In the original novella [The Time Machine], a fellow in late Victorian England saddles up the eponymous contraption, propels himself forward and finds himself in a world where humanity has divided into two: the Eloi, a small, soft, passive, decadent, vegetarian elite among whom one can scarce tell the boys from the girls, and the Morlocks, a dark, feral, subterranean underclass. This is supposedly London in the year 802,701 AD.
That's the only thing Wells got wrong: the date. He was off by a mere 800,690 years. If he'd set his time machine to nip ahead just a hundred or so to the early 21st century, he'd have been bang on target.
And thus our 2023 summer entertainment by yours truly. I hope you enjoy it. Part One can be found here; Part Two airs tonight, round about midnight London time.
~Laura Rosen Cohen linked to the picture at right on Thursday, and it came up on Clubland Q&A the following day. Costa is the UK equivalent of (for Americans) Starbucks and (for Canadians) of Second Cup and Van Houtte combined: It's everywhere. You can boycott it, but you're going to be going a long way out of your way.
The Costa promotional mural shows a chap enjoying a coffee in his bathing trunks. If you look at his torso, you'll see that he has a brace of chest scars. Ah, yes - so he used to have perfectly healthy female breasts and his doctor was happy to slice them off because the girl he once was decided she wanted to be a boy.
Are gender-affirming mastectomy scars the best way to sell crap lattes? The company seems to think so. "At Costa Coffee we celebrate the diversity of our customers," it says, although whether they'll be using the same promotional imagery at their branches in China and Uzbekistan is unclear. But, in the UK at least, mutilating the healthy bodies of confused adolescents is on-brand and something to celebrate.
I see Costa is happy to show the trans-man's "top surgery" but not his, ah, bottom surgery. Odd to be so coy about what he's packing in his trunks. But down there the "gender-affirmers" can't be quite so affirming. As the old cynical doctor's line on what we used to call "sex-changes" had it: "It's easier to make a hole than a pole".
Which didn't matter so much when ninety per cent of cases were male-to-female. Now legions of middle-school girls are being urged by Costa and others to lop off their breasts, render themselves infertile, take hormones that will cover every inch of flesh in werewolf-level body hair ...but wind up with no membrum virilis. That would seem an unlikely recipe for the advance of human happiness.
For most novelists or playwrights, a world in which multinational corporations encourage the creation of millions of men with no penises would seem too crudely parodic. Yet on the high streets of Britain it's happening.
~I mused on Friday's Q&A about why America and its anglo-fanboys had decided to weaponize a hitherto inconsequential boutique identity and use it to abolish biological sex and up-end a generation of children. As I put it:
So the question for those American parents baffled by the transanity of their kids' grade schools is: Is this even a tranny thing at all? Or is it, in fact, an End-Stage-America-Is-Evil thing?
Or as the Internet meme has it: Are we the baddies?
Chairman Xi, Tsar Putin and the Supreme Ayatollah aren't slicing the knockers off schoolgirls. But we are. And Costa is pretty confident that, at the accelerating pace of "gender-affirmation", their "inclusivity" outreach doesn't need to include those who feel a wee bit queasy about it all.
~As Veronica from Auckland often notes in our comments section, conservatism is generally seen as "low-status": You'll have to eat at Chick-Fil-A, go to Nascar, listen to country music, etc. Whereas, in nothing flat, trans has been embraced as a high-status marker. Do you have a trans kid yet? All the celebs are getting them and are pleased as punch about it:
~Charlize Theron's son told her at three years old that he was not a boy, and Charlize decided that it "is not for me to decide. My job as a parent is to celebrate them."
~Cynthia Nixon, the Sapphic hottie from Sex and the City, has a trans son - because it's a choice between a dead girl or a live boy.
~Ally Sheedy's sitcom Single Drunk Female - in which she played the mother of a difficult daughter - may have been cancelled a few weeks back, but real life is working out swell because her difficult daughter is now her darling boy.
~Warren Beatty gave his first interview in a quarter-century to declare that his trans son is his hero (and certainly not his heroine).
~Gabrielle Union, star of Bad Boys II, and Dwyane Wade, the big butch black basketball star, are taking gender-affirmation to the next level. They're so supportive of their trans daughter that they're getting the hell out of Ron DeSantis's transphobe dystopia of Florida.
~Oh, and let's not forget Jamie Lee Curtis and her transgender daughter. Jamie Lee's dad, Tony Curtis, put on a dress and played a woman not very convincingly in Some Like It Hot - and oh, how we laughed! Now Tony's grandchild is doing the same for real. In two generations. And it's no laughing matter, don't even think about it...
Trans as a high-status marker: This is the real challenge for the few A-list holdouts such as J K Rowling - not the financial hit, but the risk you'll wind up being grouped with déclassé losers like the Duck Dynasty guys.
Nevertheless, whether or not we are the baddies, these are all signs of end-stage civilizational decay into decadent solipsism. The future will be made elsewhere.
~A few days ago, I filed my second Statement of Claim against the UK media censor Ofcom in the King's Bench Division of the English High Court. Many readers, listeners and viewers have inquired about how to support my landmark lawsuit against Lord Grade and his goons over their throttling of honest discussion of the Covid and the vaccines. Well, there are several ways to lend a hand, including:
a) signing up a friend for a Steyn Club Gift Membership;
b) buying a chum a SteynOnline gift certificate; or
c) ordering a copy of my latest book The Prisoner of Windsor. You won't regret it.
With the first two methods, one hundred per cent of the proceeds and, in the last, a significant chunk thereof go to a grand cause - and you or your loved one gets something, too.
~Notwithstanding my one-step-forward-three-steps-back health, we had a busy weekend at SteynOnline, starting with my return to the anchor seat of our Clubland Q&A. Rick McGinnis's Saturday movie date was Randolph Scott in Seven Men from Now, and my Sunday Song of the Week found me with time on my hands. Don't forget our above-mentioned marquee presentation - our summer Tale for Our Time, my variation on H G Wells's theme of time travel. Part One can be heard here; Part Two airs tonight.
If you were too busy spending the weekend looking for a transphobic macchiato, we hope you'll want to check out one or three of the foregoing as a new week begins.
~Speaking of The Prisoner of Windsor, my contemporary inversion of The Prisoner of Zenda set in twenty-first-century London at the dawn of the reign of an unpopular monarch (imagine that):
*If you absolutely can't live without your full-price hardback being personally inscribed, that we can do.
*However, if you disdain my John Hancock, Amazon is selling the book at a discount - and the shipping will be rather less, too. Likewise, if you order from Amazon Canada. (An alternative option north of the border: for a hardback direct from the University of Toronto Press, click here.)
*Finally, if you are way beyond print copies of books, The Prisoner of Windsor is also available in digital format:
For Nook, see here.
For Kobo, see here.
For the Kindle edition around the world, please click below: