Re: Who doesn't, really?

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'Not letting them travel. Deportation - further down the road. Curtailing of freedoms. Strip-searching people who look like they're from the Middle East or from Pakistan. Discriminatory stuff, until it hurts the whole community and they start getting tough with their children.'

Well, say what you will, but there's pretty much no way that wouldn't work.

And I myself despise Islamism, because it wants to create a society that I detest, based on religious belief, on a text

And can we really blame McEwan for not trusting texts? Look at the hash he always makes when he tries to write one.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 1:55 PM
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I am outraged - outraged - that every time I get up to defend freedom and liberty and say that all the wogs should be caned and rounded up into camps, someone on the left goes and calls me a racist.


Posted by: strasmangelo jones | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 1:57 PM
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One thing I admire about the great writers is their ability to really identify the deep truths of the human condition, like how you can get people to do what you want by humiliating them and their children.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 1:58 PM
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Collective punishment really is the hallmark of civilisation, eh?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 2:00 PM
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This isn't the real McEwan, but a sad, guilt-laden construct; the real McEwan died at Dunkirk.


Posted by: I Don't Pay | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 2:01 PM
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that made me laugh out loud, idp. You will now be made to suffer until you get your house in order.


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 2:03 PM
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One thing I admire about the great writers is their ability to really identify the deep truths of the human condition, like how you can get people to do what you want by humiliating them and their children.

Perhaps by pointing out what truly revolting teeth their children have.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 2:05 PM
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Good old Martin. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I'll bet in twenty years or so, when the Amis-Hitchens correspondence is finally published, it'll be remarkable to see just how much it sounds like the Amis-Larkin correspondence.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 2:31 PM
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8: history's great love affairs are so alike, yet so unique.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 2:33 PM
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Yeah, but making fun of Martin's dental work didn't make Kingsley any more tractable.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 2:33 PM
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#9. Nothing brings two men together like a mutual contempt for the wogs.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 2:37 PM
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'Not letting them travel....Curtailing of freedoms. Strip-searching people

Israel has been making excellent progress using these methods.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 2:57 PM
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Some progress was made when people realized that the enemy wasn't Islam, a noble faith protected by the freedom of religion, but Islamism, belief in the faith of Islam. But really we must go further. The real enemy is Islamistism, the belief in the believers of the faith. Unless we see this The West is doomed.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 3:09 PM
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it wants to create a society that I detest, based on religious belief, on a text, on lack of freedom for women, intolerance towards homosexuality and so on

Catholicism, anyone?


Posted by: Melvin | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 3:11 PM
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13: to be so nonspecific is to allow the Islamistismistics freedom to trample our virtues.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 3:12 PM
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I admire the bravery of these men's stances. After all, the vast majority of British subjects find Islamism to be an appealing ideology to which they are eager to subscribe.

Just the other day, the Queen was wearing that one veil thing that has a really sinister-sounding name in Arabic that I can't remember -- my memory having been adversely affected by all those nights immersing myself in the loathsome Islamist ideology so that none of my many pro-Islamist opponents could attack me for being uninformed. The Queen! Are we to say, "Allah save the queen"? That day isn't too far off, I'm afraid!


Posted by: F. Winston Codpiece III | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 3:25 PM
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"Allah save the queen"

No, infidel. We will say, "The Queen, peace be upon her."

(Am I right that Standpipe is the new ogged and F. Winston is the new Standpipe? Some of us have scorecards to update, thankyouverymuch.)


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 3:41 PM
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Oh sure you guys, laugh now, but look what happened when Britons in 1968 ignored Enoch Powell's "Rivers of Blood" speech -- Hanif Kureishi!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 4:03 PM
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Truly, they could have prevented his film-adapted abomination, Amis and Hitchens Get Laid


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 4:12 PM
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Eric Clapton, a prophet in the wilderness:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Clapton#Controversy


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 4:13 PM
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20: Eric Clapton/Cat Stevens Yusuf Islam cage match!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 4:24 PM
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Truly, a killing blow by Stevens could have prevented that adult-contemporary nightmare, "Virgins in Heaven".


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 4:26 PM
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20: Huh, I knew there was a reason I thought Clapton sucked.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 4:36 PM
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Am I right that Standpipe is the new ogged...

There is no way I would even think of such questions. I figure the new Unfogged is a group blog with no distinct individual members, a kind of swarm or hive mind in which posts aren't written, but simply not simply emerge, with the first 60 comments always already written.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 4:36 PM
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re: 23

Yeah, that and the shitty music, naturally.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 4:38 PM
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Standpipe has put me in charge of updating the joke-explanation blog, yes. Thus far I have had little opportunity to use it, however, so paltry have the jokes been. Sometimes I bolt awake at night, naked and covered in Vicks Vapo-Rub, oppressed by the thought that I have become a regular Unfogged commenter during the blog's "decadent" phase -- or, indeed, perhaps even the interminable post-"decadent" phase, the Sisyphian afterlife to which all blogs are condemned, even in the absence of their creators.


Posted by: F. Winston Codpiece III | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 4:40 PM
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25: Well of course, that goes without saying.

I'm not surprised at missing a bit of Clapton trivia, since I was never a fan, but it seems odd that I'd never heard that his jeremiad was a catalyst for Rock Against Racism -- I had always thought that RAR was more of a response to generalized prejudice and racist violence. Learn something new every day, I guess.



Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 4:47 PM
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Codpiece spends most of his life a captive of an obsessive pomo theologian. Occasionally he's allowed out to pester the innocent.

CLapton is the most hated musician of his generation. I can't imagine who might be more hated. He stands for something, but I'm not sure what.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 4:50 PM
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Dialectically, in other words, Clapton was a progressive force.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 4:51 PM
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Ultimately, I pester only myself.


Posted by: F. Winston Codpiece III | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 4:52 PM
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And I myself despise Islamism ...

Will you reject and denounce, Act LXII, scene 9, et cetera.


Posted by: Pliggett Darcy | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 4:55 PM
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re: 27

I presume there was a bit of that as well as the 1970s were a post-war highpoint, I think, for some of the more explicitly racist groups and the National Front in particular. There were groups already opposing those, though. The Anti-Nazi League, for example.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 4:56 PM
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I had no idea Clapton was such a tool. I previously had no particular opinion of him, though I was told, by people who care about such things, that he was quite a good guitar player. May peace not so much be upon him.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 4:58 PM
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Codpiece! It's not clear to me which phase this blog might be in, but I feel for your night sweats.
Careful there.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:01 PM
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night sweats

I'm guessing menopause.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:03 PM
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Something something Night-Sea Journey something Codpiece.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:06 PM
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After about 1970 his music was worse than Nazi. He really wrote the book on a certain kind of crap. Patty Boyd may have been a major factor. She ditched Clapton for McCartney who also was turning out only crap by that time.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:06 PM
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I don't think Codpiece is old enough for that. Dreaming about Unfogged can, however, cause one to wake up annoyed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:08 PM
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Okay, well, now I read up on Rock Against Racism, which I probably should have done before now.

As much as that kind of organizing can bring previously apolitical people to a more nuanced understanding of things, it sounds like a pretty good project. But I guess I would argue that it's not going to be as meaningful as sustained campaigning by people who are clearly in it for something more than just the feel-good publicity. Which, I would argue, augurs well for the eventual impact of a lot of this anti-Muslim horseshit -- the majority of the idiots spouting it aren't proper reactionaries, they've just jumped on a convenient bandwagon. Those who hang on will eventually be as marginalized as the Women's Christian Temperance Union. The few who are really committed will move on to some other fascist cause in fairly short order. (Probably still racist and xenophobic of course, but with different specifics.)


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:09 PM
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He's a damn good guitar player. I don't know why the question needs to be any deeper than that.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:12 PM
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But I guess I would argue that it's not going to be as meaningful as sustained campaigning by people who are clearly in it for something more than just the feel-good publicity.

Mean people suck.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:12 PM
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The proper Marxist position is that Clapton is the one who deserved the credit. Music heightens the contradictions, but the RAR people were bourgeois meliorists who diverted the revolutionary power of the moment into a soupy humanist sharing of fine sentiments.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:13 PM
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re: 39

For some quite inspiring contemporary pro-immigrant/anti-racist stuff [significantly in Glasgow but also other places]. It's well worth reading this:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/jun/13/immigration.immigrationpolicy

Sixty-seven-year-old Jean Donnachie flashes a mischievous smile as she describes the tactics she and her neighbours used every day to thwart immigration officers trying to arrest asylum seekers on her estate in Glasgow. A grandmother and former cashier who has lived on the Kingsway for 20 years, she makes an unlikely resistance fighter. But when she talks about how the estate took on the Home Office, there is a gleam of defiance in her eyes.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:13 PM
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Clapton would have been a damn good session player if he hadn't been allowed any artistic control or vocal parts. I believe that quitting drugs messed him up too.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:15 PM
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re: 40

He was a pretty good, and influential, aggressive sort of blues player for about five years in the mid-60s.

After that, he's been responsible for almost nothing but cynical complacent warmed-over reheats of his earlier work. I don't rate him at all.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:21 PM
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Bullshit, ttaM. If Clapton had been found dead in the same hotel room as Hendrix in 1970, he'd be every bit as idealized as Hendrix today. Quite possibly more.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:26 PM
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43: From a little bit later in the linked article: "I stood there and I cried, and I said to myself, 'I am not going to stand by and watch this happen again.'"

If I could have one wish, it would be that 2% of the population would adopt this attitude. Including me.

Got through the whole article without crying though, so that was good. There's some fucked-up stuff going on around here recently, and it's very depressing.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:29 PM
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46: Especially as an interracial gay rights figure. Especially especially if they had written "Ebony and Ivory" with their guitars right before they died, naked.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:30 PM
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Clapton brought nothing new the way Hendrix did. I liked him better than ttaM because I liked Cream.

Now if Clapton had been found dead instead of Hendrix.... that was a horrible story. Hendrix was just barely getting started when he died.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:31 PM
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49: because I liked Cream.

To say nothing of Vanilla Fudge.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:32 PM
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There is no way I would even think of such questions.

I'm wrong, anyway, as Stanley put up the swimming post, not Standpipe. I started to surmise that with recruitment they all shift roles - apo hands Becks the job of Finding Weird Stuff Online, etc. - but now I think it's more like when the local station stopped showing "lion" Voltron and started showing "car" Voltron: too many new roles to draw comparisons. This isn't a complaint, as I liked both Voltrons.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:34 PM
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re: 46

I disagree. But we all have our opinions. In my opinion, he's over-rated.

I really like bits of what he did with John Mayall, and bits of the stuff he did with Cream. His guitar-hero status is out of all proportion to his talents as a player, though. He's not even remotely in the same league as Hendrix.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:36 PM
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Hendrix was just barely getting started when he died.

We could have witnessed HELM: Hendrix, Emerson, Lake, and Mitchell. True fact.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:40 PM
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52:Not even in the same league as Peter Green or Jeff Beck. Try "Rattlesnake Shake" in Boston vs "Spoonful" off Live Cream, if you want to compare 30 minute stoner jams.

I don't get these GB writers. I don't think we have American celebrities of an equivalent status willin to spew such repulsive drivel.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:44 PM
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Jeff Beck rules.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:47 PM
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re: 54

I'm not sure about Green. I probably prefer his playing, just as matter of personal taste, but Clapton was definitely a more influential player.

But Jeff Beck, yeah, any day. Much better player, much more adventurous stylistically, easily as influential.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:48 PM
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53:hmm, thinking 1st "Voodoo Child" off Ladyland, but Emerson couldn't and wouldn't comp so idea is just shit.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:48 PM
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Ted Nugent. Some comedians. And major radio-TV personalities.

Advantage: Britain. And it hurts me to say that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:50 PM
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The best Hendrix late release tape was something called "Nine for the Universe" with Larry Young and others, maybe McLaughlin. It was just a jam but he was really starting to go places. Miles Davis wanted him too. He got really sick of plaing his greatest hits.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:52 PM
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50:Vanila Fudge is in my rotation. After a half hour of earnest singer-songwriters, VF ROTFL. They're fun.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:52 PM
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Richard Thompson.

I also liked Mike Bloomfield, who was comparable to Clapton as a pretty straightforward blues player.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:53 PM
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Of all the 60s big name rock/blues guitar players, Jeff Beck is the only one who continues to do new and interesting stuff.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 5:59 PM
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I'd been keeping my mouth shut -- not that I have anything informed-sounding to say -- but "Jeff Beck rules" makes me smile. ttaM is far too clinical about Beck.

HELM: Hendrix, Emerson, Lake, and Mitchell

freaky. And no, Clapton's status as celebrated blah-blah is far overblown. Guy doesn't do a thing for me.

On preview: Yeah, Beck's last three have been fascinating. and you know what? this is approximately where I came in.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 6:15 PM
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Is it too simplistic a reading of history to say that the way that "they used to be more evolved than us" changed to "now we are more evolved than them" came about because we conquered them and stole their achievements? Is he suggesting that they do the same?


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 8:39 PM
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Is he suggesting that they do the same?

Checked out Dubai lately?

I sometimes wonder what these writer fellows are on about, but remembering those doomer modernists, I think it comes from reading too much old stuff, Greeks & Romans & Medievals. You start thinking in terms of millenia and falling civilizations.

But if it ain't gonna happen in a generation, it ain't worth thinking about. And if it ain't gonna happen in five years, ain't much use working on it. I hear ya, stras, but only more immediate damage and fast measures to relieve are politically interesting.

I think economists call it discounting.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06-23-08 9:10 PM
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Clapton was eye opening to a bunch of European kids in the 60s who had never heard of BB King, let alone Otis Rush or Buddy Guy. That makes perfect sense, I was one of them. How he parlayed that into his later reputation is something only a music industry publicist could explain.

Did he ever play an original note?


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 06-24-08 12:32 AM
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And no, Clapton's status as celebrated blah-blah is far overblown. Guy doesn't do a thing for me.

Me neither, until I discovered his work with Cream, which frankly I love quite a lot. Not the best player in the business, but I can see why people thought he was at the time, especially when you take into account the difficulties in scoring American material in Europe or Britain.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 06-24-08 9:11 AM
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