The only thing worse than a sore loser, I suppose, is a sore winner, but thank God we don’t run into too many of those. Thirty years ago, The Spectator and I lost a libel case that cost the then proprietor and yours truly a small fortune. As it turned out, after the plaintiff had gone to that sauna-like place below, everything that I had written was the truth and nothing but. (The hubby of the woman who sued me came clean after her death, but a lot of good that did the Speccie and me.)
The sainted editor at the time was Charles Moore, and in view of Justice Otton having taken a great dislike to yours truly, he ordered me to remain at home when the decision was about to be pronounced. Nevertheless a few hacks parked themselves outside my front door and demanded a statement. I asked them if they could find out the name of the German pilot who mistakenly bombed the Temple in 1942 and killed a hell of a lot of lawyers. ‘I would like to call my next son after him.’
Sportsmen used to be neither sore losers nor excuse-makers. By sportsmen I mean the old amateur type of athlete of both sexes. My father used to go crazy when someone made excuses after losing a contest. Old dad was a wonderful 800-metre runner back in the days when track and field athletes ran for the glory of it, and the sport had not as yet become drug central. He told me about a friend of his who, having lost badly when running the marathon, said that he had only lost because the winner had jumped the gun.
When I was on the tennis circuit back in the late Fifties, Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans never made excuses after losing a match, whereas the French and Italians never failed to make one. The Greeks are pretty good at excuses, too, and it used to drive me crazy when I was competing. Now that sport has become professional, excuses are the order of the day. I guess it goes with the territory. If a pro admits that the opponent was better on a given day, he or she diminishes his or her own value dollar-wise. American professional football and basketball players are the worst. They make millions and all they do is complain and cry foul. Female professional tennis players are great big crybabies, much more so than the men.
And speaking of crybabies, they are all over the streets nowadays, some of them rioting because the election didn’t go the way they wanted it to go. I suppose that this is a new phenomenon: you lose and so you cry, demonstrate, stamp your feet and disrupt normal life, even attacking people who voted for the ‘monster’. There is counselling at American prep schools and classes have been called off in American universities. The spoilt dears are too upset to attend them.
One memory I shall never forget is my piano teacher, during the second world war, hiding underneath the instrument she was teaching while an air raid was going on. So my brother and I went into the garden and played. British and German kids went to school every day and the only time they did not attend classes was when the school had been blown up. Not to mention the poor Japanese kids who were boiled alive daily in their wooden schoolhouses by Curtis LeMay’s B-29s. Seventy years later, American kids do not go to school because 60 million of their fellow citizens did not vote the way the little dears wanted them to, and that upsets them greatly. Would you say the western race is improving?
The Donald’s not a great apologiser. I find that quite funny given that we’re living at a time when all we do is apologise for things that we need not apologise for. The other trait I like is his arrogance. When a headline screamed, ‘It’s Trump against the world,’ he told his entourage that if it were any other way it wouldn’t be a fair contest. Now everyone’s circling trying to land jobs in DC. Even the vile New York Times wants access having abandoned all fairness and having lost its credibility — hence haemorrhaging readers. (Like all phonies, the owner and executive editor have pledged to try harder and have apologised.)
Basically, this was an uprising of the unprotected against the rich elite, a revolt à la Brexit. But what really won it for the Donald was the slogan Black Lives Matter. They do, but lots of folks, as Trumpie calls them, saw that as a threat to law and order. Worse, Hillary embraced it and encouraged the big lie that cops are out to kill blacks. Racial victimology works in schools but not in the rust belt or Florida, where cops are seen as the last line of defence against criminals.
Take it from Taki. When the world’s biggest unelected asshole, Jean-Claude Juncker, calls a meeting to examine what Europe can do about Trumpism, it’s time to call the men in the white suits and vote for Marine Le Pen. We’ve had two great victories, Brexit and Trump. With Marine’s win it will be a perfect trifecta. Once again, yippee!
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