National Review visits a black neighborhood (the horror)

I don’t want to tell you how to spend your precious vacation time, but you should consider joining Kevin Williamson on an amazing post-election Caribbean cruise this November. Imagine the fun it would be. Over seven glorious days, you and 700 conservatives hob-nobbing with the geniuses who compose the National Review.

On any random evening you could pull a stool up to the bar and sit right next to the likes of, say, Kevin. And with any luck he would buttonhole you about the egregious moral failure of Illinois governor Pat Quinn, as he just did in the magazine. He might even kick off the conversation the exact same way he did yesterday, recalling a gripping encounter with the indigenous wildlife:

East St. Louis, Ill. — ‘Hey, hey craaaaaacka! Cracka! White devil! F*** you, white devil!” The guy looks remarkably like Snoop Dogg: skinny enough for a Vogue advertisement, lean-faced with a wry expression, long braids. He glances slyly from side to side, making sure his audience is taking all this in, before raising his palms to his clavicles, elbows akimbo, in the universal gesture of primate territorial challenge.

Why does this exposé on “Pat Quinn’s crumbling Illinois” begin with a gesticulating primate? I don’t know. Maybe it would pain your heart to learn how pitiful the local fauna have become. Does it matter to you that Kevin’s chimpanzee is currently in the third grade?

Luckily for me, he’s more like a three-fifths-scale Snoop Dogg, a few inches shy of four feet high, probably about nine years old, and his mom — I assume she’s his mom — is looking at me with an expression that is a complex blend of embarrassment, pity, and amusement, as though to say: “Kids say the darnedest things, do they not, white devil?”

I don’t know about you, but I’m really impressed with Kevin’s ability to discern animal emotions. I have no idea how to decipher a “complex blend of embarrassment, pity, and amusement” on a monkey’s face, but then simian-whispering is an opaque art. Maybe if I owned a pair of Rich Lowry’s glasses – like the ones he was wearing when he thought he saw the Reticulated Snow Baboon, Sarah Palin, wink right at him – I might get myself a bitchin’ cabin on the Lido Deck with bar privileges, right next to Kevin’s.

It’s not the last challenge like this I’ll get here where the sidewalk ends, or the most serious one.

There’s some menace echoed in the title, here: “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” which sounds like being overtaken by Amazonian swamps, or African jungle. There’s also the rest of Kevin’s piece, which I got about halfway through before he came across yet another Snoop Dogg (so 1994), and I gave the tale up. It’s never clear why Kevin believes “danger and despair” have overrun the state of Illinois, unless he’s just some sort of random racist.

Incidentally do you recall? Were there many apes in The Heart Of Darkness?

…then onward and downward toward the Mississippi until finally arriving at my terminus in East St. Louis, where instead of meeting my Kurtz I get yelled at by a racially aggrieved tyke…

Because I forget the story. Was it about a politician who turned civilization into a jungle? Or was it about a white supremacist’s boat ride to hell?


4 thoughts National Review visits a black neighborhood (the horror)

  1. avatar Rev. Howard Furst says:

    According to Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of our beloved Constitution, back in the good old days Snoop Dogg/Lion would have been counted as 3/5 of a man for the purpose of apportioning Congressional representatives. Very sly of Mr. Williamson to describe his fictional young primate as a three fifths scale Snoop; 3/5 of 3/5, making him a mere 9/25 of a regular person in the eyes of the dogwhistling White Devil cracka.

    Still effervescently yours,

  2. avatar toma says:

    So in addition to all of his other alluring qualities, Williamson is an originalist. It’s getting harder and harder not to like this guy…

  3. Let the record show that:

    There is a place where the sidewalk ends
    And before the street begins,
    And there the grass grows soft and white,
    And there the sun burns crimson bright,
    And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
    To cool in the peppermint wind.

    Not sure if that’s what Williamson had in mind. He may have had too many bites off that brownie. Have fun on the cruise!

  4. avatar toma says:


    This boat that we just built is just fine—

    And don’t try to tell us it’s not.

    The sides and the back are divine—

    It’s the bottom I guess we forgot. . . .

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