Throwing rocks

Saint Stephen was our protomartyr, but since his time, Christians and friends have made popular targets for low-tech missiles — for stonings, riotings, maimings, and theatres of broken glass. Rocket propellant has also been used plentifully, by e.g. Hamas. They use missiles as the equivalent of rocks, aimed inexactly, but launched in the general direction of their fellow Semites. (Today, one thinks of the freshly shattered windows in Toronto’s Kehillat Shaarei Torah orthodox synagogue, but there are thousands of such incidents.)

It’s not just Muslims, as I discovered a world ago, while living in London in the (nineteen) ‘seventies. I was reactionary, even then, but resident in a part of Vauxhall (Wilcox Road) appropriate to my income, and thus surrounded by “young people” — with some of whom I got along well. Others were Commies and Pinkos, however. They were a drug-addled set — vile, boorish, malodorous, menacing — whom I usually tried to avoid.

Alas, I discovered soon after 11 February 1975, that I could fit my large poster of Mrs. Margaret Thatcher (the new Conservative leader) only in my front window. It wouldn’t fit elsewhere. (The lady’s stare was disconcerting.)

Towards two in the morning I heard the disharmony of splintering glass. One or more of my neighbours had broken my front window, and the rocks with which he (or pronoun, “they”) had done this had settled on the floor inside my little parlour. The poster, that had been taped to the inside of the window, was entirely removed.

Ah well, I already knew about leftists, who are the same in England as everywhere else, and it was, I suppose, my fault for teasing. It cost me four pounds ninety new pence to buy a replacement pane; and considerable inconvenience, for I was not a proficient glazier.

One would think I had “learned my lesson” (the Left teaches exclusively by intimidation), for as long as I continued to inhabit that beautiful old workman’s cottage. But anticipating the American Bicentennial, I created a montage for my front window, consisting of the “Union Jack” and the “Old Glory” intertwined, with this message scrolled underneath: “O! say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet Wave!” It was posted for the Fourth of July.

About 2 a.m. the very next morning I again heard the tinkle of glass shards. Unfortunately, I had fallen asleep, so was unable to “defend Baltimore,” as it were, though I did get a glimpse of the destructive party.

It cost me more than twelve pounds to replace the pane this time (raging inflation). I now began to understand “the wisdom of the Left”: which makes free only with other people’s property.