An Exciting Week in the World of Wimmen

Languishing on my bed last week, like millions of others I happened upon Brene Brown’s Netflix talk. Brown, like Jordan Peterson, is a data-driven social scientist forced into the public square, in her case, by a Ted talk in which she admitted she’d had a breakdown when she realized that vulnerability was the key to just about everything. Five million views and a lot of embarrassment later, she emerged a star. Brown is just as popular with women as Peterson is with men and just as successful with several different enterprises based on her work. But, of course, primarily, she wants to “heal our divisions”.

Which is becoming big big business.

Therefore with stunning predictability on Tuesday Oprah signed on to the healing-our divisions-cash-cow. In a cover story in the Hollywood Reporter Oprah declares she had NO IDEA people were so pissed they elected the Orange Monster. Therefore, lucky lucky us, with the help of Apple, she is aiming at her old influence where red and blue states people adored her and she brought people together under the great banner of feelings trumping reason. In order to corral her former red state women, she is super super super sorry that she got mired in the progressive elite where only one kind of feeling is permitted (I added that last bit).

Last Sunday, Helen Andrews, editor of the Washington Examiner Magazine, published a long essay in the New York Times, bemoaning the fact that there are no women on the right standing up for the family. Where? she asks, is our Phyllis Schlafly? Where is our Michelle Obama, our Oprah, our Brene Brown?

Um, hello? We’re pretty much hiding out from the empowered women Oprah and Brown and Michelle have stood up. Who are very very scary. Who feel very very strongly about stuff. And they like to kick us out of well … everything. This week, for example, Erika Barootes, the young woman president of the United Conservative Party of Alberta, a few days after running a stunningly effective campaign, left her running group.

“I am stepping away from Run Collective indefinitely.
I am stepping away because I felt I had no other option.
I am stepping away because I received comments of hate, as did those I care about, and I won’t tolerate others being subjected to that.
I am stepping away because for the first time I saw hate in the run community.
I am stepping away because I was discriminated against.
I am put in a position where I feel I must step away because I am conservative.”

“I fear that the actions taken against me due to my political affiliations are not making the world a better, more inclusive place, but rather a divisive black-or-white one, where we cannot have more than one passion (emphasis mine) or that our character is solely attributed to our political party of choice.”

Erika Barootes

Brown and Oprah, while standing up their army of empowered, deep-feeling women, have stood up an army of vicious harpies ready to destroy anyone who does not agree with the prevailing feeling.

Brown identifies the chief need of women as ‘belonging’. This is evolutionarily correct. Women need the tribe to protect their children. It is why women are so quick to conform. The Alpha female acting against the prevailing winds usually ends up in the tundra, with her children at extreme risk.

I have dozens of conservative women friends, maybe hundreds. Many are closeted because they are afraid. Unless they live in a Red State community (and even then…) they don’t want to be cast into darkness. They need to be silent because of their work, or because of their husband’s work, or because they need to feel at home at their church, town meeting, garden club. They need to be invited to the right parties, to feel part of their community, to smile at people when they walk down the street and have them smile back. They need to not be accused of being racist, bigoted and white supremacist. So they stay silent. They know that the moment you become visible politically, you are immediately vulnerable. Actual vulnerability.

Test this. Think of any visible conservative woman. Google her. If a bunch of vile mean-spirited, character-destroying “facts” don’t emerge, it’s just a matter of time.

Brene Brown tries to fix this. She writes about civility, deep listening, empathy, curiosity, sitting in pain with others, about countering ideological bullshit. She recommends a vulnerable front and a strong back. She says if you choose authenticity, people will inevitably attack you.

“You will be in the wilderness….I may not have been liked, and that didn’t feel so great, but I was in my integrity”

Brown’s definition of ‘wilderness’ is the state of being emotionally vulnerable, not the state of being a functioning adult at severe financial risk. And with that, she loses all my respect.

Brown and Oprah have some work to do before they can figure out how to heal the divisions they in part, caused. Fine to splash around your multitude of fans, feeling as if the sun rises and sets at your will, ladies, but by privileging feelings above reason and common sense, you have created this hellfire of a mess.

Fix it.

MKULTRA, Mind Control, and My Momma

I signed onto a class-action lawsuit last week, for the first time in my life, unusual because I am fiercely independent and prefer to just out-live the slings and arrows. Proud too, I guess because there have been many insults if I think about them – which I can’t because my spiritual discipline demands that I not only forgive you, but I forget you ever existed. (This works btw). But this one, this is different, it damaged not only me but my mother, my father, my two brothers, our children, our grandchildren and proved a constantly repeated and terrifying chord, somewhat like the entrance of the villain, during that part of our childhood where you have virtually no defenses to speak of.

MKULTRA was a CIA program created after American Korean War prisoners came home praising Communism. The freaking morons at the CIA decided to create their own brainwashing programs, and lo and behold, they found a willing experimenter up in the wilds of Canada, who actually ran a massive mental hospital in an Italianate villa built to receive Kings and princes, once filled with treasure, and ballrooms and the entire panoply of Asian art, minor Old Masters, and heavy gilt-framed portraits of forgotten great men and their wives. It was a spectacular place in which to destroy minds, lending to the force of the psychiatrist, Ewan Cameron, the trappings of earthly and spiritual power. The Canadian government signed on, happily contributing far more research grant money than the Americans. No one, NOT ONE PATIENT gave consent to being an experimental subject.

It was a spectacular place in which to destroy minds, lending to the force of the psychiatrist, Ewan Cameron, the trappings of earthly and spiritual power.

This is what they did, short form. They took a patient, like my mother, who suffered from post-partum psychosis, triggered by the death of her first baby, and broke her back to infant status by administering massive amounts of shock treatments. Whereupon, she was fitted with a football helmet into which speakers had been placed, and she was played statements about herself over and over and over again, sometimes 500,000 times, stating how unworthy and useless she was. Often using her own voice taped during therapy sessions, when the psychiatrist would elicit her worst feelings about herself.

Then, they would administer LSD. How splendid would that have been? Completely broken and then LSD!!!! Again the football helmet, strapped down and this time, positive affirmations up to 500,000 times.

How likely would you have been able to manage the rest of your life? Cameron only experimented on mildly ill patients, alcoholics, those with post-partum syndrome, depression. He broke people and then returned them back to their families, whereupon we would attempt to assume care, NOT KNOWING what had happened.

In my family that meant a constant level of support and care and worry of the kind one would administer to a dying pet. If the pet was dying for fifty years. When my father died, I left the world I was working in – Paris, London and New York – and came home to take care of her. My father had told me, in no uncertain terms, that when he died, she would de-compensate unless I stood up and assumed his role.

This suit has international and historical significance because it speaks to the power of government. No government should ever experiment on its citizens. We ARE the boss. The precedent must be set and the lesson must not only be learned but seen to be learned.

If there was a way to personally ruin the people who made those decisions, I would counsel it. Regrettably, they are dead. No government official ever suffers the consequences of his decisions. They slither off into pensioned obscurity. Cameron died a few years after retiring, still grasping shreds of his former glory.

There have been modest pay-outs in the past to patients, but no apology from the University, the hospital, the Canadian government or the U.S. government. No admission of fault, despite the egregious ruination of thousands of innocent lives. No compensation even approaching real recompense. Time to move into the modern age, guys. The new populism means we win. Every single time. Or you lose.

Is Attorney-General Barr the necessary Hercules?

In my 20’s, I was pretty crazy politically speaking and by the time I was 30, most of my friends were lefties. Two red diaper babies (children of communists) got me started writing in New York. One found me a job with a film director so detached, I could write all day and the other my first gig at the LA Weekly.

Both went on to become enormously successful, writing for Vanity Fair, bestseller list, winning the Palme D’Or at Cannes, etc. When I moved to London I stayed with one in Camden Town and found myself meeting her father, which was a great treat because everyone in New York’s Soho, from DeNiro to store clerks, worshipped him.

David (not his real name) was a lawyer, head of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military or terrorist arm of the African National Congress, best friend of Mandela, head of the South African Communist Party. He had also spent some time on Interpol’s Most Wanted list.

A couple years later in South Africa for the Mandela release, I found myself interviewing a black man who had been tortured by David’s henchmen. He’d lost an eye and his shoulder was shattered, along with all his fingers on his left arm, which was shriveled. He told me that throughout Africa, the Communist Party under David, killed any liberal black leader who could challenge the Party for dominance. This was confirmed later by a white South African who had studied at Cambridge, and had gone home to start a think tank when Mandela promised a new future.  Behind the happy face of the new South Africa lay Communist-run assassination and torture camps for blacks who only wanted prosperity for all.

During the inevitable Barr hearings, when you contemplate the deeds of Christopher Steele, John Brennan, Jim Comey, Nellie Ohr, Bruce Ohr, Andrew McCabe, Lisa Page, Obama, Podesta and Clinton, think of that. Because each one of these co-conspirators has deep and abiding connections with the Communist Party or are intellectual water carriers for its ideology. They have written on the foundational texts, argued for similar policies, and from 2016 on they tried to engineer an internal coup, an usurpation of power in an act more familiar to Communist dictatorships.

Diane West, in her recent book, “The Red Thread, A Search for Ideological Drivers Inside the Anti-Trump Conspiracy” sources their allegiance to the grim imperatives of Marxism. West has shown in her blog and books, “American Betrayal” and “The Death of the Grownup”, that the American government is stocked with similar men and women who work to overturn the Constitution, accrue power with every policy and regulation, slowly instituting a police state, run by them.

West found Nellie Ohr apologizing for Stalin’s massacre of six million farmers, which Ohr called it “a sad necessity”. Remember it is thought that Ohr not only commissioned the dossier but may have helped re-write it so that it sounded like it was written by a Russian.

Most importantly West answers a question I have held in my mind ever since I met the tortured man: For God’s sake, why? How could these people, people I admired, even loved as a kid, associate themselves with the death cult that is Marxism?

She finds the deepest reason in the writing of James Comey.

“The Christian in politics must be willing to transgress any purely Christian ethic. He must be willing to sin in the name of justice.”

What is Justice to Jim Comey? It is what he says it is.

“Niebuhr believes that the Christian must pursue justice and that justice is achieved through power. The Christian must recognize this connection between power, coercion and justice.”

Here is the moral rot at the center of the coup. They decide.

The Barr investigation offers a stunning opportunity. First, Barr is an unflappable man with a deep understanding of the justice system. I suspect he came back because he was deeply worried by the attempted coup. We have the right president, profoundly courageous and independent. Following the Red Thread, we could root out the thousands of bad actors seeded throughout the American government. We could have a show trial for the next six years, within which the machinations of bureaucrats and politicians and activists who hate the country are laid bare. Because unless that happens, the war against America will only gain power.

Diane West points out that according to assassinated FSB defector, Alexander Litvinenko, Russian intelligence trained Ayman al-Zawaheri before he became head of Al Quaeda in 1998. Jihadis work with the hard left to sow chaos in western democracies. Hysteria and chaos alienate people. The left encourages rage and greed in the black community, hoping they will rise up and attack whites, dividing us further. The more outrageous and hate-filled the charge, the more people turn away from politics, leaving the field to fanatics. Hence Ilan Omar normalizing the hatred of Jews, AOC normalizing hysteria about climate change, legislatures normalizing infanticide and euthanasia and Justice Democrats – who are straight up Marxists – planning to fill the halls of power with their puppets pushing the Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal is a set of policies drawn from the U.N.s Agenda 2030. Everywhere it is tried, the poor and old suffer, the economy starts to die.  It is Cloward-Piven on steroids.  Fiscal catastrophe ensues.

This is deliberate. Green New Deal people believe that only by reducing the population, stopping consumerism, forcing people to live like they did in the 18th century, can the world be saved. At the bottom of The Green New Deal lies genocide. So-called climate change is the perfect weapon.

We are up against a mortal enemy. These next two years could mean their end. Or ours.

featured image from the private collection of Elizabeth Nickson

The Nap Ministry

The only publication I subscribe to is Bon Appetit, which is a lively little Conde Nasty rag which delivers a lot for $2 a month. There is a nest in the staff of radical people of color whose effusions I sometimes enjoy, despite the accusatory hate leveled at filthy white people like me. This week they published a story about the Nap Ministry, an outfit in Georgia, that promotes the nap as necessity, as the source of inspiration, as resistance to Orange Man or Capitalism or Consumerism.

Stripped of its dumb politics, the Nap Ministry is a welcome addition to my Instagram feed, prone as I am to completely wearing myself out. And while I cannot possibly need as much napping as the average black woman, whose burdens seem preposterously high, I do need the reminder.

A hundred years or so ago, Bertrand Russell wrote “In Praise of Idleness” which advances many of the same ideas, riven with the same errant political thought, but ignoring that, Russell points out that rest is not only rest but if you’re looking for inspiration, for guidance, for something to help you transcend and illuminate the meaning of your ordinary life, resting is the way to go.

And then, there’s the Idler, founded in ’93. It is a bi-monthly publication which investigates the glories of loafing. It is great fun, and also has no hectoring. Which is, admit, not restful.

Thanks to hateful capitalism, we are definitely working less. This may be forced upon us, by redundancy, by innovation, by a distaste for corporate control, but more and more of us are living in the gig economy, which delivers quite a bit more leisure than the 9to5 of our grandfathers. People left to their own devices are incredibly innovative in piecing together incomes.

I expect a golden age of lounging in our future and very welcome it will be. Especially to black women.

The Death of the Old Way

(This was published in the Globe and Mail a few years ago. I’m writing about the same culture again, so wanted to archive it for myself. Plus, it’s a great book review, if I do say so myself)

I sometimes think I had the last Victorian childhood in existence, growing up among the Anglo-Protestant clans of Old Montreal. We’re pretty much a diaspora now, clinging to the wreckage, which is all right, things as they have to be. But there was much to love in the old ways, and the best was belonging to a familial grouping of 400 people and having a distinct place within that clan, however marginal. It is why I’ve never been able to fully embrace literary fiction; the isolation of the modernist is so brutal and strange. Far too many people were interested in my fate and reputation, and did not hesitate to criticize. Luckily, I was ridden out of Old Montreal on a rail, so effort at conformity could cease.

  • The Toss of a Lemon, by Padma Viswanathan, Random House Canada, 616 pages, $34.95

How much greater, then, is the loss of the 8,000-year-old culture of the Brahmin caste of the subcontinent? The question is rhetorical, for in The Toss of a Lemon, Padma Viswanathan’s first novel, we see exactly how magnetic, how sinkingly seductive that life was, and how difficult it must have been when the habits and customs of millennia were overturned by the shock of the new.

In 1931, India’s last census to count by caste, Tamil Nadu Brahmins, named after the Indian province where this book takes place, measured a little less than 3 per cent of the population. They were a priestly tribe, descended from the Vedic rishis, enjoined to live a life of learning and non-possessiveness.

The Toss of a Lemon is relentlessly domestic, therefore relentlessly feminine. Politics, independence and war rage on the far borders of the Brahmin quarter, barely noticed. As is business, since the novel’s central family, like most Brahmins, has farms and tenants which support them. It begins with Sivakami, a passive little 13-year-old who trots off obediently to live in her 18-year-old healer husband’s house. A sword hangs over their arranged marriage: If her son is born on the right date, her husband, Hanumarathnam, will die young. Which he does, promptly, on the appointed day. But Hanumarathnam was practical. He taught his young wife, and Muchami, a servant uninterested in women, to manage his farms, so she need not live on charity.

Sivakami dutifully shaves her head and puts aside her beautiful clothes for the two white cotton saris she will wear for the rest of her life. The rules by which she must live are beyond stringent. She can’t touch her children during the day; if she does, she has to bathe. She must cook all her own food and she cannot go outside the gates of the house, and there are dozens more rules. But the life of the quarter streams in though Muchami, her family, her tenant farmers, the inhabitants of the Brahmin quarter, her two children, their friends and spouses, and the many children her daughter, Thangam, bears.

Thangam, of “the burnished hair and molten eyes,” is so gorgeous that “most of the neighbourhood considers Thangam’s beauty itself to be a community service.” She is surrounded by admirers, and eventually begins to shed gold flakes, assiduously collected and used as healing ash. Thangam is married off to a feckless man who neglects her, but not enough to prevent a child being born to the couple almost every year.

The divine Thangam suffers mightily, and no puja or japa by her saintly mother can save her. Her brother, Vairum, can’t save her either, but as an adult, he forbids any more marriages based on horoscopes. Reason, not superstition, must determine the family’s future, and with that, some of the magic trickles away.

Vairum grows into a wealthy businessman, who protects his nieces and nephews. He chooses his musician wife himself despite their joint horoscope predicting childlessness. Vairum can’t overturn that fate until one of his nieces dies of cancer, and he adopts her children, but by then he loathes his mother and her willingness to sacrifice her beloved daughter, his sister, to a husband careless to the point of criminality, for the sake of family reputation.

This is the way class dies, Brahmin, WASP or aristocrat. The sacrifice of individual to clan becomes unbearable, tragic and, finally, impossible.

Leaving the book feels like getting out of a warm bath on a cold day. Viswanathan is a charming writer, and I do not mean to belittle; one’s senses are overwhelmed by a rich density. An almost invisible discipline marches her hundreds of characters from 1896 to 1958. The demons (in the form of an illegitimate child) gather at the garden gate; caste must die, or as a newspaper of the time says, “the upper-caste bigots [must]cast aside their false race pride.” Nothing is said, sniffs a granddaughter, “of mutual dependence and respect. … Brahmins are the servants of society. Why is everyone out to get us?”

Censoring the Right, using a Lot of Jargon

Censorship Wars Using Jargon

by Elizabeth Nickson in media8 Comments

This was published on Victory Girls Blog on April 4, 2019.

Does anyone remember the appearance of poor little rich alien, Mark Zuckerberg in front of Congress in two marathon sessions almost a year ago? One did not envy him. It was a pile on from both the left and the right, and at one point Zuckerberg actually asked Congress to regulate him, especially when it came to politics.

The attitude he displayed when asking for regulation was almost crawling and strikingly similar to Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey’s appearance on the Joe Rogan show on March 5th of this year. For three hours, Dorsey was attacked by leftie journalist Tim Pool principally on the censoring of conservatives, compared to the almost-no-censoring of liberals.

Dorsey apologized over and over again, repeatedly throwing the accusations over to Vijaya Gadde, his global lead for Legal, Policy, Trust, and Safety (an Orwellian title if there ever was one). Gadde brought data with her, but not enough for Pool, and ended by promising over and over again to ‘reach out’ and discuss specific cases with Pool and Rogan. Perhaps, she floated, permanent suspensions could be made temporary. And so on. “Algorithmic deep learning is happening as we speak,” added Jack. Shiver.

They were, however, prepared to discuss the banning of Alex Jones, uncomfortably. Also Milo. Uncomfortably. Also the banning of the phrase ‘Learn to code’, which was leveled at the many fired journalists after the Covington Boys fiasco. But Pool asked, “Why were the Proud Boys banned and not Antifa?” They wobbled, but Pool did not give up. He roasted them. Again, a self-identified progressive took the side of banned conservatives.

Both Jack Dorsey and Vijaya Gadde apologized many times over the course of the three-hour discussion, made many statements about trying harder, claimed they worried ceaselessly about this and that. That banning people sent them to the dank underground of the human psyche and who knows what would come out of that? The jargon was killing: ‘Cost-benefit analysis’, ‘deep learning’, ‘evolution in prioritization’, ‘massive velocity’, and preventing ‘harm’. “We have to work with the technologies, tools, and conditions we have today and evolve over time where we can see examples,” said Jack. “We are working on opening up the aperture even more. We understand that binary on or off is not scalable. A permanent ban is not desirable”. “Nuances are coming”. “Sunlight is the best disinfection,” said Gadde. “We worry about driving people away from the platform and affecting their real lives.” And so endlessly on.

Wired Magazine points out that these guys have been apologizing for 14 years. Senator John Thune called Zuckerberg on it last Wednesday. “After more than a decade of promises to do better, how is today’s apology different…?”

It’s different because opinion is turning against the digital giants and, at the same time, against the left-wing which has turned social discourse into shrieking hysteria. On Friday NBC/WSJ published a poll declaring that 60% don’t trust Facebook. Big majorities say social media divides us, spreads falsehoods and unfair attacks. And 82% say social media sites waste people’s time. The negative opinions run across the political spectrum.

Lawsuits are mounting from both sides of the aisle. Devin Nunes filed a $250,000,000 suit against Twitter last month and Twitter isn’t broke but their insurance rates will skyrocket if he succeeds. The New Yorker published a take-down of the corrupt Southern Poverty Law Centre on March 21, which all the digital giants used to determine whether you were a good guy or a stinking racist. The lawsuits based on that censorship could be impressive.There were about half a dozen suits lodged against Facebook in the last week alone.

Next week, Facebook, Twitter, and Google are appearing in Congress to specifically answer alleged censorship of conservative voices. Google has been accused of skewing millions of votes for Democrats in the 2018 election

Facebook has promised a dog and pony show. “Facebook said public policy director Nil Potts will provide testimony at a Wednesday hearing titled “Stifling Free Speech: Technological Censorship and the Public Discourse held by the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution.

No doubt they will weasel out using some of the newspeak listed above. But maybe not. Something shifted around the time of the Covington Boys. You could feel it on Facebook as evidence mounted that the story being sold was not only wrong but cruel to the point of criminality. On Dave Rubin’s podcast this week, the lawyer for the Covington Boys, Robert Barnes, discussed the case and free speech. Barnes has sued CNN and the Washington Post for $275,000,000 and $250,000,000 respectively and he doesn’t plan to lose. Barnes is considered one of the leading figures in the free speech wars.

These are scary numbers for media struggling with ratings. Even one win will embolden other conservatives to stop taking the endless slander and bullying lying down. The behavior of the mainstream media (of which I was a member for 15 years) has been egregious beyond belief for the past two years. 90% of Trump stories are negative and 95% of reporters are left-wing. The security of conservatives on staff is tenuous at best. This is not open and free discourse. This is very close to Fahrenheit 451.

In Canada, it’s even worse. We have one right-of-center tabloid chain which is under ceaseless attack as racist Nazis, all the rest of our broadsheets are staffed by socialists or scaredy-cats. Our national broadcaster is bought and paid for by the current Liberal government to the tune of $1.1 billion annually, and just last month, the same Liberal government invested $600,000,000 in print media, conveniently ahead of the fall election. This, fyi, is how bad it can get.

Equally, people are becoming increasingly aware of the left’s use of lawfare against people who can’t afford to defend themselves. They perfected this in rural regions all over the world, but especially in rural America. Environmentalists backed by massive foundation money lodged suit after suit against foresters, ranchers, miners, farmers and any manufacturing concern that used raw materials drawn from natural resources. They broke county after county, township after township. Despite Trump’s deregulation and his new people in Interior and the EPA. Rural America is still operating at less than 50% of capacity. Up in Canada, we have allowed left-wing American foundations to spend $300 Million with the goal of decommissioning our oil sands. Alberta’s oil sands infrastructure is one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the most advanced environmentally-sound infrastructure project in the oil business. It is operating at half speed if that and all new routes to export have been mothballed, leaving the resource virtually landlocked. Two researchers working on their own, without pay for 15 years uncovered this scam, and still, no one will stand up and take these people down in court. Nevertheless, people are angry. We have a couple of important elections coming up and they are looking to landslide right. Even Canadians can fight back.

Are we seeing a tipping point in the culture? I am sensing the screeching and crunching of a forced widening of discourse, somewhat like the tomb door opening in a Lara Croft Tomb Raider film. In five years, if we win this battle, we will be living in a far healthier world. If not, we all better get used to muzzling our speech.

Featured image: Mark Zuckerberg cariacture by DonkeyHoteyCreative Commons License 2.0 (CC BY 2.0)

censorship Dave Rubin Jack Dorsey Joe Rogan Mark Zuckerberg Tim Pool

My Identity: Tom Sawyer? Deb? Tortured artist?

I personally think that one’s sexual identity is the least interesting thing about a person, but I understand that is not a common thought or feeling. I do understand why people would be fascinated by the new and strange, and the current new and strange is transsexuality. Therefore people are in a lather one way or another

I didn’t meet my first out gay person till I was 20, and I promptly fell in love with him and stayed in love till he died horribly from Aids. From then on, there has been a cavalcade of gay men and women in my life. My best friend in New York was a gay man, my boarding school roommate turned out to be gay and recently married her current wife after a first marriage to the father of her children. Most I’ve met are fantastic people, with a fresh eye on the world and straight culture and I almost always appreciate them. So I don’t really get homophobia, other than understanding that a frank and outspoken gay sexual identity is new to some people and maybe a bit scary. I worked on a film investigating identity so met quite a few transsexuals, pre and post operation and some straight up transvestites. The transvestites were pretty confident, compared to the transsexuals who, the newer they were, the more fragile and frightened. They needed quite a lot of care and soothing. Which makes sense, why would you withhold simple compassion?

Simple compassion would defuse a lot of anger. Jordan Peterson who stands on a flaming bed of fame because he is unafraid of being tough on the vulnerable, was right when he said we should not be forced to use certain pronouns. However, it is right and kind that we should choose to honor the choices of our fellows. The thing about the free world is that one must have free will to choose to be a stupid bastard or a simple, good human. Without that, we are truly lost. Isn’t that obvious?

By the way, this is how I see myself. This identity has been slivered throughout my working life. I carry around a bunch of masks: the socialite, the sophisticate, the worthy Canadian, the graduate student, the dispassionate reporter, the bewildered mother, stepmother and grandmother, the country kid who identifies as Tom Sawyer and the tortured beast sitting in front of an easel wondering from whence the next string of words. Sorry for the tilt on the photo, I’m tired.

Joe Biden – Uncle Scuzzy

I started a couple of fights on Facebook over Joe Biden’s unrestrained pawing of women while their menfolk looked on in disgust and impotent fury. ‘Why the anger?’ said these guys, ‘Surely it’s disproportionate. He’s a decent human being.’

No, he’s not. He uses his power to exhibit behaviour that is demeaning, humiliating and frankly, cruel. He has displayed his character and now he’s been busted. And thanks to #metoo, he’s done. He won’t run for President and at every speech and confab, there will be women looking at him with their skin crawling. He deserves it.

Tatler tells – One Year of Meghanomania

An old bf (a brief brief time it was too) published a piece about Meghan Markle in Tatler this week. Tatler is the top society mag in the world and one of the oldest magazines still in existence. David’s piece (read it here: pretty much has to be seen as definitive for now. “One Year of Meghanomania” is a masterful thrash round the nodes of royal gossip, which manages to demonstrate in all its awful grandeur just how the toffs are handling the incursion of Hollywood into their extremely special, special safe place.

Answer? Not Well. Not well at all. I do not think that, in the English-speaking world, there is any bunch of people more sharp-tongued and cruel than the British aristocracy. Their sense of entitlement is so hard-wired, they aren’t even aware it exists. Basically if they are after you, you are the fox and they are thundering across the field on two thousand pound highly trained animals. And they have guns.

I do not think that, in the English-speaking world, there is any bunch of people more sharp-tongued and cruel than the British aristocracy. Their sense of entitlement is so hard-wired, they aren’t even aware it exists. Basically, if they are after you, you are the fox and they are thundering across the field on two thousand pound highly trained animals. And they have guns.

Here’s the critical set up: “Was the tiara at the centre of that tantrum already promised to Princess Eugenie for her wedding, as some believe? (Harry and Meghan, don’t forget, queue-barged their way into the first Windsor wedding of 2018.) And did the Queen veto Meghan’s plans for a sleeveless wedding dress? The rumours may be false, but not as false as the speculation Meghan was pregnant on her wedding day – ‘that’s why the dress was so baggy,’ one young woman assured me – and certainly not as false as the rumour that theirs is an IVF baby.

Here’s what is happening to her because of the jealousy: “But it’s rumours like that, and the drip, drip, drip of stories about aides leaving Meghan’s employ and servants being upset by her manner, that are making their lives such a misery. The Prince of Wales’ enthusiasm for his daughter-in-law is being ignored, as is Meghan’s role as the catalyst for a new warmth between Harry and his father. People who’ve lunched with her have loved her; she’s beautiful; she’s clever; she’s made Harry happy. What’s not to like?”

Have the toffs brought her down yet? Not yet, but they’re having an effect.

But are they happy as a couple? Harry’s circle has narrowed, and Meghan has shown how stung she’s been by letting her friends defend her in People magazine. George Clooney has stood up for her, invoking what happened to Diana, Princess of Wales as a warning. And it’s tough when her make-up chum, Daniel Martin, posts a picture of the tea she had laid out for him – avocado on toast, chocolates – and the line, ‘Thank you Meghan for being the consummate hostess this weekend and still being the #avocadotoastwhisperer’, and posh noses sniff; it’s just not on, they say – what sort of person is she having around? Meghan wants a doula; cue mockery. Even though Britain has ten times more interracial relationships than the rest of Europe, according to a study quoted by Afua Hirsch, author of Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, some of the antipathy must be racist, as it was of the biracial President Obama. Which is hard to stomach. Some of it is anti-American, in the mocking Gwyneth Paltrow dynamic-5am-email sense. Some of it is captured in the Daily Express headline ‘Loving… but dominating’. Some of it reflects sadness at the passing of the Jack the Lad Harry, the roguish Harry, the roistering Harry, in favour of a more sober, duller version.”

My advice? Avoid toffs at all costs.

Where Conservatism fails Women

In another 50 years, men may regain the status they lost, but it’s going to be an uncomfortable few decades for them. I’m not sad.

I listened to as much self-congratulatory guff from Jordan Peterson and Roger Scruton in Peterson’s latest podcast as I could tolerate. Much of it seemed to mourn the loss of status they have collectively as men and the irrationality of women who won’t accept that the traditional ways served women best. “When, O when will it end?” was the tone of the (very long) podcast.

I have some sympathy for this idea, some, it’s not very large. In fact, it’s kindof tiny. I do believe that the marriages of the elites are stable and equitable, and frankly I think they always have been so. Intelligent men and women understand that deep mutual respect is the base from which to build a family, that each contributes very specific skills and talents the other does not hold and power plays are self-destructive. It’s obvious, I don’t need to belabor this.

What Peterson and Scruton miss in their paens to themselves as excellent male beings, that while they may always have been wonderful (I doubt it) their generation of men has not. The level of self-indulgence, the cheating, drug-taking, promiscuity and generally vile behavior of boomers and Gen Xers has been spectacular. And any women knows, any woman, that if it hasn’t happened to you, it’s happened to one of your friends. They have been abandoned, with the care of children entirely theirs, having given up work to build a family. Afterwards, they rebuild, with half the money if not less, a tiny proportion of the opportunity of the male, and 90% of the child-raising responsibilities. At least half of women, half, have experienced this in the last 50 years, and I am not even counting the women who sucked it up and carried on in marriages where he ran around and she kept the family going. Another 25%?

Of course some women have been badly behaved, but this pales before the immutable fact that child-rearing is their primary responsibility, and therefore their ability to make money is limited.

Let’s build in here the fact that attractive women in any workplace have been, and still are, prey.

Peterson has done sterling work in waking up young men to their responsibilities, proving decisively that in being responsible adults, you find yourself and a great deal more. But the endless harping on the insufficiencies of “feminists” is silly and beneath him.

Finally, I was at a think tank thrash a few years ago where Scruton tried to prove that gay marriage was wrong. I love (loved) his work, but this was disqualifying. It behooves men like Scruton to try to see things from another’s rather less privileged perspective. I don’t care if this makes me seem an identitarian nutcase, it’s true. In another 50 years, men may regain the status they lost, but it’s going to be an uncomfortable few decades for them. I’m not sad.