»  Radio Derb — Transcript

        Friday, February 24th, 2006

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[Music clip: From Haydn's Derbyshire Marches, organ version]

01 — Intro.     That's one of Haydn's Derbyshire Marches and this is John Derbyshire hidin' out — hidin' out, see? — in the bosky recesses of Long Island to bring you this week's instalment of Radio Derb.

Lots of goodies in the program here today, guys and gals, including a much-requested repeat of a segment from last year. So let's get started with Radio Derb!

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02 — Larry Summers resigns.     Back in '02 many of us thought that Larry Summers actually had a shot at restoring sanity to the campus of Harvard University.

Summers took strong stands on patriotism, campus ROTC, grade inflation, and the absurd pretense that gasbag race hustler Cornel West was actually teaching a subject anyone might benefit from being taught.

Then last year some perfectly harmless, obvious, and true observations about women in science and math brought on a vote of No Confidence from Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Nothing will get you in more trouble nowadays than stating the obvious, especially in a university.

Summers did exactly the wrong thing in response. He caved, groveling and whining that he had been misunderstood and that he was just as PC as the next man … sorry: "person." This week we got the news that Summers is resigning.

The moral of the story is that when the lefty mafias who run our universities smell fear, they behave like all other predatory beasts: they go for the kill.

Message to the next Larry Summers. You can't tell the truth on an American campus. If by mistake or inattention you do tell the truth, then stand by it and go down fighting like a real American. For the truth.

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03 — Dying swan bombs.     Johnny Weir is the young American figure skater who did that lovely Saint-Saëns dying swan routine last week.

I'm not being facetious here. The thing was beautifully done and a credited to Weir's skill and training, if not quite to his wardrobe sense. I mean, his swan costume was a bit over the top even by current male skater standards.

Johnny's views about the world are not so attractive. He gave an interview to NBC while lounging on a couch wearing a sweatshirt that had CCCP emblazoned across the front. That, I should explain to younger listeners, is actually U.S.S.R. written with the cyrillic alphabet. In fact, if you don't mind me showing off — and if you do mind me showing off you probably stopped listening to Radio Derb long ago — it spells "Союз Советских Социалистических Республик." Questioned later about his choice of sweatshirt logos, Weir explained that he was a fan of Russian culture.

Now, the connection between Russian culture and the U.S.S.R. is deep and complicated; but for sure the long-suffering inhabitants of the Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and the other nine captive nations of the U.S.S.R., not to mention the people of the East European satrapies, and not to mention a great many Russians either, may be forgiven for smiling with satisfaction when Weir placed only fifth in the final Winter Olympics scoring, coming home without a medal.

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04 — A storm about any port.     On to this fiasco about the company from Dubai running American ports.

My ex-colleague Rod Dreher is right about this. Ordinary, not particularly political conservaties are mad as hell about it. The evidence is piling up in my email inbox.

They have a case; but the more I read on it, the more I think that as a security issue, the port business is no big deal. As a political issue of course it is a colossal deal, and there is a very interesting meta-issue here about the magnifying effect that works on some topics like this when, with nothing much really at stake, the political world goes nuts.

So far as the magnifying quotient goes — I mean the quantification of the political fuss divided by the quantification of the topic's actual importance, supposing either quantification is possible — so far as that hypothetical quotient goes, this is way worse than Cheneygate, or than that business with what's-her-name and what's-his-name and the CIA — you know, the one where so-and-so told that other guy about Mrs Thingummy's day job.

Steve Sailer has made a good point about the ports business: that we really shouldn't worry about Gulf Arab showing up to work at our ports because Gulf Arabs don't do that kind of work, or in fact any kind of work. They import guest workers for anything more demanding than turning on the air conditioner. How dumb is that for a nation that wants to have any kind of a future?

Oh, there you are, Miguel. Peel me a grape, would you please?

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05 — Buddy Holly turns coat.     This new movie Valley of the Wolves is packing them in over in Turkey.

It's actually a Turkish movie, the most expensive one ever made in that country, and it shows brutish, sadistic American soldiers being beastly to innocent Muslims. You remember Turkey. That's the moderate, friendly Muslim country, the one we can depend on.

To their shame at least two American actors have parts in this film. One is Gary Busey who plays a surgeon who is mad as hell because U.S. troops are delivering dead Iraqis to Abu Ghraib. He wants live ones, you see, so that he can remove their organs and ship them to Tel Aviv.

Gary Busey, the guy who played Buddy Holly? What on earth is this country coming to? What would Buddy have said? And Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper? [Sings.] "Chantilly lace / An' a purty face / An' a pony tail / A-hangin' down …" No, I'd better not sing. I get too many negative emails when I sing; and only the older demographic is going to know what I'm singing there anyway.

So far as the Turks are concerned, I'm going to show off again, deploying the one Turkish proverb I know how to say: Nerede çokluk orada bokluk. That means: "Where there are people there is dung." Well, close enough, anyway.

With that one at least, the Turks have got it right.

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06 — Roses of the Prophet.     While we're scouring the Middle East for outrages, let's stop off in Iran, where Danish pastries — which, as I'm sure you know, are called Shirini Danmarki in the Farsi language … this is a special polyglot issue of Radio Dube here — er, Danish pastries are very popular in Iran, although they are made domestically, just like ours are, as a matter of fact, and not imported from Denmark, where, for all I know, they may be completely unknown, just as English muffins are completely unknown in England.

With the recent fuss about a Danish newspaper printing cartoons of Mohammed, however, the Danes are not in good odor over there in Tehran and Isfahan and Qom, so the Iranian government has ordered bakers to change the name of the fluffy pastries to "Roses of the Prophet Mohammed," which in Farsi is Gul e Mohammadi.

Since Mohammed, peace be upon him, was merely God's messenger and all idolatry of him or his name is prohibited in Islam, this seems to me to be teetering on the edge of blasphemy. I suppose the Mullahs know their own religion best, though, and I'll be getting a fatwah if I go meddling with it.

Well, here's my own Episcopalian contribution to the war on terror. I'm going to call Turkish delight "powder-covered gelatinous blobs of Cranmer and Fisher" from now on; and Persian carpets will be "floor coverings of the 39 articles."

There, that'll teach 'em!

[Added when transcribing:  I probably meant Latimer, not Fisher. Got my martyrs mixed up.

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07 — One lump or two?     We don't archive Radio Derb because the material is just too fugitive and off-the-cuff; and if you think that's just a polite way of saying "shallow and frothy," well you just go right on thinking that — I don't care.

However, I get emails from people wanting to hear such and such a segment again, and so when the demands for some particular segment rise above a certain threshold, I shall oblige from my own archives.

Here's one from last September that people liked, for reasons I myself find utterly unfathomable.

[Spliced in from the 9/22/05 podcast.]

Pop music kind of left me behind round about, oh, 1975. I still from time to time take a peek to see what's going on in there though. So what's going on?

Well, a reader passed on some lyrics he came across while channel-surfing on his car radio and I thought I'd share them with you.

The following stanza is from a little number titled "My Humps," performed by a group named Black-Eed Peas. You Ready? Here we go.

Whatcha gonna do with all that junk?
All that junk inside that trunk?

I'm a get get get get you drunk.
Get you love drunk off my hump.

Whatcha gonna do with all that ass?
All that ass inside your jeans?

I'm a make make make make you scream.
Make you scream make you scream

'Cause of my humps my hump my hump my hump,
My hump my hump my hump my lovely lady lumps.

Check it out.

Cole Porter, thou shouldst be living at this hour. America hath need of thee. She is a fen of stagnant waters … and lovely lady lumps.

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08 — Hold that civil war, guys.     I wanted the Iraq war to be an in-and-out affair: Go in, smash up their stuff, kill as many of their leaders as we could find, and then get out and leave them with the rubble. As my soon-to-appear line of T-shirts will say: Rubble Doesn't Make Trouble rubble doesn't make trouble.

Alas, George and Rummy and Dick foolishly weren't listening to Radio Derb back in '03, so we got stuck with an occupation.

One of the rationales for continuing that occupation until … well, we're not supposed to ask until when, has been that if we pull out precipitately à la Derb, the Iraqis will fall into civil war.

Well, this week's news from Iraq is that Sunni terrorists have been blowing up a majorly-sacred Shia mosque, and I'm just hearing that Shia terrorists are retaliating by shooting up and blowing up Sunni mosques.

Will someone please tell these guys that the civil war isn't supposed to start until after we leave, which will be … oh, sorry, we're not supposed to ask.

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09 — Don't make the Christians angry!     A quote from the Reuters wire: "After backing calls by Muslims for respect for their religion in the Mohammed-cartoons row, the Vatican is now urging Islamic countries to reciprocate by showing more tolerance towards their Christian minorities." End quote.

Interesting. I'm glad to see that the Vatican is showing some backbone here. So different from my own church. "Ex-church," I should say: In all honesty, I'll admit I haven't been to communion for over a year.

What's the point? If pronouncements by the Archbishop of Canterbury are anything to go by, they're probably reading the liturgy in Arabic by now, with the responses in Spanish, and mandatory same-sex, full-body hugs incorporated into the Peace.

Anyway, I'm glad to see someone in authority — and if the Pope isn't someone in authority, who is? — reminding the Muslims that respect is a two-way street.

Be interesting to see how far this will go. Not as far as it went in 1095, let's hope. That was when a previous pope preached the First Crusade. Net-net the Crusades didn't work out all that well, but we got some great songs and stories from them, and even a bit of math. What the Turks, Arabs, and Persians mainly got was a humongous grudge that they are still bellyaching about.

No, let's not go too far here, Holy Father. Ville Gagnée! sounded all very well nine hundred years ago, but the Ville is actually in Israeli hands right now, and the Israelis seemed to be able to take care of themselves pretty well.

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10 — Political surgery.     George Pataki, the Governor of my state, leading candidate for gross and total humiliation in the 2008 presidential primaries and embodiment of the RINO mentality — that's Republican In Name Only for you lucky red-staters who don't have to deal with the concept — er, George Pataki is in hospital having his appendix removed.

Ah, guys: While you're fishing around inside the Gov, any chances you could install a backbone?

Larry Summers left one lying around in Cambridge somewhere. I could probably locate it for you.

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11 — Court awards jackpot to illegal alien.     More news from the Empire State. The huge-brained black-robed philosopher-kings who sit on the New York State Court of Appeals have determined that an illegal alien who was injured while working for a New York employer can sue that employer for the wages that he, the illegal immigrant, lost while languishing in hospital.

This is one of those swings-and-roundabouts deals. On the swings you have the fact that impoverished Central Americans now have one more reason to head north. If they fall off the roof while working for a contractor who has illegally hired them, they can sue the pants off the guy.

On the roundabouts you have the fact that this might have what liberals call a "chilling effect" on the willingness of contractors to hire illegals: perhaps even an effect big enough to offset the federal government's total disinclination to enforce the people's laws against such employers.

Seen at a level higher than the swings and roundabouts, however — say from the top point of the roller-coaster just before it plunges downwards to its doom — this is just another judicial step in the piecemeal deconstruction of the United States, and the devaluing of U.S. citizenship, and the surrender of all that we hold dear into the hands of brain-addled twittering ideologues from lefty law schools.

God help us all!

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12 — Signoff.     That's it, folks — enough, at any rate, to leave you weeping in despair at the coming end of Western civilization.

Tune in again next week, if any of us are still here, for more hope-destroying suicide-inducing negativity from your ever-reliable prophet of doom, John Derbyshire here at Radio Derb.

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[Music clip: More Derbyshire Marches.]