“like interviewing a human cactus”

by Chris Bertram on June 16, 2006

bq. I had been eyeing the cakes in the cafe for some time, but I decide sadly that to order one would be seen as a sign of moral weakness and that now is not the moment.

From Jackie Ashley’s “interview with Mel P”:http://books.guardian.co.uk/departments/politicsphilosophyandsociety/story/0,,1798994,00.html , in the Guardian (via “Matt T”:http://www.matthewturner.co.uk/Blog/ ).



Down and Out in Sài Gòn 06.16.06 at 7:36 am

Wasn’t Mel P. one of the Spice Girls? That’s what I thinking when I set out to read the piece, wondering to myself what life-changing experience had made her write books about “Londonistan” and “mass immigration, multiculturalism and the onslaught mounted by secular nihilists against the country’s Judeo-Christian values.”, all set to a 192 RPM beat.

Then I found out it was a different Mel P, and bless Allah for that. For a moment, I thought we had encountered the worst pop career move since William Shatner’s cover of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”.

By this way: I would like to tell abb1, wherever he is, that he is right and I am wrong. In this case, humorless earnestness is far, far worse than try-hard cynicism.


Brendan 06.16.06 at 7:39 am

Orwell talks somewhere about how someone should really do a small study on the ‘style’ of totalitarian discourse. He pointed out that the salient aspect of it is barely suppressed fury, as though the writers is permanently one small step away from jumping out of the book and throttling the reader, all the while screaming ‘Don’t you understand? They are everywhere! EVERYWHERE I TELL YOU!!’.

(The example is from me, not from Orwell).


abb1 06.16.06 at 8:07 am

Is this woman, like, a counterbalance for Ariana Huffington in this time-space continuum?


john m. 06.16.06 at 8:35 am

“Sometimes the word ‘neocon’ is substituted for Jew … “



Brendan 06.16.06 at 8:49 am

“Sometimes the word ‘neocon’ is substituted for Jew … “

I think you’ll find that sometimes the word ‘Republican’ is also substituted for Jew.


abb1 06.16.06 at 9:51 am

Also ‘elitist’, ‘capitalist’, ‘communist’, ‘humanist’ and ‘pianist’.


Richard J 06.16.06 at 10:02 am

A more pertinent Orwellian observation is the one about the habit of ex-Communists going to the kind of conservatism commonly associated with paleo-Catholicism.


abb1 06.16.06 at 12:19 pm

This has nothing to do with Catholicism, of course. It’s a grotesque case of Jewish provincialism. Isaac Asimov deals well with this unfortunate phenomenon in his book A Memoir. Go to page 21 and read from there.


gr 06.16.06 at 2:43 pm

What I find puzzling about this is that MP’s analysis of Britain’s cultural decline echoes, almost to a word, what German conservatives said about Weimar culture in the 1920’s. But of course, these conservatives were not just antiliberals but also antisemites, who tended to blame Weimar’s alleged cultural crisis on the influence of the Jews (who were indeed predominantly of a liberal persuasion). So how did we come to the point that someone who is spouting this moronic antiliberal drivel is now claiming that liberalism is associated with antisemitism? And how can she identify herself with Jews in Weimar while talking like Carl Schmitt? This makes no sense whatsoever.


Cian 06.16.06 at 6:41 pm

Yeah well, she writes for the Daily Mail, which was viciously anti-semite in the 30s (and is still owned by the same family), so obviously she’s immune to those kind of ironies.


tennin 06.16.06 at 8:35 pm

I’ve seen the same Weimar comparison made by other right-wingers. They had some intellectual voodoo to get around the above-mentioned ironies; I forget the details.


abb1 06.17.06 at 2:59 am

she’s immune to those kind of ironies

There’s only one constant in this worldview: “Jews are victims”. Everything else is coincidental, that’s why no irony is possible.

If you read Asimov’s Memoir I linked above (you can browse it on Amazon’s website), he writes about some gathering where he “shared a platform” with Elie Wiesel. Asimov says:

Wiesel irritated me when he said that he did not trust scientists and engineers because scientists and engineers had been involved in conducting the Holocaust.

How can someone this stupid have a sense of irony or any sense at all?

There’s nothing wrong with being an idiot, of course; what I don’t understand is how these idiots get to write opinion columns, host talk shows, run public organizations…


Kenny Easwaran 06.17.06 at 10:57 pm

Re 1: I think you’re thinking of Mel B and Mel C. I think there was no Mel P.

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