Category: Under the Black Flag

Home Columns Under the Black Flag
Disillusioned by Vlad
Post

Disillusioned by Vlad

Putin’s war on "woke" had me cheering, especially when he urged nationalists, conservatives, and traditionalists to unite and reject multiculturalism. But as his army shells Ukraine, it is hard to blame anyone but him for the situation there.

The Mental Health Alibi
Post

The Mental Health Alibi

Like a strange melody that keeps playing in my ear are four letters, PTSD, which seem increasingly to afflict American criminals. I suppose some shrink invented post-traumatic stress disorder; then ambulance-chasing lawyers picked it up, and finally the criminals themselves have discovered it. It is the quickest get-out-of-jail scheme since habeas corpus.   We are...

Real Female Athletes Unite!
Post

Real Female Athletes Unite!

I played on the European tennis circuit during the late 1950s, ranking number three in Greece. But don’t be too impressed. Unlike today—when Greek players rank fourth internationally in men’s tennis and sixth in women’s—Greece was hardly a tennis power, and I was ranked among the lowest in Europe.   In 1957, the American player...

Word Games in the NFL
Post

Word Games in the NFL

Jon Gruden, an NFL coach with a $100 million contract from the Las Vegas Raiders, was recently forced to resign after making what The New York Times called racist, homophobic, and misogynistic remarks in emails over the last 12 years. Shock! Horror! Pro footballers making misogynistic remarks—why, I never heard of such a thing! It’s definitely...

Beethoven’s Skin-Tone Poem
Post

Beethoven’s Skin-Tone Poem

Back in the days when skin tone was not a criterion for worthy art, I used to attend the opera quite regularly, especially when works from Mozart, Verdi, or Puccini were on offer. I mention skin tone because a black American so-called academic, Philip Ewell, claims that Western classical music is rooted in racism. Phil...

Uncle Sam’s Obituary
Post

Uncle Sam’s Obituary

Prick up your ears and listen to the violins: beyond the dreamy adagios and thrilling arpeggios the fat lady has sung. On stage Uncle Sam has been laid to rest, but unlike Don Giovanni, the good uncle’s corpse has not descended into hell. European pundits are lesser liars and hypocrites than American ones, yet they...

The Spartans and Simone
Post

The Spartans and Simone

Sailing around the Greek Isles and reading up on the Spartans is how I’ve spent most of my summer. Both of my mother’s parents were Spartans, and the line goes back a very long way. My grandfather even left our family house to the state and today it’s a beautiful museum right in the heart...

An Especially Unethical Hack
Post

An Especially Unethical Hack

August is called the silly season by English hacks, as the Brits like to call journalists. Most people are on vacation, the days are lazy, sunny, and long, and “stop the presses” stories are rare and far between. Silly stories are awarded front-page coverage for lack of earth-shattering news. I don’t use social media, hence...

Nothing’s Easy About Israel
Post

Nothing’s Easy About Israel

Such was my pro-Israel ardor back in 1967, I actually put my name down as a volunteer soldier in the Six-Day War. I was living in Paris, and I was asked by the recruiter if I were Jewish. When I answered in the negative, he jumped up and shook my hand. As everyone knows, my...

Me and Macho ‘Papa’
Post

Me and Macho ‘Papa’

General Robert E. Lee, Charles  Lindbergh, and Ernest Hemingway were among the names of great Americans I listed in a London Spectator article quite a long time ago. Needless to say, if one were to mention these names today in an American publication or news program, all hell would break loose, and the name-dropper would instantly become a...

A Badge of Honor
Post

A Badge of Honor

This is for you writers out there: if you’re not canceled, you’re no good. The good Dr. Seuss is out, as is Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas; Adolf Hitler is still in, although I can’t say the same for William Shakespeare. Everyone who is anyone is getting canceled, so I was glad to see Captain Cook...

The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted
Post

The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted

Seizing control of the means of information is the sine qua non of a successful coup. Radio, television, and newspapers must be grabbed first and foremost. That is what the Greek colonels did in the last successful European coup, back on April 21, 1967. Some years later, a colonel tried but failed to overthrow the elected post-Franco Spanish...

The End of Truth
Post

The End of Truth

“What is Truth?” is a question that has been around since the Greeks. One can speak of moral truth as well as aesthetic truth, yet scientific truth seems to be the only one that’s undeniable. And yet, even though there’s scientific proof the world is round, those who deny it can still live normal lives...

Here’s Looking at You, Beirut
Post

Here’s Looking at You, Beirut

Exactly 50 years ago last month I was lolling by the pool of the Saint Georges Hotel in Beirut, surrounded by bikini-clad women of uncertain virtue, spooks, pimps, journalists, and rotund Lebanese playboys. The scene was straight out of the movie Casablanca, except we all wore swimming trunks and there was no Rick to run the show....

Greek Statues, Molon Labe!
Post

Greek Statues, Molon Labe!

I write this under an Attic sun, its light reflected from the marbles of the Acropolis and into my living room. This was once the center of Western civilization, its stem just hundreds of feet from where I’m standing. Individual liberty and democracy first flourished right here, while 300 Spartans gladly went to their inevitable death...

U.S. Dream Turned UK Nightmare
Post

U.S. Dream Turned UK Nightmare

It has been said ad nauseam that when Uncle Sam sneezes, the English bulldog catches the flu. Emulating American rioting has caught on over here with a bang, pun intended. As Douglas Murray wrote in The Spectator, riots are one import “we can do without.” It wasn’t always this way. In tumultuous 1968, the U.S. rioted after...

The Benefits of Solitude
Post

The Benefits of Solitude

Solitude can offer a blissful disengagement from the horrors of modern-day life, even if it’s forced upon us by a government lockdown. Enforced solitude could even be a spiritual blessing, but for the escapism of television, that medium of absolute rubbish, vulgarity, and violence that Hollywood calls entertainment. As long as we avoid sabotaging diversions, we...

The Pandemic of Godlessness
Post

The Pandemic of Godlessness

It is a universally acknowledged truth that when epidemics strike, men and women turn to God. In this latest of epidemics, most churches the world over have been closed and their worshippers have been directed to websites where leaders hold virtual ceremonies. There have been reports of crackdowns on Christians attempting to worship in the...

#MeToo for Me, But Not for Thee
Post

#MeToo for Me, But Not for Thee

As everyone who has not been in total coronavirus quarantine knows, Harvey Weinstein was recently condemned to death for sexually assaulting six Hollywood wannabes. Actually, he was given 23 years in prison, but in view of his 67 years of age, it would have been far more dramatic and fitting for the former Hollywood film...

Meet the Markles
Post

Meet the Markles

I never thought I’d get back to this silly subject for Chronicles ever again, but the Markles—as I now refer to them—have a way of getting our attention, and embarrassing Al Capone in the process. As the Feds were closing in on him, Al was told Chicago was getting too hot and he should move...

Post

Hot Air Raids

Global warming is still a “maybe,” but in the Swiss Alps the visual evidence is undeniable. The glacier I used to ski on has disappeared, and man-made snow is pumped out daily in its place. The once-small alpine village from where I write this column is now a Mecca of the nouveaux riche and vulgar—snow...

Outrage and Censorship
Post

Outrage and Censorship

I began my journalistic career under strict censorship. It was imposed on the press and media by the Greek colonels who had seized power in a bloodless coup in Athens on April 21, 1967. Censorship, however, suited me fine. That’s because I was an ardent backer of the coup, the democratic process having been torn...

Time for a More Militant Church
Post

Time for a More Militant Church

The following was recently but ecstatically pronounced by the malignant, anti-white, anti-Christian, and anti-male New York Times: “Perhaps for the first time since the United States was established, a majority of young adults here do not identify as Christian.” Yes, you read it right: the Sulzberger gang that owns the paper celebrates this sorry state...

Post

Twitter Princess

The Republic is in crisis. America’s intellectual class is working to discredit our past. The media is waging war against the middle-class values of hard work, religion, and family. In order not to be outdone, Hollywood’s message is more violence, vulgarity, and unbridled hedonism. So, as the ship is starting to list, why would I...

Post

American Ideas, Then and Now

Ten years or so ago Stephen Fry, English polymath, writer, TV personality, stage and screen actor, and many other things, gave a Spectator-sponsored lecture at the prestigious Royal Geographical Society. His theme was appreciation for America, where he said he would choose to live “in a heartbeat.” I know Stephen and paid extra attention to...

Post

Greek Honor and Squad Shame

Sailing in Homer’s wine-dark Aegean Sea, and traipsing all over the Acropolis and the marvels of antiquity, is the best antidote I know to the brouhaha over “The Squad.” It makes these four publicity-seeking, opportunistic mental dwarfs seem even pettier than they are. Mind you, these petulant females wouldn’t know the difference between Corinthian and...

Post

Wasted Youth

A wise man recently said: Our youth love luxury, they have bad manners, contempt for authority, they show disrespect for their elders, and no longer rise when a lady enters the room. They chatter instead of exercising, gobble up their food, and tyrannize their teachers. That was Socrates, 2000 years ago, which I suppose qualifies...

Post

Belgians and Bureaucrats

Some years ago my friend and neighbor Baron Philip Lambert had my wife and me to dinner in his chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, and the talk turned to Belgian history. Philip’s grandfather, a banker, had lent money to King Leopold II of Belgium to buy real estate in Africa. He bought the Congo. Then paid...

Post

Not ‘Woke’ and Not Sorry

“Woke” is the concept that everything must be inclusive and inoffensive. Oh dear! Being hyperaware of everyone’s sensitivities makes one a hell of a bore. I recently flew down to Charlottesville, Virginia, where I had gone to university, to speak at a memorial service for my friend Willy von Raab. The other speaker was P.J....

Post

Unplug Your P.C.

OK, sport fans, get your wallets out and start giving.  That’s the latest brainstorm from a New York Times columnist who makes an unconvincing case for reparations to black people.  For slavery, that is.  And that means you, whitey, or brownie, and I guess that goes for yellow ones also.  He wants these reparations to...

Post

Uncle Sap Mans Up

Hold the presses!  More Germans trust Vladimir Putin’s Russia than Trump’s United States.  This is earth-shattering news, a scoop like no other.  If this were 1969, the moon landing would be a smaller headline.  And who came up with the scoop?  None other than the New York Times, the paper that first told us that...

Post

Gillette Meets Dick the Butcher

Everyone’s rather angry nowadays.  Women, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, college students, college professors, Hollywood stars, Democratic politicians—you name them, they’re upset.  The Donald seems finally to have united the United States.  Everybody hates Trump and, of course, men.  Toxic masculinity has replaced the evil Nazis and their goose-step, and Trump the loathsome...

Post

Foregone Conclusions

Here’s a question for you: Could the “monster” of the #MeToo movement get a fair trial anywhere in these United States?  Is there a potential jury member that has not made up his mind that Harvey Weinstein raped, mistreated, and oppressed women?  Since last October to be exact, every news organization in America has been...

Post

Aegean Idyll

August is the time for cruising.  Once upon a time, cruising the Med was fun, especially around the French Riviera.  Now the sea is full of garbage, the ports packed with horror megayachts owned by horrid Arabs and eastern oligarch gangsters, while most Italian, Spanish, and French resorts are overrun by sweaty tourists covered in...

Post

The Unhelpful Uncle

I recently had a spirited discussion with the British historian James Holland, brother of Tom Holland, also a distinguished man of letters, about FDR, his oil embargo of Japan, and the root causes of World War II.  We were in Normandy, inspecting the battle scenes of D-day, with James giving us the kind of briefings...

Nothing to Protest
Post

Nothing to Protest

Bonjour, mes amis!  Fifty years ago this month, I was living in Paris, and life was, shall we say, grand.  Back then there was nothing like Paris in the spring and early summer, with formal balls galore, polo in the Bois de Boulogne, and late-night parties in Left Bank clubs such as Jimmy’s.  At 30...

Post

Take Off Your Hat

I have been a member of a private club up in the Alps since 1959.  Its name is the Eagle Ski Club, and I joined it when I was 20 years of age.  Sixty years later I’ve resigned as a life member because of an incident I won’t go into, as things that happen in...

Post

Parties and Strange Bedfellows

London summer parties are a dime a dozen.  The moment the weather turns hot, Englishmen cast aside their brollies and head for a garden party.  This year was no different.  I spent from the latter part of June until mid-July in England, and went to more parties than there are Trump haters in New York...

Post

Liberals With Money to Burn

Once upon a time the American Establishment enjoyed business paragons such as David Rockefeller, Daniel Ludwig, William S. Paley, Henry Ford II, not to mention Thomas Watson and his son Thomas Watson, Jr.  Toward the end of the 20th century, that old power elite had gone with the wind, replaced by people that Hilaire Belloc...

Post

Long Live the Queen!

Tempus Fugit.  A recent ABC program on the death of Princess Diana reminded me that 20 years have gone by in a jiffy.  She died August 31, 1997, following a car crash in the underpass of Place de l’Alma, and sent a nation, and the world, into mourning. Mind you, Princess Di is no longer...

Post

Smear Factor

As I’ve often written, The Spectator of London is not only the oldest magazine in the English-speaking world but the most elegant by far.  (As, of course, is Chronicles.)  I’ve been fortunate to have a column in the Speccie, as readers lovingly refer to it, for 40 years, a lifetime when it comes to journalism. ...

Post

Big Macs, A-bombs, and Trump

William F. Buckley, Jr., spent his adult winter months in Rougemont, an alpine resort next to its chicer neighbor Gstaad, now the Mecca for the nouveau riche and vulgar.  Throughout the 60’s and 70’s, however, the area was known for its music festival run by Yehudi Menuhin, and for celebrity writers like Buckley, my mentor,...

Post

Fakebook News

Who was it who said that behind every great fortune lies a great crime?  The answer is a Frenchman by the name of Balzac, known in his time as a pretty good novelist.  Well, is stealing an idea and making untold billions as a result a great crime?  I suppose if it were my idea...

Post

Virtue-Signalers in a Snit

Hollywood is in a snit.  Hollywood is very angry.  Hollywood is having a nervous breakdown.  The Donald is in the White House, and Hollywood types cannot take it any more.  Ditto for the New York Times and the TV networks, except for FOX.  Madonna, that aging show-off whose vocabulary consists mainly of the F-word, said...

Post

Beyond the Idiot Box

Call me old fashioned, and I will thank you for the compliment.  Call me a fool for rosy nostalgia, and more thanks will be in order.  Yes, Fred and Ginger are my favorite movie couple, and last year while recuperating from a broken leg, I watched four of their movies back to back, shown on...

Post

Unhinged

It had the same effect on them that a man sitting in a front-row seat and banging a gong has on the lead flutist in a Mozart concert.  “Them,” needless to say, are the “elites,” a poor description if ever there was one of the rabble that is Hollywood types, engaged ladies who lunch, cheap...

Post

How to Win Fame and Fortune

American writers are on a roll.  Bob Dylan wins the Nobel Prize for Literature (for backward children), and Paul Beatty the Booker Prize, the first American to do so because only Brits were considered in previous years. Beatty was the unanimous choice, and it’s easy to see why: He’s a black American, the book is...