I can't resist

Tuesday, September 26, 2006
It is of no importance to anything but I never let such things stop me...

For some reason I can't be bothered to research, John Derbyshire of National Review and NRO goes off on Martin Amis for Islamophobia:

Brit Lit Twit Goes Islamophobe
The late Sir Kingsley Amis was an excellent writer who held sensible opinions about most things. I have always regarded his son Martin Amis as a frivolous lefty twit, a prime example of the statistical phenomenon known as "regression to the mean."
Think what you will of Mr. Derbyshire but if Martin Amis is, in fact, a frivolous lefty twit then it deserves noting. The quote Derbyshire provides
"...the only thing the Islamists like about modernity is modern weapons. And they're going to get better and better at that. They're also gaining on us demographically at a huge rate. A quarter of humanity now and by 2025 they'll be a third. ... What can we do to raise the price of them doing this? There's a definite urge – don't you have it? – to say, 'The Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order.' What sort of suff­­er­­­ing? Not letting them travel. Deportation – further down the road. Curtailing of freedoms. Strip-searching people who look like they're from the Middle East or from Pakistan… Discriminatory stuff, until it hurts the whole community and they start getting tough with their children. ... They hate us for letting our children have sex and take drugs – well, they've got to stop their children killing people. It's a huge dereliction on their part."
may perhaps qualify as "Islamophobic" but is shared by a fair number of people who are quite fed up with the machinations of the death cult. It isn't, after all, like being phobic about something utterly harmless such as palindromes (Aibohphobia). The mussies do, after all, seem to have an unfortunate penchant for murder and mayhem.

I know nothing of Martin Amis and precious little of Sir Kingsley Amis other than that he authored what is, by far, the most humorous book I have ever read - Lucky Jim. I did not write any of the review commentary on Amazon but I can attest to the suggestion that reading the book while in public might be ill-advised

because, most likely, it will provoke loud screams of laughter and you'll embarrass yourself.

I read it on an eight-hour flight once upon a time. Fortunately when one laughs that well for that long one becomes completely unconcerned with embarassment.


David Thomson said...

"They hate us for letting our children have sex and take drugs – well, they've got to stop their children killing people."

I would feel a better if Martin Amis had been a bit more careful with his wording. This is what I prefer:

Many of them hate us for letting our children have sex and take drugs – well, they've got to stop some of their their children killing people.

Knucklehead said...

Good point, DT. Nuance matters.

Melissa Nelson said...

I have not read Martin Amis either, aside from his wonderful review of the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice that appeared in The New Yorker (I think) several years back. But I will concur that Lucky Jim is the funniest book I have ever read. I drag it out once a year or so and it holds up every time. If you have any taste at all for Brit academic humor, it can't be beat. I would imagine it would appeal to fans of Christopher Hitchens' wittier prose.

Skookumchuk said...


My wife the P.G. Woodhouse and other British author aficionada has been trying to get me to read Lucky Jim for the past 18 years. So I suppose I should.

truepeers said...

Is Derbyshire playing PC games with Amis? If so, I can't understand it since D's ideas on race are surely open to much more in the way of PC attacks and one doesn't want to see a guy beating a fellow just because he has himself been beaten with the same stick and wants to tell everyone "really I'm not the heretic - he is". That being said, I think Amis is on firmer ground with Islam, than Derbyshire is with race. Anyway, the link is to the New English Review which has a lot of good reads, whatever you think of Derbyshire.

Knucklehead said...


I reread it one time and found it every bit as funny. I don't dare read it again for fear I have grown too old and grumpy. I just keep a copy as some sort of touchstone ;)

Knucklehead said...


Lucky Jim is, IMHO, an outright phenomenon. I was desperate for something to read for a long flight and snatched it, with vague and distracted permission of sorts, from my sister-in-law's vast collection.

Once I started reading it I found it so hilarious that I just flat out didn't care that I was annoying my fellow passengers by laughing so much.

I haven't read any other book by Kingsley Amis for fear I'd be disappointed. Try it, you might find it a few hours well spent (other than that you may wind up downright sore from laughing).

Syl said...

Funny, but I had a different takeaway. The point being that even lefties are beginning to understand what's going on.

Of course I could have been influenced by the piece I had read just before dropping into the Corner--about a couple of establishment Euros in Denmark whose book on the Islam threat to Europe-and pretty harsh--was just released.

TP said...

Martin Amis wrote a great book, "Koba the Dread", about Stalin. He is a serious writer. Kingsley Amis was one of the Brits who left the Communist camp and became conservatives in the 1950s. Martin is a friend of Christopher Hitchens and challenges the inability of the Left to see evil in people like Stalin. John Derby shire referring to an accomplished writer like Amis as a twit would be comparable to somebody like Paul Krugman referring to Milton Friedman as a lightweight.