The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Genesis, Inc.

Breeders, and a fortiori frustrated middle-class breeders, are neither the most thoughtful persons in the world nor the least self-pitying; hence this dubious celebration of the first test-tube baby's fortieth birthday. We are also approaching the fortieth birthday of the Thatcher régime and its defining genetic pattern of profiteering and privatisation; yet still some sheltered people are shocked to discover that private corporations deal in business transactions. Whatever is being bought and sold, be it gardening manure, fried chicken or the opportunity for a Guardian reader to perpetuate a favourite biopolymer, the object and legal obligation of a private company is to take as much as can be got for as little as can be got away with. Even for a frustrated middle-class breeder, it is quite an achievement not to have noticed that by now. Those who prefer to be sat down and asked, "Have you really thought about why you are doing this? What are the options? Where are you with your partner? Can you afford it? What’s going to happen if it doesn’t work?" might perhaps be better off considering adoption or fostering, where a few shreds of outmoded red tape may still remain in place, and which have the additional advantage of the chance to relieve existing troubles, rather than the certainty of birthing new ones.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Ill-Gotten Gains

One major disadvantage of a penal system where offenders are not simply hustled onto a gurney and disposed of is, of course, the danger that criminal elements will take advantage of their undeserved freedom in order to lie around in cells all day thinking of ways to screw the taxpayer. This certainly seems to be what has occurred in the case of Curtis Dawkins, a convicted and incarcerated murderer who has written a published collection of stories and whose fees and royalties the Christian state of Michigan is now claiming back so that he can pay for the privilege of paying his debt to society. Dawkins himself argues that the proceeds of his work should go towards his children's education: a grotesque and disingenuous parody of the family values espoused by the current President and his controlling orange head-tribble. Dawkins has even stated quite openly that the practice of writing eases the burden of being in prison, which rather undermines the point of the whole penitential business.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Virtuous Exports

Given the late Head Boy's announcement some years ago that Britain's mission to democratise the fuzzy-wuzzies of Afghanistan was jolly well accomplished, it should come as no surprise that civilian casualties in the pacified nation have exceeded ten thousand a year for the past four years. Our own Ministry for Wog Disposal, hardly the people to make a fuss when mere foreigners are being maimed and killed, rates Afghanistan as the second least peaceful country in the world, and notes that the United Nations mission in the country has found that the province with the highest number of civilian casualties is Kabul. Hence the Ministry for Wog Disposal is happily deporting Afghan asylum seekers, including those who swarmed into Britain as junior cockroaches and are indiscreet enough to turn eighteen, on the grounds that they can move to Kabul if they face persecution in their home province. This has the dual benefit of protecting British jobs and directing a salutary hint of British moral superiority at Iran and Pakistan, which between them have an infestation of at least two million Afghan refugees but where real and understandable non-racist concerns are only intermittently effective.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Bad Theology

Text for today: Luke 16 i-xiii

Jesus tells a parable about a wealthy man who hears rumours that his steward is losing him money. On the basis of this hearsay, the man orders the steward to turn in his accounts, as he is no longer worthy of his meat. Unable to perform manual labour, and too proud to live like a disciple of Jesus, the steward ingratiates himself with his master's debtors by illicitly altering the records of their debts. When the master hears of it, he commends the steward for his shrewdness.

Jesus notes that worldly people are more skilled at dealing with their own kind than are "the sons of light." Hence the unjust master, who sacks his steward without bothering to investigate whether the rumours are true, can at least recognise and praise his former servant's intelligence. By contrast, the light of the world despises worldly wisdom and finds worth only in the penitent. As His parables of the labourers and the prodigal son make clear, the arbitrary nature of God's favour means that virtue and hard work are largely worthless; and in order to gain the Saviour's approbation, rather than putting his talent to work the steward should have turned the other cheek, gone the extra mile, grovelled at his master's feet and begged for a harsher punishment.

Having related the parable, Jesus recommends that His disciples make friends for themselves among the wealthy, which is certainly a shrewd and worldly move if one wishes to spare oneself the trouble of taking thought for the morrow. Nevertheless, Jesus warns that, in order to be tolerable to God, such worldly friendships must be opportunistic and hypocritical: nobody can serve two masters, and the elect must therefore take care to love and despise shrewdly.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Available Now

My latest, which treats of some voyagers and what they discovered, is now available as paperback and pdf ebook. As with my short novel Taking Down, the opening scene occurred to me first, and without much else attached; and I also dithered over writing about a voyage because I didn't know anything about ships. It took a while to sink in that a voyage in a fantasy story need not necessarily take place aboard anything with gaff-rigged t'gallants athwart the mizzen and all the rest of it; and thus was born arguably the book's most innocent and tragic character.

Friday, February 16, 2018

That Fifth Column Just Keeps Getting Longer

Traitors, saboteurs and citizens of nowhere at the Royal United Services Institute have joined the choleric chorus of metropolitan moanery with an inverted pyramid of pessimism about security; and this in spite of all the trouble taken by something called Gavin at the Ministry for Wog-Bombing to point out Labour's links with the spectre of international Communism. RUSI, which was founded by the Napoleonic spy Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, seems to think that the Recrudescent Imperium's glorious path to independence is mined with risks rather than laden with opportunities, but never once makes the all-important balancing assertion that the Euro-wogs need us more than we need them. In any case, many of the so-called problems are hardly problems at all: far from being an unforeseen and undesirable consequence, the strengthening of nationalist forces through imposed poverty has been essentially the British Conservatives' manifesto for at least the past eighteen months. The undermining of the latest solution to the Irish Question is doubtless to be regretted, but it is of course a price worth paying in the service of a far greater ideal, namely allowing Tumbledown Tessie to hang on and stumble through the good fight for God, Queen and Faction. Everything else is just Euro-wog stuff that will sort itself out as soon as the lesser breeds get it into their strange foreign heads that they need us more than we need them. Besides, even the treacherous RUSIans admit that the costs of our new globular glories can be mitigated over time; in other words, as with the consequences of climate change, the worse things get the more they will be someone else's problem.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Effective Action

America's greatness has been yet further renewed with yet another school massacre. The perpetrator, who was captured alive, had a history of mental health problems and had been expelled from the school for violence. Doubtless any suggestion of risk associated with this history was effectively hidden behind his healthier traits, which included an obsession with firearms and a love of shooting animals. Hence his possession of a semi-automatic rifle was perfectly legal, in accordance with the Constitutional amendment which puts the NRA next to Godliness. Since God did so much to prevent things becoming unpleasant, the federal government has responded by offering its prayers.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Ultimate Shirk

When it comes to doing Britain down, there are few lengths to which the metropolitan élite will not go. On the very day when the dead-eyed warden's joke Foreign Secretary was delivering himself of yet another gust of flatulent Ruritoxican rah-and-blah, a citizen of nowhere was mean-spirited and selfish enough to expire within a short distance of the House of Expenses Claimants. Despite years of incentivisation by the beggar-taunting Bullingdon Club and their little orange fags, more and more people have chosen to make themselves homeless rather than rush into the thousands of jobs being vacated by departing immigrants, and we can only hope that the bracing weather will encourage them to abandon this irresponsible choice and regain the proper spirit of British get-go. A spokesbeing for the House of Expenses Claimants responded to the latest victory for the hostile environment with a snide little hint about the individual's friends and family, doubtless in the hope that the tragedy will encourage more conscientious patronage of the disadvantaged and better management of their trust funds.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Limits of Tolerance

Lawyers, academics and human rights activists have signed an open letter urging the Vatican to reconsider a possible deal with the Heathen Chinee, in case it harms the moral authority which has been so comprehensively restored since the late unpleasantness over sexual abuse. Relations were severed when the Communists took over in 1949, but the Heathen Chinee are closing down evangelical Protestant churches while allowing Catholic bishops to operate provided their snake-oil has the seal of government approval. Accordingly, two bishops who were operating without such approval have now been "asked" by the Vatican to relinquish their positions to less turbulent counterparts. It remains as yet unclear what major moral concessions the Vatican has won in exchange; but the pious can be reasonably certain that Xi Jinping will not insist on the replacement bishops being female.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Coming Soon