Saturday, 27 June 2015

KICKING A WASP’S NEST: ISIS, MILLWALL AND COGNITIVE DISSONANCE



Muslims of a certain ideological persuasion had a busy day yesterday, exercising their freedoms in France, Tunisia and Kuwait. It took our dear leader, David Cameron, a mere few minutes after the round of atrocities to remind us that Islam is a religion of peace. Relatives of the slaughtered sunbathers on the blood-stained beach at Sousse may find this hard to believe, but they can and will be re-educated.

David Cameron is a man tireless in his championing of a cause. It is refreshing to see a conviction politician, a man who has told his kufr electorate that they have much to learn from Islam. Very much a part of his support team, newspaper editors will have cancelled leave overnight to generate editorial copy protective of brand Islam and supportive of our Great Helmsman.

Commentators on the right will accuse Cameron of appeasing his domestic Muslim voting bloc, but that doesn’t really wash. Cameron has just won a full parliamentary term with a mandate for the misleadingly named Conservative Party and doesn’t need to secure votes. In any case, Muslims are not interested in which of the major parties will jump through hoops for them. There are already de facto shariah courts, and Muslims will soon have their own parties and MPs unaffiliated with the main parties. What, then, is behind Cameron’s tiresome mantra that in the wake of various atrocities there is no Islam to see here and we should all move swiftly along to the football, B&Q, or the next boxed set of American televisual drama?

We recall the daylight public slaughter of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich two years ago. An off-duty soldier was run down and almost beheaded by two men quoting from the Koran and describing themselves as ‘soldiers of Allah’. Dear Leader then popped up on our telescreens to inform us that the incident had nothing to do with Islam. Let us dwell on that for a moment. Had the two men doing the butchering quoted from the Book of Psalms, would it have had nothing to do with Christianity? Had they quoted from L Ron Hubbard’s Dianetics, would the incident have been entirely unconnected with Scientology? Why is Cameron, and the British and European and American political establishment – inviting us to share his cognitive dissonance, his attempt to mimic the (youthful) White Queen in Alice in Wonderland by believing six impossible things before breakfast? We may well ask.

To those outside of the political Camelot at Westminster and their media courtiers – ie. most of us – it is clear there is an Islamic problem, a problem with Islam. Islam is a political ideology under the guise of a religion. It has gained beach heads in the West precisely because that West found itself in a phase representing a final de-coupling of the state from religion. Simply put, we are tired of religion, but are being forced against our will to watch season 2. We have graduated from Islamophobia to Islamonausea.

And, without question, the media outriders of the Islamic caliphate are well aware that they are preying on a culture which has dropped the trappings of religion but failed to clothe themselves in anything else. Osama bin Laden famously said that if people are presented with a strong horse and a weak horse, they will naturally choose the strong horse. Now, even if a witless race-track platitude is dressed up in robes, given a whiff of exotic spice and adorned in a pair of curly slippers, it can still make a salient point. We would have waited a long time for the late Mr. bin Laden’s Critique of Pure Reason, certainly, but he made a pithy point.

The West, thanks to its Socialist leaders, is a very weak horse indeed, and carrying a hobbling handicap. The only question now is whether, and when, the ordinary people of Europe will decide that brand Islam is not to their liking, and make things good themselves. Perhaps this is what the elites want, civil strife so that they can impose martial law and find a use for, for example, the water cannons Boris Johnson quietly invested in a few summers ago.

Because something is coming. Just as it is coming in Baltimore, Detroit, St. Louis, Missouri and the other victim cities of affirmative action, so too there will be a tipping point here in the UK. As I said many times, radicalised British mosques do not faze our political class. On the contrary, they actively encourage them. Radicalised pubs, on the other hand…

Two weeks ago, a young white man was killed a few streets from me while trying to break up a fight between black men. The arrested suspect is black. I have never seen such a large urban shrine, such a profusion of flowers, messages and flags. Millwall flags, mostly. Those of you who understand the significance of Millwall Football Club will understand. Their signature chant could be shared by ISIS; nobody likes us, we don’t care.

I can’t help but think that the local black community – always described as vibrant and diverse by the Pansy Left – might have kicked a wasp’s nest. The dead boy was much loved, a tireless charity worker, a good guy. The type of man who allegedly killed him is undoubtedly a bog-standard, low impulse control, narcissistic, swaggering man we could easily do without in London, would in fact benefit from his incarceration.

And I can’t think there might come a time when Islam will kick the wasp’s nest. At what point will Muslims strike again on mainland Britain? We are constantly being told that the threat level in London, and the UK as a whole, has reached a new high. What when that threat metastatises and becomes a reality?

This can’t go on. The political elites and the Left-wing press – aka the press – must be taught, again, that ordinary people will not put up with fascism, any more than we put up with Communism. Here comes the twister.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

TROCCHI HORROR PICTURE SHOW: HEROIN AND THE WRITTEN WORD


There is nothing that is not in some way or other ambiguous.

Alexander Trocchi, The Long Book

 

He was drowning in some deep mystery

Like a man who is sure what is true.

Leonard Cohen, Master Song

 

 

Being very much the cosmopolitan boulevardier, I was recently in Paris, and paid a visit to the famous bookshop, Shakespeare & Company. My main purchase was Jimmy Page’s wonderful photographic autobiography, a coffee-table book in that it is about the size and weight of a coffee-table. But my eye also fell on A Life in Pieces, a biography of and selection from Alexander Trocchi.

I vaguely knew the name. Something to do with the Beats? I deemed 6 euros a sufficiently paltry sum to merit investigation. The book is a compendium comprised of excerpts from Trocchi’s own work combined with commentary from other enticing counter-cultural names: Patti Smith, William Burroughs, Terry Southern, Allan Ginsberg, Greil Marcus, Leonard Cohen. But of Trocchi I knew nothing. A voyage, then, of discovery.

Trocchi was the archetypal Bohemian. Born in Glasgow of Italian heritage, he edited the short-lived but seminal magazine Merlin in Paris, publishing Genet and Beckett’s first novel, Watt. Relocating to America, he was forced to flee after arrest for supplying narcotics to a minor, earning a potential death penalty in New York State. He was smuggled across the border into Canada, where Leonard Cohen took him under his wing, Cohen almost dying for his pains. Trocchi cooked up such a large mess of opium for the two of them that Cohen collapsed, temporarily blind, at a busy Montreal intersection. Cohen wrote a poem for him.

As a writer, Trocchi is best remembered for two novels, Cain’s Book and Young Adam. He also wrote pornography for the Parisian publisher Maurice Girodias, and various snippets and essays. He sold antiquarian books in Kensington, was variously a pig farmer, a barge captain on the Hudson River, and a would-be revolutionary, at the centre of a shadowy world-wide cultural and intellectual insurgency he called Sigma.  He fathered two sons, one of whom died young and the other of whom jumped to his death months after Trocchi himself died of pneumonia in London in 1984. He was acquainted with many of the post-war European and American demi-monde, not all of whom took to him. “The junkie?”, spat James Baldwin. “I hate him.”

For Trocchi was a junkie. Allan Campbell and Tim Niel, who edited the book, produced a documentary (on YouTube here) also called A Life in Pieces. It features extraordinary footage of Trocchi dispassionately shooting up, and he was once employed in London by a Harley Street clinician solely to take blood from patients with recalcitrant veins, such was Trocchi’s skill with the syringe. As always with heroin, the most seductive and yet deadly of mistresses, the price was often higher than a mere street tariff.

Trocchi’s second wife Lyn Hicks was a wide-eyed ingenue when they met, but Trocchi soon had her addicted, and would pimp her out in Vegas to pay for drugs. He attempted to drag all his acquaintances down the road to hell. William Burroughs was one of many who remarked on Trocchi’s total dedication to becoming what the Scot called ‘a cosmonaut of inner space.’

Heroin and related opiates weave a sinister tapestry through literature. Trocchi revered Coleridge, and Burroughs’ Junky lurks always in the background, with De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium Eater another presence (although Crowley’s Diary of a Drug Fiend, curiously, does not feature). But whatever effect heroin had on Trocchi’s often outlandish but rarely dull prose style, as the subject matter for a novel it left the inner cosmonaut fighting for publication.

For this was the time of the censor, a time we are now re-entering, though for different reasons and with different taboos. The 1960s were a time of trial: Lady Chatterley, Henry Miller, Oz, The Naked Lunch… Now, it is racial and gender pieties that are strictly policed by the Stasi of the Liberal-Left. Then, it was plain old sex and drugs and, to a certain extent, rock and roll. Trocchi was keenly aware of boundaries and transgression.

In the essay Censorship and Virtue, Trocchi compares the unwary writer who falls foul of society’s literary pieties to the hapless Josef K, arrested on no charge at the opening of Kafka’s The Trial. Trocchi continues;

“If… one releases a book in which the author has subjected to searching analysis those areas of human experience which are still considered by the ignorant to be taboo, one has no idea what consequences will follow. Fame, ignominy, even prison…”

Compare this with the reception given to those contemporary writers brave enough to release honest books on Islam, gender, racial genetics, and the other off-limits areas delimited by the new Puritans.

A curiously understated facet of Trocchi’s work was his grasp of philosophy, of which he was a graduate. One of his letters from Paris in the 1950s contains as good a potted explanation of the secession from surrealism to existentialism as I have come across, and he had a good understanding of the relationship between Sartre and Camus. Amidst all the porn and the junk, the beat poetry and the hustling, Alex Trocchi had a firm grasp of the philosophical themes of the twentieth century;

“Language is, from the point of view of meaning, a system of implicatory relations, an apparatus for thinking with. If the apparatus is faulty, if certain implications are stultifying – and twentieth century science has proven them to be so – then language itself can be the greatest obstruction to clear thinking.”

This is admirably clear and instructive, particularly when placed against the pabulum which passes for modern philosophy.

Socrates tells us that good and evil can exist in the same person, and he could have had Alexander Trocchi in mind. In his life and his fragmentary writing, the renegade Scottish junkie took no prisoners. As he wrote in Cain’s Book,

“This book is written to kill.”

Saturday, 6 June 2015

THE BOOK OF VICES: NOTES ON THE PSYCHOPATHOLOGY OF THE LEFT (III)



There is a good gag doing the rounds of the political internet just now. It’s a pastiche of Voltaire’s famous dictum as spoken by a Progressivist Liberal-Leftist. It runs;

“I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death my right to have you arrested for saying it.”

As Homer informs us, it’s funny because it’s true. Homer Simpson, that is, not the other Homer.

As I have written before, the distinction between the political Left and Right is becoming as archaic as that between an Aristotelean and a Platonist, but let’s assume we are in broad agreement, at least for the purposes of argument, when I refer to the Left. The person of the modern Left will be Progressivist and Liberal in outlook, tending to the belief that the world is unjust and in need of correction through the agency of championing the poor and oppressed. This aim will, quite naturally, be achieved, at least in part, by weakening the rich.

This broad definition granted, political power per se – the power to change the world directly - is no longer sufficient, or even available, for this contemporary Left to restructure the world to mirror their image of social justice. This is particularly true given the elites’ impatience with democracy, and the recent penchant Europeans seem to have for the Right. The Progressivist Left must turn, have turned, their attentions to the Gramscian long walk through the institutions. When you cannot storm the Bastille, the Winter Palace or the barricades, you tip-toe quietly up to the universities, the public sector, the media, the arts…

So it is that the universities, for example, institutions that came into being precisely to uphold the principles of free enquiry painfully won back from the tyranny of the church, have become ideological play-parks on lockdown, full of safe spaces, free-speech gazebos, warnings against micro-aggression, speaker-banning, finger-wagging, anti-white privilege, occupy the syllabus, intellectual no-go zones. The Nietzsche Society is banned at UCL. Philosophy is derided as being the work of too many dead white men (that hated species). Professors walk on egg-shells unless their tenured area of expertise is a state-approved variance on Grievance Studies. All this was predicted in the 1980s in Allan Bloom’s Closing of the American Mind. When will the book burning begin?

The contemporary Left is increasingly declaring itself the enemy of free speech, and if those broadly of the Right don’t push back soon, the midnight knocks on the door are going to start again because of that disrespectful Tweet. So, if you are a creature of the Left, pretty soon now you’re going to have to decide whether you are for free speech, or whether you and your friends are those people who say, well, I believe in freedom of speech, but… There’s no ‘but’.

Flemming Rose writes in his book on the Mohammed cartoons, The Tyranny of Silence, that;

“As societies become multicultural, multi-ethnic, and multireligious, if we accept that people have a right not to be offended, we will end up with a tyranny of silence, for almost any speech may be deemed offensive.”

Part-way there, but I don’t think the white Left cares very much for ethnic minorities. I think they are using them as a proxy for their own agenda, which would not include their erstwhile ethnic chums. For now, they, the Progressivists, can weaken the West by playing off post-colonial guilt against fear of giving offence (the two elements being obviously linked psychologically; classic Freudian displacement). There is no such thing as offence in any event. Offence is just annoyance in a party frock.

What the Progressivists care about is control. This is why the Left has got on so famously with Islam; ideological lockstep meets fierce anti-Zionism. Islam. How wonderful, thinks the Leftist, simply to invent a word – ‘Islamophobia’ – as The Muslim Brotherhood did, and have it come to rule the West with an ideological scimitar just a few decades later. Why can’t we do that?

But, in the midst of the fog, there is a beacon. There still remains freedom of expression, and it has the biggest ally since Gutenberg invented the printing-press. As Nick Cohen writes in You Can’t Read This Book, “If the Web has a soul, then a loathing for censorship stirs it.” A weblog is a far more effective tool of democracy than a vote. Which is why the Western elites will be coming for the internet any day now. Obama, who despises free speech as much as he idolises Islam (and for structurally related reasons) is already trying. Read about ‘net neutrality’, as weaselly a Fascist coinage as you’ll read.

Michael Pachar’s 1480 picture Satan Showing St. Augustine the Book of Vices (above) would make a perfect symbol of the modern world of unsanctioned censorship with one small change of mise en scene. Now, it is the sainted Left showing the Satanic Right the book of what it may not say or think or write. There is a new index prohibitorum to replace the old Catholic list of banned books.

So, if anyone of the Left wants to live in the world of ‘free speech, but…’, then go. If anyone of the Left wants to live in a world where cartoonists can draw caricatures of any person save one, then go. If they want to live in a world where James Watson, the co-discoverer of the genetic code, can’t find work in the scientific community because he suggested that IQ differences between races may be genetic, then go. If they want to live in a world where the white British actor Benedict Cumberbatch has to grovel on TV because he called black people ‘coloured’ – when there exists an organisation called The National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People – then go. Go. And good luck. If you expect your children to show you gratitude for the rather onerous world you are creating for them, you may wait a long time.