Essays in Idleness


Have women peaked?

Whether the issue be American swimsuit competitions, or Ontario provincial elections, it is hard to decide sometimes which one hates more. I suppose this makes me a hater — “a hater, a hater, a hate hate hater” as one gentle critic called me in my hack newspaper days; and it is true, I hate a lot of things.

Let us start with the removal of the swimsuit portion from the Miss America Pageant. “We will no longer judge our candidates on their outward physical appearance,” we are told in the release to Good Morning America.

I doubt that I am the only person who wonders what the ladies will be judged by, now. Strictly cooking and knitting? Perhaps a spelling bee? Or will it be spiritual depth, in which case, we might hope to see some nuns for a change. But instead there might be a row of Social Justice Warriorettes vying for the prize, by uttering the most asinine, politically-correct remarks. If so, I would vote for the blonde with the longest hair and the biggest boobs.

Except, I’ve never been asked to judge such a competition, even in a Third World country, where Miss National contests are taken very seriously, and the principle of selection seems to be the whitest-looking girl they can find. (The West opts for the most obvious visible minority.)

Are women depreciated by swimsuit displays? Not as much as the men in police line-ups, called in for ogling them. We’re in the twenty-first century, as the progressives like to point out. (It is the only thing they know.) The old crimes are no longer prosecuted. Harvey Weinstein is the “Hitler” for our times. Yet the reality continues to be that young women who look fetching in bikinis have real clout. They turn heads faster than famous politicians, and may have, generally, whatever they want. To my mind, the swimsuit competition was a celebration of female power.

On which grounds, I was against it.

As Doctor Johnson wrote to John Taylor, “Nature has given women so much power that the law has wisely given them little.” (Alas, that was then, and this is now.) Donald DeMarco said that he had known men face certain death in acts of bravery on the battlefield; but never a man who could stand up to a roomful of screaming women. (And ain’t that the truth.) During his losing campaigns against the suffragettes and temperance crusaders, Canada’s Stephen Leacock declared that women are, even for business, too crooked; and too violent, even for war. (His views have been deleted from the national consciousness.) Why go so far as to grant them swimsuit competitions?

Today, we have the phenomenon of men pretending to be women, or at least acting like women, in order to empower themselves. Men pretending only to be men are pounded into submission with such phrases as “toxic masculinity,” and “manspreading.” (No one would dare say, “toxic femininity.”) Quotas, both formal and genteel, are set to limit male access to the better-paying jobs.

It is true that men still dominate such fields as garbage collection, and fire fighting, where brute strength and a willingness to be injured are imagined to be the criteria for employment. Those who try to become policemen or soldiers are routinely emasculated with “sensitivity training.”

So let us hope that the ban on these jingo swimsuit performances is the first hint of a turning tide, and that women will by some new, unsuspected, and characteristically devious route, find their ways home.

As for tomorrow’s Provincial Election, I live in dread that some party may win. I freely admit that the leader of the so-called “conservative” party is a malignant, incompetent jackass. But he’s the only male in the field and so, my fellow Ontarians, we must vote for him.


We (in the sense of, “I”) have returned to the High Doganate after our adventures in Civitas Silva, Idlerton, and Birr. The most extravagant of these adventures was in Birr, for it contains a fairly Catholic and substantial used bookshop named “Cardinal Books,” whose proprietor has only one wife, and nine children — all of them acquiring the bibliographical arts, which may be of great utility in the future. Or may not, we’ll see. His name is Philip Prins (or, “Cardinal Prins” as we’re apt to call him) and I recommend his services without qualification for all your book-purchasing needs, by mail or otherwise. And I do not say this in the hope of getting discounts, for I am incorruptible.

The (very) small town of Idlerton, nearby, is notable for an excellent steakhouse and pub, with modest, pretty waitresses. Oddly, the painter who inscribed the sign at the entrance to this (medium-sized) hamlet made a spelling error, “Ilderton,” which seems to have been repeated on the maps.

A more egregious error was made on the signs for Civitas Silva, or “Forest City” for those Novus Ordo types who prefer English, and are willing to confuse it with Cleveland, Ohio. The inhabitants persist in calling it “London,” however — a town which is actually more than three thousand nautical miles away. My parents lived there for a score of years (after I left home), and several good buddies still live in and around. Indeed, they have formed a secret society, called the Wrinklings, brother to the venerable Borborygmatic Society of Greater Parkdale, also known as the Old Farts Club, or in reference to contemporary political correctness, as the Gentleman Commissioners of Crimes Against Humanity. As I say, these are secret societies, which may contain tobacco smokers, so please never mention them, gentle reader.

It is necessary to form such societies for mutual linguistic aid and protection, the identification of good books, the discussion of poetry, art, music, philosophy, and other subversive activities. Too, they help to organize a “third force” within our postmodern conurbations, in addition to the silent majority of sterile, godless, bourgeois people, and the growing minority of criminals, drug addicts, and the openly insane. Normally, I’m against any sort of “third way,” but there are times when neither of two clear alternatives is quite acceptable.

Indeed (that makes this a two-indeed Idlepost, three if we count this parenthesis), I have sometimes proposed the foundation of a “Christian Party,” to intrude between existing “progressive-conservative” and “liberal-progressive” parties, for the purpose of losing elections. It would run on an unapologetically reactionary platform, of consistent backwardness. We would be for disassembling everything the other parties have assembled — and thereby restoring Western Civ.

On the positive side, we would advocate the replacement of our reflexive atheistic populism with authentic theocracy. It would be a responsible party, of course, for we would replace any necessary social services, beyond the means of local voluntary efforts, with the eleemosynary agencies of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. (With tithing to replace the income tax, and assist in the restoration of the monasteries.)

And it would be forward-thinking, for we’d be preparing what to do when each hollow shell of a “democracy” finishes collapsing.

I have already proposed a slogan for the USA: “Make America Christian Again.” For Canada I suggest: “Back to Champlain.” In England, perhaps: “Three Acres and a Cow.”

Strictly non-violent, except during formal Crusades.