The War Will Find the Shire

As always, Mark Steyn does an excellent job articulating the conservative perspective, this time on the British riots:

While the British Treasury is busy writing checks to Amsterdam prostitutes, one-fifth of children are raised in homes in which no adult works — in which the weekday ritual of rising, dressing and leaving for gainful employment is entirely unknown. One-tenth of the adult population has done not a day’s work since Tony Blair took office on May 1, 1997.
If you were born into such a household, you’ve been comprehensively “stimulated” into the dead-eyed zombies staggering about the streets this past week: pathetic inarticulate subhumans unable even to grunt the minimal monosyllables to BBC interviewers desperate to appease their pathologies. C’mon, we’re not asking much: just a word or two about how it’s all the fault of government “cuts” like the leftie columnists argue. And yet even that is beyond these baying beasts. The great-grandparents of these brutes stood alone against a Fascist Europe in that dark year after the fall of France in 1940. Their grandparents were raised in one of the most peaceful and crime-free nations on the planet. Were those Englishmen of the mid-20th century to be magically transplanted to London today, they’d assume they were in some fantastical remote galaxy. If Charlton Heston was horrified to discover the Planet of the Apes was his own, Britons are beginning to realize that the remote desert island of “Lord Of The Flies” is, in fact, located just off the coast of Europe in the northeast Atlantic. Within two generations of the Blitz and the Battle of Britain, a significant proportion of the once-free British people entrusted themselves to social rewiring by liberal compassionate Big Government and thereby rendered themselves paralytic and unemployable save for nonspeaking parts in “Rise of The Planet Of The Apes.” And even that would likely be too much like hard work.

Today, he moves from explicit references to science-fiction dystopias to an implied, perhaps unconscious, reference to Lord of the Rings. Responding to the suggestion of Peter Hitchens that rich liberals “will find ways to save themselves” as “the filthy thing they have created” roars around them, Steyn writes:

I think they will have difficulty “saving themselves”. I have many in-laws and friends in delightful corners of village England, where as the sun rises on ancient hedgerows and thatched cottages it is easy to believe the paralytic chavs and incendiary imams and all the rest are somewhere far away and always will be. As leftie columnists in their Hampstead redoubts began (privately) to calculate as the rioters moved in from the less fashionable arrondissements, on a small island the mob doesn’t stay beyond the horizon for long.

You’ll recall, from J.R.R. Tolkien’s novel, that the four Hobbits of the Fellowship of the Ring left the Shire almost with no sense of urgency. Moreover, the dangers of Middle Earth came to their village by Bilbo’s unknowingly bringing the One Ring back from his far-off adventures. In other words, when they began their adventure, it seemed that the shire would never be affected by the distant evil but for the intrusion of that one magical item, and could be saved mainly by its expulsion. When the Hobbits return, however, it is clear that the larger war had reached the Shire, anyway, and an anticlimactic section of the book is required to clear its last remnants.
I’ve been working, for the better part of the past half-year on a waterfront property in Tiverton overlooking the northern tip of Aquidneck Island. As the headlines have continued to turn darker and darker, it’s been odd to look out across the water and think that the society that we’ve built could actually fall. Washington, D.C., (let alone London) seems a long, long way away. Abstractions about debt ceilings seem many steps removed from an individual family’s ability to put food on the table.
Consequently, many people remain models in apathy.
In intellectual and civic terms, it is high time that people set out from their comfort zones. It is too late to keep the Shire untouched, but unless the battle is engaged, our lives are sure to be unrecognizable in no time at all.

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joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

The insufferable A-holes who promote “common sense” gun control(meaning total bans followed by neutering/spaying)have no clue as to how vulnerable they are.
I’d love to hear the dialogue between a wealthy gun control liberal and an armed looter”I defended you from the tea party fascists”,followed by a sound better nor alliterated.
I remember when the Koreans in LA were faced with looters-they were armed and exacted a heavy price.
Immigrants who could teach the blue blood inbred garbage like Chafee and Whitehouse what good gun control really is….breathing,sight alignment,trigger squeeze.
Better to have firearms and not need them than to need them and not have them.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

“I remember when the Koreans in LA were faced with looters”
What I remember is that the riots were “in protest” of the Koreans refusing to touch Blacks when giving change.
Touching while giving change was something I had previously given little thought to. I have come to notice, in the last 10 years, or so, that touching (actually placing it in your hand) while giving change has become totally verboten. Now, I notice that change is frequently dropped, or tossed, into my hand from a foot above. This results in the change bouncing out of my hand onto the counter. Maybe the rioters were on to something.
Being old enough to remember when change was placed in your hand, I wonder if there isn’t a government grant available to “study” the phenomenon.

Justin Katz
Justin Katz
10 years ago

Why I always hand change/receipts/etc.:
I worked in a tape/CD store on the highway right outside NYC in the late ’80s and early ’90s. My habit was to slide clients’ change across the counter — not out of fear of touching, but because there were multiple steps to ringing them up … scan, total, collect money, make change, demagnetize the alarm, bag, etc. … and it was more efficient when there was a line to place the change on the counter so I could move directly to bagging or whatever.
One evening, I was working my way through a line of customers at the register when a middle-aged black woman said, very indignantly, “I placed my money in your hand; you can place the change in mine.”
I don’t know whether or not she had any broader controversies in mind or not, but I’ve always made a point of placing things in other people’s hands, since then.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

“it’s been odd to look out across the water and think that the society that we’ve built could actually fall”
I am not so much concerned that society might topple, that is the history of the world. Where are the Phoenicians, the Spartans, Romans, Carthaginians, Maya, Inca? In the event, I could be worried that our society would rebuild itself in a form that I would recognize.

David P.
David P.
10 years ago

“. . .I wonder if there isn’t a government grant available to “study” the phenomenon.”
You might not be surprised to find that the University of Washington received a government grant to study the phrase “That’s what she said.”

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

I once had a Black lady get nasty with me aat Staples because I didn’t want to take the receipt-I had something copied onto photo paper and it came out ok-why did I need a receipt?I often do that,but she,being a racist A-hole,decided I didn’t want contact with her-I had put the exact change in her friggin’ hand!!
What was it I had copied?-a photo of my wife and daughter with Desmond Tutu when he visited their church,LOL.
I don’t give “minorities” a pass on racist behavior and spare me the “access to power” argument-it’s bullsh*t.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

“I once had a Black lady get nasty with me aat Staples because I didn’t want to take the receipt”
I always tell them to keep it and put it under their pillow.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

About the “touching” and “Change” thing. Although it now seems to be fading, there are bottles of “anti bacterials solutions” everywhere. That includes the customer’s side of Dunkin Donuts cash registers. Maybe the whole “dirty hands” thing has develoed a life of its own.
When the LA/Korean riots broke out, I did wonder if it was an Asian thing. After all,they do wear face masks when they have a cold, etc.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

Al Sharpton(big surprise there )ran a vicious racist anti-Korean boycott in Brooklyn,NY.
I guess it was about resentment of Koreans as “exploiters”,but what it really was about was a racist scumbag bigot and his crew going after people for making a living by having whole families working practically 24/7.
Koreans come here as immigrants and don’t get on “benefits”.They work their asses off like many other immigrant groups have in the past.
Sharpton is the embodiment of the “gimme”mentality.He rips off his own people financially and morally and MSNBC rewards him with a lot of face time on their network.
So does Fox.
I have found Asians no more or less friendly than anybody else.
There is one class of people I truly hate-the manipulators of any color or ethnicity who use those factors as the basis for encouraging group dynamic thinking and fostering resentmants,thereby depersonalizing individuals.
It’s not just the Al Sharptons and Luis Gutierrez’ doing this.
You can find this attitude rampant among the spoiled brat Ocean State Action wannabe revolutionaries.Or SOME union officials and “clergymen” who bray about “brown people”to inflame almost any substantive disccussion of immigration.

michael
michael
10 years ago

http://www.rescuingprovidence.com
The war is at Crossroads. If my home in Warwick is The Shire, Crossroads is Mordor!

Phil
Phil
10 years ago

Every event (rioting in England) is an opportunity for angry ideologues like Steyn to vent about their perceived enemies, in this case anyone who does not agree with his world view. Have an opinion different of his and you’ve been responsible for the collapse of Western Civilization. In his view even the most ineffectual liberal is doing untold damage to our sturdiest institutions. Normally one like Steyn has to force the details of an event into his template, but in this case he claims he predicted the event which gives him not only an “I told you so” moment but he gets to shamelessly hawk his book. Using Steyn as an example let me take a whack at Justin’s comment:
“In intellectual and civic terms, it is high time that people set out from their comfort zones. It is too late to keep the Shire untouched, but unless the battle is engaged, our lives are sure to be unrecognizable in no time at all.”
I’ve been warning all of you for the longest time that you need to open your eyes to the fact that global warming is getting to be an immediate threat to us. Some of the changes that have occurred cannot be undone but if we get serious about solutions now we can prevent the most catastrophic consequences.

joe bernstein
joe bernstein
10 years ago

Michael-I get it that Crossroads is not your favorite destination for a call.To put it mildly.
Doesn’t Amos House serve a similar population,or am I wrong about that?
I don’t hear the same take on Amos House-better management style?
One of my acquaintances ran security there(Crossroads) after he retired from the Providence PD-I don’t know if he still does,but it sounded like blood money to me,i.e.there are a lot better places to work security.

michael
michael
10 years ago

I don’t know why, but The Amos House is a kinder, more respectable crowd. The McCauley House on Elmwood Avenue even better.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

“Every event (rioting in England) is an opportunity for angry ideologues like Steyn to vent about their perceived enemies, in this case anyone who does not agree with his world view.”
As I have seen it, the facts are plain. A huge portion of the “rioters” are on welfare. They are also white, of “old English” stock. My particular favorite was the “rioting”, never married, mother. Receiving welfare payments for 6 kids. She had recently taken her unemployed boyfriend on vacation to Goa. On the trip, her oldest daughter got pregnant and will shortly be getting her own check.
What we are seeing is not the result of “global warming”. Rather, it is the result of government decisions to placate the “underclass” with welfare payments. Funds are running out, distress is setting in.
I cannot agree with every word in this column; additionally, it was written before whites jumped into the rioting. Still, it is a fairly good analysis.
http://www.fredoneverything.net/LondonRiots.shtml

Russ
Russ
10 years ago

“…a significant proportion of the once-free British people entrusted themselves to social rewiring by liberal compassionate Big Government and thereby rendered themselves paralytic and unemployable…”
Noting at all to do with 3 decades of neoliberalism, eh?
http://www.counterpunch.org/nafeez08102011.html

The young people involved in this spate of violence are beyond the conventional alienation of repressed labour. Instead, they suffer from a deeper, more dangerous alienation of being utterly surplus to capitalist requirements, irrelevant and ostracized, and thus doomed to subsist on the margins, functionally illiterate, without hope or aspiration. That is a mode of being which is no longer capable of recognizing ethical constraints or boundaries, precisely because the state has already breached its contract of citizenship to them. The shooting of Mark Duggan, and the underbelly of class and race inequality it followed, was merely a match to a flame that has already burned for too long.

soundcloud.com/jimmycliffmusic/guns-of-brixton

When they kick out your front door
How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun
When the law break in
How you gonna go?
Shot down on the pavement
Or waiting in death row

David S
David S
10 years ago

Interesting – one post about a fantasy world and then another named “Facing Reality”. HMM….
The shire existed as a locked down conservative closed society that shunned all outsiders. They were protected by an overarching LIBERAL society of the elitist groups- Elves with power rings and wizards with extraordinary powers. Just wondering where you are going with this?
Facing Reality?

Monique
Editor
10 years ago

“There is one class of people I truly hate-the manipulators of any color or ethnicity who use those factors as the basis for encouraging group dynamic thinking and fostering resentmants,thereby depersonalizing individuals.”
Thank you. Well said.

Warrington Faust
Warrington Faust
10 years ago

Note how the British “Mum” is delighted her 15 year old is pregnant “The council will have to give us a bigger house”.
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/3753913/Sexy-pics-at-12-pregnant-at-15-and-her-proud-mums-delighted.html

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