Friday, April 25, 2008


Ever since I caught it last night on the BBC's ghastly, portentous 'new look' News, I've been unable to shake the nauseating memory of this murderous scumbag's farewell to his pixellated baby daughter. What is it with these people? I mean, really, what is it? They're living - they were born in - a tolerant, civilised democracy (as the world goes), they appear pretty thoroughly integrated into it, they clearly have a range of decent human feelings, they look entirely unremarkable - and they hate us, with such a fanatical passion that they want us dead and will kill themselves in the process to maximise the carnage. I can only conjecture that it's a fatal collision of young men and dangerous (deadly dangerous ) ideas, catalysed by a deeply entrenched sense of victimhood. Young men are of course hormonally deranged and up for just about anything (I was one myself, I recall, dimly). If they are already feeling aggrieved and victimised (as most young men are likely to, one way or another, even without any particular cultural allegiance) and that sense of grievance is intensively and expertly stimulated by an ideology that appeals at once to two Young Man urges - self-aggrandisement and self-destruction - then maybe that is enough. Can it be? I truly don't know, and I find it depressing even to think about. Captain B? Any thoughts?


  1. i suspect it's partly that our society, while tolerant & humane (etc.), is also increasingly hollow. We could survive the decline of religion but not the destruction of our culture, which took place largely in the Blair years. We have material amenities, opportunities, we are largely free of fears (compared to folk in Somalia), but there is no core to things any more, there is no sovereign myth, no reason for anything.

    As Dostoevsky put it (a great writer on the 'terrorist' mindset, i think), if man cannot have meaning he will starve to death even if there is bread everywhere to hand. i think in a culture like ours, a post-culture if you like, extremists are just one symptom of this prevailing mythlessness, this inner void - they are men who turn to destruction, to hatred & negation, in a Travis Bickle like quest to create their own meaning, to create their own myth, in which they are the heroes, the new Herculeses. Destruction and hatred are easier than conservation or even creation, and if there is so much evidently rotten in a country - as there is in ours (just turn on the TV) - hatred is the easiest option, the easiest high, it makes you feel good, you're better than THEM, you're going to take a stand & sort them out! i suspect these men live in a very monochrome, simplified world, with something like mythic concision, mythic intensity - like the terrible, clear outlines of figures on Greek vases, everything simple & exact. A terrible beauty is born.

  2. This is not a phenomenon borne of the New Labor years, even they cannot be blamed.
    Perhaps simpler explanations may suffice.
    In modern times, the mad dogs within Japanese society exploited the gullibility of their fellow citizens, hence the kamikaze. Suicide bombers are nothing new.

    The Muslim suicide bomber may simply be the end product of the influence of evil on the weak.
    This of course assumes that evil does exist.
    In the context of the numbers game they have at present, little effect.
    A question to be asked is, are they us, there by the grace of whatever, go we?

    Born in 1942 I, like almost everyone else, thought the Germans were the bad guys, until, one day the penny dropped, we are no different to them.
    Under a similar set of circumstances we may not have acted any differently.

    The big question is will they persevere long enough and become smart enough to obtain a nuclear device, make no mistake, if they had one, they would use it.

    What can we do ? in reality very little, the security services may be able to stop a lot of them, some will get through.

    No Western government has the courage, or indeed would be allowed to take, whatever steps would be required to eliminate (kill) them.
    Look at the media indignation over the killing of the IRA bombers in Gibraltar.
    To fight a successful campaign the government would firstly have to shut down the BBC and Channel Four, (Believe me when I say I would rejoice over this.)

    So, it's crunch time, do we carry on with our western democratic values, or do we declare war on the Muslim breeding ground and kill the lot of them, there is no other viable choice, we had exactly the same in 1939, them or us.
    All of the rest is just so much hot air.

    Eventually, providing they do not obtain a nuclear device, or some other weapon of mass destruction, they will fade away, they all do, in the end.

    If we sit at home at night and scare ourselves silly, they have won, my repost...fuck them!

  3. Elberry, may I suggest that you are creating a self-fulfilling prophesy? Is English society really as terrible as you portray it, or have you just lost your nerve? A man can find meaning anywhere, but he has to find it, it isn't given by society or tradition or anything external.

    I consider Victor Frankl to be one of the most unappreciated, unsung sages of the 20th century. He noticed among his fellow inmates in a Nazi concentration camp that even among such extreme conditions of suffering men were not equal. Those who could find some meaning in their suffering were able to survive, whereas those who couldn't did not.

    Please don't honor this animal with a misdirected indictment of society. How many Englishmen are doing what he did? Not many.

  4. Nige, your wish is.....but I can only refer you to my Blood & Rage, which, esteemed Elberry, was partly inspired by Dostoevsky's Possessed- in which the ambient 'liberals' are as pernicious as the 'devils' (I concur with Malty too about the BBC and C4). The gullible have of course been mightily impressed by Mr Khan's home movie, as if this has anything to do- beyond the nauseating transferable sentimentality- with why he and his comrades blew up so many people on 7/7. Incidentally, it is striking that the recently launched Quilliam Foundation of former Hizb ut-Tahrir radicals, suggests far more draconian measures against Islamists than Brown's government will ever countenance. Someone who can 'link' should post it- its called "pulling together to defeat terror". I actually think, by the way, that since the 1980s the Conservatives have been remiss in addressing the 'culture' (they had the unions and the USSR to deal with). It is a portfolio that needs a real heavyweight, like 'education' which is a related problem. Many of the jihadists hale from our third rate HE/ex-poly sector where they pick up a false sense of entitlement (to determine foreign policy) which compounds the 'little Prince' syndrome operative in many Asian families vis a vis the eldest son. Anyway, you get my drift- many of these themes are addressed on my blog (which is soon to move to STANDPOINT)....

  5. An old friend and mentor of mine, a historian, reminds me that every era thinks its own time is the worst, the most savage, the most likely to end in apocalypse. And, obviously, it never is. We're still here.

    I agree with Malty that suicide bombers are not new, nor are the destructive urges of people who feel disenfranchised. Where do you suppose the phrase "Barbarians at the gate" comes from? Vandals and Goths? On and on....

    New faces, old --lizard brain old -- impulses.

  6. i suspect no one who's actually lived in Britain for more than a few years would deny a pretty drastic decline, most notably in the Nu Labour years, though i guess it must have its roots further back than that.

    To an American, i guess the spectacle of kids shooting other kids is par for the course and they think 'what you moaning about?' For me, there's been a definite increase in the number of pointlessly violence incidents both in the press and in my daily life. The atmosphere in my lifetime - especially in the last decade - has become notably more violent, ugly, savage, and pointlessly so. i'm all in favour of meaningful violence but this is violence without literary value, without artistry, it's just kids shooting each other for no good reason.

    We need a return to meaningful violence. And tweed. i say, we need no more of these nice liberal politicians like Thatcher and Blair, we need a good fascist dictator to set the world to rights, a man who isn't afraid to send black-clad death squads around the streets rounding up chavs, liberals, students, stupid people, gangster types, and indeed anyone under the age of 25, and putting them to work in a gulag.

    i would like to put myself forward as a possible candidate for our next fascist dictator. i promise my men would wear stylish uniforms and be polite.

  7. Oh, elberry, elberry, you have neither rudder nor oar, even the devils own shoulder, twill not move thee.
    You look for complex reasons where simplicity is required, you need a simple purpose to guide you on your way, we live in a changing world, not necessarily a harder one.
    Bide with me awhile, I shall tell you a story.
    My grandfather was hit in head by shrapnel, at the battle of Passchendale and reported missing. Ten months later my grandmother heard, from one of his comrades that he had been seen in a hospital in London. She left her six children in the care of neighbours and the eldest son and travelled to London.
    She eventually found him (after four months of searching and working as a housemaid to support her and the family.)
    He died in the early sixties in a mental hospital in Sedgefield,(yes, Blairs constituency) he was blind and deaf and a cabbage, he never knew there was a second world war or saw his grandchildren. He had vivid blue eyes and had been a wonderful pianist.
    My grandmother died at the age of ninety two, two of her children died before her.
    To the end of her days she remained cheerful, accepting what had happened with little complaint.
    Her story is far from unique, it was repeated tens, if not hundreds of thousands of times.
    At no time did she look for complex reasons, she was not a religious person and had an unshakable faith in human nature.
    And you think times are bad now !

    PS...Real ale is ok but...

    Most Kolsch, especialy Fruh (frewer)
    Andecher Spezial Hell (Helles)
    Schwaben Brau Dashelle
    Hofbrau original
    And the Chateau Petrus of beers.. Lowenbrau Oktoberfest.

    About eleven to fifteen Euros for a ten litre crate, money back on the bottles and the crate.
    Susan is right, American small brewery beer is excellent, as reported back by Malty junior, after a two year stint in N Carolina.

  8. We need a return to meaningful violence.

    Now you're making sense elberry.

    send black-clad death squads around the streets rounding up chavs, liberals, students, stupid people, gangster types, and indeed anyone under the age of 25, and putting them to work in a gulag

    Better yet, round them up and put them in the army. Send them to Afghanistan to kill jihadis.

    I think much of this dark despair and ennui has to do with modern society's skewed expectations and values. All this worship of nonviolence and peace, its unnatural. People ask "why do they hate us, what are we doing wrong?" We're not doing anything wrong. Having enemies is a natural state of affairs, and putting your shiftless youth to work fighting those enemies is also a natural state of affairs.

  9. American microbreweries do have some nice beers, Malty, but Allan and I had a good old time trying lots of British beers during a sojourn in Devon some years back. I loved the names of them, in particular one called "Bishop's Finger." Where do they get these monikers?

    Elberry, you have never been to America and yet you are always making these remarks about what Americans think or are used to, etc. I am a member of the same global village you are, watching the same news beaming out from a similar sort of TV. In America, sports fans do not kill each other, and I believe it's a lot more likely that you know someone who has seen some serious blood-letting after a soccer -- er, football -- match. I have never seen someone shot, though I did indeed learn how to use a rifle at a very young age (I lived in the country) and I can still beat you in an arcade shooting game, or, if the apocalypse you're always predicting comes, I can deliver the protein.

    Enough already with the American baiting. Until you've lived here, or at least *visited* here, reserve your judgement.

  10. "Enough already with the American baiting. Until you've lived here, or at least *visited* here, reserve your judgement."

    A bit rich, coming from you of all people, Susan...

  11. Susan, reference monikers, its a geeky thing, akin to the Linux communities naming committee. Excellent products, silly names..web browser.. Konqueror, media player.. Amarok.
    Actually the two communities have many similarities, entrepreneurial (but none of them can read a balance sheet), innovative and geeky.
    You might have to ask the actress about Bishops finger, however.
    Did you know that there's a vibrant brewing industry in China? taught by the Germans of course.