The Curmudgeon


Sunday, March 03, 2024

Thirty Thousand

How blest are we who starve and thirst
For righteousness, and now are filled
By bombs that profitably burst
Until the terrorists are stilled.

Though lacking appetite to stop
The butchery, our virtue flies
On wings of righteousness to drop
A snack or so for each demise.

Hap E Meale

Saturday, March 02, 2024

Treason of the Grocers

Despite the benefits of the Japanese Marmite trade and the incalculable advantages of exchanging the beastly Euro-wog market for some whelk stalls in the South Pacific, certain elements of the food industry continue to align themselves with the woke metropolitan Islamist hard-left élite. The Elizabeth the Great Accords brought in to keep Northern Ireland in the civilised world provide for meat and dairy products to be labelled Not for EU when sent from Great Britain to be sold in the absolutely-not-a-colony. This is to prevent sellers bypassing inferior EU quality controls and thus inflicting superior foodstuffs on people too foreign to appreciate them. However, at the insistence of the Conservatives' chums in the Democratic Unionist Party, from October the labelling will apply to all meat and dairy products sold in the UK, and from July 2025 to fruit and vegetables as well, ministers of the Crown presumably exempted. Wilfully unmindful of the benefits to the British consumer, an unpalatable cabal of producers, manufacturers and retailers is protesting about the extra costs, and has even threatened to involve those well-known enemies of the people in the courts should there fail to be, of all things, sensible alternatives.

Friday, March 01, 2024

Let Sleeping Dags Lie

Since those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear, the United Kingdom and one of its chums are apparently withholding evidence to an inquiry into the death of Dag Hammarskjöld, the United Nations secretary general whose plane crashed during his intervention in the 1960s Congo crisis. Although the UN was not at that time entirely controlled by Hamas, the original verdict of pilot error remains controversial and the case was re-opened seven years ago at the behest of a hundred and forty-two UN members who were out of step with the democratic mainstream. Sweden, Zimbabwe and Belgium, which had been the colonial power in the Congo, have all made serious efforts to unearth the relevant records; but the master race and its favourite ally "showed contempt for the UN inquiry," according to the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the Westminster United Nations Association. Of course the lack of co-operation is understandable, given that the UK has no civil service left and that neither the British nor the American ruling class knows or cares what evidence is; but it still seems curious that nobody has yet thought of going to the government of the Righteous State for its own infallible word on the matter.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Ignorance is Growth

Theoreticians and practitioners of Oligarchical Collectivism will recall that Eastasia, with which Oceania has always been at war, is protected from annihilation thanks to the fecundity and industriousness of its inhabitants. Tragically, at least one of these advantages appears to be in danger of serious decline. South Korea's right-wing government is worried about running out of South Koreans; while Japan's right-wing government has similar concerns about the declining replacement rate for its own economically active human resources. Breeders are becoming more and more cautious, despite financial incentives and incessant moral blackmail; and all because of gross materialistic issues such as falling wages, rising costs and a certain lack of time-management skills on the part of working mothers. Since cutting living costs and raising wages are as far out of the question there as they are among the master race, it remains to be seen whether the authorities will have the courage to adopt such democratising measures as curbing rights and crumbling schools.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Don't Send Them Back

Once more the ghastly forces of woke internationalism are seeking to rewrite British history and warp the sacred course of market forces. The government of Ethiopia, wilfully oblivious of the fact that were it not for Mr Churchill they would all be speaking Italian, has sought to prevent the privatisation of a shield which was incorporated into the assets of the British Empire following the Battle of Maqdala in 1868. A famous instance of British fair play, the battle involved thirteen thousand British troops against one-third that number of Ethiopians, and resulted in nearly two thousand casualties among the aggressors against one-tenth that number from the master race. Various native artefacts were involuntarily exported for educative purposes, some of which the Victoria and Albert Museum has generously condescended to loan back to the Ethiopians. Whether such decencies will be observed when a commercial transaction is at stake remains to be seen.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

New Block on the Kids

A bill awarding civil rights to Florida foetuses has suffered a postponement after the supreme court in the Christian state of Alabama went and muddied the moral waters. The Alabama court ruled that embryos created via IVF are "extra-uterine children," whereupon a number of clinics promptly stopped providing services for fear of wrongful-death lawsuits in the event of divinely-ordained termination. Of course, the recognition of foetuses as persons is not intended to hinder the process of pro-actively manufacturing more Murcans, but only to enable murder charges against abortionists and uppity females; so adjustments will have to be made in order to protect the profits of healthcare entrepreneurs, and the chances are against the Christian state of Florida birthing its legislative bulge during the present session. Doubtless the Great American Man-baby in the Sky will respond as wrathfully as He sees fit.

Monday, February 26, 2024

The Zone of Interest

Jonathan Glazer 2023

Like Jonathan Glazer's previous works - the mediocre Sexy Beast (2000), the intriguing Birth (2004), and the occasionally striking but largely risible Under the Skin (2013) - his latest leaves little doubt as to its sense of its own importance. If the extended black screens which follow the opening title and precede the end credits were not enough, the gravity proper to the proceedings emphatically weighs in via the discordant score (sparingly used and quite effective) and the largely static camera à la Haneke; though even at his finger-wagging worst Haneke is a good deal more businesslike than Glazer has ever deigned to be. There are monochrome segments as well, conflating the Holocaust's victims with the protagonists of the fairy-tales Rudolf reads to his children, which fairly scream forth the profundity of the enterprise.

The premise of The Zone of Interest, an apparently loose adaptation of a Martin Amis novel, is well known by now: Rudolf Höss, his wife Hedwig and their five children carry on a commonplace bourgeois existence next door to the slave labour and extermination camp at Auschwitz, where Rudolf is commandant. Business meetings and birthday celebrations are held; work-related domestic complications arise and are negotiated; dogs and children frolic and annoy and are disciplined and paraded; all with the Final Solution no more than a wall's breadth away, and well within earshot.

Some little time ago I submitted that from our present moral heights the Holocaust might most honestly be viewed from the perspective of its perpetrators; and Glazer has justified The Zone of Interest on much the same grounds: "It's trying to be about now, and about us and our similarity to the perpetrators, not our similarity to the victims." If that really is what The Zone of Interest is trying to be, then it isn't trying terribly hard. From his SS undershirt and criminally insane haircut to her disciplining a house-slave with the threat of cremation and scattering, the film's treatment of Rudolf and Hedwig adopts the crudest devices to distance and dissociate itself and its audience from the couple. At one point Hedwig takes her mother on a tour of the large, perfect garden, chatting about how she manages it all and swiftly deflecting any reference to those people next door; this effectively uneasy scene is followed by increasingly close shots of the flowers, which culminate at last in the ENTIRE SCREEN turning BLOOD RED. Like the later sequence in the present-day Auschwitz museum, this exhibits a subtlety and a respect for the audience's intelligence well worthy of Martin Amis, whose strenuously postmodernistic echt-Nabokonovel London Fields includes a charitable name-check (Transparent Things, if memory speaks true) for the benefit of anyone not au fait with the heights at which he was aiming.

One or two interesting touches do emerge to hint at zones a little less cosily self-complacent. Scenes such as the distribution of recycled clothing to the servants ("only one each") seamlessly blend the wartime virtues of domestic thrift with the material wages of genocide. The repeated nightly extinguishing of the lights chez Höss makes a telling contrast with the perpetually sunlit exteriors and the antiseptic brightness in the halls of officialdom; although I couldn't help recalling that Kubrick's Dr Strangelove managed a related if more subtly wrought effect with the closing of a few blinds.

In Joachim Fest's The Face of the Third Reich, the chapter on Höss is titled "The Man from the Crowd." The real Höss prided himself on his obedience and self-sacrifice: he sincerely deplored the brutalities of the Auschwitz guards, and willingly co-operated with his own jailers both before and after the war. Had he existed in a civilised and humane society, he would undoubtedly have been a willing executor of civilised and humane policies. Late images of Rudolf retching over the Reich's marble stairways hint at a sublimated loathing for hard work, duty and family values; significantly, his sickness follows immediately upon his latest promotion and the promise that his domestic life will soon be resumed, and is also one of the very few times when Rudolf is seen alone. However, the film makes nothing of this beyond the standard moral condemnation implied by subsequent shots of the Auschwitz museum.

Fans and cheerleaders of the current carnage in [insert as applicable] will find little reason here to question their own motives; any more, presumably, than would the author of the source novel and The Second Plane, who proclaimed in the wake of 9/11 that Muslims should be made to "experience painful discrimination until they get tough with their children." Whatever it tries to be, The Zone of Interest is itself just one more from the crowd: one more solemn study in the evil of the banal Other, one more pompous parable of unrepentant publicans for the moral consolation of liberal Pharisees.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

This Is Not Who We Are

Proper Conservatives, in the estimation of the brilliant Robert Buckland, stand for "bringing the country together and seeking to unify, challenging criminality and hate and extremism absolutely square on, and being honest and truthful about it – but bringing the country together, not dividing it" - as can be seen by the state of the country after a decade and a half of Conservative government. Accordingly Buckland, whose attachment to unity, tolerance and non-criminality is such that he served the National Johnson as Minister for Profitable Incarceration, did some huffing and puffing about the Muslim-bashing eructations of Fishy Rishi's chosen party chair, Lee Anderson, and the compromising appearance of Liz Truss in an interview alongside some Trumpster-trash. Buckland emphatically proclaimed the unconservative status of La Truss, whose brief yet eventful premiership was facilitaed in part by one Robert Buckland.

In a similar spirit, if spirit is a word one can apply to proper Conservatives, the almost equally brilliant Oliver Dowden burbled that Anderson had not intended any Islamophobia by reviving Zac Goldsmith's mayoral campaign propaganda equating Sadiq Khan with Islamists. Earlier a spokesbeing had interpreted Anderson's grunts as relating solely to Khan's disinclination for giving Islamist marchers (anti-genocide protesters, in Oldspeak) a whiff of grapeshot; and Dowden stated that Anderson might retain or regain the whip if he trotted out the usual apology for having been strategically misunderstood by a few non-native English speakers. Dowden also absolved Suella Braverman of moral equivalence to Anderson on the grounds that Braverman's comments were not aimed at any particular individual. In Dowden's estimation, apparently, it's fine to claim that the damned Jews have taken over, provided only that one does not apply the label of damned Jew to any potential libel plaintiff. It's easy to see why true carriers of the torch for the party of Winston Churchill, Enoch Powell, Norman Tebbit, Theresa May, Zac Goldsmith and Boris Johnson might be shocked, shocked, shocked at hints of racism.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Vegetable-Based Solutions

Manufacturers of plant-based substitutes for dairy products may soon be ordered to remove from their brand names such consumer-harming factors as "homophones, asterisked characters or other wordplay." In a move worthy of those alleged by the National Johnson and his ilk against the bureaucrats of Strasbrussels, His Majesty's Government is considering a ban on the misleading information contained in I Can't Believe it's Not Butter and This is Not M*lk. Since His Majesty's Government is self-evidently not susceptible to lobbying by non-vegan profiteers, it follows that the great British onsumer is self-evidently too stupid to avoid confusing products labelled and advertised as Not A Dairy Product with actual dairy products. Not that the proposed guidelines will be entirely negative: for soya yoghurt and vegan mozzarella the free, independent and British trading standards officials have provided gratis the appetising alternatives of "soya dessert fermented with live cultures" and "vegan soft-white balls with a light cheese flavour." In what was apparently intended as reassurance, a spokesbeing for the Department for Enraging Farmers, Retailers and All stated that "there are no plans to change existing legislation in this area," as if the lack of a plan had ever made much difference.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Three-Dimensional Peacekeeping

To mark the second anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the World Cop by the grace of God will be imposing further sanctions upon the aggressor, reducing the availability of goods that Russia wants, since Russia no more has needs than it has legitimate security concerns. The World Cop and its allies are indignant that Russia's actions have killed tens of thousands and destroyed cities, which are self-evidently Bad Things compared with (to take a random example) Israeli actions which accomplish similar results in a fraction of the time. Meanwhile it seems that sanctions thus far have done little to dent the Russian economy, which has suffered slightly less damage than that inflicted on the British economy by the Westminster cadres of the Farage Falange. Accordingly the World Cop is preparing a $95,000 million bung to be shared between Ukraine, Israel and plucky little Taiwan, just to make clear the moral equivalence between what is being done to Ukraine, what the Righteous State is doing, and what one day will have to be done with those insidious Heathen Chinee.