"Woke Up This Morning, Wrote Myself a Newsletter" Edition
Obligatory shilling. This week I wrote for the Telegraph about how England’s Euro 2020 defeat revived the nation’s “plucky Brit” archetype.
For Spectator World, I wrote a guide to the Conservative commentariat.
I wrote for my paying subscribers about the “deluge of racist abuse” that wasn't and the campaign against online anonymity.
I also wrote for my paying subscribers about why I (mostly) don't write about Polish politics.
Finally, I wrote a free Substack post about “cockwomble” in theory and practice.
Everything is a work. In the Sight of the Unwise reflects on the pro wrestlification of sports:
The 2012 Olympics occupy a prominent part in British collective memory, especially for people who either love or hate the opening ceremony. But absolutely no one wants to remember how it was one of the dirtiest events in modern sporting history.
Team GB on drugs? Impossible! They're British!
South Africa on the brink. Brian Pottinger considers the largely ignored chaos in his home nation South Africa:
The province of my birth is burning. Looters, using the excuse of the incarceration of former President Jacob Zuma, have laid an unimpeded trail of violence, arson, assault and damage across KwaZulu Natal, traditional home of the Zulu people.
Armed volunteers mount barricades at the entrances to my village while youngsters on trail bikes scout through the perimeter cane fields. There is no available food or fuel and the chat groups buzz with an incessant flood of posts about destroyed buildings, burnt cars and roaming mobs. The State is entirely absent.
I'm not sure you can expect institutional competence in a state where a longtime president, Mr Zuma, thought taking a shower would reduce his chances of contracting HIV.
Desacralized slaughter. Justin E.H. Smith writes about violence:
…the greatest moral transgression of the contemporary world is that we have, first, desacralized slaughter and the consumption of animal flesh, and second, moved this slaughter behind the walls of unmarked, remotely located slaughterhouses, rendering it structurally invisible. This is a historically unprecedented development…
I’m not sure about the greatest but it is a great one.
Year Zero. Wesley Yang has joined Substack.
Frontlash. Charlie Peters also comments on the moral panic that followed the Euros.
We don’t know what to do with victims of crime who don’t understand themselves to have been victimized. No one in this book protests or otherwise indicates nonconsent - even as they submit to degradations no normal person would consent to - because the drugs pretty much obliterate their capacity to moralize or judge. Not only that, but they swear up & down that the problem isn’t the obvious squalor & indignity of their lifestyle, it’s all these judgments & hang-ups - & the prescription for judgments & hang-ups is, of course, more drugs.
Catchy, clickable. Katherine Dee reflects on the dark legacy of Tumblr:
You were much more likely to encounter a bastardized interpretation of the meaning of “emotional labor” on your Tumblr feed, or a Vice article regurgitating that Tumblr post, than you were in a classroom.
Love. Happy times for Sixsmiths as my brother got married last week (slightly sadder me as I could not make it back to Britain). Our mum wrote this poem for him and his soon-to-be wife last Christmas.
Love is the choice that binds us together
Love is our life, our joy and our laughter
Love is support in challenge and struggle
Love brings us comfort in bruising and trouble
Love fills each adventure that love sends
Love reaches out to family and friends
Love is our rest and Love our endeavour
Love is our home and love lasts forever
Have a lovely week,