Thatcherite denationalization was the first thing Eastern Europe did after throwing off its Communist shackles — although the fact that recovering Soviet client states found such a natural twelve-step program at Westminster testifies to how far gone Britain was. She was the most consequential woman on the world stage since Catherine the Great, and Britain’s most important peacetime prime minister. In 1979, Britain was not at war, but as much as in 1940 faced an existential threat.
Mrs. Thatcher saved her country — and then went on to save a shriveling “free world,” and what was left of its credibility. The Falklands were an itsy bitsy colonial afterthought on the fringe of the map, costly to win and hold, easy to shrug off — as so much had already been shrugged off. After Vietnam, the Shah, Cuban troops in Africa, Communist annexation of real estate from Cambodia to Afghanistan to Grenada, nobody in Moscow or anywhere else expected a Western nation to go to war and wage it to win. Jimmy Carter, a ditherer who belatedly dispatched the helicopters to Iran only to have them crash in the desert and sit by as cocky mullahs poked the corpses of U.S. servicemen on TV, embodied the “leader of the free world” as a smiling eunuch. Why in 1983 should the toothless arthritic British lion prove any more formidable?
But I’m not down with American Airlines trying this on their new Airbus fleet with hundreds of seats. It’s degrading enough, my Big Boy buddies confide, asking for seatbelt extenders and getting disgusted looks when their thighs splay over into their neighbor’s space.
Yesterday at Logan, a longtime flight attendant said flying Americans have never been as enormous or more eager to complain about the enormous one beside them, often so the enormous one can hear. She added that the most enormous are on flights to Disney World.
So, no surprise, big and tall passengers at Logan yesterday didn’t like Samoa Air’s idea.
I fly a lot. As a big guy, I dread this, but I know it’s coming. Like health insurance premiums being linked to smoking habits, I hate it but I know it’s coming. Everyone’s a libertarian until they have to buy into a system – I’m no different.
For some quick followup to Allahpundit’s obligatory post, the firing of Rutgers’ basketball coach Mike Rice was one of the topics du jour among the chattering classes the past couple of days.
I Tweeted about this, but I’ll say it again: this is pussification at its most subversive. ESPN is having a heyday with the vidya of the Rutgers’ coach “abusing” his players, and my initial thought was “hey it’s 8th grade again.”
This is pussy-pussy-pussy, and nothing else. If the guy’s a shitty coach, fire him. Most coaches are assholes – believe me, I know this from personal experience. Buuuut … fire him because he’s a bad coach and the team’s not doing well, not for this this PG13 BS.
Pussifcation – that’s this. Yes, that’s all it is.
Roger Ebert died today.
During my late childhood all the way to my early 20s, Ebert was one of my favorite contemporary writers. I learned most of what I know about film by reading Ebert (and to a lesser extent the collections of Pauline Kael’s criticism), including what films were considered the best and why. Without reading Ebert, I’d probably never have watched a slew of films, among them L’Atalante, Citizen Kane, Metropolis, Nashville, and anything by Kurosawa, Fellini, Chaplin and Bertolucci, to say nothing of the late, great Russ Meyer. Ebert’s collaboration with Meyer, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, remains one of my favorite films. I never studied film in college, but I have quite the library of books on film, a collection that started with Ebert’s annual collection of reviews.
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I’ll not even begin to explain how I found my way to the above clip, but I will say that in a nearly perfect film I’ve seen a hundred times, Burt Lancaster, in fewer than 10 minutes of screen time, stole the unstealable film. I assume he didn’t get an Oscar for this because he was on-screen so briefly, but Jeebus, he is perfect.
If you’ve not read the novel, it’s worth it, but it’s not as good as the film (yep, they exist). Curiously, James Earl Jones’s character in the film is literally J.D. Salinger in the book. Well, I say that’s curious, but probably because I love J.D. Salinger for all the odd reasons having nothing to do with Catcher in the Rye.
HotAir’s highlighting this piece from z’Atlantic:
In March, a Swiss woman was gang-raped while she was camped out in a forest with her husband after a day of biking around the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. And on Monday, an American tourist was raped by three men over the course of six hours while aboard a public van near the seaside resort town of Copacabana .
The incidents have already taken their public-relations toll. The Brazil rape is the latest evidence that the country has a growing sexual assault problem — reports of rapes there have risen 150 percent since 2009 — and raises questions about Brazil’s readiness for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.
And in a new survey of 1,200 tour operations across India, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India found that the number of inbound tourists to the country has dropped 25 percent since December, while the influx of female travelers is down 35 percent.
Honduras has supposedly the highest murder rate per capita in the world right now, but I assume that’s by citizen – not government – hands. I was there in February, but on a bay island (ie not in Honduras) but even at San Pedro I didn’t get a creepy feel.
A gf of mine, the first Obamabot I knew, did a global environmental tour back in the 1990s, and she recalled a friend of her getting raped on a bus on New Delhi. I have no interest in India, going there etc, but the Indian part of this doesn’t surprise me
What also doesn’t surprise me is the obvious point counter to the skepticism of the Atlantic piece about Brazil not getting much of a mention: World Cup is there next year, dude – you think they’re going to scare off everyone by noting that it’s Rapetown with a side of Murder? Most people going to Brazil for the Cup already know they better stick to the main streets or the Sloth Cometh.
TO ELIMINATE THE “PAY GAP,” ELIMINATE THE EFFORT GAP
In my experience in all different areas of the workforce, I’ve found that about 1 in 8 women work as hard as their male peers (having not worked in a law firm, it may be different among XX lawyers). Women are far more prone to notice being treated differently, perceived unfairness, what they’re not getting, etc. The hard-working women are gems but they’re getting harder and harder to find.
As a man, one thing that’s changed about me over the past few years is not only finding work ethic attractive in a woman, but more importantly, finding laziness/sloth/idleness in an otherwise attractive woman off-putting. It can turn a 9 into a 6 and while I’ll still get nekkid with such a woman, I’d never consider her for any kind of serious relationship.