Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ship of fools

Alternate title: Ship of tools

Sometimes, the headlines write themselves. A thump of the tail to a reader who sent Spot this link. It's the story of a British journalist who went on a recent National Review (magazine) cruise. Do you remember, boys and girls, well of course you don't, but there was a television show a long time ago with Art Linkletter that had a segment called "Kids Say the Darndest Things!" So do conservatives, when they think the rest of us aren't listening. Here's the lede:

I am standing waist-deep in the Pacific Ocean, both chilling and burning, indulging in the polite chit-chat beloved by vacationing Americans. A sweet elderly lady from Los Angeles is sitting on the rocks nearby, telling me dreamily about her son. "Is he your only child?" I ask. "Yes," she says. "Do you have a child back in England?" she asks. No, I say. Her face darkens. "You'd better start," she says. "The Muslims are breeding. Soon, they'll have the whole of Europe."

My, that was refreshing! How about this:

To my left [at dinner], I find a middle-aged Floridian with a neat beard. To my right are two elderly New Yorkers who look and sound like late-era Dorothy Parkers, minus the alcohol poisoning. They live on Park Avenue, they explain in precise Northern tones. "You must live near the UN building," the Floridian says to one of the New York ladies after the entree is served. Yes, she responds, shaking her head wearily. "They should suicide-bomb that place," he says. They all chuckle gently. How did that happen? How do you go from sweet to suicide-bomb in six seconds?

Spot has some ideas about how you do that, but it's a family blog.

This story by Johann Hari is the most remarkable piece of conservative stream of consciousness reportage that Spot thinks he has ever read. Podhoretz, Steyn, D'Souza, Robert Bork, Rich Lowry, Ken Starr, Kate O'Beirne, William F. Buckley, the whole crew of the H.M.S. Pinafore is there. And so are the people who love them.

Here's what Hari has to say about another dinner:

A red-faced man who looks like an egg with a moustache glued on grumbles, "If the Germans think they can take responsibility for the world, I don't care about German courts. Bomb them." I begin to witter on about the Pinochet precedent, and Kate snaps, "Treating Don Rumsfeld like Pinochet is disgusting." Egg Man pounds his fist on the table: " Treating Pinochet like that is disgusting. Pinochet is a hero. He saved Chile."

"Exactly," adds Jim. "And he privatised social security."

The table nods solemnly and then they march into the conversation - the billion-strong swarm of swarthy Muslims who are poised to take over the world. Jim leans forward and says, "When I see these football supporters from England, I think - these guys aren't going to be told by PC elites to be nice to Muslims. You're going to get fascists rising up, aren't you? Why isn't that happening already?" Before I can answer, he is conquering the Middle East from his table, from behind a crème brûlée.

"The civilised countries should invade all the oil-owning places in the Middle East and run them properly. We won't take the money ourselves, but we'll manage it so the money isn't going to terrorists."

The idea that Europe is being "taken over" by Muslims is the unifying theme of this cruise. Some people go on singles cruises. Some go on ballroom dancing cruises. This is the "The Muslims Are Coming" cruise - drinks included. Because everyone thinks it. Everyone knows it. Everyone dreams it. And the man responsible is sitting only a few tables down: Mark Steyn.

Spot doesn't think Katie made it this year. Pity.

No comments: