It’s been a while—blimey, 12 years—since I did an FAQs column, so here are a few from the email bag (in responding to which I am as usual far behind, sorry sorry).
How’s your health? (I had an engagement with cancer three years ago.) Excellent, thanks. I check in every six months with the oncologist, a quietly witty gent from India with the Peter Sellers accent. He draws my blood; I read his magazines; he comes back with the blood-work results.
He: “You are per-fect, Mr. Derbyshire.”
Me: “Tell that to my wife.”
Are you writing a book? No. Where book writing is concerned, I’m of the same kidney as Vladimir Nabokov: “I happen to be the kind of author who in starting to work on a book has no other purpose than to get rid of that book.”
I write a book to get it off my chest. It’s like (to quote a different writer) childbirth: the thing’s started growing away in there somehow and has to come out. Right now I don’t have a bun in the oven, that’s all.
VDARE’s little publishing operation is bringing out another collection of my Internet pieces shortly. I don’t count that as real book-writing, though I appreciate VDARE doing it and it’s nice to have something to peddle at conferences and events.
Have you been blacklisted? No. I’ve actually had a couple of friendly approaches from respectable publishers. In any case, not having a publisher never stopped me writing a book. Nowadays, in what’s shaping up as a golden age for self-publishing, it especially shouldn’t, and wouldn’t. I’m just short on inspiration.
I quietly suspect that chemo brain has something to do with it, but the oncologist pooh-poohs this. The whole creative process is very mysterious, so perhaps he’s right.
Who do you like for 2016? None of the Republican candidates currently advertising themselves. They all seem to me to be pygmies. If Scott Walker gets a clue about the National Question, I could see voting for him, though not with much enthusiasm. Otherwise, unless a Sessions/Tancredo ticket emerges, I’ll probably stay home.
Vote Democrat? If they clone Grover Cleveland, maybe.
What are the prospects for conservatism? Whose conservatism?
Someone—I think it was the late Larry Auster—said that there is no such thing as a right. There is a left, and it’s been pretty consistently the same across time and space, in all countries and at all times, at any rate since the French Revolution.
There is nothing that solid and consistent on the other side, only an anti-left with many factions, some of them wildly different from each other: libertarians, traditionalists, nationalists, Randian atheists, evangelical Christians …
My vague feeling is: sell libertarianism, buy nationalism. I’m not much of a stock-picker, though.
You hang out with white nationalists and rant against third world immigration, yet you’re married to a Chinese lady. Huh? So I’m not a race purist. More than that, in fact: I think race purism has a whiff of totalitarianism about it. I dislike it.
Everybody has an ideal for the kind of society he’d want to live in. Mine has a confident—not a synonym for “arrogant”—ethnic supermajority, 90 to 95 percent, with an easygoing attitude to minorities, but a determination to keep them minorities by strict immigration controls.
(Does that ideal bear an uncanny resemblance to the Britain of my childhood, and the U.S.A. of the same period—prior to 1965—that I admired from afar? I guess so, but does that invalidate the ideal?)
I detest mass immigration and compulsory diversity. I don’t at all mind rational, controlled immigration and voluntary diversity. If there’s a contradiction there, I can’t see it.
What happened to your regular book reviewing gig at American Spectator? It got to be too much, that’s all. We’re still friends; they comped me a ticket to the Bartley dinner this week. I get to hear Rand Paul give a speech … but the food is good.
Why did you put Radio Derb behind a paywall? I didn’t. It was a business decision by Taki’s Magazine. I’m strictly a content provider; leave business decisions to the suits.
And, come on, two dollars? It’s less than a New York subway token; and unlike the subway, there are no rats, muggers, or panhandlers in Radio Derb.
What would you do about the race problem, given a week of supreme power? Taking the race problem to mean the blecks, I would (a) restore freedom of association by repealing all anti-discrimination statutes, (b) outlaw affirmative action in public accommodations (leaving private citizens and institutions to do as they please), and (c) strike down the poisonous and irrational doctrine of “disparate impact.”
What do you think of this Brian Williams flap? You’re asking me, the author of an article titled “Journalists Are Scum”? From which: “I refuse to take journalists seriously, and shall continue to believe that they all, like Wenlock Jakes [in Evelyn Waugh’s novel Scoop], invent a good proportion of what they sell us.”
That was in 2003. My opinion of journalists has actually gone down since then. Here in New York State, for example, a U.S. Attorney has been uncovering massive corruption in the state legislature, stretching back for 20 years. Isn’t this the kind of work investigative journalists are supposed to do? The journalists of the New York Times are the cream of their profession. What were they doing? You know what they were doing: lecturing their readers on non-problems like “campus rape” and “police brutality.”
(Writing that phrase “the cream of their profession” brought to mind a quip of Samuel Beckett’s. As a youth Beckett attended a posh boys’ boarding school in Northern Ireland. The school boasted that they educated the cream of Ulster. Said Beckett of his classmates: “They were the cream all right—rich and thick.”)
Do you still think we are doomed? Think? Obama got a second term, didn’t he?
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