April 05, 2016
“Leaving the house was my first mistake.”
That’s an old running gag on my blog (along with “Apartheid: Was it all bad?” and “Journalists: Your moral and intellectual superiors!”). It’s not just that I’m a demi-agoraphobic introvert with palsied social skills. It’s that when I do go out, the “out” I go into is Toronto.
Although maybe your city is no different, especially if it has too many universities (that is, more than zero). Quiz: Are you outnumbered by spindly, bike-riding beta males sporting skinny pants, fake “distressed” “vintage” shirts, and giant purses? Do over half the women possess tattoos on their ill-advisedly visible upper arms, along with Manic Panic hair and what the Château calls “problem glasses”?
The prospect of being trapped in a building with thousands of them curdled my stomach, but the reason for doing so was irresistible: I’d been given a batch of VIP tickets to see welterweight right-wingers Mark Steyn and Nigel Farage at a glamorous-by-Toronto-standards downtown “do.”
Unfortunately, said event was a “debate”(?!) about the Muslim “refugee” “crisis,” and the “cons’” (in both senses) pro-invasion opponents were two smug, speakers-circuit windbags: historian and apparently inoperable BBC tumor Simon Schama—imagine Dr. Pretorious from The Bride of Frankenstein impersonating a gay epileptic rooster traversing hot asphalt—and Louise Arbour, one of those dim, dumpy “world-famous in Canada” sorts who are especially unimpressive whenever they happen to be, as in her case, “Kay-BECK-erz.” This human chafing dish for received liberal wisdom has received so many “honors” and “awards” that one friend I’d brought along said he half expected that, mid-debate, someone would walk out on stage and hand her a new one.
Worse, the Toronto audience—those beta males, above, and their “problem glasses” “partners”—would overwhelmingly represent the Schama/Arbour side: modern Mrs. Jellybys, those “refugee”-loving, “rape me first, kill me last” types who reflexively favor foreigners over their own.
Now, I’m forever blasting such smug snobs for never exposing themselves to even the mildest of opposing ideas, or to individuals outside their class and cohort, except to mock them. Yet how, I asked myself, was I any better, unless I too occasionally dared to venture beyond my own ideological comfort zone?
As I write this, 48 hours later, I have finally calmed down. And that’s why—sorry not sorry—I will NOT watch the entire debate again in the name of accuracy. “Accuracy” was not a priority for the two pro-refugee debaters, so they and everyone else can go screw.
Now: Even I’m not egomaniacal enough to think that, in the longish history of the wannabe prestigious Munk Debates, I’ve been the only heckler, ever. However, I will dare to venture that I’ve been the only sober one. I refuse to apologize, and could, but won’t, plead “I clearly don’t get out much” as my alibi. The future of the West is at stake. Surely a few (okay, a lot of) hisses and “tsk”s are forgivable? And, uh, a couple of “What the fuck?”s too?
The debate was carried live on C-SPAN. Lord and Lady Black sat two seats to my left, row A. Neither fact prevented me from bellowing “DEARBORN???!!!!” at (a subsequently rattled) Schama after he—I wish I were lying—upheld that toxic Michigan “-stan” as an exemplar of peaceful, productive Muslim assimilation.
Space (and my blood pressure) restricts me from reliving the entire two-hour torture, so I’ll focus on one thrilling segment:
In their opening remarks, Steyn and Farage related story after story of European and Scandinavian women (and little girls) being raped by Muslim migrants.
So what were the liberal, progressive, enlightened side’s rebuttals to this devastating litany? Arbour sarcastically congratulated Steyn on his “newfound” concern for female safety, and Schama sneered at his opponents’ “weird obsession with sex.” Both comments drew high-decibel cheers and chuckles from the peanut-allergy gallery.
(As a result, my shout of “I thought rape wasn’t sex…” likely went unheard.)
Mark Steyn rose and responded to the hilarity:
“I’m slightly amazed at our colleagues’ ability to get big laughs on gang rape. Madame Arbour scoffs at the ‘newfound feminists’ over here. I’m not much of a feminist, but I draw the line at the 3-year-old getting raped and the 7-year-old getting gang-raped in a basement…. Madame Arbour [who has been presented to us for years as a woman responsible for the extra-definition of rape as ‘a crime against humanity’] was very clear in Sudan: that rape is not about sex; whatever Simon may say, rape is about power…”
And so forth. It was our side’s turn to hoot and fist-pump. Arbour’s pinched face betrayed embarrassment and fury. Schama visibly shriveled, and in a revealing indication of just how “principled” his principles really are, quickly pivoted to try to establish some common ground with Farage and Steyn, whimpering something about “Western values.”
On the subject of “pivots,” behold:
The post debate vote is 55% pro and 45% con. The con side shifted 22% of the vote from the pre-debate results. Con wins.
The anti-refugee champions “doubled their vote over the course of the night,” a victorious Steyn observed, judging it “not a bad result with a tough Trudeaupian crowd.”
Indeed. My obnoxious victory dance at the after-party aside, I remain pessimistic. Another friend surveyed the crowd and muttered, “These assholes are still the ones who run everything.”
For that and so many other reasons, I’ve vowed once more to “never leave the house again.” Although since I doubt I will ever be welcome again at such a fancy-schmancy thingie in this town, that promise is probably moot.
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