Suite des toujours excellents textes de Julie Burchill sur le 11/9, la guerre d’Irak et les islamofascistes en général.
Out of the rubble
Saturday October 20, 2001
All you green-eyed « playa-haters » who loathe little me may not believe this, but over the past month I’ve had loads of letters asking me why I haven’t given you my take on the events of September 11. Well, for one thing, although I like saying « I told you so », I didn’t think it would be in the best possible taste to do so when the dust from the World Trade Centre was still settling.
Nevertheless, it remains a fact that, even as a twentysomething flibbertigibbet, I was the only British journalist I know of to back the Soviets in Afghanistan, and to beg, to plead with the west to back the forces of civilisation against the forces of barbarism, so that we could stop the Islamofascists in their tracks as surely as the democracies could have stopped the forces of fascism proper in Spain if only they hadn’t looked the other way. But worse than that, we were arming these maniacs up to the hilt!
Basically, at the time, I was treated as some sort of plague-carrying loony; I remember the super-smug Ken Follett on Radio 4 eulogising the forefathers of the Taliban and saying how he chose them as the heroes of his latest potboiler because there was a consensus that they were the good guys; when my opposition was mentioned, you could hear the contempt drip off his voice as he said, « Well, I don’t think anyone pays any attention to what she thinks. » I’ve often had cause to wonder wryly since then whether that sexy feminist wife of his has kept him up to speed with what his heroes have done to innocent young women and girls in the name of their peculiar religion, and whether he has the grace to shudder when he sees that novel on the bookshop shelves. Probably not.
Then there was the time my then editor, Stewart Steven of the Mail On Sunday, was at a luncheon at the Soviet Embassy. He was sitting next to Geoffrey Howe, and they were getting on famously. Then the Soviet ambassador stood up to speak. He spoke sadly of the way the British government and press seemed to have no understanding of his country’s mission in Afghanistan – and then he brightened and dug in his pocket. Pulling out a dog-eared piece of newsprint, he shook it triumphantly and crowed, « Thankfully there are the exceptions, like Julie Burchill and her paper the Mail On Sunday, who support us unreservedly! »
« I turned to Geoffrey » Stewart told me the next day, « and his eyes were deep pools of hate. »
My rather gallant desire not to rub too many noses in it has been one reason I’ve hung back on the issue; the other is the sheer mawkish melodrama with which too many journalists have written about the events. Of all the acres of newsprint, only the words of Christopher Hitchens seem to resonate above the mire of mediocre opinion and received wisdom; that the bottom line about the men who did this is that they committed the act not so that innocents may have the right to live freely on the West Bank, but so that they might have the right to throw acid in the faces of innocent unveiled women in Baghdad and Bradford. Resistance is essential; any attempt to understand or compromise with such madness is to become part of the madness oneself.
From this sublime logic to the ridiculous histrionics of every hack who sought to stand over the rubble like a kindly King Kong and beat their breasts in torment while seeking to explain why it happened. There was something extraordinarily distasteful about the attempts of these characters to make this tragedy their tragedy, to place themselves centre stage and to use the blood of innocents as some sort of splash-it-all-over, sign-of-the-times cologne, just there to add to their dynamic masculinity. Martin Amis wrote a particularly self-important piece, and I couldn’t help remembering his recent remark about why he’d rather live in Bush’s America than Blair’s Britain; because « The Writer » needs « an environment of turmoil and injustice rather than one of bland consensus in order to be the best he can be. » Well, New York has certainly experienced a good deal of turmoil and injustice now, and one hopes it has had a beneficial effect on Little Marty’s wordpower, if nothing else. What was the old line about being careful what you wish for?
Ever since September 11, every last hack, hoofer and thespian has been haggling for their 15 minutes in the caring, sharing spotlight. You’ve probably read already how Mayor Giuliani has had to ask celebrities to stay away because their tours of the wreckage have been distracting recovery workers from their jobs and attracting hampering crowds of autograph-hunters, but did you know that the popular American actress Roma Downey, star of Touched By An Angel, has sent her married lover back to his wife because « these acts of terrorism opened me to the need to connect with other people, to unite »? Or that Madonna will be making fewer records in future – huzzah! – because « what happened in New York put my life in perspective. My primary role now is to be with my family »? While in the Evening Standard, Sarah Mower moaned « Thank God I didn’t go to the New York shows last month, so was spared witnessing things that have marked my colleagues who were there, and the trauma to the whole New York fashion community. » Yes, God forbid that Donna Karan should lose a wink of beauty sleep.
Let’s get this straight: the events of September 11 were a tragedy for the people who died or were injured, and for their families and friends. For the rest of us, they were a wake-up call as to what type of lunatics we are dealing with. And sleepwalking our way back into ill-sorted, dewy-eyed people-are-people personal politics is the last thing we need to set us up for the fight ahead. Come on, you liberals; don’t give me the morbid pleasure of saying « I told you so » again.
Some people will believe anything
Saturday August 18, 2001
You’re always hearing about how « media-savvy » people are today, and that it’s really hard to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. I wonder: seems to me that, as never before, so long as you keep on talking the talk, that suspect way in which you stagger from pillar to post will not be called into question.
Strangely, no one seems to be as gullible as the media themselves. Let’s take music. I can understand nine-year-olds getting excited about Sophie Bextor’s singular beauty (sorry, I don’t do made-up hyphenated names; a bit trashy, no, like Robert Kilroy-Silk?) and rushing down to Claire’s Accessories to get her look, but I’ll never understand how grown-up journalists can wet themselves about her « one-woman crusade to rescue pop », as she pipes of « dignity, sophistication… all this pop music that is directly geared towards children and gay men is incredibly patronising », and then releases a Cher song as her first solo single. That’s Cher – famous, of course, for her dignity, sophistication and, um, not being aimed directly at gay men.
It wouldn’t be so bad if media gullibility ended with a dodgy taste in popstresses. But it doesn’t. Perhaps the greatest beneficiary of the breakdown in the media’s bullshit detector has been Islam. I don’t know about you, but I’m still reeling from the BBC’s Islamic Week. This, hot on the heels of that madwoman – sorry, Strong Muslim Woman – on Radio 4’s Thought For The Day a few weeks ago saying that the 16 Afghan and eight foreign aid workers arrested by the Taliban for « promoting Christianity » pretty much deserved what they got if found guilty (it’s a capital offence). I look forward to the day when some C of E vicar tells us that any Muslim caught promoting their religion over here deserves even 20 flicks with a wet towel. (BTW, we’ve come across the SMW on the BBC before – she just happens to live in the decadent west, with all the dirty little freedoms that implies, but still strongly believes in the veil and arranged marriages.)
For quite a few years now, there has been a sustained effort on the part of the British media to present Islam – even after the Rushdie affair and now during the Taliban’s reign of terror – as something essentially « joyous » and « vibrant »; sort of like Afro-Caribbean culture, only with fasting and fatwas. Just last week, the BBC’s Kate Clark, the first female correspondent to be sent to Afghanistan, said blandly, « The situation is a lot more complex than just thinking that the Taliban are bad. For example, they have eradicated opium poppy cultivation this year. »
Yes, and this year they also had a woman and her 12-year-old daughter beaten to within an inch of their lives when the woman removed her daughter’s burqa – that hideous mobile prison women have to wear in the street – in order to help her breathe during an asthma attack. So, yes, Kate, the Taliban are bad, and it’s not complex at all.
Islam Week brought us the wonders of mosques and Mecca, glossing over the Islamic Empire, which at its height was bigger than the Roman (remember: British Empire = bad, Islamic Empire = good), taking in – ho, ho, ho! – a Muslim football team and Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen’s creation of an « Islamic garden » and finishing up with Jools Holland’s Rhythms Of Islam. Mind you, I did briefly start to feel sorry for them here: any espousal of one’s cause by the terminally naff Holland must surely kill its cred stone dead.
That’s Islam, then – fun, fun, fun! Not a mention of the women tortured, the Christian converts executed, the apostates hounded, the slaves in Sudan being sold into torment right now. Call me a filthy racist – go on, you know you want to – but we have reason to be suspicious of Islam and to treat it differently from the other major religions. I don’t think that either Judaism or Christianity, for a start, have in recent times held that apostasy – rejecting the religion one was born into – should be punishable by death; a pretty humungous violation of basic human rights, I’d say. And, getting on to the woman question, we have every reason to feel suspicious of the motives of a religion that, in many countries, insists that half its followers – even children – spend their lives worrying about covering up every inch of the body God gave them. What a depressing view of human nature, that the glimpse of an ankle can turn men into ravening beasts. And what a sad example of sensory deprivation never to feel the sun on one’s back or the breeze in one’s hair.
While the history of the other religions is one of moving forward out of oppressive darkness and into tolerance, Islam is doing it the other way around. It is impossible that any Christian or Jewish country would suddenly start practising their fundamental religion as the Taliban have. And by 2025, the BBC informs us, a third of the world will be Muslim.
In the light of this, and the threat it poses to our human rights, I believe that mindless, ill-sorted Islamophilia is just as dangerous as mindless, ill-sorted Islamophobia. I know how dedicated it is to the cause of dumbing down, but the BBC really should try to take this amazingly complex notion on board.
Love thy neighbour
Saturday December 29, 2001
If you’ve had any sort of fun during the course of a year, the chances are you won’t remember most of it by the time it draws to a close. This year especially, the time after September 11 tended to fill up the space in the brain allocated to the year 2001, flooding out all that went before. It had to be September; the fall, the days growing short and darkness overtaking us, the end of the heedless, brazen summer. Like 1984, it’s good to have got this year over, it being one of those buzz-word, knee-jerk years that tends to have so much importance placed on them by hippies who’ve read too much sci-fi. And, in the end, 2001 will be remembered not as the year when man’s heedless pursuit of the future did for him, as Arthur C Clarke’s book predicted, but as the year when a group of men’s desire to plunge humankind back into the Dark Ages brought us to our senses.
Two people dominated the cultural landscape of this country in the last quarter of the year: Osama bin Laden and Kylie Minogue. Bryan Appleyard, in an excellent essay in the Sunday Times, has already noted the comfort-blanket effect that the pocket princess had on us in the aftermath of the attack, and the extraordinarily successful comeback of what was considered to be a washed-up career, but there is more to it than that. It’s this – if you sat down with graph paper, a slide rule and a liberal selection of body parts, you literally could not create two beings belonging to the same species who are less alike than Osama bin Laden and Kylie Minogue. And, in the end, it wasn’t cricket, warm beer or old maids on bikes riding to evensong who summed up why we have something worth fighting for – but Kylie, lovely and wholesome in her tiny dresses as the day she was born.
Of course, I realise that I’m nominating myself for the Pseud’s Corner Lifetime Achievement Award here, but I’m never one to shirk the idea of inviting public ridicule. And I really do believe that Bin Laden and Kylie represent the polar opposites of human nature; the first all about cruelty without beauty, the second all about beauty without cruelty.
But first, before I make seven sorts of fool of myself, an apology. I’ve had a lot to say about Muslims this past year and I think a lot of it was probably bunkum. Keep reading, because I don’t as a rule do apologies, and this is probably the last you’ll see. I’d also like to point out that my newspaper, even when thousands of readers threatened to cancel their subscriptions due to my rabid views, never put pressure on me to apologise. So this comes straight from my black little heart – to the 90% of British Muslims who don’t even attend the mosque regularly, for the Muslims beaten up by the type of white thugs who don’t know the WTC from the BNP, and most of all, for the wonderful, moderate Muslims who have taken it upon themselves to beat up the nutters who get their religion a bad name: I’m really, really sorry.
So I won’t use the word « Muslim » any more about the sort of life-loathing, murderous, rich men’s kids we’re currently at war with, because, in the 1970s, exactly the same sort of legions of the loveless, nihilists posing as radicals, used to call themselves « marxists » when they chucked an old bloke in a wheelchair over the side of a cruise ship or blew up a busful of kids, and as a teenybopper marxist I didn’t like that one little bit. Instead, from now on, I’ll call them fanatics, which slanders no religion, race or culture, because we in Europe have certainly had enough of our own.
But back to Kylie. As the war progressed, the more of her we saw. Her last single, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, was released in the same month as the attacks and is still on the airwaves three months later – almost unheard of in these muse-biz dog-days. Like Jane the comic-stripper in the old Daily Mirror, the more Kylie took off, the further we pushed; and, most interestingly, the more she took off, the more patently « decent » she revealed herself to be – she literally has nothing to hide. In the process, we wrested back a good, serviceable word from the pitifully narrow minds of the fanatics, to whom « decency » denotes female sexual chastity and nothing more.
What disrespect these fanatics give their own religion – with the idea that the sight of a single ankle can turn man, made in the image of God, into a slavering beast; and that God made such a blunder creating the bodies of half the human race that they have to be hidden. The hijackers’ leader, Mohamed Atta, hated women so much that he didn’t even want his own mother at his funeral, and at his flying licence graduation refused to shake the well-meaning hand of a female examiner.
What a world they wanted, with no Kylie in it! So perfect; surely the ultimate expression of the phrase « small but perfectly formed »? Slender but never scraggy and starved-looking, like poor Posh and Geri; an Occidental Oriental, no less! Working class, rich as stink, giving the money from her Agent Provocateur campaign to charity. That’s the way you do it, celebs: give of your own deep pockets, not dole out 12 hours of crap TV once a year, exhorting those who can’t afford it to part with their pension or pocket money. As if that wasn’t enough, this was the year she topped the list of the World’s Greatest Welsh Women (her mother was of the blood royale, apparently).
So, as I counted my blessings over Christmas luncheon this year, I added a new one – how lucky I am to live in a country where a beautiful, barely-clothed woman inspires affection, adulation and celebration, rather than shame, anger and hysteria. God bless us every one, then, as we look forward to another year in which to preserve our brave new world from those who would bomb, crash and terrorise us back to the Dark Ages. Salut!
Good, bad and ugly
November 29, 2003
As you might have heard, I’m leaving the Guardian next year for the Times, having finally been convinced that my evil populist philistinism has no place in a publication read by so many all-round, top-drawer plaster saints. (Well, that and the massive wad they’ve waved at me.) Once there, I will compose as many love letters to the likes of Mr Murdoch and Pres Bush as my black little heart desires, leaving those who have always objected to my presence on such a fine liberal newspaper as this to read only writers they agree with, with no chance of spoiled digestion as the muesli goes down the wrong way if I so much as murmur about bringing back hanging. (Public.)
Not only do I admire the Guardian, I also find it fun to read, which in a way is more of a compliment. But if there is one issue that has made me feel less loyal to my newspaper over the past year, it has been what I, as a non-Jew, perceive to be a quite striking bias against the state of Israel. Which, for all its faults, is the only country in that barren region that you or I, or any feminist, atheist, homosexual or trade unionist, could bear to live under.
I find this hard to accept because, crucially, I don’t swallow the modern liberal line that anti-Zionism is entirely different from anti-semitism; the first good, the other bad. Judeophobia – as the brilliant collection of essays A New Antisemitism? Debating Judeophobia In 21st-Century Britain (axt.org.uk), published this year, points out – is a shape-shifting virus, as opposed to the straightforward stereotypical prejudice applied to other groups (Irish stupid, Japanese cruel, Germans humourless, etc). Jews historically have been blamed for everything we might disapprove of: they can be rabid revolutionaries, responsible for the might of the late Soviet empire, and the greediest of fat cats, enslaving the planet to the demands of international high finance. They are insular, cliquey and clannish, yet they worm their way into the highest positions of power in their adopted countries, changing their names and marrying Gentile women. They collectively possess a huge, slippery wealth that knows no boundaries – yet Israel is said to be an impoverished, lame-duck state, bleeding the west dry.
If you take into account the theory that Jews are responsible for everything nasty in the history of the world, and also the recent EU survey that found 60% of Europeans believe Israel is the biggest threat to peace in the world today (hmm, I must have missed all those rabbis telling their flocks to go out with bombs strapped to their bodies and blow up the nearest mosque), it’s a short jump to reckoning that it was obviously a bloody good thing that the Nazis got rid of six million of the buggers. Perhaps this is why sales of Mein Kampf are so buoyant, from the Middle Eastern bazaars unto the Edgware Road, and why The Protocols of The Elders of Zion could be found for sale at the recent Anti-racism Congress in Durban.
The fact that many Gentiles and Arabs are rabidly Judeophobic, while many others are as horrified by Judeophobia as by any other type of racism, makes me believe that anti-semitism/Zionism is not a political position (otherwise the right and the left, the PLO and the KKK, would not be able to unite so uniquely in their hatred), but about how an individual feels about himself. I can’t help noticing that, over the years, a disproportionate number of attractive, kind, clever people are drawn to Jews; those who express hostility to them, however, from Hitler to Hamza, are often as not repulsive freaks.
Think of famous anti-Zionist windbags – Redgrave, Highsmith, Galloway – and what dreary, dysfunctional, po-faced vanity confronts us. When we consider famous Jew-lovers, on the other hand – Marilyn, Ava, Liz, Felicity Kendal, me – what a sumptuous banquet of radiant humanity we look upon! How fitting that it was Richard Ingrams – Victor Meldrew without the animal magnetism – who this summer proclaimed in the Observer that he refuses to read letters from Jews about the Middle East, and that Jewish journalists should declare their racial origins when writing on this subject. Replying in another newspaper, Johann Hari suggested sarcastically that their bylines might be marked with a yellow star, and asked why Ingrams didn’t want to know whether those writing on international conflicts were Muslim, Christian, Sikh or Hindu. The answer is obvious to me: poor Ingrams is a miserable, bitter, hypocritical cuckold, whose much younger girlfriend has written at length in the public arena of the boredom, misery and alcoholism to which living with him has led her, and whose trademark has long been a loathing for anyone who appears to get a kick out of life: the young, the prole, independent women. The Jews are in good company.
Judeophobia: where the political is personal, and the personal pretends to be political, and those swarthy/pallid/swotty/philistine/aggressive/ cowardly/comically bourgeois/filthy rich/delete-as-mood-takes-you bastards always get the girl. I’ll return to this dirty little secret masquerading as a moral stance next week and, rest assured, it’ll get much nastier. As the darling Jews them-selves would say (annoyingly, but then, nobody’s perfect), enjoy!
Voir de plus:
I see in those photos why we are fighting
May 22, 2004
I am in some ways both an insensitive and uncivilised person — but on the plus side, quite incandescently unself-deluding. I do not have to believe myself whiter-than-white in order to get along with myself; if after 44 years you never fail to be both amused and amazed by yourself, then you’re doing something right. Still, it was with some surprise that I found myself reacting to THAT photograph — Specialist Lynndie England, aged 21, looking almost wistfully at a naked man on a leash, the end of which she just happened to be holding — with the following thought: « Gosh, what a change to see a WOMAN treating a MAN like a dog in a Muslim country, rather than the other way around! »
But hey, what did I expect? — I’m a female, Western redneck, from what my betters would charmingly dismiss as a « white trash » (ie, working class) background. In another life, I could even have been Miss England! But even as it is, I’m probably bad to the bone and not to be trusted; give me enough rope, and I’ll be leading naked Muslim pacifists — whose only desire is to travel, work with children and help to bring about world peace — around on it.
Of course, in an ideal world no person would treat another person that way. But having accepted — wistfully! — that An Ideal World has long gone Awol, if indeed it ever was, what the hell sort of breast-beating, nay-saying misery-guts wants An Undesirable Thing to be judged to be just as bad as An Evil Thing? These surely are the Politics of Eeyore — that is, of Westerners who WANT to suffer, who WANT their culture to be found wanting, for weird self-loathing issues — and thus their followers the po-faced. Proving again that the first casualty of war is not truth but perspective.
I see the snaps of our young Yankee allies taking their low, lonesome revenge at Abu Ghraib — for all the times their fresh-faced, well-meaning comrades have been butchered, blown up, pulled through the streets barely dead by people of the very nationality they gave up their lives to help — and I see, in the very exposure of those photographs, a good part of the reason why we are fighting, and why we are better. At last in Iraq there is a regime under which « torture » is NOT the norm, but something which has even that regime’s supporters running around screaming like hairdressers for it to be stopped, right now! Now that’s progress.
Many things are done in the heat of battle which wouldn’t get one’s PC dance-card ticked in peacetime. Unfortunately, due to the murderous nihilism of the Baathist stragglers, battles still continue in Iraq, despite the natural desire of most Iraqi people for a life so ordinary that it can easily be made to fade into the background next to the danse macabre demands of the few. My second thought, as the Abu Ghraib weepathon began, was of the Soviet Army in 1945, and its dreadful, joyous progress through a conquered Germany. Now, not even the nastiest, most anti-Nazi Soviet apologist (a title to which I totally stake my claim) can ignore the accounts of the triumphalist behaviour which came to a head when the Red Army entered Berlin; a vanquished Berlin, too, composed almost solely of women, children and the elderly. But would anyone bar a cretin claim that the wholesale rape of German women by Soviet boys invalidated the Allied victory, or made the Red Army’s contribution less cherishable? Soldiers are never saints — unlike we hacks, they never claim to be! — but thank goodness we have them there to protect our sissy ways.
It was dumb, no doubt, identifying with the 21-year-old redneck girl I could have been — as opposed to the 44-year-old chattering-classer I am — in all her gory glory. But not half as dumb as the stuff I’ve read since — written by people who didn’t leave school at 16, so what’s their excuse? — concluding, just because of this penny-ante perversion, that a) feminism was a mistake, b) the working-class (« trailer-trash », « white-trash ») are worthless and c) our whole Western way of life is, like, a total lie.
It’s priceless, isn’t it? God forbid an unrepentant Zionist like me should bring up the uncomfortable fact that there are on Earth 22 MUSLIM NATIONS, NOT ONE A DEMOCRACY! as I do all the time on internet talkboards; do that, and you’re « just playing on racial stereotypes ». But it’s 22 NATIONS! — how can it be a coincidence that not ONE of them trusts their people enough to give them the vote? What would be convincing — 23 Muslim nations, not one a democracy? Yet let a few scared-stiff young blue-collar (not « white-trash », because « white trash » is an inherently racist term, implying as it does that « trash » generally is black, and if you want to insult working-class whites you have got to be subtextually specific) soldiers turn out not to be perfect, and whole swaths of people — genders (female), classes (working), countries (the USA) — can instantly be dismissed as worthless.
There seems to be a great fear of the modern world around at the moment, even in those who have benefited immeasurably from its vast and vivifying freedoms. As Sarah Waters, the lesbian feminist novelist, said incredibly the other day: « I feel unsettled by the modern world. The social structures of the past seem much more clearly defined. » The idea that old certainties were in some way preferable to the new uncertainties is true — but only, and this doesn’t bear saying too much, if you had the luck to have been one of the tiny number of rich and/or powerful. For the rest of us, life until very recently indeed was total rubbish; for instance, it’s unlikely that Miss Waters would have enjoyed the freedom to live her life as a lesbian, a feminist or even a novelist in the age she craves. She’d have been out of school at 10, up a chimney at 12, illiterate all her life and doomed to a living sexuality-denying death as a wife or a prostitute. If she was lucky.
This idea that the past was almost without fail the Good Old Days — be it Victorian England or Baathist Iraq — is a common delusion among those who do not feel equal to the task of facing the future bravely. But a coward dies a thousand times before he finally meets his maker, and the same is true of a culture which cannot hold its nerve. We need to keep cool heads, root out the few bad apples on both sides who interfere with our vision of a fairer world and continue with a project as straightforward as it is honourable; to do as much as we can to ensure that every human being has the same rights as we do — to vote, to learn and to be free to make mistakes rather than terrorised into immobility.
And if anybody still believes that, because of Lynndie England and her friends, women should not have rights, the working class need to be kept firmly in their place, and the Western way of life is a total lie, there are always 22 Muslim theocracies where they could go and live, where the lack of decadent old choice and free will would suit them fine. And let people who would value and cherish their freedoms (some of the 80 per cent of the world’s migrants who are Muslims on the move, voluntarily, from Muslim theocracies to Western democracies, for instance — I think it’s called voting with your feet?) take their place. Go on — push off, you bed-wetting traitors, and let somebody else have a go.
Voir de même:
What’s not to like about Islam if you’re the Prince of Wales
November 05, 2005
THE American jolly that the Prince of Wales is undertaking has drawn a fair bit of comment, not least because of the 30 frocks that the Duchess of Cornwall has taken with her. Thirty frocks, eh? — bang goes all that eyewash, then, about down-home Camilla not being high maintenance like that uppity piece, Diana!
Oh, leave them alone!, tut the suckers-up. But in this case, the personal really is political. It is said that one of Charles Windsor’s aims during his tour of the United States is to make the country more understanding towards Islam, a religion in which he has shown an inordinate interest for many years now. This would be the poor, persecuted underdog Islam, I take it, which already rules 56 nations on this earth of which only a handful — that’ll be a hand with amputated fingers, in Sharia style — are democracies.
That would be the Islam that oppresses its own people — the Lord forbid they should have anything as subversive and grown up as the vote! — and which in Sudan, Bali and beyond murders people of all faiths who have had the sheer nerve to attempt to straighten their necks from under the yoke of the theocrats. This would be the Islam that leads Iran to call for Israel to be wiped from the face of the earth, lest its example of obdurate democracy gives the serfs of the Muslim fiefdoms all around it ideas about freedom.
I wonder why Prince Charles seeks to big up powerful, theocratic Islam — which already controls so much land and wealth and yet will kill and kill to gain more — and not vulnerable, pluralistic Israel? Why doesn’t he invest as much energy in defence of the persecuted and murdered Christians who suffer for their beliefs under Islamic regimes? Well, I think I know why; because cleaving to Islam is the one way that men who wish to appear liberal and enlightened can promote reactionary ideas. Monarch-worshipping, woman-oppressing, non-democratic — what’s there not for Charles to like!
So many frocks to clothe your wife, so many stories to obscure the wrongs of Islam; dress it up how you like, it still stinks of privilege and potentates. But let daylight upon tyranny, and tyranny will wither; how alike they are in this, Islam and monarchy, and all the paranoid decadence their finery conceals!
So bring on regicide, bring on apostasy, bring on apathy even; stand up in a shrugging, smirking sort of way, say “Whatever!” and refuse to bow the knee to bullies, even if you’re not sure why. Faith can come later; all that matters now is insolence. Because by not believing, you keep the faith that ultimately raises us up above the divine right of kings, the madness of the mullah and the bomb in the rucksack, no matter how many times it explodes.
It’s your moral duty to sleep around and think of England
AH, THE good old days! Deference! Patriotism! Duty! The White Cliffs of Dover! And, as it turns out, shagging till you fall down exhausted in Leicester Square.
The release of official papers from the National Archives this week showed a side of Britain at War — the Second World War, that is, that point at which the moral compass of Homo sapiens was set once and for all, never to stray. Unless you’re a seat-sniffing Neo-Nazi or a pacifist pervert — which we always saucily hoped for or drearily dreaded, depending on our fun-capacity.
Our girls, apparently, were doing their dashed best to make real the old saw “One yank and they’re off!” to the extent that snobby old queens at Civil Defence deplored the “vicious debauchery” of these “young sluts”.
60,000 British women left this country as GI brides — the highest proportion of females ever to marry into a foreign army, be it in benign or hostile residence — so obviously it wasn’t just a sex thing. But even for all the times that it was — respect! And so much for the prissy idea that sexual promiscuity in some way “weakens” moral fibre.
If we do accept the Second World War as the point at which the moral compass was set, what does the sexual behaviour of both sides tell us? Why, that putting it about is our patriotic duty and a sure way to end up with the good guys on the right side of Nuremberg court- rooms! UK/USA? — hands across the water, and then some! Soviet Union? — no room for bourgeois inhibitions there, comrade! Then look at the villains of the piece. Germany? — totally fixated on the idea that no woman would want to have sex except to breed little Nazis. Japan? — hmm, it’s not for nothing that they use the smallest condoms in the world. And as for those eternal suck-up monkeys the French; well, let’s be honest, no woman looks good — no matter how many things she can do with a Hermès scarf! — with a shaven head and a big sign saying “I screw Nazis, I am scum!” on her back. Trust me, I’ve tried it!
Yep, the fact is that consensual sexual generosity is far more likely to occur in good countries than in evil ones; it is a sign of confidence, not of decadence.
And if people want to sit in judgment of “sluts”, now or then, then I would venture that it says far more about the name-caller than it does the slandered; either that they slept around a lot in their youth and are now trying to hide the evidence by taking the moral high ground, or that they didn’t get none/aren’t getting any. Either way, it’s such a bad look.
I wonder if any of you have the same reaction to the latest “Ask Frank” ads as I have? You know the ads . . . the camaraderie of the mates racking out a few lush lines in a toilet cubicle, the gorgeous girl in dance ecstasy, the young lady sleeping off what was obviously a top night out . . . and that little freak getting on their cases with his dumb questions. If you’re in your right mind, this advert in no way makes you want to avoid recreational drugs. But it makes great propaganda for contraception; it certainly might make you determined not to have children if there’s any chance of them turning out like that sticky-beaked little brat. Which is probably a very good thing indeed.
Most people wouldn’t benefit from having more brain-draining ankle-biters — but a few more lines might yet render them a little less boring to be around