Category Archives: Celebrity

To Sir Sidney With Love: Lessons For The Educational Idiocracy

Britain, Celebrity, Education, Film, Human Accomplishment, Kids, Relationships

British, and so subtle,  To Sir, With Love (1967) was my favorite role played by Sidney Poitier, RIP. And what an object lesson it is for America’s disgraceful unionized teachers in the age of COVID.

Mr. Mark Thackeray, “an out-of-work engineer who turns to teaching in London’s tough East End,” loved his students, yet he disciplined them; taught them self-respect, a love of learning, a work ethic and a proportional sense of fun, not the degenerate sense of abandon that now infuses our progressive schools.

“Sir’s” lesson: Never give up on The Kids, but knock ’em into shape.

Teacher was to be addressed as “Sir” because the use of honorifics and proper names, not invented pronouns, is important in an ordered society. It denotes not only a healthy hierarchy and a respect for a figure of authority, but for each other. Thus Pegg is not “Babs” (we have to wonder what such a traditional educator would say of naming  a child North, or Londyn, a black name).

After transforming one class into responsible, self-respecting adults ready to face life; Thackeray is offered an engineering job—something better than working with London’s tough, truant East End kids. But following their poignant farewell to him; he is overwhelmed with love for the kids and a sense of his real vocation. He shreds the promotion, realizing the next intake needs him just as much as the first. He has found his calling.

Once there were teachers.

Lulu at her best:

Dreary Vs. Dishy: Rod Dreher’s Still As Dull As Ever And … Jealous Of Eric Metaxas (Dah)

Celebrity, Conservatism, Critique, Europe, Globalism, Iraq, Juvenal Early's Archive, Neoconservatism, Paleoconservatism, Populism, Pseudo-intellectualism

By Juvenal Early

Some time back, I did a survey of some particularly ineffective (flaccid, ILANA might say) conservative voices. It’s time to provide an update on one of them: Crunchy superstar Rod Dreher, or Dreary, as I call him, a blogger who needs no introduction—unfortunately. Evidence that there is no justice on this side of the grave: Dreary has one of the most coveted platforms on the right, plus he has a publisher ready to print whatever 90,000 words he can throw together in any given year.

Dreary spent a few months in Budapest earlier this year, and I think he should move there permanently. Or to Paris, which also seems to hold a special place in his heart. No malice or disrespect intended toward either city, holy places of the West, I would say. But Europe does wonders for Dreary’s attitude—and his opinions. He’s actually good writing about Gothic cathedrals and haute cuisine. Europe is right in his wheelhouse.

Plus, a European posting would more or less preclude him from commenting on the local scene. In America, Dreary is the apotheosis of the craven, sniveling, virtue-signaling Conservatism Inc. (Con-Ink) apparatchik.  I think we’d all be a lot happier if we never again had to read his Never-Trumpisms; or his faint and hollow praise of the Founders; or his weaselly approbation of Confederate memorial removal. Or to never again have to see him expound on race and racism in America.

He was doing very well in the land of the Magyars, and near the end of his three-month stay he enthused over Tucker Carlson, who had taken his show to Budapest. Dreary commended Tucker for courage (true) for interviewing Orban and highlighting Hungary’s common sense immigration policy. It was as good as you can expect from the old Crunchy Con.

This was early August. Dreary posted at least one long article in TAC praising Tucker’s efforts. John Derbyshire—of VDARE and “The Talk” fame—praised Dreary’s article, in his own Orban piece. Dreary saw that story reposted in Unz, liked it, and tweeted it out to all his followers, with the message “Good piece by Derb.” Subsequently, he was called out by lite-libertarian Robbie Soave for commending the work of a racist. Dreary, at first disavowed all knowledge of VDARE, claiming that he didn’t know it was a white nationalist site (it’s not, btw). Then he deleted his original tweet.

It brought to mind other times when Dreary virtue-signaled about race. He doesn’t like being associated with anyone on a SPLC list. The trouble is that anyone to the right of Rich Lowry is likely on a SPLC list, and if a conservative wants to stay off the list, he’d better start off conceding about 90% of the playing field (argument) of any given issue to his left-wing opponent.

Back in 2017, Dreary threw a real hissy fit over Pat Buchanan’s post-Charlottesville column. Pugnacious Pat (God bless him) took issue with the Left for labeling enveryone connected with Unite the Right a white supremacist. By present day standards, Pat reminded us, all of the most historically-important Americans were white supremacists. Typical for Pat, he laid out the facts and left it to the reader to decide—although he wasn’t shy about sharing his own conclusions. In this case, the Founders were great men in spite of whatever we think they might have done, and the nation they gifted to their posterity was a generous offering indeed. Read the column and see what you think.

Poor Dreary couldn’t deal with the nuance of it all. His takeaway? “Buchanan is defending white supremacy, straight up.” When I saw that “straight up,” I couldn’t help being reminded of that cutting edge mediocrity Janeane Garofalo on Keith Olbermann’s late, unlamented MSNBC show. That’s not a bad role model for Dreary to emulate, come to think of it.

Dreary, of course, like the rest of the craven horde that is Con-Ink, was quick to point and splutter when it came to Charlottesville. Whereas, Buchanan gathers facts, analyzes, and decides based on firmly-held principles, Dreary is the type to see how the wind’s blowing, then jump on the bandwagon as close to the front as he can. Thus, you had a man of principle being smeared by a drone of the hive mind.

This, of course, was wrong on so many levels. Back in 2003, when Dreary was writing for pro-war National Review, Buchanan was putting his considerable reputation on the line to co-found the American Conservative, a magazine explicitly started to provide a home for anti-war right wingers (with the assiduous exclusion of Mercer, so even that attempt wasn’t an honest reflection of the reality on the right). One of Dreary’s associates at the time, David Frum, wrote a famous article in NR condemning the likes of Buchanan as “unpatriotic conservatives.”

Later, when the Iraq war was exposed for the deceitful quagmire it was, Dreary was able to slink his way over to TAC. By then, Buchanan had left (as had Moneybags Taki), but, let’s face it, there would’ve been no TAC without Pat. Thus, I think Rod Dreher is not only a mediocre dolt, but an ingrate too.

He’s also an ad hominem hit-and-run bandit.

In October, in a particularly egregious case of the pot calling the kettle black, Dreary called out a couple of fellow religious conservatives, John Zmirak and Eric Metaxas, as Beta males, when they backed Donald Trump’s call for a Boycott of the GOP in 2022, should they nominate a lot of RINOs and Never-Trumpers. The tack Dreary took was rather odd, sort of a variation on a theme I first took notice of in a classic Seinfeld episode, “The Outing.” Seinfeld fans will remember the repeated line from that show; “I’m not gay!!!….Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”

Dreary took issue with a conversation between the two men on Metaxas’s radio show. Both voiced strident opinions about Never-Trump conservatives, like the truly awful David French. I have no problem with strongly-voiced opinion, especially those I agree with. I’m sure you don’t either, otherwise you wouldn’t be here. But Dreary didn’t think they had a right to attack French, because French had been a soldier (Ooooooooo!), “a manly thing to do.”

Of the Catholic Zmirak, Dreary—in his oft-confusing style, writes:

He is a short middle-aged man with a belly as big and as soft as a beanbag. Hey, I’m not short, but I’m only two years younger than Zmirak, and I have the same belly he does. We are men who make our living writing. Unless you’re Ernest Hemingway, Norman Mailer, … it’s not especially the occupation of badasses.”

Of the objectively handsome Metaxas (author, by the way, of the definitive Dietrich Bonhoeffer biography), Dreary writes:

“Eric is an expensively groomed dandy who lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. This is not a criticism; I like his style! But the idea that Eric Metaxas, of all people, was urging people to give their lives for Donald Trump, is risible.”

Notice what he did there? Dreary basically says, Zmirak is a fat-ass (not that there’s anything wrong with that), so he doesn’t have the right to attack manly-man David French. Metaxas is a fop (though Dreary aspires to that as well), so he should be proscribed from talking tough too.

Incidentally, that “dandy” unkind cut seems particularly misplaced with regard to the urbane Metaxas, who most 58-year-old men wouldn’t mind resembling. Could it be envy on the part of the bedraggled, shirt-out and wispy-goateed Dreary, he of the Mies van der Rohe spectacles? Eric dresses in the stylish manner that at one time was a requirement for grown-up American men, especially those who lived in New York.

In the Who/Whom Era in which we now live, Dreary’s only going to attack the people and ideas he doesn’t like (or can’t understand). If he likes who you are and what you’re peddling, you can conjure up the whiniest hissy-fit in the universe to proclaim it, and he’ll gladly blog it to all the minions who come to his trough for their daily quota of slop.

*******************************

This is “Juvenal Early’s” second piece for Barely A Blog. His first was “The Dissident Right Has An Idiocracy Problem.” He now has a BAB archive.

Once upon a time, the epistolary fluff ensconced at The American Conservative was detonated daily by the “pugnacious” Lawrence Auster. When Auster died, a void opened up. The “typically shapeless pieces” coming out of paleoconservative quarters, at once “weird and solipsistic”—Auster’s delicious descriptions—have escaped scrutiny. Going by the pen name “Juvenal Early,” a disillusioned former donor to Chronicles has stepped forward. I’m more than delighted to have launched and to continue to unleashing Juvenal.
Enjoy.
ilana

 

 

UPDATED (11/16/021): No-Information, Me-Me, FoxNews Broadcasters

Celebrity, Conservatism, Critique, Culture, Ethics, Etiquette, Journalism, Media, Republicans

One of the biggest egos in an anchor’s chair at Fox New—she lives for the sound of her own voice—is Laura Ingraham. She generally monologues over her guests at length, and then informs them, “Hurry; you have 30 seconds to say your piece.” (a WND reader is on to her.) Although we’re living in grim times—the demented grin never leaves the face of zero-information Ingraham.

Almost as bad as Ingraham is Fox’s Jesse Watters. He absolutely blankets a guest’s input with his own self-important bloviation. The saving grace of Watters is that he is rather amusing.

Another strike, however, against Watters is that he was made BIG by Bill O’Reilly. O’Reilly kindly introduced Watters to viewers of “The Factor.” The younger man, however, has never publicly given O’Reilly credit, not least during the 25th anniversary celebrations of the network.

Watters, moreover, is not telling the truth when he says “The Five” was his first big gig on Fox News, as claimed. O’Reilly gave him a gig. Any gig on “The Factor” was big, because “The Factor” was huge. This makes Watters an ingrate.

UPDATED (11/16/021): Laura Ingraham can’t imagine or comprehend that a Netflix show called “You” is not about her.

This is a great clip of The Ego and Idiocy of Ms. Ingraham.

Actually Raimond Arroyo is the only person loud-mouth Laura ever lets talk without interruption.

UPDATED II (10/11): NEW PODCAST: The Murky, Meandering Douglas Murray, Darling of Conservatism Inc, Leading Us Nowhere

Argument, Celebrity, Conservatism, Critique, Europe, Nationalism, Neoconservatism

NEW ON PODCAST: “The Murky, Meandering Douglas Murray, Darling of Conservatism Inc, Leading Us Nowhere”:

https://tinyurl.com/4znm4wbz

Hard Truth examines the wishy-washy work of anti-Trump, pro-censorship softie Douglas Murray, darling of Conservatism Inc, and finds there is not much there. Little Lord Fauntleroy is intellectually naked.

The Murky, Meandering Douglas Murray, Darling of Conservatism Inc, Leading Us Nowhere” is on YouTube, too.  https://youtu.be/BkeI-azpd1c

 

Murray has his fan boys. They refuse to address our substantive arguments, but, rather, engage in ad hominen (psychologizing about our motivation is a form of ad hominem). It used to be that critics (like David and I) were free to engage in critique. Now, if one does it, fan boys complain. Refute our arguments, don’t complain about them.

UPDATE II (8/13): Check out the noisy letter exchanges for this YouTube. My replies:

In reply to more ad hominem, jealousy:

How do you explain, then, the praise David and I offered for Mark Steyn who, unlike Murray, is intellectually substantial. Why not address our substantive arguments, rather than engage in ad hominen (psychologizing about our motivation is a form of ad hominem). It used to be that critics engaged in critique. Now if one does it, fan boys complain. Refute our arguments, don’t complain about them.

To the “Murray is fighting our fight” nonsense:

On my side of the pond, Katie Hopkins and Trump are considered hardcore, effective conservatives. Tellingly, Douglas Murray HATES THEM. He says so! If anything, he’s an ineffectual effete who waters down The Struggle. How does that help us? (He’s a neoconservative; wrote a book about how great that philosophical blight is.) David and myself have done a public service. But nobody likes hard truth; people prefer being fans of the latest popular TV ponce.

To the, “Oh, you just don’t like the lovely boy” argument:

Wrong. Murray’s actions and empty words are what cause disdain. Our arguments were clear. Clear examples were read out from Murray’s own text. Address those. He intimates, for example, that he’s happy that highly effective conservatives have been banned (N. Fuentes and K. Hopkins). He never once shows, moreover, a feel for unfettered free speech. On my side of the pond, you are no conservative without that understanding. In a post I penned about him, Murray fortifies his lack of strong opposition to Tech censorship by saying NOT that he abhors Big Tech’s tyranny, but, to quote his vague dissembling, “Big Tech are not up to the task.” The premise of that idiotic quip is that there is a censor out there that IS UP TO THE TASK. Wrong. I’m debating with you in good faith. rise to that challenge and do the same.

UPDATE II (10/11/021):

Dissidents had been fighting authoritarianism when Douglas Murray was still in short pants. Wishy-washy and anti-Trump, Murray, who penned a book FOR Neoconservatism and has been establishment Con. Inc. forever, had, on October 8, condemned the Alt Right on Tucker Carlson Tonight.