not good for the Mexican working class. And of course the immigrants who come here are hungry. More hungry by far than people born here. The work harder. There’s not doubt about it. And by god are they more interesting; than their competition and than their employers, like you. Who mops your office floors?

But this generation of immigrants goes back and forth. They’re not stuck in their new home. And they’re redefining this country. European have the advantage of the sophistication born of having foreigners next door, if still across a border a few miles away. We have that now, finally. This is the beginning of our Social democracy.

If only any of you were more interesting than Steyn.

A month or so ago I saw a woman with light skin and Eastern European features wearing the hijab, pushing a baby carriage. I glanced at her and she looked back at me with all the contempt of a Polish housewife.
All the advantages of the Catholic Church, you can even be a nun and still have kids. And your husband isn’t an alcoholic cause he’s not allowed to drink!

To the future.
Inshallah.

83

Seth Edenbaum 11.14.06 at 11:08 pm

That first paragrph is probably a repeat.
But it still works doesn’t it?

84

J Edgar 11.14.06 at 11:31 pm

“bitching about other people’s blogs.”

You’re confused?
I thought this site would be about lumberjacks, choke setter mortality, and the etymology of “skid road”.

85

vanya 11.15.06 at 12:49 am

Small correction: Steyn lives in New Hampshire, not Vermont. He does frequently make fun of Vermont, however.

Well, it’s hardly a small mistake. Confusing Vermont and New Hampshire is not much different from confusing Texas and New York, or Saudi Arabia and Netherlands. Completely different worlds.

86

Serge 11.15.06 at 1:23 am

You know, not that it matters, but Fitz may have in fact been correct with regard to boys’ names in Amsterdam, where Moham(m)ed has apparently been at the top of the hit parade since at least 1999, although it may be taking a beating in 2006: click on “Mohamed en Sara” — sorry, couldn’t deep-link — or, more official-looking but less data points here.

He’s wrong on Belgium, but would have been right on Brussels, where Mohamed has been the most popular boy’s name since at least 2000.

No idea for Malmo, but had he gone with Stockholm, he’d have been way, way off — it came in at 71st there.

Finally, straying way afield: Steyn is way off on “is wrong on the reason there are no Canadian troops in Iraq is because French-speaking Quebec took a different view from English speaking Canada on that and the French speakers prevailed. The strength of the sentiment varied by region, but not the side of the majority.

87

Serge 11.15.06 at 1:45 am

(OK, he may have been right about Malmo, too.)

88

BruceR 11.15.06 at 2:05 am

To refute Steyn re Quebec, I’m afraid you’d need to find a situation where Canadians did actually engage militarily, and where there was comparable levels of political support for this from both English and French Canadians. It’s pretty much the most obvious fact of Canadian history that the two solitudes have had generally contrasting opinions on foreign military intervention. To say they language has been a barrier to a common Canadian world view, at least in the military commitment realm, isn’t exactly making shit up on Steyn’s part.

89

Martin James 11.15.06 at 2:11 am

Here is what confuses me about the politics that get discussed here.

“Our” wingnuts get so much more attention and condemnation than “their” wingnuts. I’m not trying to go down the well-worn “why does the left blame America first?” route.

I’m asking why the attitudes of some much of the world are unexplored.

What is it like to live in and support the leadership of Iran or North Korea or Venezuela or Iraq or Afghanistan or China or South Africa or Cuba or Sudan or Taiwan or Vietnam or Singapore or so many other places.

Why are these topics uninteresting? Does political theory not apply in these places?

I mean Iraq right now is completely fascinating politically. Its going through profound change and things are kind of going back to basics. It seems like there would be a lot of discussion of Iraq from the various Iraqi point of views but all most people here talk about is the American mistakes and the role of the neocon wing nuts and nobody seems to identify with the people on the ground creating all this mayhem.

Why? They seem to be political animals of the first order. Are there no PhD’s to be handed out to making sense of militias and the clerics and the policeman and the merchants and the oil and whatever else is motivating the bombmaking.

What do these people believe?

Where is the Iraqi Genet who can tell us about the toughs?

Yes, responding to Fritz seems a waste of time, but who can really make sense of the world, of 9/11, of the Iraq war of head scarves or the Eucharist or masons or methamphetimine or slavery or anything else without admitting that wingnuttery is thoroughly human. Its what we do.

The name calling about it just seems like a pose and an egoistic wish it didn’t exist.

How untruthful, how unobservant, how proud, how prude is that?

90

Scott Lemieux 11.15.06 at 3:13 am

“Europe is a dying, weimarized place, torn between the amoral relativism of Foucault and his ilk (the pig wrote about the “prodigious jubilation” of 9/11 and the “insufferable superpower”)

Yeah, that damned Foucault and his insulting comments about 9/11. Don’t even get me started about his analysis of the 2004 elections!

91

abb1 11.15.06 at 3:17 am

#87 Martin, in a unipolar world with one dominant superpower, imperial politics of the metropolis are complex and fateful, while politics in the provinces are trivial, hardly more there than maneuvering for greater independence. It’s not a mystery to anyone why an Iranian would support the leadership of Iran.

92

Doctor Slack 11.15.06 at 3:55 am

MQ: I don’t want to get into a long back-and-forth about anti-immigrationism. I will say that it should be fairly obvious that most of us Leftists(tm) aren’t open-borders dogmatists, which means that we recognize practical arguments for limiting and regulating immigrationists. Also, most of us Leftists(tm) recognize blather about “preserving our lifestyle” and most of the usual trope of anti-immigrationism (“they’re taking our jobs / women / first names!”) as having proven bogus — and yes, racist — time and again over at least a century and a half. These recognitions are not inherently incompatible.

martijames writes: What is it like to live in and support the leadership of [a group of countries very few of us have direct experience of]?

Maybe the thing is, it’s really quite arrogant to declaim on the political realities of places we don’t know directly, while on the other hand it’s necessary to talk about the realities of our own countries which we do know?

To take just a for-instance, maybe folks like us should be wary of picking out comfortably neutral terms like “fascinating” for what’s happening in Iraq right now, being as it’s most likely the kind of shit that most of us would be profoundly grateful not to have to live through. It’s a thought.

Of course the political theory of other countries and cultures is interesting. I personally would love to see a massive investment by all Western countries in programs about Chinese, Persian, Arabic, African and many other cultures. Naturally this makes me a liberal wanker who’s taken too many women’s lit courses, but I’m fine with that.

However, the political theory of countries (ours) that keep trying to influence those other countries with large amounts of bombs and firearms is also interesting. And the number of people in our cultures who subsist entirely (or almost entirely) on self-serving fictions about how the world works is likewise interesting. And until we reach my Maoist-Feminist Utopia, chances are that most of us on The Left(tm) are going to be fairly well-placed to discuss the domestic political realities, and are likely to focus on them.

Nutty, isn’t it? But it may be worthwhile to think about a few of those things. Otherwise people might accuse you of concern-trolling. And they might even be right.

93

lurker 11.15.06 at 4:28 am

@Fitz,
try to think of demographical decline as a form of outsourcing. Children are very, very expensive to produce in affluent countries, it’s much cheaper to import grownups from poor countries. The invisible hand at work. You’re in favour of capitalism, right?

94

pieter 11.15.06 at 5:24 am

On the first names for boys, if you look at list serge links to in comment #87, you’ll see that while Moham(m)ed is the top name, the rest of the list consists entirely of European names. So the fact that Moham(m)ed is the most popular name for newborn boys in Amsterdam tells us more about the uniformity of names given by Muslim parents than it does about the proportion of Muslim/non Muslim children.

95

~~~~ 11.15.06 at 7:05 am

For a moment I thought 42 was a parody but then I remembered Baudrillard had written about the prodigious jubilation of 9/11 and we all confuse him and Foucault sometimes so it was actually a bona fide comment which is quite wonderful I think especially because of carbon emissions and the DDR.

96

Barry 11.15.06 at 8:52 am

Posted by BruceR · “To refute Steyn re Quebec, I’m afraid you’d need to find a situation where Canadians did actually engage militarily, and where there was comparable levels of political support for this from both English and French Canadians. It’s pretty much the most obvious fact of Canadian history that the two solitudes have had generally contrasting opinions on foreign military intervention. To say they language has been a barrier to a common Canadian world view, at least in the military commitment realm, isn’t exactly making shit up on Steyn’s part.”

In terms of sending Canadian troops to Iraq, Quebec would only make a difference if the majority of non-Quebecois favored this.

97

Uncle Kvetch 11.15.06 at 9:09 am

Doctor Slack rawks.

98

bryan 11.15.06 at 9:56 am

because of Malmos position in the greater Oresund region it can basically be a source of cheap housing for muslims living in Sweden or in Denmark.

99

clew 11.15.06 at 10:22 am

seth edenbaum —

But- but- competition from immigrants is extremely common in academia, as in math, science and engineering jobs. The difference between being reasonably comfortable with it at the top of the pay-scales, and pained by it at the bottom, isn’t that there’s less competition one end or the other – it’s that the pay-scales are so out of balance.

The powerful of all stripes will tend to be comfortable with that, but I’m a lefty partly because I think the rightys have made the imbalance much worse in my lifetime.

100

Glorious Godfrey 11.15.06 at 10:29 am

Incredible. One calls it a night and the place explodes with bile, self-complancence and, more hilariously, jejune parallel-earth speculation on the part of those who would provide “balance”.

Regarding Foucault and 9/11: WHO THE HECK WROTE THIS, I WONDER?

(scroll down to the remarks on 9/11. It’s all there).

This bit is priceless. Of course it’s been already slagged off for all the wrong reasons, but it is specious nonetheless:

“I mean Iraq right now is completely fascinating politically. Its going through profound change and things are kind of going back to basics. It seems like there would be a lot of discussion of Iraq from the various Iraqi point of views but all most people here talk about is the American mistakes and the role of the neocon wing nuts and nobody seems to identify with the people on the ground creating all this mayhem.

Why? They seem to be political animals of the first order.”

Yeah, we should all gaze in wonder at the New Man that’s emerging in Iraq. Creative destruction and all that. It sickens me that such starry-eyed ex-trotskyists have been the bedfellows of the Right all these years.

Dude, the only thing that’s happening in Iraq is that the Arabs are doing what they do best: killing with abandon. In this case, each other. I’ll see your “creative destruction” and raise you a “more rubble, less trouble”.

Sometimes I think that all is lost. The question is whether we’ll go down fighting (i.e. with the liberals in Feminazi mode) or whether the PC*-kommissars will keep you slumbering till a bearded lunatic comes along to haul your daughters’ clitorises to the chopping block. I guess that will change your perspective on “global warming” and welfare state handouts.

*: Politically Correct or Paranoid-Conspiratorial. Geese and ganders and all that jazz.

101

The Navigator 11.15.06 at 10:33 am

I can’t believe no one else picked up on this – possibly the best slam of the left I’ve heard in ages, from our dear fitz, in #32:
When will the cultural left actually have the courage to critique its own society.

Hear that? The cultural left is too patriotic. We must learn to be more willing to criticize our own societies. So, so, so many wingnuts have been getting us totally wrong lo these many years.

102

The Navigator 11.15.06 at 10:40 am

GG,
Regarding Foucault and 9/11: WHO THE HECK WROTE THIS, I WONDER?

Um, not Foucault.

Was that not clear to you? Do you see a not-Foucault name saying things you don’t like and think, “by Jove, there goes that dastardly Foucault again?!”

103

Glorious Godfrey 11.15.06 at 10:50 am

I can’t believe no one else picked up on this – possibly the best slam of the left I’ve heard in ages, from our dear fitz, in #32:
“When will the cultural left actually have the courage to critique its own society.”

Hear that? The cultural left is too patriotic. We must learn to be more willing to criticize our own societies. So, so, so many wingnuts have been getting us totally wrong lo these many years.

Sophistry of the lowest order. Twist a man’s words IN HIS MOUTH to make him look undignified and score cheap points.

Society (academia, Hollywood, the mainstream media, sports…) is dominated by the left. The Left is self-destructive (i.e. unpatriotic). Ergo society is on a suicidal course. Hence the need for a scathing critique of society.

What’s so hard to get about it? Geez.

104

Glorious Godfrey 11.15.06 at 10:52 am

Re: Foucault.

That other French guy was quoting Foucault. Scroll down and read, for goodness’ sake. It’s all in there.

105

Seth Edenbaum 11.15.06 at 11:00 am

“When will the cultural left actually have the courage to critique its own society.”

Referring to the society of the left dear.
But academic rationalists never look in the mirror, and hippies do little else.

106

Glorious Godfrey 11.15.06 at 11:05 am

“When will the cultural left actually have the courage to critique its own society.”

Referring to the society of the left dear.
But academic rationalists never look in the mirror, and hippies do little else.

Rock on, Seth! You’re a bedfellow after my heart.

107

Uncle Kvetch 11.15.06 at 11:05 am

“Sports”?

108

Glorious Godfrey 11.15.06 at 11:08 am

Look no further than the “all-Shariah” French soccer teams…

109

Glorious Godfrey 11.15.06 at 11:14 am

BTW, your inability to understand the importance of sports is, yet again, symptomatic of the feckless dhimmitude of the left. Other totalitarians at least got that right (the Riefenstahl woman and all that).

110

roger 11.15.06 at 11:33 am

What’s wrong with Mohammed as a boy’s name?
He was, after all, one of the great, if not the greatest, American boxers. I think it is sort of neat that he still receives a lot of recognition in Rotterdam. That’s a town that has always been crazy about pugilists.

111

Aidan Kehoe 11.15.06 at 11:34 am

Society (academia, Hollywood, the mainstream media, sports…) is dominated by the left. The Left is self-destructive (i.e. unpatriotic). Ergo society is on a suicidal course. Hence the need for a scathing critique of society.

My political instincts are right-of-centre, and I have to say that this sort of incoherent drivel is a powerful demonstration of why one would not want to hold Godfrey’s political opinions. Fortunately, by far the most salient thing about those political opinons are their gruel-brained stupidity, not any particular point on any ideological spectrum.

112

Glorious Godfrey 11.15.06 at 11:43 am

Society (academia, Hollywood, the mainstream media, sports…) is dominated by the left. The Left is self-destructive (i.e. unpatriotic). Ergo society is on a suicidal course. Hence the need for a scathing critique of society.

My political instincts are right-of-centre, and I have to say that this sort of incoherent drivel is a powerful demonstration of why one would not want to hold Godfrey’s political opinions. Fortunately, by far the most salient thing about those political opinons are their gruel-brained stupidity, not any particular point on any ideological spectrum.

Aah, losing our nerve after the mid-terms, aren’t we? Lo and behold, a “fellow” rightist trying to disassociate himself from reality. Well, I fear you’ve already been hijacked, pal, whether you want it or not.

113

Martin James 11.15.06 at 11:48 am

abb1 and Dr. slack thanks for the responses.

abb1,

It just seems a contradiction to me that the politics of the imperial power is all-important but that the empire is also impotent. How overridingly impo’tant can impotent be?

Not only is Iran a mystery to me, but I don’t know whether you are saying they really do support their leader because they are patriotic and nationalist or that its an authoritarian country and they have few other options.

One example, a heard an Iranian feminist speak on the radio and she made a point about her Persian heritage which seemed like a move to out “tradition” the Islamic nationalists. That to me is fascinating and I’d like to hear more about it.

Dr. Slack,

I don’t know what concern-trolling is but I’ll be self-inflating and assume its like what got Socrates in trouble.

But I do ask because I wanted an answer and I appreciate yours.

First, as to direct knowledge, are you really meaning direct knowledge or do you mean analogical knowledge so that Finland, Kansas, Israel, Ireland, Australia and maybe Japan are in one bucket where people in that group can declaim on any in that group without arrogance but not those out of the group?

I can see the point but I think given the reality of global warming, the UN, the olympics, the internet, global trade, nuclear proliferation, we’re either all “western” or all something new and different. “Deglobalization” is impossible. I mean in a day and age when Belle Waring and John Holbo live in Singapore it makes no sense to say westerners should stick to things Western.

It seems that you and I are the only ones that find those living on self-serving illusions interesting. The rest see it as a pestilence.

The hard question is how and why people come up with the particular form of self-servingness that they have.

Take glorious godfrey for example. He has an anti-pantheon of Arabs, Trotskyites, bearded lunatics, and, inferentially, the starry-eyed effete.

Why?

I’m easily amused and fascinated by you both.

114

Seth Edenbaum 11.15.06 at 12:01 pm

Godfrey, you miss the point.
I’m a charter member of the international barbarian conspiracy.
Viva le Deluge!
idiot

115

Glorious Godfrey 11.15.06 at 12:09 pm

martin: an anti-pantheon, indeed.

You guys should really read more comics

It’s been fun. I’ll leave the stage now. Thank you.

116

The Navigator 11.15.06 at 12:44 pm

GG in #105,
That other French guy was quoting Foucault. Scroll down and read, for goodness’ sake.

I see. So, when you wrote in #42, “the amoral relativism of Foucault and his ilk (the pig wrote about the “prodigious jubilation” of 9/11“, you were wrong, because Foucault didn’t actually write anything about 9/11, whether or not he was in fact a pig.

Just like the statement “Daniel Ortega’s Sandinistas may have thought they’d stay true to Marxism after their 1990 defeat, but with their leader incorporating pro-free trade and Catholic Church doctrines into his successful presidential campaign platform this year, the old guard, reviewing their party’s takeover by apostate doctrines, can only sigh to one another, as glorious godfrey once remarked, ‘Well, I fear you’ve already been hijacked, pal, whether you want it or not.'”
would not mean that glorious godfrey had made a statement about Nicaraguan politics.

117

~~~~ 11.15.06 at 12:47 pm

Godfrey, Foucault died in 1984. That is why some of the elitists here will use it against you when you suggest that he wrote something about the events of September 11, 2001.

118

abb1 11.15.06 at 12:49 pm

Martin, I don’t think the empire is impotent. I’m saying that (I strongly suspect) outside the US most political developments are viewed thru the prism of the perceived threat of military/ political/ economic and cultural US domination. A sort of nationalism, yes. I’m sure just the fact that their leader has the balls to stand up to the gringos/infidels is quite enough to make him popular, even if most people hate his guts in all other respects. And vice versa.

119

Martin James 11.15.06 at 1:01 pm

abb1,

Got it.

I wonder how Saddam Hussein is now perceived in Iraq.

As standing up to the USA or as bringing the devil to dinner? 60-40?

120

Bostoniangirl 11.15.06 at 1:04 pm

Mark Steyn is useless. I once had a teeny tiny soft spot for him, because in 1999 he wrote this bit of pure gold for the American Spectator:

In America there are two problems: drugs, and the “war on drugs”; and the “war” is the bigger one. Yes, drugs are a danger to society-though, on balance, they’re probably not as big a threat as America’s Number One addiction, food. The fact that over 50 percent of the population is now classified as overweight has far more serious consequences for society than drugs do. Yet no one suggests driving hamburgers underground, forcing junk-food junkies into the arms of back-alley “Mac” dealers. ( “Yeah, he, like, told me it was 100 percent pure ground Argentine, but, like, it turned out to be a lethal cocktail of dog turd and English beef. That’s real bad s-t, man-‘specially the English stuff.”)

Everything has been downhill since then.

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Uncle Kvetch 11.15.06 at 1:11 pm

Aw, please don’t go, GG. Fitz is just tedious–you, on the other hand, are hilarious.

122

Fitz 11.15.06 at 1:16 pm

I think the idea is: they are concentrating on the profound social changes wrought since the sexual revolution (this includes both abortion and wide spread contraceptive use)

Immigration (here & in Europe) can be said to be (at least in part) driven by a lack of labor. This corresponds to a lack of native born children.

The “causal” link is not immediate, but neither is it nonexistent.
I would talk more about family formation, a culture that values children and childrearing, and the value of sexual restraint until marriage.

Personally.

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Clay Fink 11.15.06 at 1:22 pm

In 1491 the most popular boy’s name in the soon to be “New World” was Two Dogs Fucking.

That Europe’s demographic mix is changing shouldn’t be looked at as necessarily a bad thing. Why is it a forgone conclusion that the Muslim immigrants, or their children or grandchildren, will not eventually assimilate? Not to say that conflict, as the ethnic mix in these societies changes, is not to be expected. The point is that the changes we are looking at right now are a normal part of how societies change over time. The results will not be either totally good or totally bad. Tensions will exist between the imported culture and the host culture, and changes to both cultures are inevitable. I think that there’s hope that modern, liberal notions relating to women’s rights and sexuality will eventually trump traditional Islamic (or Arab) notions for the newcomers. The pull of modernity, economic security and getting laid are just too strong. So don’t worry. For the white people; we get a better mix of restaurants to choose from.

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Fitz 11.15.06 at 1:34 pm

Clay

Nice Job. The problem is the two points are not converging in some far distant future, but within the next 50 years. They are being driven by the profound changes wrought by the sexual revolution. If the number of women who wanted marriage and children were able to acquire them, this alone would greatly alleviate the problem.

It’s really a question of culture, of ethnic or national self –determination. Not everyone sees progress as whatever happens next. Regardless of a restaurant choices (interestingly enough Newsweek finally did a piece on these life changing demographics in Europe and sub titled it “good for restraints and real estate!”.) People can legitimately critique both the state of our present culture and care about were its heading.

The “what me worry” line need not be contrasted with the “end of the world line”

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abb1 11.15.06 at 1:37 pm

I wonder how Saddam Hussein is now perceived in Iraq. As standing up to the USA or as bringing the devil to dinner?

I think perhaps being perceived as standing up to the USA helped him survive between 1991 and 2003.

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luci 11.15.06 at 1:39 pm

It looked pretty obvious that GG was yanking everyone’s chain, but then he admitted as much with the comic book link, no?

127

Amazing Grace 11.15.06 at 1:40 pm

My brother Glorious Godfrey had a conversation with Foucault right after 9/11. He said he was ecstatic about it. AND WE HAVE THE DOCUMENTS TO PROVE IT!!!!

fitz: I would talk more about family formation, a culture that values children and childrearing, and the value of sexual restraint until marriage.

I’m all in favor of restraint until finding the proper bedfellow. Ideological, that is, obviously.

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abb1 11.15.06 at 1:45 pm

So, Fitz, suppose all these women desperately wanting marriage and children are now being able to acquire all that – by marrying Muslim immigrants. So, it sounds like the problem is solved – shouldn’t you be happy and ask for more Muslim immigration? What is your problem? I really don’t understand.

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Fitz 11.15.06 at 1:59 pm

abb1

“What is your problem? I really don’t understand.”

Well you could perhaps, read my posts.
…When will the cultural left actually have the courage to critique its own society?

That is…its success since the 1960’s and negative consequences.

As a social conservative I could talk all day about the many inhumanities attributable to the sexual revolution. Demographic changes in Europe are simply one poignant example of these effects.

What if these women don’t want to marry Muslim men? What if an institution like marriage and childrearing requires a larger social effort and culture to promote and insure?
No man is an island onto himself.

P.S. I never said “desperately.”

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abb1 11.15.06 at 2:15 pm

But Fitz, it sounds like Muslim immigrants are exactly the people you should like – no sexual revolution there, strong marriages, a lot of babies, family values. And so – why wouldn’t these women want to marry Muslim men? Why wouldn’t you welcome and embrace people whose culture has everything you’re longing for? It’s almost as you were prejudiced or something.

I’m sure you are not, but what’s the explanation?

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Uncle Kvetch 11.15.06 at 2:21 pm

As a social conservative I could talk all day about the many inhumanities attributable to the sexual revolution.

Yes, you’ve made that amply clear. What you haven’t done, however, is state clearly what you think should be done about the fact that other people refuse to live the way you think they should. You tut-tut ad nauseum about the decadence of the left. You show up at the sites of self-proclaimed libertines and proclaim yourself shocked, shocked at what libertines they are. What I have yet to see, however, is a statement in favor of, well, anything.

So how’s about you ante up, Fitz? You’ve made it clear that the fact that my same-sex partner and I are able to live pretty much as we choose is a serious “problem” for you. So what would you do, if the power were in your hands? Do you think Iran or Saudi Arabia are on the right track? Is execution, or will public flogging do the trick? Obligatory “reparative” therapy to turn us straight? Or would you grudgingly cede our right to exist, provided our lives are marked by a sufficient degree of furtiveness and self-loathing, like in the good old days?

Bonus question:

What if these women don’t want to marry Muslim men?

Well, maybe I’m just a crazy decadent libertine, but I think if a woman doesn’t want to marry a Muslim man, she shouldn’t have to. Please show me where it’s being argued otherwise.

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Christine 11.15.06 at 2:28 pm

Since this is about Mark Steyn, can I complain about being subjected to an excerpt from his book in the paper yesterday? A quote: “in your typical [Western] election campaign, the political platforms [except for that of the Republican party, maybe] … are exclusively about those secondary impulses: government health care, government day care, government paternity leave. We’ve elevated the secondary impulses over the primary ones: national defence, self-reliance and reproductive activity.” This is because our society has become feminised.

Yeah, giving women the vote was the first step to ruin. That’s why there aren’t more wars and men getting to be men. Our world is poorer for it.

Also, re the focus on ‘reproductive activity': obviously, as per Stephen Colbert, as soon as the operation’s avilable, Mark Steyn’s going to get a womb implanted and bear some more kids who will be rugged individuals and fight the good fight for the West. Coz he’s a real man.

I think ‘misogynist’ is too kind a description.

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Fitz 11.15.06 at 2:33 pm

abba1
“Why wouldn’t you welcome and embrace people whose culture has everything you’re longing for? It’s almost as you were prejudiced or something.”

Close, but no cigar. I am however biased. Biased favor of western civilization and classical virtues. I don’t embrace a foreign culture because I’m more concerned with my own. The health of a society can be measured in how well it integrates the sexes and rewards stable, committed families. These families then go on to raise healthy, well adjusted children responsible and restrained enough to make their own decisions regarding stable family formation.

This is something we are clearly not doing nearly to the extent we are capable of.

P.S. – Islamic culture has very little of what I’m “longing for”. Having said that, we can always learn from others.

Uncle
“state clearly what you think should be done about the fact that other people refuse to live the way you think they should’

The funny thing about how people “choose” to live, is that it has a lot to do with the moral environment of the culture their inculcated into.

To state it clearly… I would alter the values that culture held.

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Uncle Kvetch 11.15.06 at 2:46 pm

I would alter the values that culture held.

A complete non-answer. Clearly you lack the courage of your convictions.

What would you like to see done, Fitz, and by whom?

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Fitz 11.15.06 at 2:46 pm

Christine
“in your typical [Western] election campaign, the political platforms [except for that of the Republican party, maybe] … are exclusively about those secondary impulses: government health care, government day care, government paternity leave. We’ve elevated the secondary impulses over the primary ones: national defence, self-reliance and reproductive activity.” This is because our society has become feminised.”

I don’t know about the use of the term ‘feminized”.. (masculanized might be better)
As far as the rest of the passage goes, I would quote C.S. Lewis.
“You don’t get first things without second things” ie. First things first.

Secondly: men can’t get womb implants and I’m not quite sure of the ethical nature of such an innovation. Secondly, inasmuch as women are the only ones capable of bearing the next generation, we all have a collective wombs interest in what they do with their wombs.
Men tend to want to be fathers and husbands, women, wives and mothers. (it has quite the lineage)

“I think ‘misogynist’ is too kind a description”
I fail to see were it is that the author displays hatred toward women. Perhaps your reading your own ideology into his critique.

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abb1 11.15.06 at 2:48 pm

But Fitz, the western civilization is what it is. Sexual revolution is a part of it. Low birth rate is a part of it. Weak family ties is a part of it. Lack of religiosity is a part of it. This is how it has evolved (or regressed, if you prefer), but clearly it’s not rolling back, at least not in the foreseeable future.

Muslim immigration is your second best option. Certainly you should prefer a hard-working god-fearing ascetic Muslim family man to your corrupt, promiscuous nonbelieving countryman.

You should agitate for more of it, not less.

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Fitz 11.15.06 at 2:51 pm

“A complete non-answer. Clearly you lack the courage of your convictions.”

But Uncle, clearly you need to read up-thread.
I just stated my opening bid.

Q“What would you like to see done, Fitz, and by whom”

A. (more discussion of)
“concentrating on the profound social changes wrought since the sexual revolution.

I would talk more about family formation, a culture that values children and childrearing, and the value of sexual restraint until marriage.”

“by whom”
University proffesorate, journalists, artists, politicians ect..

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Fitz 11.15.06 at 2:58 pm

abb1
But Fitz, the western civilization is what it is.

And will be what we decide to make it into.

“Muslim immigration is your second best option. Certainly you should prefer a hard-working god-fearing ascetic Muslim family man to your corrupt, promiscuous nonbelieving countryman.”

No, not really. I am on the other hand; more than encouraged by the number of traditionalists pouring over our own boarders.

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Uncle Kvetch 11.15.06 at 3:04 pm

I would talk more about family formation, a culture that values children and childrearing, and the value of sexual restraint until marriage.”
“by whom”
University proffesorate, journalists, artists, politicians ect..

These things are already being discussed in extensive detail, and in terms that I think you would find congenial, all over the United States, Fitz. There’s actually a movement dedicated to propagating the values you hold dear, with a name and everything; it’s commonly referred to as the Religious Right. And it includes its own university professors, journalists, politicians, artists, and yes, even its own etc. You might want to look into it.

The notion that anyone is being prohibited from discussing these things is patently absurd. It’s a lame bid for victim status from the very same people who until very recently controlled 2 out of the 3 branches of government. Your problem clearly isn’t that the “discussion” you long for isn’t taking place, but that there are still people out there who stubbornly refuse to see The Truth.

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Amazing Grace 11.15.06 at 3:14 pm

As my dear brutha Glorious Godfrey has stated above (perhaps you didn’t notice cause you were blinded by the glare of Foucault’s bald pate), all those sibylline accusations of racism are totally bogus.

Look, it’s all survival 101. You have two options: either you increase the individual quality of the representatives of your biological set, or the quantity. We know that the planet’s full of critters that are successful for being prolific.

Now, when the argument’s applied to countries/ethnic groups, the argument’s not that we are under threat just because the other guys are prolific, but because they are by and large as smart as our guys, and prolific to boot.

Where’s the racism in that? There’s only one planet, and there are two weapons to thrive on it: quantity and quality. We only use one.

Now, concerning the red herring that Muslims are a traditionalist’s model citizens: that’s bulldung. In the West I keep my clitoris, thank you very much.

That does not mean that I don’t have responsibilities. Society has a legitimate interest in my womb.

See, in the West we have rights and duties. Rights (clitorises) and duties (wombs).

They say that the pen is mightier than the sword. I wouldn’t know. They both look pretty phallic to me. The womb, on the other hand, will always beat the bomb.

Capice?

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Fitz 11.15.06 at 3:19 pm

“The notion that anyone is being prohibited from discussing these things is patently absurd.”

I never used the term “prohibited” or anything like it. I will use the term “resonance”. As in: The cultural left refuses to allow poignant truths to resonate, if they challenge the status-quo of their sexual revolution.

“It’s a lame bid for victim status from the very same people who until very recently controlled 2 out of the 3 branches of government.”
Its really doesn’t lend itself to government solutions. It’s a cultural question. Government can screw things up, (Moniyhan report) but is hard pressed to fix things alone.

“Your problem clearly isn’t that the “discussion” you long for isn’t taking place, but that there are still people out there who stubbornly refuse to see The Truth.”

I’ll point you once again to the term “resonance” and introduce you to a new term.
Marx called it “the commanding heights of culture”

142

Uncle Kvetch 11.15.06 at 3:30 pm

The cultural left refuses to allow poignant truths to resonate, if they challenge the status-quo of their sexual revolution.

Well, that’s the problem with the left in a nutshell, isn’t it? If only it would think, talk, and act exactly like the right, everything would be cool. But noooo.

I think I’ve got it figured out, Fitz: you’re just someone who really, really, really likes to complain. Being a decadent libertine, and given my online handle, I’m really not in a position to find fault with that. Just do your own thing, man.

143

abb1 11.15.06 at 3:30 pm

Well, whatever. I still don’t see the reason you should prefer depraved westerners to god-fearing Muslims. It seems illogical.

144

Joe (Slovoj) Chavez 11.15.06 at 3:46 pm

It’s not the sexual revolution that;s the problem, it’s the failure of the sexual revolution that’s the problem. “Straight Edge” Islam etc. The Steyn quote describes it pretty well.

Western society is what it is… “and will be what we decide to make it into.”

More reactionary modernism, or modern reaction.
Fitz is doing a good imitation of Jorge Luis Borges, a walleyed wimp who couldn’t even get it up with a whore, dressed in an the uniform from the great war and declaiming the Gaucho as the ubermensch to a couple of rapt Mitfords and Vanessa Bell, who rolls her eyes and calls to the houseniggers for tea.
C’mon kids. Can’t any of you do better than this?

“I mean in a day and age when Belle Waring and John Holbo live in Singapore it makes no sense to say westerners should stick to things Western.”

A couple of kids from Bennington or Sarah Lawrence[?] writng home from the expat compound.
That’s as about as American as you can get.

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Fitz 11.15.06 at 4:00 pm

“Fitz: you’re just someone who really, really, really likes to complain. “

People said the same thing about the Feminists.

“I still don’t see the reason you should prefer depraved westerners to god-fearing Muslims. It seems illogical.”

They tend to chop our heads off.

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Fitz 11.15.06 at 4:54 pm

as long as I’m not…

“a refreshing frappe of ignorance, suspicion, and homophobia topped with whipped misogyny and dusted with grated stupid!”

I’m cool with it.

147

The Navigator 11.15.06 at 5:19 pm

Luci,
Yeah, maybe – the comic book link certainly did suggest that. But GG kept it up for so long, and with posts that plausibly could have been made by right-wing trolls, that’s it’s impossible to tell. Alejandro in #15 was right – without emoticons, it’s impossible to tell whether GG was mocking the foolishness that aidan kehoe decried in #112, or exemplifying it.

148

Christine 11.15.06 at 5:20 pm

fitz: the womb implant thing was a joke. Lifted from The Colbert Report. Which is why I mentioned Colbert. Seriously!

149

abb1 11.15.06 at 5:33 pm

They tend to chop our heads off.

Well, yes – for impiety. But that’s a good, positive thing, isn’t it? This is how you protect your culture from desecration by sexual revolutions and such.

Seems like you need to figure out what it is you want exactly – the free love and stuff or the inquisition and auto-de-fe, because it’s either one or the other.

150

Amazing Grace 11.15.06 at 5:35 pm

Oh, yeah, in the West I keep my clitoris, and my head too. I forgot to mention that. But then again, that’s a girl for you.

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Fitz 11.15.06 at 5:38 pm

“Seems like you need to figure out what it is you want exactly – the free love and stuff or the inquisition and auto-de-fe, because it’s either one or the other.”

Why? That would make me an extremist.

152

Martin James 11.15.06 at 5:46 pm

Abb1,

You’re the best.

Fritz may not be buying it, but if you make any better case, I may send my daughter to Eurabia for college.

153

Doctor Slack 11.15.06 at 6:27 pm

Apologies to Martin James that I don’t have time to respond to his comment at the mome. I’ll get to it later (assuming that the thread hasn’t left me behind entirely by then).

A quick shout-out to Amazing Grace, though, for totally, awesomely making my day. After having argued that anti-immigrationism is typically underpinned by endlessly-recycled racist drivel, it’s almost too good to be true that someone would then wander into the thread proclaiming their belief that we’re in a struggle for survival with a cunning enemy tribe and must look to the concerns of our “biological set.” And what could be racist about that? Heh. Indeed.

Thanks, Grace, for giving us a good clear example of what I was talking about; it’s nice not to have to rely on “sibylline accusations.”

154

Amazing Grace 11.15.06 at 6:49 pm

See? Foucault is alive and well. You multilinguil men don’t care for the clitorises of the West.

155

Amazing Grace 11.15.06 at 6:50 pm

Just as my brother Godfrey keeps on saying, BTW.

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Bruce Baugh 11.15.06 at 6:55 pm

Fitz, the left has no need to reexamine its sexual ethics. As compactly summarized here, it’s in the states least sympathetic to Bush that we find men and women least likely to have children out of wedlock, to commit adultery, to get divorced, to abuse their spouses and children, to commit murder, and also least likely to be collecting government handouts. The documentary evidence is very clear on this: it’s conservatism and strong religion that rot the soul and corrupt the morals.

So it’s no wonder that we find tolerance flourishing on the left. Tolerance is particularly the virtue of those who have clear consciences. It’s on the right that we find mass betrayal of every professed ethical standard. It’s no wonder that your side feels uncomfortable around strangers who might ask unwelcome questions or expose your failings by their better example. But those of us who manage a reasonably ethical life ourselves have nothing to fear from strangers.

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Doctor Slack 11.15.06 at 7:01 pm

You multilinguil men don’t care for the clitorises of the West.

My God, that sounds like vintage ToS. If he’s honest-to-God sockpuppeting this thread, my day is made to the tenth power. Truly righteous.

158

Fitz 11.15.06 at 7:59 pm

Bruce

“it’s in the states least sympathetic to Bush that we find men and women least likely to have children out of wedlock, to commit adultery, to get divorced, to abuse their spouses and children, to commit murder, and also least likely to be collecting government handouts.”

Or have children at all, or ever get married in the first place.. ect.
But is geography and voting for Bush your only variables. What about age, education, income, birth status and so forth. You don’t want to submit a simplistic narrative, do you? Not to mention all those who live traditional values yet publicly endorse the kind of sexual libertinism (is that hypocricy?) that’s murder on the poor.

“rot the soul and corrupt the morals.”
Soul – you believe in a soul? And what are these morals you seem to hint at?

“So it’s no wonder that we find tolerance flourishing on the left. Tolerance is particularly the virtue of those who have clear consciences.”

Virtues, what are these virtues? And its Christian tolerance by the way. Perhaps you’ve heard the expression – “show a little Christian tolerance.” (as apposed to capitulation)

“It’s on the right that we find mass betrayal of every professed ethical standard.”

Well I simply love hypocrites you see, they have to have standards to begin with.

Ethical standards, when it comes to sex, love, marriage & childbearing… What beyond consent do you have in mind Bruce?

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Clay Fink 11.15.06 at 8:39 pm

But Fitz, the western civilization is what it is.

And will be what we decide to make it into.

I’m not sure who “we” is and I really don’t think they have that kind of control. And that’s just my point; liberal democracies cannot attempt to control these demographic changes, at least in terms of reversing or eliminating them, without betraying what it means to be a liberal democracy. Of course Western Civilization is a big tent, leaving enough room for Fascism and Totalitarianism, so the means for controling the future are at our disposal.

For my money, if women who can’t seem to hook up and have children (as if that’s all they are made for) then becoming a nun, a devout Muslim or a lesbian (as if that’s a choice) is OK. I’m not sure what you’re upset about, anway.

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Amazing Grace 11.15.06 at 8:57 pm

Point is, life’s not all beer and skittles. Hedonism is myopic, irresponsible, can’t think long term. But history, history unfolds whether you want it or not. You liberals have forgotten this implacable reality, have grown soft under the nuclear umbrella of men who knew the meaning of sacrifice.

All the tumbles in all the haystacks in the world will be for naught if your womb is not put to work against the barbarians at the gates. The pédés and the gouines are doing their thang in France’s vineyards. You say “consensual”, I say “mismatch”. You think you can defy nature? Sex is not for fun, it’s a means to an end. And the end is survival.

It’s all ashes to ashes, dust to dust to you, no? But that’s all you see in between too. No spark of spirit. Ashes and dust and welfare state and safety net from cradle to grave and all the holes are the same in the eyes of God because there is no God. It’s depraved.

One thing I’ll give you. It’s all about your much-vaunted “narratives”. Men are like empty shells if their souls are not fed. Fed “narratives” that strengthen the spirit. You have replaced fables with vaudeville, allegory with allusion, myth with parody.

I mean, look at the ancient Irish. My beloved brother Godfrey gave me this amazing book with myths in it. They had these “hallows” of “sovereignty” (see, back then, people saw their country as something sacred, not as some bauble to bargain away in Brussels): the stone, the sword, the spear, the cauldron. How crap would the myths have been with two spears and no cauldron, or two cauldrons and no spear? Too many spears and you have a Spartan phalanx, too many cauldrons and it looks like my kitchen.

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Doctor Slack 11.15.06 at 9:27 pm

My day has indeed been made to the tenth power. Wicked funny!

I think my favourite part of that rant has got to be this:

My beloved brother Godfrey gave me this amazing book with myths in it.

Like, whoa, you know? That’s like, totally deep and stuff.

I’m not knocking the rest of the rant, mind you. “Put your womb to work against the barbarians at the gates” ties in the racist angle nicely with some truly pitiful bargain-basement sexism. The evocation of “history” while in clear ignorance of any actual history gets extra points. And complaining about how depraved and Godless the welfare state is in the era of Enron, Halliburton and Paris Hilton is wignutty-delicious.

But I think it’s the ironically New Agey witlessness of “wow, I read a book about some Irish myths” that puts it over the top. Not quite in college-squid territory yet, but I’m confident you’ll up the ante.

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josh 11.15.06 at 10:41 pm

At some point I was trying to figure out whether Glorious Godfrey/Amazing Grace was mocking right-wing wingnut trolls, or was actually a right-winger mocking leftist stereotypes of right-wingers — or possibly mocking both right-wing trolls and the leftists who love to be made indignant by them. And then I became unsure whether those responding to GG/AG were taking them seriously, or ironically pretending to take them seriously, or pretending to pretend … and eventually I began to wonder whether most of this thread wasn’t, in fact, written by one person with way, way too much time. And, then, when I saw Belle’s subsequent post, I began to wonder if this thread weren’t the work of an evil deceiver — and if I was not, in fact, a brain in a vat somewhere …
And then I said to myself — to hell with this.

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Ian 11.15.06 at 10:53 pm

I dunno, Josh – I think the picture of A. Grace surrounded by cauldrons in her kitchen, muttering about haystacks and vineyards and vaudeville and swords, has a Perelmanesque poetry that’s made the whole thread worthwhile. Pity CT doesn’t run to Gothic font for her posts, though.

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Bruce Baugh 11.16.06 at 2:27 am

Fitz, I’d be happy to start with the Golden Rule, the Beatitudes, and the seven cardinal virtues. That pretty much all seems to me to work whether or not one is Christian. As for the state-by-state comparison…hey, geography is meaningful too. And when there’s this very strong correlation between some aspects of politics and people’s willingness and ability to lead lives of honor, integrity, decency, and self-support, I’m certainly curious. Correlation isn’t causality, of course – it might be that movement conservatism rots the practical morals of its adherents, or that people who are already morally rotten turn to movement conservatism out of shame at their corruption and a desire to pin it on someone else, or that both the moral rot and the conservatism tie to some third factor.

In any case, however, champions of such a cause are in a particularly bad position to understand Islam and its adherents, or to suggest anything useful in dealing with them. Christianity gives great power to orthodoxy: if you believe correctly, you are saved, even if you sin thereater. Islam has more in common with Judaism in that it’s above all concerned with orthopraxy: the good Muslim is the one who does certain things, and only one of them is a profession of faith. The rest are all about practical day-to-day things like tithing apart from the once-in-a-lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca. (And even with that one, supporting others in their pilgrimage is a notable worthy deed and a secondary obligation.)

Because of this emphasis in Islam, hypocrisy on the part of bad Christians looms large. A man who cannot keep his own heart and house in order is not in a position to lecture others – as Jesus pointed out too, of course. The fact that the most vocal Christian subcultures are also the worst when it comes to living up to general standards of basic good conduct means that they’re particularly unfit to deal with whatever challenge Islam may present. Blatantly immoral hypocrites like those running the Republican Party today and those sucking up to them in the press simply cannot identify with the concerns of rank and file Muslims, the counterparts to the rural or urban poor and working classes in the Christian world. They can only make a purely imaginative leap of understand, and if the record of the last half decade shows anything, it’s that their imagination is as deficient as their morals.

A Muslim looking at a Western politician will give less weight to their profession of faith and more to their demonstrated actions. This is where the Democratic superiority in fundamental morals, like marital fidelity, really matters. Someone who can keep his vows raise children without abusing them, deal fairly with employees as the manager of a business, pay his taxes, serve his country with distinction in the military in times of war, campaign without lies, and so on is vastly closer to the Muslim idea of the worthy unbeliever, the honorable stranger.

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abb1 11.16.06 at 2:48 am

Fitz,
Why? That would make me an extremist.

Granted, auto de fe is a wild exaggeration, but so is your assertion that Muslim immigrants in the west cut heads – I’m not aware of a single case. Simply, they are more righteous and I’m sure the level of violence among the practicing Muslims is much lower than in general population.

If you are a Muslim immigrant who’s drinking or using drugs or disrespectful to the elders – I’m sure your head is safe, you’ll be merely ostracized by the community and, perhaps, shipped back to Algeria to get straighten up; or at least that’s what I see in the movies. What’s wrong with that?

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Amazing Grace 11.16.06 at 5:44 am

Who says all that crap about marital infidelity and births out of wedlock in the red states? The same left-leaning Federal Bureau of Statistics that says that climate change is for real and that more people have died in Iraq than the President is willing to admit? Puh-leaze.

At any rate, you’re conveniently sweeping under the rug the liberals’ main expression of moral depravity: your tolerance of bum sex and other perversions of the natural order.

The latte-and-goatee crowd needs to abjure the hot girl-on-girl action and make a move towards more Victorian Lord-preserve-my-sphincters mores. Otherwise the West is toast.

Just my two cents, mind.

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abb1 11.16.06 at 6:07 am

#167 – hear, hear. Sharia is the new Victorian. Convert now, brother, or descend into depravity, intellectual degeneration followed by moral degeneracy.

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Far Away 11.16.06 at 6:30 am

From that useful link to the Belgian website you can calculate that out of the 42,000 boys with the 100 most popular names born in Belgium since 2000 about 1.9% have a name that looks to be Muslim (Mohammed in its various spellings or Mehdi). About half that number appear to be named “Xander”, which I assume is a tribute to the Buffy spin-off.

Europe does have a fertility challenge, but the higher US birthrate is mainly due to higher birth rates among Hispanic- americans. The fertility rate among “non-Hispanic whites” in the US is about the same as in France, although some of the French are of course Muslims.

In fact http://www.linternaute.com/femmes/prenoms/prenoms/1/2004/2/france.shtml usefully gives the most popular French first names. In 2004 out of the 100 most popular boys names, Mohammed was ranked 46th and “overtly Muslim” names accounted for 1.5% of boy’s birth names.

Because of France’s relatively high fertility and Germany’s low fertility, it is projected that by around 2040 France will have the highest population in Europe up from 60 million to around 80 million – assuming that Turkey does not join the EU, in which case there would be a lot of Europeans named Mohammed.

Another relevant point in my view is that the countries with the highest fertility do so because they have the highest rates of birth outside marriage and they also are the most feminist. Apart from Italy, Spain and Greece, the rich countries with the lowest birth rates are Japan, Korea and Singapore. One of the more plausible explanations for very low fertility in the rich countries with the lowest fertility is that women find it extremely difficult to combine paid employment with having children, and they have “voted” not to have children.

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Amazing Grace 11.16.06 at 6:49 am

Have people in Japan, Korea or Singapore any business ties to George Soros? It’s a well-known fact that any dealings with Soros make you homosexual. The question is whether they induce infertility too.

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Amazing Grace 11.16.06 at 6:54 am

Soros = Foucault with a wig?

Hmmm. Some food for thought here.

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Far Away 11.16.06 at 6:57 am

I don’t know, but I assume that he has business ties all over the place. I’ve not seen any studies that look at the relationship between the prevalence of homosexuality and the fertility rate.

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The Witch From Next Door 11.16.06 at 8:20 am

dave heasman, #17: I remember him as a very knowledgeable reviewer of the musical theatre.

Not much point in returning to the ostensible subject of this thread at this stage, but I’d just like to note that, while Steyn is indeed pretty knowledgable about musical theatre, in his book on the subject he gives unforgivably short shrift to Stephen Sondheim and his cadre of obsessive fans, who (IFIRC) he broadly blames for the death of the popular form. Almost as if he were blaming cultural trends he doesn’t like on people whose views he doesn’t like, regardless of what power those people actually have over the ebb and flow of events. Hmmm…

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lemuel pitkin 11.16.06 at 10:11 am

Josh-

Dollars to donuts A. Grace and G. Godfrey are the same person, and a joke is being made — tho I admit I’m as confused as you are about at whose expense, exactly.

Fitz, sadly, seems to be for real.

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Amazing Grace 11.16.06 at 11:49 am

What is there to joke and merrymake about? To you all is a parody, a pun, a persiflage?

Metrosexual men chase each other, butt-naked, oblivious, through the streets of Paris, untouched only by the invisible hand of the free market. In the banlieues, the unemployed, unassimilated third-generation beurs flock to the mosques, ready to wage fourth-generation warfare on the asses of their “fellow” citizens.

Is this a joke?

It’s the bazaar of violence, the magic carpet-bombing of the End Days. I’ve seen the Four Riders, and they come on camelback. They are greeted unctuously by la Prostituée de Babylone (a city famous for its university, la Sodôme).

Do you laugh?

My Godfrey — who still has a man in him– grows irate, the melifluous music of the Beast will not soothe him. I just pray.

And weep.

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Doctor Slac k 11.16.06 at 12:12 pm

Yes, yes, all is a persiflage! I can’t believe I didn’t see it before! I too shall pray… and weep!

lemuel says: Dollars to donuts A. Grace and G. Godfrey are the same person

Put more precisely, I’m pretty sure they’re two halves of the Troll of Sorrow. Who is, as always, an unwitting joke at his own expense.

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Glorious Godfrey 11.16.06 at 12:56 pm

Good trolling is always obvious.

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monstruoso 11.16.06 at 12:57 pm

Tiny voice in the back of the hall…

I need to get laid…”

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monstruoso 11.16.06 at 1:28 pm

hmm, I smell a sock puppet…

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Fitz 11.16.06 at 1:31 pm

I can’t speak to the pedantic poetry of my supposed supporters. My detractors however are always the same, exercises in obviation & obfuscation. (sadly, probably, to themselves)

“When will the cultural left actually have the courage to critique its own society.”
More to the point- and I believe worthy of serious consideration..
It’s fair to say: Our intellectual class has yet to honestly confront its own sexual revolution.

I’m not ultimately one who relies on barbarians at the gate or tomorrows impending apocalypse. Islam is of very little concern to me, western civilization to broad a concept for my narrow mind.

I simply am concerned about the possibility of repair of the 70% illegitimacy rate among our underclass, and the fact that half my sister’s friends have gone barren, through no conscious “choice” of their own.

Such a discussion is long overdue, hamstrung as it is by accusations of racism, sexism, and homophobia. (the lefts only trinity)

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Uncle Kvetch 11.16.06 at 1:42 pm

Metrosexual men chase each other, butt-naked, oblivious, through the streets of Paris

WOO-HOO! I was last there about a year and a half ago, but damn, it sounds like a lot’s changed since then…and for the better, too! I’ll see if Air France has any off-season specials.

On an ever-so-slightly more serious note: What’s up with trolls who simultaneously despise the French and everything they stand for, while loudly bemoaning the fact that France is, in their eyes, going down les chiottes? I mean, shouldn’t the self-destruction of a country you detest be a cause for joy rather than hand-wringing?

Oh, and Fitz? With all due respect, I have no desire to discuss the fecundity of your sister’s friends. You apparently find it a subject of fascination, which just makes you even creepier than I had previously thought. Matter of fact, you might want to check with them and see how they feel about their wombs becoming blogfodder.

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Fitz 11.16.06 at 2:03 pm

Uncle
“With all due respect, I have no desire to discuss the fecundity of your sister’s friends. You apparently find it a subject of fascination, which just makes you even creepier than I had previously thought. Matter of fact, you might want to check with them and see how they feel about their wombs becoming blogfodder.”

Have you no heart. I do discuss it with them, and we have reached a general conclusion as to it weight and importance.
It seems to me, expectations of marriage & childrearing is infinitely more important as a “women’s issue” then their respective representation in collegiate athletics or the math & sciences.
To paint this as something odd, perverted, or pathological is to expose your own bias.
Sex is fine, in any order, combination, or style.

Monogamy and childbearing however is beneath civil conversation or human concern.

I’m afraid, if you pull yourself out of your bubble, you will find that family formation is a very real “social problem” for people across the spectrum.

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Doctor Slack 11.16.06 at 2:37 pm

Fitz: I simply am concerned about the possibility of repair of the 70% illegitimacy rate among our underclass

70%? I’m going to obviate and obfuscate with you a little by asking you what your source is for that “underclass” number. (If you’re concerned about declining marriage rates, BTW, you should read this.)

Like Kvetch, I’m not that much into talking about your sister’s friends’ wombs. If you’re concerned about infertility rates, though — and why not — there are perfectly good discussions to be had about the related factors (STD infection rates, fast food and the obesity epidemic, making resources available to young women in the workplace). May I suggest, though, that a tendency to blather emptily about the immorality of The Left(tm) may impair your ability to have conversations with people on the left about such topics.

But what am I saying? Of course the problem is always, always them, and never you.

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Bruce Baugh 11.16.06 at 2:48 pm

Fitz is just as reliable about fertility and literacy as he is with baby names. it’s good to have confidence in a poster’s accuracy.

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Fitz 11.16.06 at 2:50 pm

Dr. (pick up the) Slack

I will point you to the above post #142

I will reiterate the importance of the term “resonance”

and add the cliché – “forest for the tree’s”

P.S. One must use “underclass” instead of “black” least the conversation devolve into “racism” (sadly)

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Doctor Slack 11.16.06 at 2:59 pm

I will point you to the above post #142

Why? That doesn’t answer the question I asked you.

See, it’s evasions like that that will tempt people to conclude you don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, and are prone to pulling facts and figures out of your arse. Which in turn would mean that your “poignant truths” are about as “resonant” as a bad case of flatulence, and maybe that’s why people don’t take you seriously.

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Fitz 11.16.06 at 3:14 pm

Doc
Site
http://www.cdc.gov/search.do?action=search&subset=nchs&queryText=illegitimacy+rates&sort=

“people don’t take (me) seriously” on this blog because they don’t take themselves seriously.

To do so would be to watch there stilted worldviews come crashing down around them.

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Uncle Kvetch 11.16.06 at 3:26 pm

Still trying to work out the interrelationship between the “illegitimacy” rate among American blacks (extra points for choosing to use such an offensive term, Fitz) and the (in)ability of Fitz’s sister’s friends to have children. And then once that’s straightened out, we still have to figure out how both problems are the fault of the cultural left.

Miles to go before we sleep. Somebody brew a pot of coffee.

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Doctor Slack 11.16.06 at 3:29 pm

Fritz, when I’m asking you for a cite, I’m asking for the specific source of your claim, not a 4000-item search in the CDC database.

If you’re pointing to the first result in that search, that would be a several-decades-old report that doesn’t at any point (that I can see) claim a 70% nonwhite illegitimacy rate.

To do so would be to watch there stilted worldviews come crashing down around them.

You know, the “brave maverick in the land of the blind” routine is often a mark of cranks. This also may help to explain why people react negatively to you in contexts like this one.

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Doctor Slack 11.16.06 at 3:30 pm

Kvetch hits the nail on the head.

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Joe (Slovoj) Chavez 11.16.06 at 4:58 pm

Uncle Slack, Dr Kvetch,

As someone reminded me, the real point of the bimbo ad run against Harold Ford was not that he liked white women, but that white women liked him.
need I say more?

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Fitz 11.16.06 at 7:28 pm

“(extra points for choosing to use such an offensive term, Fitz)”

Yes Uncle, according to Dr. Slack the new politically correct term is “nonwhite”

a bit broad- and not to catchy.

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Fitz 11.16.06 at 7:40 pm

Dr Slacker

I guess I’ll hold your hand this time.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/misc/wedlock.pdf

Be sure to inquire further into the veracity of the statistics. As if you’re unaware of the particularly acute problem of illegitimacy among our nations underclass. You must work at a university to have that set of blinders.

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Doctor Slack 11.16.06 at 8:53 pm

Joe: As someone reminded me, the real point of the bimbo ad run against Harold Ford was not that he liked white women, but that white women liked him.

I’ve also seen someone claim that the ad was aimed more at white women than at the men. The point was to conflate voting for Ford with wanting him, and offer up a sense of superiority to the sort of tawdry skank who goes in for That Kind of Thing.

Fitz: I have to admit I’d written off the prospect of you providing a direct reference. Thank you for proving me wrong. I apologize for implying that you were making up the 70% figure — it turns out that this does accord with government stats at least.

I’d question your use of “underclass” as interchangeable with “black,” since the American underclass is multi-racial — but it’s indisputable that blacks are vastly disproportionately part of that underclass and that this helps explain their greater vulnerability to the nonmarital fertility trend.

We’re still left with the problem of tying this in with your other concerns or of establishing that this says anything in particular about “the sexual revolution” as such (it seems unlikely to be that simple). There are productive conversations to be had about that — but seriously, you’ll find it easier to have them if your first step isn’t to show up and lecture The Left(tm) about its blind unwillingness to Talk About the Real Issues. Examine shoulder, remove chip, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much the dynamic can change.

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Martin James 11.17.06 at 1:50 am

Fritz I think the Left has abandoned the sexual revolution. Yes, they are for homosexualism but moving to bring it under regulation through marriage.

The sexual revolutional is tainted because sex is tainted by power relations.

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Uncle Kvetch 11.17.06 at 8:59 am

Yes Uncle, according to Dr. Slack the new politically correct term is “nonwhite”

Actually, I was referring to your use of the term “illegitimacy.” Which is why I put the word in quotes.

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Joe (Slovo) Zizek 11.17.06 at 2:27 pm

“The point was to conflate voting for Ford with wanting him,”

That seems a little too over-thought for me, but could be.

I don’t think government sponsored homosexualism is the answer, but I’m willing to discuss it. More likely we should begin in early developement; initially by removing from among those involved in the care of young children anyone who refuses to have sexual relations with another consenting adult. Of course we could simply ban Catholic education, but that might cause problems.

My proposal would make children’s lives and their parent’s as well, a lot more secure without religious descrimination per se. Perhaps we should institute some sort of test, a requirement: once a year to be observed in sexual activity (with another person) by a group of experts, with subjects’ activities judged for sincerity.
We coud even make it a group thing, for budgetary purposes of course.
Just tossing that out. I think we do need real reform, if we’re going to ride out this terror thing we’re going through these days.

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Susan 11.18.06 at 6:40 am

I find these kind of threads pointless. They start off with someone posting the most absurd and over the top right-wing piece they can find, and then other posters ridicule it. Because the original piece is so bad, many of the people ridiculing it feel that they don’t have to make any kind of rational argument. It just degenerates into name-calling.

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Leinad 11.18.06 at 8:57 pm

No it doesn’t, Susan, you big fat stinkyface!

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