Month: February 2015

French Waiters – Conservative Heros?

Here is a great piece by David Warren about French waiters.

Tips

In a politically-corrected world, where there is one side to every story, although it changes from day to day, I was delighted to see the Wall Street Journal publish a courageous article. It was in defence of French waiters. They are, as Cristina Nehring hints, among the last upholders of Western civilization; and in their settled attitude of pas possible, doing a job even Rome has been abandoning.

Unlike so many miserable wretches in contemporary Parisian society, the garçon de café has a calling. And it is not a calling to anything else. He is, like the ancient English butler (who survives only in old movies), a man of dignity; and of a wide knowledge, at the disposal of those who politely ask. He knows what is possible and what is not. He gives respect to the respectable; and he demands respect in turn. Like an officer in the field, he is called by his office, and not by his name; never should he be treated as a familiar.

“Hi everyone, my name is Johnny and I’ll be your server today! Do you have any questions about the menu?”

The journalist quotes this painfully common line, and adds what follows from it: “servers” who pester throughout the meal; put you on the spot by asking your opinion; freely interrupt dinner-table conversation with their feigned concern for your wellbeing, breathing empathy in a mist-like spittle over the fancy entrée; and again unbidden, suddenly they nail you with the bill. This is arrogance of a kind that would be unthinkable to a true French waiter.

Some years ago a visitor from Montreal, to the then still-existing Idler Pub, whose kitchen was not inadequate, confessed the ugly truth about the decline of his city. He frankly admitted that, in Toronto nowadays, even the food is better. But in his prideful despair, he cried: “Dieu merci! … At least we still have real waiters.”

Aheu, for the civilizing mission of Catholic Quebec, to our North American wilds! The waiters he admired provided the last distant echo of Brébeuf and Lalement, gone to martyrdom in Huronia.

Waiters, he recalled; and not the art students, who were then scurrying about us, at pains to let us know all about themselves. How deadly the idea that “serving” should be a means, justified by some selfish end; to do a job for which you advertise your contempt, and right in the face of your victims. No: waitering is a calling in and of itself, and considerably higher than most to which the young now aspire. (Such as lawyering, or banking.)

Read the whole thing here and check out Mr. Warren’s other thoughtful and thought-provoking blogs posts while you’re there.

Theodore Dalrymple on the recent killings in Copenhagen

Denial and Grandiosity
Some observations after the Copenhagen killings

Twisting language is generally the easiest way to evade unpleasant truths. The Guardian, the British liberal-left newspaper, offered a good example, in the wake of the Islamist killings in Copenhagen. Under the heading SCANDINAVIANS VALUE FREE SPEECH, BUT NOW THEY NEED TO BE PRACTICAL, Andrew Brown wrote: “When the Swedish Democrats [a political party that wants to limit severely immigration into Sweden] caused an election film to be banned from national television in 2010 because it showed hordes of immigrants taking benefits from native old people . . . Danish politicians queued up to accuse the Swedish authorities of a betrayal of free speech.”

How did the Swedish Democrats cause their own election ‎film to be banned? How, indeed, could they have done so? They might have suspected that the film would be banned, but that is not the same thing as causing it to be banned. Only authorities with powers of censorship could do that—and whether they should have exercised those powers is another question. The proper way of putting the matter would have been: “When the authorities banned the Swedish Democrats’ election film.”

Read the whole thing here at City Journal

Among the Educated Crazies

Check out this post and video from my favourite blogger Rod Dreher.  I’m reallly not into the whole “Men’s Rights” movement – I  find the whole thing rather lame – but this is infuriating. Why can’t they speak on campus? If you don’t like it, don’t go. And look who is being violent – the brain-washed left-wing ideologues who want to impose their will and suppress dissent. They are indeed the true heirs to their Communist/Fascist forefathers. Rest assured radical femi-Nazis, my wife and I are raising our boys to be men! But might there be a gulag in their future? Scary stuff.

Are Danes Really That Happy? The Myth Of The Scandinavian Utopia

Hahahaha – told you so. Check out courtesy of NPR this interview with Michael Booth, the author of The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia.

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On Denmark’s high taxes and what Danes get for it

Let’s take Denmark for example. We do have literally the highest taxes in the world. The income tax is about — top measures are just over 50 percent. But there’s all sorts of other very heavy taxes. … Most people reckon about three quarters of your income ends up in the state’s coffers if you include all the various taxes. You know, if you want to buy a car, there’s a 180 percent tax on the car. [Value-added tax] is 25 percent. They have the highest energy taxes. … So basically I’m working until Thursday lunch time for the government, and the rest of the week for myself. …

What you get is free education, very cheap pre-school care, functioning public transports, a free health service — all the things that many Americans dream of. Now the big question is: You’re paying the highest taxes in the world, is the education system the best in the world? Are the hospitals the best in the world? No, they’re not.

Here’s the link to the article and the interview.