Sure, the Derb is offensive, but he’s also dishonest

By Amanda Marcotte
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 12:28 EDT
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I can't decide what is more telling an example of National Review's degeneracy: that they hired the soft-brained virginity worshipper Kathryn Jean Lopez, or that stewing pit of evil John "Women Lose Their Looks At 16" Derbyshire.  But Derbyshire is winning the race this week:

Through British veins runs the poisonous fake idealism of “human rights” and “sensitivity,” of happy-clappy multicultural groveling and sick, weak, deracinated moral universalism — the rotten fruit of a debased, sentimentalized Christianity.

When not begging for forgiveness and chastisement from those who rightfully despise him, the modern Brit is lost in contemplation of his shiny new car or tweeting new gadget; or else he has given over all his attention to some vapid TV production or soccer team.

I treasure my faint, fading recollections of Britain when she was still, for a few years longer, a nation.

Today Britain is merely a place, a bazaar. Let it burn!

So many thoughts, I figured I'd just list them:

1) If Derbyshire's measure of how awesome a nation is centers around how white it is, he really has some 'splaining to do. After all, nearly 88% of people living in England are white, In contrast, in the U.S., white non-Hispanic people make up 64% of the population, and I do believe that's falling at a faster rate than England. According to Wikipedia, Derbyshire lives in a Long Island town that is pretty damn white, but I guarantee you, a similar suburban area of England would be much more suitable to his need for a non-deracinated landscape.  So why isn't he calling for people to burn America to the ground?

2) There's another reason I know that Derbyshire is being dishonest and is simply playing the role of the grumpy old Englishman saying things his racist audience secretly believes but is afraid to say: His diss on soccer.  Derbyshire is playing off a xenophobic, ignorant American audience's belief that soccer is an effeminate game played by girls and effete foreigners.  He's also exploiting their ignorance about soccer's history—to suggest that soccer fandom is somehow evidence that England is less English makes no sense, since they invented the sport, and it spread through colonialism.  It's like saying being a fan of baseball and apple pie makes you less American.  The intertwining of English masculinity and soccer couldn't have actually passed Derbyshire's attention; he was 21 the last time they won the World Cup, which was a big fucking deal.  I'd actually bet he probably has a favorite team and just declines to discuss it with his colleagues. 

Seriously, what he wrote made roughly as much sense as arguing that American men are a bunch of eunuchs because they like beer-drinking and American football.  Except to his audience, which is working off bad information, and that's who he's deceitfully pandering to.

3) Not to go all Godwin on you, but someone has, in the past, really done a bang-up job of trying to burn England to the ground, something that Derbyshire, born in 1945, couldn't have really missed growing up.  And they also believed that keeping their nation strong and pure meant keeping it racially pure, and that a "deracinated" country was weak, sniveling and effeminate.  That attitude didn't work out well for them, for Europe, and definitely not for England.  But Derbyshire knows his audience's historical memories of that are much weaker than English historical memories, and he's aiming this disingenuous and offense rant at an American audience, so he doesn't really give a rat's ass.

Christ, what an asshole.

Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte
Amanda Marcotte is a freelance journalist born and bred in Texas, but now living in the writer reserve of Brooklyn. She focuses on feminism, national politics, and pop culture, with the order shifting depending on her mood and the state of the nation.
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