One of the things Significant Other and I like to listen to when we drive somewhere is the Diary of Samuel Pepys, read by Kenneth Branagh. It’s captivating, edifying, vivid, funny and sad. Pepys wrote a lot about his meals – mostly mutton, it seems, and tankards of liquor – and so I found this discovery of one of his silver plates quite fascinating. Coincidentally, Jeff Jacoby wrote a column just last week about anti-Semitism, and opened it by quoting Pepys’s observations on his 1663 visit to a London synagogue.
The phenomenal entertainer died in August. Here he is doing his best Shirley Bassey impression. He also did wonderful Tom Jones and Johnny Mathis and more – have a look on YouTube.
I refuse to be irrational about Boris – in fact, I rather like him. Whether he can weather the Brexit storm is another matter, but I like some of his decisions so far: Piti Pratel, Dom Cummings, for starters; getting rid of at least 17 ministers. Here’s a fair portrait of the man.
A propos Brexit, I though poor Theresa May was treated abominably for her efforts – I have enormous respect for the woman. I know a “feminist” who criticized her for crying when she stepped down! I found that rather mean-spirited. What was wrong with her having that honest moment? I am certain that if May were a Labour politician this “feminist” would not have criticized her so harshly.
And here is a link from a few months ago – “Brexit: the Musical.” It perhaps seems a bit dated now, but I found it hilarious. And it might yet come to pass.
Asked if he believed Corbyn himself was anti-Semitic, Blair said yes.
“Some of the remarks are not explicable in any other way, I’m afraid, and that is sad,” said Blair. “Does he think he is? No, he doesn’t think he is at all.”
This is quite a common thing with bigots, in general, but specifically with anti-Semites. They convince themselves they are “anti-Zionists” or “critics of Israel” and so on. I have a sibling like this (possibly two) and there is no question this person is an anti-Semite. But they will say till the cows come home that they are not. Alan, my late brother, had this person’s number years ago – but then, Alan was always the smartest in our family.
While I find the anti-Semitism of certain of my family members appalling, what is even more appalling is the number of apologists they have among our relatives. Same could be said for Corbyn’s apologists, as well as those of Ilhan Omar and her ilk. Alan used to point out to me that both the anti-Semite(s) in our family and their apologists totally lacked self-awareness. Is this a trait of all bigots? Does Ilhan Omar not know she is an anti-Semite? Or is she well-aware of her bigotry but deeply cynical? Do white supremacists not know they hate black people (and so many others)? One wonders.
She was born on this day, 200 years ago. Here are 20 fun facts about her. A great quote – I hope she truly did say it:
The important thing is not what they think of me, but what I think of them.
I have finally learned to adopt this as my philosophy – though when I was younger I did indeed waste time worrying about what other people thought of me.
Monstrously depressing. Corbyn’s deranged worldview — which includes praise for all enemies of the West as well as (not so) thinly-veiled anti-Semitism (which I imagine he would insist is “just” anti-Zionism), his praise for Hamas and Hezbollah, his belief that Israel and the United States are central to all evil on this planet — does not appear to have done him any harm. In other words, either his supporters don’t care or more people than I had understood share this upside-down/day-is-night/ignorant-of-history view of things.
Julie Lenarz sums it up so well here.