The Roadwork Has Started Again Edition
I hope you're well. In fact, I hope you're BETTER than well. I hope you're drifting on a tide of bliss, or surfing on a wave of excitement. Only the best for readers of this newsletter.
Obligatory shilling. I wrote about Dave Rubin's new book for the Spectator USA. Predictably, I hated it. It is a bit embarrassing to give ammunition to the likes of the Young Turks – even if I was mildly impressed that Anna Kasparian could pronounce my name – but bad is bad and if you are too soft on people on your “side” who produce low quality work you might wake up surrounded by “classical liberals” talking about how the Nazis were left-wing.
Elsewhere, I wrote for The Critic about the interesting new Anglo-Polish film My Friend the Polish Girl, and I covered the peculiar theory that Tom Hanks, Oprah and other of their famous friends are harvesting drugs from the adrenal glands of children for the Spectator USA. I also wrote about Dominic Cummings and upper normie ideology for paid subscribers to this platform.
Lockdown doubts. I supported most aspects of the initial lockdowns, and defended them. What has led me to become more of a lockdown sceptic? Not a change of heart. I always said lockdowns should be a temporary cautionary measure as states safeguarded their healthcare systems and gathered resources.
The problem now is a sense of mission creep. The NHS – and, in Poland, the NFZ – have withstood the outbreak. Now, lockdowns appear to be a measure we are taking to nuke rather than flatten the curve. That might have worked in South Korea and Hong Kong, but they began with fewer cases and more compliant populations. Would it work out in the West - and at this stage - and would the benefits outweigh the toll in lost businesses and tumours going untreated? I can't be sure, of course, but I am inclined to doubt it. That is not to say states should open the borders and people begin to hold stadium concerts. But I fear such an expansive lockdown has passed the point of diminishing returns.
Still, Tom Chivers makes a solid case for the defence.
Houellebecq on coronavirus. I always hated the term “must-read”. “Must-read article on feminism”. “Must-read article on healthcare". “Must-read article on anime”. Piss off! I'll decide for myself what I must read. Still, if someone does not want to read Houellebecq on coronavirus I feel there must be something wrong with their soul.
Entomology. L0m3z, one of the great anons, writes a provocative, pugnacious piece on the evils of “bug language”.
Taking a stand. Spencer Klavan writes with appropriate outrage about attempts to diagnose children as being transgendered.
Apologies for the brevity of this newsletter. I have been busy this week, and it has also been quite stressful, partly because of external circumstances and partly because of my own foolish mistakes. But “creative” people, for lack of a better word, often exaggerate the uniqueness of their own struggles because they are in a position to express themselves in public. Would a sales assistant, or a toilet cleaner, or a paramedic tell their boss they have been slacking on their work because of stress? Perhaps. But they would not find very sympathetic ears. Rest assured, then, that next week's newsletter will be an improvement.
I hope you have a nice week,