Category Archives: Ilana Mercer

I Said ‘Sentimentality'; Steyn Says ‘Screw Your Hashtag Solidarity’

Ilana Mercer, Islam, Jihad, Media, Terrorism

It doesn’t happen often, but just this time it feels good to be able to say, for once, that my “Show Of Solidarity Or Sentimentality? Winning À La The West” (01.07.15)—a post pertaining to the pens-up “defiance” in the wake of the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo—is considerably milder than Mark Steyn’s version of the same sickened sentiment (Jan 9, 2015):

MARK STEYN: These men were exceptionally brave. Most of the people expressing solidarity with them are not that brave. … And to be honest, it makes me vomit to see people holding these Princess Dianafied candlelit vigils, and using the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie – I am Charlie -and in effect appropriating these guys’ sacrifice for this bogus solidarity. It makes me sick to see all these ‘the pen is mightier than the sword’ cartoons that have appeared in newspapers all over the United States, Canada, Britain, Germany, France, Australia, everywhere, from other cartoonists, again expressing solidarity with these very brave men – but not doing what they did…

These guys are dead because back in 2005, these Danish cartoons were published in an obscure Jutland newspaper, and a bunch of fanatics went bananas and started killing people over them. So a couple of publications on the planet, including mine in Canada, and Charlie Hebdo in Paris, published these cartoons… Le Monde didn’t, and the Times of London didn’t, and the New York Times didn’t, and nobody else did. And as a result, these fellows in Charlie Hebdo became the focus of murderous rage. If we’d all just published them on the front page and said “If you want to kill us, you go to hell, you can’t just kill a couple of obscure Danes, you’re going to have to kill us all”, we wouldn’t have this problem. But because nobody did that, these Parisian guys are dead. They’re dead. And I’ve been on enough, I’ve been on enough events in Europe with less famous cartoonists than these who live under death threats, live under armed guard, have had their family restaurant firebombed – it’s happened to a Norwegian comedienne I know – have come home and found their home burned, as a Swedish artist I know happened to. And all these people doing the phony hashtag solidarity, screw your phony hashtag solidarity. Let’s have some real solidarity – or if not, at least have the good taste to stay the hell out of it.

(A somewhat related critique of Steyn is here.)


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UPDATED: A Sad Christmas Story (Letter From Assistant Director Of ACS)

Christianity, Crime, Family, Film, Ilana Mercer, IMMIGRATION

“A Sad Christmas Story” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

Described by a critic as “one of those rare movies you can say is perfect in every way,” “A Christmas Story,” directed by Bob Clark, debuted in 1983.

Set in the 1940s, the film depicts a series of family vignettes through the eyes of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker, who yearns for that gift of all gifts: the Daisy Red Ryder BB gun.

This was boyhood before “bang-bang you’re dead” was banned; family life prior to “One Dad Two Dads Brown Dad Blue Dads,” and Christmas before Saint Nicholas was denounced for his whiteness and “merry Christmas” condemned for its exclusiveness.

If children could choose the family into which they were born, most would opt for the kind depicted in “A Christmas Story,” where mom is a happy homemaker, dad a devoted working stiff, and between them, they have zero repertoire of progressive psychobabble to rub together.

Although clearly adored, Ralphie is not encouraged to share his feelings at every turn. Nor is he, in the spirit of gender-neutral parenting, circa 2014, urged to act out like a girl if he’s feeling … girlie. Instead, Ralphie is taught restraint and self-control. And horrors: The little boy even has his mouth washed out with soap and water for uttering the “F” expletive. “My personal preference was for Lux,” reveals Ralphie, “but I found Palmolive had a nice piquant after-dinner flavor—heady but with just a touch of mellow smoothness.” Ralphie is, of course, guilt-tripped with stories about starving Biafrans when he refuses to finish his food.

The parenting practiced so successfully by Mr. and Mrs. Parker fails every progressive commandment. By today’s standards, the delightful, un-precocious protagonist of “A Christmas Story” would be doomed to a lifetime on the therapist’s chaise lounge—and certainly to daily doses of Ritalin, as punishment for unbridled boyishness and day-dreaming in class. Yet despite his therapeutically challenged upbringing, Ralphie is a happy little boy. For “Progressives”—for whom it has long been axiomatic that the traditional family is the source of oppression for women and children—this is inexplicable.

Perhaps the first to have conflated the values of the bourgeois family with pathological authoritarianism was philosopher Theodor Adorno. …

… Read the complete column. “A Sad Christmas Story” is the current column, now on WND.

UPDATE (12/28): A Treasured Letter From Assistant Director of “A Christmas Story.”

Hi Ms. Mercer,

I want to thank you for the article you wrote on “A Christmas Story”. Bob would have really loved your opening paragraph.

My name is … I was a friend of Bob’s in addition to being his 1st Assistant Director on most of his movies, including “A Christmas Story” and “Porky’s.

Both Bob and Jean Shepard had “Jewish” sensibilities and there were plenty of the tribe working on the set and in the executive substructure.

In fact, the sign of the Chinese restaurant that the Parker’s went to was called Bo Ling. I mention this because the name of that restaurant was Bob’s recognition of my MOTHER’s contribution to his career.

The story of Bo ling occurred when my family was driving from NY to south Florida in 1961. It was getting late and we were all hungry when my mother shouted that there was a Chinese Restaurant at the next exit. Dad pulled off and as we drove up to the building we all realized that there was no restaurant but a bowling alley with the neon light of the “L” was not lit, hence Bo ling was later immortalized in the movie.

The only critical point that I would make is I think you should have mentioned that Bob and Arial were killed by a drunk driver, who happened to be an illegal alien. [

Again, I really enjoyed reading your article. Even after all these years it is still in the public consciousness and Bob would have loved that too.

REPLY:

Dear KG,

This note means a great deal; it’s of historic significance.

Thanks for the pointer against my point on illegality. Here is my counter to it, excerpted from an older article:

Bob Clark, director of one of the most delightful films ever made, “A Christmas Story,” and his 24-year-old son were both killed by a drunk, unlicensed, allegedly illegal alien. Geraldo and Jacoby, the teletwits of amnesty, both asserted that the illegality of the perp is irrelevant to the crime. “It’s not an illegal alien story; it’s a drunk driving story,” Geraldo noodled on “The Factor.”
Geraldo was serious, although he should not be taken seriously. So here’s my next question: For the Geraldo/Jacoby crushingly stupid claim to stick, they would have to demonstrate that had this drunk, illegal alien been stopped at the border or been deported, his victims would have nevertheless suffered the same fate.

Thus illegality matters to this story of lives lost. Had the Overlords in DC not facilitated the unleashing of this illegal individual, Bob and his son would be alive, at least on that day.

Warm regards,
I.


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Rest In Peace, Dennis O’Keeffe

Family, Ilana Mercer, Intellectualism, Liberty

I met Dennis O’Keeffe, of blessed memory, at a Liberty Fund colloquium entitled “History, Citizenship and Patriotism in Liberal Democracy,” where Dennis—a professor of sociology at the University of Buckingham and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Economic Affairs—was in his element.

David Conway, a mutual friend and a stellar scholar too, had invited me to partake in an exchange of ideas with some of the finest minds in Britain. With his twinkling blue eyes, sonorous voice, and beautiful mind, Dennis was the star. Not only was he a beautiful mind; Dennis was a beautiful person to know and be around. A patrician, the dashing Dennis was also kind, sweet, humble; with an uncanny ability to engage intellectually and personally with interlocutors.

Needless to say, that the idyllic and breathtaking setting of the Ockenden Manor in Cuckfield, West Sussex, England, and the intimate quorum—only fifteen people partook—was conducive not only to the exploration of ideas, but to the forging of an enduring friendship.

Dennis and I were in epistolary contact until That Fateful Day, also the beginning of the end. From May 2006, until Dennis’ last missive to me, on November 11, 2010—we exchanged close to 100 emails. In his last letter, Dennis wrote:

Dear Ilana

I will happily write a foreword to your book, “Into The Cannibal’s Pot: Lessons For America From Post-Apartheid South Africa.” You can send me the text electronically I guess. … I suspect you are up against a mix of fear and sentimentality. This is much the same in the British case. The issues are of vast importance, both philosophically and practically. If South Africa goes down the toilet, down the Zimbabwe road, the outlook for Africa will be even grimmer than it is already.

Love
Dennis

Upon the publication of his last book, “Edmund Burke,” also in 2010, I introduced Dennis to my readers, via a two-part conversation. The titles should give you an idea of what fun Dennis and I had:

* “Thomas Paine: 18th Century Che Guevara” (10/22/2010)

* “The ‘Moronizing’ Of Modern Culture” (10/29/2010)

I love you, Dennis O’Keeffe.
Preach It in Heaven.


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Monica’s Back. In time for Halloween.

English, Gender, Hillary Clinton, History, Ilana Mercer, Pop-Culture

Talk about a throwback culture. The bullying lobby has made whining a national pastime. This group has some cheek calling out Monica Lewinsky for setting back their cause. What cause? Thou Shalt Not Offend? Here are some bully headlines from Drudge:

BULLY GROUP TO LEWINSKY: TAKE YOUR STAINED DRESS HOME!
‘She’s setting us back years’…
‘She doesn’t know what she’s talking about’…

Nothing could make this scribe listen to what Monica has to say today. However, here’s the column written in March of 1999 for Canada’s North Shore News. It probably appeared in the Calgary Herald as well, but I cannot quite recall. It seems a lifetime away. Have I been in the trenches that long? The insights are still good, the writing overwrought (being brutally self-critical is the first rule of writing).

MONICA THE MENACE
©By Ilana Mercer

After watching Monica Lewinsky’s TV debut, I realized who in all this was the real hero. The man who stood bravely between the public and this caricature of a woman is no other than finger-in-the-dyke, Kenneth Starr. It is the independent counsel we must thank for delaying the unleashing of the histrionic Monica.

Menaces like Monica are a product of the times, as is the TV-pimp, Bawbawa Walters. These sorry prototypes are carefully nurtured by the education system. Girls are raised to believe that “like” they deserve everything “and stuff.” That empowerment means they can abandon reason and realistic self-appraisal because they are “totally great.” Feelings rule. Venting and pouting are the only ways of being, and if a guy doesn’t return your calls, President or “whatever,” he’s a jerk. Above all, your sexuality, the true meaning of which evades these shallow sisters, is your shrine second only to your self-esteem.

Monica, of course, blames her woes on a “low self-esteem.” What else? Her demeanor, however, was anything but demure. Her admirers chose “self-possessed” to describe her brazen countenance, although “arrogant” is more apt. If anything, this girl suffers inflated self-importance with a dose of grandeur. Monica threw tantrums when the president of the United States shied away from blowing his sax over the phone for her. And the “pres.,” says Monica, should have broadcast their “relationship” to the world had he any decency. From where Monica is perched, the president’s men had no right to come between her and her lover. This is a woman whose chunky self-esteem is a match only to her keister.

Next, Monica says “sorry.” Fully 66 percent of those polled thought Monica’s apology to the First Wife and daughter was a sincere one. What the public now accepts as an apology is another sick sign of the times. Monica said she was contrite yet proceeded to peel-off layer by layer every scab that ever formed over the sorry affair. This exercise in expiation she carried out in view of millions of people. Apologies have, indeed, become nothing but Oprah-moments, where victims and perpetrators collaborate, under the media’s gaze, to belittle the meaning of loss and injustice.

The reactions in the media to Monica are a useful litmus test for the quality of commentary in the press. The Canadian National Post came tops, consistently assigning wry descriptions to the “bubble head.” Second was the New York Times, referring to the interview as “… a giddy Cosmo version of self-realization, a tale told in the psychosexual language of magazine covers that urge their readers to own their sexuality.”

The Globe and Mail, and the Vancouver Sun vied for a position on the lowest of rungs. Gaseously effervescent was the Globe and Mail’s John Allemang’s string of superlatives: “all-consumingly sensuous, frank, lucid, articulate, focused,” blah, blah, blah. Even her voice, “High, gentle and firm,” gave this man the hots. The Vancouver Sun upped the ante by dignifying Monica’s book with a review.

The reviewer called the book “delicious,” and offered a sample of Andrew Morton’s lumpen prose, showcasing these linguistic vacuities: Monica is analytical, sharp, brilliant, with a photographic memory … ad nauseum. Morton, who told Princess Diana’s “story,” is popping up under every rock with details about the genesis of Monica’s “pain,” which all lead to no other than Torry Spelling’s birthday party snubs. Spelling has a lot more to atone for than a bunch of dreadful films.

Monica’s heft is no longer upon us, although others will step forward to fill the only impression she ever left on the cultural stage, to paraphrase Sir William Shwenck Gillbert’s witticism. When they do, be mindful that girls like Monica don’t get betrayed; they simply star (no pun intended) in their own destructive passion plays. Monica shared her stain-filled affair with anyone who would stand still long enough to listen. And Monica selected her cast, including the sneering Linda Tripp and “Bomber Bill.”

©Ilana Mercer
A version of this article appeared in The North Shore News
March 9, 1999


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Me And The Idiocracy

Healthcare, Ilana Mercer, Intelligence, Internet, Media, Politics, Technology

“Dying For Obama’s Deadly Dogma” must be rather good, if a total of four twitter twits saw fit to “un-follow” me, subsequent to its posting.

I’m used to the Idiocracy! To paraphrase Mark Twain, I can live for two months on a good compliment from worthy, literate people like my editor at Quarterly Review. He wrote:

“Intellectuals are fated to be outcasts.”

And this from the gifted, successful, mystery novelist Sibella Giorello:

“In a word: BRILLIANT.”

Thanks to both. You made my day.


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UPDATED: American Rabbis For Israel First (Good Column; Back Page On WND)

Ilana Mercer, Israel, Judaism & Jews, Left-Liberalism, Morality, Nationhood, Paleolibertarianism

“American Rabbis For Israel First” is the current column, now on WND. An excerpt:

“Here is an angry and cogent Israeli response to incessant provocation and violence, and one of the factors that triggered the Gaza campaign,” wrote a reader. In his missive, the reader had attached an article for my edification. Chief among the problems with the article is that its author, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, is not an Israeli. Rabbi Boteach is an American. Online, he describes himself as “‘America’s Rabbi,’ whom The Washington Post calls ‘the most famous Rabbi in America.”

Rabbi Boteach’s Huffington Post defense of Israel titled “Fed Up With Dead Jews” is thus not an “Israeli” response to the latest flare-up between Hamas and Israel, but a Jewish-American one.

Mistaking a Jewish-American defense of Israel for an “Israeli” one is understandable. When it comes to things Israel, very many American Jews sound like Israelis. While one would expect an Israeli to vigorously defend his homeland, in theory and in practice, one does not expect an American—Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or Baha’i—to defend the interests of a foreign country, with the intensity ordinarily reserved for one’s own.

In “Fed Up,” Rabbi Boteach inveighs: “We have every right to be fed-up. No nation should have to live like this. No nation should have to die like this. … what we do know is that the option of dead Jews is no longer acceptable. We have a right to live.”

Rabbi Boteach and Israel are as one.

Far be it from me to question the Rabbi’s capacity to commit to two countries. Seamlessly does Boteach spread passion and “Kosher Lust” (his new book) wherever he goes. In question here is the unseemliness of dual patriotism; the conflict of interest, if you will. …

… Contra Boteach, my own passions are tempered by time and place. I live in America. My neighbors are American. This is my home. I may be a Jew, but I’m an American patriot first. My loyalties lie with my (war-weary) countrymen, first. …

An American writer’s intellectual energy ought to focus on American interests, first. Personal probity demands it! Otherwise, the columnist is a fifth column.

Read the complete column. “American Rabbis For Israel First” is now on WND.

UPDATE: GOOD COLUMN; BACK PAGE. From the Facebook Thread:

Kerry Crowel: “Whoa … Ilana, that is one hell of a good column.”

Ilana Mercer: “Kerry Crowel, thanks. I thought so. But it’s on second page, as usual, on WND. Second page is more or less the rule for one of the site’s longest standing columns. When thinking of where to publish next book, one takes into account the kind of promotion the column gets. Or no promotion, rather. But thanks for your kind comment.”


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