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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire March No. 2, fife'n'drum version]
01 — Intro. And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, ladies and gents, from your guardedly genial host John Derbyshire.
This week's podcast will span the world through space and time, beginning of course in Manchester, England, up there in the ancestral territory of the Derbyshires and Brimelows; then proceeding via Saudi Arabia, North Carolina, and Japan, to Australia, then ending up in England again, but medieval England this time.
So buckle up your seat belts! Ethel?
[Clip: Ethel Merman, "Let's go on with the show.".]
Why is nobody named Ethel any more?
02 — Absimilation strikes again. Headliner of the week was the Muslim terrorist attack on a pop concert in Manchester, England.
This was a suicide attack. The bomber blew himself up and took 22 others with him. That's the count as I go to tape here; over a hundred were injured, some critically, so the death count may be higher as you hear this.
The bomber was a 22-year-old Muslim, name of Salman Abedi, born in Britain to parents from Libya. Those parents had been settled in England as refugees from Colonel Gaddafy's government; so that's where the bomber was born, in England, 1994.
In 2011, you'll recall, Barack Obama, prompted by the Three Horsegirls of the Apocalypse — Samantha Power of Obama's National Security Council, his U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, and his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — who in turn were prompted by Britain and France, with an assist from George Soros … So in 2011 Barack Obama and these other moralizing crusaders overthrew Colonel Gaddafy.
Salman Abedi's parents thereupon, in 2011, returned to Libya. Salman Abedi, then 17, stayed in the U.K.
So I'll just pause to note here that this is yet another case of absimilation. Here yet again is the relevant passage from We Are Doomed, the one book you need to explain the modern world. Chapter 10, edited quote:
The English word "assimilation" derives from the Latin prefix ad-, which indicates a moving towards something, and the same language's verb simulare, "to cause a person or thing to resemble another." You can make a precisely opposite word using the prefix ab-, which marks a moving away from something. Many immigrants of course assimilate to American society … Many others, however, especially in the second and following generations, absimilate.
That's what Salman Abedi did: He absimilated, ending up hating the country that had taken in his parents.
It wasn't just him, either. His younger brother Hashim, 20 years old, and so presumably also born in England, seems to have been an accomplice to the bombing. He was arrested by authorities in Libya on Tuesday. There's also a slightly older brother, 23-year-old Ismail, arrested by British police in Manchester, also on Tuesday. The father has been arrested, too, also in Libya. The authorities there say he belongs to an extremist sect of Islam.
There's also a sister, 18-year-old Jomana Abedi, also born in Manchester, where she is studying molecular biology with a view to advancing cancer research … No, sorry, I got my news stories mixed up there. Ms Abedi actually works at a mosque, though I haven't been able to discover what she does there. Perhaps she's the hat-check girl, I don't know. Whatever: She told the Wall Street Journal that her brother Salman, the bomber, was a, quote, "kind," and, quote, "loving" person. Forty-eight hours after the bombing she posted some Arabic verses on her Facebook page congratulating her brother on having entered Paradise.
So it looks like this whole born-in-Britain family absimilated. Instead of learning to play cricket, quote Tennyson, and enjoy a nice treacle tart, they dream of killing infidels and going to Paradise thereby.
And there's plenty more where they came from. There's a whole Libyan "community" in Manchester. I can't find out how many are there, but there are close to 20,000 Libyans in the U.K. and this Manchester community is one of the biggest, so I'm guessing it's well into four digits. How many of those thousands have assimilated, versus how many have absimilated, is not known to me, or probably to anyone.
03 — Manchester has no guardian. What does one say about a story like this? What, to be personal, do you say as a commenter who grew up in England before the place was destroyed by mass immigration?
The first thing I want to say is: Please don't let this country, the U.S.A., be similarly destroyed. That's why I write for VDARE.com, an immigration-restrictionist outlet. Signs of the madness that destroyed England are plenty visible here, too.
Unlike the English, though, we still have freedom of speech; and white liberal guilt here is focused mainly on our own native blacks, not on disgruntled inhabitants of an old empire across the seas — inhabitants of what formerly were British colonies and are now, since the Brits left, failed states sunk in poverty and disorder.
We, America, can still turn the tide. I wouldn't say that about England; nor about Britain as a whole, unless the Welsh and the Scots assert themselves forcefully as nations, which I see no sign of. I think England's too far gone. If the tide can be turned over there, it will be turned only with blood.
Saying that of course brings to mind Yeats' poem "The Second Coming," quote:
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence was certainly drowned in Monday night's bombing. The dead included pre-teen children, the youngest only eight. And the bomber is in Paradise, according to his sister, and no doubt also to many millions who think as she does, including thousands of British-born Muslims.
And yes, indeed, "the best lack all conviction." The best here are the ordinary people of England: mild-mannered, good-natured, hospitable people who know — who have alway known — what a catastrophe mass Third World immigration is, but who have lacked the collective conviction to resist browbeating by multiculturalist elites.
And yes, also, "the worst are full of passionate intensity." Their passion is directed against their own fellow citizens. Their passion is for a radical change of their nation: not merely a change of manners, style, or politics, but an actual change to the population, swamping native English people with millions of foreigners from utterly different cultures.
That passion was on display Tuesday in The Guardian, formerly The Manchester Guardian, a broadsheet British newspaper that takes the lead in promoting multiculturalism and open borders, while insulting and belittling native British Badwhites.
Here are some sample quotes from that Tuesday editorial in The Guardian. Sample One, warning readers against xenophobia, quote:
As a country we must resist the idea that we should give in to our deepest fears. A British-born man is said to be behind this heinous act.
You see, it's nothing to do with foreigners! The bomber was British! As British as Yorkshire pudding! Nothing to do with immigration!
Sample Two, quote:
Terrorists can kill and maim. But they do not pose an existential threat to our nation.
That's sort-of true; though it will cease to be true if these lunatics get their hands on a nuke. Until that happens — which one day it will — yes, it is true: terrorism is not an existential threat.
Mass Third World immigration is an existential threat, though. Whole districts of Britain's cities and towns have been completely taken over — colonized — by people utterly alien to Britain's history and culture. That is an existential threat.
Sample Three, quote:
We could win over the confidence of marginalised communities by cracking down on hate speech and crimes. Incendiary comments deliberately designed to inflame fraught situations should be investigated.
The phrase "hate speech" of course refers to anything that opposes demographic replacement. There need to be more restrictions on dissident speech, more prosecutions for thoughtcrime, says the Guardian. The Brits have already lost many of their freedoms so that the multiculturalist project can be advanced: The message from the Guardian editorialists is that they need to lose still more.
Please, please, don't let this happen here. There are mighty forces striving to make it happen; but we can still turn the tide, before it becomes blood-dimmed.
04 — Less metaphysics, more politics, Mr President. What did our new President have to say about the Manchester bombing? Well, he made a condolence call to British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday. That was certainly the right thing to do, but the call had no content other than boilerplate about cooperating to defeat terrorism.
President Trump did address terrorism in a speech in Saudi Arabia on Sunday. He told Muslim nations to, quote:
Drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out. Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land, and drive them out of this Earth.
With all due respect to the President, if the good Muslims drive the bad Muslims out of their holy land — I guess that means Saudi Arabia — where will they be driven to? Without thinking very hard I can recall the name of one guy who actually was banished from Saudi Arabia: Osama bin Laden, in 1992. How'd that work out?
Frankly, Mr President, I don't see the problem here as one of not enough people being driven out of Muslim countries so much as of too many being let in to non-Muslim countries.
Your speeches on the campaign trail last year, and the executive orders you've issued suspending issuance of American visas to persons from the most disorderly Muslim countries, suggest you are aware of that side of the issue. Please, please, focus on that side, and leave Saudi Arabia and the rest to manage their own affairs in their own way. Whatever the state of their so-called "communities," they can't do us any harm if we don't let them in to our countries.
President Trump, in that same speech, unbosomed himself of the opinion that, edited quote:
This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations … This is a battle between good and evil.
That swishy sound you hear is my eyes rolling. Who is this, George W. Trump?
I'm going to horrify my more moralistic readers here and say that in my opinion, there is no such thing as evil. Certainly there are evil deeds; but that's a proper usage of the word "evil." It's an adjective, not a noun. When we use it as if it were a noun, we're just making it a shorthand for "evil deeds." There is no stuff called "evil," no element or constituent of the universe, like water or gold or energy.
The George W. Bush fallacy — that evil is a sort of stuff — a poisonous vapor, a miasma that we can neutralize, disperse, or annihilate — leads us into futility and failure, as the history of the past sixteen years amply shows.
If persons do evil things within our jurisdiction, arrest and punish them. If the people of entire foreign regions or religions show an unusual inclination to do evil things, don't permit settlement by people from those regions or religions.
We don't need to make cosmic war against some metaphysical force. There is no such force. We just need to implement and practice sensible policies.
If you look closely at things we tag as evil, they have a fractal quality — they display the same patterns at all scales. As Solzhenitsyn said, possibly quoting Dostoyevsky, who may have been quoting St. Augustine, the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.
So, Mr President, please: less metaphysics, more politics. These Middle Eastern rat-holes are of no importance to the U.S.A. Let them fester, or prosper, according to their abilities. If they have something they're willing to sell us, let's buy it; if they want something we're willing to sell to them, let's sell it; otherwise, let's leave them the hell alone.
You belong in Washington, D.C., attending to our nation's business — arm-twisting congressweasels, outwitting the federal courts that Obama loaded up with his disciples, making a healthy fiscal environment in which businesses can thrive and employ us, cleaning up the corruption and waste in our welfare state — making America great again!
Focus, Mr President, focus.
05 — The word-struggle at Duke Divinity. Here's a guy I can identify with. Quote from him, dated May 18th, quote:
I am … a working-class emigrant Englishman, in the first generation of my family of origin to gain a university degree. I've been a delighted citizen of the United States by naturalization since 1994, and have lived here much longer than that, from the bitter end of the Carter Presidency to the astringent beginning of the Trump years. I'm sixty-one now, and was twenty-four when I landed at JFK Airport with a suitcase, a scholarship, and $500.
I'm a near match for all that. I'm another working-class emigrant Englishman, also in the first generation of my family to get a university degree. I'm just as glad as he is to be a U.S. citizen. I got naturalized in 2002, but like him I lived here for years before that — I first arrived in the Nixon administration. I don't recall how much money I had when I landed at JFK, but I'm pretty sure it was less than $500. I too had a suitcase, but no scholarship.
So who is this guy whose life history roughly parallels mine? The name is Paul Griffiths, and he is a Christian theologian by profession.
Well, we definitely part company there. The few scraps of interest in religion that I got from my Anglican schooling fell away some years ago. If you asked me for an honest opinion about theology, I'd say it is the study of a thing that probably doesn't exist.
That's just an opinion, though, and I suppose might be mistaken. Christian theologians, to judge from my very slight acquaintance with the breed, seem to be harmless drudges. I think they'd be more useful to their fellow citizens if they studied medicine, or metallurgy, or masonry; but so long as they don't bother me, I'm fine with having them around.
What's this got to do with the news? Well, this 61-year-old immigrant-English theologian, Paul Griffiths, resigned last week from Duke Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina, where he had held the title Warren Professor of Catholic Theology.
Why did he resign? That's the story. Let's take it from the beginning.
Duke Divinity School has of course a faculty; and the faculty has a Faculty Diversity and Inclusion Standing Committee, whose business obviously is to monitor issues of diversity and inclusion among the faculty. I'll just call this committee FDISC for short.
Early on the business day of February 6th this year, a young lady named Anathea Portier-Young, an Associate Professor of Old Testament Studies at the school, and a member of FDISC, sent a circular email to other faculty members urging them to participate in two days of training by the Racial Equity Institute the following month, i.e. March this year.
What is the Racial Equity Institute? It's a local North Carolina outfit offering, for a fee of course, training in diversity and inclusion to companies and other organizations that fear their employees may not be sufficiently diverse and inclusive. To quote from the mission statement at their website, quote:
Our experience is that the goals of understanding and addressing racism can rarely be achieved in a 3-hour or one-day workshop. Racism is a fierce, ever-present, challenging force, one which has structured the thinking, behavior, and actions of individuals and institutions since the beginning of U.S. history. To understand racism and effectively begin dismantling it requires an equally fierce, consistent, and committed effort.
If you're running a company, or a university, or a police department, and you want to inoculate your organization against tiresome lawsuits from rent-seeking opportunists, whining neurotics, and fake hate-crime hoaxers …
Sorry, I've gone astray there. Start again. If you're running a company, or a university, or a police department, and you want to make sure that your employees are fully awake to the fierce, ever-present, challenge of racism, the Racial Equity Institute will be glad to come in and do the necessary training.
So, February 6th, 9:21 a.m., Ms Anathea Portier-Young, on behalf of FDISC, fired off this email to her colleagues, urging them to attend the training sessions.
That same day at 4:26 p.m. my man Professor Paul Griffiths sent an email in reply, cc'ed to all the faculty. Sample quote:
I exhort you not to attend this training. Don't lay waste your time by doing so. It'll be, I predict with confidence, intellectually flaccid: there'll be bromides, clichés, and amen-corner rah-rahs in plenty. When (if) it gets beyond that, its illiberal roots and totalitarian tendencies will show. Events of this sort are definitively anti-intellectual. (Re)trainings of intellectuals by bureaucrats and apparatchiks have a long and ignoble history; I hope you'll keep that history in mind as you think about this instance.
You can imagine me cheering along to that.
Ms Portier-Young did not cheer. Neither did Elaine Heath, the Dean of the divinity school. In an email responding to Griffiths she wrote, quote:
The use of mass emails to express racism, sexism, and other forms of bigotry is offensive and unacceptable, especially in a Christian institution.
That is gross misrepresentation. All Professor Griffiths said was that these training sessions are a waste of time, and that the underlying motives are illiberal and totalitarian, all of which is perfectly true.
This Dean, Elaine Heath, wanted a meeting with Prof. Griffiths. He was agreeable, but said he wanted a colleague who agreed with his position to be there to support him. That wasn't what Dean Heath had in mind. She wanted him on one side of the table against her and her fellow commissars on the other, probably with a spotlight shining in his eyes. Confess!
The Dean wouldn't agree to him having a colleague present in support, and the impasse couldn't be resolved. Dean Heath then sent Griffiths a letter saying inter alia, quote:
It is unacceptable for you to refuse to meet with me … Your refusal to meet with me will have consequences … including but not limited to the loss of travel and research funds.
But Professor Griffiths hadn't refused to meet with her. He'd set a reasonable condition for the meeting, but the Dean wouldn't accept that condition.
For the Dean of a Christian theological college, Ms Heath seems to have a rather shaky grasp of the truth. I refer her to the Gospel of St John, Chapter 8, verse 32.
You can read Dean Heath's actual letter, a scanned copy of it, at the American Conservative website, where Rod Dreher has carefully documented all this. The whole affair has also been covered at the CollegeFix website, at First Things, and elsewhere.
To cut the story short, things went from bad to worse, and in that May 18th posting that I began with, Prof. Griffiths quit. His letter of resignation is elegant and expressive. Here's an extract, quote:
My university superiors, the dean and the provost, have been at best lukewarm in their support of these freedoms, preferring to them conciliation and accommodation of their opponents. And so, I reluctantly concluded, the word-struggle, the agony of distinction and argument, the search for clarity by dramatizing and exploring difference — these no longer have the place they once had in the university.
I very much like Professor Griffiths' Anglo-Saxonism there: "the word-struggle." This is a guy who's read his Beowulf.
I hope you won't think it a stretch if I see a parallel here with official responses to the Manchester bombing by Britain's weasely Prime Minister, Theresa May, and the ideological enforcers at the Guardian.
It's hard to read Professor Griffiths' words about our superiors "preferring conciliation and accommodation of their opponents" without recalling Prime Minister May's feeble, empty blather on Tuesday about, quote, "solidarity and hope."
It's likewise hard to read Griffiths' earlier words in his February 6th email about "illiberal roots and totalitarian tendencies" without bringing to mind that Guardian editorial snarling that we need to be, quote, "cracking down on hate speech and crimes."
No, of course the little academic fracas at Duke Divinity School is nothing like as horrible as the mass killing of children at a pop concert. Some of the same themes are visible, though. Let me give over another segment to those.
06 — Anti-racism, our new religion. One of the common themes visible in both reactions to the Manchester bombing and the Duke Divinity School dust-up was the Cold Civil War: Goodwhites versus Badwhites.
The Guardian, the voice of Goodwhite orthodoxy, is barking at England's Badwhites that they'd better not even think of deducing from the Manchester bombing that there is anything wrong with mass Third World immigration. Or, if they dare to think it, that they had better not give voice to their thoughts. That, the Guardian wants Badwhites to know, would be, quote, "hate speech," that, quote, "should be investigated."
It's the same at Duke Divinity School. The participants here are all white, unless you count the Racial Equity Institute, whose nine listed principals include four blacks and a Latino. The conflict here is whites against whites, with some nonwhites and Muslims conscripted in to feed the horses.
It's also quite noticeably a sex war. If blacks are in a minority of four among Racial Equity Institute principals, males are likewise a minority of four, against three white females and two black females. Both of Professor Griffiths' persecutors are females.
Back in England, a habitual reader of the Guardian, formerly the Manchester Guardian is known over there as a "Guardianista," with the female ending. Coincidence? I think not.
In last week's podcast I reminded you of Aristophanes' insight that women incline to ideological dogmatism much more easily than men do. In We Are Doomed I followed up with George Orwell's insight in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four that, quote:
It was always the women, and above all the young ones, who were the most bigoted adherents of the Party, the swallowers of slogans, the amateur spies and nosers-out of orthodoxy …
I am of course talking here about a subset of women. As Steve Sailer has documented at length, the Sex Gap in political attitudes is actually swamped by the Marriage Gap. In the recent Presidential election, married white women were one of the biggest blocks of Trump voters, 61.4 percent of them voted Trump. Single white women were only 39 percent for Trump. For white men it broke married 61 percent, single 59 percent.
So married white men and married white women were tied there at 61 percent for Trump; among singles there was a twenty percent gap: men 59, women 39.
That's statistical. It doesn't exclude the possibility that individual married women might be just as passionately intense enforcers of ideological orthodoxy as any singleton. One of the most ferocious ideological enforcers of all time, Madame Mao Tse-tung, was married to, duh, Mao Tse-tung.
Looking up Dean Elaine Heath and Associate Professor Portier-Young I see that both are married. I'm only saying that statistically speaking, that wouldn't have been the way to bet; and that sex is a factor here.
So is religion, though not in the obvious sense. Considering this little flap occurred at a divinity school, there's not actually much Christian theology in the emails and letters on display at American Conservative. The smell that rises up out of those documents is the smell of power and ideology, not of Christian forbearance and doubt.
Still, religious parallels are hard to miss. I'm thinking of things like the Inquisition, the burning of heretics, the hanging of witches.
I'm also thinking of John McWhorter's fine column from two years ago, title Antiracism, Our Flawed New Religion. It's hard to avoid the impression that the wielders of power there at Duke Divinity School are a lot more interested in enforcing anti-racism and beating down an uppity white male than in elucidating the Gospel of Christ.
I think I see an existential danger here for Duke Divinity School. If, as seems to be happening, the school's mission is becoming one of indoctrinating faculty and students in Cultural Marxism, what differentiates it from all our other colleges and universities? Isn't that what they are all doing now? Isn't Duke Divinity in danger of losing its identity?
07 — Thrashing for dollars. I've mentioned before in this podcast my mild, perhaps slightly morbid fascination with opinion journalist Steven Thrasher, a homosexual octoroon — I'm just going by appearance for the "octoroon": he's open about the homosexuality, in fact has won prizes for it — who writes for Buzzfeed and the London Guardian.
Thrasher specializes in a sort of low-key hysteria on CultMarx topics. My first notice of him, back just after last November's election, was of a piece he wrote under the title, actual title, "This is a terrifying moment for America. Hold your loved ones close."
Then I spotted him a couple of weeks after that, this time thrashing away under the title, "Under Donald Trump, the scourge of HIV/AIDS is going to get worse." Like I said, low-key hysteria.
Well, here's another Thrasher column, a real doozy. The Guardian, May 24th, title, "The terror of lynching haunts black Americans again."
How's that? Well, Thrasher has two stories for a basis. First story: Army 2nd Lt. Richard Wilbur Collins, 23 years old and black, was stabbed to death on a University of Maryland campus last Saturday. Police have a suspect, Sean Christopher Urbanski, 22 years old and white, also a student but not known to the victim.
This may well be a case of that very rare occurrence, a white crime against a black motivated by race hatred. Such crimes happen, as we all know; so do crimes of race hatred by blacks against whites, at far higher frequency. It's a big country. Crazy stuff happens. Interracial crazy stuff happens almost entirely black-on-white, but there's an occasional exception.
The second story is about Mississippi state Rep. Karl Oliver writing on his Facebook page Saturday night that, quote:
If the …leadership of Louisiana wishes to, in a Nazi-ish fashion, burn books or destroy historical monuments of OUR HISTORY, they should be LYNCHED!
Note that Mr Oliver, who is white, is calling for the lynching of Louisiana politicians, who are also majority white. The Governor is white; the Lieutenant Governor is white; of the Governor's fifteen cabinet officers, all but two and a half are white. Looking them up on Google Images, I just couldn't swear for Kimberly Lewis Robinson, the state Treasury Secretary, so that's the half.
One of those twelve and a half white cabinet members, state Secretary for Public Safety and Corrections Jimmy LeBlanc, has a surname that actually translates from French as "the white."
So Karl Oliver is calling for politicians to be lynched, specifically for the lynching of a group of seventeen politicians fourteen and a half of whom — that's 85 percent — are white.
In the matter of lynching politicians, I'm with Representative Oliver. I favor in fact a constitutional amendment specifying that the voters of any state should be able to lynch up to ten percent of their politicians in any given year, with some similar provision for federal office-holders. It would keep the bastards on their toes; or actually — listen for the sly dark humor here — lift the buggers off their toes, heh.
Setting that personal preference aside, what does Steven Thrasher have to say about these two stories?
Well, first he counts the stabbing of Lt. Collins as a lynching. Then he rants at length about how President Trump made it happen, concluding with, thrash:
Richard Collins paid the highest price for the violence enacted by his killer. But his lynching — and Oliver's call for lynching — have a hefty price for all black people living in a country where racist men like President Trump, attorney general Sessions, Sheriff Clarke and Richard Spencer wield so much power.
Yeah right: Richard Spencer wields so much power. The guy just got thrown out of a gym because the management don't like his politics. Such power!
You want to talk power, Mr Thrasher? Most of the power in this country belongs to intolerant, half-crazy creeps and ideologues and poseurs like yourself, and you know it. Ask Richard Spencer; ask Professor Griffiths; ask Charles Murray; ask Jason Richwine. You just can't bear the thought that the power doesn't all belong to you and your faction — that there are dissenting voices somewhere.
Thrash on that, you screeching commie creep.
08 — Miscellany. And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.
That brings to mind Michelle Obama's thesis at Princeton, the title of which, if I recall correctly, was "Blackety Blackety Black Black Black Blackety-Black."
Perhaps Mr Shaw will rise as high in the world as Mrs Obama has. Certainly there will be no shortage of opportunities for him should he pursue an academic career. There's currently a vacancy just opened up at Duke Divinity School, for example. I'm sure they'd welcome him with open arms, should he care to apply.
As a footnote to that, by the way, many many listeners emailed in to ask me to say something about the black female mathematician who wants all white men of normal sexuality to leave the profession.
I shall do so in my upcoming monthly diary at the end of May.
Item: We often cite Japan here as a model for their good sense on the National Question. Early in my acquaintance with Peter Brimelow I asked him once: "Peter, what would you like American immigration policy to look like." Grunted Peter: "Like Japan's."
Japan has its problems, though. The low birthrate will be a benefit in the long run, when the Boomer Bulge have died off, but it's causing some modest problems in the meantime.
And here's another, related one: Japan is running out of royals.
You'll recall that the Japanese imperial line began 2,700 years ago with Emperor Jimmu, a descendant of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu. The present Emperor, 83-year-old Akihito, is 125th in the line.
Only a male can sit on the Chrysanthemum Throne, so the Imperial family needs to be well-stocked with males. Well, it's not. Akihito has a brother, but he's 81. Akihito also has two sons, both middle-aged, but only one grandson, with no possibility of any others. This grandson is ten years old.
Akihito has three grand-daughters, and the rules could be fudged to let their sons inherit, should anything happen to the grandson; but the eldest grand-daughter has just announced she's marrying a commoner, which means she will no longer be a royal and her sons, if any, can't possibly inherit, even under that fudge.
It's getting to be a bit of a headache, especially as Akihito wants to abdicate. His older son would inherit, but he has no sons, and no prospect of any from his post-menopausal wife. Akihito's younger son has this ten-year-old grandson, but then what? This younger brother's wife is post-menopausal, too.
I await a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed telling the Japanese that if they'd only see reason and open their borders to mass immigration, they'd get plenty of people willing to do the jobs that Japanese won't do — in this case, rule Japan.
Item: [Clip: didgeridoo music.] That, listeners, was the sound of the didgeridoo, a musical instrument of the aboriginal peoples of Australia. I'm not sure whether it was a bass didgeridoo or an alto didgeridoo, but no doubt someone will be able to tell me.
Well, there was a digeridoo story in the news this week. It's slightly off-color, for which I naturally apologize. I think the didgeridoo may have ended up a bit off-color, too, but … judge for yourselves.
You need to know that in shape, the didgeridoo is basically a long tube with painted decorations.
Well, there is an outfit named Men.com, apparently based in the U.S.A., that makes homosexual porn movies and posts them on the Internet.
So they made this movie involving two guys and a didgeridoo. I'm not sure how much more you need to know. I'll just quote a couple of lines from the MailOnline story and leave you to do further research if you care to. Quote:
The adult film — titled "Didgeridoo Me" — shows a sleeping man being woken up by his partner loudly playing the long pipe. He then attempts to gets his revenge by grabbing the five-foot instrument and attempting to use it in a sex act.
And that's absolutely as far as I'm going with that.
This is one of those stories where all the fun of reading about it is in the comment threads. Sample comment from the MailOnline, quote: "Jeez … how many batteries does that take?" Another sample comment, quote: "Could have been worse … anyone seen my boomerang?" And so on.
The main point of the story, of course, is that Social Justice Warriors are complaining that an act of cultural appropriation has been penetrated … sorry, perpetrated. The two guys in the movie, you see, are white.
Possibilities for intersectional confusion here are rife. What if it had been two aborigines? Would that have been okay? How about if it had been two female aborigines? The didgeridoo is a male instrument according to aborigine tradition; females are not allowed to play it. How about if Steven Thrasher, who is neither white nor aborigine, had participated?
Discuss among yourself … please … somewhere I can't hear.
09 — Signoff. There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for your time and attention, and best wishes to all for warm family gatherings with appropriately somber reflections on Memorial Day.
For signout music, I'm going to take a trip down Memory Lane. In order to get to Memory Lane we have to take a short but winding path through some history and literature.
Until quite recently it was the common opinion among English people that the worst disaster that could befall a nation was invasion and occupation by foreigners. This opinion was, of course, disgracefully nativist and xenophobic, if not actually racist; but it was what all English people believed in the darkness of their ignorance and the arrogance of their selfish pride.
They fortified that belief with the smug recollection that England had not in fact been invaded and occupied for several centuries. The last time it had happened was the year 1066, the year of the Norman Conquest.
After the Conquest, English resistance to the arrogant Norman overlords sputtered on for a few decades. Later that resistance came to form the basis of a whole genre of moralistic literature — stories, I mean, about Good battling Evil. The representative of Good in these stories was the Englishman, defending the land of his ancestors from the occupying foreigners, who of course represented Evil.
I know: It's all horribly reactionary and shamefully anti-globalist. These were dark, ignorant times, though. I'm speaking of as recently as forty or fifty years ago.
So there was this genre of literature showing noble Anglo-Saxons battling against cruel, arrogant Normans. In 1950s England any child who read anything much at all knew Charles Kingsley's fine swashbuckling 1865 novel Hereward the Wake, subtitle "Last of the English." The Robin Hood legends were sometimes re-told in this frame too, although from what we know of the origin of those legends, that's probably ahistorical.
Swashbucklers aside, this genre produced one real literary masterpiece: Sir Walter Scott's 1819 novel Ivanhoe. Scott is not much read nowadays, but he was a tremendous influence on 19th-century literature and thought. Not only in England, either: He was a great favorite in Europe, including Russia, and his stories were turned into innumerable operas. There have been at least seven operas based just on Ivanhoe.
Why am I telling you all this? Well, in part to put the current sorry state of English nationalism into some historical and literary perspective. Mostly, though, to get us on to Memory Lane, and to honor an Englishman who left us this week.
That Englishman was TV and movie actor Sir Roger Moore, who died of cancer on Tuesday aged 89. Sir Roger is remembered nowadays for playing Cold War spy James Bond in seven movies from 1973 to 1985. That's fair enough. Sean Connery was of course the definitive movie Bond, but Sir Roger was a close runner-up, and better than what followed.
For us early-Boomer English brats, though, Sir Roger Moore will always be Ivanhoe, in the TV drama of that name that ran for two seasons in the late 1950s on one of Britain's TV channels, which at that time numbered … two.
I don't think I missed a single episode. I can still sing the intro music; and if you pay attention for a further minute or so, you will be able to sing it, too. Rest in peace, Sir Roger.
There will be more from Radio Derb next week.
[Music clip: Ivanhoe intro music.]