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 think about joining the National Review on their glorious post-election Caribbean cruise this November. Imagine how much fun it will be. You and 700 conservatives circulating among the bright lights of the legendary periodical for seven days.

On any evening you could pull a stool up to the bar and sit right next to the likes of, say, Kevin Williamson. With any luck he’ll point out to you what a complete failure Illinois governor Pat Quinn is, as he just did in the magazine. Maybe he’ll kick off the conversation the same way he did yesterday, detailing his fascinating encounter with 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 an angry primate? I don’t know. Maybe it’s time you knew how pitiful the local fauna have all become? Does it matter that the ape is 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’m much impressed by Williamson’s ability to discern chimpanzee human emotions. I have no idea how to decipher a “complex blend of embarrassment, pity, and amusement” on a woman’s face, but then mind-reading is a difficult art. Maybe if I owned a pair of Rich Lowry’s glasses – like the ones he was wearing when he saw Sarah Palin wink right at him – then I could get a bitchin’ cabin on the Lido Deck with full 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.

Finally – a bit of peri-baboon danger, though, technically, it’s relegated to the author’s use of foreboding. There’s some menace in the title, though: “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 (oh dear) yet another Snoop Dogg, and I gave the tale up. So it isn’t at all clear why Kevin believes “danger and despair” have overrun the state of Illinois.

Incidentally, do you recall? Were there any monkeys in that book, Heart Of Darkness?

…where the only sign of life is a convention of legionnaires in their jaunty, flare-intensive garrison caps, 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 America into an urban jungle? Or was it about a boat ride into white supremacist 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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