High life

What you can tell about a man from his choice of underwear

5 October 2019

9:00 AM

5 October 2019

9:00 AM

New York

It’s Indian summertime and the living is easy. There hasn’t been a cloud above the Bagel for two weeks and the temperature is perfect. But the noise of cement mixers and construction everywhere is unbearable, and there is gridlock while the world’s greatest freeloaders are in town for the annual UN assembly. Despite the great weather, the place feels joyless, the media full of dire warnings about safe spaces and racism. There’s something very wrong here. Pessimism rules an anxious, depressed and angry people. Well, I’d be depressed too if I took American media and its pundits seriously.

And speaking of depressed and angry buffoons, a halfwit called Krugman, who writes for the New York Times, has just announced that tens of millions of Americans are foreign agents. I kid you not. He has written a column in which he states: ‘The GOP… has effectively become part of a cross-national coalition of authoritarian white nationalists… but at this point they’ve pretty much crossed the line into being foreign agents.’ Poor old Krugman. The man has clearly lost the plot.

Mind you, the establishment has subverted Brexit on your side of the Atlantic, and is subverting the presidency over here. I am having fun discussing Brexit with American friends. There’s an anti-democratic coup taking place in London on the part of the smug, self-righteous so-called establishment. You know who they are: the BBC, Justin Welby, Theresa May, John Major, the civil service and the universities — and those whom naive Britons sent to parliament to represent them. The latter truly deserve the tumbrels. Madame Defarge, where, oh where are you now that we so badly need you?

My friend, the talented director and scriptwriter James Toback, grilled me about the British Supreme Court. A very educated man, he was surprised to have been unaware of its existence until now. ‘Don’t take it seriously, Jimmy,’ I told him. ‘It was a conman’s creation and it consists of lawyers of murky morality as far as Brexit is concerned.’ Jimmy got it right away. The fix was and is on.

Incidentally, I have always been suspicious of men who wear ball-huggers, as my son calls them, rather than boxer shorts, the underwear of gents. Thanks to his indiscreet and unattractive mistress, we know that John Major wears the former. And now Charles Moore’s third volume about the greatest British prime minister ever reveals what a snake Major was — and is.

Both the UK and the US have become battlegrounds over turf. Think about it as the plot of an old gangster film. The metropolitan elite in the UK are the godfathers who want to preserve the status quo; the godfathers in the US are trying to get their turf back after a nobody from Queens came in from left field and became top banana. It’s as simple as that. Perhaps a bit more sophisticated, but not much. The whistleblower who has accused Trump used the language of a law professor, including legal references and detailed footnotes. This is a well-thought-out plot to get the Donald. In the UK, it has all been more out in the open, but the poisoned dwarf who runs parliament is in it up to his non-existent neck.

Trump knew a thing or two when he pledged to drain the swamp. He knew that the CIA and the FBI included elements that would be out to get him. When the British spook Christopher Steele compiled the bogus Russian allegations at the behest of the Democrats, the media went wild. Trump was in Putin’s pocket, they screamed. Steele’s findings were called the gold standard of intelligence and Trump was declared dead. Once they had been totally debunked, silence. The Russian collusion hoax is similar to that perpetrated by the whistleblower. The fact that the call between Trump and the Ukrainian prime minister did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective means nothing to the media. What this really amounts to is a culture war between the elite and the people who support the Donald. It’s a war against those who love their borders, their language and their culture.

Otherwise everything is hunky-dory. Michael Mailer has been offered a terrific job directing a major film and is off to Louisiana for the duration. He gave a party for me the night before he left and it was a zinger. The next day was the première of an HBO documentary about Roy Cohn in which I appear and am among the few to say kind words about a very controversial character. The irony is that the documentarian, Ivy Meeropol, is the granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the atomic spies who fried in the electric chair back in 1953 for giving secrets to Uncle Joe Stalin. When we met — she was filming Michael up in the cape where Norman’s old house is located — he told her I knew Roy well. As luck would have it, Michael was cut out of the picture but Taki remained. I told Michael it was a Rosenberg plot but they got the wrong man.

Life is funny. I remember when Ivy’s grandparents went to the chair. I was down from boarding school to have my tonsils out and could sit at home all day doing nothing. Then the news came in and I was happy because back then I was a ferocious anti-communist. Now I ain’t so sure — about Russia, that is. Communism is still a no-no.

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