Posted On: Friday - October 15th 2021 2:46AM MST
In Topics:   Books  World Political Stupidity  Kung Flu Stupidity
The formerly-United former Kingdom they still call The U.K. was recently lambasted for being formerly-non-hysterical too by what is to me an unlikely source. In the City Journal (a publication of the Manhattan Institute) there is a good anti-panic article by one Lionel Shriver. If the reader is wondering where he has heard that name before, it may be from right here on Peak Stupidity.
Peak Stupidity is no literary website in any sense. The writing is not hifalutin, and writing about letters and men or women of letters is just not (usually) going to bring out the stupidity we strive for here. Just as with our movie reviews, I write many of them because we spent the time watching them and may as well get some posts out of them. More relative to this post, as I've mentioned before regarding movies, I would say that I don't really care to follow certain actors or directors, as I don't really follow book authors in general. If the actors in the movie are believable, that's that, and if the book is good, I may want to get another by the same author if recommended to me, but I've been disappointed when doing that.
I'd never heard of Lionel Shriver before, but I'd gotten the recommendation for her '16 prepper novel, The Mandibles, from a John Derbyshire post. After a 10-page worrisome start (I thought the author was a flaming feminist from the opening), I found this story good enough to write a six, that's 6-part review: Introduction -- Part 2 -- Part 3 -- Part 4 -- Part 5, and Conclusion.
In this case, because the writing was so good, I did take a recommendation from a commenter here to read her dark novel We Need to Talk About Kevin - that's the review and write a short note about the movie based on it. I was not disappointed one bit.
One more thing in this long intro. of this post. I wrote "unlikely source" up top about this anti-panic article by this same writer because, even as good as the two novels were, this is a NY City and London "based"* lady, and one can see that anti-provincial attitude that one would expect. I mean, in We Need to Talk About Kevin, the narrator actually writes something about the New York Times that could be an old New Yorker cartoon.
I never wrote that Lionel Shriver is not a smart lady, though. Her recent long anti-Kung Flu PanicFest article about the UK, The Most Frightened Nation, is well worth reading. Mrs. Shriver is completely against the hysteria and the precedents in Totalitarianism she sees there. She even uses that word as Peak Stupidity has, so I'll excerpt a sample from her conclusion:
But the most enduring damage to the home of Magna Carta may be political. The transformation of the United Kingdom is permanent. Its citizens can never again characterize lockdowns and other previously unthinkable government edicts, such as “you’re forbidden to leave the country,” as unprecedented. The state has established precedents galore. The public is already being softened up for the return of repressive measures in some form this autumn, even if only to control a surge of flu.Oh, yeah, this is right up our alley here!
Going to the beginning of the article here, Lionel Shriver points out a book called A State of Fear about the situation in the UK by one Laura Dodsworth. iI's a book that Peak Stupidity happened to mention due to its being the subject of a Russia Today article in this post from Spring '21. That's where she got her title from.** She doesn't mince words about her distress at the change in UK society:
We’ve all been through our own Covid hell, so I thought I’d share with my fellow Americans what it’s been like across the pond. As I’m a writer, my daily routine in London hasn’t been all that crimped by lockdowns. Instead, the most painful aspect of the pandemic for me has been having my opinion of my adoptive country radically transformed for the worse. It’s tempting to reach for my mother’s most lacerating verdict when I was a kid: “I’m so disappointed in you.”I'm sorry, but I have to insert here a big "I told you so." For someone who seems to think the New York Times is a fountain of wisdom, maybe you should have paid a little attention to the Conservatives and Libertarians in your de-dopted country, Lionel Shriver. Your great writing could have helped our cause. Oh, NOW you see what the left is up to, over there in Oceania. BTW, the very next paragraph after this just excerpted starts:
I’m loath to pile on to the New York Times’s long-standing hate campaign against Boris Johnson,...I'm not arguing with her reasoning that comes after that, but again it's all
OK, small rant aside, the meat of this article gives a myriad of sickening descriptions of pieces of stupidity not only put upon, but ASKED FOR*** by the British people, put in place during their version of the PanicFest.**** Truly, the place is being run as if it were a Kindergarten, with the level of intelligence in the posters, slogans, and programmes to match. Any anti-Panicker should enjoy the whole thing (in a macabre kind of way), so I won't excerpt any of this.
There's more great anti-Panic goodness in this article too, as Mrs. Shriver makes many of the same points that we anti-Panicers have been making for a year and a half - about the push to log as many COVID-19 deaths as possible, the co-morbidity question (she doesn't use that term), the very low infection fatality rates, the switch from reporting deaths and hospitalizations to reporting "cases", and the many flip-flops in the narrative about spread by contact, no, spread by aerosols, etc. It's not just that all the strongly recommended (as the writer puts it, they like to confuse law with recommendations) policies with rectally extracted numbers are ridiculous, but it's that way too many British people seem to follow and believe all that crap.
OK, well, there's:
It took a surprisingly long while for media wags to observe that the purpose of the NHS is to protect the people, not the other way around.Hahahaaa! Yeah, you can take the woman out of the NYC leftist intelligentsia, but you can't.... I mean, how did this NHS get away with logging deaths as FROM COVID when they're not, and sensationalizing things, and cherry-picking, and all that? Perhaps it's because they are a huge government entity that answers to no one, could that be it? Good luck with the NHS, lady.
What I get from her writing, is that Lionel Shriver does take the Kung Flu as a serious virus but much closer toward "it's just the flu" than "it's Black Death 2.0". However, one more important point here is that the writer does not write anything about the controversy about the Kung Flu vaccines. She seems to be totally down with them, noting that nearly 90% of Britons have been vaxxed. She is missing the latest big story with her confidence in these experimental and often dangerous vaccines, but I'll give her credit for using common sense regarding we un-vaxxed. It's very much along the lines of the rare common sense attitude of Ron Unz about the subject, as we noted in Ron Unz comments with some comment-sense.
Lionel's Shriver's article is a feel-good article in one sense: As sick, juvenile, and Totalitarian as British society has gotten, we can be just a little, teensy bit more proud of our country. No, just a little, teensy bit - I don't need to hear "USA! USA! USA!" That is, not yet anyway, but with some good news on big pushback against the jab, the tide may be turning, and we may yet still have something to be proud of. On the other side of the Atlantic, the UK has received Most Frightened Nation status.
Please read and pass on this excellent summary of UK Kung Flu PanicFest Totalitarianism! It seems like one can't go wrong reading the writings of Lionel Shriver. Thank you so much for this one.
* The "based" thing is just another bit of noticing by Steve Sailer. The Globalist elites and the usually ctrl-left underlings don't exactly "live" in places, but they are "based" here or "based" there. They are anything but "based" in the new sense used by Conservatives.
** Our title here is a take-off of the "Most Favored Nation" status used by the Globalist American government help ship American manufacturing to China via highly unfair trade policy.
*** Regarding the polls Mrs. Shriver cites in the beginning, well, I've been polled, and let me tell you, if they ask the stupid types of questions I got asked, the numbers may not mean a whole lot.
**** As with the British version of The Office, they have the talent, but it just doesn't all translate well culturally.