The phenomenon of young women falling in love with death-row inmates, particularly with serial killers, is not new: Women flocked to Ted Bundy’s trial — his trial for raping, torturing, and murdering young women as a prelude to acts of necrophilia — and he received stacks of love letters and marriage proposals. Jeffrey Dahmer and Richard Ramirez got the same treatment, and Anders Behring Breivik might as well be the Beatles during their heyday. An investment banker may have a Ferrari, but the serial killer, the terrorist, and the mass murderer are at the top of the food chain. On the subject of Nazis, P. J. O’Rourke famously joked that “no one has ever had a fantasy about being tied to a bed and sexually ravished by someone dressed as a liberal.” Like all good jokes, that is fundamentally true — even if the truth behind it horrifies the nice people at National Public Radio, who remain “bumfuzzled” that a rich and powerful woman would allow herself to be beaten bloody by a psychopathic meathead, repeatedly.
That all sounds thoughtful and probably true. Meanwhile, in nerd-world:
I cannot quite express it, but I feel as though there’s a similar dynamic at work. We Warsies (thanks Trekkies) could not stop complaining about Phantom Menace back in the day, any more than we could stop paying money to go see it. It was almost as though we enjoyed the abuse.
I have long been fascinated by the Crusades, the Crusader states, and the military orders. Piers Paul Read’s The Templars is a magisterial book that fits in well with the newer generation of Crusade historians (good-bye, “ambitious younger sons”, hello “pious armed pilgrims”). The Templars, of course, met their brutal end before the Middle Ages were over, but the Knights Hospitaller survived, first on Rhodes, then on Malta, where they became the great anti-Turk sea-lords of the Mediterranean. They survive today as the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, a charitable organization with knightly flavor.
That history and a few viewings of Hellboy has inspired a piece of fiction, perhaps the stepping stone of a larger work:
On a related note, the claim of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant to the Caliphate of all Islam let me down the rabbit hole to learn one or two things about what went down in the Mid-East in the 20th Century. Most interestingly, I learned that the House of Saud has been ruling in the Arabian Penninsula for a long time. Check out the rest at my new svbtle.com blog, Histeria. A relevant quote:
The Caliphate is imperial by nature: it’s godly goal is to expand the ummah. Every Caliphate has stagnated and collapsed when it hit its military limits. That was true of the Umayyad Caliphate, the Abassid Caliphate, and the Ottoman Empire; it will be true of ISIL.
Where exactly those limits are is the question of the hour.
Spengler hits his usual note about the dullness of European civilization, post-nationalism: the tribes of Europe had their folly baked into the cake of their culture during the dark ages. In his view, Isidore of Seville and Gregory of Tours are the “Bialistock and Bloom” of Europe, inflating these upjumped Germanics with the desire to be the elect of God, which they cannot be. Anti-Semitism and World War One ensue.
Whatever the merits of this position, I find myself wondering why any Jew gives a damn. Europe has not been a welcoming place for Jews: in the 1877 years between one set of Europeans smashing the Second Temple and another set anxiously permitting Zionism to happen, Europe was a kind of Babylon for Jews, a place of silence punctuated by violence.
Can any Englishman alive today recall which King it was who expelled the Jews from his realm? Or how long it was before they were allowed back in? Europe tolerated the Jews when they felt like it, and scapegoated them when their blood was up. The Third Reich merely applied insdustrial techniques and bureaucratic focus to an existing undercurrent of hate. It’s always been there, and always will be.
Thus, I cannot imagine anyone in the Knesset noticing what the Europeans do. Israel has learned not to rely on the goodwill of gentiles. So long as they have their army and the strategic heights of Palestine, they will do what they must, and the rest of the world can go hang.
Because in 1000 years, there will not be an England, or a France, or a Germany, or an Italy. There probably won’t be a United States of America. But there will still be Jews.
I don’t say this as a prejudiced Irishman. Even though the thistle-arse sheep-shagger Scots swiped Ulster and sent a herd of Presbyterian proddy dogs and porridge wogs to squat on our land and won the Battle of the Boyne in 1690 by using unfair—indeed, unheard of —- organization, discipline, and tactics on an Irish battlefield. We Micks only hold a grudge about such things for 300 years or so.
My only interest in an independent Scotland is whether it would retain any aspects of the monarchy, and if so, which. Given the lefty bent of the Scots, I feel as though they would instead become a boring Europublic with an elected figurehead President and a rotating door of Prime Ministers.
Well, mayhap the lairds will have something to say about that.
Although one of the main reasons Heaton claimed the area is that he hoped to fulfill his daughter’s wish to become a princess, his family also has wanted to transform the land into a needed agricultural resource.
Once he finalizes his vision for the desert, he intends to meet with Sudanese and Egyptian officials, thinking they will agree that his plans will benefit the region.
“There is no way they can’t see it in a positive light,” Heaton said.
Even so, Heaton recognized that it would be best to formalize his plans before approaching government officials.
We’re talking about an 800-square mile patch of desert disputed between Egypt and Sudan. He’s marched in and (literally) planted his flag. Then he left. Now he’s trying to bring the land to bloom, and then hoping the governments will rather have a small kingdom in that spot than their rival regional power.
I wish him well, but he needs to bring in people. Specifically, people who owe their loyalty to him directly, and will view him as a sovereign. Then he’d have a chance. But this seems like a sardonic exercise in do-goodery. Lame.
So Matt Walsh made the mistake of tacking against the wind during the Internet’s mourning of a beloved celebrity’s demise. This means, of course, that he is a horrible person and a religious nut. It also means we have to pretend that we didn’t spend the last few years of that beloved celebrity’s life making fun of him; WE’RE LOOKING AT YOU SETH MCFARLANE!