Never kill the child in yourself.
Advice to me from a former boss.
When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
I Corinthians 13:11
Almost two decades ago the British comedian Chris Morris produced a spoof news programme called The Day Today. The format was convincing, the content surreal and madcap. It launched Steve Coogan’s famous character Alan Partridge, then an incompetent sports commentator. “And look at the children enjoying themselves,’’ he muses at a televised horse race meeting. “Let’s hope that doesn’t escalate into massive violence.” A financial piece describes the replacement of the Queen’s portrait on the ten-pound note with a picture of Iggy Pop. “What next,” asks news anchor Morris, “for man raised by puffins?” I loved it then, and it hasn’t dated on YouTube.
Nowadays, I increasingly whether Morris might be working behind the scenes of the modern media, a sort of cackling eminence grise testing the limits of our credulity. One such story I was forced to check and re-check concerned the help apparently offered by north American universities to students seemingly traumatised by the recent election of Donald Trump as president of the USA. The palliatives offered to weeping students – and here is where I suspected the hand of Morris – include puppies, bubble-blowers, Play-Doh and colouring books, as well as the usual panoply of safe spaces, ‘cry rooms’, ‘hug rooms’ and counselling. As P G Wodehouse wrote, one simply shakes one’s head and passes on.
The problem is that it is no longer possible to pass on. These weeping, crying, trembly lipped children are the future of the USA, which poses a far greater threat than Trump could ever muster. This type of behavior is one of the reasons Islam is finding the Reconquista a cake-walk. As Nietzsche observed, Islam does at least assuming it is dealing with men. In the USA, and much of Europe, it is not. It is dealing with eternal children, and not children of the attractive variety. I thoroughly recommend Diana West’s book The Death of the Grown-Up if you wish to see how far gone the USA is. I suspect Europe only lags behind the world’s first kindergarten-cum-superpower by a pace or two.
Trump’s election has brought an incontestable fact into sharp focus – and facts, and truth in general, will detain us very soon – that shows that Darwin’s reluctance to equate evolution with progress can be extrapolated from the biological realm in which he worked into the later area of study known as social evolution. Although it seems as though mankind is moving forward, it is in fact regressing, and not to the mean, but to something far more deleterious.
The response to Trump, a monster to whom the Left has acted as Victor von Frankenstein, has been childish to say the very least. The fashion symbol which has become accepted as a visual statement that the wearer is against Donald Trump is… Well, let’s see whether you have been keeping up with current affairs. If you are against Trump, you would wear which of the following on your lapel? Actually, you would be unlikely either to wear an item of clothing which had lapels or, indeed, even to know what a lapel is. On your T-shirt or reversed baseball cap, then, would you wear;
1. A button or badge bearing the image of Che Guevara?
2. A button or badge representing a dove?
3. A safety pin?
That’s right. It’s number 3. An item traditionally associated either with UK punk rock of the 1970s or, more usually, the holding together of a diaper or nappy.
The petulantis, as I’ve come to think of them, are quite literally acting out the roles of small children in their response to a defeat which, much like Brexit, they brought on themselves. And this has extended into the media and politics. It is not just confined to the millennial special snowflakes who have been crying themselves a river. It is as though Orwell’s famous dictum that England was a family with the wrong members in control has been altered to state that the West is a dysfunctional family with the youngest members in control.
Plato warned, in jocular fashion, about what happens when children are given inappropriate influence, noting that the blame fell on the adults who tried to impress those they should have been teaching and over whom they should exercise authority. But these are malevolent brats, not naughty children in togas naturally rebelling against authority. And the problem is not going to go away. It is no great revelation to point out that when the contemporary Left wants an effective echo chamber it goes to Hollywood. This time around, it has found a whole phalanx of actors behaving exactly as though they were Shirley Temple with a skinned knee.
Ersatz children, then, are going to be running things for the foreseeable future, Trump’s victory and the thoroughly meritorious rise of the Right in Europe, and the alt. right in the USA notwithstanding. But these are not the charming, joy-filled, much-loved and well-behaved children I see in Costa Rica, they are more like the noisy, impudent brats I began to see as I re-entered Europe, stopping over in Frankfurt earlier this year. They are more Children of the Corn than children of love, more Midwich Cuckoos than lovable chitterlings. And they are not, in any way, aware of the world that will come into being if they get their petulant, spiteful way. They think they are upholding values of equality and social justice but they are not, they are preparing the Western world for chaos. These hideous infants are more reminiscent of the children in Auden’s famous poem, September 1 1939;
Lost in a haunted wood,
Children afraid of the night
Who have never been happy or good.