Sunday, December 14, 2014

politically incorrect movies - The Green Berets (1968)

The Green Berets, released in 1968, is one of those movies that had liberals frothing at the mouth back in the 60s. Co-produced and co-directed by John Wayne (who also starred) it dared to be a Vietnam War movie that didn't take the standard knee-jerk liberal anti-war line. It upset liberals even more by being a major box-office hit. And it's a pretty good movie.

It's also worth pointing out that it's more realistic than most of the later anti-Vietnam War movies.

Here's the link to my full review of The Green Berets.

Monday, November 24, 2014

politically incorrect writers - Sydney Horler

Sydney Horler (1888-1954) belonged to the breed of thriller writers that Alan Bennett described as the “snobbery with violence” school. The type of thriller writer that upsets sensitive leftists (poor darlings). Horler compounded the offence by being extremely popular, and nothing enrages leftists more than non-PC authors who sell books by the truckload.

Tiger Standish was Horler’s most popular hero, featuring in a series of novels in the 1930s. The first book in the series, titled simply Tiger Standish, appeared in 1932. Here's the link to my review of this book.

Horler wrote no less than 157 novels. He not only wrote politically incorrect books, he was also a social conservative and (perhaps his most heinous offence of all) a Christian.

Tiger Standish could be considered to be the poor man’s Bulldog Drummond, and he’s even more politically incorrect than Drummond. While I wouldn’t claim that Horler’s thrillers  were in the same league as the Bulldog Drummond books (to be honest he’s not even close) there’s still a certain amount of enjoyment to be derived from them. He definitely belongs in the guilty pleasure category.

Friday, November 21, 2014

politically incorrect movies - Death Wish

Movies don't come much more politically incorrect than Michael Winner's 1974 vigilante flick Death Wish. You won't find any sympathy for criminals in this movie. And you won't find any nonsense about crime being caused by poverty or by the wickedness of capitalism. The movie's prescription for dealing with crime may be a little extreme but its real crime (in the eyes of liberals) is that it suggests that extreme solutions might actually work, and that they might prove to be the only solutions that do work.

Death Wish is the story of a self-confessed bleeding heart liberal who comes face to face with the reality of crime. He doesn't remain a bleeding heart liberal for very long when that happens. Like most liberals he wasn't worried by violent crime when it happened to other people, and to other people's families. When it happens to him it's a whole different story.

Death Wish ignited a firestorm of controversy when it was released in 1974. Not surprisingly critics hated it and audiences loved it.

I have more to say about this important movie on my film blog. Here's the link to my review.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

politically incorrect writers - Mickey Spillane

I just can’t get enough of politically incorrect writers, and Mickey Spillane (1918-2006) was about as politically incorrect as a writer could possibly be. If you really want to upset a liberal buy them an omnibus edition of Spillane’s Mike Hammer novels. Mike Hammer really was the ultimate tough guy private eye.

Spillane pushes liberals’ buttons for all sorts of reasons but undoubtedly his biggest crime in their eyes was his success. It’s hard to argue with a guy who sold 225 million books.

Mike Hammer approaches crime in a manner that liberals will find extremely confusing. He doesn’t think society is responsible for crime; he thinks criminals are responsible for crime.

Spillane burst onto the literary scene in spectacular fashion 1947 with his debut novel I, the Jury. He became the first writer of private eye novels to top the New York Times bestseller list.

I’ve reviewed four of the twelve Mike Hammer novels on my Vintage Pop Fictions blog - I, the Jury, My Gun is Quick (published in 1950), Vengeance Is Mine! (also 1950) and Kiss Me, Deadly (which appeared in 1952). 

Spillane did some acting as well and in the The Girl Hunters (1963) he plays the role of Mike Hammer himself.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Crimea: The Great Crimean War 1854-56

Trevor Royle’s Crimea: The Great Crimean War 1854-56, published in 1999, is an exhaustive and fascinating study of one of the most controversial conflicts of the 19th century, a conflict that has considerable relevance on our own era.

In the early 19th century the Ottoman Empire controlled a considerable slice of eastern Europe but the empire which had once seemed likely to dominate the entire continent (they went very close to capturing Vienna in 1683) was now clearly in decline and had become known as the Sick Man of Europe. The problem was what to do if the Sick Man actually died. A further problem was that the British at least suspected that the Russians might be planning to hasten his demise. British policy was to maintain the Ottoman Empire at all costs. It was obvious that if it collapsed Russia would strengthen its position in eastern Europe and central Asia, and perhaps strengthen its position just a little too much. As always the British feared for India. And if Russia gained control of the whole of the Black Sea she would have unrestricted access to the Mediterranean.

In the early 1850s a dispute between Orthodox Christians and Catholics over control of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem gave the Tsar Nicholas I his opportunity, and brought Russia and France into collision. The Ottomans declared war on Russia and the subsequent Russian naval victory at Sinope left Russia effectively dominating the Black Sea. Britain and France then declared war on the Russians, a move that eventually led to the landing of an Anglo-French invasion force in the Crimea.

The Crimean War is widely regarded as a classic example of a futile and unnecessary war. That’s perhaps not entirely accurate. The Tsar did have a sincere interest in the rights of Orthodox Christians within the Ottoman Empire and the British did have legitimate reasons for fearing an imminent Ottoman collapse and for fearing the consequences that were likely to follow. The so-called “Eastern Question” bedeviled European politics for a century and provided the spark that ignited the First World War. The echoes continued for another century, the bloody disintegration of Yugoslavia in the late 20th century being a result of the failure to solve the question satisfactorily. There were real issues at stake. Whether it was wise for the British and French to become directly involved was another matter. The French Emperor Napoleon III wanted to restore France to the dominant position she had held in Europe prior to the defeat of his uncle and namesake in 1815 and saw the war as a means of achieving this. The British government was to a large extent stampeded into war by the hysteria of the British press.

The Crimean War ended in defeat for Russia but it proved to be far more expensive in money and lives than had been anticipated and the final result was not entirely satisfactory from Britain’s point of view. The campaign in the Crimea exposed disastrous faults in the organisation of the British Army’s supply and medical services and those faults cost the lives of many more British soldiers from disease than from the actual fighting.

The dangers of being drawn into eastern European wars was a lesson that European statesmen had to learn again in 1914, and it seem that the lesson may have to be learnt yet again in our own day. Of even greater relevance today are the astonishing parallels between the demonisation of Nicholas I in the British press in the early 1850s and the demonisation of Vladimir Putin by an equally irresponsible and hysterical media. 

Royle gives a very fair account of the war, recognising the extreme difficulties faced by Lord Raglan as British commander in the Crimea, and refusing to demonise any of the main actors in the drama. The only real villains are the British press. Royle’s book can be warmly recommended.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Could even Labour be worse than David Cameron?

With "conservative" Prime Minister David Cameron planning sweeping crackdowns on what's left of freedom of speech in Britain it's surely time to ask - can even Labour be worse than this? The argument  that even a lousy Conservative government is better than having a Labour government is now looking rather threadbare. Trying to scare potential UKIP voters by telling them that they may be helping Labour gain office now seems beside the point. The only possible hope for Britain is for the Cameron Conservatives to be utterly smashed. Then it may be possible to build an actual conservative party out of the ruins.

I've been saying for some time that traitorous so-called conservatives like Cameron are more dangerous than avowed leftists. This would seem to prove my point. In David Cameron's Britain this is what the Justice and Security Act means - " It prevents those accused by the government from seeing the evidence against them, or the witness testimony against them. The individual concerned would also be unable to submit evidence – or even enter the courtroom, if it is deemed to be in the court’s interests. In fact, the court will not even have to inform the person concerned of why they have been taken to court, or even that a trial is taking place. It could mean that the first a person hears of a case against them, is when the police turn up to take them to jail to begin their sentence."

1984 has well and truly arrived.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Rotherham, Islam and the decay of western civilisation

Peter Frost in his recent post at UNZ Review has some interesting things to say about the Rotherham scandal. I disagree with much of what he says but he does make some valid and pertinent points. 

It’s obviously crystal clear that the main problems are the catastrophic policies of multi-culturalism and mass Third World immigration but I think Frost is right in believing that there are other things going on here as well. It does seem as if many immigrants (especially Muslim immigrants)  are assimilating, but in dangerously wrong ways - that they are adopting the very worst aspects of our own rapidly collapsing civilisation while at the same time maintaining the very worst features of their own cultures. They are embracing the mindless hedonism, the obsession with sex, the nihilism, the victimology and the identity politics. From their own cultures they are maintaining the contempt for outsiders.

They are also taking advantage of the disintegration of the family unit in western culture, which has led to so many teenage girls becoming virtually victims waiting to be happen. 

These immigrants are also taking advantage of their knowledge that the police (especially in the UK but also to a large extent across the western world) are always going to take the side of non-whites against whites. The few fathers of victimised white girls who tried to get something done about the problem found themselves being arrested. 

The net result of all this is that for the mainly Pakistani grooming gangs their horrendous activities were made ridiculously easy, and almost risk-free.

Frost also makes the point that other non-white groups apart from Muslims are over-represented in these kinds of crimes. 

Islam and immigration are certainly major parts of the problem but unless we can address the serious failures of our own civilisation we can expect many more Rotherhams.