Category Archive 'John Derbyshire'
04 Aug 2015
John Derbyshire explicates the two-minutes-of-hate observed all over Western society in honor of Dr. Palmer, the lion-slayer.
[W]hy the massive nationwide hysteria over a lion killed in a remote, badly misgoverned country, under some rather technical issues of local illegality, by a hunter who plausibly was not aware of those issues?
Because, inevitably, the whole incident became refracted through the lens of current public discourse in the U.S.A. into a skirmish in what I call the Cold Civil War: that is, the everlasting struggle between, on the one hand, the Progressive goodwhites who dominate our countryâ€™s mainstream cultureâ€”the Main Stream Media, the universities and law schools, big corporations, the federal bureaucracyâ€”and, on the other hand, the ignorant gap-toothed hillbilly redneck badwhites clinging to their guns and religion out on the despised margins of civilized society.
Dr. Palmer is, of course, a badwhite. The evidence for this in in his actions. Hunting charismatic megafauna for sport is a thing only badwhites do. Big game trophy hunting is in fact as typically, characteristically badwhite as shopping at Whole Foods, or patronizing microbreweries, or listening to NPR are characteristically goodwhite.
For a full catalog of typical goodwhite lifestyle choices I refer you to Christian Landersâ€™ 2008 book Stuff White People Likeâ€”slightly out of date now, but still reliable on most points. I have occasionally entertained the notion of putting out an updated version to be titled Stuff Goodwhites Like, with a companion volume titled, of course, Stuff Badwhites Like. Big game trophy huntingâ€”indeed, hunting of all kindsâ€”would definitely be listed in that latter volume, along with commercial beer, pickup trucks, Protestant Christianity, side-clip suspenders, NASCAR, and other badwhite favorites.
Read the whole thing. Derbyshire’s dissection of Jimmy Kimmel is too good to miss.
03 Jun 2014
Like myself, John Derbyshire zoned out before managing to make it all the way through Ta-Nehisi Coates’ endless whiny anecdotes of alleged past injustices intended to make a case for yet more racial navel-gazing leading to black reparations.
Coatesâ€™ piece is very long: 15,768 words. Thatâ€™s longer than the Book of Proverbs. I read at about 300 words a minute, so Iâ€™d have to commit almost an hour of my life to reading the wretched thing.
For another, itâ€™s about a topic I have no interest in: American blackness.
I bear no ill will towards American blacks and would not deprive them of a jot nor tittle of their constitutional protections. I treat the blacks I encounter with proper courtesy and respect, and have publicly urged the nonblack youth of America to do the same.
Itâ€™s just that Iâ€™m not interested in blacks in the generality, and find their endless complaining tiresome. I donâ€™t have to listen to itâ€”you canâ€™t make meâ€”so I prefer not to. …
So far as I can tell from scanning his columns, all he writes about is blackness. Does even he find it that interesting? Obviously, yes.
Thereâ€™s a narrowness, a poverty of imagination there. I count myself fairly limited in my interestsâ€”I know nothing about sport, or art, or TV, or celebritiesâ€”but in the past three months Iâ€™ve found something to say about consciousness, biohistory, literature, General Relativity, opera, science, Ireland, China, humanitarianism, eugenics, child-raising, Liverpool, Asian-Americans, psychology, poetry, Puerto Rico, global warming, genomics, robotics, and Intelligent Design. Meanwhile Coates has been droning on about blackety-blackety-blackness.
So my deduction is that Ta-Nehisi Coates is just another Affirmative-Action mediocrity grumbling ceaselessly about Whitey.
(I always assume that any black person in a well-paid position is an Affirmative Action hire. I shall cease assuming this, at least so far as new hires are concerned, when Griggs v. Duke Power is overturned and the stupid and odious doctrine of â€œdisparate impactâ€ is declared by the Supreme Court to be impermissible in legal arguments.)
Way I look at it, if God had meant me to squander my precious hours reading 15,000-word articles written by Affirmative Action mediocrities on topics of zero interest to me, He wouldnâ€™t have given me the Ctrl-F key.
So no, I havenâ€™t read all through the thing. Okay?
Derbyshire correctly identifies what Mr. Coates is really after.
What they really want is for everyone else to find blackness as infinitely fascinating as they themselves find it. This is clearer in the interview Coates gave to Bill Moyers, which comes with a full transcript. From which:
I think, one of the things is that we talk about race a lot, we do. So I think itâ€™s wrong to say we donâ€™t have conversations. No, we actually talk about it quite a bit. I donâ€™t think we talk about it in depth as much as we should. And I think part of the problem is when you start talking about it in depth, when you start getting to a level where you say, listen, everything we are, everything we have is built on past sins.
[Facing the Truth: The Case for Reparations, Moyers And Company, May 21, 2014]
â€œI know youâ€™re all going to roll your eyes if I say we need to have a conversation about race, but you know what? We really do need to have a conversation about race! In depth! We donâ€™t talk about race enough!â€
The dream of the Eric Holders and Ta-Nehisi Coateses is for us all to talk about race 24-7â€”although of course only in a vocabulary approved by them: acknowledging collective white guilt and sympathizing with the sufferings of blacks.
Personally, Iâ€™d rather pay the reparations, if I thought it would shut them up. It wouldnâ€™t, of course.
16 Mar 2013
John Derbyshire is getting on in years, which enables him to notice that, over the course of a human lifetime, a lot of things do not actually change at all.
The necktie I wore to a minor local function last night was one my mother gave me for my sixteenth birthday in 1961. True, I am not a fashion plate, but nobody noticed the tie. Itâ€™s a plain four-in-hand tie, not a bow tie, puff tie, ascot, kerchief, stock, cravat, or ruff. It took us five centuries to get from the ruff to the necktie, but nothing much was changing for most of those years, and nothing much has changed since the necktie arrived in my grandfatherâ€™s time. Karl Marx and Thomas Kuhn got that much right, at least: Most change is sharp, revolutionary, and discontinuous. In between changes, we coast.
In large social and political matters, we have been stuck in a rut since the early 1960s, as Mandela-olatry illustrates. That slight Thatcher-Reagan detour notwithstanding, managerial socialism is still the ruling economic orthodoxy for practical purposes. If Paul Krugman were to be indisposed, we could have the cryogenics lab revivify J. K. Galbraith to write Krugmanâ€™s New York Times columns; nobody would notice the difference. One thing that makes geezers such as me weary of politics is that todayâ€™s orthodoxies are the same as those of our student days, only now there is no elite opposition.
11 Apr 2012
National Review’s firing of John Derbyshire as the result of his publishing some uncomplimentary opinions about African Americans in a totally different venue struck several conservative commentators, including yours truly, as a cowardly and conformist expression of eyes-on-the-main-chance, professional “realism.”
NR’s Rich Lowry did not actually bow to what David Weigel described as a “micro-movement building [on the left -JDZ] to shame National Review into firing Derbyshire.” He threw Derbyshire directly under the political correctness bus before the left had really begun to howl for blood.
Those of us on the sidelines shrugged, and grimaced a little with distaste, over one more disagreeable example of life in today’s United States in the Second Era of Reconstruction and We-Know-Better social engineering and thought control, but it wasn’t until Gawker published an interview on Monday with John Derbyshire, which incidentally revealed that he is suffering from Leukemia and undergoing Chemotherapy, that the full dimensions of National Review’s actions came into focus.
NR did not just dismiss one of its eccentric and quarrelsome loose cannon contributors for injudicious commentary. NR instantly made a cover-its-own-ass at any cost decision, and facing a minor PC controversy in the middle of a period of time in which racial politics and controversies are actively raging, ruthlessly turned on one of its own they obviously knew was gravely ill.
I’d say that kind of behavior reflects a much more serious discredit on National Review than offenses against the community of fashion’s code of speech propriety ever could.
About the only positive thing I can find to say for NR is, at least they let Mark Steyn criticize NR’s actions on their own web-site.
The Left is pretty clear about its objectives on everything from climate change to immigration to gay marriage: Rather than win the debate, theyâ€™d just as soon shut it down. Theyâ€™ve had great success in shrinking the bounds of public discourse, and rendering whole areas of public policy all but undiscussable. In such a climate, my default position is that Iâ€™d rather put up with whatever racist/sexist/homophobic/Islamophobic/whateverphobic excess everybodyâ€™s got the vapors about this week than accept ever tighter constraints on â€œacceptableâ€ opinion. …
The net result of Derbâ€™s summary execution by NR will be further to shrivel the parameters, and confine debate in this area to ever more unreal fatuities. He knew that mentioning the Great Unmentionables would sooner or later do him in, and, in an age when shrieking â€œThatâ€™s totally racist!â€ is totally gay, he at least has the rare satisfaction of having earned his colors. Yet what are we to make of wee, inoffensive Dave Weigel over at Slate? The water still churning with blood, the sharks are circling poor old Dave for the sin of insufficiently denouncing the racist Derbyshire. Weigel must go for not enthusiastically bellowing, â€œDerbyshire must go!â€ Come to think of it, I should probably go for querying whether Weigel should go.
NR shouldnâ€™t be rewarding those who want to play this game. The more sacrifices you offer up, the more ravenously the volcano belches.
PS If Derbâ€™s piece is sufficiently beyond the pale that its author must be terminated immediately, why is its publisher â€” our old friend Taki â€” proudly listed on the NR masthead?
09 Apr 2012
Take that, heretic!
What’s the difference between NYM and NR? Coming across John Derbyshire’s politically incorrect remarks in Taki’s Magazine the other day, I complimented Derbyshire on his courage and quoted and linked the piece.
National Review, on the other hand, responded by firing him.
I did not mean to specifically subscribe to Derbyshire’s estimate of the precise percentage of the African-American community constituting its dangerously Xenophobic portion or to his specific figures pertaining to intelligence found in sample populations, but I certainly did take the view that Derbyshire was basically saying aloud what everybody knows and what everybody considers forbidden to say out loud.
NR’s editor Rich Lowry hastily lifted the ancient conservative journal’s petticoats high in the air, emitted a shrill scream, and leaped high upon a chair upon being confronted with a piece of commentary published in a different venue by an NR contributor containing such sentiments. Like Stella Gibbons’ Aunt Ada Doom, in Cold Comfort Farm, Editor Lowry seems liable to be scarred and traumatized for life as the result of encountering “something nasty,” not in the woodshed, but rather in Taki Theodoracopoulas’s webzine.
Derbyshire’s comments, warning non-African Americans to be careful of African American neighborhoods and groups, Lowry opined, were not only “nasty.” They were indefensible and outlandish.
Lowry, of course, did not explain that he was firing Derbyshire for violating the speech taboos defined by political correctness. That wouldn’t look well. No, no, he was firing Derbyshire for exploiting his association with National Review. No one, Lowry implies, would think of bothering to read Derbyshire published in Takimag, were he not a grand and magnificent member of the NR writing stable. The bounder, Lowery explained, was using NR’s brand “to get more oxygen for views with which weâ€™d never associate ourselves. … So there has to be a parting of the ways.”
It’s important to clarify these things. If NR failed to fire Derbyshire, it’s perfectly obvious, isn’t it? that all of NR’s readers would naturally assume that all NR writers and editors and all the features, editorials, and reviews published in NR, past, present, and future implicitly endorsed everything John Derbyshire did, wrote, thought, or said otherwise. That’s how journal publication works.
The fact that during the very same Easter weekend news reports appeared featuring excerpts of videos being distributed on the Net showing a crowd of Baltimore African Americans beating, robbing, and gleefully stripping naked a drunken white tourist on St. Patrick’s Day inevitably further underlined the outlandishness and indefensibility of Derbyshire’s observations.
The great American racial comedy proceeds ad infinitum, with Derbyshire’s martyrdom at conservative hands representing a particularly funny interlude between weeks of agitation over Trayvon Martin and the latest racial outrage on the streets of Baltimore.
It is a little dispiriting that the left had hardly begun agitating for John Derbyshire’s execution when prominent representatives of the right had already proactively removed his head. (Derbyshire wasn’t only fired by Lowry. He was denounced by Jonah Goldberg and Ramesh Ponnuru as well.
Of course, this is a tempest in an inkpot. The emolument for contributions to journals of opinion, even NR, is undoubtedly nothing terribly large, and writing for Takimag probably does not pay much less than writing for NR.
But all this does demonstrate, once again, just how thoroughly the culture of Puritan hypocrisy and cant continues to dominate American intellectual life.
What really happened here is that another of those unruly expatriate Brits came up against the (from his point of view) silly and bizarre cultural taboos enforced on this side of the Atlantic. In Europe generally, and in Britain in particular, franker speech, and bolder humor, on racial matters typically prevails. The Brits and Europeans have, in this area, at least, freer speech than do we.
Derbyshire really ought to have been awarded special clemency, on the basis of the Americans With Disabilities Act, since in his capacity as a heterosexual Briton he cannot possibly be expected to understand, or enter into, our domestic American racial hypocrisies and neuroses.
NYM is not quite alone in defending Derbyshire, the Village Voice lists other offenders.
09 Mar 2006
John Derbyshire from FrankJ‘s blog:
Here’s a good list of Derbyisms:
*** Journalists are scum.
*** Is this any way for free people to live?
*** Cry Havoc! And let slip the appropriate dogs.
*** I don’t see how you can ever have enough nukes.
*** I do have some opinions that arenâ€™t very respectable.
*** Like any honest reactionary, I loathe the New York Times.
*** For most people, college education is a waste of time and money.
*** The ducks aren’t ever going to line up. The ducks are trying to kill you.
*** American society is increasingly a conspiracy of the smart against the dumb.
*** Marriage is one of those things that works best when people don’t think about it too much.
*** The Middle East contains three hundred million people, and most of them are crazy as coots.
*** Carve into your mind in great stone letters: This nation is the hope, and the conscience, of the world.
*** Let’s face it, in the great 20th-century struggle between the state and the individual, the state has won, game, set, and match.
*** The fact is that political stupidity is a special kind of stupidity, not well correlated with intelligence, or with other varieties of stupidity.
*** Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all, enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy.
*** I want to live among people who can read, write, give correct change and name the capital of their state. Beyond that, I think education is a luxury that people should pay for themselves.
*** Stereotypes are, in fact, merely one aspect of the mind’s ability to make generalizations, without which science and mathematics, not to mention much of everyday life, would be impossible.
*** This is life. People stumble and grope blindly hither and thither, wondering if they did the right thing, occasionally knocking something over and hoping no-one noticed, striving for illusory goals, addled with guilt and insecurity.
*** Look at our fool diplomats, poring over their treaties and resolutions and communiquÃ©s, while young men with burning eyes slip silently into our cities with boxes, canisters, cargoes, vials, and suitcases curiously heavy. Look at this proud tower! And feel its foundations tremble.
*** Does it not occur to you…that by purging all sacred images, references, and words from our public life, you are leaving us with nothing but a cold temple presided over by the Goddess of Reason — that counterfeit deity who, as history has proved time and time and time again, inspires no affection, retains no loyalties, soothes no grief, justifies no sacrifice, gives no comfort, extends no charity, displays no pity, and offers no hope, except to the tiny cliques of fanatical ideologues who tend her cold blue flame?
One can find him at the Corner as well.
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