Winston Churchill’s Worst Mistake That We Are Still Paying For (2004)

Christopher Catherwood (born 1 March 1955) is a British author based in Cambridge, England and, often, in Richmond, Virginia. About the book: He has taught for the …youtube.com3 years ago


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More Media Madness January 22nd 2021

Worth taking one of their dodgy tests because the government are desperate to find as many cases to stoke up fear , hide NHS inadequacies and incompetence, with some seriously unfit staff, keep the fear going, shift as much wealth and extra power into the global elite’s hands , then taxing or jailing the lower order masses if they object and to make sure the rich don’t pay for their new world order.

Anyone with a brain should work out what is going on , as well as realsie lockdown has not and will not defeat a virus which by nature will go on mutating. The big difference with this virus is that all the signs point to bio engineering. R.J Cook
Ask yourself how they could possibly know this and why say it on the front of Britain’s most moronic tabloid. ? Is it science ( sic ) or just a fear booster ? Now they have conveniently found another deadly variant which gives a 60 plus man – God knows how they have worked this out – a 1% chance of dying if he has it. Orders have been given to cancel second jab and expect lockdown to last at least until summer , in line with European diktat. R.J Cook
The stuffy posh Time, written by rich kids ,edited by toffs and owned by a plutocrat’s vile media propaganda empire. R.J Cook
Pompous experts magazine ‘New Scientist’ churning out so called expertise on why we need endless lockdown , regardless of the damage done to people who aren’t BAME , old ( like me ) or sickly. There has to be a hidden agenda.

It scares me how the masses just fall into line. This site is already under police investigation and I have had some scary times in police custody.

I am taking a big risk with my editorial line in the British Police State. They say I am a paranoid bi polar schizophrenic, got a psychiatrist on my case. Have to repeat this warning as would not want to lead anyone one astray because I am officially delusional. R.J Cook
Typical British Upper Middle Class front page excuse for satire. What are they going to do now the U.S.A is back in the hands of the sainthood ? R.J Cook

A Shift in American Family Values Is Fueling Estrangement Posted January 20TH 2021

Both parents and adult children often fail to recognize how profoundly the rules of family life have changed over the past half century.Joshua ColemanJanuary 10, 2021

A black and white image of a family holding hands on a hill, with a gap between the son's hand and the father's
Bettmann / Corbis / Getty / The Atlantic

Sometimes my work feels more like ministry than therapy. As a psychologist specializing in family estrangement, my days are spent sitting with parents who are struggling with profound feelings of grief and uncertainty. “If I get sick during the pandemic, will my son break his four years of silence and contact me? Or will I just die alone?” “How am I supposed to live with this kind of pain if I never see my daughter again?” “My grandchildren and I were so close and this estrangement has nothing to do with them. Do they think I abandoned them?”  

Since I wrote my book When Parents Hurt, my practice has filled with mothers and fathers who want help healing the distance with their adult children and learning how to cope with the pain of losing them. I also treat adult children who are estranged from their parents. Some of those adult children want no contact because their parents behaved in ways that were clearly abusive or rejecting. To make matters worse for their children and themselves, some parents are unable to repair or empathize with the damage they caused or continue to inflict. However, my recent research—and my clinical work over the past four decades—has shown me that you can be a conscientious parent and your kid may still want nothing to do with you when they’re older.

Recommended Reading

Read: Dear Therapist: My daughter hasn’t wanted a relationship with me for 25 years

However they arrive at estrangement, parents and adult children seem to be looking at the past and present through very different eyes. Estranged parents often tell me that their adult child is rewriting the history of their childhood, accusing them of things they didn’t do, and/or failing to acknowledge the ways in which the parent demonstrated their love and commitment. Adult children frequently say the parent is gaslighting them by not acknowledging the harm they caused or are still causing, failing to respect their boundaries, and/or being unwilling to accept the adult child’s requirements for a healthy relationship.

Both sides often fail to recognize how profoundly the rules of family life have changed over the past half century. “Never before have family relationships been seen as so interwoven with the search for personal growth, the pursuit of happiness, and the need to confront and overcome psychological obstacles,” the historian Stephanie Coontz, the director of education and research for the Council on Contemporary Families, told me in an email. “For most of history, family relationships were based on mutual obligations rather than on mutual understanding. Parents or children might reproach the other for failing to honor/acknowledge their duty, but the idea that a relative could be faulted for failing to honor/acknowledge one’s ‘identity’ would have been incomprehensible.”

The historian Steven Mintz, the author of Huck’s Raft: A History of American Childhood, made a similar observation in an email: “Families in the past fought over tangible resources—land, inheritances, family property. They still do, but all this is aggravated and intensified by a mindset that does seem to be distinctive to our time. Our conflicts are often psychological rather than material—and therefore even harder to resolve.”

In The Marriage-Go-Round, the Johns Hopkins University sociologist Andrew Cherlin wrote that starting in the late 19th century, traditional sources of identity such as class, religion, and community slowly began to be replaced with an emphasis on personal growth and happiness. By the second half of the 20th century, American families had gone through changes that, Cherlin said, were “unlike anything that previous generations of Americans have ever seen.”

Deciding which people to keep in or out of one’s life has become an important strategy to achieve that happiness. While there’s nothing especially modern about family conflict or a desire to feel insulated from it, conceptualizing the estrangement of a family member as an expression of personal growth as it is commonly done today is almost certainly new.

Of course, not all individuals base their ideas of family on these more individualized principles. “Most immigrant families, especially those in the first generation, still value interdependence and filial duty,” Mintz noted. “However, in recent decades the majority of American families have experienced weakening [extended] kin ties and high rates of mobility and dispersion. I would argue that these factors have made the opportunities for familial alienation greater than in the past.”

Estrangement seems to affect a small but significant portion of families in the United States, and it is happening today against a backdrop of record-high parental investment. During the past 50 years, people across the classes have been working harder than ever to be good parents. They have given up hobbies, sleep, and time with their friends in the hope of slingshotting their offspring into successful adulthood.

On the positive side, this increased investment of time and affection has meant that parents and adult children are in more consistent and positive contact than in prior generations. Due to the likelihood of divorce, many parents in the past half century have had reason to believe that the relationship with their child might be the one connection they can count on—the one most likely to be there in the future. Yet, in the same way that unrealistically high expectations of fulfillment from marriage sometimes increase the risk of divorce, unrealistically high expectations of families as providers of happiness and meaning might increase the risk of estrangement.

Studies on parental estrangement have grown rapidly in the past decade, perhaps reflecting the increasing number of families who are affected. Most estrangements between a parent and an adult child are initiated by the child, according to a 2015 survey of more than 800 people. A survey of mothers from 65 to 75 years old with at least two living adult children found that about 11 percent were estranged from a child and 62 percent reported contact less than once a month with at least one child.

In these and other studies, common reasons given by the estranged adult children were emotional, physical, or sexual abuse in childhood by the parent, “toxic” behaviors such as disrespect or hurtfulness, feeling unsupported, and clashes in values. Parents are more likely to blame the estrangement on their divorce, their child’s spouse, or what they perceive as their child’s “entitlement.”

While estrangement can occur for many reasons, divorce appears to heighten the risk for both mothers and fathers—especially fathers. Fathers are also at greater risk of being estranged from their kids if they were never married to the mother, and might have more distant relationships with their children if they remarry later in life. In my survey of more than 1,600 estranged parents summarized in my forthcoming book, Rules of Estrangement, more than 70 percent of respondents were divorced from the estranged child’s other biological parent.

Why would divorce increase the risk? In my clinical work I have seen how divorce can create a radical realignment of long-held bonds of loyalty, gratitude, and obligation in a family. It can tempt one parent to poison the child against the other. It can cause children to reexamine their lives prior to divorce and shift their perspective so they now support one parent and oppose the other. It can bring in new people—stepparents or stepsiblings—to compete with the child for emotional or material resources. Divorce—as well as the separation of parents who never married—can alter the gravitational trajectories of a family so that, over time, members spin further and further out of one another’s reach. And when they do, they might not feel compelled to return.

But in other cases, estrangement is born from love. One of the downsides of the careful, conscientious, anxious parenting that has become common in the United States is that our children sometimes get too much of us—not only our time and dedication, but our worry, our concern. Sometimes the steady current of our movement toward children creates a wave so powerful that it threatens to push them off their own moorings; it leaves them unable to find their footing until they’re safely beyond the parent’s reach. Sometimes they need to leave the parent to find themselves.

Read: “Intensive” parenting is now the norm in America

And sometimes children feel too much responsibility for their parents’ happiness. I often hear estranged adult children request better boundaries from their parents as a condition of reconciliation. As Andrew Solomon wrote in Far From the Tree, “There is no contradiction between loving someone and feeling burdened by that person. Indeed, love tends to magnify the burden.”

Many fathers and mothers tell me they feel betrayed by their children’s lack of availability or responsivity, especially those who provided their children with a life they see as enviable compared with their own childhoods. As the University of Virginia sociologist Joseph E. Davis told me, parents expect a “reciprocal bond of kinship” in which their years of parenting will be repaid with later closeness. The University of Chicago philosophy professor Agnes Callard told me in an interview that this expectation of reciprocity is fraught because “today, the boundary of parenting is unclear. If receiving shelter, food, and clothing is enough, then most of us should be grateful to our parents, irrespective of how our lives go.” However, if parents are supposed to produce happy adults, then, fairly or not, adult children might hold parents responsible for their unhappiness.

In my experience, part of what confuses today’s parents of adult children is how little power they have when their child decides to end contact. From the adult child’s perspective, there might be much to gain from an estrangement: the liberation from those perceived as hurtful or oppressive, the claiming of authority in a relationship, and the sense of control over which people to keep in one’s life. For the mother or father, there is little benefit when their child cuts off contact. Parents instead describe profound feelings of loss, shame, and regret.

While most of the research focuses on parents and adult children, estrangements among other family members might not be uncommon. The University of Washington communications professor Kristina Scharp found that estrangements between parents and adult children often ripple out to create other types of family schisms. In a forthcoming study of sibling estrangement, the Edge Hill University lecturer Lucy Blake found that arguments over caregiving for aging parents were a common cause of these rifts, as was sibling abuse. She also found that estranged siblings often reported having been treated worse by their parents than their other siblings.

After becoming estranged from her own parents, the journalist and researcher Becca Bland started Stand Alone, a charitable organization in the U.K. that provides education and support for people estranged from their families. (I’m also starting a training program on estrangement with Bland this year.) She notes that before considering estrangement, it is vital to let the parent know more about what is creating the conflict. “While an estrangement may be very necessary, it’s important that you give your parents time and opportunity to hear your perspective and what you want them to change,” Bland said in an email. To those who are open to reconciliation, I would also propose working with a family therapist or mediator to talk through sensitive or painful subjects with your parents.

Because the adult child typically initiates the estrangement, parents are often the ones who must take the first steps toward reconciliation. In my practice and in the survey I conducted, I have seen that when reconciliations happen, parents often attribute successful reconnection to efforts on their part to make amends, such as taking responsibility for past harms; showing empathy for the adult child’s perspective and feelings; expressing willingness to change problematic behaviors; and accepting their child’s request for better boundaries around privacy, amount of contact, and time spent with grandchildren. It’s also crucial to avoid discussions about “right” and “wrong,” instead assuming that there is at least a kernel of truth in the child’s perspective, however at odds that is with the parent’s viewpoint.

Fathers often seem less willing to accept those conditions than mothers. Mothers’ willingness to empathize or work to understand the child’s perspective might result from the ways in which women are held to a higher standard of responsibility for maintaining family relationships than men are. Fathers are deeply wounded by estrangements too, but men’s tendency to cover depression with anger, social withdrawal, and compartmentalization might make them look less affected than they actually are. They might also feel that pushing back on the child’s requests is more in line with their ideals of masculinity and maintaining authority in the relationship.

There are good and bad features of modern family life, in which relations are often based more on ties of affection than on duty or obedience. In these times, the people we choose to be close to represent not only a preference, but a profound statement of our identities. We are freed to surround ourselves with those who reflect our deepest values—parents included. We feel empowered to call on loved ones to be more sensitive to our needs, our emotions, and our aspirations. This freedom enables us to become untethered and protected from hurtful or abusive family members.

Yet in less grave scenarios our American love affair with the needs and rights of the individual conceals how much sorrow we create for those we leave behind. We may see cutting off family members as courageous rather than avoidant or selfish. We can convince ourselves that it’s better to go it alone than to do the work it takes to resolve conflict. Some problems may be irresolvable, but there are also relationships that don’t need to be lost forever.

It is sometimes tempting to see family members as one more burden in an already demanding life. It can be hard to see their awkward attempts to care for us, the confounding nature of their struggles, and the history they carry stumbling into the present. It can be difficult to apologize to those we’ve hurt and hard to forgive those who have hurt us. But sometimes the benefits outweigh the costs. Tara Westover wrote in her memoir, Educated, “I know only this: that when my mother told me she had not been the mother to me that she wished she’d been, she became that mother for the first time.”

We are all flawed. We should have that at the forefront of our minds when deciding who to keep in or out of our lives—and how to respond to those who no longer want us in theirs.Joshua Coleman is a psychologist and senior fellow at the Council on Contemporary Families, and the author of the forthcoming book Rules of Estrangement: Why Adult Children Cut Ties and How to Heal the Conflict.

Government officials need to consider regulating the algorithms that drive news, Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson says

Published Tue, Jan 12 202110:27 AM ESTUpdated Tue, Jan 12 20213:19 PM EST


  • Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson, a supporter of President-elect Joe Biden, said the U.S. government must take a closer look at regulating social media algorithms that dictate what we “see and read,” in order to combat disinformation.
  • Lawson confirmed Tuesday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that the cloud communications platform ended its relationship with social media application Parler.

The U.S. government should consider regulating social media algorithms that drive “what we as consumers see and read every day,” Twilio CEO Jeff Lawson said in an interview with CNBC.

Twilio, a cloud communications platform, is one of several large U.S. technology companies that have cracked down on removing content and applications that promote violence in the wake of the U.S. Capitol riot Wednesday. Lawson confirmed Tuesday that Twilio told popular conservative social media application Parler it was “in violation of our terms of service,” leading to Parler ending its integration with Twilio.

“I think our government leaders should seek to understand the role of algorithmic systems in driving what we as consumers see and read every day, because I think that is uncharted territory for how technology is affecting individuals all the way up to the societal level,” Lawson told CNBC’s “A View from the Top.

“Government officials should seek to understand how algorithms work and what they optimize for and what’s the societal impact of that. Because that’s the biggest externality that you see today in some of the technology that society has not figured out what to do with it. And I think the impacts of it are pretty wide-reaching.”

Amazon Web Services, Zendesk and Okta joined Twilio in pulling its services from Parler in recent days. There’s been a significant shift among technology companies in the past few days of removing speech that incites violence, including Twitter’s permanent ban of U.S. President Donald Trump. Still, future government intervention, regulation or potential congressional laws regarding how to police hate speech and disinformation will need to be ironed out in President-elect Joe Biden’s administration, which begins next week.

Lawson has publicly supported Biden and donated to his presidential campaign to defeat Trump. He told CNBC that Biden’s attention to science and policy, and shift away from tribalism, will be a welcome change for the U.S.

Lawson dismissed the notion that certain technology companies would start to take on customers based on politics.

“What we’re talking about here is hate speech and threats of murder,” Lawson said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “That’s not normal public speech that we’re used to in our society. This is fringe stuff. What we’re trying to say is that the vast minority of people who engaged in fringe talk of hate speech and murder and overthrowing governments, that’s what’s not allowed. I’m pretty sure that most rational people would agree that that type of content, most of which is illegal, should not be a part of mainstream services.”

The Planet Eaters January 16th 2021

We must impose democratic obligations on the leading digital players Posted January 16th 2021
After overlooking the fake news and hate speech that Trump posted throughout his four years as US president, Twitter unilaterally decided on 8 January to permanently close his @realDonaldTrump account and then, a few days later, 70,000 other accounts linked to the pro-Trump QAnon movement. Facebook, Instagram and Twitch also suspended the presidential accounts for an unspecified period, while Amazon then suspended the pro-Trump social media Parler.

All of these decisions were taken by private-sector companies without any democratic or judicial control!

The laws of the public arena used to be established by parliaments and enforced by judges, but private-sector corporations are now in charge. Their norms are not defined within a democratic framework with checks and balances, they are not transparent and you cannot appeal to any court before they are carried out. The organization of the online public arena should not be left to market forces or individual interests. 

It was to propose democratic safeguards for the digital arena that RSF launched: The Forum on Information and Democracy in November 2019 with 11 organizations, research centres and think-tanks based in all continents. In November 2020, it published 250 recommendations on platform transparency, content moderation, the promotion of the reliability of information, and messaging apps when their massive use goes beyond the bounds of private correspondence. The Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI), which is producing a set of machine-readable standards so that search engine algorithms can give preference to media that adhere to journalistic methods and ethics. These standards, which can also be used by advertisers, are the result of a self-regulatory initiative in which entities from all over the world collaborated under the aegis of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN).
Mainstream media is in the hands of the oligarchs, the plutocrats and pure evil greed. They are ‘The Planet Eaters.’
R.J Cook January 16th 2021

Faking or using the news ? January 13th 2020

Posh Boy Alan Rusbridger’s new book laying down the law about how the news should be reported by those with ‘the knowledge and authority’ . He has savaged Julian Assange after publishing ‘redacted ‘ versions of Wikileaks’ revelations. His book is a posh person’s warning against ‘fake news’. The news must be edited by his class.
Interviewed on RTs ‘Going Underground’ posh Rushbrdger turned Oxford College boss, speaking from his Gloucestershire retreat, seemed rather surprised when it was suggested he might be extradited to the U.S.A. That just doesn’t happen to British upper middle classes like him and his journalist daughter Bella ( short for the posh name Annabella. ). R,J Cook

Alan Charles Rusbridger is a British journalist, Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford and the former editor-in-chief of The Guardian. Rusbridger became editor-in-chief of The Guardian in 1995, having been a reporter and columnist earlier in his career. WikipediaBorn: 29 December 1953 (age 67 years), Lusaka, ZambiaSpouse: Lindsay Mackie (m. 1982)Children: Isabella RusbridgerParents: B.E. Wickham Rusbridger, G.H. RusbridgerEducation: Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, University of Cambridge, Harlow College

Rusbridger was born in Lusaka,[2] Northern Rhodesia, a protectorate (now Zambia), the son of B. E. (née Wickham) and G. H. Rusbridger, the Director of Education of Northern Rhodesia. When Rusbridger was five, the family returned to Britain[2] and he was educated at Lanesborough Prep School, Guildford, where he was also a chorister at Christ Church, and Cranleigh School, a boys’ independent school in Surrey. At Magdalene College, Cambridge, he read English Literature. During the vacations of his first two years at university, he worked for the Cambridge Evening News as an intern, and accepted a job offer from the newspaper after graduation. He stayed with the Evening News until 1979.[2]

He then joined The Guardian as a reporter, and subsequently wrote the paper’s diary column and later became a feature writer. In November 1985, Rusbridger had a brief stint as a Royal reporter following the Prince and Princess of Wales around Melbourne, Australia. Fascinated by gadgets, at this stage he was already using a Tandy word processor and an early (slow) modem to file stories back to London.[7] He left in 1986 to become TV critic of The Observer, then an entirely separate newspaper, before moving to America to be the Washington editor of the short-lived London Daily News in 1987.[8]

Britain’s Place in the world. R.J Cook – also published on the Global News Page. January 6th 2021

The fact that millions of migrants and alleged refugees make a beeline across Europe and the treachorous English channel for a better life, speaks volumes for how awful it is in the old Third World, run mainly by black bigots, white multinationals and religious lunatics, . As my late mother used to say ‘Where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to be wise.’

The fate of whisteleblower and publisher Julian Assange tells us all we need to know about Britain’s version of democracy. The ruling elite call it representative democracy, yeh, well representative of them may be, but not what most intelligent honest people would call democracy.

The Anglo- US Deep States were caught out by Assange leaking Chelsea Manning’s stolen documents revealing , among other things, U.S War Crimes in a war significantly faciliated by Britain’s Tony Blair, with Press Officer Alistair Campbell, using a fake dossier about ‘weapons of mass destruction. The Weapons Inspector, Dr David Kelly, who rubbished the claims, later died, after being hounded by elite owned press lackeys, in what many believe was a British Intelligence service faked suicide murder.

The stakes are high for these ruthless people. But British en masse are selfish cowards, they also know the system will label and destroy any opponent. Time in the cells is very frigtening, as I know from much experience. Only Russians and Chinese are baddies. Trump would not dare pardon Assange. It would be all the ‘evidence’ the fake democrats’ need to finally convict him of being a Russian agent..

The odd couple of Blair and Campbell, with dopey feminised parliamentary backing – I attended a party at the House of Commons when all of this was going on- started the war, helping George Bush Junr, complete what his father deliberately fell short of in 1990, destroying Saddam Hussein, the man who fought a proxy war for them , against Iran to please Israeli money, over 7 years, then broke OPEC price fixing to rebuild his country. This all came out through leaks. They needed an oil panic and price rise for Texas and Saudi oil billionaires. All very simple.

The end result was destroying the Middle Eastern social fabric and openining the door to the mass migration into Europe from there, North and West Africa when they extended their ‘ethical’ ( sic ) foreign policy to Libya and Syria. Covid 19 lockdown and fear montering is a perfect distraction , smokescreen and block on protest regards these rolling wars. To add insult to injury , this proected elite blame us, the white underclass, for racism and slavery !. The eliet then use dopey schoolteacher to roll out the rainbow multi culture to deal with conflicts caused by Islam and feminism , labelling parents who don’t approve.

Briatin has the nastiest smoothest most patronising effective elite, with an army of lackeys to keep the lid on reality, criminalising or labelling as mad anyone who steps out of line. But don’t worry, they are ‘protecting the NHS, the elderly, obese and other and vulnerable.’ No wonder people like me are either thinking about or committng suicide. I find it a job not to be sick every time I wake up.

If it is back to square one, why should we even flatter the so called ‘scientists ‘ for their predictions and ‘remedies’ which don’t even deserve the flattering name of guesswork artists when they are all for blatant propaganda and fear mongering manipulation?

I have never understood the British and wider world’s obsession with women’s bums let alone anal sex. The anthropologist Dr Desmond Morris, in his work ‘The Naked Ape’ explained bum fixation along the lines that buttocks reminded would be impregnators of the comforting site of mummy’s milk laden life sustaining breasts.

Still the hygiene issues of probing where the faeces emits is pretty disgusting but appealing to many – I know the idiot vindictive police have been hoping to catch me at it with men for years – they still have a case on file rather than face the truth and legal action. That story is covered elsewhere. That is because the British police employ sickos, weirdoes, paedophiles , bullies and fantasists. But I digress.

This picture of women’s fetishistic ridiculous ‘pantie covered’ bulbous cellulite troubled bottoms, says a lot about toilets and women’s underwear fetishistic sad sicko pathetic big headed moronic Britain. Guessing whose bottom the pictures belong to, is something not even apes would bother to do. But as the Trans Exclusionary Feminists ( Terfs ) demonstrate, the Brits are obsessed with public toilets, vaginas , tits and bums.

Pity they are not more interested in personalities. It is high time the judges were judged. Our highly esteemed Christians go to church, shameless hypocrits. Ask them where it is written ‘Judge not lest ye be judged’ and they won’t be able to tell you unless they are linked to the clerical world which is totally out of touch with reality and hypocritical in its own patronising money grabbing way. By the way, especially for moron U.K cops who monitor this site, the ‘Sexy Me’ page is a piss take especially for you to enjoy while you are polishing your helmets.

Thankfully greedy local councils are selling all these public toilets off. Who needs them with lockdwon anyway ? Oh yeh, the homeless, record numbers rising every day, they will have to pee and sh-t in the street, and maybe die soon because the Covid Billioanires won’t help them.

Talking of sicko weirdo pervert police in the U.K, should there be any need to debate their dismissal ? Yes, because if you get rid of them all , how many will be left ? They used to say, set a thief to catch a thief, so maybe set a pervert to catch a pervert. Maybe that’s the sort of cop they send into men’s toilets to catch gays ? How many British Police Officers do you need to hear the truth ? Don’t know because it never has and never will happen.

Twitter Nukes Alleged Hunter Biden Sex Tape After Letting Borat-Giuliani Sex Scene Trend Posted December 19th 2020

Via ZeroHedge

A few days ago, the MSM and their political allies in the Democratic Party celebrated the release of a “compromising” photo appearing to show former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani with his hands down his pants. Giuliani claimed that he was merely retucking in his shirt after removing some recording equipment, but nevertheless, the whole news cycle played out in full view of the public as social media giants like Twitter and Facebook looked the other way, allowing the photo, and links to news stories covering the controversy (orchestrated by “Borat” prankster Sasha Baron Cohen) to circulate widely.

However, just days later, a Chinese digital media company has published footage showing a man who looks identical to Hunter Biden engaging in a sex fetish act with an unidentifiable woman (along with a photo purporting to show what appears to be the same man engaging in sex with a Ukrainian prostitute). But instead of allowing discussion and links to the video to circulate, Twitter has scrubbed all links and photos related to the video and story, and is suspending accounts that appear to be trying to spread the video or screenshots from the footage.

Some background: Late Saturday afternoon, a mysterious link surfaced on Reddit purporting to be the vaunted Hunter Biden sex tape – or at least, one of the Hunter Biden sex tapes (whispers about more footage have so far gone unsubstantiated).

In it, a naked Hunter Biden can be seen, smoking crack, and laying with an unidentified woman, possibly a prostitute. The woman’s face is blurred out, making it impossible to tell whether or not she appeared to be underage.

The video itself was posted by a news site purporting to be an anti-CCP intelligence operation called G-TV, which is also tied to Guo Wengui, the Chinese billionaire dissident who is close to Steve Bannon (Bannon was reportedly arrested after a visit on Guo’s yacht in Connecticut).

Interested parties can find the video here.

Footage of the sex act is preceded by footage of Guo Wengui at the national press club raging over a Chinese takeover of the US, “9/11 times a thousand,” he says, before transitioning to a screed slamming Western politicians who collaborate with the CCP, and warning about the dangers of American kleptocrats falling sway to CCP “influence” (blackmail etc).

During the opening minutes if the video, Hunter can be heard complimenting the woman on her technique. “That’s so professional,” Hunter exclaims. “You can’t even find that on there,” he laughs as he gestures toward something off camera.

A few minutes in, the man who is allegedly Hunter Biden can be seen firing up a crack pipe.

The reaction on Twitter was swift. Users who tried to share the link and photos were quickly blocked (even though Twitter famously allows porn and nudity). Some cracked jokes about Hunter Biden receiving what appeared to be a ‘footjob’, while shrugging off the video as simply evidence that Biden has been victimized by revenge porn.

I just watched Hunter Biden get a foot job I think

— Cassandra Scarebanks? (@CassandraRules) October 24, 2020

Others focused on the statement at the beginning of the video, which also begins with footage of an unrelated event.

?This message is extremely important. Please read it. The sex tape is to prove the CCP’s BGY & their possessions of such content. Anything involving children can’t be released to public. They DO EXIST & have been verified by multiple reporters. #HunterBiden #BidenCrimeFamiily

— Judy.Anderson茱迪 (@JudyAnd56006226) October 24, 2020

Of course, now that actual pornographic footage of Hunter Biden has been produced, the world will stop and wonder: could these other rumors be true?

hunter biden sex tape

— Luke Mahler (@lukecmahler) October 24, 2020

Even some conservatives urged the public not to share the Hunter Biden “revenge porn”.

Disgusted with people sharing Hunter Biden revenge porn. What the fuck. Completely vile on its own and it obfuscates the legitimate corruption issues. Be better. Fuck!

— Cernovich (@Cernovich) October 24, 2020

Others simply noted the disparity in treatment between the Hunter Biden story and the “Borat” revelations about Giuliani, and wondered aloud how Twitter might be handling this if those photos were of Donald Trump Jr., not Hunter Biden.

Of course, twitter didn’t simply ignore the Giuliani photo; the news became one of the top trending topics (thanks to the fact that Twitter’s user-base skews toward young leftists).

Everyone tweeting that Hunter Biden video is getting locked out and tweets are being disappeared

Twitter also promoted a doctored video of Rudy Giuliani this week claiming it was sexual

— Jack Posobiec ?? (@JackPosobiec) October 24, 2020

One Twitter used even proclaimed that Hunter was really “a victim” of his father, Joe Biden.

Just saw Hunter Biden’s sex tape. DO NOT WATCH IT. It is basically a 50-year-old guy smoking crack getting a blowjob from someone who may or may not be underage. The issue isn’t Hunter. The issue is the father who made him sell his influence. Hunter is a victim.

— @amuse (@amuse) October 24, 2020

At any rate, the group that released the footage and the above-mentioned screenshot are promising to release more compromising material, while the MSM and Big Tech rallies to Hunter Biden’s defense. —————————————————–
The corrupt establishment will do anything to suppress sites like the Burning Platform from revealing the truth. The corporate media does this by demonetizing sites like mine by blackballing the site from advertising revenue. If you get value from this site, please keep it running with a donation. [Jim Quinn – PO Box 1520 Kulpsville, PA 19443] or Paypal Emigrate While You Still Can!

John le Carré Knew England’s Secrets December 16th 2020

He revealed more about the country’s ruling class than any political writer of his era. Tom McTaguek.

John le Carre – the square peg in the British establishment’s round hole.

Writing about John le Carré is intimidating. Writing an appreciation after he has died feels doubly so. In some ways, this fear says much about the England that le Carré was so masterful at capturing: the class consciousness and fear of straying beyond your place. Le Carré inhabited an England beyond my horizons, not just the cloak-and-dagger one, but the one that exists at Eton and at Oxford and in many parts of London, lands that remain foreign to most of us. To write about him, then, is to risk exposing yourself—for missing the subtlety of a particular line of dialogue, or the joke woven into a novel that others can see because they know and you don’t.

Many of us relied on le Carré to reveal our own country to us. Through his novels, we got to spy on England’s crumbling ruling class. In A Perfect Spy, seen by many as le Carré’s autobiographical masterpiece, he writes that our rulers are not bad people, just “men who see the threat to their class as synonymous with the threat to England and never wandered far enough to know the difference.” Le Carré is not only an English shapeshifter, a man who bridges classes and professions, but one who knows the world beyond England too.

Because of this, le Carré, who died of pneumonia yesterday at 89, is a hero for many Englishmen like me, those who move between the subtle strata of England’s classes, each heaped on top of the other, the lines between them difficult to discern. The son of a con man who smuggled his son into the English upper class through boarding school, le Carré went on to be a student at Oxford, a teacher at Eton, and, of course, a spy, before becoming a writer. Even as David Cornwell—the novelist’s real name—he was a romantic figure, the liver of an unobtainable life, one of us and one of them. Who hasn’t secretly wanted a tap on the shoulder to see whether you would be prepared to serve Queen and country; to have country houses, where one could read medieval German poetry and deal with Hollywood filmmakers; and to live during the Cold War, when Britain still had an idea, and a side—when it was still just about able to convince itself that it was not the “poor island with scarcely a voice” that le Carré identified.

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Read: The anti–James Bond

The thing about le Carré is that he was so penetrating. Reading a le Carré novel often feels more revelatory about England, and the world, than any op-ed. Because he was writing fiction, he captured the real motivations of men—and they were usually men—who drove politics, and so got to something we journalists usually cannot. Almost every le Carré novel I have is full of pages whose corners are folded down to mark something that I thought was especially great and that I could squirrel away for a future piece to make me look clever or well read.

In A Perfect Spy, he writes of America, “No country was ever easier to spy on … no nation so open-hearted with its secrets, so quick to air them, share them, confide them.” Presenting the country as the opposite of England, rather than its logical extension as is often assumed, he continued: “They loved their prosperity too obviously, were too flexible and mobile, too little the slaves of place, origin and class.” Driving through Ohio, welcomed into homes and college campuses to report on American decline and rebirth, I remember thinking of these lines.

Or listen to him on political fanaticism in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, writing of Karla, the Russian spy chief: “Karla is not fireproof, because he’s a fanatic. And one day, if I have anything to do with it, that lack of moderation will be his downfall.” It is an insight that has stuck with me since.

Yet the most penetrating observations in his espionage novels were not about foreign adversaries or global conflict—they were about decaying old England. “They are the body corporate I once believed was greater than the sum of its parts,” he wrote of the ruling class in A Perfect Spy. “In my lifetime I have witnessed the birth of the jet aeroplane and the atom bomb and the computer, and the demise of the British institution.” It is impossible not to read those lines and think of Brexit and the disastrous response to COVID-19.

So who are the ruling class? “The privately educated Englishman is the greatest dissembler on earth,” le Carré’s most famous character, George Smiley, says in The Secret Pilgrim. “Nobody will charm you so glibly, disguise his feelings from you better, cover his tracks more skilfully or find it harder to confess to you that he’s been a damn fool.” Who today can look at the former premier David Cameron, or current Prime Minister Boris Johnson—both the products of Eton and Oxford—and not smile reading these lines?

To watch Johnson in particular—a cosmopolitan with a bohemian multicultural background, born in New York, named after a Russian, great-grandson to an assassinated Turk, who nevertheless presents himself as the most English person of all—is to see the shadow of Jerry Westerby, the tragic hero in The Honourable Schoolboy, another outsider inside the upper class, like le Carré himself. Westerby’s speech is full of “good old boys” and the like. But, as le Carré writes, there is a “hardness buried in the lavishness.” And, as with all le Carré’s characters, a romanticism underneath the world-weary cynicism.

Le Carré also presents a bygone Englishness that many of us wish still existed. How, for example, does Smiley react to his ultimate victory in Smiley’s People? “Did I?” He responds to the news that he has prevailed over his nemesis. “Yes. Yes, well I suppose I did.” Oh, how Johnson must wish he could find a way to reenact that scene with Brexit, or the coronavirus. Did I win? Oh, yes, I suppose I did. England’s tragedy today is that it has allowed the part of the understated victor to slip from its grasp; now it must beat its chest in a way Smiley would loathe.

In fact, the reality is that the English upper class doesn’t just con its fellow countrymen, but the wider world as well. I’ve lost count of the number of times European diplomats and officials have told me of the brilliance of the old British civil service before Brexit. Even as the wool is pulled from their eyes, they still don’t see that they’ve been conned, that the British foreign office was never a Rolls-Royce, just richer and better dressed than it is today. Even now, a certain type of Englishman, eyebrow permanently raised, can prosper mightily abroad by presenting this same cultured cynicism and easy wit.

Smiley is the central hero of le Carré’s works, and like le Carré himself, the kind of hero a certain part of England loves: calm and pudgy and resolute and cultured, driven by inner passions that he must occasionally escape to the countryside to soothe lest they overwhelm him. “George doesn’t alter,” le Carré writes in A Legacy of Spies, his final Smiley novel. “He just gets his composure back.” He is a cynical romantic with a terrible domestic life who commits himself to England for reasons he is never quite sure of—a player of the great game, but wise to it. He is an outsider uncomfortable in any social class, but capable of moving through them all. To be English, after all, is to always feel a little bit out of place, even in England.

Smiley—and, by extension, le Carré—also embodies a different England. In A Legacy of Spies, Smiley looks back on his career and what it was all for. Was it for world peace, whatever that is? “Yes, yes of course.” But that’s not really the answer. “In the great name of capitalism? God forbid. Christendom? God forbid again.” So was it all for England, Smiley wonders. Perhaps. He is a patriot, but a moderate one. And, anyway, he asks: “Whose England? Which England? England all alone, a citizen of nowhere?”

This is le Carré the fierce anti-Brexiteer, whose politics were never far from the surface in his novels. “I am European,” Smiley says. “If I had a mission—if I was ever aware of one beyond our business with the enemy, it was to Europe. If I was heartless, I was heartless for Europe. If I had an unattainable ideal, it was of leading Europe out of her darkness towards a new age of reason. I have it still.”

In A Perfect Spy, le Carré is back grappling with the same question of human motivation. What is it that drives us to spy or fight or hope or kill? For England, or for class, or for Europe, or for America? Under all of it, he was also a kind of romantic, just one who is well hidden. I wonder if it’s for this reason that Smiley and his creator remain the heroes many of us Englishmen most want to be? But enough of that, or as Smiley himself said, closing le Carré’s final Smiley novel, “Forgive me, Peter. I am pontificating.”

Tom McTague is a London-based staff writer at The Atlantic, and co-author of Betting the House: The Inside Story of the 2017 Election.

December 14th 2020

Lockdown savings headlines is bullshit because working class families and individuals were living hand to mouth.
The trillions pocketed by the global elite and pseudo scientists with this lockdown charade should be divided among the masses, the elite are disgusting people and they get away with breaching lockdown. The elite’s extra trillions are coming from the poor and will be paid for with years of lockdown taxes by those who survive this ‘great’ global reset.

You can’t save what you don’t have, just go deeper into debt in Third World Police State Britain. R,J Cook

December 5th 2020

Kill the Messenger review – what really happened to Gary Webb Posted November 23rd 2020

2 / 5 stars 2 out of 5 stars.

Jeremy Renner stars in this true-life tale of Gary Webb, a US reporter who broke a story linking the CIA to a drugs conspiracy and the Nicaraguan contras. Review by Mark Kermode

Sun 8 Mar 2015 08.00 GMT Last modified on Thu 22 Mar 2018 00.16 GMT

Jeremy Renner in Kill The Messenger

‘Convincingly conflicted’: Jeremy Renner in Kill The Messenger

In 1996, journalist Gary Webb wrote a series of articles under the title “Dark Alliance” for the San Jose Mercury News suggesting a CIA connection between anti-government contras in Nicaragua and monies raised from the sale of crack cocaine in the impoverished districts of South Central LA. Feeling scooped by a lowly regional (and arguably ignoring the bigger picture), publications such as the Washington Post and LA Times turned on Webb, accusing him of bad journalism with career-wrecking results.

This dramatisation portrays Webb (whom a former editor described as “a relentless reporter [with] an inability to question himself”) as a wronged hero with a troubled past but impeccable journalistic credentials. It’s sporadically gripping but ultimately rather frustrating fare, leaving us intrigued enough by the conspiracy-theory backstory to want hard documentary evidence rather than mere dramatic licence. Jeremy Renner is convincingly tortured and conflicted as the beleaguered lead, but top marks go to Rosemarie DeWitt and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Webb’s long-suffering wife and editor respectively.

Comment I watched this movie last night. Kermode is typical of modern reviewers. There is a rude word to describe his sort. Suffice it to say, the only good word such people have for the performers lands on the females, however small their part.

Anyone outside of the feminist pseudo liberal media elite should be able to see some very serious issues that make a mockery of all the liberal PC trash about our precious democracies. The script and acting was what it needed to be, subtle when needed, ferocious and tormented in large part.

The very idea of what Regan’s vile deep state were doing, its impact on poor neighbourhoods because the CIA were flooding them with cocaine to raise secret funds to seriously help tyrants kill revolutionaries against the Fascist Nicaraguan Government’s vile rule, seems to have escaped the smug British elite and BBC favourite reviewer Kermode. Add to that the spineless jealous mainstream media and the sad end of Gary Webb – who strangely fired two shots in what was judged suicide – and this is a five star production but not good for the consensus ( sic ). R.J Cook

Review: An Acceptable Loss Is a Morally Urgent B Movie Posted November 23rd 2020

The film is a cynical critique of American foreign policy wrapped up in an uncluttered narrative that thrives on pulpy thrills.

Published 2 years ago

on January 16, 2019

ByWes Greene

An Acceptable Loss

Photo: IFC Films

Writer-director Joe Chappelle’s An Acceptable Loss is a B movie with a morally urgent message, a cynical critique of American foreign policy in the Middle East wrapped up in an uncluttered narrative that thrives on pulpy thrills. By positioning the U.S. government as the film’s primary antagonist, Chappelle takes to task the repeated killing of innocent lives as collateral damage in the hunt for terrorists and other ostensible enemies.

The ethical quandary that arises from such an operation is embodied by Elizabeth “Libby” Lamm (Tika Sumpter), a former national security adviser to Vice President Rachel Burke (Jamie Lee Curtis) who’s taken a teaching gig at a Chicago university. As Libby secretly transcribes her experiences, and faces civilians who are angry over her role in a controversial military operation in Syria, Chappelle shows a surprising empathy for the character. The filmmaker outlines that Libby’s memorializing of her experiences and her honest attempt at assimilating within a society that more or less shuns her is borne out of feelings of regret.

But An Acceptable Loss’s compelling take on moral reckoning is compromised by the distracting presence of Martin (Ben Tavassoli), a grad student who consistently exposes lapses in the storyline’s logic. Martin mysteriously stalks Libby and sets up an elaborate surveillance system in her house, but it’s never explained how Martin can operate with the skill, knowledge, and proficiency of some kind of intelligence officer. Dubiously, when Libby and Martin need each other’s help in a moment of crisis, the film oddly passes on holding the latter’s disturbingly voyeuristic behavior accountable; Libby shakes her head, and then the film drops the matter completely. For a film eager to ponder the ethics of people’s actions, it comes off as strange that Chappelle doesn’t scrutinize Martin’s own.Advertisement

Still, it’s difficult not to get swept up in An Acceptable Loss’s technical virtuosity. The film’s propulsive narrative is nothing if not efficient, aided in no small part by crisp editing that relishes the fine art of cross-cutting. The dark interiors that Chappelle favors create a Tourneur-like atmosphere of dread that subsumes Libby, underlining the covert nature of her documenting her secrets; even scenes in daylight have a strangely nocturnal feel to them. This visual style complements An Acceptable Loss’s pessimistic view of America’s foreign policy, which is sustained right up to the film’s hopeful coda. The film shows that if policy is to change, it greatly helps to be supported by people like Libby, someone who had been complicit in committing atrocities but ultimately embraced her humanity.

Comment I watched this movie two days ago and it is the most favourable review I could find. Still the writer is more concerned with nit picking about the structure and filming. The seriousness of the Anglo U.S on going attitude to their long standing Middle Eastern stomping ground gets little evaluation.

The reviewer raises the stupid question as how the young grad student knew about surveilance – which any A level Eng lit student could have contrived to explain if it actually mattered. I can only suspect that the liberal elite do not like the obvious caricature of feminist icon Hilary Clinton – who famously said whilst laughing insanely, that she would double down on Syria if elected president.

I dread to think what will happen now her kind of people are back in the White House – not that the world was safe with the people running rings around Trump. But in short, we just can’t have women portrayed as lunatic killers on any level, let alone nuclear bombing an entire city. The grad student had every incentive to work out the tricks of surveilance, just as the rich pampered Saudis who flew into the twin towers learned how to fly airlinersd – a much more difficult task with that level of precisions. R,JCook

Potty about Potter November 20th 2020

The following BBC Radio 4 article is , to my mind, a cause for concern. It is difficult to feel sympathy for J.K Rowling being ostracised for what are apparently transphobic comments on twitter. This woman struggled with depression in her efforts to become a writer. She was one of the lucky ones, although she was taken to court over plagiarism allegations.

She became a feminist and media icon. The problem is that these icons are supposed to be on message when it comes to key issues like immigration and LGBTQI. We little people are always being held to account for any sign of a faux pas. Therefore Rowling deserves absolutely no sympathy for her predicament. The same goes for public servants, especially the police whose job is to arrest us for suspected hate crime. They must adhere to the highest standards or face the most serious consequences.

However, it is wider situation that is a cause for most concern. The bone of contention here is whether or not a man can become a woman. As a feminist Rowling is bound to chant this virttually racist statement because she speaks from the perspective of female supremacy. Womanhood to these people is an exalted state, a birthright.

Thus, Rowling felt divine in tweeting that men can’t become women. For the likes of her and followers, it is reasonable to claim women’s safe spaces because feminsts attest all men have potential to assault them or shout them down.

However, with no need of explanation, any claim for male safe spaces to guard against wome’s false allegations or controlling tendencies, is called nasty sexism and misogyny which should be against the law. Feminists are great on this sory of inductive logic, it comes natirally to them. Women claim the right to police men, along with all their other rights and legal favouritism.

A more important question than how a man can claim womanhood, is why on earth a man would want to be a woman ? A second question is what kind of assesment methods , procedures and techniques are used to determine the mainstream psychological conclusion that there is such a thing as a woman in a man’s body. I have done much research and written a book on this subject. Perhaps the so called gender experts are charlatans with a social engineering aganda.

For now, I will confine myself to the implcations of shutting down Rowling and banning her book. This is a dangerous attitude, pathetic and worrying when the BBC publishes an article asking whether it is still OK to read Harry Potter. Imagine the outcry if a similar question was asked about the Koran, where there are very worrying attitudes to fake upper middle class white liberalism. Muslims are at odds with much of the LGBTQI agenda. No one questions them because it is their culture within the absurd so called multi culture. The same tolerance is not extended to this wealthy white woman.

One might also ask the question as to what a woman actually is ? Is it just body parts or body plus brain ? Is it hormones, hair, wanting to wear a dress hair style, lingerie fetishism, wearing high heels, make up and perfume, who you have sex with ? Or is it about rejecting all that culture stuff and being a woman out to compete with men and beating them at what they do, have short hair, body hair, wear men’s clothes and tell men what morons, wife beaters and rapists they are ?

Maybe it is much simpler than that , but dare I say it ? What we came to understand as female was the reproductive parts and traditional roles that used to go with it. Here is the connundrum for the feminist likes of Rowling. To argue this point is to confine women. They must be unbound, not suffer like Prometheus. They can be anything, but men must be scapegoats. They must never try to mimic any version of the female. however hemmed in and abused they may feel as men.

As for whether or not men can become sis or biological women, the answer is no, not unless women can be proven to be all about a state of mind, a brain consciousness – and we trvialise and limit language. The notion of females in male bodies is a lot of guesswork and cultural bias. The motives and methods of organisation like the London Tavistock Gender Identity Clinic need scrutiny and investigation because there appear to be an alarming number of boys wanting to be girls.

There is an interesting book called the ‘Feminisation of Nature’. Maybe that’s where the answer resides. Maybe it is the rise of one parent families, demise of the male and pernicious feminism ? Shutting down debate is not healthy, but Rowling is not looking for debate. Media successes seem to think they should be the agenda setters, after all, they do not have to live with the pressing problems of living among the masses. These people are arrogant, causing more harm than good. Having said that, it is a sorry day when the likes of the BBC have anything to do with advising us what we are allowed to read. R.J Cook

Is it still OK to read Harry Potter?

The Harry Potter books have sold over 500 million copies worldwide and made J. K. Rowling a celebrity in her own right. Aja Romano has been a fan of both for over 20 years. Romano is a writer for the American website Vox, where they specialise in internet culture and fandom. As well as giving Romano countless hours of entertainment, the wizarding world books helped them to explore and express different parts of their gender and sexual identity. But after J.K. Rowling expressed thoughts on gender identity that they vehemently disagreed with, Romano wondered if they could continue their love for the series.

In Can I Still Read Harry Potter? Romano considers whether it’s possible to separate the author from their work.

Listen to Can I Still Read Harry Potter?

In late 2019, J. K. Rowling faced criticism for expressing support for Maya Forstater, who lost her job at a thinktank after writing a tweet that said, “men cannot change into women.” Rowling was accused of transphobia, which she has argued against, writing in June 2020 about her experience of domestic abuse and sexual assault and her “concerns around single-sex spaces.” Romano says that for many fans like them, Rowling’s views caused them to examine whether they could comfortably still read the Harry Potter books.

Safe space

“As a non-binary person and a wannabe wizard, I always found safety and comfort within the world of Harry Potter,” says Romano. “And so, when J. K. Rowling expressed her personal views on gender, which I found deeply upsetting, it felt like my safe space had gone, or maybe it hadn’t ever been there at all.”

YouTuber Jackson Bird felt a similar sense of a fantasy refuge for LGBTQ+ people being damaged. He thinks a lot of LGBTQ+ young people identify with Harry Potter as someone who, “doesn’t fit in at all. And then suddenly, out of nowhere, these people basically pluck him off of the street and are like, “Hey, you’re a wizard, everything that you do is totally normal.’ I think that really resonated… I do think she intended that in some way Hogwarts is meant to feel like a safe space.”

Romano suggests that the backlash faced by Rowling is in part due to her being so present on social media and having a relationship with her fans. “In the pre-internet age, it was more common to let the books speak for themselves,” they say. “Today, many authors are now celebrities.”

Ika Willis, a lecturer in literary reception, agrees. Willis says Rowling has created a dialogue with her readers that makes them feel a larger sense of ownership of her stories. “J. K. Rowling is a bit of a helicopter parent,” Willis says. “She publishes the text, she sends them out into the world and she follows them around… [She] keeps on telling us more and more. So instead of reading the text as a kind of self-contained, formally coherent piece with a beginning, middle and end, it’s much more common to view a text as an ongoing conversation with an author.” She says readers can view a book as by, “someone they want to be friends with or don’t want to be friends with.”

“An ongoing conversation with the author”

Dr Ika Willis talks about J.K. Rowling’s interaction with her own work.

Expecting too much?

Others disagree. Writer and broadcaster Gavin Haynes argues that readers shouldn’t consider their relationship with an author akin to a friendship and that abandoning the books due to disagreement with Rowling is, “churlish and childish… Surely the reason we read literature is expand our psychology and to come into contact with different views and to get a broader sense of the great ambiguity of life itself.” He also believes that the debate really only exists within a small group on social media. “I think if you sort of asked the man on the street about this particular debate, he’d ask you what you’re talking about.” Does disagreeing with an author mean we can’t enjoy their books?

Literary critic Sam Leith, like Haynes, is of the opinion that expecting an author to reflect all your own views lacks maturity. He tells Romano, “I feel sort of slightly dismayed that a reader of your evident subtlety and sophistication is saying, ‘I feel I need to stop reading this woman’s work because of something she said in public.” He also says that this stance ignores the inclusivity of Rowling’s writing. “The overall drift of those books, morally, is be kind; be inclusive. You know, being different is okay.”

Little agreement

Romano notes that there are many who agree with Rowling’s views and that sales of the Harry Potter books have risen by 9% since Rowling wrote her blog in June. Her fan base remains enormous. Patricio Tarantino, who runs a Harry Potter fan site, The Rolling Library, says his love of the books has not diminished. “It doesn’t change what I think of her as a writer or artist,” he says. “I’m focused on her words, and I don’t think this affects her words.” Rowling has seen support from a lot of her fan base, as well 58 entertainers and authors, including Ian McEwan, Sir Tom Stoppard and Andrew Davies, who signed a letter to The Times condemning an “onslaught of abuse” after the hashtag #RIPJKROWLING trended on Twitter.

In talking about the subject, Romano finds little agreement but a spectrum of different views. They call their own relationship with the books, “like a weary divorce,” and wonders if their retreat from the Potter books will be permanent. For now, they feel it’s, “time to dig deeper and ask questions. After all, it’s what Harry would do.”

R.J Cook suggests, in this book ( 2003 ), the possibility that transsexualism is more ‘man made’ than natural, a cultural manifestataion related to worship of the female along with denigraring traditional males as all prvileged woman haters.

BBC Radio will play EDITED version of Fairytale of New York this Christmas due to song’s ‘offensive’ lyrics

Harry Brent

BY: Harry Brent
November 19, 2020

BBC RADIO 1 will only be featuring an edited version of Fairytale of New York this Christmas due to the song’s ‘controversial’ lyrics.

The British broadcaster is set start playing the Christmas classic from the end of November right through to the festive season, but it won’t be the version everyone loves and remembers.

Radio 1 will be playing a version of the song with the words ‘f****t’ and ‘sl*t’ edited out, though Radio 2 will still feature the classic version, because they deem that Radio 1 listeners are particularly sensitive to derogatory terms for gender and sexuality.

Over the last few years, the famous Pogues hit has come under scrutiny for usage of the slurs.

Campaigns have been set up to have the song changed and even removed from the airwaves, but it’s simply proven too popular to suppress.

Kirsty MacColl, who provides the female vocals for the initial song alongside Shane MacGowan, recorded a different version of the song with the slurs swapped out for less offensive replacements, and this is the version Radio 1 will use.

Instead of the famous line: ‘You sc*mbag, you maggot. You cheap, lousy f****t,’ the final four words have been changed to: ‘You’re cheap and you’re haggard’.

In a statement, the BBC said it made its decision because it was conscious that the traditionally younger audience who listen to Radio 1 might take offence to the original version of the song.

“We know the song is considered a Christmas classic and we will continue to play it this year, with our radio stations choosing different versions of the song most relevant for their audience,” the broadcaster said.

Back in 2007, the song was censored by Radio 1, but the decision was swiftly reversed following public outcry.

Lovers of Fairytale of New York have previously hit out against those who slam the song due to its offensive slur, arguing that the characters MacColl and MacGowan are playing aren’t meant to be admired or liked.

After all, the song is about an argument between an alcoholic and a heroin addict who have fallen out of love. Nobody should think that the characters presented are being positively promoted.

Comment Anyone with a brain should be very concerned about this censorship running out of control. There is no line going to be drawn. There will be no passion, no argument, no Hegelian dialectic and thus no philosophy driving us forward, just the police state and the military. In this Grave New World or maybe Slave New World, you can be whatever gender or colour you like just so long as you sign up for the lobotomy and chemical castration if you are a bloke and want to be a joke – I didn’t write man in case the word is offensive or illegal. There are some links here if you want to hear the real thing. R.J Cook

5:50Fairytale of New YorkYouTube · Christy Moore – Topic8 Apr 2017Preview4:27The Pogues Featuring Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale Of New YorkYouTube · Christmas Music Videos10 Nov 2016Preview4:09Christy Moore performs Fairytale of New York | The Story Of A …YouTube · RTÉ – IRELAND’S NATIONAL PUBLIC SERVICE MEDIA21 Dec 2017

Reviewing a reviewer’s review. November 19th 2020

A cold day at the Interlink depot before going out on the road in 2010. These lit crits don’t live in the world of harsh reality.
Image Appledene Photographics/RJC

I met an awful lot of posers at my then elite university back in the 1970s, many like reviewer Peter Bradsaw, an upper middle class public school boy, cum Cambridge English lit graduate.

I never did English literature as an exam course because it clashed with maths. Anyway, what sort of person needs a degree in reading poems and novels – and being taught how to criticisse them ?

A little older than Bradshaw and from a hard working class poverty stricken one parent family – because my ex wartime soldier father died from a truck driving related accident -I recall comfortable student contemporaries protesting against the Vietnam War. I never did.

Not once did they mention that Democrat sanctimonious luvvie John F Kennedy took the U.S in there – and a Republican , Nixon, got them out.. At the time, my ambition was simple. I spent much of my youth training for my school, county and athletic club running pursuits, building and flying model aircraft, Air Training Corps where they taught us to maintain and shoot Lee Enfield .303 rifles and tinkering with engines.

By the time the smug English University system had finished with me, I knew how to roll joints talk hippy crap , had forgotten my dreams of being an RAF pilot and all those Air Training Corps days and flying experience. I had learned to blame myself for my part in a horrible country in a horrible world.

So I went on to do all sorts of jobs and stuff, hoping life would make me a writer. Had I been pampered judgemental Peter Bradshaw , I could have taken a short cut, got on the high ground and passed the sort of self righteous judgment on a brilliant film that he doesn’t like because it shows Obama for what he is and was – a posturing fake. How typical of our ‘modern’ men ( sic ) that he only really liked the General’s wife.

In the neo liberal tyranny we are not suppposed to say stuff like that. So anyone who likes my stuff, enjoy it while you can because the police are seriously on my case again – assuming they have ever been off it. R.J Cook

War Machine review – Brad Pitt goes over the top in Afghan war satire

Based on real-life events, David Michôd’s take on the war in Afghanistan plays for laughs and misses the mark

War Machine

Doomed … War Machine Photograph: Francois Duhamel/Netflix

Peter Bradshaw

Peter Bradshaw@PeterBradshaw1Mon 22 May 2017 16.00 BST

Last modified on Thu 22 Feb 2018 19.03 GMT

Not funny enough to be satire, not realistic enough to count as political commentary, not exciting enough to work as a war movie, David Michôd’s supposedly Helleresque romp, released on Netflix, is an imperfect non-storm of unsuccess.

Loosely adapted by Michôd from Michael Hastings’s book The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan, this is a fictionalised account of US General Stanley A McChrystal’s experiences during that conflict – McChrystal was the overall commander until he was sacked by President Obama for making rashly critical remarks about his administration to a reporter from Rolling Stone magazine. It is a long, rambling anti-climactic movie that doesn’t know what it wants to be, in which the hero learns nothing, and we, the audience, are encouraged only to learn what we are assured we know already: that the mission in Afghanistan was an endgame doomed to failure.

At the centre of this is producer-star Brad Pitt, who goes cartoonishly over the top in his look-away-now performance as the general, renamed Glen McMahon, nicknamed the “Glenimal”. He is renowned and admired for his straight-talking, can-do attitude – loved by the men under his command and, of course, disliked by the Washington pointy-heads and pen-pushers.Brad Pitt speaks about his divorce from Angelina Jolie and his heavy drinkingRead more

Pitt’s military chief is like the crazy-grandpa version of the grizzled second world war types he played in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (2009) and David Ayer’s Fury (2014). He struts about manically, has a habit of taking early-morning runs in an extremely unflattering pair of shorts, speaks in a growly down-home drawl with a corner of his mouth is permanently twisted up in a kind of hillbilly grimace. That corner is perhaps home to an invisible corncob pipe, like the one smoked by General Douglas MacArthur. Pitt’s performance is an odd assemblage of second world war cliches, a half-remembered version of George C Scott’s Patton. It is nothing like the real General Stanley McChrystal, who can be watched on YouTube: he has a rasping voice, but otherwise looks like a smart, relaxed human being. That needn’t matter, but Pitt’s wacky performance never satisfactorily answers the laugh-with/laugh-at question, and his pantomime becomes wearing.

The movie follows him as he is appointed overall commander, robustly bringing to bear his confidence and passion for the job, and sweeping aside the bland and cynical Brits. He is convinced that a real military victory can be enforced over the insurgents, but first he has to instil some urgency and energy into the lackadaisical flags-of-all-nations team under his command and ignore as best he can the “Eurosexuals” he sees on his early morning run. But the main order of business is getting some more troops. A cunningly contrived TV interview embarrasses Washington into giving him some of what he needs: then he has to go on a tricky diplomatic tour of Europe, to convince the slippery types out there to put up some of their own troops to join his fighting force.

After cliched scenes of American military commanders speaking through interpreters to suspicious and hostile natives, the movie goes on a long, tiresome, dramatically inert detour around European capitals, with the Glenimal in the company of his Vegas-style Rat Pack entourage: including good-ol’-boy second-in-command Greg Pulver (Anthony Michael Hall), smoothie PR Matt Little (Topher Grace), embedded Rolling Stone reporter Sean Cullen (Scoot McNairy), and token Afghan civilian Badi Basim (Aymen Hamdouchi). And finally, in the last half-hour, there is some actual war-film-type fighting, from which Pitt is frustratingly absent.

The film does have some good points. Ben Kingsley gets one or two laughs in his cheeky performance as President Hamid Karzai: the whole movie might have been better as a bromance between Hamid and the Glenimal. Tilda Swinton has an interesting, if slightly supercilious, cameo as a German politician who questions the general about his personal motivation. But the best and most human performance comes from Meg Tilly as the general’s neglected wife, Jeannie, who has a tremendous, quietly dignified speech, talking to her husband over dinner in Paris, quietly upbraiding him for never being home, and saying that she is proud of him: “I’m proud of me, too … ”

This movie never earns the sentimental respect we are presumably expected to pay to its hero, and Pitt’s wacky caricature leaves you unsure whether he is being celebrated or satirised. War Machine sinks into a quagmire of its own making.

Luke Kelly's 80th birthday to be marked with tribute concert available to fans around the world


Luke Kelly’s 80th birthday to be marked with tribute concert available to fans around the world

Rachael O'Connor

BY: Rachael O’Connor
November 17, 2020

ONE OF Ireland’s greatest musicians should have celebrated his 80th birthday today, 17 November 2020.

The Dubliners star Luke Kelly was born on this day in 1940 to a working class family in Sherrif Street, Dublin.

The acclaimed musician sadly passed away in 1984, but his legacy prevails– and his milestone birthday will be celebrated by fans across the world today. The Dubliner’s star was born on this day 80 years ago, and his milestone birthday will be celebrated with an online concert tonight

One superfan, former You’re A Star finalist George Murphy is marking the day with a concert in tribute to the legendary musician, where he and members from the Rising Sons group will take to the stage to perform some of Luke Kelly’s greatest hits.

George had the idea to hold an online event after the planned celebrations were cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and the concert will be in full compliance with Ireland’s Level 5 restrictions while allowing fans around the world to celebrate the Dubliner’s life.

Announcing the ambitious project, George took to Facebook where he explained how important Luke Kelly’s legacy was to him when he was starting out as a musician, having once played with the remaining Dubliners members on stage.

“Luke was gone before I was even born but his memory lives on in his wonderful songs,” he wrote.

“And to have had the opportunity to stand on stage with Ronnie and Barney and the rest of The Dubliners and sing some of these songs will always be one of the biggest musical highlights in my life.”

“In an ideal world an event like this would be in a packed venue with smiling faces, raw voices from singing and pints of plain on every table but alas that’s not to be,” George continued.

“However I couldn’t let the day come and go without marking it somehow so please tell your friends and Luke Kelly lovers and join us at 8 pm on November 17th.”

The concert will take place at the iconic Swords Castle in Dublin, and will be livestreamed from George’s official Facebook page (which you can find here) at 8pm Irish tim

    • 4:36Raglan RoadLuke
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Sickening Anglo U.S Elite And Fools They Rule November 17th 2020

I read this nauseating patronising over priced £ 35 book yesterday. This man is more Tony Blair than Martin Luther King, but he is the darling of the so called left. His promised land is a world where the colourful rainbow masses will content themselves with the 5 % of wealth in a rainbow world – the white lower classes taking all blame for inequality.
Remember , there is no real end to a rainbow so no crock of gold, and the colours you see in the sky are mere refraction of natural light after heavy rain. They are not separate, they are just parts normal white light, not part of a multi light show, They are nature, not social engineering. As for the rest of the pathetic front pages above, let them speak for themselves about barmy Britain and vote rigging U,S.A, whose deep state, along with Britain’s, want more wars under the fake banner of freedom & democracy. R.J Cook.

November 16th 2020

Fool Britannia Land of a most corrupt racist lying police force – a Vile Police State. November 13th 2020

Serving her class, a matter of fact.
The man is an incompetent privileged cowardly buffoon and Janus face. He has no judgement or inegrity and appears blinded by ‘the science.’ No wonder his aides are leaving his sinking ship.
However, the alternative party is led by Starmer the despciably arrogant former leader of a corrupt Crown Prosecution Service that I fell fould of many times. Those disgusting people collude with corrupt police to fabricate and hide evidence as fits their need to jail innocent people – MEN – in fake sham British so called democracy – actually a polioce state that has hidden behind and corrupted the EU for years.

R.J Cook
They mean tighten up on lockdown and do a deal with Europe.
Hopefully for Johnson too – but I doubt it. He, like Biden, Johnson is a perfect front person for the real nasties in the system. So was Trump, who was also the fall guy. Pigeons do have a tendency to come home to roost, even though I may not live much longer to see them. R.J Cook.
It will be ignored if it suits elite propaganda and scare mongering.

November 12th 2020

Another Day in Another Life

November 11th 2020

Even if the voter is dead. A record number of corpses made the effort to vote for their close friend and favourite Joe Biden.
Note they are watching Maverick teachers. I know what that;s like, had 18 years of it.
R,J Cook

November 9th 2020

November 7th 2020

Fascist Britain November 5th 2020

Today is a special day for those who don’t like their government. It was 415 years ago that Robert Catesby, Guido Fawkes et al intended to blow up the King and Parliament. They were betrayed. Now the Government is considering a 500 page report arguing that people should betray family members at dinner if there is talk that maybe hate crime. On the face of it, this is all about protecting minorities.

I have a list of individuals who have committed hate crime against me, including police officers. I have not forgotten the senior police officer’s mother who screeched at me ‘You’re sick and in need of help.’ More to come on that one.

So I am heartened as these matters progress. Action, on my part is underway. What is sauce for the Goose etc. These law makers and enforcers deserve to be hoist by their own petard.

The Britsh Police State is an alarming place and the alarmers deserve to be alarmed. I have been taken to court for swearing at an officer who had maliciously arrested me, locked me in cells for 7 hours, taken my computers, driving licence, debit card and phone, then went to ground for over 3 worrying months. slagging me off to employers so costing me money. Still waiting for feedback on that one and the other hate crimes against me.

Their clincher was using a tame geriatric lying consultant psychiatrist to have me sectioned. This is Nazism. The so calledf far right are simply down trodden forgotten working class whites, just as in 1920s and 30s Germany. The elite and their police lackeys are arrogant morons ( moron means stupid person in case a moron is reading this and thinks I am referring to him or her ) and will not listen or learn.

Today, I learned of a daughter being arrested for assaulting her mother, accused by the staff of the care home where she was imprisoned. The 97 year old was locked in a car while the daughter, was taken to a police station after arrest by a burly officer et al.

We pay taxes so the agents of the State – I used to be one of them – can brainwash and abuse us.

Rescuing your mother from a filthy care home where Covid 19 breeds, is assault. That is Police State Britain. The guy saying this in effect, from hs comfortable warm office at HQ, is a top cop on at least £80,000 a year, a luxury car ( probably an Audi A6 with gadgets ), two drivers and other generous tax payer funded expenses. R.J Cook
‘Our NHS ‘ ( Sic ) is worse than broken. It is inefficient with overpaid doctors because of an artificially created shortage, incompetent nurses, many staff not good at English, and overwhelmed by demand caused by open door immigration from the Third World.. The dreadful NHS killed both my parents through incompetence and filth. So called Hate Laws are meant to stifle criticism. R.J Cook
Trump was a failure, didn’t defend Assange in spite of thanking Wikileaks, was a coward in the face of Russia allegations and not realistic about China or Iran – U.S billionaires like Gates sent production to China to exploit cheap labour. It is not cut and dried that China was responsible for Corona.

Anglo U.S had motive and have been insane. the big issue is there is an obscene amount of money in too few hands, making the west’s claim for democracy a sick vile joke.

Biden will be very ineresting because he has given BAME unrealistic hopes and has blamed everyone but blacks for their problems. Police are going to have fun, any blacks joining them will become pariahs. They will need more than British advice on the best of tasers to help them. R.J Cook

November 4th 2020

Over Heard November 4th 2020

Stylist Samantha McMillen says she could ‘see clearly’ Heard had no cuts or bruises on December 16, 2015Depp was allegedly violent towards Heard in a row at their LA penthouse the day before, which he denies .In a separate alleged incident in May 2016, Ms McMillen claimed Heard did not have any injuries on her face That was despite the actress claiming the Pirates of the Caribbean star had attacked her three days before

May 2016, Amber Heard, a 30-year-old aspiring actress, arrived at a Los Angeles court seeking a restraining order against her husband, the Hollywood star Johnny Depp.

As she left the building, she was surrounded by photographers, journalists and film crews. On her cheek was what appeared to be a mark. The court was also shown photographs of what looked like facial bruising.

She said Depp had “violently” attacked her and in a rage had thrown a mobile phone at her face with “extreme force”. There were also allegations of other incidents of domestic violence. She said she had endured “excessive emotional, verbal and physical abuse” and “angry, hostile, humiliating and threatening assaults”. Depp denied the abuse.

The restraining order was granted, and soon after the marriage was over.

Four years later the couple were back in court, but this time in London. However, this was not Amber Heard’s case – she had not chosen to be here. This was a libel action Depp had brought against a British newspaper, The Sun.

At the heart of the case was his assertion that the allegations of physical abuse were an “elaborate hoax”. Depp employed one of the best-known libel barristers in the country to try to prove the claims were untrue.

Over the next three weeks, Heard arrived at court each day and walked past her former husband’s fans, who were convinced that it was their hero who was the victim and it was she who had assaulted him. In court her story, photos, memories and the accounts of her friends were all exposed to the world and said by Depp’s team and supporters to be part of a plot to falsely prove that he was, as The Sun had claimed in April 2018, a “wife beater”.

It was not just the fans and media who were watching carefully. Lawyers were already wondering, if he won, what impact this would have on women coming forward with claims of domestic violence.

The accusations were shocking. Heard said she had been assaulted by him on more than 14 occasions. She said she had, at times, been in fear for her life and left with a broken nose, black eyes and split lip. Vicious, drunken tirades had, she said, lasted for days. There was also a 15th allegation too traumatic and personal to be heard in open court.

It felt like a criminal trial; Depp was being accused of repeated assaults on his former partner, the sort of violence that has sent others to prison. But this wasn’t a criminal trial.

It was easy to forget this was a libel battle between Depp and News Group Newspapers, the publishers of The Sun, because no-one from the newspaper was called to the witness stand. Dan Wootton, the journalist whose article had said there was “overwhelming evidence” that the actor was a “wife beater” was not even on the list of 79 names cited in the trial’s documents.

We were shown text messages and video footage of meetings in lifts. The super-rich spend millions protecting their privacy and here was a couple revealing a telephone directory’s worth of secrets. No star would do this unless they felt there was something bigger at stake. For Depp, that was restoring his reputation.

But why did this battle begin in the UK?

The article with the Dan Wootton byline, in particular the phrase “wife beater” in a headline that was later changed, had given Johnny Depp a chance to test his ex-wife’s claims in court – and what’s more, an English court.

It would require a much longer article to explain all the differences, but the essence of the legal split between England and America is that if you write something defamatory in London, the burden is on you to prove it is true.

In America, the defamed person has to prove it isn’t true, a very different task. It sounds a slender legal nicety but it can make all the difference.

Amber Heard was 22 when she met Johnny Depp on the set of the film The Rum Diary in 2009. He was 23 years older and in a long-term relationship with singer and actress Vanessa Paradis. Heard’s wife at the time was the artist Tasya Van Ree.

Two years later, Heard was living with Depp in a penthouse in downtown LA, Depp having separated from Paradis, his partner of 14 years. Heard and Depp married in February 2015, and just over a year later it was over.

Since then, Amber Heard has become a vocal campaigner on the issue of domestic and sexual abuse. The UN Human Rights Campaign named her as a Human Rights Champion for her work promoting women’s rights. She became an Ambassador for Women’s Rights for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and she has given speeches and written in the Washington Post and New York Times about her experience of domestic violence.

Heard now has a niche in the populist ‘Me Too’ movement speaking up for women who claim to have suffered in silence by revealing the abuse she had endured at the hands of one of the most powerful people in Hollywood. She was Amber Heard, actot and ‘survivor.

Johnny Depp could not be allowed to get away with describing her accusations as a hoax, he was not just challenging her story, he was ripping away the foundations of her public profile. There was a lot at stake here – including target driven police and prosecutors feeding off doemstic violence allegations, eager to convict more alleged rapists and abusers by withholding evidence and packing juries with like minded women.

The entire process was a brutal public examination of a couple’s private life, and a warning to anyone who wants to use the courts to restore a reputation. The courts are a very strong arm of a well armed police state.

It was clearly a doomed relationship, but the case depended on proving who had done what to whom. Now women’s groups are calling for Hollywood to axe him.

And in the end, the judge inevitably decided it was true to describe Depp as a “wife beater”. The tabloid media would have gone for him if he had not.

Comment  Prior to the 1950s there were strict rules of contact between the sexes.  They need to be restored. The case is complicated because the rich are different. Clearly a mediocre actress trading on cock teasing glamour has much to gain from joining the ‘me too’ campaign. The truth of the court decision cannot be questioned because of the feminist mantra that more women must come forward and the lie that women never lie and are only violent when provoked.  

Men on the other hand are labelled rapists – in spite of widespread impotence, record viagra demand, with many opting for the gay or transgender routes. Men need safe spaces from women and women should not be allowed into what were male only spaces. In this context transsexuals need their own public toilets and rest rooms to protect them from women’s false allegations and from sex starved men.The ratchet is getting even tighter with misogyny soon to be criminalised/

If there must be all these new female friendly laws and rules of engagement, then there are consequences.  The global rich need to pay taxes to cover them because it is the elite and their spoiled ambitious daughters who have forced and sustained this world where men are easy targets for female malice, revenge and greed. As for Johnny Depp, he was an idiot to marry a girl young enough to be his daughter. Stars get paid too much, drugs are used to sustain their fake bubbly effervescent personalities. In this light, Heard could gain fame in his glow, then put his fire out.  

R.J Cook

Bruce Springsteen and the Art of Aging Well November 3rd 2020

What the happiest Springsteen album in decades can teach us about Joe Biden, the wisdom of maturity, and the meaning of life October 23, 2020 David Brooks Contributing writer at The Atlantic and columnist for The New York Times. Enjoy unlimited access to The Atlantic for less than $1 per week. Sign in Subscribe Now

I recently saw a photo of Lyndon B. Johnson in the first year of his presidency. He looked like a classic old guy—wrinkled, mature, in the late season of life. It was a shock to learn that he was only 55 at the time, roughly the same age as Chris Rock is now. He left the presidency, broken, and beaten, at 60, the same age as, say, Colin Firth is now.

Something has happened to aging. Whether because of better diet or health care or something else, a 73-year-old in 2020 looks like a 53-year-old in 1935. The speaker of the House is 80 and going strong. The presidential candidates are 77 and 74. Even our rock stars are getting up there. Bob Dylan produced a remarkable album this year at 79. Bruce Springsteen released an album today at 71. “Active aging” is now a decades-long phase of life. As the nation becomes a gerontocracy, it’s worth pondering: What do people gain when they age, and what do they lose? What does successful aging look like?

President Donald Trump is a prime example of an unsuccessful older person—one who still lusts for external validation, who doesn’t know who he is, who knows no peace. Nearly two millennia ago, the Roman statesman Cicero offered a more robust vision of what elders should do and be: “It’s not by strength or speed or swiftness of body that great deeds are done,” he wrote, “but by wisdom, character and sober judgment. These qualities are not lacking in old age but in fact grow as time passes.”

More by this writer

David Brooks: Bruce Springsteen’s playlist for the Trump era

Springsteen is the world champion of aging well—physically, intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally. His new album and film, Letter to You, are performances about growing older and death, topics that would have seemed unlikely for rock when it was born as a rebellion for anyone over 30. Letter to You is rich in lessons for those who want to know what successful aging looks like. Far from being sad or lachrymose, it’s both youthful—loud and hard-charging—and serene and wise. It’s a step forward from his Broadway show that debuted three years ago and his memoir, released four years ago. Now he’s not only telling the story of his life, but asking, in the face of death, about life’s meaning, and savoring life in the current moment.

It’s the happiest Springsteen album maybe in decades. “When I listen to it, there’s more joy than dread,” Springsteen told me. “Dread is an emotion that all of us have become very familiar with. The record is a little bit of an antidote to that.” The album generates the feeling you get when you meet a certain sort of older person—one who knows the story of her life, who sees herself whole, and who now approaches the world with an earned emotional security and gratitude.

The album, and the film that recorded the making of the album (I recommend watching the film first), was occasioned by a death. From 1965 to 1968, when rock was in its moment of explosive growth and creativity, Springsteen was in a band called the Castiles. Two years ago, Springsteen found himself at the bedside of a member of that band, George Theiss, as he died of cancer. After his passing, Springsteen realized that he is the sole remaining survivor from that band—the “Last Man Standing,” as he puts it in one of the songs on the new album.

The experience created an emotional vortex and the music poured out of him. “The actual mechanics of songwriting is only understandable up to a certain point,” Springsteen told me, “and it’s frustrating because it’s at that point that it begins to matter. Creativity is an act of magic rising up from your subconscious. It feels wonderful every time it happens, and I’ve learned to live with the anxiety of it not happening over long periods of time.”

On the album, Springsteen goes back in time to those mid-’60s years when he, Theiss, and the Castiles would play in the union halls, hullabaloo clubs, and bowling alleys around Freehold, New Jersey. He goes further back, to his childhood, and reminisces about the trains that used to rumble through town; the pennies he’d put on the tracks; and when he first became familiar with death as a boy, going to the funerals of his extended clan, walking up semi-terrified and kneeling before the casket and then walking back home with a sense of trembling accomplishment.

“Memory is many things,” the Benedictine nun Joan Chittister has written. “It is a call to resolve in us what simply will not go away.” Springsteen has made a career, and built a global fan base, out of going back and back, to Freehold and Asbury Park, and digging, digging, digging to understand the people he grew up around and who made him, for good and ill, the man he became. “The artists who hold our attention,” he told me, “have something eating away at them, and they never quite define it, but it’s always there.”

Even in his 70s, Springsteen still has drive. What drives him no longer feels like ambition, he said, that craving for success, recognition, and making your place in the world. It feels more elemental, like the drive for water, food, or sex. He talks about this in the movie: “After all this time, I still feel the burning need to communicate. It’s there when I wake every morning. It walks alongside of me throughout the day … Over the past 50 years, it has never ceased. Is it loneliness, hunger, ego, ambition, desire, a need to be felt and heard, recognized, all of the above? All I know, it is one of the most consistent impulses of my life.”

David Brooks: How music made Bruce Springsteen

With the Castiles, he not only learned how to do his job but also found his mode of emotional communication and a spiritual awareness. He found his vocation, and his vehicle for becoming himself. A lot of the music on this album is about music, the making of it and the listening to it, the power that it has. The songs “House of A Thousand Guitars” and “Power of Prayer” are about those moments when music launches you out of normal life and toward transcendence. For a nonreligious guy, Springsteen is the most religious guy on the planet; his religion is musical deliverance.

Like every successful mature person, Springsteen oozes gratitude—especially for relationships. The film is largely about the camaraderie of the E Street Band, men and women who have been playing together off and on for 45 years and who have honed their skills and developed a shorthand for communicating. We watch them discussing and arguing over how to put each song together, then savor the end result. The band sounds fantastic, especially the powerful drumming of Max Weinberg.

The film intersperses clips of Springsteen recording and performing with the same guys four decades ago, when they were young and lithe, and today, when they’re a bit grizzled. “We weren’t immune from the vicissitudes. We had the same ups and downs as most rock bands,” Springsteen told me. “It’s like a marriage. The ups and downs have deepened us. The band is as close now as it’s ever been. We had to suffer.”

Letter to You is a sincere and vulnerable album. It conveys Springsteen’s appreciation for the conversation he’s had with his audience, and his appreciation for the dead and the debts we owe them. The core of the album comprises three songs about how the dead live on in us and in the ensuing generations. “It’s just your ghost / Moving through the night / Your spirit filled with light / I need, need you by my side / Your love and I’m alive,” Springsteen sings in “Ghosts,” the best track on the album.

“When you’re young, you believe the world changes faster than it does. It does change, but it’s slow,” Springsteen told me. “You learn to accept the world on its terms without giving up the belief that you can change the world. That’s a successful adulthood—the maturation of your thought process and very soul to the point where you understand the limits of life, without giving up on its possibilities.”

Attaining that perspective is the core of successful maturity. Carrying the losses gently. Learning to live with the inner conflicts, such as alternating confidence and insecurity. Getting out of your own way, savoring life and not trying to conquer it, shedding the self-righteousness that sometimes accompanies youth, and giving other people a break. The owl of Minerva flies only at dusk, as they used to say.

That perspective is evident in the movie’s “bright sadness,” to use a term from the Franciscan monk Richard Rohr. Directed by Thom Zimny, the film cuts again and again to overhead shots of snow-covered forests—Old Man Winter coming. But inside the studio, everything is warm and full of music. The dreams of Springsteen and his band came true times a thousand; they have good reason to be content in old age. But studies show that most people do get happier as they age. They focus more on life’s pleasures than its threats.

Arthur Brooks: What to do when the future feels hopeless

As you watch the film, you may think of not only personal maturity but also national maturity. America has always fancied itself as wild and innocent; youth, Oscar Wilde observed, is the country’s oldest tradition. After the past 20 years, and especially after the presidency of Donald Trump, we’ve become jaded, and look askance at our former presumption of innocence. But, taking a cue from Springsteen, maybe we can achieve a more mature national perspective in the years post-Trump.

“Joe Biden is like one of the fathers in the neighborhood I grew up with as a kid,” Springsteen told me. “They were firemen and policemen, and there was an innate decency to most of them that he carries naturally with him. It’s very American.”

Approaching 80, Biden is pretty old. Seventy-seven is probably not the ideal age to start such a grueling job as president of the United States. But making the most of the not-ideal is what maturity teaches. The urge to give something to future generations rises up in people over 65, and a style of leadership informed by that urge may be exactly what American needs right now. Today, being 77 doesn’t have to be a time of wrapping things up; it’s just the moment you’re in, still moving to something better. Maybe this can be America—not in decline, but moving with maturity to a new strength.

November 2nd Front Pages

Biden can’t heal the country

Bonnie Kristian Joe Biden.

Winding down his last week on the campaign trail, Democratic nominee Joe Biden is preaching a message of healing. “Today I’m here at Warm Springs because I want to talk about how we’re going to heal our nation,” he said Tuesday from a small Georgia town where Franklin Delano Roosevelt built a resort for polio patients. “The divisions in our nation are getting wider,” Biden continued:

[M]any wonder, has it gone too far? Have we passed the point of no return? Has the heart of this nation turned to stone? I don’t think so. I refuse to believe it. [ … ] I’m running as a proud Democrat, but I will govern as an American president. I’ll work with Democrats and Republicans. I’ll work as hard for those who don’t support me as for those who do. [ … ] And yes, we can restore our soul and save our country. [Joe Biden, via Rev]

There’s an alluring normalcy and comity here, but Biden’s promise is not and cannot be true. Should he be elected, Biden may be able to make the presidency less of an aggravating factor in our political division, if only by making it easier for Americans to forget about the president entirely for longer stretches than President Trump’s omnipresence has permitted these past four years. But forgetting our division is not the same as healing it. Advertisement

What Biden can realistically offer, if I may extend his medical metaphor, is a Band-Aid. I don’t mean that in the dismissive sense in which it is often used — a Band-Aid is not nothing. Electing Biden might be analogous to cleaning up a skinned knee, taking out the bits of gravel embedded in the cuts, and putting a bandage on top. This is helpful for healing, but it doesn’t heal. The body must heal itself.

It is questionable whether there is such a thing as a “president who doesn’t divide us, but unites us,” as Biden pledges to be. I suspect the bully pulpit and scope of power of the modern office don’t allow for that possibility. There is simply too much at stake for the position to be anything but divisive.

That’s so even of the comparatively anodyne Biden, whose victory nine in 10 Trump supporters believe would “result in lasting harm to the country.” (Exactly the same proportion of Biden supporters say the same of Trump’s potential re-election.) A 2019 study found four in 10 Democrats and Republicans think the opposing party is “not just worse for politics” but “downright evil.” The common thinking among Biden’s opponents, enthusiastically propagated by Trump himself, is that Biden is a Trojan horse for socialism and the radical left, albeit maybe an unwitting one. These beliefs won’t dissipate after the election, no matter how much Biden reaches across the aisle. Optimism loses to fear, disgust, and tribalism.

Yet even if we say, for the sake of argument, that a President Biden could be a net force for unity, we’re left with the same problem: It’s not enough. The president can’t heal our country’s division. The Trump administration is at least as much a symptom as a cause of the illness in our politics, and that illness won’t go away with Trump’s departure, whether next year or in 2025. Clean away the gravel, but the knee is still skinned.

Our illness is a result both of culture and institutions of governance. The cultural etiology is what my colleague Matthew Walther has dubbed “middle-finger voting,” politics for the sake of “seeing one’s real or perceived enemies discomfited.” The point is not governance, but power for its own sake; not adherence to principles but punishing those we deem a threat to us and ours.

This mindset is not universal among Americans, and most of those who call their partisan opponents “downright evil” likely have friends and family whom they love across party lines. But in the turn from those specific relationships to national politics, a fever sets in. “[W]hat defines Republicans and Democrats isn’t programs or beliefs or ideology,” writes J.D. Tucille at Reason; “it’s achieving power and destroying the enemy in the process.” When “platforms and ideas don’t really matter,” he adds, “there’s no room for finding common ground or cutting deals” on policy, because uncompromising control is the very point.

Tucille argues “the only way to keep the peace is to make sure there’s no prize to be won,” to reduce the power available so partisan animosities are accordingly scaled down. Make the presidency less divisive by making it less desirable. I agree, wholeheartedly. But I can’t see how that would happen without dramatic change to our political culture, and I can’t see how the political culture would change while our institutions constantly reinforce it, and I can’t see how the institutions will change while the culture — well, you get it.

Biden says he can interrupt that vicious cycle at the cultural node. However sincere, he’s wrong. A president might be able to refrain from exacerbating our political division, but he can’t heal it. We have to heal ourselves, culturally and institutionally, and I’m not sure we’ll prove capable. I’m not sure we really want to try.

Comment This article is taken from the Bourgeoise ‘The Week’ magazine. It is superficial, not dealing with the facts of Trumps war mongering predecessors or Biden’s funny little ways. It is a matter of if Biden/Harris can’t have the President’s job then it must be made more ineffectual. The Democrats are pretending to be nice caring little sheep, when in fact they are the worst of wolves. Charles Close

Hollow Scene October 31st 2020

An absurd Halloween Display In Bletchley Tesco’s yesterday. Full Lockdown is back, mass celebrations etc are banned and the public are being exhorted to spy on and report neighbours. We don’t need pretend horror, we live in a vile dangerous police state where little Hitlers have the upper hand. We never came out of lockdown, it didn’t work but taht is not the ruling elite’s purpose. This is not going away any time soon.The goal post will keep shifting, the con will go on. R.J Cook
Image Appledene Photographics/RJC

Obituary: Sir Sean Connery October 31st 2020

Published6 hours ago

Sean Connery as James Bond

For many, Sean Connery was the definitive James Bond. Suave and cold-hearted, his 007 was every inch the Cold War dinosaur of the books.

He strode across screen, licensed to kill. He moved like a panther, hungry and in search of prey. There was no contest. His great rival, Roger Moore, by contrast, simply cocked an eyebrow, smiled and did a quip.

But whereas Ian Fleming’s hero went to Eton, Connery’s own background was noticeably short of fast cars, beautiful women and vodka Martinis – either shaken or stirred.

Humble origins

Thomas Sean Connery was born in the Fountainbridge area of Edinburgh on 25 August 1930, the son of a Catholic factory worker and a Protestant domestic cleaner.

His father’s family had emigrated from Ireland in the 19th Century; his mother traced her line back to Gaelic speakers from the Isle of Skye.

The area had been in decline for years. Young Tommy Connery was brought up in one room of a tenement with a shared toilet and no hot water.

He left school at 13 with no qualifications and delivered milk, polished coffins and laid bricks, before joining the Royal Navy. Three years later, he was invalided out of the service with stomach ulcers. His arms by now had tattoos which proclaimed his passions: “Scotland forever” and “Mum & Dad”.

In Edinburgh, he gained a reputation as “hard man” when six gang members tried to steal from his coat. When he stopped them, he was followed. Connery launched a one-man assault which the future Bond won hands down.

He scraped a living any way he could. He drove trucks, worked as a lifeguard and posed as a model at the Edinburgh College of Art. He spent his spare time bodybuilding.

Too beautiful for words

Sean Connery as a young man
image captionSean Connery left school without qualifications and worked as a milkman, brick layer and coffin polisher

The artist Richard Demarco, who as a student often painted Connery, described him as “too beautiful for words, a virtual Adonis”.

A keen footballer, Connery was good enough to attract the attention of Matt Busby, who offered him a £25-a-week contract at Manchester United.

But, bitten by the acting bug when odd-jobbing at a local theatre, he decided a footballer’s career was potentially too short and opted to pursue his luck on the stage. It was, he later said, “one of my more intelligent moves”.

In 1953, he was in London competing in the Mr Universe competition. He heard that there were parts going in the chorus of a production of the musical South Pacific. By the following year, he was playing the role of Lieutenant Buzz Adams, made famous on Broadway by Larry Hagman.

American actor Robert Henderson encouraged Connery to educate himself. Henderson lent him works by Ibsen, Shakespeare and Bernard Shaw, and persuaded Connery to take elocution lessons.

Connery made the first of many appearances as a film extra in the 1954 movie Lilacs in the Spring. There were minor roles on television too, including a gangster in an episode of the BBC police drama Dixon of Dock Green.

The ladies will like him….

In 1957, he got his first leading role in Blood Money, a BBC reworking of Requiem for a Heavyweight, in which he portrayed a boxer whose career is in decline.

It had been made famous in America by Hollywood legend Jack Palance. When Palance refused to travel to London, the director’s wife suggested Sean.

“The ladies will like him,” she said.

A year later, he was alongside Lana Turner – proper Tinsel Town royalty – in the film Another Time, Another Place. Her boyfriend, the mobster Johnny Stompanato, reacted badly to rumours of a romance.

He stormed on set and pulled out a gun. Connery grabbed it from his hand and overpowered him, before others stepped in and kicked him off set.

Jacqueline Hill & Sean Connery in the 1957 BBC production, Blood Money
image captionHe was praised for his role in the BBC drama, Blood Money

The name’s Bond…

And then came Bond. Producers Cubby Broccoli and Harry Saltzman had acquired the rights to film Ian Fleming’s novels and were looking for an actor to portray 007.

Richard Burton, Cary Grant and Rex Harrison were all considered, even Lord Lucan and the BBC’s Peter Snow.

It was Broccoli’s wife, Dana, who persuaded her husband that Connery had the magnetism and sexual chemistry for the part.

That view was not originally shared by Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming. “I’m looking for Commander Bond and not an overgrown stuntman,” he insisted.

But Broccoli was right, and Fleming was wrong. The author quickly changed his mind when he saw him on screen. He even wrote a half-Scottish history for the character in some of his later works.

A director friend, Terence Young, took Connery under his wing, taking him to expensive restaurants and casinos; teaching him how to carry himself, so the slightly gauche Scot would pass as a suave and sophisticated secret agent.

Connery made the character his own, blending ruthlessness with sardonic wit. Many critics didn’t like it and some of the reviews were scathing. But the public did not agree.

The action scenes, sex and exotic locations were a winning formula. The first film, Dr No, made a pile of money at the box office. Even abroad it was hugely successful; with President Kennedy requesting a private screening at the White House.

More outings swiftly followed – From Russia with Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965) and You Only Live Twice (1967).

It was exhausting and occasionally dangerous. At one point, he was thrown into a pool full of sharks with only a flexi-glass screen for protection. When one of the creatures got through, Connery beat the hastiest of retreats.

There was other work, including Alfred Hitchcock’s Marnie, and The Hill, a drama about a wartime British Army prison in North Africa.

Sean Connery & Shirley Eaton in Goldfinger
image captionBy the time of Goldfinger he was beginning to resent the publicity the role brought

But by the time You Only Live Twice was completed, Connery was tiring of Bond and feared being typecast.

He turned down On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, with the role given to Australian actor George Lazenby, whose career never recovered.

Saltzman and Broccoli lured Connery back for Diamonds Are Forever in 1971, meeting the actor’s demand for a then record $1.25m fee. Connery used it to set up the Scottish International Education Trust, supporting the careers of up-and-coming Scottish artists.

The film had mixed reviews, with some critics complaining the film relied too much on camp humour, a theme that would continue and develop under his successor, Roger Moore.

Connery starred in the Rudyard Kipling tale The Man Who Would Be King alongside his great friend Michael Caine, but most of the next decade was spent in supporting roles, such as in Time Bandits, or as part of an ensemble cast in films like A Bridge Too Far.

Never Say Never

Having lost a lot of money in a Spanish land deal, he accepted a lucrative offer to play Bond again, in Never Say Never Again. This time 007 was an ageing hero; older, wiser and self-deprecating but ultimately still as hard as nails.

The title was suggested by Connery’s wife, who reminded her husband he had vowed “never to play Bond again”.

He continued to play other parts, winning a Bafta for his performance as William of Baskerville in Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose.

Sean Connery and Christian Slater in The Name of the Rose
image captionFilms like The Name of the Rose helped him escape the mantle of Bond

A year later, his performance as a world-weary Irish beat cop, albeit with a definite Scottish accent, in The Untouchables, won him an Oscar for best supporting actor.

In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, he played Harrison Ford’s father, despite being only 12 years older. And there was a knowing nod towards James Bond alongside Nicolas Cage in The Rock, where he was a British secret agent kept imprisoned for decades.

There was box office success for The Hunt for Red October, The Russia House and Entrapment; although First Knight and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen failed to take off.

And he turned down the role of Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings in 2006, declaring himself tired of acting and sick of the “idiots now making films in Hollywood”.


He was briefly considered for the role of the gamekeeper in the 2012 Bond film Skyfall, but the director, Sam Mendes, wisely felt it would be distracting to have a previous 007 appear with Daniel Craig.

Always hating the Hollywood lifestyle, he preferred to play golf at his homes in Spain, Portugal and the Caribbean with his second wife, Micheline Roqubrune, an artist he had met in Morocco.

His previous marriage, to the Australian actress Diane Cilento, had ended in 1975 amid allegations he had been violent towards her and had a string of affairs. They had one son, the actor Jason Connery.

Sean Connery arriving at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh, with his wife Micheline
image captionHe claimed he remained true to his Scottish roots despite living abroad

Despite his exile, he retained a full throated passion for Scotland, despite once misguidedly endorsing a Japanese blend of whisky.

He attributed his short fuse and his “moodiness” to his Celtic genes. “My view is that to get anywhere in life you have to be anti-social,” he once said. “Otherwise you’ll end up being devoured.”

A long overdue knighthood, finally awarded in 2000, was reportedly held up by the Labour government because of his support for Scottish independence.

In truth, his Bond is now a museum piece; the portrayal of women impossibly dated. The action scenes are still thrilling, but the sex too often bordered on the non-consensual.

Thankfully, it’s been a while since 007 slapped a woman on the backside and forced a kiss. But Connery’s performance was of its time, enjoyed by millions of both sexes and gave the silver screen a 20th Century icon.

He leaves behind him a body of work that any actor would be proud of and, not least, a vacancy for the title “Greatest Living Scot”.

October 31st 2020

Happening Again

There is no mystery as to why Corbyn’s Labour Party has been exposed for anti semitism. For some years it has courted the Muslim vote, along with preaching on women’s rights and need for more laws to control men. There is an interesting and contradictory mix in Labour’s power base, so it will be interesting to see how the former head of corrupt Crown Prosecution Service, turned Labour leader deals with the crisis. Reptilian smarm is a requisite of the modern politician.

It was David Blinkett, as Home Secretary, who coined the phrase that there is no obvious limit to mass immigration, His then boss Tony Blair said that Britain had a future as the Hong Kong of Europe. He also stated that it was necessary to remove our freedoms in order to protect them.

Labour lost its identity in 1979, when Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher set out to destroy the Trade Unions whose work in tandem with bigoted patronising management combined to destroy much of Britain’s industry. They played into the vile Thatcherite hands. I was kicked out of the Labour Party during the Coal Miner’s strike for questioning the wisdom of Scragill calling a national strike without a ballot.

After years of drivel about Thatcher’s choice of Trident nuclear weapons and feminist ravings, Blair took over with his own version of Thatcher. Then came lies to start the current wars in the Middle East, angering Islamic extremists and fuelling mass migration into Europe. Now we have Covid and the elite’s blind eye to the impact of ludicrous lockdown on the economy. Critics are either nuts or Far Right.

Never mind, the popular Sun Newspaper for morons offers the amazing news that the petulant David Beckham, whose World Cup tantrum led to defeat, is getting paid an obscene £16 million for his life story. And just in case the far right, as the elite call critics, think they can change anything, we have a warning article on the front of the BBC history magazine. There is also a warning about Hitler youth.

It is the same old rubbish about the Nazis. Germany’s working class paid a high price getting the blame for World War One, which was a matter of greedy in bred Imperial leaders in Britain, Germany and Russia falling out over their shares of the world’s land and resources. It led to where we are now. Looking back, and some saw danger at the time, we have no reason to thank the leaders of that time anymore than we can trust their descendants and lackeys today.

It is trendy to ignore the sufferings of lower class whites and pander to BLM. Good old divide and rule built an empire, which along with its allies did so much harm post 1918. There is no mind to the fact that Nazi supporters were not consciously evil , they were like stones being worn away from the bank by a fast flowing and destructive river. The same is happening today. It is hard to imagine the politicians and their vile police lackeys will every stop lying. R.J Cook

If Trump wins Posted October 31st 2020

Damon Linker

I’m pretty confident that Democratic challenger Joe Biden will defeat President Trump next Tuesday. Trump barely managed to win four years ago, and this time multiple factors point toward a much stronger showing for the Democratic ticket.

But like so many who lived through the 2016 election, I now expect the unexpected. For Republicans, this manifests itself as unwavering faith that their side will prevail no matter what the polls predict. For Democrats, it produces the opposite — a PTSD-inspired fatalism that an incredibly stable race showing Biden ahead by 6-10 points for months on end will still conclude with a shocking come-from-behind victory for their ideological bête noire.

That outcome isn’t likely. But it could happen: Trump could win, despite all the signs pointing in the other direction. The race could tighten by a couple of points over the weekend. The polls could be off by another 2-3 points, due to a systematic error in turnout assumptions, putting Biden in reality just 4-5 points ahead of Trump instead of 9. And then Trump could manage to barely prevail in just the right number of states to come out on top once again in the Electoral College while losing the national popular vote by several million ballots (due to even more lopsided results in deep blue states than we saw in 2016). Advertisement

I’m entirely convinced that Trump winning a second term would be bad for the country. He’s been an atrocious president — incompetent, impulsive, cruel, flamboyantly mendacious and corrupt. His debasement of our public life has been so massive that the damage may be incalculable. And all of this was true before COVID-19 proved what Trump critics had long presumed to be the case — that he is singularly unsuited to lead the country through a genuine crisis. With the pandemic and resulting economic shock still unfolding and other crises (from climate change to various potential foreign policy flash points) looming, the prospect of giving Trump four more years at the helm seems downright dangerous.

But that, in itself, is not the scenario that really gives me nightmares. As bad as four more years of Trump would be, it most likely wouldn’t pose an existential threat to the country. We have already survived four years of the Trump administration, after all. Another term would be awful, but we’d make it through. More damage would be done, but come 2024 we’d finally be rid of him, with the possibility of something better on the horizon.

What really worries me isn’t Trump himself. It’s the interaction of another Trump victory with the potential reaction of the left.

I’m pretty confident that Democratic challenger Joe Biden will defeat President Trump next Tuesday. Trump barely managed to win four years ago, and this time multiple factors point toward a much stronger showing for the Democratic ticket.

But like so many who lived through the 2016 election, I now expect the unexpected. For Republicans, this manifests itself as unwavering faith that their side will prevail no matter what the polls predict. For Democrats, it produces the opposite — a PTSD-inspired fatalism that an incredibly stable race showing Biden ahead by 6-10 points for months on end will still conclude with a shocking come-from-behind victory for their ideological bête noire.

That outcome isn’t likely. But it could happen: Trump could win, despite all the signs pointing in the other direction. The race could tighten by a couple of points over the weekend. The polls could be off by another 2-3 points, due to a systematic error in turnout assumptions, putting Biden in reality just 4-5 points ahead of Trump instead of 9. And then Trump could manage to barely prevail in just the right number of states to come out on top once again in the Electoral College while losing the national popular vote by several million ballots (due to even more lopsided results in deep blue states than we saw in 2016). Advertisement

I’m entirely convinced that Trump winning a second term would be bad for the country. He’s been an atrocious president — incompetent, impulsive, cruel, flamboyantly mendacious and corrupt. His debasement of our public life has been so massive that the damage may be incalculable. And all of this was true before COVID-19 proved what Trump critics had long presumed to be the case — that he is singularly unsuited to lead the country through a genuine crisis. With the pandemic and resulting economic shock still unfolding and other crises (from climate change to various potential foreign policy flash points) looming, the prospect of giving Trump four more years at the helm seems downright dangerous.

But that, in itself, is not the scenario that really gives me nightmares. As bad as four more years of Trump would be, it most likely wouldn’t pose an existential threat to the country. We have already survived four years of the Trump administration, after all. Another term would be awful, but we’d make it through. More damage would be done, but come 2024 we’d finally be rid of him, with the possibility of something better on the horizon.

What really worries me isn’t Trump himself. It’s the interaction of another Trump victory with the potential reaction of the left.

It would be one thing if Trump were poised to win close to an outright majority, like Viktor Orban’s Fidesz Party in Hungary — or a solid plurality, like Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. In that case, Democrats would have to accept that their views were outnumbered in the country at large. They’d have to learn to adjust to having lost the battle for democratic public opinion.

It would be one thing if Trump were poised to win close to an outright majority, like Viktor Orban’s Fidesz Party in Hungary — or a solid plurality, like Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. In that case, Democrats would have to accept that their views were outnumbered in the country at large. They’d have to learn to adjust to having lost the battle for democratic public opinion.

Comment The above article is from the trendy British magazine ‘The Week.’ It reeks of the same smug elitist British elite self styled self congratulating so called liberal consensus.

The reality that Trump has been able to do very little other than act as scapegoat, thus revealing the myth of the ‘commander in chief’ is not picked up on. What the Anglo U.S elite are concerned about is getting the right sort of figurehead. Biden’s corrupt dealings as vice president under the saintly Obama ( sic ), does not matter.

He is the pathfinder for the ultimate U.S ( and effectively British figurehead ) , the black female Harris. The Anglo U.S elite who have obscene wealth, made very much richer by Covid 19, need a black woman to rally the masses, ostracising dissenters. That is why their media won’t back off over the mouthy self seeking arrogant Princess Meghan, calling those who don’t like the mixed race girl as racist. The elite and media lackeys cannot believe any white person could dislike her for any other reason than her slightly darker skin. As for blacks, they are not allowed to dislike blacks – according to patronising white elite members and morons.

This love affair with ethnics ( though it should be noted that Islam is a religion not a race, so to critcise its’ violence is not logically a racist act ) is beginning to cause serious and manifest problems in France. In Britain, BAME communities are hot beds of Covid 19. Uncontrolled flow of migrants and so called asylum seekers from failing overpopulated disease and poverty ridden Third World countries is destroying our British NHS and impacting across Europe. Elites call for a ban on social media and censorship because ultimately it is only their enrchment that counts.

In the Third World, they have encouraged ignorance and religious bigotry, along with corrupt place men – who have no virtues other than the white liberal one of being black -across the old empire. Here they fear that to do otherrwise will speed up China’s intrusion. China actually builds Africa and Paksitan infrastructure. The Anglo American elite simply uses their minions to exploit resources and welcome the massive population surplus to Europe. This pushes up prices, depresses wages and swells voters for parties like Britain’s Labour who thrive on the pretence of caring for so called underdogs. Covid 19 is a Godsend for these greedy oppressors – the evdence that it was bio engineered is obviously ridiculed by them.

R.J Cook

Pop and rockInterview

Don McLean on the tragedy behind American Pie: ‘I cried for two years’ Posted October 30th 2020

Rob Walker

‘You couldn’t talk about my sister because you couldn’t tell the truth’ … Don McLean in the 1970s.

‘You couldn’t talk about my sister because you couldn’t tell the truth’ … Don McLean in the 1970s. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty

The rollicking song about the souring of the 60s has now spawned a film, a musical and a children’s book. Its creator talks about its meaning – and reveals the family deaths underlying itThu 22 Oct 2020 06.00 BST

Last modified on Mon 26 Oct 2020 10.01 GMT

When Don McLean was 15 years old, he had a premonition that his father was going to die. Distraught, he ran to tell his grandmother. “Don’t be ridiculous, Donny, why would you say such a thing?” she said. “Because it’s going to happen,” the boy replied. A few days later, his father dropped dead right in front of him. “I saw how he looked,” says McLean. “He’d turned green. I didn’t know what I was going to do without him. He was the king, the boss. He knew everything.”

The singer-songwriter behind the 1971 classic American Pie is speaking from his home in Palm Desert, a town in California where he is now well into what he calls the “desert phase” of his life. Wildfires are still burning across the state. You can’t see the sun for the acrid smoke. “I’m feeling it in my lungs,” says the 75-year-old.

So what did he do when his father died? “I cried for two years,” he says. “I blamed myself.” We’ve been talking about death for half an hour – his father’s and his feelings about his own. “I’m nearing the end of the high-dive,” he says. “Know what I mean?” It’s the big McLean theme running through his songwriting, from American Pie to the virtually unknown Run Diana Run, a weird musical dirge about Princess Diana.

‘The day the music died’ … the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly is thought to be one of the song’s references – but McLean hints it could be about his father’s death.

‘The day the music died’ … the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly is thought to be one of the song’s references – but McLean hints it could be about his father’s death. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

We’re meeting, though, to talk about his era-spanning epic: that rollicking eight-and-a-half minute run-through of the 1960s after the decade closed. The Recording Industry Association of America has the song in its top five, behind Over the Rainbow and White Christmas; it’s been covered by everyone from Madonna to Tyson Fury, who sang it after knocking out Deontay Wilder earlier this year; and the original handwritten lyrics sold in 2015 for $1.2m (£800,000), the third highest auction price ever for an American literary manuscript.

McLean wrote it half a century ago, at the age of 24 – and to mark the anniversary, a new documentary, inevitably titled The Day the Music Died, will be released. A Broadway show is planned for 2022, and even a children’s book. That’s a lot of fuss for one song: McLean’s moment, perhaps, to tell the world once and for all what the lyrics actually mean.

There’s general agreement that the song is about the cultural and political decline of the US in the 1960s, a farewell to the American dream after the assassination of President Kennedy. “Bye bye Miss American Pie,” he sings. “Drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry.” But McLean has always kept stumm about the allusions in his verses. “Carly Simon’s still being coy about who You’re So Vain was written about,” he says. “So who cares, who gives a fuck?”

Plenty do. Every line of American Pie has been stripped bare. There are fan websites dedicated entirely to decoding it. Who was the jester who sang for the king and queen in a coat he borrowed from James Dean? What exactly was revealed the day the music died? The Vietnam war, social revolution, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, JFK, Mick Jagger, Martin Luther King, Charles Manson, Hells Angels, The Beatles, hallucinogenic drugs, God, the Devil – they’re all in there, aren’t they? No one can be totally sure, except one man.

‘Jack Flash sat on a candlestick’ … violence at a Rolling Stones concert at Altamont in 1969.

‘Jack Flash sat on a candlestick’ … violence at a Rolling Stones concert at Altamont in 1969. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Redferns

For McLean, though, the genius of the song is in its structure, not its words: a perfect fusion, he says, of folk, rock’n’roll and old-fashioned popular music. The slow intro is the pop part, but then the piano kicks in and the tempo speeds into the chorus – that’s the rock’n’roll bit. The folk component is in the verse-chorus-verse composition. “I’ve never said that to anybody in 50 years,” says McLean.

Hmm, I say, that’s not really the scoop I was looking for. But then there’s no point asking McLean direct questions about what the song means: he’s too well practised at flicking them off. “It means I’ll never have to work again,” he used to quip.

Instead, our conversation drifts back to his childhood, before the death of his father – to what he calls the “dreadful, ugly secret” of his sister Betty Anne. Fifteen years his senior, she was an alcoholic, a drug addict, and a bum who ruined his childhood, he says. “You couldn’t talk about her because you couldn’t tell the truth about what was happening to her. It was a disaster to see it. She was always so shackled. It was terrible.”

She would straighten herself out, leave home, but then come back in a mess, he says. “It happened over and over.” He gets upset just talking about it. “That’s why I’m a blue guy I guess.” He sighs. “All my stuff is about loss – and a certain kind of psychic pain. I’ve never really been happy.”

The joker and the king? … Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley.

The joker and the king? … Bob Dylan and Elvis Presley. Composite: Don Hunstein, NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

For all its catchy sing-along jauntiness, there’s little to really cheer about in American Pie. It’s devoid of hope. McLean did come up with a more upbeat verse where the music gets “reborn” at the end. But he ditched it. “Things weren’t going that way,” he says. “I didn’t see America improving intellectually or politically. It was going steadily downhill, and so was the music.”

He takes me back in time again – to the innocent days, supposedly, of the 1950s that American Pie is lamenting. But McLean hated growing up in what he describes as a small house in an upper middle class neighbourhood of New Rochelle, in New York. People discriminated about everything, he says. “If you didn’t drive the right car, if you didn’t have enough money, if you didn’t wear the right shoes. I hated those fuckers.”

He’s burdened by the pain and grief of his childhood, even now. The opening of American Pie is largely accepted as mourning Buddy Holly, who died in a plane crash in 1959. Holly was McLean’s musical idol as a kid, but could that verse equally be about his father? “You’ve hit the nail on the head,” he says. “I mean, that’s exactly right. That’s why I don’t like talking about the lyrics because I wanted to capture and say something that was almost unspeakable. It’s indescribable.” He adds: “American Pie is a biographical song.”

The cultural allusions are, he continues, his own in-jokes, poking fun at some of the big acts of the day. “Just the idea of choosing names that people could identify with: different artists, what they were doing, what they’d done. I was making fun of it all.”

‘I’m nearing the end of the high-dive’ … McLean performing in 2015.

‘I’m nearing the end of the high-dive’ … McLean performing in 2015. Photograph: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

The jester in the song is widely assumed to be Bob Dylan, stealing the limelight from Elvis Presley as the new messiah: “And while the king was looking down / The jester stole his thorny crown.” Dylan himself seemed to take umbrage with the association. “Yeah, American Pie, what a song that is,” he said in a rare interview in 2017. “A jester? Sure, the jester writes songs like Masters of War, A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall, It’s Alright, Ma – some jester. I have to think he’s talking about somebody else. Ask him.”

So I ask him. “I can’t tell you,” says McLean. “But he would make a damn good jester, wouldn’t he?” He tells me Dylan’s son Jacob asked him the same question, but he didn’t tell him either.

McLean likes to be in charge. He admits that. It’s why he’s planning to put most of his possessions up for auction before he dies: song lyrics, guns, saddles, hunting knives, banjos, guitars, custom-made boots, his car. It’s part, he says, of a cleansing process: “I don’t want to leave it to someone else to figure out what to do with this stuff.”

Perhaps unravelling the mystery of American Pie would mean losing control of that too. “I always have to know where I’m headed,” says McLean, who doesn’t trust the media to give him a fair hearing and claims rarely to read anything that’s been written about him. “Don’t read good things and don’t read bad things,” he says, “because it’s all a bunch of bullshit.”

Under the hammer … the original handwritten manuscript of American Pie’s lyrics went for $1.2m.

Under the hammer … the original handwritten manuscript of American Pie’s lyrics went for $1.2m. Photograph: Brendan Mcdermid/Reuters

This seems as good a moment as any to ask McLean how he dealt with the situation when he was arrested and charged after his ex-wife accused him of domestic abuse. (McLean pleaded guilty and paid a fine, though his lawyer said this was “not because he was in fact guilty of anything, but to provide closure for his family and keep the whole process as private as possible”.)

“I can truly say that my ex-wife is the worst person I ever knew,” he says. “There’s nobody who compares.” Patrisha McLean, who he divorced in 2016, has talked about their relationship in a travelling exhibit about domestic violence called Finding Our Voices, and has established a non-profit of the same name. He says it took four years for the breakup to sink in. “All these love letters that she sent me every month for 30 years – they immediately turned to salt.”Don McLean review – nostalgic rock’n’roller doesn’t wave bye to American PieRead more

Before we close, McLean offers me this reflection, about a painting by Thomas B Allen hanging in the living room of the country mansion he has in Maine. It captures Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift and Marilyn Monroe as they were in the film The Misfits: they’re all being photographed but their faces look like they’re being shot, assassinated even.

That’s how he feels, he says, thanks to the legacy of American Pie. “Writing a song that everyone on Earth knows shouldn’t make you resentful,” he says. “But you better have a lot inside you – because it’s gonna get sucked out.”

• The Day the Music Died film and the children’s book American Pie are out next year. The musical will follow in 2022.

• This article was amended on 22 October 2020 to remove a reference that said New Rochelle was in upstate New York.

The Penthouse (1967) Suzy Kendall. Terence Morgan. rare cult movie

Cult 60’s movie. Three thugs–Tom, Dick and Harry (a woman)–break into the penthouse apartment of an adulterous couple and proceed to terrorize them, but as it turns out, things aren’t exactly what they seem to be. Apologies for poor sound quality in the second half

Stuff October 27th 2020

Boris and the two Prices who weren’t murdered in the Tower of London.
All about those books about rich kids.

October 25th 2020

Cliif Richard has always been an enigma, and a very private person. Suspicions have been rife because he never married, in spite of being linked to two beauties.

When he was accused of being a paodophile for many years, the British Police State Police contacted the BBC ‘Ministry of Information’ to film and broadcast when they raided his luxury home in Sunningdale, Surrey.

That is the role of media in Police State Britain and why Sir Kier Starmer, former head of the CPS ( Corrupt Prosecution Service ) called to clamp down on social media and ban RT. The internet was meant to be a disinformation service. When I told my maths de;partment colleagues, back in the early 1980s, how dangerous computers would become, I was laughed at and called a Luddite. Nerds just don’t get it. R,J Cook

Mask of Truth, British Government stokes up the lies and panic, all they need do is quote ‘the science’ and the press pack and BBC ( Ministry of Information ) run with it.

Neither pure black or pure white, Meghan was the enigma meant to make the British Royal family acceptable, as a new Diana. Royalty are crucial to Britain’s fake history and solidarity. So the Meghan thing failed because even British morons did not like her brash vulgarity, divisive words and the money she cost.

The elite control history, painting the black population as whiter than white, white working classes as blacker than black and boosting BLM is their latest stroke of genius. Royalty may seem expensive but they impress and mesmerise morons.

Meanwhile, the man , accused without evidence of raping media luvvie weather girl Ulrika Johnson – John Leslie – continues to fight off allegations from women he has allegedly assaulted. Of course they don’t need evidence. To paraphrase Homer Simpson court ordeal when accused of sexual assault , the prosecutor says : ‘You tears say more than real evidence ever could.’ R.J Cook

This magazine used to be worth reading, now it is just lightweight psuedo science feminist complaining and advice on how to get the better of men. It’s bias is as thick dangerous and unpleasant as oil slick.

Economy with truth October 25th 2020

Mass media was invented by the people with money. They have always controlled the population.

The world is in the process of a massive insidious economic and social revolution.

The Economist must be read with its psuedo liberal democracy bias in mind.

Barbaric British October 24th 2020

Hard Times October 24th 2020

The Anglo-U.S elite have not gotten over the age of Yeltsin, when billions worth of the Russian peoples’ assets were stolen, with boozer Yeltsin’s connivance. They are playng a very dangerous game and it is Covid 19 connected..

They want the Yeltsin age of corruption in Russia back. Covid 19 is perfect cover for resetting the global economy in their favour. Lockdown and testing will be with us for years.

The lefty posh liberals are boasting that the nice British people will be clubbing together to feed starving kids because of this rich man’s con – I use the word man as a collective noun for mankind, because there are some horrible greedy lying women in positions of power.

Charlie Close
Hypocrisy and bullshit
This man is a coward, full of wind, wants to be liked. ‘Covid is the Christmas gift that keeps on giving. The man is an utter failure, either a willing party to the Covid Con, or terrified it will strike him again. To compare this genneration of arrogant upper middle class fools and feisty foul feminists with those of my working class parents – who suffered many put downs and the horrors of World War Two, is sick and utterly disgusting. R.J Cook

October 22nd 2020 Re Write is Right

How much did this guy get from the Deep State to produce this re write of history? Fact, Gulf War one was about getting an oil crisis. Hussein had been breaking OPEC price fixing to raise money to repair damage caused by the 7 year proxy war he fought against Iran, for the U.S.

Gulf War Two was about using the dubious 9/11 attack pinned on innocent Saddam Hussein, to get regime change and oil. Now we have chaos. so we get this money grabber doing the dirty, avoiding the death penalty for war crimes by association if he is telling the truth – which is dubious. His book reads like a worm would write about life on a hook. R.J Cook

Headlines October 21st 2020

More Boris ‘Karloff’ Johnson Drivel
Covid 19 is about tightening the police state. A Brazillian testing a British vaccine has died and two others have inflamation of the spine preventing them from walking.
This lockdown is going to kill so many and ruin lives. Control should focus on BAME high density communities and diets, and filthy care homes with poor staff.
I read this self centred smug superficial drivel yesterday. Life is not ‘ what you make it for most of us from the lower orders. Other people do their best to make other peoples lives bad many of them malevolent.

Accidents of birth, looks and class are but a few of the issues. Schofiled is coming from the heroic ‘ I am being brave and coming out as gay, you can too, or reveal whatever peculiarity you have, tell the world, be a hero but you will not get a cushy well paid job on the TV like our Phil.

His book is more of this self help, your mad but you can get better if you admit what is wrong with you. Stop blaming society and fit in, take the pills

This will appeal to women because Phil’s softly spoken gayness is non threatening.
R.J Cook

Judge Not Lest Ye Be Judged Escapism & Feminists R.J Cook October 20th 2020

Robert Cook, standing, winter 1962. My father was at home just down the lane and across the road, bed ridden and dying. A month later they took him to hospital, where he died nine months later. Our poverty was extreme.

Feminists are despicable prejudiced self obsessed Nazis in my view. They have a weird obsession with their own sex and careers in planet & life destroying careers in the capitaist system.

Women in power have not made the world a better place, but men are too scared to argue with them, the unaccountable police state police are on the female side, on behalf of the ruling elite who use the poor people’s taxes to over fund them, R.J Cook

Image Appledene Archives

The article, below this one, reminds me of a seminar at the University of East Anglia in 1973. My course was U.S Economic History 2. I survived The previous module U.S Economic History 1, with a dreary English pedant. I fully expected module 2 to be as boring.

Luckily I had a rather pleasant surprise, meeting the most interesting and stimulating lecturer I had ever met there. His name was Dr Alan O’Day, an Irish American from Chicago. He was not only stimulating in the seminar room, but excellent company in the bar.

I recall in particular that a pair of dull feminist students reported him for deviating from the curriculum. As with many of these prototype 70s feminists, they expected knowledge to be off a shelf in a library, pre digested and spoon fed so that they coud vomit it all up in the final exam.

Alan had done his Phd research in Dublin, becoming expert on aspects of Irish history. I asked him what he thought of Ireland, the place where my maternal grandfather had been forced to leave or starve in 1919. Without hesitation he said, stifling a yawn : ‘Boring.’

Alan was anything but boring . Years later, going through my nightmare divorce, made absolute hell by my senior police officer ex brother in law’s involvement, I met a young American lawyer Jack Hadley. He took me to lunch at an Olde Worlde Inn near his office. We chatted about the United States, where fall out from lobbying encouraged him to leave.

Jack Hadley was another Irish American. He explained what he considered the difference between the Irish and the Irish American. He said an Irishman will say ‘It was terrible. It got worse and they all died.’ Whereas the Irish American will say, ‘It was terrible. It got worse, then we did something about it.’

Back to Dr O’Day. Obviously his ancestors did something about it when they left the old country for the U.S. Thankfully he popped back across the Atlantic to liven up the U.S 2 seminars. But those two dull feminist girls didn’t like his approach, so they did what feminists do best – those sort have hell of a cheek calling anyone a Nazi- they reported him, quoting the rules and curriculum.

On one occasion I recall one of these dullard girls responding to Alan’s digression onto interwar pop culture and the sort of Hollywood films being produced. One of them asked, with a deadpan expression and monotone voice : ‘ With millions of Americans in dire poverty, why did they go and watch Hollywood glamorous musicals and romances Why were they made.’ Alan looked puzzled. So I took the the opportunity of cutting in to say what should have been obvious to anyone outside the feminist perspective ( box ). ” It was because of their misery and hopelessness that they enjoyed escapist films. “

Having grown up in a very poor 1950s household with parents whose young lives were traumatised by World War Two, I recalled watching a lot of these old American films when mum, dad and my spolied sulky sister went next door to watch the matinee on my Uncle Charlie’s little black and white 405 line TV. Few people had TVs back then because they were expensive. Poor Uncle Charlie afforded his by being unlucky enough ( or lucky depending on point of view ) to be on high level scaffolding when it collapsed. He was laying bricks at the time. So when he fell, they fell, along with the scaffolding, with him. So, he bought the TV from his compensation.

My point is simple, people need escapism. They also need romance. Feminism, like Covid 19, is an elite engineered virus – all be it social, it clearly alters brain functioning and behaviour – to keep the masses down.

Consumerism had the same function. I recall watching the BBC news when the mid 1980s miners strike involved their wives. One of them said, in her Northern accent : ‘We shall have us ( pronounced uz ) colour tellies ( television ), we shall have us videos.”

If you were a coal miner, television was about as much colour as you could hope for in your dreary life. These nasty vile feminist, led by upper middle class English literature graduates, however, are preoccupied with their breasts and genitals. For them, class is not an issue. The only colour they care about is black. They see and patronise BLM because they see them as gullible allies in playing the victim card. As I said, these people have a cheek calling anyone a Nazi. As it is written in the much maligned Bible, Old Testament, Book of Judges : ‘Judge not lest ye be judged.’ R,J Cook

Feminist Says Hallmark Christmas Movies Are ‘Fascist Propaganda’

By Erin Evans – December 28, 2019 Posted here October 20th 2020

OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.

Amanda Marcotte is a politics writer for Salon.

She recently wrote a book called “Troll Nation: How the Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set on Ratf*cking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself.”

So you know she’s a peach.

She also wrote an article all about how Hallmark movies “constitute the platonic ideal of fascist propaganda.”


When most of us think about fascistically propagandistic movies, we think of the grotesque grandeur of Leni Riefenstahl’s films celebrating the Third Reich – grand, but cold sweeping shots of soldiers goose-stepping and flags waving, all meant to inspire awe and terror.  But the reality is, even in Nazi Germany, the majority of movies approved by the Nazi minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, were escapist and feather-light, with a Hallmark movie-style emphasis on the importance of “normality.”

Instead of real feelings and love, Marcotte says, Hallmark movies are driven by “the guiding hand of normalcy.”  

It’s all “empty-headed kitsch” that “fits neatly in the authoritarian worldview.”

Or maybe, people are tired of literally EVERYTHING being about politics and the liberal cultural agenda.  

Maybe people are looking for lighthearted, predictable, “empty-headed kitsch” they can enjoy over the holidays.  Maybe the attraction of the movies is the “normalcy” Marcotte decries.

Of course, that’s part of the problem.  

Marcotte is quick to acknowledge that not everyone who watches Hallmark movies is a fascist themselves – yet.  

But if we don’t watch out, these propagandistic movies will subtly convert us all into racist MAGA-hat wearing Nazis.

Still, it’s critical to be mindful of the role that Hallmark movies are actually playing in our society.  The very fact that they’re presented as harmless fluff makes it all the more insidious, the way they work to enforce very narrow, white, heteronormative, sexist, provincial ideas of what constitutes “normal.”

It’s easy to spot fascist propaganda when it’s goose-stepping Pepe-the-frog memes.  It’s a lot harder to notice how it’s working when it’s tied up in Christmas cheer and suggesting grinchood of anyone who questions the rigidity of its worldview.

Everyone needs to chill out and stop looking for racism and hatred in everything that can be seen as stereotypically “normal.”

Entertainment used to be a way to ESCAPE from the worries of everyday life for a few hours, instead of a way to cram a political agenda down on the masses.  

The vast majority of Americans still look to movies for that kind of escape. Let’s let them.ShareTweetA lot of common sense, no bull sense. Get Mock and Daisy’s UNIQUE take on the world, from the dinner table to the swamp on the new Mock and Daisy Common Sense Cast. Listen on Apple Podcasts, iHeartor your favorite podcast app!

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Headlines October 19th 2020

Lead story, men leaving teaching in record numbers. The head of University admissions notes white working class boys underachieving, wondering why feminists clamour for strong female role models but do not apply their feminazi logic to boys. The reason why men leave teaching is no mystery to me, nor is the underachievement of boys. R.J Cook
I noted that it rained for 300 days between last September and now. HAAP is a serious cause for concern with weather modification, so is religious and profit driven overpopulation which is at the root of all climate, migration and Covid problems.

A Glaxo Smith Kleine whistle blower has suggested that research into a vaccine – which is being trotted out by mainstream media and mouthpiece puppets like Boris ‘Karloff’ Johnson – as the only solutino, is a backdoor into eugenics promoting sterility in 97 % of women.

I think we are going to see a programme where having a vaccination, as with the masks, will be compuslory in the name of ‘saving lives’. This is highly credible to those of us who have worked for the state, with such intelligence as to know what vile antics they are capable of. That’s why they make us sign ‘The Official Secrets Act.’ R.J Cook
The elite, with their ‘scientists’ are promoting vaccination, rather than herd immunity while isolating only BAME, elderly and sickly, as the only solution. That is why they stir up fear and panic among the ignorant masses. R.J Cook
The quality of NHS care, and quality of staff, has seriously declined along with massive demand from BAME and immigrants crippling the NHS.

Th pathetic solidarity ritual of handclapping and awards to people in this dreadful service is part of an appalling but laughable con.

Another story on this front page about ‘boomerang offspring’ trivialises the declining opportunities for young people living legiiamtely in Britain.

Covid is a device to make matters worse, pretending that the virus happened naturally, when obviously it didn’t and is not a serious threat to healthy people anyway.

Add to this the other disgusting story on this page, the Shiekh’s – no doubt he is one of many in that nasty elite-£5 billion property empire and we have a thumbnail sketch of a vile Britain in a vile world.

People like this exploit their otherwise Third World popualtions, using first world experts for high pay, pushing up London house prices.

They romp and rave around London – fast cars fast girls, breaking all the rules of Islam, and partying with posh white natives. Then they dump their surplus impoverished religious biogted population on the British masses, who get the blame for racism and a so called right wing response.

To call this a democracy is pathetic. Filling political / Public service positions with women and blacks is an excellent way to shift attention on to bogus problems, invented to protect the elite. R.J Cook.

Love on the Dole, a film and novel by Walter Greenwood. R.J Cook October 19th 2020

At this moment I am watching a film adaptation of Walter Greenwood’s novel ‘Love on the Dole.’ It is set in a film is set in Hanky Park, part of Salford, in 1930 at the height of the Great Depression.

Young lovers, the girl became pregnant when the boy uses his racing winnings to take the girlfriend for her only ever holiday in Blackpool. Whne he gets home he is sacked from his job = such a privileged white male.

It is the first English film showing the police wielding batons against protesting public. The BLM is about blackwashing the abuse and exploitation of the English working classes.  

Poor hopeless young men consider crime as a means of surviving Salford and the Great Depression – something the elite have in mind to repeat, using BAME and the elderly as an excuse for them to reset the economy in their favour, as they did by creating a war in 1939, then re wrote the history – turning classist and racist Churchill into an iconic hero. Churchill was terrified that there would be a post war socialism to harm his money grabbing and hoarding class interest.

My father grew up in the grim back streets of Islington, North London.  That area is trendy and affluent now, but I recall how awful it was in the 1950s, and the bomb sites.

One wonders what men like my regular soldier father thought he and his kind were fighting for. He used to frighten me with stories of children my age dying from starvation.  There was no National Health Service.  

My friend Mick Birrell from near Ormskirk told me a story of his dad when he was coming home from work in Birkenhead. He told his son about a starving boy, without shoes, breaking a cake shop window for food.  A policeman saw him running away, picked up a milk bottle from a doorstep, threw it in front of the scampering child.  It shattered, with the screaming infant ripping open his feet and falling to the ground – then off to the police station.

Police confront and beat anti means test protesters in 1930s Salford, Manchester.

During the 1930s, the rich closed up shop, using vast wealth for fun.  That same elite did not give a damn about Hitler and the Nazis. They feared communism more than that.  The first Me109s had Rolls Royce engines, the first BMWs were Austin 7s. Through the 20s and early 30s, working class Germans were also suffering the consequences of their own elite’s second greed World War One..World War Two War brought jobs and empty promises.

Workers protest against the dole being cut and means tested in Salford 1930. The police lackeys to the rich, beat them, causing serious injury and death. What;s changed ? The propaganda and fake science on Covid are redolent of Nazi Germany. Mass BAME immigration has led to massive Europe wide protests and health service overload. Britain’s police state leads the fight back against protest, with spying, media self righteousnes, LGBTQI. Feminist/BAME diversions and repression

Working people were bombed and slaughtered on the battlefield because they were given no choice on either side.  Hitler was the German rich man’s puppet and ultimate scapegoat. Russia – U.S.S.R took the worst of that war with Churchill wanting to bomb this ally afterwards – because he represented the rich and feared communism .

Trading on that war and the Churchill myth, windbag Boris ‘Karloff’ Johnson tells us we are all in it together.  Well, to paraphrase George Orwell and Animal Farm, some of us are more in it than others.  The reality is that my parents generation were not all homogenus nasty slave trading whites.  They were mostly slaves living squalor.  Covid is the elite acting to type. From 1930-45 they pretended to care for the Jews.  Now they pretend to care for the elderly and BAME – whose numbers increase massively every year, naturally and through immigration.  

The vulnerable groups should be the ones isolated if they fear Covid.  Twelve boat loads of migrants arrived yesterday, from the old Third World, the old rich mans empire and bombing targets for the ast 20 years.  The rich are the problem and will sacrifice and con , kill and bully the masses as they did for centuries past. They have brought religion back, in the guise of diversity, to suppress freedom of thought with hate crime consequences for dissidents redolent of Tudor England.

The film was made as propaganda in 1941, using Greenwood’s lament for the British working classes as something to rally the troops because Communism and Fascism so threatened the rulers. Read the book, there was and still is no hope for the divided masses. Sally Hardcastle, the young miner’s daughter having lost her idealistic beau due to police violence, sells out becoming an old bookie and money lender’s concubine – outraging the working class community’s narrow minded and self defeating sense of morality which means more to them than lack of money, that’s religion for you.  R.J Cook

U.K Headlines October 16th 2020

A book display, Morrisons, Westcroft, Milton Keynes U.K Diversity Police State Plc. ‘Lies tnat life is black & White’ Bob Dylan. No mention of E.R Braithwate or James Ba;dwin because femininazis have taken over the ‘Black Cause’ on behalf of the Global Elite ‘Divide & Rule’ Police State. R.J Cook
Image Appledene Photographics/RJC

‘Outbreak’- Demorats. October 15th 2020

Patients dying in agony from the mystery virus which has actually been bio engineered as a weapon by their own government scientists.

Demo’rats at work, sealing fate of dying town, planning a massive fire bomb for them. That is western style demoratcy – the spelling of the last word is intentional !

Donald Sutherland giving a fine perfrmance as the cold blooded General and State paid killer in ‘Outbreak’.

Movies can move, excite or simply distract. There was nothing like that about ‘Outbreak’ made back in the 1990s, which I watched last night on Netflix.

In my experience, the more stupid or mentally ill they are, then the more deluded and conceited people tend to be. That is because doubts or questions just never occur to them.  Sadly these idiot or robotic qualities are what the ruling elite look for in teachers and police officers. There is a reason for that. There are no such excuses for the devious exploitative arrogant politically correct mainstream media,

‘Outbreak’ has alarming relevance to our world of Covid Lockdown. I can’t really get the measure of Donald Trump because he had no chance of doing what he wanted to do.  What C Wright Mills called ‘The Power Elite ‘ back in the 1960s, has made sure of that, fronted by the patronising so called ‘Democrats -miss out the C, and you get Demorats. – made sure of that.

So when Trump set out to appeal to the U.S Blue collar, especially the ‘Rust Belt’, I suspect he thought attacking China and Latin America might help get them jobs back.

If Trump had been more intellectual he would never have salvaged his bankrupt companies or made a show of himself in the media.  He has shown qualities that don’t fit the system.  In so doing, he has revealed possible and real truths, without intention.

One of those is his insistence that Covid 19 is ‘the Chinese virus.’ All too conveniently, it struck in Wuhan at a meat market, and not many miles from a bio research lab.  To conclude that it was China’s intention to make this virus, and kill millions in the west, is sophistry.  It makes more sense to suspect that it was an Anglo U.S concoction released in Wuhan because China – exploited by the west for cheap goods, but refusing regime change or to release Hong Kong- is a global threat to Anglo U.S elite imperialism.

Our elite were too eager to back worldwide lockdown.  They knew too much about it.  Maybe they just want to destroy millions of the masses economically.  Maybe they know how the virus is supposed to mutate and who it was supposed to kill. The elite know far more about genetic engineering than we might imagine.

‘Outbreak’ is the story of a genetically engineered virus, for U.S weapons purposes.  They have the antidote, but when a captured exotic monkey brings the virus to the U.S, the dark agents of the U.S Deep State frighten the President into bombing  to extinction a small town where the virus has spread like wildfire, mutating – so making the antidote useless.  Donald Sutherland is magnificent as the power mad arrogant General who sneers, ‘We are all at war.’  

He had bombed an infected African village in the 1960s, when the US Deep State first tested the virus. He wants to do it again.  Check out the movie.  As one of my favourite old teachers, John Skinner, used to say, back in the 1960s ; ‘ Robert, the truth is stranger than fiction.’  R.J Cook

Outbreak Donald Sutherland Video Results

  • 2:02Outbreak movie – USA Pandemic – Coronavirus in America – Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, Donald
  • 2:00Outbreak Trailer
  • 2:08:12Outbreak

October 14th 2020

More nonsense that a virus can be suppressed.

This is either ‘the great replacement rich man’s agenda’ or corona is a very serious bio weapon and the elite expect a yet more very serious outcome for BAME and the elderly.

Some take the view it was engineered in the west to target China, with whom the U.S UK partnership are at war, backed by Europe.

This is either ‘the great replacement rich man’s agenda’ or corona is a very serious bio weapon and the elite expect a very serious outcome for BAME and the elderly.

Some take the view it was engineered in the west to target China, with whom the U.S UK partnership are at war, backed by Europe.

Liberal comfortable lefties love Starmer because he led the CPS – Corrupt Prosecution Service – which, in cahoots wih corrupt police – conspired to convict men of crimes they hadn’t committed, especially offences against lying women.

It is hard to imagine Britain’s police state getting any more oppressive, but Starmer is a big influence even in opposition. He appears to intimidate weak Johnson.

The elite encourage BLM as part of their trusted ‘divide and rule’ policy which they now call the rainbow diversity/multi culture. There is only one culture that matters and defines the rest, it is the elite.

October 13th 2020

So lift the lockdown, isolate the vulnerable if they want it and let us all take our chances. Otherwise there will be even worse outcomes than we have now. Vaccine has not stopped flu.

Saying we can’t be ‘normal’ until we have a vaccine is a con because this is a an elite Europe wide conspiracy to subjugate the masses and enrich them. The same is happening in the U.S. It is also to protefct an appalling health service across Europe, U.K and U.S – which cannot cope with mass immigration. The same is happening in the U.S.A. RJ Cook

Covid, Acceptable Prejudice , Feminism & Diversity – Comment to follow. October 12th 2020

Comment Multi culture and diversity is a con. Diversity is a diversion so that the global elite can do as they like. Religion is not truth and undermines mass logic, making divide and rule so much easier. Women are supporters of a new fascism in feminism.

They cannot be treasoned with. The distraction of saying all we whites are guilty of racism- if we don’t go around interrogating and accusing other whites of racism – won’t solve mass unemployment, poverty and homeless problems. Class is the ultimate issue. Muslims are not multi culturalists.

Women like Avari and Sarpong are stupid, racist, arrogant and naive if they believe we can create a better world by demonising all non elite white men, calling them privileged.

These women would not be writing these dreadful racist divisive arrogant patrtonising books if they were not privileged. But the new mantra tells us that women and blacks are the only ones oppressed. Their work is part of the oppression. R.J Cook

October 10th 2020

Some interesting headlines and front pages . Inevitably the New York Times is relishing cracks in Trump support. The election will be rigged as Trump & Co are being labelled as Far Right by liberal rich folk leading blacks and women up the garden path with scapegoats and false hopes. If they get rid of Trump they will miss the one biggest and best scapegoat.

I was ridiculed , as a geography teacher in a nasty Tory Grange school in Aylesbury, for saying climate change was a big issue back in the 1980s. I was told my promotion was being withdrawn because the really right wing Education boss Gillian Misscampbell heard my BBC interview broadcast and song about the dangers of nuclear power after Chernobyl in 1986 – her party were desperate to build more Advanced Gas Cooled Reactors to get rid of troublesome coal miners.

The Rail magazine chooses to blame climate change for its collapsing infrastructure post money grabbing privatisation. The Irish Post is still banging the drum for revenge over the seventies ‘Bloody Sunday’ killings. One of the paras on duty that day, told me that he and others had the job of picking up the bodies and some had been dead for days because the IRA had already killed them for not following their bullying line.

What hypocrisy that these then young soldiers put between a rock and a hard place, face so called justice yet there is no support for Julian Assange exposing cold bloodied killers.

Finally, I must comment on the continuing hectoring of the left wing press winding up the gullible moronic British masses over the need for worse covid lockdown. Their alleged surveys are about as reliable as the rest of thier bullshit about the virus spread and how we can all get it. They have their sacred cows and hidden agenda, medical neglect by our so called boasting cowardly incompetent NHS, and its worth it for them to kill us via bankruptcy, anxiety and homelessness. R.J Cook

Today’s Covid Front Pages October 9th 2020

There is no evidence lockdown does anything to control the virus, but it does block the way to herd immunity. Those who want tougher rules, as expressd by the Express and Guardian, are either liberals or selfish cowards – also quite a few morons among them because they don’t see the greater danger of lockdown or consider the hidden agenda.

Not surprisingly the relatively impoverished north, with its high proportion of BAME and elderly people appear hardest hit – if you believe these guesswork and even deliberately dishonest figures. Government and press are very selctive on the subject of experts – more of whom consider lockdown a bad and dangerous resposne, though it does shut down anti elite protests. Charles Close

Liar Education October 8th 2020

Sad as this story is, it raises the question as to whether the right people are being sent off to university. As a former Oxford University Board A Level examiner, teacher and lecturer, I formed the conclusion that by the 1980s higher educstion and the way into it was something of a production line. Thatcher converted Polytechnics into universities, which then became ‘unis.’

The scheme was based on lies about raising standards and opportunities, whereas in fact it was hiding unemployment and shutting the doorway to excellence by talented working class kids. Anyone who wanted to stand out from the crowd needed the parental support and money to go on for a masters and PHd

Over the years, these ‘unis’ like the one in Portsmouth, have taken over huge areas of city centres. Accommodation costs have gone through the roof, especially due to so many wealthy foreign students. Luxury apartments have been built in Portmouth for these young people while the less fortunate live on the street.

‘Admiralty House’, student accommodation in Queen’s Street, Portsmouth 2020.
Image Appledene Photographics/RJC

Very intelligent students, unless they go to elite schools with gilded route to Oxbridge, are being ripped off by a dumbed down system. Degrees are a devalued currency, teaching in the humaities biased dogma and brainwashing. Student sub culture resembles a moronic youth club.

Drugs were a problem in my days at the University of East Anglia. For the start of my first term, my widowed mother walked with me and my luggage, to the bus stop. On the way, she looked up at me, face full of anxiety, saying : ‘Don’t go getting mixeed up with those drugs.’ I had no idea what she was talking about. My shy world , up until then, had been messing about with electronics, radios, my violin, athletics club and model making.

I have to admit that even in the 1970s, drink and drugs were issues for some. My student contemporaries were spoiled upper middle class. They were rebelling aginst their parents. By graduation day, all the long hair and beards had gone, the girls turned up in twin sets all looking up sweetly at their ever so nice parents who turned up in expensive clothes and big cars.

These students transitioned effortlessly into the selfish young fogies who went on up the career ladder to create the rather nasty excuse for a society that we have today. They succeeded because of their class background, knew how to mix work and play, lesrned from their parents how to use the system. They bore the children who are today’s politicans and senior civil servants, comfortable, well paid, multi culturalists and anti protests unless it is by BLM.

They benefitted from an education that youngsters are deprived of today. So these two young girls went off to ‘uni’ -overdosing on ketermine -but one wonders at the reason for encourging these young women into a world, where they must prove themselves better thn men, where they were obviously not able to cope .

Had they been young men, then they would have been villified by the media as wasters, denying good students a place, who got what they deserved. That is because equslity is s lie in a LIAR Education system.

R,J Cook

Front Pages October 1st 2020

When comfort reading won’t cut it: books to restore hope in humanity Posted October 4th 2020

From Man’s Search for Meaning to a celebration of life in the face of death, Cathy Rentzenbrinkpicks the books that confirm her faith in people

Cathy Rentzenbrink

‘In the struggle lies the joy’ … Maya Angelou. Photograph: The New York Post/Getty Images

The most hopeful thing about books is that they exist. Is it not a miracle to look at a shelf and see the vast range of human experience laid out before us? How remarkable that someone picked up a quill or a typewriter or a laptop and set about distilling their thoughts and ideas into such a perfect delivery mechanism. Every first page functions as the wardrobe door that will open up and show me a new Narnia.

There are periods when I’m not up to the journey, when hope is too much to ask for and I am only fit for rereading Georgette Heyer in the bath or cowering under the covers with PG Wodehouse or Nancy Mitford on audio. But the comfort reading does comfort, and then I am ready to re-engage, to explore, to look for something new.

Humankind by Rutger Bregman really did make me feel hopeful about humanity and reinforce my long-held resolution – under threat from the effects of consuming too much social media and news – that we should try to give our fellow humans the benefit of the doubt, and that it is better to be occasionally screwed over than move through the world full of suspicion and mistrust. Black and British by David Olusoga, an erudite exploration of racism and how it continues to mutate, is hopeful because it is exhilarating to read a fine mind at work, and because, as Olusoga says in his conclusion: “Knowing this history better, understanding the forces it has unleashed, and seeing oneself as part of a longer story, is one of the ways in which we can keep trying to move forward.”

I like reading about people who have witnessed the worst of humanity and found a way through. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl has kept me company through many a long night, and The Choice by Edith Eger, who survived Auschwitz and became a therapist, is generous and wise. Maya Angelou lights the way with grace. I love this from I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings: “She comprehended the perversity of life, that in the struggle lies the joy.”

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Being close to death can help us to notice what really matters. With the End in Mind by Dr Kathryn Mannix takes us into the world of palliative care and shows there is little to fear and much to prepare for when it comes to death: “There are only two days with fewer than twenty-four hours in each lifetime, sitting like bookends astride our lives: One is celebrated every year yet it is the other that makes us see living as precious.”

This is what I hold on to. What can I be doing now to make my deathbed reckoning more satisfying? How do we maintain a faith in humanity? Books help. The feel and the smell. That they exist, that people write them and read them. That always offers me a glimmer of hope on a dark day.

• Dear Reader: The Comfort and Joy of Books by Cathy Rentzenbrink is published by Picador. To order a copy go to Free UK p&p over £15.

Comment Society in the so called free world, has never been so obviously top down. We have U.K PM Boris Johnson warning us :

“It may be “bumpy through to Christmas” and beyond as the UK deals with coronavirus.

Speaking to the BBC’s Andrew Marr, the PM said there was “hope” in beating Covid, but called on the public to “act fearlessly but with common sense”.

He said the government was taking a “balanced” approach between saving lives and protecting the economy!

Boris Johnson, a big disapointment.

The government is doing nothing except publicly pander to BAME, the obese, and old people who are most at risk due to lifestyle and age related pre existing illness. They are destroying jobs purveying the lie that we can all get covid and die. Johnson talks in cliches. Many are impressed that he is bi lingual. All that means that this overweight over 50 something person has had a privileged up bringing and can talk bullsh-t in two languages.

So, here we have a book to restore our faith in human nature. Is this book out to rival the bible and its offshoot and derivative Koran ? Neither of those books inspire my faith in human nature. They are full of violence, sexual hypocrisy , politics and dogma to gain obediece through fear.

This is more typical Guardian pseudo libera patronising upper middle class crap designed as a kind of opium or anti psychotic. Back in my philosophy student days we debated whether it was best to have a fool satisfied, or Socrates dissatisfied. In modern society it is clearly the elite and their governments’ intention for the system to pander to the former. R.J Cook

Roberta Jane Cook in a multi cultural diesease ridden world where one cannot find hopes in one book.
Image Appledene Archives

Selection and comments by Charles Close

One rule for the rich in Britain’s self congratulatory democracy ( sic )
Same Again – this is ‘Animal Farm’ made real.
British moron culture
Really ! What a surprise you stupid Brits.
Now remember, Britain must be kind to asylum seekers. This won’t do. Put more of our natives on the streets, tax the lower classes more, but for goodness sake let all of those poor asylum seekers come and get the best out of Britain.
Read the terrible asylum plan in full and start protesting – following social distancing rules of course.
How wicked . We owe these people so much better lives than we owe our massive underclass and street sleepers. So many are saintly Muslims, representing God/Allah on earth. They are the future and must be prioritised for all our sakes.
Wonder Women of our idiot vulture cukture.
Girl Power is now.
It is all the man’s fault, women’s rights mean the right to fool and rule men.

Front Pages September 30th 2020

Covid panic is a vitall elite smokescreen
Boris is a blustering overpaid incompetent multi lingual menace.
Posh people in Buckinghamshire, my home county, do not like inconvenience.
The Times Politically Correct Literay Supplement puts the boot into China, as part of the leite camapaign for regime change. They particularly hate the way China treats its Islamists. The British Upper Middle Classes just love multi culture and beautiful Islam. The might be better known as multi vulturists. R.J Cook

Bruce Springsteen has long communicated style, through his music, obviously, but also through his clothing. So we’re taking things back to the early days. His stardom earned him the nickname “The Boss” in the mid-1970s when Born To Run was released, but, frankly, that song needed a fashion flair to match and we all know the singer has never shied away from a statement look. So today, as Springsteen celebrates his 71st birthday (and another year of inherent coolness), we’ve travelled right back to the days that birthed this unwavering fashion icon. Cue the style lessons…

Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run (Official Video) – YouTube › watch

Image may contain: Human, Person, Musical Instrument, Guitar, Leisure Activities, Bass Guitar, and Musician


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Born on the Fourth of July – › wiki › Born_on_the_Fourth_of_July
Born on the Fourth of July, published in 1976, is the best-selling autobiography by Ron Kovic, … See also[edit]. Births on July 4th …‎Origin · ‎Differences from the film … · ‎Cultural references

Go sleeveless

First things first: sleeves. Springsteen is the master of letting them go, taking most of his iconic checked shirts and tearing off the arms, DIY style. It’s a big yes from us. Not only was it a practical way for him to dress for a warmer weather forecast (or, more likely, an energetic concert), but it also communicated the most carefree look possible. Paired with some distressed jeans and, of course, a bandana wrapped round his head, the sleeveless finish served as his ultimate style statement.  

© Ebet Roberts

Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Human, Person, and Shorts


You need a buckle belt

If your trademark look is total Westernwear, it’s highly likely you’ve got a fair few buckle belts sitting in your wardrobe. Springsteen certainly has and he’s long used them as a central focus for a more relaxed outfit. Case in point: the image above, where his stellar silver belt sat in between a black corduroy shirt and dark, straight-cut jeans. This is a brilliant reference if you’re wanting to make a subtle nod to the cowboy – make sure your shirt is unbuttoned for insouciance and tuck it into your jeans to show off that mega accessory.

Image may contain: Musical Instrument, Guitar, Leisure Activities, Human, Person, Rino Gaetano, and Bass Guitar


Head-to-toe black is a fail-safe

Springsteen has never been afraid of a bold ensemble, but he also knows how to make the simple ones look incredibly cool. His favoured classic look? It’s got to be head-to-toe black. Pictured here during his American tour in 1978, he proved the power of the most classic shade, styling a generously unbuttoned (to say the least) black shirt with skinny black jeans and a single-breasted black blazer. A smart style move in our eyes, as its effect was effortless and also highlighted his colourful companion: a Fender Telecaster. 

© Michael Putland

Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Undershirt, Human, Person, Man, and Skin


Add a vest to your wardrobe, stat

Sure, Harry Styles might have been advocating the vest this year (and as a result, we have too), but there’s one man who was selling it long before: Bruce Springsteen. Back in the Seventies – the decade of countless style statements – the rock star oozed confidence in this exposing white number. The colder seasons might be on their way, but this is a mainstay in menswear: style it under a billowing blue shirt for a weather-appropriate take. For the best current option, turn your attention to Dior.

© Rick Diamond

Image may contain: Clothing, Apparel, Coat, Jacket, Human, Person, and Leather Jacket


A knitted scarf is a must for winter

Sounds simple enough, but knitted scarfs aren’t just about practicality. They’re a finishing touch, a way to inject sophistication and fun into an otherwise utilitarian outfit. All you need to do is take a leaf from Springsteen’s book – layer a slim scarf (go for some colour; we’re into the orange hint here) through the collar of your shirt and then tuck it into a battered biker jacket. A bit of elegance goes a long way and we can bet that he was feeling more fit for a cold day too.

© Mark and Colleen Hayward

Image may contain: Musical Instrument, Guitar, Leisure Activities, Human, Person, Musician, and Bass Guitar


As is a ribbed knitted T-shirt, for that matter

Springsteen’s style mantra is an obvious one: the tighter the clothing the better. Makes sense, then, that his short-sleeve knitwear was clingy too, but we’re all for it. We’re not denying that slouchy jumpers look great, but there’s a coolness in opting for pieces that just fit to the natural form (especially when they’re in a colour such as grape). Make sure your accompanying denim jeans are cut straight. If you’re feeling extra bold: maybe emulate the headband.

© Time & Life Pictures

Always expose your collar


Always expose your collar

Al Pacino may have set the cuban collar statement with Scarface in 1984, but Springsteen was light years (well, three years) ahead of him. Performing at Wembley Arena in 1981, he stepped on stage looking, literally, sharp. A white shark collared shirt was layered over a boxy tweed blazer, slim black jeans and some brown Western boots (bold buckle included). The top tip to take is simple: embrace some sartorial nonchalance through an unbuttoned shirt and exposed collar. Keep it out, always.

You need a bandana


You need a bandana

If you thought double denim was a statement, try topping it off with a bandana. Springsteen was synonymous with the scarf accessory, most often used as a headband and always clad in red. Here he opted for the necktie edition, the perfect finish to his effortless denim shirt (roll your sleeves up and keep it slightly unbuttoned for maximum effect). We see your white vest there too, Bruce – strong starting layer. The time to invest in a vest is back and the trend is bigger than ever right now. Style it under a jean-centred look or a sharp cream suit if you dare. Summer dressing done right.

And a newsboy cap


And a newsboy cap

Ever the fan of those all important finishing touches, in 1977 Springsteen opted to top off his look with a newsboy cap. It boded well with the rest of his attire: hip-hugging jeans, a striped T-shirt (cropped just the right amount) and a little leather jacket with an eye-catching collar. His look had taken a bit more of a rugged turn at this point, with a longer mop of hair, his flat hat sealed the oh so cool deal that he brought to Alex Cooley’s Electric Ballroom in Atlanta. The head accessory has recently resurged thanks to the popularity of Peaky Blinders, but, frankly, it’s a timeless essential to your wardrobe. Style it like Springsteen.

Keep the shirts unbuttoned


Keep the shirts unbuttoned

If you’re opting to style a shirt with heartwarming connotations, why not take it one step further? AKA: undo a few more buttons? Springsteen has long mastered this blasé approach to loose shirting and, frankly, we’re all for it. Alongside some slim black jeans and silver accessories (it’s time to start wearing an earring again, FYI), this is the uniform of a serious musician. To re-create, scale up on the size of your shirt a tad, expose some chest and, ideally, strum a few charming chords on a guitar.

Top it off with a leather jacket


Top it off with a leather jacket

We’ll say this time and time again. Leather. Always. Works. Living proof of that? Springsteen, for who the inherently cool material has long served as a go-to style companion. We’re rather fond of his design choice here: appearing less like a mega motorcycle jacket and more like a laid-back shirt, it communicates the act of not overly caring (even though you’re intent on dressing well). Black jeans, a white T-shirt and a straight-cut leather jacket with rolled-up sleeves… it’s a smart approach to style and one that isn’t likely to fade any time soon.

A white T-shirt never goes out of style


A white T-shirt never goes out of style

It’s been a wardrobe mainstay among all our favourite stars, Bruce Springsteen included. There’s an endless enduring quality to the most basic piece in our wardrobes, the white T-shirt, and that’s mostly because it can be framed around pretty much any outfit. Opting for a suit? Base it with a white tee. Going to the beach? Style your swim shorts with a white tee. You get the idea. Springsteen has basically lived by that style sentiment and here he tucked his tee into some high-waisted cargo-esque trousers before finishing the look with some oversized shades. His top tip? Keep it simple at centre and have some fun with your surrounding pieces. Oh, and don’t forget a cap – the sun’s on its way out.

Don't be afraid of the denim


Don’t be afraid of the denim

Bruce Springsjean. Not his official name, we know, but if there was another nickname to give him other than “The Boss”, this would be it. Why? Because time after time, Springsteen proved the power of rocking a classic pair of denim jeans. As a rock’n’roll musician with a Western soul, it was in his nature, plain and simple. How someone could take such a wardrobe staple and turn it into an eternally cool part of their uniform is beyond us, but 40 years later, he’s still doing it. We advise you take a styling tip from this 1994 concert in Los Angeles and keep the sartorial confidence flowing by tying your boots up over your jeans. We’re heading to the Levis’s store as we speak.

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