Nordstream pipeline

I thought it was obvious that the Russians did not blow up their own pipeline but The Australian takes it as read that they did. So absurd but there are all too many willing to believe this complete nonsense.

Start with this – – then with this:

This is heading to WWIII and it will be the restraint of the Russians if it is not to get worse.

Feminism at the pictures

Trashing men in the movies by Bettina arndt

How the entertainment industry is lionizing women and denigrating men

It was never going to be my cup of tea.  Here was a play proclaimed by a London reviewer as a “roll call of real lives shattered by despicable brutality perpetrated by men”.

But it was hard to resist the National Theatre’s screening of Jodie Comer’s much-acclaimed London performance in Prima Facie, even if it meant suffering through a propaganda session from the playwright informing us that one in three women have been sexually assaulted.I sat surrounded by rows of earnest women who nodded seriously at this absurd statistic. Must have used a pretty broad definition of sexual assault to come up with that one, perhaps inflated by that old chestnut, “unwanted staring”.  

Jodie Comer is riveting and the play most compelling. It is an utterly fascinating example of how far we have come from the days when female reviewers grumbled that men were winning all the star parts in movies and theatre whilst female characters were cardboard cut-outs, one-dimensional props to hero males.Now the female producers and playwrights churning out much of today’s entertainment are bent on lionizing women whilst displaying total indifference to making male characters believable.

They see no problem in the fact that the rape that is at the heart of Prima Facie is not only utterly illogical but also anatomically impossible.Warning: spoiler alert for anyone still keen to see this production or others mentioned below.First let’s consider the motive for the crime, the reason the rape takes place. Jodie Comer plays Tess, a successful barrister who happily gets involved with her colleague Damien. She’s keen… “I find myself kissing Damo …”, “We fuck on the sofa in his office.”  Is she falling for him? “Maybe,” she says, clearly enjoying the thought of him as her boyfriend.

Then comes the night in question. Dinner at the local Japanese place. Plenty of sake, followed by wine. Home to her place. Intimate talk, kissing, “It’s hot and sexy…. We seem to fall into having sex,” she says.

Then later in bed, more kissing, cuddling. But suddenly, presumably due to all that alcohol, she has an overwhelming desire to vomit. Makes it to the loo. He’s kind, holds her hair back while she vomits and then carefully carries her back to bed.

Then, he rapes her. Go figure. Why on earth would he? He’s just had loving sex with her, he’s apparently enjoying their lusty new relationship.But according to feminist lawyer turned playwright, Suzie Miller, that is just what men do. Patriarchal bullies get their kicks out of asserting their power over vomit splattered women. No need for any further explanation.

Then there’s the vital question of how it happens. During Act II which features Tess’s cross-examination, details come out of the attack. Tess describes how she was pinned down. Using one of his hands Damo grips both her hands “pulled high above my head,” whilst his other hand is over her mouth, so she can’t cry out. “He was squashing me,” she says, which presumably means he was lying flat on top of her.  My question is how then does he get in? It’s mighty hard to penetrate a resistant woman without using your hands to find the way, particularly whilst lying flat on top of her like a beached whale.

And harder still to get traction for what Germaine Greer called the “piston mechanics” necessary for successful rooting.Recently I found myself discussing all this with a group at dinner and we ended up with guests on the floor trying to work out if the Prima Facie rape scenario was physically achievable – with hilarious results. But no doubt I was the only one in that rapt movie audience remotely concerned about whether this rape was possible.

When it comes to painting men as villains such details don’t matter. Flawed male characters, whether they be dangerous creeps or merely pathetic losers, simply act as foils to the virtuous, scintillating creature that is today’s woman.  One of my favourite movie performances is Bill Murray in Lost in Translation, where he plays a fading movie star stuck filming in a Japanese hotel who befriends a young woman, played by Scarlett Johansson portraying an equally lost soul. He’s in a troubled marriage, she clearly has the hots for him, yet he resists temptation, valuing their growing friendship. It’s a complex, touching story celebrating male restraint and kindness.  

That was in 2003, before the rot really set in. Over the next couple of decades, men were pushed ruthlessly from their pedestals. By 2020, Sophia Coppola, the producer of Lost in Translation, again called upon the talented Bill Murray, this time for her comedy On The Rocks, where he portrays a philandering father whose daughter fears her husband is having an affair. In this supposedly jolly romp dad drags his daughter around town spying on the husband, indulging her paranoia with crass comments about “that’s the way men are.” No moral complexity here – just degrading stereotypes about men who can’t keep their trousers zipped. Yawn.   Many commentators have picked up on the male heroes’ fall from grace in the movies. There’s a funny rant by Scottish YouTuber, Critical Drinker. It’s called Why modern movies suck – they’re destroying our heroes.He’s acerbic about the latest Star Wars sequel and talks about Hans Solo whom he points out “started out as a selfish smuggler who only cared about Number 1 but over the first three movies transformed into a smart, resourceful, brave fighter and protector for Princess Lea, ready to risk everything for the sake of his friends. Pretty cool, right?”

The YouTuber then describes the sequel set thirty years later, where Solo is “a cynical, self-absorbed smuggler who’s lost track of his own shit, a dead-beat dad who’s abandoned his wife and son and an incompetent criminal who’s made enemies across the galaxy.” Naturally Solo now has to be constantly rescued by a “non-diverse female space Jesus”.  Solo is supposed to be in his 60’s yet he is “somehow less experienced, competent and mature than when we first met him. All his experiences, his character development and achievements have been rendered completely moot.”  A fitting epitaph, perhaps, to the fate of generations of once competent men in this feminist world?

What bugs me is even when movies try to portray admirable, sensitive male characters, they still can’t get them right. I recently enjoyed Emma Thompson’s outstanding performance in Good Luck to You, Leo Grande. Thompson plays Nancy, an uptight widow who, having never experienced an orgasm, decides to find someone who can show her what she was missing. She lucks out with gorgeous Leo, a sex worker of rare charm and sensitivity.

It’s a clever production, as Leo gradually coaxes the tense, brittle Nancy through her insecurities. He’s quite believable as a complex, intelligent young man who sees his job as a vocation. Yet one scene grated. There’s a critical moment when Nancy pushes too hard in her yearning to play social worker to the young man. Leo reacts with fierce anger and distress to her probing.

Then, without skipping a beat, he’s back on the job, willing and able to tick off the next item on Nancy’s wish list, her desire to perform fellatio. Hmm, the essence of his character is his sensitivity, a soft, sincere man whose emotional accessibility is critical to his craft. Yet the movie’s female playwright Katy Brand glibly assumes his male appendage would snap to attention even as he is still reeling from that emotional upset.

The truth is that the spirit may be willing but this particular flesh is weak and capricious and rarely responds to commands. We’re told the writer and comedian Katy Brand “has made her own super-sized form a source of comedy.” But maybe it hasn’t taught her all that much about men.

Socialism versus the welfare state

This from a post at Powerline and it is something said by Hayek:

The current situation has greatly altered the task of the defender of liberty and made it much more difficult.  So long as the danger came from socialism of the frankly collectivist kind, it was possible to argue that the tenets of the socialists were simply false: that socialism would not achieve what the socialists wanted and that it would produce other consequences which they would not like.  We cannot argue similarly against the welfare state, for this term does not designate a definite system.  What goes under that name is a conglomerate of so many diverse and even contradictory elements that, while some of them may make a free society more attractive, others are incompatible with it or may at least constitute potential threats to existence.

The welfare state is such a hodgepodge of stupid ideas that no one can tell where things have gone wrong unless you understand how a market works. These are from the comments:

We can never adequately define what the hell Leftists are doing to the country because it’s not really communism but it is definitely not American. That’s what makes it really hard to convince people of the evil nature of what these Leftists are doing. You can’t rebel against something you can’t adequately define.

The phony leftism of modern democrats is not honest leftism of the “frankly collectivist” kind. It’s worse. It’s the worst of all worlds; the excesses of capitalism combined with the destructive bullying of big government. Billionaires set public policy on things like climate and energy, even if it ruins the average worker. Monster corporations are allowed to monopolize market segments and use their monopoly to crush dissent and cancel competitors, as long as it’s in cooperation with the ruling Party. Trillions are taxed, borrowed, and spent to help the little guy, yet somehow all the little guy ends up is an endlessly inflating cost of living and a crash in his retirement account.

Under capitalism, the wealthy become powerful. Under socialism, the powerful become wealthy.

This is the post:

Thought for the Day: Hayek’s Warning

Green energy will bankrupt us

That’s the title of a post at Powerline. The circumstances he discusses relate to Minnesota but the stupidity of the Greens will do us in everywhere.

I cannot imagine anything will save us. We are now so used to government spending which is by nature non-value-adding (do you know what that means?) that it is impossible to think how we could reverse ourselves. We are already going backwards and the conventional wisdom plus the way economics is taught will mean there can never be a consensus on doing what is right.

We are heading into a new feudalism. This is how The Powerline article ends.

I think a global economic meltdown is possible as a result of “green” fantasies. I don’t mean just a recession or garden-variety depression, I mean a collapse in which homes can’t be heated, lights don’t go on, factories shutter, supply lines break down, agriculture is devastated resulting in acute food shortages, a generation’s accumulated wealth vanishes, civilization begins to break down, and hundreds of millions of people–maybe more–may die. “Green” energy doesn’t mean unicorns and fairies frolicking in meadows. It means grim, fatal dystopia.

No one believes it but there us so much ignorance everywhere that when it starts it will persist. And it will come sooner than you think and last a long long time.

Here’s the post:

“Green” Energy Will Bankrupt Us