Regular reviewers choose the best — and most overrated — books of 2018
Short stories seem to fare better in the US than the UK, and among this year’s rich crop, Deborah Eisenberg’s Your Duck is My Duck (Ecco, £20.70) is outstanding.
Everything about Eisenberg’s writing is highly controlled — watchful, well-made — and everything it describes teeters on the verge of chaos or collapse. It makes for a brilliant mixture of a book — at once compact and capacious, eerily familiar and extremely strange.
One of my favourite authors is Laura Thompson. Her biographies of sundry Mitfords, of Agatha Christie and Lord Lucan (recently revised in the light of the unpleasant Countess’s demise) are brilliant and forensic. This year she published a memoir of her grandmother, The Last Landlady (Unbound, £16.99), which is a typically eclectic mix of social history and elegy, ironic comedy and indelible Englishness. It is about the pub as theatre, and like everything else worth cherishing, pubs are closing down — replaced with gender-neutral lavatories, compulsory veganism and virtue-signalling teetotalism.
A Hero for High Times (Cape, £16.99), Ian Marchant’s account of being a wild old hippie with a bucket for a toilet in a copse on the Welsh Marches, made me laugh.
Matthew Sturgis’s biography of Oscar Wilde, Oscar: A Life (Head of Zeus, £25) made me furious. How idiotic to trail this book as putting Richard Ellmann right, when it is full of copycat flourishes. Ellmann, for example, in 1987, called Bosie Douglas ‘totally spoiled, reckless, insolent and, when thwarted, fiercely vindictive’. Sturgis now says Bosie was ‘selfish, spoilt, vain, intemperate, needy and demanding’. It is like a bad translation. Read on…
Islamic groups, leftists and empty-headed multiculturalists did everything they could to foil the publication of Robert Spencer’s new book on the history of jihad. No wonder. With the possible exception of thuggee stranglers, there has never been a religion more devoted to rape, murder and conquest.
The History of Jihad: From Muhammad to ISIS
Bombadier Books 2018
Once upon a time in a primitive land of polytheist idolaters far, far away, an egomaniac zealot with high ambitions hit on a bright idea. On learning of the ancient Jewish prophecy of a Messiah, and the newish Christian communities’ worship of Jesus as the “Chosen One”, he decided to nominate himself as the latest in the line – the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets. If the Angel Gabriel could give the name ‘Jesus’ to Mary, why couldn’t Gabriel be recruited to authenticate Muhammad’s pronouncements?
The polytheists who worshipped 360 idols in the Ka’aba of Mecca thought this was fake news and made life difficult for the would-be prophet-poet. In thirteen years he attracted only 150 followers. So he decamped to another town. The Jews of Medina first welcomed him as a protector, but after they heard his story about travelling to Jerusalem and then to Paradise on a winged white horse with a human head, and questioned him on religion, they declared him a phony. Muhammad decided a new business model was needed: conversion by the sword. Beginning as a highwayman raiding passing caravans, he invented a unique rallying cry: “Allahu Akbar!” (My) God is the Greatest! The shout inspired his followers to kill, loot and enslave. It continues to terrify the world 1400 years. later. Read on…
No one should miss Jennifer Oriel’s commentaries in the Australian. Here’s her latest 5 Nov 2018. It’s too important to remain behind a paywall.
FIRE-BREATHING SISTERS JUST TRUMP THEIR OWN GENDER
Stupid, brainless and servile. It’s how the American sisterhood describes women who vote Republican. Ahead of the US mid-term elections, left-wing sexism has reached fever pitch. While claiming to support women’s right to vote, the Left has subjected women who vote right to dehumanisation, public shaming and misogyny. White women are bearing the brunt of the Left’s hate speech as desperate Democrats try to coerce conformity among female freethinkers.
Shortly after the 2016 US election, pundits revealed a shocking truth: millions of women had voted freely, and had freely chosen Donald Trump for president. Exit polls revealed white women were the culprits. Supposed progressives responded with vile speech about Republican women the content of which rivalled the sexist diatribes 19th-century men used to silence the suffragettes. Like the suffragettes, women who vote conservative are deemed too stupid to vote rationally.Continue reading The rise and rise of virulent anti-white racism
The ‘Men Going Their Own WAY’ movement, at least the current social expression, has its origins in the early 2000s. It has only come up on my radar recently – say, in the last twelve months. Then, again, I only twigged to the rampant anti-white racism around the same time.
MGTOW seems allied to Men’s Rights Activism (MRA). A number of popular US (female) youtubers are pleading the cause of men’s disadvantage in our thoroughly feminised society while Bettina Arndt seems to be the only Australian dealing with it. She has an embarrassing sympathy for the complaints of MRAs and MGTOWs.
It is Karen Straughn, though, who best articulates men’s disadvantages – the law is stacked against them, for a start. Her ‘Reponse to Jordan Peterson’s comments on MGTOW’ is a compelling presentation, informative right to the last minute.
Karen Straughn is a popular youtuber who talks about men and their place in modern (feminist) society. An attempt in 2012 to explain why men are retreating from (feminized) society and avoiding marriage has drawn 1.9 million views and 33,000 comments. Her views are not what your average finger-wagging feminist wants to hear, and what should frighten the life out of the average young woman who wants it all, including marrying a reliable man and having children.
Former Facebook executive: “you don’t realize it, but you are being programmed”
“I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works. The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created are destroying how society works,” former Facebook vice-president of user growth Chamath Palihapitiya, told an audience at Stanford Graduate School of Business last November (see video below).
His comments first emerged on VERGE this week.
Palihapitiya expressed regret for his part in building tools that destroy “the social fabric of how society works” and warned his audience: “If you feed the beast, that beast will destroy you. It’s time to take a hard break from some of these tools.” Read on…
Victor Orbán’s landslide electoral victory on Sunday, gaining 134 seats out of 199 in Hungary’s parliament, increases his governing supermajority and endorses his tough policy of excluding illegal immigrants, especially from the Middle East. His success dramatizes a new reality across Europe and in Australia: a novel kind of party has emerged, disturbing the political scene and arousing impassioned debate.
Examples of this phenomenon include the other three members of the Visegrád group (Poland, Czechia, and Slovakia) as well as Austria’s four-month old government. Geert Wilders, leader of the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, sees western Europe following the Visegrád group: “In the Eastern part of Europe, anti-Islamification and anti-mass migration parties see a surge in popular support. Resistance is growing in the West, as well.” Read on…
It’s no surprise that the Australian Broadcasting Corporation has broken barriers in the far-left war on white Australians.
The ABC has released a comedy segment showing a group of Aborigines parodying a breakfast talk show by saying that “white people are c…s”.
The explicit clip was produced by the team behind the ABC’s Black Comedy program, and hosted on an ABC indigenous Facebook page, where it attracted mostly positive comments.
In the parody, indigenous comedian and writer Nakkiah Lui plays the host of an inane breakfast show called “Wake Up to Yourself”, joined by a panel of three indigenous experts and commentators.
“Earlier this week, beloved Aboriginal man Uncle Stevie in a press conference referred to white people as white c…s,” she says in the clip, in which the swear word is bleeped out. “This has sparked outrage in the white community, with many calling for the removal of his uncle status and a public apology.”
The first panellist replies: “I know a lot of white people. Warm, kind white people. And I say this with a lot of love, but white people are c…s.”
“I wouldn’t use words as strong as that, but I tend to agree. White people are c…s,” the second panellist says.
“Well, I’ve never actually met a white person, but I do agree. White people? They’re c…s,” responds the third. Read on…
The shocking accusation by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò that Pope Francis helped cover up sexual misconduct — an accusation the Pope has so far declined to answer — as well as the litany of sexual abuse cases among clerics, force any Catholic to ask the question: how could this possibly take place in the moral institution that is the Roman Catholic Church?
One possible — little known, but very important — answer dates back to the Bolsheviks and their Communist leader Joseph Stalin.
Recently, I came across a video on Youtube of a presentation by former Soviet KGB propagandist Yuri Bezmenov, aka Tomas Schuman, who worked for the Soviet Union’s Novosti Press Agency until he defected in 1970. In this 1983 video, he claimed that the West was slowly being subverted into Marxism by the methods of “ideological subversion,” a form of warfare the KGB used against America…read on