A little Austrian count was born to my daughter last week in Salzburg, early in the morning of 9 November, becoming my third grandchild. Through modern technology, I was flooded with pictures of a blond, fuzzed and pink baby boy less than a day old. The mother of my children, who was flying in from Gstaad, did not make it on time, which was just as well. Like most women, she tends to overreact where babies are concerned. Unlike us tough guys, who tend to hit the bottle and celebrate instead.
And speaking of the fair sex, Lionel Shriver is some columnist, the best American writer by far, and she has sure got the #MeToo phonies down to a tee. We’re lucky to have her. The one I’m angry at is Mary Wakefield, who only now tells us that some women do fantasise about Greek tycoons. But when a real-life Greek tycoon — OK, mini tycoon — had her in his sights, she ran like a Saudi who is facing equal odds.
Never mind. I’ve been in love with Mary for so long that I forgive her. Grandfathers are forgiving types, and I don’t mind it when my friends sometimes call me granddad in nightclubs and embarrass me in front of younger women. The first time someone called me a grandfather I wasn’t one, and he was on his knees when he said it. I had put him there with a foot sweep. It happened long ago in Athens and the genuflecting young man was Greek. I was driving to karate and had made an illegal right turn. He was on his motorcycle and I almost crashed into him. I stopped and apologised but he came towards me like Orlando Furioso. So I foot swept him, then jumped into the car and drove off. ‘Come back, you cowardly old granny,’ he yelled at me. I was laughing so much I almost crashed again.
I suppose that old age demands some gravitas, but I love life too much, and girls even more, ever to act my age. Perhaps if old men such as Woodrow Wilson had not taken themselves so seriously (and that includes that awful frog Marshal Foch), and had not taken such revenge on Germany following the ceasefire 100 years ago, we would not have seen the horrors of the second world war and the atomic bombs dropped on the Japanese. Wilson was seen as a saviour of mankind. The little Princeton professor’s imagination soared and he believed himself to be Alexander the Great. He bloviated and virtue-signalled endless meaningless bromides and managed to impose such terrible terms on the Germans that it is a wonder it took as long as 20 years before they came back for revanche. Wilson also subjected the defeated Germans back home to his punitive ideas. War resisters went straight to the pokey despite the fact that not many Americans wished to get mixed up in a European war. Isolationism became a good word after the little prof messed up. Thank God he had a stroke and his wife ran the country for the rest of his term.
I suppose that the Wilson bum was the first globalist, and now another little man, Macron, a little frog actually, is telling us how we should all be nice little globalists and let little frogs and German Hausfraus run our lives. All I know is that their road will lead to the kind of endless immigration conflicts that their predecessors caused in the Middle East because they thought they knew better. Let everyone and every country decide what is best for them, says grandfather Taki, and don’t let the Macrons, Junckers and Merkels of this world tell us they know best. They don’t, but the Hungarians, the Poles and the Italians do. Sure, the unelected ones will call them fascist, just as they will say that Brexit was not democratic. But look who’s talking: the unelected crooks of Brussels and the unread hacks of the New York Times. Puleez, give me a break, as they say in Brooklyn Heights.
As the Taki family expands, I have to look to higher things in order to inspire the troops. Getting drunk in nightclubs, and sometimes even getting into fights, is undignified at my age, however enjoyable it might be. So I’ve been reading some poetry to calm me down as I sit on my rocking chair dreaming of kicking sand into the face of someone disgusting like Philip Green. The collection Facing the Persians by my friend and Speccie reader Ian A. Olson was a start. Inspiring stuff. The poem ‘Bright Ribbons’ ditto. Olson is a hell of a poet and people should get his book. I’ve read some poetry along the way — Keats was the best and always will be — but the modernists leave me cold, as does their architecture and their fiction. A great poet who died tragically in a car accident back in 1957 was the South African Roy Campbell, and so said T.S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas. Campbell was no sandal-wearing fruit-juice drinker, as George Orwell described lefties in The Road to Wigan Pier. He fought on my side in Spain, so crappy Bloomsbury types shunned him. Which means he was lucky. His ‘Horses on the Camargue’ and ‘Autumn’ are wonderful and expose the double standards the left practises everywhere and on every level. Plato would have been shunned because he would have seen through them.
So there you have it: a quiet week, a new little count, and now I’m bored and need to leave the rocker and hit the nightspots with some young you-know-what. Yippee!