April 7, 2009

Tom Wolfe's lack of Southern White Guilt

David Denby, the lesser of the two New Yorker movie reviewers, has written a short book entitled Snark: It’s Mean, It’s Personal, and It’s Ruining Our Conversation.

The book doesn't sound terribly interesting, but part of Michael C. Moynihan's review in Reason caught my eye:
Denby tags the Fox News screamer Bill O’Reilly as a boorish knuckle-dragger, but his liberal counterpart Keith Olbermann is something else entirely: “One can’t help but noticing...that Olbermann’s tirades are voluminously factual, astoundingly syntactical...and always logically organized.” The leftist writer Gore Vidal is a “master of high snark,” while his conservative counterpart Tom Wolfe is an overrated racist. If you agree with the snark, it probably isn’t snark.

Denby identifies Wolfe’s “Radical Chic” as a progenitor of today’s snarky style, but it fails, he says, because the writer’s teasing of haute-liberal infatuation with the Black Panthers “now seems more fatuous than the assembled partygoers.” How so? Because according to Denby, “In the end, [Wolfe’s trademark] white suit may have been less an ironic joke than the heraldic uniform of a man born in Richmond, Virginia, who entertained fancies of a distinguished Old South in which blacks kept their mouths shut, a conservative who had never accustomed himself to the new money in the Northeast.” While denouncing bloggers for rumor-mongering and for besmirching reputations with nothing but conjecture, Denby nevertheless finds it appropriate to imply that Wolfe’s writing is steeped in white supremacy.

Nonetheless, I think Denby's New York Jewish liberal irritation at Wolfe is not wholly without basis. It's been little mentioned, but one of Wolfe's strengths is his complete lack of Southern White Guilt.

Because Wolfe emerged so dazzlingly in the mid-1960s, it took the literary world a long time to figure out he was not one of them, that his political feelings were self-confidently conservative. After all, they reasoned, how could any artistic innovator be a conservative?

And yet, few societies in human history before 19th Century Europe would be surprised that a leading member of the artistic and intellectual classes would be an unalienated offspring of the gentry.

Thomas Wolfe Jr. was born in the Shenandoah Valley in 1931 (or 1930, sources differ), where his father was a professor of agronomy at Virginia Tech. A few years later, the family moved to Richmond when his father became the editor of The Southern Planter, a how-to journal for the rural squirearchy. The family spent their summers on their two farms. (Seeing Look Homeward, Angel and other novels by North Carolina novelist Thomas Wolfe on his father's bookshelf as a small boy, little Tom naturally assumed his dad had written them.) He attended the traditionalist Washington and Lee College.

What little Wolfe has mentioned of his upbringing has been appreciative and loyal. In 1966, Elaine Dundy of Vogue asked him:
Do you feel that you had an important childhood -- i.e., very disturbed, or unhappy, or ecstatic -- in short, one that your find you keep constantly referring back to in your mind?

I was lucky, I guess, in my family in that they had very firm ideas of roles: Father, Mother, Child. Nothing was ever allowed to bog down into those morass-like personal hangups. And there was no rebellion. ...

The first girl I ever fell in love with came from divorced parents. That was her status symbol to me. I was so envious of her because I thought, what dramatic lives they're all having -- real material to write about.

As the loyal, successful offspring of people of a deserved status in American society, Wolfe, who is hypersensitive to questions of status, upon his arrival in New York City always tended to be alienated from the alienated who dominated artistic and intellectual life. Thus, it's hardly surprising that one of the great themes of Wolfe's satire has been their transparent strategies to "Épater la bourgeoisie."

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

95 comments:

Chun said...

I read 'Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers' a few months ago. Brilliantly funny, although perhaps a little too cynical for some.

I also enjoyed 'Bonfire of the Vanities'. The race politics and concern about status seemed as relevant as ever when I read it a couple of year ago.

Black Sea said...

I think Wolfe wears a white suit as a tribute to Twain. I'm not surprised that Denby has a go at him. New York taste-mongers are nervous these days. Their patrons are not well loved.

Nick Sarkozy said...

Denby's New York Jewish liberal irritation at Wolfe is not wholly without basis...one of Wolfe's strengths is his complete lack of Southern White Guilt.

Hmm interesting topic. Guilt trips based on the sins of the fathers.

OK then.

Steve, how about some posts on the alarming lack of Soviet-Bloc Jewish guilt? How about some "my relatives financed the African slave trade guilt"?

Wolfe is supposed to feel kinship guilt for the crimes of everyone from the Crusaders to Robert E. Lee to Adolph Hitler, but no Jew feels any kinship guilt for the actions of Jewish slave merchants or Lazar Kaganovich or Leon Trotsky or the guys who terror-bombed Israel into existence.

So many Jews in America should have much blood guilt to atone for, going by the Wolfe standard. Their blood kin committed unspeakable crimes for Lenin, Stalin, Kun and others but there is little, if any, guilt apparently.

Jews played a major role in financing the North American and South American slave trade but we never hear about that. Why no guilty confessions regarding the "evil old Jews" up in Newport Rhode Island who made all that money in the slave trade along with their Dixie business partners?

Anonymous said...

I saw an interview of David Denby where his definition of someone not being snarky was Maureen Dowd criticizing President Bush and being snaky was Maureen Dowd criticizing President Obama

DJF

Anonymous said...

“In the end, [Wolfe’s trademark] white suit may have been less an ironic joke than the heraldic uniform of a man born in Richmond, Virginia, who entertained fancies of a distinguished Old South in which blacks kept their mouths shut, a conservative who had never accustomed himself to the new money in the Northeast.”

This hilariously implies that "the new money in the Northeast" (it's not really new) doesn't want blacks to keep their mouths shut. These are people who go to great lengths to avoid talking to or even having to look at blacks. Manhattan is the whitest part of NYC. The only blacks who live on the Upper East Side (1% or 2%) are maids. Same with the Hamptons. And even most of their maids, nannies and doormen aren't black. They don't want blacks even in those roles around them.

Oh, wouldn't it be fun if t99 chimed in right now, saying that the Manhattan rich are mostly WASPs?

I don't even know when this was actually true for the last time. 1900?

kudzu bob said...

Denby doesn't understand much. He's wrong not only about Wolfe but also about Vidal.

Anonymous said...

i am surprised wolfe ever got to be published in the first place. i think he knows a lot more than he lets on to, perhaps to the degree of Kevin MacDonald.

As Paul Gottfried pointed out in takimag, I think everyone recognizes the gross double standard, but in turn, everyone's afraid to speak about it. Wolfe, I guess, has cleverly played them.

Anonymous said...

Denby and other liberals will always hate Wolfe because Wolfe doesn't confine his satirical skewering to white males--he spreads it all around to hilarious effect, with gusto. The jewish professor in Charlotte Simmons, the Farouk Fanon football star in Man in Full, the Reverend Bacon (Al Sharpton's smarter twin!) in Bonfire, were all hilarious and very recognizable. And yes, Sherman McCoy of Bonfire, white male extraordinaire, was made to look like an idiot as well, right there on Park Avenue! Wolfe absolutely nails every ethnic group there is, including his own, and couldn't care less whether PC enforcers call him names.

I recently re-read Wolfe's 2000 book Hooking Up, a collection of both essays and a short story. His discussion of the then state of cognitive research is well worth it to read, and I think serves as a pretty good road map to non-specialists like me. I suspect that Wolfe reads this blog, though I hope he doesn't take too much time on it, as I eagerly await his next novel, reportedly set in Miami. I expect I'll laugh out loud at his characterizations of the rich mix of Cubans, New Yorkers, South Americans et al. trying to steal from and out-"status" each other.

Langobard said...

"---Nonetheless, I think Denby's New York Jewish liberal irritation at Wolfe is not wholly without basis. It's been little mentioned, but one of Wolfe's strengths is his complete lack of Southern White Guilt.---"

Tom Wolfe, one of a rare few MEN among our people who is not an approval-seeking and supplicating p---y to those who hijacked our society, country, and even our civilization.

As usual Steve, your intuitive observations are simply excellent!

You are in very good company with Tom, and thanks for keeping in this tradition.

Reg Cæsar said...

... but one of Wolfe's strengths is his complete lack of Southern White Guilt.

Yes, one can't be held to blame for wrongdoings of one's planter forebears.

But is "complete lack of guilt" the proper response of a class that brought diversity to these shores (as if it were natural), made their own children a minority race in their very heartland, sired a significant number of confused mulattoes, pioneered gun control, included livestock to increase their congressional apportionment, supported the French Revolution, opposed the Colonization Society, loudly proclaimed their own sovreignty while mocking other states' by sending in agents to retrieve property, rushed to ratify the income tax and Prohibition, cheered the foreign (and domestic) adventurism of Wilson and FDR, and generally eroticized and even Africanized our popular music over the last few generations? (OK, the planters weren't guilty of the last; it was their poorer white brethren.)

Maybe not guilt. But I see a case for a little embarrassment.

Though I don't see David Denby making it!

keepin' it real said...

"The first girl I ever fell in love with came from divorced parents. That was her status symbol to me. I was so envious of her because I thought, what dramatic lives they're all having -- real material to write about."

Wolfe's words in the service of a sardonic snark from Sailer no doubt. Just goes to show that good parenting even leads to good outcomes with crap human beings.

Representing the majority of children who were delegitimized by divorce, I can say it's nearly impossible to overcome all the consequences of having watched a family fall apart. I can also attest that my family history of abrupt endings and possibly sordid details is a much more fruitful source of fiction unless of course Steve's father has a bevy of bastard children.

Unfortunately, I lack sufficient imagination to take advantage of my disadvantaged circumstances. Do you know it's taken nearly 40 years for me to realize I probably have an older sibling somewhere? I won't go into the details of why I surmise this to be true except to say that insight into your own behavior is often insight into the behavior of one or both of your parents.

Furthermore, has it never occurred to the blacktivists that most of us so much guilt for things we've done in our own lifetimes it's darn near impossible for us to assume a share of the guilt for transgressions done by distant relations a lifetime or two ago. I won't even mention the fact that the blacks who clamor for reparations are likely more closely related to former slave owners than the rest of us.

Nick Sarkozy said...

Hey, Steve, here's a question for you: Since Germany is now the world's largest exporter, isn't it time for a lot more German immigration to America? So that we can become more competitive with the world?

American elite political logic dictates that it is now time to fill the University of California system with Germans in order to maintain US/California competitiveness.

Funny how those crafty Germans can export so much and still maintain relatively high wages. Isn't that what we need to assure a bright future for California?

Look for a new campaign by Bill Gates to bring many, many more Germans into the country as high skilled immigrant labor. Look for that real soon.

Anonymous said...

I have always loved that line 'Bonfire of the Vanities', 'You think the Third world doesn't know how to cross a bridge?'.

Richard...london

travis said...

The leftist writer Gore Vidal is a “master of high snark,” while his conservative counterpart Tom Wolfe is an overrated racist.

Tom Wolfe is a racist? What a joke. No other major American writer today even bothers placing black characters in his/her novel for fear of PC backlash. Future generations will be reading Wolfe's works long after Gore Vidal is forgotten (not to mention David Denby).

Also, I've never quite understood how Wolfe gets labeled a conservative. Sure, he's dedication to social realism means exposing many liberal myths; however, he never gives the impression he's particularly concerned at the direction the country is headed. He has to be one of the least grumpy of old men.

David said...

"Tom Wolfe is a racist."

It's beginning to look like anyone non-Jewish and pale-faced is racist, according to haute culture Jews.

Haute hate? No. This morning on The View (a rerun) the older Jewish woman who is not Barbara Walters blasted Clint Eastwood for lamenting the death of ethnic jokes. She liked ethnic jokes, but Clint's comment was "suspicious" because...wait for it...he made it during an interview with Der Speigel - a GERMAN newspaper. GERMAN = NAZI. Everything we do is deeply suspicious, isn't it?

We're the peasant class and have to be watched lest pitchforks be sharpened away from the all-seeing paranoid eyes.

Der Speigel is a Nazi newspaper and all Germans are Nazis. And Tom Wolfe (but not Phillip Roth) is a racist.

Is Kevin MacDonald writing this script?

testing99 said...

Jews did not finance the Slave Trade. That was done first by various Spanish and Portugese merchants in the 1500's (long after the Inquisition chased them out of Iberia) and later, Dutch and English merchants.

Jews were involved in the Bolsheviks, both as perpetrators and victims. Far more the latter than the former. At the time of his death, Stalin had his own concentration camps for Jews ready to go (among other prospective victims) after the "Doctor's Plot" show-trials.

Generally, Jews get it in the neck from everyone, lacking their own state to protect them, and never finding acceptance. Herzl founded his Zionist organization after the Dreyfuss Affair totally changed his mind, prior to that he was a leading exponent of assimilation.

ONLY in America did Jews find acceptance and assimilation, almost every comic book character was created by Jews.

As for Manhattan Wealth, most of it is WASPY or more to the point, "SWPL"-ey. Not Jewish though there are some wealthy Jews. Most are either celebrities (Seinfeld, Trump, noted Jews Yoko Ono and Madonna), Athletes (A-Roid, etc), or inherited wealth scions like Caroline Kennedy, and politicos like Bill Clinton, a very wealthy man now.

That's who lives in the elite sections of Manhattan, Brooklyn, San Francisco, Chicago, and Boston.

Wolfe is hated because he's anti-SWPL

Anonymous said...

Some people here say that very few jewish people have enough visuospatial intelligence to be a good painter, and it is true that there aren`t that many jewish painters, but it just occurred to me that I don`t really know many great jewish poets either. In fact I know only four jewish poets Heinrich Heine, Rainer Maria Rilke, Allen Ginsberg and Joseph Brodsky. The number of gentile american poets of the 20:th century that I know are much more numerous, like Bukowski, Auden, Williams, Pound, Eliot, Ashbery and so on. Shouldn`t there be more good jewish poets, when jews have such a high verbal intelligence?

Anonymous said...

It took 20 years for me to *get* The Bonfire of The Vanities, but it finally sank in the other day when my local paper ran a story on a black guy who answered the door at one of his girlfriends' places and got shot in the face. "He wanted to go back to school", the papers explained, the stories from the friends saying he'd do anything for a friend, blah blah blah, complete whitewash, awkward and embarrassing to read.

Steiner said...

Denby, like as his peers, Jewish or otherwise, is a proponent of Critical Theory arising from the Frankfurt School. Thus, anyone like Wolfe who portrays traditional American characters - ordinary police detectives (Bonfire), white working stiffs (A Man in Full), Cold War-era servicemen (The Right Stuff), white elite athletes (Charlotte Simmons) - in a positive light is in for rough treatment. Nothing personal, it's just a matter of the application of the ideology that has governed the formation of American "mainstream" opinion for lo these last fifty or sixty years.

Sarkozy-

Well noted, if off-topic, regarding German immigration. Germans have in fact formed the largest component of American immigration from about the early 19th century to well into the 20th. Since then, things have gone south, literally and figuratively.

Lucius Vorenus said...

Anonymous: This hilariously implies that "the new money in the Northeast" (it's not really new) doesn't want blacks to keep their mouths shut. These are people who go to great lengths to avoid talking to or even having to look at blacks. Manhattan is the whitest part of NYC. The only blacks who live on the Upper East Side (1% or 2%) are maids. Same with the Hamptons. And even most of their maids, nannies and doormen aren't black. They don't want blacks even in those roles around them. Oh, wouldn't it be fun if t99 chimed in right now, saying that the Manhattan rich are mostly WASPs? I don't even know when this was actually true for the last time. 1900?

Somewhere in all of this, the name "Whit Stillman" needs to be mentioned - although I'm not entirely sure how you would work it into the conversation.

Suffice it to say that there was once an older culture which predated the cesspool that is modern Manhattan.

Admittedly off-topic, but the fact that a fraud like Spielberg or Konigsberg can be a multigazillionaire but a guy like Stillman can be a complete unknown - living in exile, in France [!!!] - is all you need to know about the sorry state of our culture.

travis: ...Also, I've never quite understood how Wolfe gets labeled a conservative. Sure, he's dedication to social realism means exposing many liberal myths; however, he never gives the impression he's particularly concerned at the direction the country is headed...

From what few interviews I've read, Wolfe is a nihilist [or at least pretends to be for the sake of the interviews].

Remember, Shaksper [Oxford] didn't give a damn about any of his characters, either.

Anonymous said...

Is Kevin MacDonald writing this script?

Naw, Kev's not writing any script.

Like all of the world's greatest historians he's too busy quoting proven historical forgeries such as the fake Kaganovich biography, Wolf of the Kremlin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lazar_Kaganovich#.22The_Wolf_of_the_Kremlin.22

Anonymous said...

testing 99 said " ...
Jews did not finance the Slave Trade. That was done first by various Spanish and Portugese merchants in the 1500'"


Conversos, and insincere ones at that.

However the american /anglo part of the slave trade was indeed financed almost entirely by jews and many of the slave merchants were jews
Jews still dominate the sex slave industry - jews have been associated with the slave trade since ancient times, to the same degree they were associated with the gem trade.

Langobard said...

"---Jews did not finance the Slave Trade. That was done first by various Spanish and Portugese merchants in the 1500's (long after the Inquisition chased them out of Iberia) and later, Dutch and English merchants.---"

As a matter of fact, many of those 'Spanish and Portuguese' merchants were 'new Christians' or Marranos.

Additionally, many of those 'Dutchmen' were Marranos fleeing Spain and Portugal when those countries got wise to the game (like we are getting to this game today).

So, umm...

Anonymous said...

"i think he knows a lot more than he lets on to, perhaps to the degree of Kevin MacDonald."

Tom Wolfe skewers Jewish characters with the same accuracy and zeal he skewers WASP characters, black characters, etc., and from this you assume that he shares the views of Kevin MacDonald? A stretch, don't you think?

It's hard for me, as a Jew, to believe that Wolfe hates Jews (or any other group, for that matter). There's too much attention to detail in Wolfe's satire for that -- his shots at the insecurity and hypocrisy of some Jews are just too accurate for them to be the product of hate. From the Jewish cop in "Bonfire of the Vanities" who feels a swell of pride when someone calls him a stubborn Mick, to the Jewish professor and ethnic Jewish college president in "I Am Charlotte Simmons" who both hate the outdoors -- except for golf courses and the beach -- Wolfe knows his subjects too well to hate them.

Hate breeds ignorance, fear, and conspiracy theories. I haven't seen any of that in Wolfe's writing. It's tough to be as insightful about Jews and other groups without having some affection for them, as I suspect Wolfe does.

- Fred

Anonymous said...

The white suit (Why Wolfe wears it)
===================================

Wolfe adopted the white suit as a trademark in 1962. He bought his first white suit planning to wear it in the summer in the style of Southern gentleman. The suit he purchased, however, was too heavy in the summer for his tastes and so he wore it in winter instead. He found wearing the suit in the winter created a sensation and adopted it as his trademark.[16] Wolfe has maintained the uniform ever since, sometimes worn with a matching white tie, white homburg hat, and two-tone shoes. Wolfe has said that the outfit disarms the people he observes, making him, in their eyes, "a man from Mars, the man who didn't know anything and was eager to know."[17]


From Wikipedia.



.

robert said...

Walker Percy is another eminent writer lacking in Southern White Guilt.

Anonymous said...

Both Bill O'Reilly and Keith Olbermann are preening, self regarding egomaniacs. I can't stand either one, but I will say that at least O'Reilly invites the occasional guest of opposing views, with whom he spars verbally to sometimes interesting effect. I haven't watched Olbermann in a long time, but I don't remember him ever arguing with a "hostile" guest. He prefers long, uninterrupted monologues. The only people who appear on "Countdown" besides Olbermann are fellow true believers. They are always right, they know because they agree on everything all the time, and everyone else sucks. The tenor of the show is like a bunch of college freshmen in someone's studio apartment. I suppose Denby would fit right in.

I enjoy Tom Wolfe's books, but I have looked askance at him personally ever since he quoted Jose Delgado in an interview. WTF? Jose Delgado is, at best, a highly questionable character; at worst, he's a morally rudderless freak of nature who should have been taken out and shot for the good of humanity, long ago. One does not have to search long and hard to discover the "questionable" aspects of Delgado; surely a lifetime researcher like Wolfe could do so easily. So why quote him? I mean, I'm sure Mengele had a lot of pithy comments about the human condition, as well.

Dan Kurt said...

re: Tom Wolfe

He a national treasure.

For you lurkers, first read his novels; do not miss them.

Read his essays next. Collections are in print.

Finally read his short books, the Painted Word and From Bauhaus to Our House.

Next read the rest.

Dan Kurt

Anonymous said...

It's hard for me, as a Jew, to believe that Wolfe hates Jews
WOlfe is married to a jewish woman.

Anonymous said...

Just FYI Steve, Virginia Tech is about as far away from the Shenendoah Valley as you can get and still be in Virginia.

ricpic said...

Wolfe has great strengths and surely knowing who he is and what his values are, in short, confidence, is one of them.

That said, he rarely can see beyond the quirks that beset every one of us, to the contributions that many outliers, or even the downright weird make to society. He is a satirist who rarely manages to push beyond satire into that territory that can't be perceived by a small soul -- which is what he is.

Anonymous said...

Joy Behar is Italian, believe it or not.

anony-mouse said...

His wife: Jewish
His idol: Emile Zola

Perhaps some of the commenters here might want to study the concept of 'transference'

Paranoid said...

Joy Behar is Italian, believe it or not.

That's what the JEWS want you to think...

Anonymous said...

"As for Manhattan Wealth, most of it is WASPY or more to the point, "SWPL"-ey. Not Jewish though there are some wealthy Jews. Most are either celebrities (Seinfeld, Trump, noted Jews Yoko Ono and Madonna), Athletes (A-Roid, etc), or inherited wealth scions like Caroline Kennedy, and politicos like Bill Clinton, a very wealthy man now."

This is a lie of monumental proportions. The wealthy elite of NYC is overwhelmingly Jewish. Most of the white people who live in Manhattan are Jewish or part Jewish. Most of the non-Jewish white people are not WASPs, but Irish, Italian and other "ethnic" whites. Most of the WASPs who live in Manhattan are gay men who migrated from the interior of the country. T99 tells these blatant ridiculous lies with no shame. It really is psychopathic behavior.

rast said...

"The first girl I ever fell in love with came from divorced parents. That was her status symbol to me. I was so envious of her because I thought, what dramatic lives they're all having -- real material to write about."

More like girls with daddy issues are easy.

Anonymous said...

Travis - Future generations will be reading Wolfe's works long after Gore Vidal is forgotten (not to mention David Denby).

Quite so, I was going to say the same thing.

In fact I've gone a step further, perhaps because of being British, I had never heard of Denby before this post. So I've cut out a whole intervening stage in the process of forgetting all about Denby at all.

Anonymous said...

"WOlfe is married to a jewish woman."

So were H.P. Lovecraft and Amiri Baraka. (I still don't believe Wolfe is anti-semitic ... just thought I'd point that out.)

Mira Sorvino said...

david denby hates tom wolfe because people read tom wolfe. i read david denby's american sucker, about how he sucked up to henry blodget and sam waksal and they basically conned him. such a grasp on words, such little common sense.

Anonymous said...

So were H.P. Lovecraft and Amiri Baraka. (I still don't believe Wolfe is anti-semitic ...

It takes very little to be considered "anti-Semitic" these days. You should see some comments of mine that got blocked here. Basically, any remarks observing that Jews have the politcal IQ of a turnip are considered off-limits.

ben t said...

Jews did not finance the Slave Trade. That was done first by various Spanish and Portugese merchants in the 1500's (long after the Inquisition chased them out of Iberia) and later, Dutch and English merchants.


Spain and Portugal, where so many Jews lived until most (but not all) of them moved up to Holland before moving to England. That's quite a chain of coincidences there T99.

ben tillman said...

Like all of the world's greatest historians [Kevin MacDonald]'s too busy quoting proven historical forgeries such as the fake Kaganovich biography, Wolf of the Kremlin.

Are you looking for a lawsuit? Seriously -- how do you think think you can get away with a proposterous lie like that?

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

.....,but it just occurred to me that I don`t really know many great jewish poets either."

Very few composers either, despite the large number of jewish classical musicians. Mahler, Copland, Bernstein,......any others of note?

I can think of a few broadway and film composers - Rodgers, Herrmann, and Goldsmith for example. I think they were quite good, but few serious classical music afficiandos would call them great. (myself, I would call Rodgers and Herrmann great in thier own way).

Anonymous said...

Wolfe also attended Washington and Lee, one of the few universities in the U.S. with an unabashedly Conservative student body.

Which the faculty/administration is doing (successfully) everything in its power to dilute and annhilate.

Reg Cæsar said...

Suffice it to say that there was once an older culture which predated the cesspool that is modern Manhattan. --Lucius Vorenius

Manhattan has hosted both high culture and "cesspool" culture, sometimes right around the corner from each other, for over 200 years now. Compare the lives of Dan Emmett and Stephen Foster.

Somewhere in all of this, the name "Whit Stillman" needs to be mentioned... [that] a guy like Stillman can be a complete unknown - living in exile, in France [!!!] - is all you need to know about the sorry state of our culture. --Lucius

I don't think John Whitney Stillman is without connections of his own in Manhattan! His wealthy New York cousins were Grover Cleveland Democrats, and he is today as well. (An active Democrat, anyway. Judging from the fondness for his fellow Americans evident in his films, he's probably closer to Cleveland than anyone else in that party is.)

Stillman strikes me as somewhere between Wolfe and Woody ("Konigsberg" to Lucius), but he's gentler than either.

Isn't Billy Squier a WASP, too? He stashed his meteoric earnings and now lives on Central Park West, doing volunteer gardening in the park. Can you get any WASPier? (Yes: fighting with your Mick neighbors.)

Demographics changes over time. A century ago there were a million Germans in NYC. Now the only one anyone can name is Donald Trump.



Remember, Shaksper [Oxford] didn't give a damn about any of his characters, either. --Lucius

Can anyone recommend Lucius (and Michael Hart, for that matter, assuming they're not one and the same) to a good twelve-step program for anti-Stratfordians?

Crochet said...

"So many Jews in America should have much blood guilt to atone for, going by the Wolfe standard. Their blood kin committed unspeakable crimes for Lenin, Stalin, Kun and others but there is little, if any, guilt apparently."

The quote from the last paragraph in the link below answers the question as to lack of guilt regarding deaths of gentiles; all body counts are tallied against a perceived endless war against the Jews; Jews are the permanent innocent victims.

Anti-Semitism and the Economic Crisis

"When Jews gather Wednesday night for the Passover Seder, we will recite the words from the Hagadah, the book that relays the Israelite exodus from slavery in Egypt: "In every generation they rise up against us to destroy us.""

Wow that's one heck of a quotation to be reciting on a holy occasion. Could this quote be the root cause of the century long Jewish campaign against the Second Amendment? Or the root cause of the need to flood the country with non-whites in order to make sure Whitey doesn't "rise up"?

Of course the gentiles are not supposed to ruminate on the meaning of religious quotes like this one. Gentiles are not supposed to wonder what kind of mindset develops when the family gathers at the holiday and recites this sort of pathological ingroup victimology together.

And gentiles are not supposed to spend any time thinking about the exterminationist ideology found in the Old Testament or the extreme exhortations in the Talmud. No none of that utterly ruthless strategizing could have had anything to do with how Jews interact with gentiles today. Just like the Koran has nothing to do with the behavior of Muslims today.

Anonymous said...

Very few composers either, despite the large number of jewish classical musicians. Mahler, Copland, Bernstein,......any others of note?

Mendelssohn. True, he, like Mahler, had converted to Christianity, but still 100% Jewish ethnically/genetically.

I suppose Glass can be considered "of note" (npi?), even though I don't think much of his work.

But yeah, considering all the great Jewish classical musicians there have been, there should be more great Jewish composers. Where'd they go?

robert said...

Mr. Anon said:

"Very few composers either, despite the large number of Jewish classical musicians. Mahler, Copland, Bernstein,......any others of note?"

Yes. Mendelssohn was ethnically Jewish (and therefore banned by the Nazis), though he was also a baptized, practicing Christian.

Anonymous said...

"Admittedly off-topic, but the fact that a fraud like Spielberg or Konigsberg can be a multigazillionaire but a guy like Stillman can be a complete unknown - living in exile, in France [!!!] - is all you need to know about the sorry state of our culture."

I don't know who Konigsberg is but you sound ridiculous calling Spielberg a fraud. You can dismiss him as a popular filmmaker (which is arguable, considering films like Saving Private Ryan), but the man is an excellent craftsman who has put more asses in movie theater seats than anyone in history. That's not fraud, that's fact.

As for Whit Stillman, he's a talent -- the WASP Woody Allen -- but he's not exactly a workaholic. He'd be better known if he had made more than three movies in the last twenty years.

Dave

Anonymous said...

...thanks for that family friendly lazar kaganovich wikipedia link...it's hard not to notice that wiki pages dealing with mass murdering leftist scumbags are consistently and lovingly sugarcoated...which shouldn't come as a surprise since truth is the first casualty of war and the leftists are in a permanent state of war against humanity.

green mamba said...

I think Denby is a terrific film critic, and has been for decades, and calling him the lesser of the two New Yorker critics is a bit unfair (though I enjoy Anthony Lane too). It's a shame he's gaining fame for this latest book, which does sound pretty execrable.

Denby may be a liberal, but he's not dyed-in-the-wool. I happened on some reviews of his from the early Seventies in which he makes some pointed and politically incorrect (for the time) observations. He pointed out the alarming anti-White slant in the widely praised "Little Big Man". And he roundly demolished the crude and manipulative hippy romanticism of the youth-in-revolt films "Getting Straight" and "The Strawberry Statement".

Anonymous said...

Is Lucius Vorenus Udolpho?

Anonymous said...

Demographics changes over time. A century ago there were a million Germans in NYC. Now the only one anyone can name is Donald Trump.

Trump's mother was Scottish, straight from the Hebrides. So make that half German, tops.

DYork said...

David Denby's New York Jewish liberal definition of "snarky":

Snarky = anybody critical of anybody black, Jewish or liberal.

Not Snarky = anybody critical of anybody White, Christian or conservative.

Bad Faun said...

In fact I know only four jewish poets Heinrich Heine, Rainer Maria Rilke, Allen Ginsberg and Joseph Brodsky.

Rilke is not Jewish. I believe he had *one* Jewish great grandparent, which would have made him, in the eyes of the Nazi Party, a full blooded Aryan.

I think even the SS only had to show clean ancestry back to 1800. Rilke, born in 1875, could have easily have done that.

This one great-grandparent magically becomes a Jewish mother on Wikipedia, making Rilke a Jew. This despite the fact that Rilke's mother was a Catholic fanatic, who would make Rilke kiss the wounds of Christ. Perhaps she was an especially motivated marrano?

I can't imagine why Jews are so eager to claim Rilke, unless it's because of the paucity of their own poetic productions in the twentieth century. Or perhaps genuine European talent unnerves? It does seem to be something of an obsession with them.

Of course, the misinformation from Wiki - which lacks a citation - has now spread all over the web. This despite the fact that it is unsourced. Another victory for the International Jewish Conspiracy!

Meanwhile, poor Lee Siegel attempts to extricate Rilke from the charge of anti-semitism; it seems Ralph Freedman, in his biography "Life of a Poet", has unearthed some interesting letters.

Here's Siegel:

One ugly phrase in a personal letter, for instance (out of a vast personal correspondence), referring to Franz Werfel as a "Jew-boy," and some murky generalities about Werfel's "Jewish attitude toward his work," do not an anti-Semite make.

I wonder why Ezra Pound never attracts this kind of passionate advocacy? Or T.S. Eliot? Or any of the others twentieth century literary figures who made a passing reference to Jews - usually accurate (I'm not defending Rilke's anti-Semitism). What would Abe Foxman make of a modern artist who said similar things in an email? I doubt there would be any forgiveness for that poor soul.

i am surprised wolfe ever got to be published in the first place. i think he knows a lot more than he lets on to, perhaps to the degree of Kevin MacDonald.

He does. His short stories, journalism, and novels just have too much of the 'Jew thing' to be ignored. The Painted Word, for instance, might have been a missing chapter from Culture of Critique - it basically details how a group of galleries and critics, working closely together, destroyed what had been known of as art, and used control of the dissemination of information as tastemakers, cultural gatekeepers, etc. to basically make huge amounts of money out of worthless crap by talentless nobodies while hustling the gentile rubes. I don't think Wolfe ever uses the words 'Jew' or "Gentile' in the book, but if you know what you're looking at, it's unmistakeable. Plus Wolfe lingers over names.

The main character in A Man in Fullpretty much has his life destroyed when he uses the word 'Jew' in an inappropriate context. And there are short story characters that border on the Streicher-esque, especially the TV producer in 'Ambush at Fort Bragg'.

Jews still dominate the sex slave industry - jews have been associated with the slave trade since ancient times,

Israel is a world capital for human traffiking, according to Amnesty International.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=safari&rls=en-us&q=amnesty+international+human+trafficking+israel&btnG=Search

Old habits die hard, I guess.

Future generations will be reading Wolfe's works long after Gore Vidal is forgotten (not to mention David Denby).

I don't understand the hostility to Vidal on this site - he exposed and took on the neocons in the mid-eighties, earning their undying enmity. He called for a union of 'Northern White Nations' for the purposes of civilizational preservation, and in his spare time, wrote the history of our country - the history that is going to matter and survive. Has no-one here read Lincoln?

Tom Wolfe skewers Jewish characters with the same accuracy and zeal he skewers WASP characters, black characters, etc., and from this you assume that he shares the views of Kevin MacDonald? A stretch, don't you think?

This assumes that MacDonald hates Jews or says inaccurate things about them. I would say that he and Wolfe share an understanding of Jewish power in the United States, though Wolfe is wise enough to hide it in plain sight and never call attention to it. MacDonald isn't a "hater", a paranoid, or a "conspiracy theorist". Neither is Wolfe.

I think you're the paranoid here.

Anonymous said...

'In fact I know only four Jewish poets Heinrich Heine, Rainer Maria Rilke, Allen Ginsberg and Joseph Brodsky'

Ginsberg is an asshole, pun intended, not a poet.

Paul Celan was Jewish but I think that the reason there are so few Jewish poets in comparison with novelists is that Jews were emancipated in the age of the novel.


Richard

Mr. Anon said...

To Robert and Anonymous:

You are right. I forgot Mendelssohn. A huge oversight on my part. (How does one forget Mendelssohn? It was late - I was tired, etc.). And Glass, as one of you noted - maybe not great, but certainly "of note".

I also agree with the poster who questions the characterization of Spielberg as a "fraud". Fraud? I don't like his politics anymore than many of you do, but he is one of the all-time great directors.

Anonymous said...

Richard, you are probably right about Ginsberg, but I didn`t say I liked the poets or "poets" that I listed. I completely forgot Celan IMHO the greatest jewish poet. In the german speaking world after Heine, there are only few internationally famous poets that I know, Celan, Trakl, Nietzsche, Rilke. I like Celan and Trakl very much. Nietzsche I like as a prosaist, but not as a poet and Rilke is too old fashioned for my tastes. So when I think about it in the german speaking world the jews are actually well represented.
But the Germany or Austria hasn`t been the true center of poetry since Goethe. And nowadays poetry is pretty much dead in the Europe. There are still good living poets in South America.

- The first anonymous

Anonymous said...

Are you looking for a lawsuit? Seriously -- how do you think think you can get away with a proposterous lie like that?

If he's interested in your proposal, MacDonald can start by suing Dr David Lieberman:

Kevin MacDonald's Hungary

1. Apart from Irving's reference to "prominent funkies" (by which he means
Jews, "funkies" being his term of abuse for communist party functionaries)
keeping mistresses, there are no references to the ethnic identity of those
who exploited the availability of woman factory-workers or who visited
prostitutes (or, for that matter, to the ethnic identity of the woman
factory workers or the prostititues themselves). Indeed, if Irving can be
taken at his word about the "staggering proportion of Hungarian males" who
"lost their virginity to prostitutes," the reference is almost certainly
*not* to Hungarian Jewish males who, in the years after the Second World
War, hardly amounted to a "staggering proportion" of the Hungarian or any
other European population. Nor is there any reason to conclude that the
availability of the woman factory workers described by the car worker was
"disproportionately" restricted to any particular group.

snip

3. In sum, the passage offers not a shred of evidence that, as MacDonald
would have it, "Jewish males enjoyed disproportionate sexual access to
gentile females." It offers evidence only that not even David Irving is
exempted from Kevin MacDonald's capricious misuse of his sources, and, in
conjunction with that, that whatever the aspirations that motivate
MacDonald's writings about Jews, the production of sound research that
deserves to win acceptance within the scholarly community is not among
them.

James Kabala said...

Reg: The best site is http://shakespeareauthorship.com/ It gave me hours of reading pleasure.

Anonymous: Although they both like Stillman, L.V. strikes me as the exact opposite of Udolpho. I didn't always agree with Udolpho, but he was always tough-minded, never preening or whiny, and I can't picture him as a Rome fan, an Oxfordian, or sex-obsessed.

General comment: It doesn't take much to bring out the haters and obsessives here, does it? And of course those taking potshots at the Old Testament seem determined to take down the entire Western Civilization (which includes the Bible as its cornerstone, not to disparage the Greco-Roman contribution) to satisfy their obsessions.

Anonymous said...

"I can't imagine why Jews are so eager to claim Rilke, unless it's because of the paucity of their own poetic productions in the twentieth century. Or perhaps genuine European talent unnerves? It does seem to be something of an obsession with them."

You've got us! You know us better than we know ourselves: tonight, at the seder table -- after recalling how the Egyptians rose up against us after we tried to foist modern art on them -- we'll lament to each other how "genuine European talent unnerves." It does seem to be something of an obsession with us after all -- that, and lamenting the paucity of Jewish poets -- the horror of that! If only we could have made some small cultural impact on the world, then maybe we wouldn't be so insecure about this lack of famous Jewish poets.

With your keen eye, you ought to become a satirical novelist yourself. Shine the blazing light of your intellect on our misdeeds and shortcomings, my gentile superior!

Chaim

Anonymous said...

"---With your keen eye, you ought to become a satirical novelist yourself. Shine the blazing light of your intellect on our misdeeds and shortcomings, my gentile superior!---"

Wow, can you just feel the dripping condescension?

Imagine what they say about us in more uncensored moments.

Anonymous said...

Norway is large enough and empty enough to take in 40 to 50 million homeless Bengalis. If the Norwegians say that, all in all, they would rather not take them in, is this to be considered racism? I think not. It is simply self-preservation, the first law of species.

I'm not familiar enough with the rest of Gore Vidal's work, but a guy who said that can't be all bad.

ben tillman said...

If he's interested in your proposal, MacDonald can start by suing Dr David Lieberman....


Please try to keep up. An anonymous commentator made a statement that is demonstrably false and defamatory. What does that have to do with David Lieberman?

James Kabala said...

Surely someone should mention the Psalms and the Song of Songs as examples of Jewish poetry.

One thing about Udolpho vs. Lucius Vorenus: I think their careers overlapped.

Anonymous said...

"General comment: It doesn't take much to bring out the haters and obsessives here, does it? And of course those taking potshots at the Old Testament seem determined to take down the entire Western Civilization (which includes the Bible as its cornerstone, not to disparage the Greco-Roman contribution) to satisfy their obsessions."

Potshots? That is what the OT says(among other things). But hating the messenger is more fun and morally rewarding. But it looks like only the NT is worth criticizing...Look at the the little foofaraw over the Mel Gibson film. Gibson used lines from the NT, but that upset some people. And who wants to take down Western Civilization here?
Don't hate the player, hate the game.

Victoria said...

I read 'Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers' a few months ago. Brilliantly funny, although perhaps a little too cynical for some.

Too cynical? Remember that Wolfe wrote these observations while this insanity was actually underway. He was living in the heart of it, yet he not only got it right, his insightful projections have all proven true. Was "Bonfire" too cynical for you?

How about some "my relatives financed the African slave trade guilt"? . . . Lazar Kaganovich or Leon Trotsky or the guys who terror-bombed Israel into existence . . . Their blood kin committed unspeakable crimes for Lenin, Stalin, Kun and others but there is little, if any, guilt apparently

To heck with the slave stuff. Everybody got in on the slave trade. That's hardly uniquely "Jewish." You make more sense to bring up specific trends and actions initiated by Jews like Kaganovich, et. al., and the horror that was done to Russia.

That slave-trading stuff just muddies the waters. Everybody and his grandmother were slave-trading.

Victoria said...

The only blacks who live on the Upper East Side (1% or 2%) are maids.

. . . and David Dinkins!

Victoria said...

i am surprised wolfe ever got to be published in the first place. i think he knows a lot more than he lets on to, perhaps to the degree of Kevin MacDonald.

I think you're right. This is how I've felt about Wolfe from the beginning. How in the world does he get published? How was he not set upon by the Liberal Mob? It must have something to do with what Steve says: "it took the literary world a long time to figure out he was not one of them."

Lucius Vorenus said...

Reg Cæsar: Can anyone recommend Lucius (and Michael Hart, for that matter, assuming they're not one and the same) to a good twelve-step program for anti-Stratfordians?

Actually, the detached, bored, disinterested, world-weary nihilism of Shakespeare makes for one of the very strongest arguments that he was an idle nobleman, rather than a hard-scrabble, up-and-coming, corn/malt/stone merchant - the son of an illiterate glover, and, subsequently, the father of illiterate daughters.

Dave: I don't know who Konigsberg is but you sound ridiculous calling Spielberg a fraud.

Have you watched a period Spielberg piece recently?

It turns out that you can't - I have about 1000 channels on my satellite dish, running 24x7, and NOBODY plays Spielberg anymore [or Konigsberg, for that matter].

The films just don't stand the test of time.

But when you do get that rare opportunity to see a period Spielberg piece, then just try to watch it - invariably it will prove to be sentimentalistic, schmaltzy crap - the cinematic equivalent of a cheap hooker with just a little too much makeup and a little too much perfume and a distracting speck of lipstick smeared on her tooth. I defy you to sit through two hours of Spielberg and not change the channels - the stuff just won't hold your attention, and quite frankly, most of Spielberg's corpus suffers from an infantile, emotionalistic tawdriness that will [or ought to] make your skin crawl. [The original Jaws might be an exception - there might be enough of a plot in Jaws to hold your attention, if you can look past the obnoxiousness of Richard Dreyfuss's character - but even there I'm dubious.]

Konigsberg is even worse - with the intervention of time, his films, in retrospect, aren't funny or cute or clever or insightful or even particularly human - they're more like white noise [and irritating noise, at that - akin to the buzzing of a mosquito behind your ear].

And that's even if you aren't aware that Konigsberg was secretly molesting his leading lady's daughter off camera [well, on camera, I suppose - even there he couldn't suppress his own narcissism].

Dave: As for Whit Stillman, he's a talent -- the WASP Woody Allen -- but he's not exactly a workaholic. He'd be better known if he had made more than three movies in the last twenty years.

Look, one possible explanation is that Whit Stillman is lazy.

Another possible explanation is that Whit Stillman ran out of ideas [although Konigsberg made the same movie over and over and over again for 40 years, so running out of ideas doesn't seem to be an impediment to having your work moved through the distribution channel].

Another possible explanation is that Whit Stillman just doesn't want to make movies anymore - maybe he's bored with the whole scene, and he wants to move on to something else.

But it's also possible that there's a certain monopoly in the financing and distribution side of the business which wasn't ["exactly"] thrilled with the point of view that Stillman was offering, and perhaps that monopoly wasn't ["exactly"] busting down Stillman's front door begging him to make any further movies.

And having your lead character sing Christian hymns to himself in his time of need [or look to Jane Austen for moral guidance, or serve with distinction in the USN] is not ["exactly"] the sort of thing which will endear you to that crowd.

Mr. Anon: Herrmann, and Goldsmith for example

It's a shame that guys like Herrmann & Goldsmith & Elmer Bernstein didn't try their hands at more serious works [although Elmer Bernstein, like Leonard Bernstein, was a pretty hard core bolshevik].

On the other hand, even John Williams hasn't had much luck moving into the sphere of serious music.

Serious [as opposed to frivolous] music is really, really, REALLY hard to get right.

I think that John Barry Prendergast might have written the best music of the postwar era, but, even there, I wonder if his style would translate to the serious stage.

In general, these guys can't seem to make the transition from three or four chord sound effects to 16-bar melodies, much less 10-minute movements of symphonies.

And almost none of them seem to have had any training in counterpoint [not that there were any masters of counterpoint in the 20th century with hypothetical curricula to offer to hypothetical students].

Danindc said...

Victoria, Victoria, Victoria, toria...with apologies to the Kinks and Victoria...but she is awesome...and now apologies to Chris Farley

Anonymous said...

Please try to keep up. An anonymous commentator made a statement that is demonstrably false and defamatory.

What was false and defamatory?

Wolf of the Kremlin is a proven historical forgery and MacDonald used it as a reference.

James Kabala said...

This is probably like shouting at the rain in terms of effectiveness, but Shakespeare as nihilist? Care to elaborate?

I'm pretty sure Whit Stillman's movies were quite well-reviewed by critics of all political persuasions. I'm not aware of any conspiracy to drive him out of the film industry.

I don't happen to know why Woody Allen chose to use a professional name, but it if was to hide his Jewishness, it certainly failed spectacularily. Unless you make a habit of insisting on "Mary Ann Evans," "Samuel Clemens," "Eric Blair," "John Feeney," "Archibald Leach," etc., calling Allen "Konigsberg" strikes me as silly.

Svigor said...

Potshots? That is what the OT says(among other things).

The OT is the world's pioneering work of racialism. But maybe somewhere within there's a "deny everything" clause or something.

Anonymous said...

"Wow, can you just feel the dripping condescension?

Imagine what they say about us in more uncensored moments."

Your lack of self-awareness is breathtaking.

Anonymous said...

"---Your lack of self-awareness is breathtaking.---"

So is yours.

Lucius Vorenus said...

James Kabala: This is probably like shouting at the rain in terms of effectiveness, but Shakespeare as nihilist? Care to elaborate?

Shakespeare nevers stakes a claim in the cosmic battle between good and evil.

Shakespeare takes all possible sides in all possible conflicts - to Shakespeare, every point of view is equally valid - he refuses to embue any single portrayal with any singular sense of sympathy - he is equally loyal [and equally disloyal] to all of his characters and to all of their agendas and to all of their philosophies. [By the way, this is true even of his approach to the lovely boy and to the dark-haired woman and to himself (!!!) in his homoerotic autobiographical sonnets - three characters who (presumably) were actual people in the real world!!!]

Which is to say: Shakespeare simultaneously believes in every possible thing, and to believe in everything is to believe in nothing at all.

I defy you to read Hamlet and tell me what in the Sam Hill the purpose of the dadgum thing is supposed to be. I have read the play over and over and over again, and I can assure you that it's an utterly purposeless exercise in sheer, unadulterated [purposeless] nihilism.

PS: Spengler, at the Asia Times, once briefly mentioned this aspect of Shakespeare's nihilism within a longer essay [in the form of a letter to Ratzinger] on Mozart's nihilism.

PPS: There's actually a second form of nihilism in Shakespeare which is even deeper and more structural and more insidious than that, but it would take me a long time to describe it to you, and it's very late, and I'm tired.

James Kabala: I'm pretty sure Whit Stillman's movies were quite well-reviewed by critics of all political persuasions. I'm not aware of any conspiracy to drive him out of the film industry.

Yeah, and you didn't know that the JournoList existed until a couple of weeks ago, either.

Speaking of which, did you see the story about the 200 identical headlines at 200 [ostensibly] different news outlets?

James Kabala said...

Yeah, but as Steve himself noted, the contents of the JournoList turned out to be more or less identical to what the members said in public. In contrast, Stillman's three films have Rotten Tomatoes ratings of 92%, 78%, and 66%. The Last Days of Disco is the only one listed on Metacritic, where it has a rating of 76%.

We do have steadily diminishing returns, but the last one still had a decisive majority in favor and laudatory reviews at Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, the L.A. Times, the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and the Chicago Sun-Times (i.e., Ebert). Negative reviews tend to be from powerless places like the Boulder Weekly and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. If this was a conspiracy, it was a pretty inefficient one, since a cascade of negative reviews could have driven him out of the business after his first film.

For what it's worth, Stillman himself says (in 2006):

"Now that it’s been over seven years since Stillman’s last film, he’s finally close to tackling a new project. 'To justify the long silence, I’ve been working on a number of scripts that are in various stages,' he says, adding that one of them is ready to go. But his writing process can’t be hurried. Metropolitan, for example, took four years to write, on and off, in the wee hours of the night in a caffeinated haze. 'I don’t think a script is very authentic until I’ve thought about it and gone over it a few times,' he adds. 'For me, time is the biggest luxury.'" (Source: http://www.filmmakermagazine.com/winter2006/reports/down_park.php Uh-oh, author named Kaufman! Interview must be a fraud! Unless it's a differently-spelled Catholic relative of Bill Kauffman.)

As for the Old Testament, Western Civilization is based on Christianity, not Marconism.

ben tillman said...

Konigsberg is even worse - with the intervention of time, his films, in retrospect, aren't funny or cute or clever or insightful or even particularly human....

I think "Sleeper" holds up well.

ben tillman said...

What was false and defamatory?

Wolf of the Kremlin is a proven historical forgery and MacDonald used it as a reference.


MacDonald did NOT use it as a reference. I have the books right here.

James Kabala said...

Final thoughts on the Old Testament:

Anyone who believes that the moral of the Old Testament is that Jews are superior and always in the right has not read it closely (or at all?). The Torah and subsequent books are records of constant backsliding, apostasy, and bad behavior that repeatedly provokes the wrath of God. This is particularly notable during the Exodus, when the Israelites are accurately accused of being a "stiff-necked people" unresponsive to God. After the Golden Calf incident God even threatens to abandon the Israelites and start over with a people descended from Moses, but relents after Moses's prayers.

At numerous times in the Torah, the people are punished for their faithlessness, most notably by being forced to wander for forty years after they express cowardice at the prospect of invading Canaan just a year after they left Egypt.

Throughout the Old Testament, there are suggestions or even outright statements that the Israelites have been chosen merely to be an instrument in God's plan, not through any intrinsic merit. In the Book of Amos, God is even driven to sarcastically belittle the Exodus, noting that it was not history's only successful population transfer and asserting that His Providence directed all such events:

"Are you not like the Ethopians to me, O people of Israel?... Did I not bring up Israel from the land of Egypt, and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?" (Amos ix. 7-8)

On occasion God intervenes to assist suffering Gentiles who prove more faithful than nominal Israelites. As noted by Jesus in the New Testament (but he accurately describes the OT events in 1 Kings and 2 Kings):

"But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when there came a great famine over all the land; and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha; and none of them were cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian." (Luke iv. 25-27)

Not until after being forced into exile a second time (in Babylon), 1300+ years after the call of Abraham, do the bulk of the Jews get with the program and renounce idolatry for good. This is no slur against the Jews - any other people would have acted the same. Faithfulness is hard.

Even in passages where the Israelites are depicted favorably and praised, it is sometimes stated the other nations will eventually join them in worship of the one true God. Such passages are particularly common in Isaiah.

"In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, 'Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my heritage.'" (Isaiah xix. 24-25)

"I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory, and I will set a sign among them. I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish [probably Spain], Put [Libya], Lud [Asia Minor], who draw the bow, to Tubal [possibly the Caucasus] and Javan [Greece], to the coastlands afar off, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations. And they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations... to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their cereal offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD. And some of them I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD." (Isaiah lxvi. 18-21)

Reg Cæsar said...

Trump's mother was Scottish, straight from the Hebrides. So make that half German, tops. --anonymous

Well, then add him to Oscar Hammerstein II, Ethel Merman and Jay Leno-- all of whom had Scottish mothers as well. Miss Merman (née Zimmerman) was also a German/Scottish cross.

Anonymous said...

Western Civilization (which includes the Bible as its cornerstone ...
Wrong.

Anonymous said...

That slave-trading stuff just muddies the waters. Everybody and his grandmother were slave-trading.

Actually, your comments are muddying the waters. The general public opinion is that Jews played no role in slavery, or at most a negligible role. This is patently false, and you are perpetrating that myth, most likely unintentionally.

The first and probably the last time you will ever read this in media

"9.6 million Africans arrived alive in the so-called "New World" from the 16th century through the 19th century. Of these, less than 5 percent, 427,000, were brought to what is now the United States. Nearly 4 million went to Brazil, the largest single devourer of African labor. There, the average life span of a slave was a few years."

So roughly half of the New World slaves went to Brazil, which was literally a death camp. The only thing missing was an "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign over the entrance.

And who was running the slave trade in Brazil?

"During this time in Brazil, Jews were the predominant retailers of slaves in the colony."

Anonymous said...

"---Wolf of the Kremlin is a proven historical forgery and MacDonald used it as a reference.---"

As some of you may remember from that classic Wendy's commercial with the old lady asking:

"Where's the beef"?

So just where and what is the proof that W-O-T-K is an historical 'forgery'?

Seems to be a pattern here that any writing or investigation on THIS subject gets almost always denounced as a 'forgery'.

Sorry, but mere assertion does not qualify as 'proof'.

Anonymous said...

Lucius Vorenus,

I'm not going to waste much time defending Spielberg, who doesn't need it -- it's not a conspiracy that he's the most commercially successful director of all time. I will say that I watched one of his earliest films recently -- something I think was originally a TV movie actually, before Jaws, and it held up fine. "Duel" from 1971. Check it out and see what you think.

As for this,

"Konigsberg is even worse - with the intervention of time, his films, in retrospect, aren't funny or cute or clever or insightful or even particularly human - they're more like white noise [and irritating noise, at that - akin to the buzzing of a mosquito behind your ear]."

The first time I saw Annie Hall was when the film was about 30 years old and it was one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. I don't even consider myself a Woody Allen fan. All I've seen of his is Annie Hall and Match Point which was excellent as well, in a completely different way.

Re Whit Stillman: there's another possibility, which I think is the case: his three films were based largely on his personal experience, and, having fully plumbed that, he's out of ideas. According to IMDB, he does have a film scheduled to be released this year, but unlike his first three, it's one he didn't write. This reminds me of something Larry David said about writing for Seinfeld: his first TV scripts were based on his own experiences, and then he ran out of that material. He said that's when he became a writer. Maybe Stillman hasn't become a writer in that sense. I doubt Stillman needs the money, so who cares. I'd rather re-watch Barcelona than watch a new movie made from a script he mailed in. The idea that Stillman has been kept down by some vast Jewish conspiracy seems daft. As another poster wrote, most reviewers -- many of them Jews -- have praised his work.

Dave

Truth said...

It takes a real genius to compare a guy who's made three movies so lacking in testosterone, that most female Swipples would fall asleep watching them to two of the most well-respect film directors of all time.

You must have loved Sisterhood of the Traveling pants also.

David said...

Lucius, you are getting weirder and weirder lately.

I defy you to read Hamlet and tell me what in the Sam Hill the purpose of the dadgum thing is supposed to be.

Valid question. Answer: "to hold a mirror up to nature" and thereby to demonstrate "what a piece of work is Man."

More concretely, Hamlet struggles with his conscience, his fears and doubts, his aggressive rage and passive despair, and finally contrives to do the right thing even though it costs him his life. It is a moral victory - shown in unprecedented (and unsurpassed) depth, and with great realism. (And with a soap opera element, too - see below.)

But as I indicated in my first answer, Shakespeare's general and more fundamental purpose is to show the many facets of human existence for the sake of showing them, which amounts to a celebratory expression of his clear-eyed fascination with the human animal. His point of view was nearly god-like (even "what fools these mortals be" is the viewpoint of a specific character). His artistic purpose was not to advocate for anything narrowly political or doctrinal. Art isn't agitprop. Go read "Ayn Rand," Brecht, or comic books if you want that.

What in the Sam Hill is the political and moral message of a Turner painting? Is a Chopin Nocturne nihilist? Who are the enemies and the heroes in it? And what does it say about the terrorists?

Lucius, there are more things in Heaven and...ah, I protest too...well, you know.

(The soap opera thing is this: Shakespeare was an entertainer, in many cases retelling stories other people wrote. He brought out all the dramatic angles in these stories so as to make for an exciting night in the theatre. There is thus a soapy or Italian-opera element in his work - even in some of his greatest, e.g. "Othello" turns on the hankerchief bit. This doesn't prevent him from being a great artist, possibly our best.)

Anonymous said...

Jews & slave trade...

Lets say we don't know anything about who was running that business. Just step back and ask how it is that the Jews, apologies for this alliterative mouthful - the model middle man minority - would not have some part in it? I mean, really, how likely is it that they would be above such a trade?

Its certainly true that Jews are not associated with the slave trade in the popular imagination.

Also if Jews really just like the rest of us, just another group of individualists why would they not be involved, how could that work? Of course if they really didnt dirty themselves as a group as part of the slave trade then is that not proof of a group behaviour (yes, Im a Brit) that differs from gentiles?

If Jews can have a group behaviour - not being involved in slave trading - thats seen as positive, then surely they can also group traits that are negative. One ended pieces of string are quite rare after all.

Anti-Semitic Crowd Pleaser said...

SOME Jews were involved in the slave trade.

SOME Jews are involved in the media.

SOME Jews are/were communists.

This does not mean MOST Jews.

This does not mean ALL Jews.

Thanks to Fr. Kennard's Logic 101 class at my nice Jesuit alma mater for that bit of common sense, which is sorely lacking around here.

Anonymous said...

SOME Jews were involved in the slave trade.

This does not mean MOST Jews.

This does not mean ALL Jews.


A nice comment when made in a vaccuum, but in the context of the American political culture this comment is beyond misleading. It's downright mendacious.

MOST Gentiles were not involved with slavery. Yet, ALL Gentiles are hung with the guilt trip (very often Jews are the ones hanging the guilt trip on Gentiles).

MOST Germans were not involved with the Holocaust. We know this simply from the existence of a Holocaust denial industry. The Nazis hid the Holocaust from the public, thus making it hard to prove today. Yet, ALL Germans are hung with the guilt trip (very often Jews are the ones hanging the guilt trip on Germans).

Notice a pattern here?

Truth said...

"Notice a pattern here?"

Absolutely. Most blacks don't rape and murder white people.

The International Jew said...

Notice a pattern here?

Yes. Judenhass is alive and well and living at iSteve.

Victoria said...

The general public opinion is that Jews played no role in slavery, or at most a negligible role. This is patently false, and you are perpetrating that myth, most likely unintentionally.

No one says that Jews played no role in the slave trade. I say that the role they played was no different than that played by countless others. How do you read NO role, in what I wrote?

And what's the point of bringing up the suffering angle? That's not what is under discussion. Who doesn't know there was great suffering?

Anonymous said...

No one says that Jews played no role in the slave trade.WRONG! From my previous WaPost link:

=======================
"A number of Jeffries' harsh critics have assumed that Jews had nothing to do with black slavery, or next to nothing. They said so publicly, and without qualification, during the Jeffries controversy.

Jonathan Yardley wrote in The Washington Post that Jeffries, on this point, had "turned history upside down." When I asked him what part Jews did have in trafficking Africans, Yardley (a self-described WASP) didn't know but said it would have been "relatively minor."

A.M. Rosenthal of the New York Times wrote that Jeffries "says in a public forum that the Jews financed the slave trade. That is not quite the equivalent of [the accusation] Christ-killer, but coming close, make no mistake." I asked Rosenthal too what actual role Jews played in black slavery. "There was none," he replied. "Except for the most peripheral way. If at all."

Jim Sleeper of the New York Daily News said he talked to four scholars before concluding, as he wrote in a critique of Jeffries for the Nation, that Jews merely had a "marginal" involvement in the slave trade.

How about in Brazil? I asked him.

"They would have had an extremely marginal, extremely minor role," Sleeper told me. Did Jews own sugar plantations? "I don't know." Sleeper finally acknowledged, "I don't know anything about Brazil."
=======================

The fact is that Jews played a huge and crucial role in slavery, yet today Jews have no social baggage over this crime. Simultaneously, ethnic Jews are leading the charge in laying guilt trips on Germans and white Americans.

Those guilt trips are no trivial matter. They strong factors in shaping American culture.