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~What are we to make of this?
France is going to want that Statue of Liberty back after this. pic.twitter.com/dhKYfR14zG— Big Fish (@BigFish3000) November 12, 2021
Imagine you're a French bigshot invited to a major geopolitical address by the Vice President of the United States and she gives you this:
We must together work together to see where we are, where we are headed, where we are going in our vision for where we should be, but also see it as a moment - yes, together - to address the challenges and to work on the opportunities.
I don't envy the poor instantaneous translator:
Nous devons ensemble travailler ensemble pour voir ensemble où nous en sommes, où nous allons, où nous allons dans notre vision d'où nous en sommes ensemble, mais aussi ensemble voir cela comment un moment - oui, ensemble, vraiement ensemble, toujours ensemble - pour relever les défis, travailler sur les opportunités, relever les opportunités pour travailler sur les défis d'où nous en sommes ensemble.
It's not enough to work together to see where we are and where we are headed unless we also have the courage to work together to see where we are going in our vision for where we should be. Otherwise, where we go could easily wind up being somewhere elsewhere from where we should be.
Kamala grew up in Montreal, so why she isn't sufficiently bilingual to talk Generic Politico Bollocks in French is a puzzler. At any rate, while the right is still worrying about her becoming president, the left has moved on to Biden appointing her to the Supreme Court, allowing Pete Buttigieg to replace her as veep, as soon as he's back from paternity leave.
Steve Sailer says that Diversity Hires wreak havoc with the Peter Principle. But in certain posts who cares? What difference does it make if the Joint Chiefs of Staff are all transgender when America doesn't win any wars? Likewise, there are few easier jobs in the world than vice president of the United States: How is it possible for Ms Harris to be so not up to it?
Well, unlike Pence or Quayle, they know no one will dare to laugh at her, either on America's godawful craven late-night "comedy" shows or in the media more generally.
But the more disturbing yet obvious reason is that these people are irrelevant: Kamala's Paris trip is merely a crude example of the way democratic politics has degenerated into third-rate performance art ...while everything that matters is decided elsewhere.
~The remarks above would be hilarious delivered poker-faced by Leslie Nielsen after going undercover at a G7 summit and finding himself obliged to deliver the keynote address.
Ah, but the Naked Gun movies are a long time ago. David Zucker, writer/director/producer of those pictures and many more, has a piece on our new post-joke world:
An audience member asked a question we never used to receive: 'Could you make Airplane! today?' My response: 'Of course, we could. Just without the jokes.'
I often express my weariness about small-ball Republicans, twittering about tax cuts when the left is abolishing biological sex. But the abolition of comedy strikes me as almost as significant a bit of human re-wiring. I have often spoken of reading Milan Kundera's great novel The Joke on the flight to a trial of my own jokes before the British Columbia "Human Rights" Tribunal. Quips, jests, bons mots and the like are often the most honest reaction to the passing charivari. So, if you can teach a population to bite their tongues with respect to their own jokes, and to police the jokes of others, than it is a huge advantage to an oppressive state: You are training people to live in earnestness, as Kundera's post-war Czechoslovakia did, and in a society of deadly earnestness any number of horrors become possible.
~On a related matter, Andrew Sullivan, in the wake of the outrageous Rittenhouse trial, has a big wrap on how "the US MSM just keeps getting it wrong". It is an interesting read, but, I think, far too generous. It might have sufficed a few decades back, when reporters' leftie leanings led to framings of stories that tended to favor their side. But in the case of many of the examples Sullivan quotes - the Covington kid, the Atlanta spa shooting, the Russian "bounties" on US soldiers - anyone who gave a cursory examination to the facts quickly grasped that the media narrative was laughably false.
So these were not good-faith errors - "getting it wrong". At some point, old-school "media bias" smoothly evolved into outright lying for the cause. This reached a new level of brazenness with the Hunter laptop revelations. Any person who has taken the trouble to look at the materials for twenty minutes or so understands that they are genuine, and that Joe Biden, a man who has become enormously wealthy despite half-a-century on a government salary, has troubling and potentially disqualifying relations with foreign business partners about which he should be questioned. I'm putting it at the very minimum here.
So instead the media simply killed the story - and, if ever it came up, declared it to be "Russian disinformation". You cannot dignify this, as Sullivan does, as "getting it wrong". These guys did it deliberately, and will do so again, and again.
~Kate McMillan, queen of the Canadian blogosphere (what remains of it), tracks the Covid stats in her province of Saskatchewan. There's some fairly obvious sleight of hand going on, including the lumping together of the unvaccinated and those who've had their first shot within the last twenty-one days. Nevertheless, as Kate points out, there are now, for those over the age of eleven, more new Covid cases among the double-vaccinated (42) than among the unvaccinated (38).
So the media narrative - "a pandemic of the unvaccinated" - is not true. Yet, if Miss McMillan were to start advancing these points on Twitter, she would quickly find herself shadow-banned, and then banned-banned. One of her commenters notes the following not so subtle shift from the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which regulates vaccines in Australia:
October 21st report:
Review of individual reports and patterns of reporting does not suggest the vaccines played a role in these deaths.
October 28th report:
Our review of individual reports and patterns of reporting does not suggest that the vaccines played a role in the vast majority of these deaths.
Meanwhile, as has been noted in our own comments section, the term "anti-vaxxer" has been redefined from someone who opposes being vaccinated to someone who opposes having to show a vaccine passport in order to go to a restaurant.
I'm not even sure, given those Saskatchewan statistics, that the Covid shot meets the definition of a "vaccine". It behaves more like Viagra - something that temporarily alleviates the situation sufficiently to get you through potentially awkward social situations (casual sex, on the one hand; trying to keep your job, on the other).
~It was a very busy weekend at SteynOnline, beginning with The Mark Steyn Show in its new Friday slot on GB News covering topics from the shame of Rotherham with Kathy Gyngell to the state of America and the world with Conrad Black. For our Saturday movie date, Rick McGinnis offered dream casting: Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche in Midnight. The latest addition to my anthology of video poetry was a bit of Lewis Carroll nonsense that is perhaps not so nonsensical, The Jabberwocky, and our Sunday musical selection was a celebration of the smoking song. Our marquee presentation was the launch of my latest Tale for Our Time - Agatha Christie's first published novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Click for Part Six, Part Seven and Part Eight. Part Nine airs tonight.
If you were too busy working on the agenda for COP-27, we hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.
Tales for Our Time and Steyn's Sunday Poem are special presentations of The Mark Steyn Club. You can find more details about our Club here - and we also have a great gift membership.
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