Friends, readers, please enjoy this New Year’s Eve greeting, brought to you by ABBA. May your 2017 be as excellent as ABBA’s lyrics. Not being ironic – I believe they were among the best pop music lyricists in modern times. And they weren’t even writing in their own languages. I love all the Scando-angst in this song, and the Bergman-esque angles in the video. (On another note, what I wouldn’t give for a dress like the one Agneta is wearing.)
…and to all a good night. (More numinous here.)
Oh, how I love Kathleen Ferrier.
Sing a carol written by a Jew! There are plenty. Today, I offer you this one, from a couple of crooners you might recognize:
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning; let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.
With Obama’s abstention on yesterday’s anti-Israel UN resolution (just another day the UN), the Western Wall and the Temple Mount are now declared to be “occupied” by the Jewish people. This was a dark, sorry decision from Obama, and as petty and ignorant of history as I knew him to be, I never imagined he would sink this low. He has brought the U.S. and the Democratic Party down to such depths, especially when you consider the greatness of a Daniel Patrick Moynihan on pretty much this same issue.
Is Obama an anti-Semite? Or is he just so personally vindictive and nasty that he wanted to kick Netanyahu on his way out the door?
I have doubts about Trump — many, in particular about his isolationism and his relationship with Russia — but at this point, January 20th can’t come soon enough. Heckuva job, Barack.
A George Harrison song I did not know, which is rather amazing. He is my favourite Beatle. Perfect for the season.
I mentioned — in my post about Trump (“Curb your Hysteria” – see below) — that I know some real chattering-class types who are convinced his victory was not only something maleficent — a rejection of their brilliant, tolerant ideas — but the “last gasp” of the bad people among us (i.e., people who don’t think like them), to boot. Further, they seem convinced that it’s only a question of a generation passing before they will be in power again. They are, I think, projecting their own rigidity and lack of self-awareness onto everyone else. They assume that, because their world view has never changed, no one else’s will either. (Some of us do learn and grow in this life, however slowly and painfully.) This is where they are insanely, embarrassingly wrong.
They ought to read this terrific Mark Lilla piece from the NYTimes. Money quote here:
A convenient liberal interpretation of the recent presidential election would have it that Mr. Trump won in large part because he managed to transform economic disadvantage into racial rage — the “whitelash” thesis. This is convenient because it sanctions a conviction of moral superiority and allows liberals to ignore what those voters said were their overriding concerns. It also encourages the fantasy that the Republican right is doomed to demographic extinction in the long run — which means liberals have only to wait for the country to fall into their laps. The surprisingly high percentage of the Latino vote that went to Mr. Trump should remind us that the longer ethnic groups are here in this country, the more politically diverse they become.
Emphasis mine. Spot-on. Fyi, Mark Lilla writes brilliantly about France a good deal, as well.
Here is some haunting Norwegian Christmas music. (My mom used to give me haircuts like the singer’s haircut. It’s a Norwegian thing.)
Such horrors yesterday – in Berlin, in Ankara. I keep thinking about this speech. Times have changed, though. I cannot imagine the Democratic Party of today ever choosing a leader like JFK (as yes, the Republicans today would never choose a Reagan). Think of how much we need someone like either of those men now.
Sue Ann Nivens sums it up well.
In regards President-Elect Trump, I think everyone needs to calm down. I say this as someone who likely would – were she American – have voted for Hillary Clinton. Or not voted at all.
And yet, the week after the U.S. election I was concerned for the future not because of Trump’s victory – but because of the reaction to his victory. Such histrionics. Such hysteria. It makes me fear for the next generation and wonder about the Millennials. It seems they really are that fragile.
For example, a friend of mine’s daughter wrote that – due to Trump’s victory – she felt “triggered and unsafe” and needed to seek professional help! Seriously? This is an adult woman – albeit a young one, but an adult nonetheless. If I reacted that way each time someone I didn’t like won an election, I’d be in a straight-jacket in a padded room by now. For heaven’s sake! Calm down.
I think that Trump will probably disappoint some of his supporters and will very likely surprise (pleasantly) some of his detractors. As I said to my grammar prof in Italy – non potrebbe essere peggio di Obama. He couldn’t be worse than Obama (see: Syria). I also think he will have a hard time being more divisive than Obama (see: America).
It’s worth contemplating this: he won with pretty much all of the mainstream media against him, and while spending about 10% of what the Clinton campaign spent. This is extraordinary, as big “f**k yous” to the status quo generally are. Without California, he would have won the popular vote – if you need any stronger reason why the electoral college system is a good one, look no more. I also think it’s worth remembering that the American system is a great one, with a set of checks and balances that have long worked well. And Trump will have a cabinet that, from the looks of how it is shaping up, will be diverse. And when I say “diverse” I do not refer only to gender, colour, and creed (what the left generally mean when they refer to diversity), but to ideology, world views, concerns, convictions and experience (something totally lacking at universities, just for starters). The latter type of diversity is much richer and offers more, I believe.
This could be good nor not. But let’s give him a chance and let’s curb our hysteria. And in the meantime, let’s enjoy watching the impotent rage of the elites and of the left (but I repeat myself) – it is a delightful thing to behold. What really gets me is their tremendous condescension, and how even Trump’s victory has not taught them that perhaps that condescension is the problem. Elitists and leftists (but again, I repeat myself) have never been long on self-awareness. In fact, I still hear many of them dismissing the election as the work of angry, racist, stupid “deplorables,” – their last gasp, so to speak. When I read/hear such “analysis,” I want to scream, “This is why he won!”
And win he did, so again, curb your hysteria and we’ll see how things roll.