Like a circular firing squad, outstanding members of our Lumpencommentariat take aim at their opposites.
Anders Behring Breivik, conservative Norwegian activist currently credited with a body count steadily approaching three digits, has delivered a priceless boost for equal-opportunity bigotry, by inspiring a flurry of fallacious finger-pointing towards Muslim fundamentalists throughout the ranks of Western media. In recognition of his fair and balanced mayhem, liberal Jews at Tikkun Olam are gleefully reporting the allegations of Norwegian bloggers, crediting Beivik with having guest blogged for Atlas Shrugs, Jihad Watch and Gates of Vienna, and outing him as the author of a blog called Fjordman, long concerned with their goal of Defeating Eurabia. Meanwhile, their antagonists have published an alleged statement by Fjordman disclaiming “the utterly false rumor that [he is] the evil shooter from Utøya, the island just outside of Oslo”.
At the end of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
, a tale of three gunslingers competing to find a fortune in buried Confederate gold, the last eponymous antagonist, more formally known as Tuco Benedicto Pacífico Juan María Ramírez, finds himself consigned to an apex of an equilateral triangle inscribed in the circular center of a Civil War cemetery, facing a Mexican standoff with his Good and Bad counterparts, Blondie and Angel Eyes. As The Good prevails over The Bad, The Ugly attempts to contribute to his triumph, but discovers that Blondie had unloaded his gun the night before. Tuco’s homicidal frustration enables Blondie to delegate the dirty work: “You see, in this world there’s two kinds of people, my friend—those with loaded guns, and those who dig. You dig!”
Alas, hot air blown back and forth falls short of flying lead. You dig?
Germans ban cruel foie gras; call on France to gas her geese.
As Heinrich Himmler helpfully pointed out, each one of the 80 million good Germans has his decent Jew. Correlatively, each one of the 307 million good Americans has his special candidate for being better off dead. Under these circumstances, it takes a special kind of moral obtuseness to join Ronald Dworkin in claiming nearly universal acceptance of the proposition that human life is sacred.
Likewise, given the record
of faith-based reasons
for the abolition of slavery, it takes a special kind of historical ignorance to join Anat Biletzki in her “reluctance to admit religion as a legitimate player in the human rights game
Logical positivist Alfred Jules Ayer was renowned both as a fierce debater and an audacious womanizer. As his stepdaughter Gully Wells told his biographer Ben Rogers, in 1987, shortly after his seventy-seventh birthday party, Ayer cleverly conjoined these competitive qualities in an unexpectedly philanthropic encounter with a besotted raper wannabe:
It was at another party, given a little later in the year by the highly fashionable clothes designer, Fernando Sanchez, that he had a widely reported encounter. Ayer had always had an ability to pick up unlikely people and at yet another party had befriended Sanchez. Ayer was now standing near the entrance to the great white living-room of Sanchez’s West 57th Street apartment, chatting to a group of young models and designers, when a woman rushed in saying that a friend was being assaulted in a bedroom. Ayer went to investigate and found Mike Tyson forcing himself on a young south London model called Naomi Campbell, then just beginning her career. Ayer warned Tyson to desist. Tyson: ‘Do you know who the fuck I am? I’m the heavyweight champion of the world.’ Ayer stood his ground: ‘And I am the former Wykeham Professor of Logic. We are both pre-eminent men in our held; I suggest that we talk about this like rational men.’ Ayer and Tyson began to talk. Naomi Campbell slipped out.
In the following year, a no less competitive confrontation with a more formidable adversity left Ayer bested in a far less festive setting. In the articles reproduced and glossed below, he recounts and analyzes a near-death experience, which pitted him against a bright and painful red light that governed the universe, and the guardians of space and time. Some time later Jonathan Miller commented to Dee Wells, Ayer’s final and antepenultimate wife: “Freddie is in spectacularly good form!” To which she replied: “He’s so much nicer since he died.” A character-building opportunity of this sort would improve almost all of us.What I Saw When I Was Dead
A.J. Ayer post mortem, London, 5 October 1988, photo by Steve Pyke
My first attack of pneumonia occurred in the United States. I was in hospital for ten days in New York, after which the doctors said that I was well enough to leave. A final X-ray, however, which I underwent on the last morning, revealed that one of my lungs was not yet free from infection. This caused the most sympathetic of my doctors to suggest that it would be good for me to spend a few more days in hospital. I respected his opinion but since I was already dressed and psychologically disposed to put my illness behind me, I decided to take the risk. I spent the next few days in my stepdaughter’s apartment, and then made arrangements to fly back to England. When I arrived I believed myself to be cured and incontinently plunged into an even more hectic social round than that to which I had become habituated before I went to America.
Retribution struck me on Sunday, May 30. Continue reading a brief visit to the red light district
A native speaker of Russian might appreciate this festering travesty of a French classic solely as the inspiration of a popular Soviet self-esteem formula: “Все пидорасы, а я — д’Артаньян” (“Everybody is a fag, and I am d’Artagnan”). Everything else, beginning with the physiognomy, habiliments, elocution, comportment, and gesticulation of its befuddled, stultified, and manifestly intoxicated cast, bespeaks spectacular ineptitude. Every witticism worth witnessing and every sword thrust worth watching in this preposterous pageant of Brezhnevite imbecility has been forestalled a quarter century earlier by the Three Stooges in Musty Musketeers. Avoid at all costs.
What is feminism? “Simply the belief that women should be as free as men … Are you a feminist? Hahaha. Of course you are.” But there is a relevant difference in freedom between the sexes. In a heterosexual population with their equal distribution, on the average men will have the same number of sexual partners as will women. In other words, the average heterosexual woman will be as free to be promiscuous as a heterosexual man. But female promiscuity will randomize biological paternity of offspring in the woman’s own family, whereas the male kind will randomize it in the families of other men. In other words, promiscuous women undermine family stability at home, whereas promiscuous men undermine it abroad. Women who are free to fuck mainly fuck up their own families. Men who are free to fuck mainly fuck up the families of others. How much of this natural inequality can be abolished through legislation remains an open question.
Since 1973, when the U.S. Commissioners on Uniform Laws proposed the Uniform Parentage Act (UPA), which has been adopted by 18 U.S. states, the common law marital paternity presumption that holds that a child born during a marriage is the offspring of the husband, has been complemented by presuming the mother’s husband to be the natural father of a child if the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage is terminated, unless his fatherhood has been rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. The revised UPA, published in 2000, retained all of the original presumptions related to marriage, but replaced the clear and convincing evidence standard for rebutting an assumption of paternity with the provision that the presumption of natural fatherhood may be rebutted “only by admissible results of genetic testing excluding that man as the father of the child or identifying another man as the father of the child.” Despite the new emphasis on genetic testing, both the newly revised UPA and most state laws and courts rely on the best interests of the child in determining paternity, whether by upholding the right to refuse genetic tests if it is determined they are not in the best interest of the child, or by requiring that the best interests of the child be taken into account after the genetic testing determines paternity. But other states have passed legislation that allows men proven by DNA testing not to be the father of a child to be released from child support payments.
In sum, promotion of the best interests of the child through the marital paternity presumption empowers feminism by underwriting female promiscuity with a guarantee of child support levied against the cuckolded husband. By contrast, fathers’ right movement that opposes legal accommodations of paternity fraud, qualifies as reactionary antifeminism. In so far as feminism is the belief that women should be as free from the economic consequences of their sexuality as men, no one can be a feminist without denying the interest of children to be supported by their biological fathers and the right of men to be free of supporting fraudulent paternity.