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For the last couple of years, this poor little Jewish boy (to paraphrase Taki) has a tradition. Every Christmas, I like to read a novella or a story (with a glass or two or three of spiced wine) that puts me into the holiday mood. Last year, it was the great Dickens' A Christmas Carol, this year I am still deciding between O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi and Georges Simenon's Maigret's Christmas.
In addition to the classics, I will spend the coming days with the latest issue of Chronicles. Without exaggeration, the January issue is a milestone in American conservative journalism: a collection of hard-hitting pieces by the leading immigration-reduction (control is not enough anymore) advocates. Unlike the otherwise crucial issues of abortion and affirmative action, immigration is the issue that will decide the future of America and the whole West.
I remember picking up a copy of Brimelow's Alien Nation in high school circa 2001, definitely before 9-11. Needless to say, it, along with Pat Buchanan's Death of the West shook me out of my Rush Limbaugh-listening, Fox News-watching existence, and when "the bum Frum" (as Taki calls him) wrote that Unpatriotic Conservatives piece, introducing me to Chronicles, I became a paleo.
But back to immigration. The interesting thing is that so many immigration reduction advocates are themselves immigrants: Peter Brimelow, John Derbyshire, Srdja Trifkovic, Taki, and to drop a dozen or so rungs down the ladder, yours truly. As Brimelow points out in his timeless Alien Nation, immigrants to America were oftentimes, loud advocates of immigration control. British Jewish immigrant Samuel Gompers comes to mind.
The latest issue is to be enjoyed and savored like a glass of good Armenian brandy (leave Hennessy to the rappers and drug dealers) or Portuguese port. I'll close with a particularly perceptive quote from Justin Raimondo's column:
I don't hold it against immigrants if they resist "Americanization". Think of what that means today. It means refusing to be assimilated into a mass "culture" of prefabricated mental pabulum, fast food, and soulless "hook-ups", where a thought that can't be tweeted is beyond comprehension.
Merry Christmas, Eugene! I hope you enjoy the holy day as well as the story (we just read "Gift of the Magi" to the kids for the first time, a nice edition complete with lovely illustrations).
Mr. Girin, may I suggest your reading A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote. It is for some readers too sentimental as some pumpkin pies have too much cinnamon, but it captures Christmas before the abject commercialization and places Christmas at home and hearth among kith and kin, with some of the kin being a bit too stern. There are kites involved, home-made and metaphorical.
If you can find it, I suggest that you read the children's book Awful, Awful Abigail.
I also suggest A Golden Christmas by William Gilmore Simms, not one of his best works; but yet it works, set in Charleston and the Low Country in the early 1850's.
I am looking forward to the January, 2014, issue.
From the farm down in Louisiana where the fox says "Good Night" to the hare, we - the wife, the dogs and I - wish all of y'all a very Merry Christmas.
It is interesting that the labor leader Gompers joined forces with the arch Conservative Coolidge in passing the 1924 Immigration Act. They were in opposition during the 1919 Boston Police strike when Coolidge was Governor of Massachusetts. But in 1924 they joined forces to pass the most important positive Law of 20th Century America. It served to keep America American (in Coolidge’s words) and over the next 41 years created a unified nation. Today’s situation is very different. Both Republicans and Democrats are at war with the existing American Nation. The Democrats are in hoc to the Latino lobbies and the Republicans are in hoc to the Plutocrats seeking cheap labor.
I first read "Gift of the Magi" about 20 years ago, as part of my ESL class in Rochester, NY. As for the immigration angle, isn't it interesting that Chronicles has much more immigrants writing for it than all the neocon rags combined? How many immigrants write for NR, for example? I think Derb was the last one.
I usually agree with everything my friend Eugene has to say, but I cannot condone leaving Hennessy (and presumably other brands of that very superior old pale) to the rappers and drug dealers. There are other, more stylish baddies to consider. Cf. Knut Hamsun, "Without further ado, Rolandsen went up to his office, straight to the instrument, and asked one of the operators at the Rosengaard telegraph station to send him half a cask of cognac at the first opportunity. There was no sense in carrying on like this forever.” Or Ernst Kaltenbrunner (a more serious Nazi, as it happens), while playing solitaire and sipping cognac at a mountain villa in Austria's Tyrol: "It's all a lot of crap. The game is up." (In his case there was also no sense in carrying on like that forever, but "forever" meant weeks, rather than months...) And Guderian, fortified by a few glasses of cognac at the Japanese Ambassador's, risked his famous confrontation with Hitler at the Bunker in February 1945.
Cognac... Taki should be asked!
Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all.
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