Saturday, April 28, 2018

In which the pond presents a Dame Slap rant that should only be viewed by herpetological specialists ...

The pond decided that Dame Slap's rant for the day should really be reserved for late afternoon …

When the Dame gets to ranting and hating, no one's safe, and only fully professional specialist reptile carers should be allowed to come near …

Why if Gandhi himself turned up spouting this sort of nonsense …


… Dame Slap would take him out the back, get out the cane, stick in the boot and give him a bloody good thumping …

And that goes double for misguided clowns, pacifists and people who refuse to celebrate the valiant sacrifices involved in war to the death! (Anyone with bone spurs exempted of course).

Now the pond isn't so sure that Gandhi had the recipe for defeating Hitler - lay down in his path and he might just send a tank over you - but the pond is always stricken with admiration at the way that the Dame can summon a hate-filled rant at those she accuses of hate crimes, when she probably really means thought crimes committed against the Dame's way of thinking ...

Step out of line and she'll give you a bloody good whacking, and drag in all sorts of historical metaphors and analogies … just look at the terribly violent photo of the shockingly animalistic anarchist students occupying the Sorbonne that the reptiles dragged out of the archives to illustrate her point ...

Somewhere deep in the pond's mind it recalls that the diggers were supposed to have died so that people might express a diversity of views and opinions.

Not in Dame Slap's world of hate and rage … why she even takes a view on disagreeable clocks ...

On and on she rants, and remarkably, in an exceptionally humourless piece, she muses about a lack of humour ...

Truth to tell, it doesn't pay to set the Dame going, because that's like waving a red flag at a … well, it's probably not right to say 'bull', but is there any other way out of the gender dilemma?

Indeed, indeed.

Critically, conservatism is not an ideological attachment but a pragmatic endeavour to preserve institutions, ideas and values that continue to serve us well …

Ah the glorious Donald, a pragmatic endeavour to preserve institutions, ideas and values that continue to serve well … 

Fill the swamp, fill the swamp …


Oh it's working out terribly well ...

What routinely amazes, astonished and delights the pond is that the Dame can generate this sort of crap on such a constant basis … though the barking mad interpretation of ancient Roman history that follows is sure to set off specialist herpetologists ...

Rome as a durable democracy?

Dragon energy? Kanye West? The Donald as conservative preserver?

What the fuck's in the drink? The pond wants some of it, in lieu of this cartoon …

Next thing the Dame will be ranting about pig energy …but Rowe has a lock on it, with more lock and load Rowe here ...


  1. Replies
    1. Herman & Chomsky's 'Manufacturing Consent' and Margaret Mead's 'Coming of Age in Samoa'. Both famously contentious in their day, now all but forgotten as best I can determine - though both Chomsky (much more than Herman) and Mead both have their loyal fans, both pro and con.

      I wonder if Dame Snap is familiar with either.

  2. The establishment of the Roman Republic was an experiment in democracy? Laugh? I nearly started...

    Booting Tarquinius Superbus was an exercise in the 1% overthrowing the 1. Pretty much the same as that other vaunted democratic moment the Magna Carta, which curtailed the powers of the King over the Barons but did fuck all for anyone else. The ordinary people of Rome remained largely powerless for the thousand years between the end of the Monarchy and the end of the Empire. What power they had was largely a sop to the masses, looking good on paper but meaningless in practice.

    But since Coates is an Art Historian, I wonder why the Dame would quote her opinion on political forms. Maybe she can share what Scruton thinks about Abstract Impressionism, or the Dutch Masters' under coating techniques.

    1. I don't think the Romans had paper, FD, the Chinese didn't invent it until the Roman Republic was almost over.

      However correct me if necessary, but I understood that at least the Magistrates and the Plebeians were elected, a practice that bears some passing resemblance to democracy. However I have never understood how those 'elections' actually worked back in those days (especially without paper).

      The thing is, though, how many other states/nations/whatevers of Roman times and for quite a while afterwards actually elected anyone to anything ?

      And yes, Magna Carta was mostly symbolic, and even after William (the) Marshal had resurrected it in Henry III's name it was largely ignored for centuries. The Charter of the Forest, on the other hand, was very effective so I understand.

    2. The pond just knew you'd dance for joy, FD and GB ...

    3. I've always been an admirer of Snoopy, DP.

    4. The Pond always has me dancing for joy, DP. Perhaps I come off as harumphing, Polonius-like, but really I just can't pass up the opportunity to bang on about something I enjoy and learn from. The reptiles also profess to learn from history, but for them it's really about getting bigger sticks in their kulturkampf.

      GB - while Rome had the forms of democracy, the reality was different. What we would consider electoral fraud, the corruption of officials and the lack of meaningful power combined to ensure that the plebs had no real power, but just enough semblance to keep them quiet. They spent 500 years squabbling over that, and for their pains got the Empire, which removed them from power entirely.

      As to who had more - most of Greece, for a start, at various times - famously male citizens only (the same in Rome, and the Greeks had a real voice). Even the Carthaginians, undoubtedly an oligarchy, had some institutions which provided greater real democracy that the two-tiered Roman Republic.

    5. That last para was mangled a bit in editing - I meant that while Greece only had democracy for male citizens, that limit was also the case for Rome, but unlike Rome, those who had a voice had it heard.

      The vaunted power of the Tribunes to protect the people from unjust laws was, in fact, severely limited by practical obstacles, quite apart from institutional corruption.

    6. Nolo contendere, FD, mostly. However, the point was indeed an "experiment in democracy" rather than the accomplishment of a working democracy. Achieving a genuine 'working democracy' is neither quick, nor easy, as a brief perusal of the place of the Peterloo Massacre in the British "experiment in democracy" shows us. (oh, isn't Judeo-Christian Civilisation just wonderful).

      The key thing, I guess, is whether - like the vast majority of 'states' - the place is run by at least nominally hereditary rulers who are empowered by 'divine right' of some kind or whether by some form of 'appointed' (and limited, non-hereditary) authority. And Rome, in between the Tarquinian kingdom and the Augustinian-Julian 'empire' did at least try.

      That it was really just a clever ploy for 'manufacturing consent' may be mostly true, but it was still a ploy that precious few others ever employed.

      Besides, I always reckoned that the Greek thingy was just really a jumped up 'village moot' which was hard enough to make work for a jumped up village like Athens, but would never have worked for a city-state the size of Rome (which some reckon got to a million inhabitants at one stage).

      Not knowing much about the governance of Carthage, I'll leave that one untouched.

    7. Rome was never a city state with a million people. By the time Rome's population reached 1 million, it was a multinational near-empire.

      When Brutus et al kicked out Tarquinius, Rome had a population of at most 40,000 (it grew in spurts over the next 300 years, as successive wars ruined farmers and caused migration to the cities, especially Rome itself). At the same time, Athens, the "jumped up village", was one of the largest cities in the world, with a population of perhaps 140,000. In each case the number of citizens was far less, perhaps 20% of the total (both cities had relatively few slaves in 500 BCE, and citizens dropped below 10% by the late 400's in Athens, and by the earliest Empire for Rome).

      Remember, the claim was that Rome was the ancient worlds most durable attempt at democracy. It was durable for sure, but it was not really an attempt at democracy. That's hardly a surprise - the king was overthrown not to broaden the franchise, but to avenge the rape of a noblewoman, and the key players were advisors to or relatives of the king. Naturally, they ensured that power remained concentrated in their hands.

    8. I've always had some difficulty crediting Rome with having a million inhabitants back in those times, the sheer organisational effort would have been enormous. Anyway, yes, the 'Rape of Lucrece' was the pretext on which the Tarquins were dumped. And yes, the aristocracy always does whatever it takes to hold on to real power, but still elections of significant officials were held and that can't be said of many other places. And yes, it did last for quite a while, which also can't be said of a lot of places.

      Assuming your 20% in Athens was male only, that gives a village moot size of about 140,000/5 = 28,000 (which roughly accords with my vague remembrance). But 28,000 aren't all going to get a say in every issue, are they. So it really was a very mute "democracy" in those terms. Much like 'Western democracies' now, I guess.

    9. It was only a coincidence that the pond was only reading an old New Statesman 5-11 Jan 2018 and came across this from Mary Beard. Asked in which time and place other than her own she'd like to live, she said:
      "Most of history is so unattractive as a substitute for the 21st century, and ancient Rome would be ghastly, especially for an ordinary woman without a fortune. Can I opt for the future?"

    10. Me too, DP, can I have another go some time in the future, please ? Some time after the climate change stuff has been fixed, so maybe quite a fair while in the future ...

      But in the meantime, neither FD nor I have picked up on the really queer aspect of this: a big-time reptile publishing praise in the 'beginnings of democracy' time for non-Christian Rome ! Just think of the implications of that: Judeo-Christian Civilisation had its beginning in the pre-Christian era of Greece and Rome despite the Catechism of Conservative Conformity preached by the herpetarium.

      Admittedly, Dame Snap didn't actually write that praise herself, she was only quoting it, so it will just be a doddle to ignore or simply forget it later, but, for now, a real surprise.

      In the meantime though, perhaps we should acknowledge that that bastion of Judeo-Christian Civilisation, let's-pretend-it's-still-Great Britain still isn't a democracy - it still has an aristocrat dominated, non-elected upper house of parliament ! And if it wasn't for that hilarious work-around, the 'life peerage' it would have remained very non-democratic.

    11. "non-Christian Rome"
      Well played, GB, well played...

  3. Now Dame Snap tells us that Sonia Sotomayor had a few words to say about Clarence Thomas to the effect that she "...just love[s] the man as a person. He has the same value toward human beings as I have...".

    Wau, and I thought Sonia was a more or less rational liberal, not a loving supporter of sexual predators.

    Lovely to catch up with Ms Deveny though - haven't seen her name mentioned for quite a while.

  4. One key element overlooked by taking your medicine from the Dame online, is that you missed the sub-heading in print edition:

    "Indulged attention-seekers are unable to say what they are for, only what they are against"

    And silly old me, I assumed it was another column upbraiding Abbott and Credlin as has been the logical fashion of late. And skipped the piece until now.

    Silly me!

  5. And here we are a couple of days after this tripe from Albrechtson ... via Twitter ...

    What heroes. What absolute scum. No doubt they'll be given 'a mulligan' by the arsewipes at Newscorpse.


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