Skip to comments.Marks Steyn: It's lonely at the top -
Posted on 10/26/2006 11:12:25 AM PDT by UnklGene
It's lonely at the top
Exclusive Excerpt: In his new book, America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It, Mark Steyn finds the U.S. uniquely prepared to survive the clash of civilizations
Mark Steyn - October 23, 2006
America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It by Mark Steyn Regnery, 256 pages
Were I a Kerry voter, though, I'd feel deep anger, not only at them returning Bush to power, but for allowing the outside world to lump us all into the same category of moronic muppets. The self-righteous, gun-totin', military-lovin', sister-marryin', abortion-hatin', gay-loathin', foreigner-despisin', non-passport ownin' red-necks, who believe God gave America the biggest dick in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us and make their land "free and strong." -- Brian Reade, Daily Mirror (London), November 5, 2004
In the film Superman Returns, Superman returns--to fight not for "truth, justice, and the American way" but instead for "truth, justice, and all that stuff." In the not so subtle elision from "the American way" to "all that stuff" much peril lies. "The American way" is human and thus imperfect, but the European way leaves you well and truly stuffed, like a dead parrot after a trip to the taxidermist. In the end, hard wars are won on the hardest ground--at home. Whatever changes America makes in its foreign policy and transnational relationships, the home front is critical. You can't win a war of civilizational confidence with a population of nanny-state junkies. Take Brian Reade's list of America deformities--gun-totin', sister-marryin', foreigner-despisin', etc. It goes without saying that that's why I supported Bush in 2004, but I'm not sure it entirely accounts for the other 62,039,073 urinating rednecks. Mr. Reade, though, does usefully enumerate the distinctions that separate the American republic from the rest of the West, differences that will become even more important in the years ahead.
1. Self-righteous Who exactly is being self-righteous here? If you want a public culture that reeks of indestructible faith in its own righteousness, try Europe--especially when they're talking about America: if you disagree with Euroconventional wisdom, you must be an idiot. Or a Nazi. As Oliver James told the Guardian the day after the 2004 U.S. elections, "I was too depressed to even speak this morning. I thought of my late mother, who read Mein Kampf when it came out in the 1930s [sic] and thought, 'Why doesn't anyone see where this is leading?'"
Mr. James is a clinical psychologist and appears to have a bad case of projection. With respect to Mein Kampf, it's Europe that has resurgent anti-Semitism (the French intifada), explicitly racist parties (the British National Party), and neo-Fascists who, if not yet their countries' leaders, have gotten near enough to be in the presidential run-off (Jean-Marie Le Pen) or form part of the governing coalition (Austria).
2. Gun-totin' Americans tote guns because they're assertive, self-reliant citizens, not docile subjects of a permanent governing class. At dinner in Paris a couple of years ago, I was asked about "this American sickness with guns."
"Americans have guns," I said, "because a lot of Americans like having guns."
My host scoffed. "A lot of people here would like to have guns too. But they don't."
"Exactly," I said.
3. Military-lovin' What's not to love? Americans take pride in their military on absolute grounds, but, if they were to go all comparative about it, they'd point out there's something contemptible about Europeans preening and posing as a great power when they can't even stop some nickel n' dime Balkan genitalseverers piling up hundreds of thousands of corpses on their borders.
Sister-marryin' Back to demography: you can't be a redneck in Germany, Spain, or Italy. When the birth rates are 1.1 children per couple, there are no sisters to bunk up with.
5. Abortion-hatin' Is Brian Reade saying he loves it? Abortion is one manifestation of what John Paul II called the reduction of sexuality into an "instrument for self-assertion." Mr. Reade might respond, "Yeah, that's what's so great about it!" But whatever one's tastes in this area, as the pope understood, sex as mere self-assertion is a dead end. If the progressives either abort or decline to conceive their progeny, the progeny of the redneck knuckledraggers will be the only fellows around.
6. Gay-loathin' More projection. It's Amsterdam where the poor gay guys now have to watch what street they turn down. It's Paris where the gay mayor was stabbed by a gay-loathin' Muslim. Homophobia-wise, America's fundamentalist Christians have nothing on Europe's fundamentalist Muslims.
7. Foreigner-despisin' non-passport ownin' The only despisin' of foreigners that's going on here seems to be by Europeans toward Americans. Recall Margaret Drabble's diatribe from the beginning of this book. We only skimmed the surface:
My anti-Americanism has become almost uncontrollable. It has possessed me, like a disease. It rises up in my throat like acid reflux, that fashionable American sickness. I now loathe the United States and what it has done to Iraq and the rest of the helpless world. I can hardly bear to see the faces of Bush and Rumsfeld, or to watch their posturing body language, or to hear their self-satisfied and incoherent platitudes.
Etc. When one examines Brian Reade's anatomy of redneck disfigurements most of them are about the will to survive, as individuals and as a society. If one were to formulate it less disapprovingly, "self-righteous, gun-totin', military-lovin', sister-marryin', abortion-hatin', gay-loathin', foreigner-despisin', non-passport ownin' red-necks" equals "culturally confident, self-reliant, patriotic, procreative, religious, democratic, constitutional rednecks who believe in national sovereignty rather than ineffectual poseur multilateralism."
As for Mr. Reade's bit about "the biggest dick in the world so it could urinate on the rest of us"--if it bothers you that much, why not try urinating back? Ah, but in Europe it seems even that simple act is in the process of being feminized. Stehpinkeln--standing while urinating--is disapproved of in Germany, to the point where toilets can now be fitted with voice alarms triggered when the seat is raised. "Hey, stand-peeing is not allowed here and will be punished with fines, so if you don't want any trouble, you'd best sit down," orders the "toilet ghost" in a voice that imitates former chancellor Gerhard Schrder.
The notion of German government leaders commanding you in the privacy of your own home to urinate like a woman seems almost too poignant an image of the peculiarly European blend of state-enforced docility. In contrast to the swaggering Texan cowboy, it's the Last Stand of the EU-Corraled. Yet millions of these devices have been sold and Klaus Schwerma has written a book on the phenomenon called Stehpinkeln: Die Letzte Bastion der Mnnlichkeit?--or "Standing Urinators: The Last Bastion of Masculinity?"
This hardly seems the time to open up yet more unbridgeable cultural divides between the Old World and the New. The British TV historian Simon Schama defined the Bush/Kerry divide as "Godly America" and "Worldly America," hailing the latter as "pragmatic, practical, rational, and skeptical"--which is, naturally, exactly the wrong way around: it's the Christian fundamentalists, Holy Rollers, born-again Bible Belters, and Jesus freaks of Godly America who are rational and skeptical, especially of Euro-delusions. It's secular Europe that's living on faith. Uncowed by Islamists, undeferential to government, unshriveled in its birth rates, redneck America is a more reliable long-term bet.
But I have a passport, and you are not my sister.
WOW, this is one of his best.
I didn't realize that Germany was that far gone. I used to think that there would be some point at which even the most whipped people would finally get fed up and tell the PC-crazed to go to hell. Apparently not.
I am picturing myself standing up while peeing on the little speaker-thingy that's telling me not to stand while peeing.
Do German men really pee sitting down? Wow.
Upon further review, yes, it appears to be an issue in Europe. Next thing we know European will be carrying purses. Oh wait. Done deal.
Book excerpt for the pinglist?
Gives a whole new meaning to the Fall of the Roman Empire, doesn't it.
Who is brian reade, and why should I care? And do Germans really squat to pee? I guess losing two world wars really messes with your macho.
"I am picturing myself standing up while peeing on the little speaker-thingy that's telling me not to stand while peeing."
I am picturing myself leaving the seat down so I don't *have* to listen to the little speaker thingy, peeing standing up, and not caring where it splashes if someone rigs a toilet that way.
This is a good one. And YDR -- is that true about the Germans?
LOL! I never thought of it that way, but I must admit he has a point.
They have a very weird solution to this "problem." If they really wanted to enforce it, they would just make toilets with lids that don't come up. For older toilets, superglue comes to mind.
"For older toilets, superglue comes to mind."
On the bottom of the seat or on the top?