May 22, 2010

A Drinker's Paradise

Nicholas D. Kristof has been on a roll lately, calling for Africans to use contraception in his last column and to sober up in his latest one:
MONT-BELO, Congo Republic 

There’s an ugly secret of global poverty, one rarely acknowledged by aid groups or U.N. reports. It’s a blunt truth that is politically incorrect, heartbreaking, frustrating and ubiquitous:

It’s that if the poorest families spent as much money educating their children as they do on wine, cigarettes and prostitutes, their children’s prospects would be transformed. Much suffering is caused not only by low incomes, but also by shortsighted private spending decisions by heads of households.

That probably sounds sanctimonious, haughty and callous, but it’s been on my mind while traveling through central Africa with a college student on my annual win-a-trip journey. 

If first prize is one week in the Congo Republic, what's second prize? Two weeks?
Here in this Congolese village of Mont-Belo, we met a bright fourth grader, Jovali Obamza, who is about to be expelled from school because his family is three months behind in paying fees. (In theory, public school is free in the Congo Republic. In fact, every single school we visited charges fees.)

We asked to see Jovali’s parents. The dad, Georges Obamza, who weaves straw stools that he sells for $1 each, is unmistakably very poor. He said that the family is eight months behind on its $6-a-month rent and is in danger of being evicted, with nowhere to go.

The Obamzas have no mosquito net, even though they have already lost two of their eight children to malaria. They say they just can’t afford the $6 cost of a net. Nor can they afford the $2.50-a-month tuition for each of their three school-age kids.

“It’s hard to get the money to send the kids to school,” Mr. Obamza explained, a bit embarrassed.

But Mr. Obamza and his wife, Valerie, do have cellphones and say they spend a combined $10 a month on call time.

A telephone can add tremendously to one's productivity (assuming one is trying to be productive). In much of Africa, they don't have old-fashioned landlines, so a cellphone isn't a luxury upgrade, it's the entry-level telephone.

In addition, Mr. Obamza goes drinking several times a week at a village bar, spending about $1 an evening on moonshine.

If Mr. Obama restricts his drinking to the evening, he could well be Cotton Mather by local standards.
By his calculation, that adds up to about $12 a month — almost as much as the family rent and school fees combined.

I asked Mr. Obamza why he prioritizes alcohol over educating his kids. He looked pained.

Other villagers said that Mr. Obamza drinks less than the average man in the village (women drink far less). Many other men drink every evening, they said, and also spend money on cigarettes. 

That reminds me of P.J. Tobia's classic article "Soused Africa" in the October 2004 edition of Modern Drunkard magazine:
At first blush, this place seems gripped in pandemic suffering. A closer look reveals the true nature of southern Africa: It is a drinker’s paradise. Hundreds of miles of beaches with names like Monkey Bay and Candy Beach line the eastern coast of Mozambique and the enormous lake Malawi, providing the perfect setting for canoeing, fishing, and drinking the hot days away. Homemade liquors and bottled beers are available at almost every roadside shack, some conveniently attached to rest houses where one can sleep off a particularly frightening bender in a cheap, clean bed. Pocket change will buy a round for the entire bar and, of course, the police have never, and I mean never, heard of a Breathalyzer.

For example, the President's father killed a man while driving drunk in Kenya, and later died in a drunk-driving accident. Also, the President's half-brother David, son of the President' father's second American wife, died in a motorcycle crash after a night out drinking with his half-brother Roy/Abongo, son of the President's father's first African wife, after Roy was jailed for drunken brawling.
Women do almost all the daily work in southern Africa: cooking, finding food, raising children, and tidying up around the hut, which leaves men free to spend the day pursuing more amiable interests, like drinking until they can barely stand or form sentences.

And because the possibility of finding a job is laughable and property ownership largely hereditary, there is no expectation that the people of this region become clock-punching cubicle drones or slaves to a mortgage. While they lack the amenities we Westerners couldn’t imagine living without—such as hot, clean water, electricity, or a life expectancy greater than 35 years—they do have the luxury of being able to relax with good friends and a few dozen drinks every single day of the year.

And, boy, do they drink.

Kristof's solution for African dissolution is for women to have more power over money. Perhaps. But then women do most of the work in Africa already, and handle much of the money, so it's not clear that Western feminism provides much of a template for thinking about Africa. (By the way, I see little evidence that the President has really any personal regard for feminism. He seems to view feminists much like he views pro-Israel people such as Rahm Emanuel and feminst bete noire Larry Summers: as a power bloc whom you want in the tent pissing out rather than outside pissing in.)

In the history of successful social movements to rise up out of drunken lethargy to bourgeois behavior, such as Puritanism, patriarchy has typically played a major role.

What African men need is not necessarily less power but more responsibility. And that probably won't happen until African women start denying sex to African men who act like no-accounts drunks.

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

"If Mr. Obama restricts his drinking to the evening, he could well be Cotton Mather by local standards."

Mr. Obama? A Freudian slip?

Whiskey said...

YES! But of course, African women LIKE guys who are drunkards but charismatic. Many other women do too, come to think of it. Including one Stanley Ann Dunham.

OneSTDV said...

Jinx on first Anonymous

Anonymous said...

Many old fashioned unreconstructed males might say that sub-Saharan Africa has got its priorities right and is the closed thing to paradise.

Simon in UK said...

"What African men need is not necessarily less power but more responsibility"

Right, they need both. But this probably requires long term development of memes and genes. The female-farming, and before that female-gathering, cultures evolved to suit the environment. High-latitude-style working-men culture will develop if hardworking responsible men are more successful, leave more children, than the currently ubiquitous layabouts.

I'm not sure it wouldn't take something as big as a new ice age to bring that about.

Anonymous said...

I have been to many of these places, and can vouch for the truth of this post. Good, frank, honest and accurate.

Why we read Steve.

And why we should forget about the "prospects for Africa", "African Renaissance" and other fatuities.

But it is a beautiful, warm and friendly place; unless you're unlucky.

Anon.

l said...

I wonder Kristof thinks about the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

John Craig said...

Obamza?

I'm surprised his first name wasn't Barzack.

jack strocchi said...

Steve S. said:

In the history of successful social movements to rise up out of drunken lethargy to bourgeois behavior, such as Puritanism, patriarchy has typically played a major role.

The Temperance movement was obviously inspired and manned (or I should say womanned) by religious believers. It played a critical role in constraining Northern European male tendencies to gin-soaked dissolution.

Women were especially prominent as wowsers because they bore the brunt of male drunkenedness, no housekeeping money, periodic beatings and ill-health. They often linked up with Left-wing movements since the poor were the most likely to suffer the most from the "demon drink".

The Temperance movement succeeded in breaking the debauched circuit. Secular, rather than spiritual, profession then became the engine of economic progress. Men got on the wagon with the help of God and stayed on the wagon in pursuit of Mammon.

But we can't mention the role of the Christian religion in motivating both the rich and the poor to improve their material condition (and moral standing). Because "religion poisons everything" you see.

ERM said...

What is this around here, Salem? You'd get drunk all day if you had to live in Africa, too.

William B Swift said...

This reminds me of all the pissing and moaning about how terrible the 19th century sweatshops were. But they had to be harsh to break the non-productive habits of the (former) agricultural workers which were in many ways like those reported here for Africa.

Also, it should be noted that temperance movements didn't really gain much traction until AFTER the establishment of industrial labor.

The Secret of NAM said...

Modern Drunkard (at least when I read it around 2000) had a huge intellectual range. It would flow from "Maxim" level lists and pie charts to a disquisition on MADD's well-intentioned overreaches or bio on the most learned and effective of drunks (say, Jackie Gleason.) Seemed like it wasn't well targeted... but maybe it was just designed so that a smart person could read the smart parts when sober and the idiotic sections when not.

Anonymous said...

I can't vouch for this and I've seen a lot of Africa.

I remember meeting once dozens of fishermen on one of the lakes mentioned. They worked from the evening to sunrise because those were the hours for catching their fish.

I remember male herdsmen. Mostly men selling stuff when the bus made a stop. I could go on and on. It don't remember labor being disproportionately female.

In fact it wouldn't make any sense. When things are so hard, everyone has to do something to earn money. You can't sit on your ass and expect one wage earner to pull in enough.

But yeah there's a lot of drinking of expensive beers.

Anonymous said...

Somebody in my ancestry endowed me with the gene for awful hangovers - to the point that I almost have an allergy to alcohol - and, for that, I am eternally grateful.

I can get drunk maybe once a month, but it renders me useless for about three days thereafter, and I gain about ten pounds trying to eat enough fatty foods to restore the acid balance in my digestive tract.

And drinking is just terrible on my immune system - if I drink a little alcohol and then spend some time around "daycare" children, with their runny noses & hacking coughs, then I'm looking at a flu which will knock me out for about two weeks.

Anonymous said...

The Irish journalist Kevin Myers said much the same thing a few years back.

http://tinyurl.com/6mnyyt

He also mentioned AIDS and got terrible stick for.

I live in East London and there are plenty of African men working in all sorts of jobs.

http://tinyurl.com/35k25s9

Richard

Big bill said...

Well it's good to see that so many African males in America have shaken off the cultural imperialism of white liberal reforming mssionaries and have again assumed their traditional African cultural role here in America: "corner man".

Joking aside, the pattern does repeat here in the USA, where black women make the money and take care of the kids, and black men hang out. Black culture has managed to sustain this aboriginal lifestyle by teaching little black girls that black women are the Strong Ones who keep the black family together in face of the Evil Debbil White Man.

EX: A brother makes a booty call to his babymama who goes off on him about how he never bring any Pampers money. He responds that he's been out there working the streets, but you know how the white man tryna keep a proud black man down, and how she as a sistah is so strong and keeps the fambly together, and how everybody relies on her and it's her job to build a brutha up rather than be selfish and break him down.

And buttering up works! She takes him in, screws him, gives him some money, and he goes back on the streets.

Over the course of 50 years welfare money has managed to revert black culture in America to it's aboriginal form, something that slavery and Jim Crow never accomplished.

If a young sistah speaks out about bruthas being lazy slackers, particularly in public, she will be shushed as being a race traitor, cutting down the poor black man oppressed as he is by Dat Ol' Debbil White Man instead of using her incredible Black Female Strength to build him up and send him out into a cold and heartless White World.

With these cultural pressures acting on her it is almost impossible for a black woman to break free, organize with like-minded black women, and reform her own community.

They are angered by the lazy @ss bruthas they are surrounded and seduced by, yet the matriarchal flattery appeals to them and they can't bring themselves to give up their dominant role. They go to college at much higher rates than their men. Their graduation rates are much higher than their men. In three all-women colleges (Wellesley, Mt. Holyoke, and Smith) black women's graduation rates have been even higher than white women's in recent years.

Black men live off their women in America just as in Africa, and will continue to do so as long as white folks subsidize their "Corner Man" culture.

l said...

Section 8 housing residents in this country know something: There's always money for beer and cigarettes, even if there's no money for rent or utilities.

headache said...

Kristoff is clueless about Africa. If you think that blacks are white people with a black skin, then you will do yourself a great disservice and will open your life to a world of hurt.
African culture is fundamentally different from European culture and there will never be a common ground.

Kylie said...

I said said..."Section 8 housing residents in this country know something: There's always money for beer and cigarettes, even if there's no money for rent or utilities."

Actually the women who are Section 8 housing residents in this country know more than that. They know there is always money or vouchers or food stamps (to be sold or traded) for beer and cigarettes and recreational drugs for themselves and to keep their men coming around even if there's no money for rent or utilities or food for their children.

This is first-hand observation, not speculation or hearsay.

David said...

Many black people who haven't had a drop to drink still act boiled.

As for drunkenness and ganja usage, Scots-Irish run a close second to blacks in my experience. I'm in East Tennessee and you would be hard-pressed to find a young Scots-Irish man here who doesn't periodically sneak out to his car to smoke a bowl. That, or get back a couple 12-packs daily.

Sowell thinks the S-I corrupted the blacks. But looking at Africa, we can advance a counter-speculation: the blacks corrupted the South. Perhaps both theories are equally false. Or, maybe, true.

Davout said...

I'm not sure how putting more responsibility on men who have no power is going to solve anything.

Why aren't African women getting down to creating the infrastructure for advanced civilization and employment in the same way that white men did? Aren't women equal to men??

Anonymous said...

The Irish journalist Kevin Myers said much the same thing a few years back.

http://tinyurl.com/6mnyyt


Wow! Having read this and several of his other columns, I have to say that Kevin Myers is one gutsy journalist. And I have to respect his employers. The linked column was published two years ago, and yet he is still working. Could anyone have gotten away with writing something like that in America?

Jack Aubrey said...

God bless Kristof for finding as his example a guy named "Obamza."

Women do almost all the daily work in southern Africa: cooking, finding food, raising children, and tidying up around the hut, which leaves men free to spend the day pursuing more amiable interests, like drinking until they can barely stand or form sentences.

Black men always get blamed for the dysfunction, but women bear at least as much of the blame. They have chosen to reward with their sexual favors a certain kind of man, and that man is not a responsible one. Also, men have no incentive to hang around and take care of "their" children when the women can't be assumed to be faithful and the children can't be assumed to be theirs. So yes, feminism may be the problem, not the solution.

I've callously reached the conclusion that Africa is a continent seeking a Darwinian solution. The AIDs epidemic may very well be a part of that solution. AIDs is hurting most the people who are genetically inclined to be unfaithful, impulsive and oversexed.

Western efforts to take up the "white man's burden" have not only failed, but have probably been counterproductive. Africa has reached it's high population density not through its own merit but with the aid of Western technology and investment. That means that the genes which lead to the creation of that technology have not had any particular advantage, and the continent is now densely populated with hunter-gatherer genes not adapted for a high-tech world.

And then some Marxist clowns gave them all AK-47s.

I'm not sure it wouldn't take something as big as a new ice age to bring that about.

Or, in Africa's case, global warming, making food more scarce?

Global warming is seen as a bad thing, but not only would it put more pressure on tropical populations, it would also potentially open up millions of square miles of hitherto undesireable land in Russia and Canada.

Somebody in my ancestry endowed me with the gene for awful hangovers

Somebody in my ancestry endowed me with the capacity to be satisfied with the buzz from only one drink. Considering my American Indian ancestry, I'm eternally grateful.

coldequation said...

The Obamzas have no mosquito net, even though they have already lost two of their eight children to malaria. They say they just can’t afford the $6 cost of a net... Mr. Obamza goes drinking several times a week at a village bar, spending about $1 an evening on moonshine.

Natural selection.

OneSTDV said...

With all the apologizing, Kristof seems to be taking a proactive stance on getting pseudo-Watsonified.

Anonymous said...

And that probably won't happen until African women start denying sex to African men who act like no-accounts drunks.

I wonder. In the play Lysistrata the Athenian women's sex strike works. Written after the disastrous Sicilian expedition of Alcibiades, Aristophanes has the men - who are also tired of war - capitulate to the women's demands for peace.

Schubert's little known last opera Die Verschworenen is based on the same sex strike. But in ottocento Europe the public's mood was different. The women capitulate and swear never to deny their husbands sex again.

Let me think now, how would horny, drunken Africans behave? Like fifth century Greeks or nineteenth century Germans. Or maybe something a little less restrained?

Steve the Conservative Jew said...

Several years ago, while in Thailand, I struck up an acquaintance with a 30ish Nigerian man. After learning that I was an American, he became quite animated and told me that he spent a year studying in the States. Soon enough, the conversation steered towards race and the hangups we Americans have on the subject. He told me that most Africans take it as a matter of course that whites are more intelligent than blacks, and furthermore, are not at all hung up about it. I found this quite interesting, but somehow not surprising.

adfafasdf said...

"Nicholas D. Kristof has been on a roll lately, calling for Africans to use contraception in his last column and to sober up in his latest one."

Like they are gonna listen.

corvinus said...

Kristoff is clueless about Africa. If you think that blacks are white people with a black skin, then you will do yourself a great disservice and will open your life to a world of hurt.
African culture is fundamentally different from European culture and there will never be a common ground.


Agreed. If you want to meet white people with black skin, you'll have much better luck in Sri Lanka or Tamil Nadu.

asfasdfsdfafd said...

Good article but this is yet another liberal PC red herring to distract us from the real reason for Africa's failure: biological reasons as stated by James Watson.

Liberals have been giving us a series of reasons for Africa's failures. It was Western imperialism, then it was Cold War, then it was the legacy of imperialism, then it was corruption of elites, then it was malaria, then it was globalism, then it was AIDS, then it was not enough foreign aid, then it was too much foreign aid, then it was... etc, etc, etc,

...and now we are told that Africa is actually brimming with all these BRIGHT YOUNG LADS who are failing ONLY BECAUSE their daddies drink too much!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juqtcsHlKzs

Well, Irish, Japanese, Italians, Poles, and Germans have been famous drinkers too.
Maybe part of the problem is that blacks have a natural tendency to "let the good times roll"--take things to excess--when offered fun and drink. (American Indians and Eskimos also have a problem with drink; they seem to regard it as 'powerful medicine', as if it's some heavy duty spiritual stuff. Blacks take drinking too lightly, Indians take it too seriously.)

Btw, if Africans were smarter, they would be making more money and could afford to spend money on drink. It could be drinking is the only outlet or escape for AFrican men who can only rise so high in the world.

They are not very smart, so I doubt if money saved from teetotaling would do much good for African kids.
After all, free education/lunch/books/computers/etc are provided for all them black kids in Detroit and New Orleans regardless of their fathers' drinking habits--or whether they stick around to raise their kids or not. So, how are black kids in New Orleans and Detroit doing academicallY?

But one good thing about this article is it's finding problems among Africans themselves than just among the elites or foreign influences. It's good that we've moved away from the fantasy that NEW LEADERS will bring hope and change to Africa. (That bug seems to have infected USA instead.)

adfdfsafasd said...

Whether blacks make little money or lots of money, they seem to want things beyond their means.
MC Hammer and Mike Tyson earned millions but still went broke and into debt.

adfasdfafds said...

"In fact it wouldn't make any sense. When things are so hard, everyone has to do something to earn money. You can't sit on your ass and expect one wage earner to pull in enough.
But yeah there's a lot of drinking of expensive beers."

Reminds me of a lot of panhandlers around here.

Anonymous said...

He seems to view feminists much like he views pro-Israel people such as Rahm Emanuel and feminst bete noire Larry Summers: as a power bloc whom you want in the tent pissing out rather than outside pissing in.

There's a problem here with your metaphor. Or maybe it's the president's thinking. Or maybe those feminists have more radical objectives than we've suspected.

Anyway, I don't want to be in that tent.

adafasdfasfd said...

"Joking aside, the pattern does repeat here in the USA, where black women make the money and take care of the kids, and black men hang out."

That was before welfare. Since Great Society, black women have been TAKING the money(from us)to take care of their kids. Of course, good many black males make money from drug deals but then their priorities tend to be bling bling and such stuff.

adfadfasdfsd said...

"In three all-women colleges (Wellesley, Mt. Holyoke, and Smith) black women's graduation rates have been even higher than white women's in recent years."

Could be the result of affirmative grading. Remember Michelle's Princeton thesis allowed her to graduate with honors and enter Harvard.

Ebonics Spelling Nazi said...

Evil Debbil White Man

I think you mis-spelled "Eebil".

Anonymous said...

I remember that Modern Drunkard article. You're right. It is a classic. Shows what reporting can be.

Anonymous said...

That Kevin Myers link was great. I'd love to see an American journalist write something like that. The guys at the NY Times either don't allow themselves to think that clearly or don't have the guts to admit it in public.

Whiskey said...

Black women don't fail to abjure lazy guys who drink all day out of Black culture to "blame Racism" or what have you.

They do so because its hard-wired. And they're not the only women to do so. White British Underclass women do the same thing. In fact, pretty much MOST of the comments by Kristof about Black men in Africa, or Black men in the US (by commenters here) would apply to White British Chav women.

Multiple kids by multiple fathers? Check. Fathers almost exclusively drunken thugs? Check. Heavy drinking and fighting over women by thugs? Check. Women wanting thugs (ala Dalyrmple's Life at the Bottom) and finding steady, decent men "boring?" Check.

Indeed, the reversion of the BRITISH to type, i.e. drunken thuggery/slattern behavior, is as noteworthy as African patterns. It took not female Suffrage-Temperance reformers in the UK, but "Gin Lane" stuff by Hogarth in the mid 1700's, and "respectable" Parliamentarians desiring to reform chronic British drunkeness before Industrialization, by substituting limited time beer pubs for gin. "Responsible drinking."

Along with, a goodly dose of Victorian sexual repression of most sex into the family. Open prostitution, particularly of children, was also eliminated at the time. Sure it was still there, but harder to see, find, and much narrower in scope.

The hard thing is, women seem hard-wired across the globe to find thugs/layabouts attractive in certain circumstances: no worries about providing, no opportunity cost of thug-layabouts in social approbation or failure to advance one's children, absence of widespread middle class property ownership.

The White British working class went from hard-scrabble but terribly respectable men and women, rarely drunk, certainly never in public, and clinging to middle class notions of respectability particularly wrt marriage and kids and selection of fathers, to what you see today in about fifty years.

Strongly suggesting innate hard-wiring for selection of a certain type of man by women, suppressed only for a time by social structures.

Of all of them, I'd say the lack of opportunity cost is the biggest. A woman will put up with a "boring, sexless" man for a father if he is a damn good risk for producing kids that can move up significantly in both income AND reproductive success. If not, women will follow their innate sexual desire for a drunken, layabout but dominating, thuggish bad boy.

You see this clearly in middle class women. Nearly all find their husbands boring and sexless and desire bad boy fantasies (of hunky vampires and such). But the cost of acting on it (kids don't even go to State U) is too high. Of course, if every woman will be selecting bad boys, they might as well go for it. Ala "Sexy Sons."

headache said...

This kind of dreaming by lily-liberals and neocons would be funny if the black "freedom struggles" had not caused so much destruction and mayhem in Africa.
The fact that recent formerly white countries in Africa which were solvent and well developed have/are being turned into cesspits again in only a decade or so, testifies to the total bankruptcy of the liberal and neocon worldviews.

Anonymous said...

"If first prize is one week in the Congo Republic, what's second prize? Two weeks?"


My husband works for a multinational corporation that has operations in Nigeria. I told him never ever to go to there for business. Nothing the company can offer you is worth your life. Just quit. Who cares how much money they would give you. What good is a reward if you aren't around to spend it?

Polistra said...

It's all caused by the Legacy Of Slavery. The Africans who stayed are so sympathetic for the past sufferings of their relatives who went to America that they can't stay sober.

The Captain said...

A drinker's paradise?

Sounds like paradise, period.

I, mean, your wife giving you money for booze, ciggys, and WHORES?!?!?

Getting to sit at the beach all day and drink local beers because your wife does all the work?

These men of Africa don't need to be "saved."

Bill said...

If the temperance movement is any indication, feminist solutions to alcohol problems tend to backfire.

In any event, if the women get all the money, the men will simply take it from them one way or another (e.g. microcredit allows male bankers to take it).

Dutch Boy said...

Big surprise. The liquor store is the social center in the ghetto.

Anonymous said...

There are some predominately African countries that are okay places to live in - South Africa, Bostwana, Bahamas, etc. Unfortunately, they all tend to feature a predominately foreign entreprenuerial business class.

If Africa was willing to invite large scale immigration of entrapranuers from Gujarat (India) and Canton/Fujian/Zhejiang (SE China), I think they could really develop the local economies and provide a lot of good jobs. Of course there were a lot of functional and semi-functional African states that did have predominately Indian (or European) entrapranuerial classes back in the 1960s, but the locals resented foreign influence.

African leaders, such as Barack Obama Sr., pushed for the expropriation of the assets of foreigners and were, for the most part, successful. In East Africa, for example, the Gujarati trading class was expelled and the businesses were turned over to the locals. Subsequently, and perhaps not suprisingly, the locals proved not so good at running the businesses of the Gujaratis, resulting in widspread commercial collapse in many of the large urban zones. Where Gujarati shops once stood, there are now empty and worn out buildings.

Jonathan said...

William B. Swift said:"But they had to be harsh to break the non-productive habits of the (former) agricultural workers which were in many ways like those reported here for Africa."

Farming in the Northern Hemisphere is much more hard work than in Africa and cannot be done by woman alone. Farmers in the Northern Hemisphere, especially before mechanization, had to be hard-working and self-sufficent.


The Tropicalization of Europe

David Davenport said...


...You see this clearly in middle class women. Nearly all find their husbands boring and sexless and desire bad boy fantasies (of hunky vampires and such). But the cost of acting on it (kids don't even go to State U) is too high. Of course, if every woman will be selecting bad boys, they might as well go for it. Ala "Sexy Sons.


Let's try a little re-write:

...You see this clearly in shy, intellectualistic middle class men. Nearly all find themselves boring and sexless and have bad boy fantasies (of being hunky vampires and such). But the cost of acting on it (Girls laugh at me when I try) is too high. Of course, if every woman will be selecting bad boys, I might as well go for it, or at least post my fantasies on the Internet. Ala "Sexy Sons.

Melykin said...

A tendency towards alcoholism is largely genetic and the prevalence of alcoholism seems to vary a lot between races.
Races that have descended directly from hunter gatherers seem to have very high rates of alcoholism. For example, Aboriginals in Canada and Australia. People of the Arctic in Canada, Greenland and Siberia suffer greatly from addiction. If they can't get alcohol they will sniff gasoline.
It seems to be just as politically incorrect to talk about this as it is to talk about IQ and race.

Anonymous said...

I live in East London and there are plenty of African men working in all sorts of jobs.

I don't know why they let in all those immigrants. It's stupid.

ironrailsironweights said...

If alcohol is a major social problem in Africa, I can think of one highly effective solution - the spread of Islam.

Hmmm, alcohol doesn't sound so bad anymore, does it?

Peter

Anonymous said...

Sowell thinks the S-I corrupted the blacks.

It's ALWAYS somebody else's fault.

Always.

Noah said...

So if African men are a bunch o' drunks, why do black Americans drink less than other Americans?

http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/controversies/1116895242.html

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/200306_09.pdf

Anonymous said...

Whiskey, to complete your analysis of British Chav-ry, you need to investigate:

1) Church attendance rates of the Chavs [by sex, if necessary], and

2) Total Fertility Rates [TFRs] of the Chavs.

And then compare those rates with the broader Caucasian population.

PS: England will be doomed [if it's not doomed already] when Islam takes hold among the Chavs.

Christo said...

By circumstance I returned from a journey to Namibia two days ago, and can report that Mr. Kristoff would be doubly hurt upon learning that Africans are not white men in black skins. All but one tribe have heavy drinking problems, including the renowned, and very primitive Himba of remote Kaokoland.

To the south of the Himba are the Damara, also a Bantu tribe who entered Namibia during the 1700s. Aided by the very tall Herero, they scattered the native Bushmen into the Kalahari Desert to the east. Both these Bantu tribes count many drunkards.

Which brings me to this. The desire on the part of various U.N. outfits to place more money in the hands of women will not work. When found to be hiding money, women often suffer severe beatings at the hands of their husbands. To complicate matters, when the local constabulary occasionally shows up, very few men in the village will testify against their fellow man (Africa’s form of jury nullification). Which is why Namibia, along with every other African country, has such an extraordinary high percentage of murder cases going “cold” from the start. Much worse than Washington DC.

The Nama drink to excess too. They are direct descendants of the native Namibian Bushmen and the Damaras. Small and delicately built, they have much yellow tint left over from the Bushman epoch. The Namas look to the remaining white farmers for employment and physical protection from other tribes.

Which brings us to the Bushmen, since time immemorial the real inhabitants of Southern
Africa--along with the now extinct Hottentots. In fact, the Bushman themselves are on the road to extinction, both because they are given short shrift by the current government in Windhoek, and their inordinate craving for drink.
When I purchased some weapons,etc, from a Bushman I was forced to pay the owner of the ranch. The ranchers then typically disburse the money to the family in order that the Bushman himself not drink it up beforehand. As with the Nama, European paternal benevolence still exists in Namibia.

This leads to the “Bastars” (translated bastards), descendants of the first Germans to arrive in Namibia, and the Bantu tribal women with whom they had intercourse. They are prominent in the building trades and operate a fair number of businesses about Namibia. They are also a proud, politically incorrect people. When both the Apartheid South African Government and the current government of Namibia tried to force them to change their name, they vehemently declined. “Once a Bastard, always a Bastard.”
Unhappily, following a day’s hard work, too many Bastards lay down their trowels and head for the nearest biergarten.

Which finally brings us to the Ovambo, who collectively make up over half of Namibia’s scant population, and who would “rain“ on reporters like Mr. Kristoff given half a chance. To their ever lasting credit very few Ovambo smoke or drink. And they are scrupulously clean. I was told that I could ride on a bus filled with Ovambos on the hottest day of the year without suffering body odor induced nausea--commonplace elsewhere in Africa.
Unhappily the Ovambo suffer from a shortcoming that I believe has been biologically inflicted upon all Africans--AVARICE.Worse than IQ shortages.
Since seizing power at the capital they have not shared that power with any other tribe, let alone the white population. Nor does any other tribe receive government contracts, and all the gratuities that go with those contracts. In fact, if one is not from the right sub-tribe of Ovambos, one doesn’t even get to “play government.”

U.N. folk, dishonest as the African governments they support, know all of this to a dead certainty. But at least there is not a Congo, a Ruanda, a Uganda, a Kenya, a Sudan or a Zimbabwe sweeping across Namibia. This is why, aside from the wide open spaces, its Germanic cleanliness, and rich wildlife, it was such a damn nice place to visit.

Bill said...

Noah said...

So if African men are a bunch o' drunks, why do black Americans drink less than other Americans?

http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/controversies/1116895242.html

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhis/earlyrelease/200306_09.pdf


Asians aren't included above. I don't believe for a minute that they drink as much as blacks (too many of them have alcohol dehydrogenase deficiency), but I do believe that whites drink the most.

Europeans have been the world's heaviest drinkers for some time now.

ChocolateGodzilla said...

Build a wall around the entire continent and don't open it for 200 years. And be certain Hillary, GWB, Geldorf, Bono and Prince Charles are inside when the gate is closed.

Anonymous said...

I live in East London and there are plenty of African men working in all sorts of jobs.

Quite, if you are reasonably hard woking, materially you are going to better off in East London than Africa.

And handilly removing those more conscientious genes & memes from your native land.

Hurrah for globalism!

Anonymous said...

If Africa was willing to invite large scale immigration of entrapranuers from Gujarat (India) and Canton/Fujian/Zhejiang (SE China), I think they could really develop the local economies and provide a lot of good jobs.

I believe something like that was tried before. Now what was it called? Apartite, aparthide...give me a minute, it'll come to me.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Christo but you are bombastic rather than clever.

ATBOTL said...

"Quite, if you are reasonably hard woking, materially you are going to better off in East London than Africa.

And handilly removing those more conscientious genes & memes from your native land.

Hurrah for globalism!"

You didn't follow the link, did you?

ATBOTL said...

"Quite, if you are reasonably hard woking, materially you are going to better off in East London than Africa.

And handilly removing those more conscientious genes & memes from your native land.

Hurrah for globalism!"

You didn't follow the link, did you?

Anonymous said...

If Africa was willing to invite large scale immigration of entrapranuers from Gujarat (India) and Canton/Fujian/Zhejiang (SE China), I think they could really develop the local economies and provide a lot of good jobs.

Sir Francis Galton encouraged massive Chinese emigration to Africa in order to supplant the native population.

http://galton.org/letters/africa-for-chinese/AfricaForTheChinese.htm

Anonymous said...

"until African women start denying sex to African men who act like no-accounts drunks"

This will NOT work. African men are so violent they think nothing of raping women who refuse the sexual advances of men. This is standard practice in most of Africa.

JW Ogden said...

Wow Kristof is brave. I would bet that gets crushed for this.

keypusher said...

Some poor slob is actually responsible enough to keep his job and stay married, and he's getting lectured because he drinks (and not very much by local standards, it appears)? Good lord, if I had to live in the Congo (yes, I know it isn't the the heart-of-darkness Congo, but still the Congo) and make chairs for a buck apiece I would have drank myself to death long ago. And so would most of the men in this thread, I'll bet.

Anonymous said...

That Galton letter and the rejoinder from the other guy are quite the find. That kind of high Victorian unapologetic racism is strangely bracing as well as hilarious.

Anonymous said...

"Some poor slob is actually responsible enough to keep his job and stay married, and he's getting lectured because he drinks..."

No, he's not being lectured. Nothing is happening, or will happen to him. Nothing, including progress, will ever happen to any of them. That's the point, as far as I can tell.

Anonymous said...

Sir Francis Galton encouraged massive Chinese emigration to Africa in order to supplant the native population.

Even great men can have their clever-stupid moments.

If he was really a racist, a cynical one, what he should have been doing was enouraging the settlement of Africans in China.

Anonymous said...

ATBOTL - You didn't follow the link, did you?

Which link?

AmericanGoy said...

@Christo:

What the hell happened to all the veterans from the Namibia bush war between S. Africa and SWAPO?

Especially the black ones, the Ovambos?

xlbrl said...

To suggest African women withhold sex as a means of controlling male behavior betrays an amazing ignorance of African life, and I have not heard of a woman being so foolish as that. Common brutality is probably the single characteristic that most shapes minds there, and it is already apparent in the children. It substitutes cleverness for intelligence, and there can be no advance from that.

Whether or not that was actually juniors father, Obama senior lost his legs in a drunken crash against a large tree after leaving his usual watering hole. He died years later driving into that same tree.

Anonymous said...

Whether or not that was actually juniors father, Obama senior lost his legs in a drunken crash against a large tree after leaving his usual watering hole. He died years later driving into that same tree.

I wonder if we will ever know who Obama's father was.

Or, for that matter, who Bill Clinton's father was.

It's weird that we keep getting these socio/psycho-pathic personalities from DEM politicians who aren't entirely certain of their parentage.

I think maybe there's a larger lesson to be learned there, somewhere [maybe something about the importance of having a father in a boy's life, so as to help mold his character?]...

And it's certainly a phenomenon which could be incorporated into Whiskey's uber-theory.

keypusher said...

Wow Kristof is brave. I would bet that gets crushed for this.

This is not a brave column. His policy recommendation is that women get more control over their family's money. That is pretty much conventional wisdom now.

David said...

>And it's certainly a phenomenon which could be incorporated into Whiskey's uber-theory.<

That is a concession, not an argument.

(Drop the "uber," though, and Whiskey is on to something.)

pearl said...

"Or, for that matter, who Bill Clinton's father was."

At least we know where he was born and how he did in school, where he did it and what he did. We even know who he did it with on occasion.

Anonymous said...

"The White British working class went from hard-scrabble but terribly respectable men and women, rarely drunk, certainly never in public, and clinging to middle class notions of respectability particularly wrt marriage and kids and selection of fathers, to what you see today in about fifty years."

I thought nothing would surprise me about sociological realities but when I read Jack London's account of a year in London (England), the East End, I was surprised. And shocked. Shocked I tell you. No really, it was shocking. The society was a tab removed from Dickens since the little kids weren't working in factories, but the poverty, the living conditions, the mentality--it's hard to believe this was England 100 years ago. 100 years sounds like a long time, but I recall the Beatles era, mod London, etc., and the 3rd worlders described by Jack London were the parents and grandparents of the British rockers. Hard to square. So things improved. Birth control had a lot to do with that, as did less grueling physical labor, and indoor plumbing.
It also has to do with percentages and that ineluctable IQ "mean" to which the races inevitably fall into. Even the dumbest whites or Asians not congenitally retarded have a better chance at generating kids and grandkids near the normal 100 IQ. Far fewer of the blacks on welfare will have offspring who even reach 100 IQ much less surpass it. Most of their descendants will remain below IQ 85. It's all in the percentages. Blacks in the higher IQ range have similar life outcomes to whites. In fact, they do better financially than whites with the same IQ. Society is so ecstactic to find reasonably bright blacks that they reward them far beyond what a white of the same calibre would get. Got to fill those quotas.

slobonovna said...

"Some poor slob is actually responsible enough to keep his job and stay married, and he's getting lectured because he drinks (and not very much by local standards, it appears)? Good lord, if I had to live in the Congo (yes, I know it isn't the the heart-of-darkness Congo, but still the Congo) and make chairs for a buck apiece I would have drank myself to death long ago. And so would most of the men in this thread, I'll bet."

Same argument used everywhere else in the world, including the US of A, for excusing drunks. How about drunken women? My name is Slobovna in honor of my drunken mom. Isn't life s@#t for them too? More so in many ways, and they had no even such quasi-respectable outlet.
Every time and place has its pros and cons. The problem is not the drinking but that the drinking comforts him at the expense of the needs of his children. Newsflash to Africans and alcoholics throughout the world: you want to drink at the expense of depriving your children and being yourself a potential dependent, you don't have kids. Get sterilized. Pay people to get sterilized and pay extra to drunks and druggies.
I think Indira Ghandi was on to something.
ps: in reference to "poor slob" who at least manages to do something to earn his bread and drink--just limit his progeny to one, "poor slobs" being a notch above "totally irresponsible slobs."

Anonymous said...

I thought nothing would surprise me about sociological realities but when I read Jack London's account of a year in London (England), the East End, I was surprised. And shocked. Shocked I tell you. No really, it was shocking.

I hate to burst a lot of bubbles around here [and I guess I ought to admit that I read a few of his short stories and novellas in my own childhood], but Jack London was a virulent socialist propagandist, so you have to consider the possibility that every single word he wrote was a lie.