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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, organ version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is your indestructibly genial host John Derbyshire.
You may have heard that my engagement to speak to students at Williams College in Massachusetts next week was canceled by no less a person than the college President, whose name is Adam Falk, on the grounds that I am a merchant of "hate speech."
The punchline of the joke is, that the group that invited me bears the name Uncomfortable Learning. It exists explicitly for the purpose of bringing controversial speakers to campus.
So be warned, gentle listener: You have opened up a podcast whose material is likely to make you beyond uncomfortable, according to the President of Williams College.
What is beyond discomfort? Pain, I guess. So before proceeding with Radio Derb, you may want to take a couple of Ibuprofen.
This is not, of course, really a joke, unless a very dark one. That my rather commonplace opinions, thoughtfully expressed, should be regarded as beyond the pale of civilized discourse by the President of a respectable college, shows how far our society has drifted into the darkness of totalitarian thought control. I fear we are doomed. Someone should write We Are Doomed.
Never mind. For the little while longer that we have liberty to read, write, speak, and listen, let's exercise that right. On with the show!
[Clip: Ethel Merman, "Let's go on with the show.".]
02 — Antonin Scalia, RIP. Headliner of the week was the sudden and entirely unexpected death of Antonin Scalia, who had been a Justice on the United States Supreme Court since appointed thither by President Reagan thirty years ago.
I have no legal background and don't follow the Supreme Court closely. I was once in the same room as Scalia, at a publication party for one of Laura Ingraham's books in 2008; but I wasn't introduced and so I didn't speak to him. I was raised with the traditional English rule about how to behave when by chance you find yourself in the presence of an important person: Don't impose!
Given this dearth of acquaintance with the man and his work, I'll be brief and modest in my comments here. You can very easily find pundits with much better-informed opinions about Scalia than mine.
He is tagged in the obituaries as an "originalist," which apparently indicates that he thought the Constitution means what it says and no more. Where the Constitution has nothing to say, the initiative passes to Congress, which of course has the power to make a law if the people think it necessary. That, as I understand it, is originalism.
If I've got that correct, I'm surprised we need a word for this. What other position on the Constitution is jurisprudentially possible?
Seeking enlightenment, I went browsing for Scalia quotations. Here's a bunch of them from the Fox News website. Sample, quote from Scalia:
So, the question comes up, is there a Constitutional right to homosexual conduct? Not a hard question for me. It's absolutely clear that nobody ever thought when the Bill of Rights was adopted, that it gave a right to homosexual conduct. Homosexual conduct was criminal for 200 years, in every state. Easy question.
That sounds to me like solid common sense. Scanning the Constitution and its Amendments, I don't even find the word "homosexual," nor any of its synonyms. These documents don't say anything about it. If the American people, in their collective wisdom, think there should be a nationwide right to buggery so that individual states can't any longer have laws against it, then Congress should pass an appropriate federal law.
Reading the commentary on Scalia's passing, in fact, I find myself siding with those people — Pat Buchanan, for example — who deplore the failure of Congress to exercise the powers it's granted in the penultimate sentence of Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution, quote:
the Supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.
When was the last time Congress exercised that power? Was it before or after the last time they declared war — another right they have, this one under Article I, Section 8?
What weaklings and cowards they are! Let me state that a tad more strongly: What loathsome, repulsive, worthless, crawling, driveling, chittering weasels they are!
I'll allow there may be a dozen or so Congresspersons who are not contemptible malodorous walking bags of low-grade offal; but taking them in the generality, I don't like Congressvermin.
I think I would have liked Antonin Scalia, though. Now I wish I'd dropped my manners for once at that book party and imposed. Even getting the brush-off from Scalia would have been memorable.
Here's one more quote from that Fox News collection. They give it as Scalia's own favorite opening line to one of his opinions. Quote:
This case, involving legal requirements for the content and labeling of meat products such as frankfurters, affords a rare opportunity to explore simultaneously both parts of Bismarck's aphorism that "No man should see how laws or sausages are made."
Antonin Scalia, rest in peace.
03 — No Justice, no peace. All the political talk now is of course on who Obama will appoint to the now-vacant Supreme Court seat, and whether Republicans in the Senate should approve his choice.
Being of the opinion, as just stated, that Congressional weakness and cowardice has allowed the Supreme Court to become much more important than the Founders intended, I naturally hope that the GOP Senators will stick a big fat senatorial finger in Obama's eye.
As I understand the Constitutional position, not only is the Senate not obliged to agree to Obama's appointee, it is not obliged to agree to the appointment of any new Supreme Court Justices, now or ever. We have all we need, perhaps more than we need. The number nine is not specified in the Constitution; it's just a historical accident. The President, with a compliant Congress, could bump it up to a hundred and nine, as FDR wanted to do; or it could be allowed to dwindle down to three. (The Constitution seems to demand a plural number, and you'd want an odd number to avoid ties.)
So I say let Obama grunt and sweat. He can't make any procedural complaint about Republicans doing what they can to thwart him, as he joined the filibuster against the Alito appointment when he himself was a Senator.
And it is of course certain that Obama's appointee will be another Cultural Marxist PC enforcer, like Kagan and Sotomayor. Obama will in fact probably nominate a black woman, to present the GOP Senators with the dilemma of either (a) rejecting the nominee and thereby ginning up the angry black vote for Obama's own party (the black vote being disproportionately female), or (b) approving a black lefty and thereby ticking off their own conservative white voters.
So I say let Obama go hang. [Klaxon.] What? What? … Oh, that's a lynching-related microaggression? What, they had lynching in Kenya? I didn't know that.
OK; my opinions there are all very well, but I am of course whistling Dixie. [Klaxon.] Oh, shut up.
The GOP as currently constituted is beyond hope. That's why their voters are flocking to Trump.
Obama will nominate the furthest-left, most foam-flecked white-hating black agitator he can find that has a law degree. The GOP will approve, and then give the lady a ticker-tape parade through the Senate chamber. To do anything else would be racist!
04 — Trump: Rude or Rudy?. There you are: The poor bloviator can't get ten minutes into a podcast nowadays without mentioning Donald Trump.
Radio Derb is pro-Trump, on the simple calculation that if we are to keep our country in any recognizable form and advance conservative policies of liberty, law, and sovereignty, the first task is to smash the Republican Party to pieces. Trump looks like the guy to do it.
We're getting some good insightful commentary on Trump and Trumpism. Mark Cunningham, for example, writing in the New York Post on Tuesday, keys nicely to what I said in the last segment. Longish quote from him:
Trump doubles down on his promises — he's not just going to build a wall, but make Mexico pay.
That last sentence is apt in the context of a Supreme Court nominee. Obama nominates an angry black socalist lesbian; Senate Republicans put on their angry faces; the media shrieks "racist!" "misogynist!" "intolerance!"; Republicans fold, "giving away the game before it even starts."
Daniel Greenfield, on his blog mysteriously named Sultan Knish, argues that Trump is a quintessential New York City politician, doing what some successful candidates for Mayor of New York have done: ignoring and bypassing the City's flaccid, corrupt, and worthless Republican Party and addressing the electorate in the tones you hear from people you accidentally bump into on Third Avenue: "Hey, jackass, wassamadda you? Yer eyes not set opposite the holes in yer head?"
Rudy Giuliani is the exemplar here, although Chris Christie stole a bit of the New York magic. What's New Jersey, after all, but New York without the glamor?
There, however, as Greenfield points out, there we have a problem. Quote from him:
The trouble with the common sense tough guy style in urban politics is that it compensates for weakness elsewhere. Giuliani and Christie were very tough in one specific area. In Giuliani's case that was crime and it was such a major issue for the city that some of his more liberal positions didn't matter. In national politics, those positions did matter when Giuliani ran for president …
That is spot on. As with Giuliani, so with Christie. I loved Christie's New York-ish style, and I cheered when he slammed his knee into the crotch of the public-sector unions. When I actually got face to face with him to ask questions, though, it quickly became clear that all that "common sense tough guy" stuff was a solid rock sticking up out of an ocean of squishiness.
Gun control? "I was a prosecutor, I've seen the harm guns do …" Immigration? "We need these people … jobs Americans won't do … out of the shadows …" As Arthur Koestler said in a different context, sitting down with Christie was "like having a wonderful meal of goose liver and then meeting the goose."
Is Trump just another Giuliani, another Christie? Will he clean up just one small area of the national life but otherwise, as Greenfield says, just buy conservatives a little more time?
But surely, if the one area he cleans up is the National Question — immigration and sovereignty — isn't that at least worth going for?
It sure would be. Even here, though, it's hard to keep the doubts at bay. Greenfield:
The trouble with Trump … is that he has no positions, only reactions. Beyond the outrage, his actual plans grow vague or backtrack.
Case in point: Next segment.
Republicans didn't have anything going for them with respect to Latinos and with respect to Asians. The Democrats didn't have a policy for dealing with illegal immigrants, but what they did have going for them is they weren't mean-spirited about it.
All right, all right, we live and learn. Still, at the time of that interview Trump was 66 years old and had been in public life for decades. Did he really not know that "mean-spirited" is a term of Cultural Marxist abuse, a curse-word aimed at honest, thoughtful people who want a rational immigration policy? If he didn't, he's really slow on the uptake.
It got worse. Quote, speaking of Mitt Romney:
He had a crazy policy of self deportation which was maniacal. It sounded as bad as it was, and he lost all of the Latino vote. He lost the Asian vote. He lost everybody who is inspired to come into this country.
Whoa! Romney's approval of self-deportation was one of the few sensible things any major politician has said about illegal immigration in the past twenty years.
By imposing some modest federal standards on hiring, we can make it very difficult for illegals to find work. Great numbers of them would then go back to their home countries. There are no billy clubs in this scenario: no fire hoses, no attack dogs, no doors being kicked down, just people buying bus and plane tickets.
Self-deportation was in fact until recently the kinder'n'gentler conservative solution to illegal immigration, promoted by modest suit'n'tie lobbies like the Center for Immigration Studies. Once Romney had expressed approval of it, though, leftist media pundits started telling us that it was a euphemism for cattle wagons and gas chambers. I floated the expression "hate creep" to describe this morphing of a harmless, intelligent policy into a crime against humanity.
Romney, a moral coward, caved as soon as he heard the crack of the leftist whip.
Here I'll just repeat Mark Cunningham's comment about what's driving Trump supporters, quote:
They're tired of losing … tired of seeing their "leaders" talk and play by the liberal media's rules, giving away the game before it even starts.
That's what Romney did on self-deportation: gave the game away before it had even started.
Not even Romney went so far as to describe self-deportation as "maniacal," though. That's Cultural Marxist talk. To say that Romney lost, quote from Trump, "all of the Latino vote" adds innumeracy to this sorry mix. Romney got 27 percent of the Latino vote, only four percent less than John McCain had gotten in 2008 after relentless hispandering, and more than Bob Dole or Poppy Bush got.
Trump went on to say in that 2012 interview that the GOP had to develop a comprehensive policy, quote, "to take care of this incredible problem that we have with respect to immigration, with respect to people wanting to be wonderful productive citizens of this country," end quote.
Again, anyone in 2012 who didn't know that the word "comprehensive," in the context of immigration policy, is a synonym for open borders, just hadn't been paying attention.
And again with the flagrant innumeracy. "People wanting to be wonderful productive citizens of this country"? How many people? A million? Ten million? A hundred million? Numbers are of the essence.
I hate to be a wet blanket; and yes, we live and learn; and yes, I'll vote for Trump any chance I get. He's the best we've got. I can't help wishing, though, we had someone better.
06 — PiS, Smer, and Sieť. Across the pond in Europe, the National Question is really prominent.
Anti-national universalism in the last century threw up two great supranational projects: the Soviet Union and the European Union. The Soviet Union collapsed 25 years ago; I don't think it's too much to hope that the EU is now collapsing as we watch.
Key players here, not very surprisingly, are the East European nations who experienced the U.S.S.R. at first hand. Among those nations are four who call themselves the Visegrad Group: Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic.
It so happens that the Visegrad Group celebrated its 25th birthday on Monday. The Group was formed in 1991 to, quote from their mission statement, "work together in a number of fields of common interest within the all-European integration." Back then, at the time the group was founded, the main aim was to get admitted to the EU. They subsequently all did get admitted, in 2004.
The Visegrad Group — sometimes written as the Visegrad Four, or just V4 — is something of a tadpole demographically: Poland accounts for sixty percent of its population. The other three countries, the tail of the tadpole, are just forty percent.
That is significant politically as well as just demographically: Last November's election in Poland was won by the Law and Justice Party, a national-conservative party skeptical of the EU and strongly opposed to mass Third World immigration. I am sorry to report that the Law and Justice Party is commonly referred to by its Polish initials, PiS. Listen, I don't make the news, I just report it.
The tail of the Visegrad tadpole is similarly minded. Working our way through them by demography, the Czech Republic, with sixteen percent of the Group's population, was the subject of a Radio Derb smooch back on January 1st this year. You may recall our long quote from the Christmas message to his people given by the Czech President, Miloš Zeman.
It began with, quote, "I am deeply convinced that what we are facing is an organized invasion." It ended with the ringing words, further quote:
To close my Christmas message, I would like to tell you two clear sentences:
Hungary, with fifteen percent of the Group's population, has a President and Prime Minister from Fidesz, another national-conservative party. Quotes from that Prime Minister, speaking on Wednesday this week, quote:
Christian and national values will be as important in the future as they were in the past … Uncontrolled migration will cause more harm than good … No one can be forced to live with the people whom they don't want to live with.
In Slovakia, the smallest member of the Visegrad Four, the ruling political party rejoices in the name Smer. This is not a national-conservative party. It's center-left in general orientation.
Still nationalist, though. Quote from Smer Prime Minister Robert Fico last week, quote: "The only way to eliminate risks like Paris and Germany is to prevent the creation of a compact Muslim community in Slovakia," end quote.
Further quote from him, January 10th, quote:
We will never make a voluntary decision that would lead to the formation of a unified Muslim community in Slovakia … Multi-culturalism is a fiction.
I love these Visegrad guys! Memo to President Trump: Is there a way the U.S.A. could apply to join the Visegrad Group? Worth looking into.
Slovakia, by the way, has an election coming up March 5th. Smer is polling well, but may not get a full majority and could end up in coalition with a center-center party named Sieť. A Smer-Sieť coalition … I just wanted to say that.
Bottom line: The Visegrad Group is pretty solidly nationalist, even the leftist parties. They don't want Muslims coming into their countries in quantity.
That's all background. To bring us right up to date here, let's have another segment.
07 — Europe in the balance. OK; now there are developments going on that could change the future of Europe.
You need some idea of the geography here. If you slice Europe with a north-south line, roughly at the fifteenth meridian, east of that is Eastern Europe, right? The Visegrad group is the northern zone of Eastern Europe. Going southward from it, you go through all the bits of the old Yugoslavia — Serbia, Bosnia, and so on — until finally you get to Macedonia, then over the border into Greece. To your east, meanwhile, as you took that southward trek, were Romania and then Bulgaria. Bulgaria also borders on Greece.
The talk going on now, with the Visegrad Four doing most of the talking, is that if Greece and Turkey can't get the flow of illegal immigrants under control, then Macedonia and Bulgaria should close their borders to seal off Greece. This is in addition to the border fences already up. Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria are already defending their borders against the Muslim flash mobs.
When I say "the talk going on now," that's not figurative: The relevant parties were actually talking this week, at a summit meeting in Prague. The Visegrad leaders were all there, and they'd invited representatives from Macedonia and Bulgaria to join them. They invited the Prime Minister of Greece, too, but he didn't show: I don't know what's up with that.
This is causing trouble over there. Also this week, scheduled for Thursday and Friday, is an EU Summit in Brussels to discuss the illegal alien problem. Angela Merkel's there, of course, still pushing for the other EU countries to spread the illegals out among themselves; still insisting that Greece stay in the open-borders Schengen zone, which obviously positions her for a head-on collision with the Visegrad Four.
Meanwhile, someone in Europe's had the idea to send NATO ships to patrol the Aegean Sea, where the illegals come across from Turkey to Greece. These NATO vessels could shut down the people-smuggling rackets by just turning the boats round, back to Turkey. That's how the Australians solved their similar problem.
Brilliant! It only took the Europeans a year to think of this.
Meanwhile, winter is beginning to turn into spring. Better weather, more boats, more people: a million, two million, five million … Who knows?
Europe's in the balance. The next few months will be very interesting.
08 — Point'n'sputter from Salon.com. In last week's podcast I opined in reference to the Superbowl halftime show that, quote, "The nation's appetite for anti-white propaganda seems … to be well-nigh bottomless," end quote. Later in the same segment I confessed that what mainly got my attention when watching the show was, quote, "Beyoncé's curiously large, meaty thighs."
That earned me a point-and-sputter from some hack named Heather Digby Parton over at lefty website Salon.com. Quote from her:
Pitting Latinos against African Americans remains a tactic on the anti-immigrant far right, however, where nativist groups like VDARE fatuously declare their deep concern for the well-being of African Americans while running articles like this one from John Derbyshire, in which he complains about Beyoncé's "anti-white thunder thighs." Their insincerity toward the problems of the African American community couldn't be any clearer.
The words "fatuously declare" have a hyperlink to a piece we ran four years ago about some hearings held by the House Subcommittee on Immigration. Our anonymous writer did not declare a "deep concern for the well-being of African Americans," though. In fact he complained that, quote:
Yet before tackling important issues such as legal immigration or birthright citizenship … the Republicans [on the Committee] still felt they must discuss the problems that immigration causes minorities.
So Heather Digby Parton needs to work on her reading-comprehension skills.
Our writer did go on to point out the hypocrisy of black congresscritters championing unrestricted immigration of low-skilled workers, which of course hurts the job prospects of low-skilled citizens, including black ones. That's well worth pointing out, and we do it a lot, and I hope shall continue to.
Why this Salon writer thinks it's "fatuous," which my dictionary defines as "foolish or inane," I don't know. What she actually seems to mean is that the deep concern she falsely claims we display is dishonest.
Again, I'm not aware of us displaying any "deep concern," in that 2011 piece or any other, and "fatuous" is not a synonym for "dishonest."
I also don't know why the lady thinks we are insincere about the problems of blacks — I beg your pardon: "the African American community." As an immigration-restrictionist website, we think our government should put the interests of Americans, including black Americans, above the interests of foreigners, especially foreigners who display contempt for our laws. That's the entire extent of our concern about blacks.
The only other context in which we write about blacks — no, I'm not going to say "the African American community" again, being of the opinion that one syllable trumps twelve — the only other context is to push back against the hatred of whites, some of it on the part of black groups like Black Lives Matter, that in our opinion is poisoning our national culture. We are anti-anti-white.
Come to think of it, I don't know why this woman thinks VDARE is, quote, "anti-immigrant." Peter Brimelow, who runs the site, is himself an immigrant — a member of what I guess Ms Parton would call the immigrant American community. VDARE is not anti-Brimelow. How could it be? — he runs the durn thing. I'm an immigrant too, and my wife is another. VDARE is not anti-Derb, nor is it anti-Mrs Derb. I'm certainly not anti-myself, nor am I anti-my wife (except when she leaves the cap off the toothpaste tube).
I'm peeing into the wind here, of course. Still, it's worth mentioning semi-literate lefty halfwits like Heather Digby Parton now and then just as a reminder of one of the abiding truths about the political left, first noticed by Orwell: Not so much that they don't know the meaning of words — although that too, often enough, as Ms Parton's struggles with the word "fatuous" illustrate — as that they hate the idea of words having any meaning.
09 — Why Republicans hate their party. The name of this segment is: "Why Republicans hate their party."
In an interview with Fox Business News on Monday, Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was asked about immigration, legal immigration.
I cut out a lot of blather there, and some to-and-fro with the interviewer. She persisted in asking him about the million — actually it's slightly more than a million — green cards issued every year; Ryan kept saying we have to tackle unemployment; the lady countered with, well, wouldn't cutting down on green cards help? Ryan replied that, by golly, we're going to secure that border. [Laughter.]
Pathetic and depressing. Then on Wednesday the Ryan bot gave another interview, this time to Laura Ingraham, in which Laura asked him about the Disney company laying off workers so it could bring in cheaper replacements from India, and making the about-to-be-laid-off workers train their replacements or forfeit their severance packages.
Ryan, this champion of the American worker, plainly had no clue what Laura was talking about. The only part of his answer that wasn't boilerplate about tackling unemployment and securing the border was this, quote:
Let's have tax reform that doesn't reward companies for moving overseas, but that keeps companies here in America.
Clearly he thought Laura was talking about Disney moving operations offshore.
No, sorry, Mr Speaker: Disney is not moving operations offshore. Disney is moving workers off-premises, onto the unemployment lines your lying mouth claims to be so concerned about; then moving cheaper foreign workers on-shore to do their jobs.
This worthless, ignorant, … what? — I'm running out of terms of abuse here. What's that word Michelle Malkin uses? Right: crapweasel. I admit I've never been too clear about how, precisely, a crapweasel differs from a common-or-garden weasel, but I like the sound of it. Crapweasel! That's you, Speaker Ryan.
At the next banquet you throw for your donors, I hope the ghost of Eric Cantor's political career shows up to haunt you.
10 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
Imprimis: The little flap between the Pope and the Donald enlivened the news this week. The Pope, visiting Mexico, said it was un-Christian of the Donald to want to build a wall along the Mexican border. The Donald asked how many divisions the Pope has … or something like that, I didn't follow closely.
Numerous people hastened to point out that Vatican City, where the Pope lives, is surrounded by high walls, erected in the ninth century to protect the city from marauding Muslims. The Vatican is in fact just about the most difficult of all the world's sovereign states to gain permanent residence in.
I was raised Protestant, but I don't mind the Pope. I certainly don't think he's the anti-Christ. There is a sense, though, in which he is the anti-Trump.
His flock, the Roman Catholic Church, is mostly conservative and traditionalist, at any rate in the U.S.A., at any rate to judge from the Roman Catholics I know. Yet he himself leans Cultural Marxist: open borders, social justice, the whole package.
If the Roman Catholic Church were a political party, it would be the Republicans: a mass — pardon the expression — of conservative traditionalists led by crypto-socialist nation-wreckers.
So, not hard to see why the Pope hates the Donald. Perhaps he's wondering if there's a Donald lurking in Vatican City somewhere, waiting to catch the mood of the faithful, lay about him with a loaded crozier, and drive the money-changers from the temple.
Item: Money-changers, yes — a brilliant segue here. They want to change your money.
Who do? Why, the Democrats, of course. Larry Summers, who was Bill Clinton's Treasury Secretary and is said to have the ear of Mrs Clinton, wrote an Op-Ed in the Washington Post arguing that we should give up the hundred-dollar bill, and Europeans the 500 Euro bill, mainly on the grounds that these high-denomination bills make things too easy for terrorists and drug criminals. Quote from him:
Illicit activities are facilitated when a million dollars weighs 2.2 pounds as with the 500 euro note rather than more than 50 pounds as would be the case if the $20 bill was the high denomination note.
In this same week, listeners, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced he's going to fight a court order that demands his company supply software to open up the encrypted data in the iPhones of the San Bernadino terrorists.
Coincidence? I think not. This is a two-pronged war on our privacy, citizens. The move against the Benjamin is just an opening shot, mark my words. The government wants ultimately to strip us of all our cash. If our commercial transactions are all digitally recorded, they will know exactly what we're doing. Nothing will be hidden from them. Likewise with the move against iPhone encryption.
Here are some alternative suggestions, free of charge from Radio Derb. You're welcome!
Item: I have recently been enjoying the Prohaska novels of author John Biggins. They deal with the adventures of Otto Prohaska, an officer in the forces of the Austro-Hungarian Empire — otherwise known as the Dual Monarchy, or in German, the k.u.k. — during its last years. I've nursed a long fascination with the Dual Monarchy and its predecessor, the Austrian Empire, and its predecessor, the Holy Roman Empire; and I'm a longstanding Hungarophile, as I've often mentioned.
Well, some fragments of the Dual Monarchy are still with us, I'm delighted to see. One fragment, at any rate: Hungarian-born actress and serial monogamist Zsa Zsa Gabor. Ms Gabor was born in the Dual Monarchy in February 1917; and she's still with us, bless her. The Dual Monarchy was wound up shortly before her second birthday.
Ms Gabor is 99 years old and on her ninth husband. It was she, I believe, who coined the quip: "I am a wonderful housekeeper, darlink: I always keep the house."
That's the good news. The bad news is that Zsa Zsa has been unwell. She was hospitalized for a lung infection, but is now back at her home in Los Angeles.
I wish her a good recovery or a peaceful passing, whichever she wishes for herself. When she does pass, so finally will the last traces of that absurd, improbable, but occasionally glorious creation, the empire into which she was born.
Zsa Zsa added no small quantity to the world's stock of harmless pleasure, which is a proper cause for pride on her part, and gratitude on ours. Thank you, Zsa Zsa. Köszönöm szépen.
11 — Signoff. That's all, ladies and gents. Thank you for listening, and please help with our upcoming appeal, for which I have just recorded a message. We depend on our donors, and every little helps.
Last week's Beyoncé segment generated a lot of emails, most from people who didn't think I was hard enough on the Superbowl show. Sorry: I call 'em as I see 'em.
A listener who is more observant than I am wrote that, quote:
From the still pics, all of the dancers were "high yella," as is Beyoncé, and the costumes also had a Michael Jackson reference, one of his album covers.
Thank you, Ma'am. I shall have to take the Michael Jackson reference on faith, knowing nothing about him. I did like your using the phrase "high yaller," though. For one thing it's very expressive, not offensive in any way that I can detect, and handy usages like this need to be kept alive. For another thing, it brought back my youthful fascination with the Blues, and inspired this week's sign-out music.
More from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Leadbelly, "Yellow Gal."]