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Welcome to human centipede culture Our creative elites have lost all originality

Would you take these sweeties for a drink?


February 2, 2023   6 mins

Is it really the end times, when anthropomorphic chocolate gets less “sexy”? American TV host Tucker Carlson’s campaign against the supposedly woke redesign of the M&M “spokescandies” would suggest it is: “M&Ms will not be satisfied until every last character is deeply unappealing and totally androgynous; until the moment you wouldn’t want to have a drink with any one of them.”

I doubt Carlson really longs to go for a drink with cartoon confectionery. But this isn’t the first culture war over the sexuality, or otherwise, of imaginary cartoon nonhumans. Last year, there was Minnie Mouse’s trouser suit, and in 2021, Space Jam’s Lola Bunny gained clothes and lost the bouncy boobs because, according to the makers of Space Jam 2, the previous depiction had “objectified” her.

These aren’t just a more than usually frivolous outcrop of the ever-present culture wars. They can also be read as evidence, writ small, of something bleaker: the accelerating collapse of cultural creativity into endless, stagnant, and usually woke reboots and remixes.

But there’s hope amid  the despair: the M&Ms story offers a glimpse of emerging, net-native narrative forms that look nothing like anything from the print era. And this is a development with far-reaching implications for those currently preoccupied with how (or if) artistic renewal is possible.

This is a growing number, too. For it feels as though “culture” has hit the wall. The novelist Ewan Morrison lamented with this sense of stasis recently, arguing with the late cultural critic Mark Fisher that “the future has disappeared”. This has left us, he suggests, an oppressive sense of eternal present where, instead of new narratives, “the arts have been dominated by remakes, reboots, sequels, spin-offs and imitations, leaving an ever-shrinking space for genuine creativity and new ideas”.

Of the 40 “most anticipated films” in 2023, for example, only three were original screenplays. Goldeneye, a classic video game, has just been relaunched for Switch. Morrison deplores that “The techno-capitalist future will be a kind of Groundhog Day”, in which “we’re consuming the same reprocessed products again and again and again”.

And this threatens to strand us in what I’ve come to think of as “Human Centipede culture”, after that cult horror movie in which victims are stitched together mouth-to-anus, forcing each to consume the excreta of the one in front. For an onrush of generative AI technologies is already accelerating this proliferation of reboots. Buzzfeed has augmented its human writers with quiz-writing AI, while futurists predict a deluge of automated content in every field from art to pornography that will swamp our ability to tell who is human — or to care.

Battles about the latest reboot of some or other cartoon icon, in movies and advertising, likewise convey this sense of ever emptier culture-as-regurgitation. But where did all the original stories go? Morrison blames corporate entertainment conglomerates. But while this is part of the picture, it’s also a side-effect of the creative class coming adrift — alongside the ruling elites — from the material world.

And this is to a significant extent an effect of the digital revolution. As we slide further into that revolution, these changes are producing escalating class conflict riddled with surreal (and often bitterly controversial) phenomena, from the moralisation of pandemic policy, through declaring Black History Month more important than water, to the obvious cruelty and absurdity of letting males who identify as women compete against female athletes or be incarcerated alongside women. Throughout, the governing political cleavage today is over when — or even whether — the world as it is matters more than the world as it should be.

This has subtler effects too, on art and culture. The philosopher and mechanic Matthew Crawford argues that the hidden tradeoff of “user-friendly” modern technologies is in increasing our sense of mastery and control over the material world, at the cost of the more efficacious mastery that comes from understanding what he calls its “affordances” — which is to say potential, and limits.

Crawford cites the difference between a car or motorbike whose direct steering provides feedback on road surface and demands a tactile harmony with the vehicle, and how it feels to drive modern vehicles which are partially controlled by computer: a development that both empowers and de-skills the driver. Elsewhere, the essayist Beth Tilson makes a similar contrast between abstract knowledge, and what she calls “literacy of the fingers”. Tilson describes how learning to make bread required gaining this literacy, which she contrasts with the kind of abstract knowledge that is more generally privileged in the modern world – but is no less essential.

I agree: there’s an unbridgeable gulf between writing about bread, and knowing by touch when a bowlful of dough is ready to prove. This knowledge was once widespread, and echoed by a multiplicity of other tactile forms of engagement with the world. And this sense of rootedness in the physical, Crawford argues, is discernible in golden-era animation – a fact perhaps linked to the sheer laboriousness of making such work. I hadn’t appreciated just how time-consuming this is, until my daughter and I had a go at stop-motion animation; we produced, after an entire morning’s work, a single second of footage. The sheer volume of artistic work and skill poured into making the classic, hand-drawn Disney animations is staggering.

Perhaps the most (to date) under-priced impact, in cultural terms, of first the technologisation, and now digitisation, of everything, is the way it attenuates these tactile relationships with the world. As we lose embodied knowledge about the material world’s affordances, forms which previously seemed self-evident come to seem weightless, empty, and naff. We are deprived of affordances to think with.

This is perhaps easier to see in the built environment. Online advocates of “trad” architecture are fond of asking architects what’s stopping them building in classical styles, usually implying that this signals moral decline. But the actual answer is less moral than material: traditional, beloved architectural styles aren’t there for the pretty. They’re required by the limits of what you can build in brick, stone, or wood without the structure collapsing under its own weight. But modern materials such as steel girders and reinforced concrete eliminate many of those constraints, meaning architects are suddenly freer to build any shape they wish.

It’s difficult to know where to begin with anything, if you could build anything. In architecture, this produces sometimes mind-bending results: structures that play with the liquefaction of real-world material constraints.

The digital transformation does something equivalent to our cultural life. For Crawford, this is visible in the contrast between older animated works — with their clear if playful relationship to the laws of physics — and the weightless quality of contemporary Disney Club content. Here, there’s no sense of struggle with, or submission to, material reality. Instead CGI animations — a medium that’s always somehow eldritch and insubstantial, compared with hand-drawn styles — depicts storylines in which some kind of physical challenge is solved by the arrival of a deus ex machina technology.

And with culture grown weightless by the loss of real-world material references, no wonder we get stuck with reboots. There’s simply too little common material frame of reference left to do anything but re-work existing IP.

Meanwhile, the arguments about sexy cartoons keep recurring precisely because these serve as proxy for a running battle about how far the de-materialisation of everything can be pushed. McCartney, designer of pantsuits, spoke for the weightless when she crowed that “This new take on her signature polka dots makes Minnie Mouse a symbol of progress for a new generation,” explaining: “She will wear it in honour of Women’s History Month in March 2022.” It may seem absurd, but McCartney’s perspective simply reflects the fact that, in practical terms, for those now “liberated” from material constraints, sex dimorphism really isn’t very important — because for both sexes, “work” means staring at a computer.

Should this class and worldview prevail, the triumph of reboot culture is all but assured. But even if, as seems likely, this signals the end of art and culture as we know it, the final twist in the M&Ms controversy suggests storytelling may yet make a comeback in new, net-native, wholly de-materialised form. For it transpires that the controversy was, in fact, manufactured: a synthetic culture war incited to induce the predictable backlash, then inflamed further by announcement that the “spokescandies” would be withdrawn.

They haven’t. There will be a new M&Ms advert featuring them at the next Super Bowl. The whole thing was a confected, participatory, net-native drama, played out on the giant collective swarm-canvas of online culture-war controversy, with everyone – even Tucker Carlson – playing their part.

And the aim? To sell you empty calories. Nothing could offer a clearer illustration of how completely commerce and culture fuse, in the emerging narrative genre of mass-participation, online swarm theatre.

But there might be a way forward, and it lies in the germ of sense in Carlson’s protest against the “spokescandies”. He speaks for many in standing for the truth that the world isn’t actually weightless and radically liquid. The material world is still, well, material, for everyone outside the laptop class. For most people on the planet, water is considerably more important than Black History Month. And the affordances of sex dimorphism come sharply back into view the moment you do a manual job, or have a child, or in fact depart the realm of ideas for embodied life for any length of time at all.

And this, in turn, underlines the fact that we don’t need to resile into endless remixes. There is, in fact, no shortage of material affordances to think with. The biggest obstacle to reviving art and culture is the class with a stranglehold on the means of cultural production. For, whichever side of the political aisle they claim to sit, this class will fight tooth and nail to avoid relinquishing their technologies, and re-acquainting themselves with the constraints of the material world.

There’s a great deal of subterranean argument online about the whys and wherefores of creating “dissident art”. But it’s up against a monolith of determined de-materialisation, and the Human Centipede culture this produces. Perhaps our only hope lies in artists and storytellers willing to seek out beneficial constraints to think with – and able to transmute these into images and stories that still carry the world’s true weight.


Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd.

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Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

If you want an excellent example of this in practice just look at the state of modern corporate entertainment. You can rip off and reboot all the intellectual properties you want, dump as much money into it as possible, update it for “broad appeal”, have mass media shill it for hours on end, and throw in a heavy handed political message to ensure you cannot be criticized by the “right” people. What you cannot do is force people to spend money on poorly written garbage they have no interest in. Amazon’s half a billon dollar Lord of the Rings dumpster fire is a hilarious example of this in action.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt Hindman
Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

My wife and I dro
pped our Netflix subscription of a decade more than a year ago. House-sitting our daughter’s house for several weeks we had the opportunity to sample what we’ve been missing. Not much, I’m afraid. We usually apply the ten minute test: when tempted to bail out earlier we’d hold on that long because some movies take that long to see signs it might be interesting. It was brutal. Some evenings we’d have to go through a dozen to find something remotely watchable. Other evenings we’d end up reading. It seems like they’re only making about half a dozen different movies now. The actors all look the same, act the same, think the same, have sex the same ways (who likes to stand up against a wall and have sex? Or on a kitchen counter? Really? When there’s furniture and beds ten feet away?) Most of the white nonstar males are evil or stupid.The women all went to Kung Fu ninja school. The only positive males are ethnic, usually old black men with white beards. And what’s with all the food samurai movies? Is that what heros have become now? Food prep artists? Food warriors? Don’t look, Achilles. We amuse ourselves by predicting plot outcomes but it’s way too easy. No challenge. If Netflix wanted an auto rating system, a good one would be the inverse of the percentage of it the members sat through before turning it off.

I’m exaggerating, of course. But not by much. The worthwhile movies we do find are almost always subtitled foreign movies (can’t stand dubbing). Or the rare Indie.

The BB riffed on the this lack of originality here: https://babylonbee.com/news/review-of-latest-marvel-movie-a-film-where-things-happen-heroes-fight-bad-guys-and-sometimes-there-are-jokes

Last edited 1 year ago by Jeff Cunningham
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Funnily enough, having ditched my tv licence 15 years ago and never having subscribed to Netflix, I had the identical experience house-sitting for my daughter a few months ago.

June Davis
June Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I have seen the same with books today. They all seem to be written by people who mastered fifth grade English and are more worried about social justice issues than about real real life lived by flawed people who are actually redeemable. Music has also become a lot less complex. No wonder AI can create music and essays as good as a real human—we have dumbed it all down so almost anyone can do it.

June Davis
June Davis
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I have seen the same with books today. They all seem to be written by people who mastered fifth grade English and are more worried about social justice issues than about real real life lived by flawed people who are actually redeemable. Music has also become a lot less complex. No wonder AI can create music and essays as good as a real human—we have dumbed it all down so almost anyone can do it.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

Funnily enough, I used tyo play this game with a series called Cold Case; sad, I know. I used to watch the first 15 minutes, when all the characters were introduced, and then fast forward to the end to find out who done it. Before I went to the end I would make my guess as to who the bad guy was, and rarely was I wrong. I had a simple formula – if it were a choice between a man or a woman, it was the man; if it were a black/white choice it was a white person, old/young it was the old person; gay/straight it was straight man; rich/poor it was rich; northener/southener it was the southerner (this was a US programme) – you see where I’m ging here. Occasionally I was surprised, but I should have been surprised more often.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

Wow. Great system. What if it’s between a priest and a teacher? I always guess and am seldom wrong but have used a different method. The characters the introduce you to and focus on early are always red herrings. In the case of long series I count the episodes. It will be the character they come back to in the beginning of the last episode but who was only in the background earlier.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago

Wow. Great system. What if it’s between a priest and a teacher? I always guess and am seldom wrong but have used a different method. The characters the introduce you to and focus on early are always red herrings. In the case of long series I count the episodes. It will be the character they come back to in the beginning of the last episode but who was only in the background earlier.

Simon S
Simon S
1 year ago

I cancelled Netflix because of all the rubbish but caved in to watch more of Babylon Berlin.

Wonder Walker
Wonder Walker
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon S

Yes, Babylon Berlin is deeply great. I had unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when I finished the last episode.

Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon S

Watch it on Cine.b. Babylong great, but can be confusing. Do read the books, much better and very different from the series.

Wonder Walker
Wonder Walker
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon S

Yes, Babylon Berlin is deeply great. I had unpleasant withdrawal symptoms when I finished the last episode.

Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon S

Watch it on Cine.b. Babylong great, but can be confusing. Do read the books, much better and very different from the series.

Julian Pellatt
Julian Pellatt
1 year ago

I wholly agree with your perspective on Netflix (and Amazon Prime … and Disney … and … and … YAAAAAAWN!). The amount of formulaic, woke crap that is churned out is incredible. Inevitably, one becomes ‘acclimatised’ to being drenched in this egregious, insidious process that filters daily, hourly through our existence. Occasionally there are some good movies and series (many of the foreign language series (Turkish. Spanish, South American, Indian, etc.) that are really good and refreshingly devoid (mainly) of the relentless brainwashing ordure that is shovelled on us by the English language production houses. If one views films from 2010 backwards, one is struck by the general absence of woke content – and by how much better the quality of acting and production was in that bygone era. Coerced compliance with the modern orthodoxy, coupled with national electorates that are helpless in the face of this ‘revolution’ because political leadership has failed, has all but destroyed originality and free expression, not to mention quality.
We stopped watching terrestrial TV in the UK (BBC, ITV, Channel 4) years ago because the content, whether documentary or fictional, was so blatantly propagandistic. Even something as seemingly innocuous as BBC Radio 3, which used to focus on classical music, is now a numbing destruction, deconstruction and ‘decolonisation’ of several hundred years of wonderful music, to be replaced with joyless lectures about white supremacy and privilege; and a woke parade of ‘lost’ Black and Female composers who’ve been the ‘victims’ over the centuries of racist or misogynist oppression. Pale, Male and Stale is out. The canon is being detoxified; historical patriarchy is replaced with vicious matriarchy, and various other ‘modern’ perspectives.
No nook or cranny of our lives escapes this horrendous, remorseless onslaught.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Funnily enough, having ditched my tv licence 15 years ago and never having subscribed to Netflix, I had the identical experience house-sitting for my daughter a few months ago.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

Funnily enough, I used tyo play this game with a series called Cold Case; sad, I know. I used to watch the first 15 minutes, when all the characters were introduced, and then fast forward to the end to find out who done it. Before I went to the end I would make my guess as to who the bad guy was, and rarely was I wrong. I had a simple formula – if it were a choice between a man or a woman, it was the man; if it were a black/white choice it was a white person, old/young it was the old person; gay/straight it was straight man; rich/poor it was rich; northener/southener it was the southerner (this was a US programme) – you see where I’m ging here. Occasionally I was surprised, but I should have been surprised more often.

Simon S
Simon S
1 year ago

I cancelled Netflix because of all the rubbish but caved in to watch more of Babylon Berlin.

Julian Pellatt
Julian Pellatt
1 year ago

I wholly agree with your perspective on Netflix (and Amazon Prime … and Disney … and … and … YAAAAAAWN!). The amount of formulaic, woke crap that is churned out is incredible. Inevitably, one becomes ‘acclimatised’ to being drenched in this egregious, insidious process that filters daily, hourly through our existence. Occasionally there are some good movies and series (many of the foreign language series (Turkish. Spanish, South American, Indian, etc.) that are really good and refreshingly devoid (mainly) of the relentless brainwashing ordure that is shovelled on us by the English language production houses. If one views films from 2010 backwards, one is struck by the general absence of woke content – and by how much better the quality of acting and production was in that bygone era. Coerced compliance with the modern orthodoxy, coupled with national electorates that are helpless in the face of this ‘revolution’ because political leadership has failed, has all but destroyed originality and free expression, not to mention quality.
We stopped watching terrestrial TV in the UK (BBC, ITV, Channel 4) years ago because the content, whether documentary or fictional, was so blatantly propagandistic. Even something as seemingly innocuous as BBC Radio 3, which used to focus on classical music, is now a numbing destruction, deconstruction and ‘decolonisation’ of several hundred years of wonderful music, to be replaced with joyless lectures about white supremacy and privilege; and a woke parade of ‘lost’ Black and Female composers who’ve been the ‘victims’ over the centuries of racist or misogynist oppression. Pale, Male and Stale is out. The canon is being detoxified; historical patriarchy is replaced with vicious matriarchy, and various other ‘modern’ perspectives.
No nook or cranny of our lives escapes this horrendous, remorseless onslaught.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

I watched less than five minutes of it before I had to switch it off. It was so bad it made me cringe. Rings of Power was written and produced by people who find Tolkien problematic.

Jonny Stud
Jonny Stud
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I got 20 mins into rings of power and fell asleep. Worse than the wheel of time, which was massively departed from the actual books.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

It’s a very strange phenomena. Spend vast sums of money on licenses for beloved intellectual properties with huge built in audiences only for every creative decision seemingly made to attract people who are not fans of the IP in the first place while simultaneously pushing the original fans away.
If it’s not deliberate, it’s the most incompetent business decision an entertainment company could make.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Apparently, such companies rely on ‘hate-watching’ – fans of an IP who watch a series based on it only to complain about it. Much of the news media is also guilty of this:
https://strixus.com/entry/outrage-culture-how-the-media-gets-your-attention-1875
It is a very cynical ploy used to trigger people and circumnavigate their rational thinking mechanisms.

Paul Rodolf
Paul Rodolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Completely agree. Contrast the LOTR dumpster fire with the success of HBO’s Game of Thrones and you see what success can come if you stick to the storyline more or less. That is until you run out of books……

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Apparently, such companies rely on ‘hate-watching’ – fans of an IP who watch a series based on it only to complain about it. Much of the news media is also guilty of this:
https://strixus.com/entry/outrage-culture-how-the-media-gets-your-attention-1875
It is a very cynical ploy used to trigger people and circumnavigate their rational thinking mechanisms.

Paul Rodolf
Paul Rodolf
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Completely agree. Contrast the LOTR dumpster fire with the success of HBO’s Game of Thrones and you see what success can come if you stick to the storyline more or less. That is until you run out of books……

Anthony Michaels
Anthony Michaels
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I cancelled Netflix 2 years ago when every program became a tiresome and predictable woke lecture.
In a futile gesture I recently even cancelled Amazon Prime out of disgust for their desecration of Tolkien and explicit hatred of his fans. We’ll see if I can live without it!
I’m beyond fed up with giant corporations that actively despise half their own customers. Many are effective monopolies like Amazon. All seem captured by their employees’ ideologies, and a few activists. There is obviously an enormous market for quality non-woke entertainment, yet every one of these companies would rather lose money than risk offending the woke commissars.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

My take on this is that ‘Wokeness’ is the ideology of spoilt rich kids and now that they’re graduating college they’re able to use their parents’ networks to leverage themselves into high-end corporate jobs. As such they’re in a position to exert undue influence on their employers who are perhaps too timid to stand up to them for fear of being called out as a phobe of some kind.
Like you I’m surprised that no-one has cottoned to this and is prepared to strike out on their own to make dedicated non-woke entertainment, but I think celebrities and entertainers are in the same boat too: too scared to stand up to the orthodoxy in case they lose Twitter likes.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago

My take on this is that ‘Wokeness’ is the ideology of spoilt rich kids and now that they’re graduating college they’re able to use their parents’ networks to leverage themselves into high-end corporate jobs. As such they’re in a position to exert undue influence on their employers who are perhaps too timid to stand up to them for fear of being called out as a phobe of some kind.
Like you I’m surprised that no-one has cottoned to this and is prepared to strike out on their own to make dedicated non-woke entertainment, but I think celebrities and entertainers are in the same boat too: too scared to stand up to the orthodoxy in case they lose Twitter likes.

Jonny Stud
Jonny Stud
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I got 20 mins into rings of power and fell asleep. Worse than the wheel of time, which was massively departed from the actual books.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

It’s a very strange phenomena. Spend vast sums of money on licenses for beloved intellectual properties with huge built in audiences only for every creative decision seemingly made to attract people who are not fans of the IP in the first place while simultaneously pushing the original fans away.
If it’s not deliberate, it’s the most incompetent business decision an entertainment company could make.

Anthony Michaels
Anthony Michaels
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

I cancelled Netflix 2 years ago when every program became a tiresome and predictable woke lecture.
In a futile gesture I recently even cancelled Amazon Prime out of disgust for their desecration of Tolkien and explicit hatred of his fans. We’ll see if I can live without it!
I’m beyond fed up with giant corporations that actively despise half their own customers. Many are effective monopolies like Amazon. All seem captured by their employees’ ideologies, and a few activists. There is obviously an enormous market for quality non-woke entertainment, yet every one of these companies would rather lose money than risk offending the woke commissars.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

It’s interesting to see the reaction to Velma. It appears this practice may finally have jumped the shark since even the rather small demographic it was aimed at also hate it.
Apparently, a cynical, post-modern deconstruction of Scooby Doo aimed at a “modern audience” was wanted by pretty much no one if its 3% positive reviews are anything to go by.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Dalton
Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Velma was Mrs Grayle. Moose Malloy was desperate to find her in Farewell My Lovely. Velma also appeared in High Sierra. Bogart kept bumping into characters called Velma. Both films worth watching.

Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Dalton

Velma was Mrs Grayle. Moose Malloy was desperate to find her in Farewell My Lovely. Velma also appeared in High Sierra. Bogart kept bumping into characters called Velma. Both films worth watching.

Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

The Rings of Power has many failings but it is worthy of taking it seriously beyond attaching criticism to it through the lens of “it’s from Amazon” and the casting choices, which have become attached to the woke narrative. Like the RSC some of the players in the show that do not come from the original ethnicity of the characters are very good.
Mr. Tolkien never wrote more than a few pages about the events of the second age but there are some interesting themes worthy of exploration rather than for instance using the rights to do an origin, Aragorn story, which was considered.
1) This is a time when the men of the three houses have been granted the Land of the Star. Initially, their lives are enriched by the powers but they come to resent them and their own mortality. It’s worth telling that story as a study of, almost Paradise.
2) It is also an opportunity to consider the Dwarf’s lust for treasure in a much more adult way than in the Hobbit Book.
3) We also find the Elves who remain in middle earth trying to find their way perhaps in the professor’s mind, a reflection of the ruling class after the great war. They are full of regret for their actions in the first age and yet attempt to harness the memories of the blessed realm through the creation of powerful rings which echo the capturing of the essence of the two trees in the Silmarils.
In to this a possibly repentant Sauron, who is still incarnate, strides capable of dissembling.
The producers of the show have shown both their enormous love of Tolkien in many ways visuals, text, and behavior but also their lack of experience in running such a massive undertaking with modern dialogue and a lack of momentum in the middle sections, relying too heavily on mystery such as the Harfoot and Stranger.
Their biggest dilemma and one the gatekeeper Simon Tolkien dealt directly with them on in a positive manner, is the story begins at the end of the first age but they are unable to use the material from the Silmarillion as a perfect foundation.
As a result, the show begins rather like a builder who has had to put a false floor into an existing property over a very fine and beautiful existing one. So if you found the first few moments jarring, as I did, that is why. It is not out of a lack of respect it is out of the necessity of copyright restrictions.
It is far from perfect but as they gain experience I expect the show to improve there is certainly a genuine desire to do so.
The moment with the paper ship of Galadriel’s that the other children destroyed was a beautiful echo of the burning of the ships of the Teleri at Losgar and when Galadriel incredulously is left to swim back to Middle Earth she is given encouragement by the site of the Valacirca so yes it is a mixture but I am content as a fan of 57 years to make the journey.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michelle Johnston
R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

I am shocked that you could call yourself a fan of Tolkein’s legendarium and yet tolerate that bilge called Rings of Power. They destroyed Galadriel.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago

I agree with your three themes about what makes the second age an interesting one, but I disagree that the show attempts to actually demonstrate them:
The Numenorean’s jealous of elven immortality is interesting, so why did the show decide to volte face and rather make it an allegory of immigration policy?
Additionally, since the decision to compress the timeline, it also removes one of the more interesting cinematic juxtapositions of ageing and dying men vs the immortal elves.

The timeline compression was a huge mistake and one that Amazon and The Tolkien estate made together. This has created a complete rewrite of Galadriel’s and Elrond’s character. Galadriel should be married and probably have already given birth to Celebrian.
This is to say nothing of her becoming a genocidal maniac with unsurpassed hatred of Sauron (a hatred she should only bear for Faenor).

I just cannot agree about decisions coming from respect. They borne from hubris. Mordor wasn’t a verdant land, it was already a desolation, but they chose to make it a pleasant land so that Mordor was constructed on their watch. They’ve admitted that.

R Wright
R Wright
1 year ago

I am shocked that you could call yourself a fan of Tolkein’s legendarium and yet tolerate that bilge called Rings of Power. They destroyed Galadriel.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago

I agree with your three themes about what makes the second age an interesting one, but I disagree that the show attempts to actually demonstrate them:
The Numenorean’s jealous of elven immortality is interesting, so why did the show decide to volte face and rather make it an allegory of immigration policy?
Additionally, since the decision to compress the timeline, it also removes one of the more interesting cinematic juxtapositions of ageing and dying men vs the immortal elves.

The timeline compression was a huge mistake and one that Amazon and The Tolkien estate made together. This has created a complete rewrite of Galadriel’s and Elrond’s character. Galadriel should be married and probably have already given birth to Celebrian.
This is to say nothing of her becoming a genocidal maniac with unsurpassed hatred of Sauron (a hatred she should only bear for Faenor).

I just cannot agree about decisions coming from respect. They borne from hubris. Mordor wasn’t a verdant land, it was already a desolation, but they chose to make it a pleasant land so that Mordor was constructed on their watch. They’ve admitted that.

Jeff Cunningham
Jeff Cunningham
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

My wife and I dro
pped our Netflix subscription of a decade more than a year ago. House-sitting our daughter’s house for several weeks we had the opportunity to sample what we’ve been missing. Not much, I’m afraid. We usually apply the ten minute test: when tempted to bail out earlier we’d hold on that long because some movies take that long to see signs it might be interesting. It was brutal. Some evenings we’d have to go through a dozen to find something remotely watchable. Other evenings we’d end up reading. It seems like they’re only making about half a dozen different movies now. The actors all look the same, act the same, think the same, have sex the same ways (who likes to stand up against a wall and have sex? Or on a kitchen counter? Really? When there’s furniture and beds ten feet away?) Most of the white nonstar males are evil or stupid.The women all went to Kung Fu ninja school. The only positive males are ethnic, usually old black men with white beards. And what’s with all the food samurai movies? Is that what heros have become now? Food prep artists? Food warriors? Don’t look, Achilles. We amuse ourselves by predicting plot outcomes but it’s way too easy. No challenge. If Netflix wanted an auto rating system, a good one would be the inverse of the percentage of it the members sat through before turning it off.

I’m exaggerating, of course. But not by much. The worthwhile movies we do find are almost always subtitled foreign movies (can’t stand dubbing). Or the rare Indie.

The BB riffed on the this lack of originality here: https://babylonbee.com/news/review-of-latest-marvel-movie-a-film-where-things-happen-heroes-fight-bad-guys-and-sometimes-there-are-jokes

Last edited 1 year ago by Jeff Cunningham
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

I watched less than five minutes of it before I had to switch it off. It was so bad it made me cringe. Rings of Power was written and produced by people who find Tolkien problematic.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

It’s interesting to see the reaction to Velma. It appears this practice may finally have jumped the shark since even the rather small demographic it was aimed at also hate it.
Apparently, a cynical, post-modern deconstruction of Scooby Doo aimed at a “modern audience” was wanted by pretty much no one if its 3% positive reviews are anything to go by.

Last edited 1 year ago by Andrew Dalton
Michelle Johnston
Michelle Johnston
1 year ago
Reply to  Matt Hindman

The Rings of Power has many failings but it is worthy of taking it seriously beyond attaching criticism to it through the lens of “it’s from Amazon” and the casting choices, which have become attached to the woke narrative. Like the RSC some of the players in the show that do not come from the original ethnicity of the characters are very good.
Mr. Tolkien never wrote more than a few pages about the events of the second age but there are some interesting themes worthy of exploration rather than for instance using the rights to do an origin, Aragorn story, which was considered.
1) This is a time when the men of the three houses have been granted the Land of the Star. Initially, their lives are enriched by the powers but they come to resent them and their own mortality. It’s worth telling that story as a study of, almost Paradise.
2) It is also an opportunity to consider the Dwarf’s lust for treasure in a much more adult way than in the Hobbit Book.
3) We also find the Elves who remain in middle earth trying to find their way perhaps in the professor’s mind, a reflection of the ruling class after the great war. They are full of regret for their actions in the first age and yet attempt to harness the memories of the blessed realm through the creation of powerful rings which echo the capturing of the essence of the two trees in the Silmarils.
In to this a possibly repentant Sauron, who is still incarnate, strides capable of dissembling.
The producers of the show have shown both their enormous love of Tolkien in many ways visuals, text, and behavior but also their lack of experience in running such a massive undertaking with modern dialogue and a lack of momentum in the middle sections, relying too heavily on mystery such as the Harfoot and Stranger.
Their biggest dilemma and one the gatekeeper Simon Tolkien dealt directly with them on in a positive manner, is the story begins at the end of the first age but they are unable to use the material from the Silmarillion as a perfect foundation.
As a result, the show begins rather like a builder who has had to put a false floor into an existing property over a very fine and beautiful existing one. So if you found the first few moments jarring, as I did, that is why. It is not out of a lack of respect it is out of the necessity of copyright restrictions.
It is far from perfect but as they gain experience I expect the show to improve there is certainly a genuine desire to do so.
The moment with the paper ship of Galadriel’s that the other children destroyed was a beautiful echo of the burning of the ships of the Teleri at Losgar and when Galadriel incredulously is left to swim back to Middle Earth she is given encouragement by the site of the Valacirca so yes it is a mixture but I am content as a fan of 57 years to make the journey.

Last edited 1 year ago by Michelle Johnston
Matt Hindman
Matt Hindman
1 year ago

If you want an excellent example of this in practice just look at the state of modern corporate entertainment. You can rip off and reboot all the intellectual properties you want, dump as much money into it as possible, update it for “broad appeal”, have mass media shill it for hours on end, and throw in a heavy handed political message to ensure you cannot be criticized by the “right” people. What you cannot do is force people to spend money on poorly written garbage they have no interest in. Amazon’s half a billon dollar Lord of the Rings dumpster fire is a hilarious example of this in action.

Last edited 1 year ago by Matt Hindman
Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago

Isn’t the situation more serious than this? Re-boots and risk aversion in film and TV is not that scary. What is terrifying is the fact that the UK today is no different from an East European state in the communist era. Look at the evidence – our publishers, State media BBC and theatre all prioritise and promote our State credo – race, LGBT and gender. Yes prioritised. The result is a nightmare of low quality identical dross, all serving the cause of minority victimhood greviance and entitlement. Books on Empire by top historian? Banned. Mention of the word Muslim in connection with terror attacks? Banned. The BBC OFCOM and MSM conspired to help lock us up in our homes for 2 years via propagandist hysteria – and by consciously banning and suppressing scientific criticism of lockdown. Big Brother should have lost its charter. But it has not. It and the London cultural elite all bow the knee to and SERVE a militant set of State backed ideologies; CRT, Net Zero, the climate catastrophe, Remainia and other such supposed ‘Higher Laws’. Free speech is not a higher law and it is surplus to requirements. Just as the Communists made their State/Pravda media promote ideas and lies scorned by the silent public, so our debased cultural output is similarly mocked and ignored by the public here – but it will not stop. Free speech does not exist in the UK – but they are not told this. Look at the SNP fanatics for a flavour of what is to come when progressive race hating Labour take power. Our legal system is so corrupted by ‘human rights’ it is no longer a shield to our liberties. They have been stolen. Unherd already is a classic samizdat underground publication familiar to Czech dissidents. Enjoy it while it lasts. It will not survive.

JOHN BINGHAM
JOHN BINGHAM
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

The use of minority rights to reduce majority rights (and ult the rights of all), to empower the State and to bypass democracy

Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Just as the Communists made their State/Pravda media promote ideas and lies scorned by the silent public, so our debased cultural output is similarly mocked and ignored by the public here.
Not yet. The number mocking and ignoring is still a minority in the US on most issues, but a growing minority. A few shibboleths of the left are starting to crumble.

Simon S
Simon S
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Why do you think Unherd will not survive?

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon S

The Progressive Left re discovered a taste and prediliction for Stalinist authoritarianism in the 2 year lockdown tyranny. It is a heroin. Very addictive. Free speech – wobbling and undefended now – will not exist if Starmer and his fellow deranged Knee Bender Identitarian Kommissars sieze power. For Labour, loyalty to their extreme anti discriminatory credo is a ‘Higher Law’, superceding old world luxuries like freedom of expression and the duties of Fourth Estate. It is the only ideology it now has. It is a toxin. So any comments which in any way question or embarrass anything relating to the ‘Nine’ legally Privileged Victim Groups will become a criminal offence. Look at the SNP record. A warning. Study the BBC. A warning. Dig out Labour’s race plans. A warning. Then enjoy Unherd while you can.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Simon S

The Progressive Left re discovered a taste and prediliction for Stalinist authoritarianism in the 2 year lockdown tyranny. It is a heroin. Very addictive. Free speech – wobbling and undefended now – will not exist if Starmer and his fellow deranged Knee Bender Identitarian Kommissars sieze power. For Labour, loyalty to their extreme anti discriminatory credo is a ‘Higher Law’, superceding old world luxuries like freedom of expression and the duties of Fourth Estate. It is the only ideology it now has. It is a toxin. So any comments which in any way question or embarrass anything relating to the ‘Nine’ legally Privileged Victim Groups will become a criminal offence. Look at the SNP record. A warning. Study the BBC. A warning. Dig out Labour’s race plans. A warning. Then enjoy Unherd while you can.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Yes, dear. Very good.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

This is all highly amusing gibberish and the fact that is has 56 upvotes is both hilarious and slightly terrifying – are you people really this far gone?
I could pick apart every sentence for the utter nonsense it is but I don’t really have the time or inclination so let’s just focus on this:
“Books on Empire by top historian? Banned”
Please explain exactly what books have been banned and by whom.
Here’s a tip – you may wish to look up the definition of “banned” before you answer. Might save you looking even more foolish than you already do…

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Here is a tip back Mr Snide. Rather than just wasting space here with unwitty petty insults why not actually argue the case and respond to any of points I am making about free speech?. I do not care for any criticism. I should have used the word ‘cancel’ rather than ‘ban’ in relation to the Biggar Empire publication. If you are happy with that story, the persecutions of ‘terf’ academics or lockdown sceptics and the myriad other abuses of free speech anyone sentient can see then you surely do not belong on Unherd.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I literally responded to one of your “points” and you immediately admitted you were wrong!

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

No point arguing with you, as you say, you “do not care for any criticism”. Is that not the very definition of a closed mind?

Wonder Walker
Wonder Walker
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Walter, you are on the money, ignore the snide criticism. You post was passionate and the main points completely accurate. However, I think Unherd will survive and prosper as is delicately trying, and broadly succeeding, in riding the slowly building resistance to to the woke wave. It’s messy out there, but I think we are already past peak woke and now fighting the long scrappy rearguard action to bring it completely down. It will be a long job but we will get there.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Wonder Walker

Thanks. I of course hope so too. Very eager to try out the new bar!. Free thinking will of course never be extinguished (as it plainly has been in certain squaky correspondents on this thread). But where will the platforms in the so called ‘public square’ be five years from now? The social media giants have already embraced censorship and utterly corrupted political reportage in America. And what hope can there be when our State broadcaster, fresh from its shameful propagandist/Censor in chief role in lockdown, declares itself a ‘champion’ of diversity and climate change/Net Zero , overtly, cheerily jettisoning its charter obligation to objective truth as it bows to the anti discriminatory cult? Unherd is already rather like those East European Samizdats, a brave outlier. The law does not protect is. Rather it is now (via the supreme human right obligations to the Nine) and the ill intent of identitarian progressive politicians, a weapon to be deployed against us.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Wonder Walker

“UnHerd….is delicately trying, and broadly succeeding , in riding the slowly building resistance to the woke wave.”
From the UnHerd “mission statement”; It’s easy and safe to be in one or the other of these camps- defensively liberal or angry reactionary, but UnHerd is trying to do something different, and harder.”
It seems, then, that UnHerd has failed, as the comments here are 95% “angry reactionary” group-think, and utterly intolerant of any dissent from this little fortress mentality.

Danielle Treille
Danielle Treille
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Amen!

Danielle Treille
Danielle Treille
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Amen!

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Wonder Walker

And which main points were “completely accurate”?
The banning of history books? Which ones? When? Be specific.
The banning of the use of the word Muslim in connection with terrorism? Clearly, and demonstrably, untrue. “Radical Islam” and “Islamist” are very frequently used on TV and in newspapers in connection to terrorist incidents.
Net Zero being imposed by State diktat? Odd, I thought I saw a few hundred petrol cars today, and planes overhead, and my heating is oil, and a new coal mine is being opened soon, and some new North Sea platforms were being installed this week. So as absolute diktats go, it’s not really too impressive, is it?
“Race hating Labour”; I don’t really know what that means- I assume, if it means anything, that Labour “hate” white people. Really? That’s a “completely accurate fact”? Kier Starmer wants to drag all white people (including himself, I guess) behind a pick-up truck and then hang them from a tree? What exactly is this supposed to mean, in the real, objective world, rather than someone’s deranged paranoid fantasies?
The BBC “locking us in our homes”? Yes, that absolutely happened. You’ve got me there. Martha Kearny padlocked my front door shut and welded my windows. Help!

Last edited 1 year ago by John Holland
Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Wonder Walker

Thanks. I of course hope so too. Very eager to try out the new bar!. Free thinking will of course never be extinguished (as it plainly has been in certain squaky correspondents on this thread). But where will the platforms in the so called ‘public square’ be five years from now? The social media giants have already embraced censorship and utterly corrupted political reportage in America. And what hope can there be when our State broadcaster, fresh from its shameful propagandist/Censor in chief role in lockdown, declares itself a ‘champion’ of diversity and climate change/Net Zero , overtly, cheerily jettisoning its charter obligation to objective truth as it bows to the anti discriminatory cult? Unherd is already rather like those East European Samizdats, a brave outlier. The law does not protect is. Rather it is now (via the supreme human right obligations to the Nine) and the ill intent of identitarian progressive politicians, a weapon to be deployed against us.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Wonder Walker

“UnHerd….is delicately trying, and broadly succeeding , in riding the slowly building resistance to the woke wave.”
From the UnHerd “mission statement”; It’s easy and safe to be in one or the other of these camps- defensively liberal or angry reactionary, but UnHerd is trying to do something different, and harder.”
It seems, then, that UnHerd has failed, as the comments here are 95% “angry reactionary” group-think, and utterly intolerant of any dissent from this little fortress mentality.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Wonder Walker

And which main points were “completely accurate”?
The banning of history books? Which ones? When? Be specific.
The banning of the use of the word Muslim in connection with terrorism? Clearly, and demonstrably, untrue. “Radical Islam” and “Islamist” are very frequently used on TV and in newspapers in connection to terrorist incidents.
Net Zero being imposed by State diktat? Odd, I thought I saw a few hundred petrol cars today, and planes overhead, and my heating is oil, and a new coal mine is being opened soon, and some new North Sea platforms were being installed this week. So as absolute diktats go, it’s not really too impressive, is it?
“Race hating Labour”; I don’t really know what that means- I assume, if it means anything, that Labour “hate” white people. Really? That’s a “completely accurate fact”? Kier Starmer wants to drag all white people (including himself, I guess) behind a pick-up truck and then hang them from a tree? What exactly is this supposed to mean, in the real, objective world, rather than someone’s deranged paranoid fantasies?
The BBC “locking us in our homes”? Yes, that absolutely happened. You’ve got me there. Martha Kearny padlocked my front door shut and welded my windows. Help!

Last edited 1 year ago by John Holland
John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

“You do not belong on unHerd.”
So you’re canceling him? Ironic. A lot of snowflakes here want this to be a ‘safe-space’.

AL Crowe
AL Crowe
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

You know you’re doing something right when the resident trolls decide that you or your comments are worthy of their attentions. However, to say they don’t belong is erroneous, because there is not single comment section anywhere on the internet that does not accumulate an array of resident trolls whose life work is to disagree with everyone and everything.

It’s just one of those inevitabilities of the internet, may as well just learn to ignore them or use them for their entertainment value.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I literally responded to one of your “points” and you immediately admitted you were wrong!

Tony Price
Tony Price
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

No point arguing with you, as you say, you “do not care for any criticism”. Is that not the very definition of a closed mind?

Wonder Walker
Wonder Walker
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Walter, you are on the money, ignore the snide criticism. You post was passionate and the main points completely accurate. However, I think Unherd will survive and prosper as is delicately trying, and broadly succeeding, in riding the slowly building resistance to to the woke wave. It’s messy out there, but I think we are already past peak woke and now fighting the long scrappy rearguard action to bring it completely down. It will be a long job but we will get there.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

“You do not belong on unHerd.”
So you’re canceling him? Ironic. A lot of snowflakes here want this to be a ‘safe-space’.

AL Crowe
AL Crowe
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

You know you’re doing something right when the resident trolls decide that you or your comments are worthy of their attentions. However, to say they don’t belong is erroneous, because there is not single comment section anywhere on the internet that does not accumulate an array of resident trolls whose life work is to disagree with everyone and everything.

It’s just one of those inevitabilities of the internet, may as well just learn to ignore them or use them for their entertainment value.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago
Reply to  Graeme McNeil

Here is a tip back Mr Snide. Rather than just wasting space here with unwitty petty insults why not actually argue the case and respond to any of points I am making about free speech?. I do not care for any criticism. I should have used the word ‘cancel’ rather than ‘ban’ in relation to the Biggar Empire publication. If you are happy with that story, the persecutions of ‘terf’ academics or lockdown sceptics and the myriad other abuses of free speech anyone sentient can see then you surely do not belong on Unherd.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Well written and completely true. Here, in no particular order, are some of my countermeasures:-
I have undertaken to read only novels by white men, until the legacy publishing industry ends it racist de facto ban of white male fiction.Whenever I encounter woke people online or in real life, I always take care to be as openly abusive as possible.Whenever I engage the services of a commercial organisation, I always make it absolutely clear to them from the outset that any woke nonsense from them will immediately result in my taking my business elsewhere.I tell woke children to be quiet when the grown-ups are talking.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Craven
John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

You’re a bloody hero, d**k. Truly, never has a oppressed victim of a tyrannical regime ever risked so much, so bravely, and under such horrific conditions as you are doing now.
Truly, you’re an inspiration. Every unread novel by a black woman is a magnificent blow for freedom. They can grind your body into the dust, but they can never break your spirit!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Is Isla Bryson a man or a woman?

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

He’s a man – and almost no-one disagrees with that – especially on this page. Not even Nicola Sturgeon! As ever, there are a tiny cabal of activists who think otherwise – though Fox news and others want you to believe it’s a large, powerful, threatening mob (unlike the Jan 6 lot, who were of course a silly group of pranksters, in no way conencted to anything powerful – except the ones who were deep state/FBI plants) – so that they can better sell you stuff. Some people have a ring in their nose with the engraving, ‘property of woke inc’, others, ‘property of the tabloids’. Most avoid either.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

He’s a man – and almost no-one disagrees with that – especially on this page. Not even Nicola Sturgeon! As ever, there are a tiny cabal of activists who think otherwise – though Fox news and others want you to believe it’s a large, powerful, threatening mob (unlike the Jan 6 lot, who were of course a silly group of pranksters, in no way conencted to anything powerful – except the ones who were deep state/FBI plants) – so that they can better sell you stuff. Some people have a ring in their nose with the engraving, ‘property of woke inc’, others, ‘property of the tabloids’. Most avoid either.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Ha! Your high satirical mode. Light on abuse and full of bite.
By the way: Have there been any major books published by straight-white-male authors this year or is the de facto ban at full mast?

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

None at all. Not one. Never in history have a group of peope been more comprehensively oppressed- NEVER I tell you.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

None at all. Not one. Never in history have a group of peope been more comprehensively oppressed- NEVER I tell you.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Is Isla Bryson a man or a woman?

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Ha! Your high satirical mode. Light on abuse and full of bite.
By the way: Have there been any major books published by straight-white-male authors this year or is the de facto ban at full mast?

Last edited 1 year ago by AJ Mac
John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

You’re a bloody hero, d**k. Truly, never has a oppressed victim of a tyrannical regime ever risked so much, so bravely, and under such horrific conditions as you are doing now.
Truly, you’re an inspiration. Every unread novel by a black woman is a magnificent blow for freedom. They can grind your body into the dust, but they can never break your spirit!

Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I have not read such unhinged, evidence free, bollocks since looking at Qanon. If you knew anything about real totalitarianism, such as exists in China or Russia, something like this site, which I often disagree with, would simply not exist. As for the BBC it has numerous faults, but having seen the alternatibe living in the U.S. its existence and continued survival is imperative. And it’s as cheap as chips.

JOHN BINGHAM
JOHN BINGHAM
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

The use of minority rights to reduce majority rights (and ult the rights of all), to empower the State and to bypass democracy

Terry M
Terry M
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Just as the Communists made their State/Pravda media promote ideas and lies scorned by the silent public, so our debased cultural output is similarly mocked and ignored by the public here.
Not yet. The number mocking and ignoring is still a minority in the US on most issues, but a growing minority. A few shibboleths of the left are starting to crumble.

Simon S
Simon S
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Why do you think Unherd will not survive?

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Yes, dear. Very good.

Graeme McNeil
Graeme McNeil
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

This is all highly amusing gibberish and the fact that is has 56 upvotes is both hilarious and slightly terrifying – are you people really this far gone?
I could pick apart every sentence for the utter nonsense it is but I don’t really have the time or inclination so let’s just focus on this:
“Books on Empire by top historian? Banned”
Please explain exactly what books have been banned and by whom.
Here’s a tip – you may wish to look up the definition of “banned” before you answer. Might save you looking even more foolish than you already do…

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

Well written and completely true. Here, in no particular order, are some of my countermeasures:-
I have undertaken to read only novels by white men, until the legacy publishing industry ends it racist de facto ban of white male fiction.Whenever I encounter woke people online or in real life, I always take care to be as openly abusive as possible.Whenever I engage the services of a commercial organisation, I always make it absolutely clear to them from the outset that any woke nonsense from them will immediately result in my taking my business elsewhere.I tell woke children to be quiet when the grown-ups are talking.

Last edited 1 year ago by Richard Craven
Philip Clayton
Philip Clayton
1 year ago
Reply to  Walter Marvell

I have not read such unhinged, evidence free, bollocks since looking at Qanon. If you knew anything about real totalitarianism, such as exists in China or Russia, something like this site, which I often disagree with, would simply not exist. As for the BBC it has numerous faults, but having seen the alternatibe living in the U.S. its existence and continued survival is imperative. And it’s as cheap as chips.

Walter Marvell
Walter Marvell
1 year ago

Isn’t the situation more serious than this? Re-boots and risk aversion in film and TV is not that scary. What is terrifying is the fact that the UK today is no different from an East European state in the communist era. Look at the evidence – our publishers, State media BBC and theatre all prioritise and promote our State credo – race, LGBT and gender. Yes prioritised. The result is a nightmare of low quality identical dross, all serving the cause of minority victimhood greviance and entitlement. Books on Empire by top historian? Banned. Mention of the word Muslim in connection with terror attacks? Banned. The BBC OFCOM and MSM conspired to help lock us up in our homes for 2 years via propagandist hysteria – and by consciously banning and suppressing scientific criticism of lockdown. Big Brother should have lost its charter. But it has not. It and the London cultural elite all bow the knee to and SERVE a militant set of State backed ideologies; CRT, Net Zero, the climate catastrophe, Remainia and other such supposed ‘Higher Laws’. Free speech is not a higher law and it is surplus to requirements. Just as the Communists made their State/Pravda media promote ideas and lies scorned by the silent public, so our debased cultural output is similarly mocked and ignored by the public here – but it will not stop. Free speech does not exist in the UK – but they are not told this. Look at the SNP fanatics for a flavour of what is to come when progressive race hating Labour take power. Our legal system is so corrupted by ‘human rights’ it is no longer a shield to our liberties. They have been stolen. Unherd already is a classic samizdat underground publication familiar to Czech dissidents. Enjoy it while it lasts. It will not survive.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

One aspect of cultural activity which Mary’s article doesn’t delve into is painting/sculpture, aka fine art, although i’m not a fan of that term. It’s not an omission as such, since she’s making her case around popular visual media, whilst introducing me (at least) to the term “eldritch”.

I paint, my work is exhibited. The physical process of creation is one of the reasons i took it up, entranced by the potential for non-literal expression when engaged with the long, slow process of development through time and spiritual enrichment. It took years just to climb out of the foothills, and only really started to take off in retirement from what proved to be a fulfilling career elsewhere (i realised i was never going to make a living from it when in my 20s). But i do regard it as my life’s work. My point here is this: will this type of process, involving the production of a physical object, survive? I believe it will, and in fact i’d wager that as the emptiness of regurgitated visual culture hits home, such processes will be seen as having a premium. I’d compare it, without any sense of trivialising it, with the production of real ale and craft ale, following the attempt at homogenisation of beer from about 1960-2000.

Just one thing: for youngsters considering (or impelled towards) a career as an artist, art school isn’t necessarily the best route, and absolutely not the only one. Get out into life. Live, doing something else which involves escaping the art world bubble. For me, it was healthcare, but as long as seeing and absorbing different aspects of life (and death) it’ll enhance your practise in ways you would never otherwise imagine.

This is essentially what’s missing from creative production in the visual arts, and all artistic endeavour. Mary’s article points towards the symptoms; we must tackle the disease.

Last edited 1 year ago by Steve Murray
Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Depends on the art school. My husband and I met in ours, moved to NYC upon graduation, and have made our living as artists ever since. Our school was blessed with instructors and a dean who were all active professionals in their various fields, so we had the very unique position of directly competing with them when we left school and entered the work force. Being trained by one’s competition was truly an act on their part of great generosity and faith. Later, I taught illustration as an adjunct at a local college while I was still a syndicated cartoonist. I am very proud to say that most of my students went on to become pros, and I have kept in touch with several of them.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

That’s great to hear, Alison. I’m afraid art schools in the UK have been taken over by a largely wokeist crowd, and any talent (in the broadest sense) will come through despite their ministrations rather than because of them. The model you describe sounds ideal.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

They probably have here, as well, Steve. Back then, almost all of our instructors were men who were no-nonsense successful pros working in very tough, competitive fields, and they were preparing us for it. They knew that the large majority of freshmen would drop out after the first year because those kids thought it was going to be easy. If a student made it past his or her junior year, the teachers would devote themselves to getting that person into professional shape. My husband was awarded Best Senior Portfolio – the school’s highest honor – upon graduation and given a free fifth year studio “class” where he worked one-on-one with the dean. It really was a remarkable place. I, too, wish it was the model for all schools,

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

They probably have here, as well, Steve. Back then, almost all of our instructors were men who were no-nonsense successful pros working in very tough, competitive fields, and they were preparing us for it. They knew that the large majority of freshmen would drop out after the first year because those kids thought it was going to be easy. If a student made it past his or her junior year, the teachers would devote themselves to getting that person into professional shape. My husband was awarded Best Senior Portfolio – the school’s highest honor – upon graduation and given a free fifth year studio “class” where he worked one-on-one with the dean. It really was a remarkable place. I, too, wish it was the model for all schools,

Warren Trees
Warren Trees
1 year ago

You must have no more friends in the art world these days. Being an artist on the conservative side (I assume from your posts) of the aisle must be challenging.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

We’ve paid the price professionally more than once, WT, but we do have a handful of right-leaning artist friends – mostly professional illustrators. These are self-employed guys (no women) who’ve made a living by sheer dint of talent and hard work. Many have mortgages, wives and kids, one guy is also a power lifter and pilot (!), all of them are big into sports – about as far away from the urban gallery fops that typify the species most people think of. I can’t imagine too many conservatives emerging from art schools today; they don’t even seem capable of producing artists.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Warren Trees

Artists have been largely ‘progressive’, or anti-reactionary, since at least the Renaissance, when the modern idea of the ‘artist’ began- the Romantics being a prime example.
Whether you approve of it or not, political conservativism has always been a minority view in the arts. On the other hand, both Francis Bacon and Gilbert and George were/are great fans of Mrs. Thatcher, and I strongly suspect you would hate the “so-called art” of them.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Nonsense Miss Holland, where did you learn that may I ask?

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Ooh, Charlie! “Miss”!
Brilliant. How devastatingly upsetting, to be labelled a “female”. The very thought fills me with both disgust and shame. I don’t know if I can continue actually, now I’ve heard that corruscating putdown. Not even married!
In answer to your question, though, I’m all ears to hear your refutation, and a comprehensive list of great reactionary painters.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

The Futurists, of course, feigned a love of war and Fascism as cleansing antiseptics, and hated the ‘eternal feminine’, all of which is right up your alley, but then they were ghastly Modern daubers, so I’m not sure if that counts.
Can the great Nazi sculptors like Breker and Thorak be termed ‘conservative’? Surely not, not even reactionary. Perhaps we should just forget them, despite their fabulous, rippling male paragons.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

My sincere apologies that should have been Mr NOT Miss, the perils of ‘predicted text’!

However I do dislike your uncalled for familiarity. I would never dream of addressing you as John or even worse Johnnie, and therefore expect you to address me as Stanhope or Mr Stanhope. Otherwise as ‘we’ say, you obviously don’t know “how to behave”. ( Mid-Atlantic again perhaps?)

Now as for: “Artists have been largely ‘progressive’, or anti-reactionary, since at least the Renaissance, when the modern idea of the ‘artist’ began- the Romantics being a prime example.” What a sweeping generalisation, you sound like a second rate version of the late Brian Sewell, with his “shock & awe” outbursts!

I could rattle of a list of list of reactionaries such as Dali, Goya or even the blessed G &G, but frankly I believe ‘Art’ died with collapse of the Pagan Roman Empire, and most of what has followed has been for the most part pretentious drivel. No doubt you will correct me?

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Never apologise to the woke scum, Charles.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Don’t call him Charles, he prefers ‘Unwoke Scum, Esq.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Richard, how old do you think Holland is?
I would guess 25-30.

Perhaps we should refer to him* as “Baby Holland” from now on?

(* Assuming off course that he is a male of the species, which I sometimes doubt.)

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Oh Master Stanhopeless.
So ‘Charles” is rude, yet “woke scum” is jolly fine and dandy- not to mention this unhealthy obsession with ‘gender realignment’ that you and your fellow UnHerd herd here seem to share.
Really- what did your poor Mummy and Daddy actually pay for? A little velvet suit and a deep ambivalence towards communal showers? I really don’t mean to be rude, Stan, but Christ- if you could manage even just the rudimentary appearance of rational thinking, you might begin to justify the money that your poor parents spent on your education. Come on, Charlie- think back to your lessons on those Greek chaps- not the fun stuff about young boys, but Socrates and that other one, Pluto or whatever he was called….

Last edited 1 year ago by John Holland
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

“Baby” Holland don’t be so impetuous. I didn’t use the term “Woke Scum”, nor SADLY can I take any credit for it.

You must be accurate with your rants, otherwise it only demeans you*.

(Mrs Holland for example. Is she or is she not!)

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

“Baby” Holland don’t be so impetuous. I didn’t use the term “Woke Scum”, nor SADLY can I take any credit for it.

You must be accurate with your rants, otherwise it only demeans you*.

(Mrs Holland for example. Is she or is she not!)

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Oh Master Stanhopeless.
So ‘Charles” is rude, yet “woke scum” is jolly fine and dandy- not to mention this unhealthy obsession with ‘gender realignment’ that you and your fellow UnHerd herd here seem to share.
Really- what did your poor Mummy and Daddy actually pay for? A little velvet suit and a deep ambivalence towards communal showers? I really don’t mean to be rude, Stan, but Christ- if you could manage even just the rudimentary appearance of rational thinking, you might begin to justify the money that your poor parents spent on your education. Come on, Charlie- think back to your lessons on those Greek chaps- not the fun stuff about young boys, but Socrates and that other one, Pluto or whatever he was called….

Last edited 1 year ago by John Holland
John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Don’t call him Charles, he prefers ‘Unwoke Scum, Esq.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Richard, how old do you think Holland is?
I would guess 25-30.

Perhaps we should refer to him* as “Baby Holland” from now on?

(* Assuming off course that he is a male of the species, which I sometimes doubt.)

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Ah- the usual ‘identity’ whining about how people are allowed to refer to one, the correct name and pronoun, the tiresome demands that everyone ‘respects your self-definition’.
If it weren’t for the fact that you delight in public-schoolboy name-calling as much as you do, it would almost be touching in its sensitivity. As it is, it’s merely fatuously hypocritical posturing, Charles. You’ll just have to ‘man up’ and deal with the ‘threat’ to personal dignity and personal ‘narrative’.
As for your three names- a narcissistic pseudo-fascist, a pair of gay coprphilic mime artists and Goya, about whose political opinions almost nothing is known, aside from the fact that he was as disgusted by war as you are titillated by it. I assume you mention Brian Sewell, despite his total irrelevance in the context, because he’s the only art critic you’ve heard of.
Well done Charles- or can I can you Charlie?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

I am sorry Holland but you have revealed yourself as just another ill mannered, ignorant ‘oik’.

I trust you parents didn’t waste their money by having you sent to a Public School?

I mentioned Sewell because your juvenile outbursts reminded me of him, surely even you could comprehend that?

You mentioned you were unmarried, so perhaps there is hope that some wonderful woman may transform you into a civilised human being. I live in hope if not expectation.

In future I would prefer that you address me as Stanhope or Mr Stanhope or perhaps even Sir. Do you think you can manage that Holland old chap.?

ps. As you imply you know something about art critics, what is your take on the Bernard Berenson- Joseph Duveen affair?

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Well that’s not too impressive an argument, is it Chas?
Did you have a relevant point to make re your little list of artsists, or is your habit of feigning an attack of the vapours whenever an ‘offensive label’ upsets you the mainstay of your argument here?
Why it’s “ill-mannered” to refer to someone on the internet (as opposed to a 19th century drawing room) by their Christian name, but fine to spout half-baked insults (“Plastic Paddy”, “woke scum”, etc.), I’m not quite sure. Your definition of “manners” seems remarkably devoid of substance, if you don’t mind me saying so- which I’m sure you do. If your parents paid good money for your education, a refund might well be in order, old chap!
As for being unmarried, no- I never said that. I’m most certainly happily married- just ask Mrs. Holland. Why this might be relevant to you, Lord only knows. And though Brian Sewell was definately not married, being very much of the public school persuasion, he was famously conservative in his criticism (which, of course, you’d know if you’d ever actually read him); he hated pretty much all visual art since the mid-19th century. Just throwing out a name that you’ve heard of in the hope that it sounds good is a standard ‘internet rabble’ habit, and a very poor one if you lack the ability to go beyond the first ‘Google’ reference for ‘art critic’. For example- seeing the phrase ‘Bernard Berenson- Joseph Duveen’ pop up on your screen and hoping that sticking it in your response will sound a bit ‘knowledgeable’- even though this arcane and uninteresting “affair” was merely about money and attribution, and so entirely unrelated to the subject. Must try harder.
So- ‘Charles’ it is, unless you think your little friend here’s “scum” is the epitome of courtly charm? “Baby Holland” is certainly remarkably lame, as an attempt at an insult. I’m sure you can do better than that.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Holland
John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Lord Stanhope Of Wikepedia, perhaps?

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

For all CS’s repeated and repeated and crude claims to class superiority, you might think he’d display a bit more of it. Instead we see the tired cliches of the social climber or laurel-rester (upon others’ success – school/family etc): regular latin quotations, tedious references to Eton and the Guards regiments. I am not a great success in the terms of the class elite, but I’ve know true successes in those circles in all my life, and CS does not sound like one to me. Rather,the aformentioned boorishness, and his recent recourse to name-calling such as, ‘Baby Holland’, and ‘Plastic Paddy’ (the tired SOPs of Johnson and Trump (which, funnily enough, only ever impressed’ ‘the oiks’) indicates he has slipped down the greasy pole, if he ever was up it.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

“but I’ve know true successes in those circles in all my life”.

What is that supposed to mean Dominic? Surely NOT self praise?

However thank you for coming to BH’s defence, he certainly needs it. Sadly rather like your good self, his conceit dwarfs his intellect.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

It means I was lucky to be born into and move around a big world of genuine movers and shakers, rather than history’s great hangers-on. Just some luck – I am not one of these greats, but I do have a good sense of what they sound like, do, and how they act.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Really! How interesting, it sounds as if you were a Valet or Footman, which, as I am sure you will agree, is rather unusual these days?

I think that if you do your research properly you will find it is N S-T ( formerly Coldstream Guards) who often refers to the Guards.

So to Eton; As both Cameron & Johnson are Old Etonians as off course is the sainted Lord Jonathan Sumption, KS, I think it not unreasonable that the School should mentioned from time to time. If you are uncertain about this try asking those “movers and shakers” you speak of .

Incidentally when you rail against Eton, Oxford and the Guards it only makes you sound ‘chippy’. The fact that you did not have the inestimable privilege of joining this elite is NOT your fault, so get over it.

Finally, given your forename, you are NOT I trust yet another ‘Plastic Paddy’, albeit in disguise?
Your reply, should you wish to make one, will no doubt determine this issue.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

A footman, too rich! Reminds me of a schoolmate, who would try to control the room by declaring, ‘but I’m the Earl of O___’ – he seemed to think that would make us fall into line, poor sod, but he was just 10 or so at the time.
I’m afraid I didn’t explain myself properly – I do not rail against Eton or Oxford, The Guards, or the aristocracy etc- I have met very fine people (better than me for sure) in each of these categories. In fact I can honestly say that I never met a Etonian I didn’t like, until recently. No, I rail against those who are constantly, gauchly, reminding people of their connections at every opportunity – and who are actually not good soldiers, businessmen, thinkers (or people) …makes me wonder if there might be a relationship between the two. I like those those whose wear it (their smarts, wealth, status) lightly and get admirable things done way above and beyond general expectation. For a topical example, I’d guess that Sumption rarely mentions his alma maters, and probably rather resents the diversion to the serious work he does….. and Cameron had the decency to crawl off into a depression after he failed in something he believed in (as opposed to the NPD Johnson).

Anyhow, back to what wound me up in the first place – your and Craven’s attempts at bullying JH – my view is that if a gentleman calls a gentleman an oik….well, then one of them surely is.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dominic A
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Thanks for that!

We are not “bullying” Holland, just giving him a bit of his own medicine.
He is normally the first to rail about “snowflakes” etc.

As I said before his conceit dwarfs his intellect, and coupled with his rudeness, he thus presents a perfect target. QED?

Incidentally one of our greatest soldiers and later Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington was the most revolting SNOB imaginable, and also the archetypal ‘Plastic Paddy’.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

I’ll bet you like a good thrashing in private! We disagree, but let’s not fight anymore (maybe tomorrow)….,’and so to bed’.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

“Chance would be a fine thing!”
Until next time!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

“Chance would be a fine thing!”
Until next time!

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

I’ll bet you like a good thrashing in private! We disagree, but let’s not fight anymore (maybe tomorrow)….,’and so to bed’.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Amusing though your exchange with our superannuated public-schoolboy is, I wouldn’t describe his flatulent performences “bullying”.
Charlie here is doing us the service of exemplifying a ‘type’ that’s even now wearisomely prevalent in English life; the public-school educated mediocrity, the strutting blowhard who vainly hopes that mere snobbery is a substitute for thought, intellect, knowledge, or the slightest ability to muster a meaningful argument about anything whatsoever.
It’s fitfully amusing to watch him perform, until one actually wants engage with a brain rather than an arse.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Thanks for that!

We are not “bullying” Holland, just giving him a bit of his own medicine.
He is normally the first to rail about “snowflakes” etc.

As I said before his conceit dwarfs his intellect, and coupled with his rudeness, he thus presents a perfect target. QED?

Incidentally one of our greatest soldiers and later Prime Minister, the Duke of Wellington was the most revolting SNOB imaginable, and also the archetypal ‘Plastic Paddy’.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Amusing though your exchange with our superannuated public-schoolboy is, I wouldn’t describe his flatulent performences “bullying”.
Charlie here is doing us the service of exemplifying a ‘type’ that’s even now wearisomely prevalent in English life; the public-school educated mediocrity, the strutting blowhard who vainly hopes that mere snobbery is a substitute for thought, intellect, knowledge, or the slightest ability to muster a meaningful argument about anything whatsoever.
It’s fitfully amusing to watch him perform, until one actually wants engage with a brain rather than an arse.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

A footman, too rich! Reminds me of a schoolmate, who would try to control the room by declaring, ‘but I’m the Earl of O___’ – he seemed to think that would make us fall into line, poor sod, but he was just 10 or so at the time.
I’m afraid I didn’t explain myself properly – I do not rail against Eton or Oxford, The Guards, or the aristocracy etc- I have met very fine people (better than me for sure) in each of these categories. In fact I can honestly say that I never met a Etonian I didn’t like, until recently. No, I rail against those who are constantly, gauchly, reminding people of their connections at every opportunity – and who are actually not good soldiers, businessmen, thinkers (or people) …makes me wonder if there might be a relationship between the two. I like those those whose wear it (their smarts, wealth, status) lightly and get admirable things done way above and beyond general expectation. For a topical example, I’d guess that Sumption rarely mentions his alma maters, and probably rather resents the diversion to the serious work he does….. and Cameron had the decency to crawl off into a depression after he failed in something he believed in (as opposed to the NPD Johnson).

Anyhow, back to what wound me up in the first place – your and Craven’s attempts at bullying JH – my view is that if a gentleman calls a gentleman an oik….well, then one of them surely is.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dominic A
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Really! How interesting, it sounds as if you were a Valet or Footman, which, as I am sure you will agree, is rather unusual these days?

I think that if you do your research properly you will find it is N S-T ( formerly Coldstream Guards) who often refers to the Guards.

So to Eton; As both Cameron & Johnson are Old Etonians as off course is the sainted Lord Jonathan Sumption, KS, I think it not unreasonable that the School should mentioned from time to time. If you are uncertain about this try asking those “movers and shakers” you speak of .

Incidentally when you rail against Eton, Oxford and the Guards it only makes you sound ‘chippy’. The fact that you did not have the inestimable privilege of joining this elite is NOT your fault, so get over it.

Finally, given your forename, you are NOT I trust yet another ‘Plastic Paddy’, albeit in disguise?
Your reply, should you wish to make one, will no doubt determine this issue.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago

It means I was lucky to be born into and move around a big world of genuine movers and shakers, rather than history’s great hangers-on. Just some luck – I am not one of these greats, but I do have a good sense of what they sound like, do, and how they act.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

“but I’ve know true successes in those circles in all my life”.

What is that supposed to mean Dominic? Surely NOT self praise?

However thank you for coming to BH’s defence, he certainly needs it. Sadly rather like your good self, his conceit dwarfs his intellect.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

For all CS’s repeated and repeated and crude claims to class superiority, you might think he’d display a bit more of it. Instead we see the tired cliches of the social climber or laurel-rester (upon others’ success – school/family etc): regular latin quotations, tedious references to Eton and the Guards regiments. I am not a great success in the terms of the class elite, but I’ve know true successes in those circles in all my life, and CS does not sound like one to me. Rather,the aformentioned boorishness, and his recent recourse to name-calling such as, ‘Baby Holland’, and ‘Plastic Paddy’ (the tired SOPs of Johnson and Trump (which, funnily enough, only ever impressed’ ‘the oiks’) indicates he has slipped down the greasy pole, if he ever was up it.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Good morning ‘Baby’ Holland. Gosh you do rise so easily to the bait!

You presumably never saw the play ‘The Old Masters’ about those two wretched fraudsters Berenson & Duveen? Too young I presume.Ditto Sewell.

I am glad that there is a Mrs Holland because you did state categorically earlier in this conversation that you were “Not even married!”*.

Also that rather clumsy phrase: “Perhaps we should just forget them, despite their fabulous, rippling male paragons”,** made me think that maybe you were a closet “botty bandit”, however now I am reassured. Please pass my commiserations to Mrs Holland, that woman is a Saint!

(*Three days ago.)
(**Re: Breker & “Thorax”.)

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Ah, Charlie- is this really your best effort?
Your responses consist solely of tired insults about my putative lack of intellect/class/nationality, desperately trying to mask your total inability to accually engage with, or meaningfully respond to, any substantive points whatsoever.
You throw out a name that you hope sounds impressive (“Sewell! “Duveen”!), and then, when invariably shown to be clueless about the actual details of your reference, rather than attempt any serious defense of your Google-based name-dropping, you run around wittering about my age, “botty bandits” or some other witless irrelevence.
Your posts are devoid of intellectual content- a series of farting noises made on a plastic trumpet.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Revised due to censorship.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

How crude BH I expected better, hope over expectation I suppose.

Try telling the truth, otherwise you appear to be a congenital liar.*
To remind you, as you are obviously in denial:-

1:Married NOT married.?
2:W*ke Sc*m (sadly) NOT my remark.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Revised due to censorship.

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

How crude BH I expected better, hope over expectation I suppose.

Try telling the truth, otherwise you appear to be a congenital liar.*
To remind you, as you are obviously in denial:-

1:Married NOT married.?
2:W*ke Sc*m (sadly) NOT my remark.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Ah, Charlie- is this really your best effort?
Your responses consist solely of tired insults about my putative lack of intellect/class/nationality, desperately trying to mask your total inability to accually engage with, or meaningfully respond to, any substantive points whatsoever.
You throw out a name that you hope sounds impressive (“Sewell! “Duveen”!), and then, when invariably shown to be clueless about the actual details of your reference, rather than attempt any serious defense of your Google-based name-dropping, you run around wittering about my age, “botty bandits” or some other witless irrelevence.
Your posts are devoid of intellectual content- a series of farting noises made on a plastic trumpet.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

‘Baby’ Holland is an obvious compliment to youth and vitality as demonstrated by how quickly you have edited your previous comment!

Incidentally Sewell was a stickler for ‘qualifications’, he was forever banging on about “what are your qualifications” etc. So may I ask what are yours?

Off course in many ways Sewell was a bit of a reprobate, but I enjoyed his critique.
Also did you by any chance read his wonderful obituary to his dog, a ‘rescue’ Whippet I think, written not long before died?
I thought it rivalled Byron’s obit for Boatswain.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Chas, dear, you really haven’t a clue what you’re talking about. Snippings from Wikepedia (‘I know he had a dog!’, ‘If I irrelevantly mention Byron does that get me extra points?!’, ect.) really aren’t worth engaging with.
Stop now. It’s becoming tedious.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Holland
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

I agree this is tedious BH, and why can’t you be concise a put all your bile into ONE post?

Your obsession with the Wikibeast only reveals you as an angry hypocrite, but you can do better.

Incidentally I probably knew Sewell before you were born.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

By the way, ‘Thorack’ is the name of the German sculptor; ‘thorax’ is a part of the human anatomy.
I think you meant the former. Never mind.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

It was a ‘joke’ and NOT sadly mine, but one made by his contemporaries which you should have KNOWN but didn’t.

You must do better BH, proper research not glib gobbets!

Incidentally, as Sewell would have said, , what are your qualifications? Don’t be bashful, we are all ears!

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

It was a ‘joke’ and NOT sadly mine, but one made by his contemporaries which you should have KNOWN but didn’t.

You must do better BH, proper research not glib gobbets!

Incidentally, as Sewell would have said, , what are your qualifications? Don’t be bashful, we are all ears!

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

I agree this is tedious BH, and why can’t you be concise a put all your bile into ONE post?

Your obsession with the Wikibeast only reveals you as an angry hypocrite, but you can do better.

Incidentally I probably knew Sewell before you were born.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

By the way, ‘Thorack’ is the name of the German sculptor; ‘thorax’ is a part of the human anatomy.
I think you meant the former. Never mind.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Chas, dear, you really haven’t a clue what you’re talking about. Snippings from Wikepedia (‘I know he had a dog!’, ‘If I irrelevantly mention Byron does that get me extra points?!’, ect.) really aren’t worth engaging with.
Stop now. It’s becoming tedious.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Holland
John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Lord Stanhope Of Wikepedia, perhaps?

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

Good morning ‘Baby’ Holland. Gosh you do rise so easily to the bait!

You presumably never saw the play ‘The Old Masters’ about those two wretched fraudsters Berenson & Duveen? Too young I presume.Ditto Sewell.

I am glad that there is a Mrs Holland because you did state categorically earlier in this conversation that you were “Not even married!”*.

Also that rather clumsy phrase: “Perhaps we should just forget them, despite their fabulous, rippling male paragons”,** made me think that maybe you were a closet “botty bandit”, however now I am reassured. Please pass my commiserations to Mrs Holland, that woman is a Saint!

(*Three days ago.)
(**Re: Breker & “Thorax”.)

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

‘Baby’ Holland is an obvious compliment to youth and vitality as demonstrated by how quickly you have edited your previous comment!

Incidentally Sewell was a stickler for ‘qualifications’, he was forever banging on about “what are your qualifications” etc. So may I ask what are yours?

Off course in many ways Sewell was a bit of a reprobate, but I enjoyed his critique.
Also did you by any chance read his wonderful obituary to his dog, a ‘rescue’ Whippet I think, written not long before died?
I thought it rivalled Byron’s obit for Boatswain.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Well that’s not too impressive an argument, is it Chas?
Did you have a relevant point to make re your little list of artsists, or is your habit of feigning an attack of the vapours whenever an ‘offensive label’ upsets you the mainstay of your argument here?
Why it’s “ill-mannered” to refer to someone on the internet (as opposed to a 19th century drawing room) by their Christian name, but fine to spout half-baked insults (“Plastic Paddy”, “woke scum”, etc.), I’m not quite sure. Your definition of “manners” seems remarkably devoid of substance, if you don’t mind me saying so- which I’m sure you do. If your parents paid good money for your education, a refund might well be in order, old chap!
As for being unmarried, no- I never said that. I’m most certainly happily married- just ask Mrs. Holland. Why this might be relevant to you, Lord only knows. And though Brian Sewell was definately not married, being very much of the public school persuasion, he was famously conservative in his criticism (which, of course, you’d know if you’d ever actually read him); he hated pretty much all visual art since the mid-19th century. Just throwing out a name that you’ve heard of in the hope that it sounds good is a standard ‘internet rabble’ habit, and a very poor one if you lack the ability to go beyond the first ‘Google’ reference for ‘art critic’. For example- seeing the phrase ‘Bernard Berenson- Joseph Duveen’ pop up on your screen and hoping that sticking it in your response will sound a bit ‘knowledgeable’- even though this arcane and uninteresting “affair” was merely about money and attribution, and so entirely unrelated to the subject. Must try harder.
So- ‘Charles’ it is, unless you think your little friend here’s “scum” is the epitome of courtly charm? “Baby Holland” is certainly remarkably lame, as an attempt at an insult. I’m sure you can do better than that.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Holland
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
1 year ago
Reply to  John Holland

I am sorry Holland but you have revealed yourself as just another ill mannered, ignorant ‘oik’.

I trust you parents didn’t waste their money by having you sent to a Public School?

I mentioned Sewell because your juvenile outbursts reminded me of him, surely even you could comprehend that?

You mentioned you were unmarried, so perhaps there is hope that some wonderful woman may transform you into a civilised human being. I live in hope if not expectation.

In future I would prefer that you address me as Stanhope or Mr Stanhope or perhaps even Sir. Do you think you can manage that Holland old chap.?

ps. As you imply you know something about art critics, what is your take on the Bernard Berenson- Joseph Duveen affair?

Last edited 1 year ago by CHARLES STANHOPE
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
1 year ago

Never apologise to the woke scum, Charles.

John Holland
John Holland
1 year ago

Ah- the usual ‘identity’ whining about how people are allowed to refer to one, the correct name and pronoun, the tiresome demands that everyone ‘respects your self-definition’.
If it weren’t for the fact that you delight in public-schoolboy name-calling as much as you do, it would almost be touching in its sensitivity. As it is, it’s merely fatuously hypocritical posturing, Charles. You’ll just have to ‘man up’ and deal with the ‘threat’ to personal dignity and personal ‘narrative’.
As for your three names- a narcissistic pseudo-fascist, a pair of gay coprphilic mime artists and Goya, about whose political opinions almost nothing is known, aside from the fact that he was as disgusted by war as you are titillated by it. I assume you mention Brian Sewell, despite his total irrelevance in the context, because he’s the only art critic you’ve heard of.
Well done Charles- or can I can you Charlie?