Archive by Author | margotdarby

Curious Cousins: Admiral Raymond Spruance and Alger Hiss

I happened to notice that Admiral Raymond Ames Spruance (1886-1969), perhaps the most effective American naval commander during the war in the Pacific, 1942-44, was born in Baltimore and that his mother’s family name was Hiss.

Hiss and Baltimore: this got me curious.

Turns out that Annie Ames Hiss, the Admiral’s mother, was second cousin to Charles Hiss, father to State Department official, founding Secretary-General of the UN—and suspected Communist spy—Alger Hiss (1904-1996).

Charles committed suicide in 1907 when Alger was very young, but his cousin Annie lived until 1938, when she was past 80 years of age.

Their common ancestors were Jacob Hiss (b. 1762) and Elizabeth Gatch (b. 1766).  Alger is the great-grandson of their son Jesse Lee Hiss (b. 1788), while Raymond descends from Jesse’s younger brother Philip (b. 1795).

The Hisses were a fecund clan, and Hiss is a common name around Baltimore. It is possible, even probable, that Raymond Spruance and Alger Hiss were completely unaware of the family connection.

But what I find most remarkable is that both family strands—most of their relatives, in fact—remained in Baltimore for nearly two centuries, or six generations. Among my own ancestors for the period, it is rare to find a family in the same place for more than about two generations. Perhaps having vast number of relations in relations within a small area gives one an emotional incentive to stick around, even if you don’t really know most of them.

 

 

 

 

 

The Future Is for Robots

There will be no jobs in the future. Robots will do it all. That delivery boy who brings your groceries and adult beverages—he’ll soon be replaced. You’ll like that, because you won’t have to tip anymore. If you try to tip a robot a couple bucks, the robot will probably just make a grindy-sounding sneer, then eat it.

Your doctor and dentist. They’ll be robots too. The upside is they’ll make housecalls (and you won’t have to tip them, either). The downside is, no arguing with them. They know best, and when they refuse to write you a prescription for that really swell anti-depressant/painkiller everyone’s doing these days, you’ll just have to grin and bear it, and maybe find yourself a somewhat more expensive Dr. Robot-Feelgood.

Your cosmetologists and makeup artists will all be robotic. The Sephora chain is already planning for this, by staffing its shops with low-grade hominids. Sephora wish to find out the bare minimum of intelligence needed for working in the makeup field. The way things look now, your Sephora robots will be powered by two flashlight batteries.

All lawyers, judges, paralegals and court clerks will be replaced by robots. As with the medical trade, your excellence of service will be dependent on the type of robot-attorney you can afford.

Travel agents will be replaced by robots, too. Or they would be, if there were any more travel agents to replace. (When did you last call your travel agent?) But the real change in the travel industry will be replacement of travelers themselves.

Instead of spending a week on a business trip, or two weeks on a pleasure trip, a robot will do it for you. Every day they’ll email you memos and upload photos of exotic locales you no longer need to visit. If you wish, they’ll even drop you a postcard, to be delivered by your robot-mailman the old-fashioned way. “Having time, wish you not here, love kisses.” Only then will you realize how lucky you are, no longer having to pack your bags so the airline can lose them, leaving you to stroll down the Rue de Faubourg St-Honoré wearing magenta jeggings and a Université de UCLA sweatshirt from the airport souvenir shop.

It’s a hard life, but somebody has to do it. And since the robots are doing it so well, maybe it’s time to ring up that gilt-edged Dr. Feelgood automaton everyone’s using these days, and have him drop by with a vial of suicide pills. They’re vacuum-sealed for your safety. By robots.

 

 

Mockery and Valor

Near the end: Stephen Serenelli, 2004

Elsewhere I archived Stephen Serenelli’s early-2000s websites, and wrote some purring words of appreciation about his cancer diary. In so doing I had to slap myself down and force myself to avoid cruel mockery. (Archive link here.)

“A Journey Back to Health,” Stephen Serenelli subtitled it when commencing it in early 2003. This was just before he began a wacko course of naturopathic juice-drinking, in lieu of normal cancer treatments. Eventually his colon was completely blocked, and he had to have a colostomy (or rather, colectomy) anyway. Worse yet, by this point the bowel tumors had grown to the point where they were adhering to his pelvic wall and affecting his bladder. And oh, yes, the metastasis had invaded his liver too.

In his waning days Stephen blamed his naturopath for leading him astray. But this consultant, Ian Shillington, was never giving clinical care. Shillington was just a guy Stephen found on the internet, right after his diagnosis of bowel cancer.

And what a guy! Shillington was two thousand miles away, in Florida. He was a Scientologist, and his medical biases were doubtless influenced by that cult. And his medical management seems to have consisted of nothing more than a few e-mails. Shillington didn’t even bother to read Stephen’s online cancer diary.

How did Stephen Serenelli get into this situation? Obviously he was in a delicate way, a susceptible mood, after his diagnosis. He wanted to seek out some treatment that didn’t involve slicing and burning. We might also consider that he was “in denial”—ready to tell himself that drinking vegetable juice every day was every bit as valid a treatment as cut-burn-poison.

But mainly, I think he knew that he wasn’t long for the world anyway. He bothered with the naturopath nut because his new wife liked the idea and he wanted to keep her happy. Love covers a multitude of sins.

The Man in the Lavender Automobile

Nine years ago tonight “Velociman” posted this. His website Velociworld is long gone, but one can still find this copypasted in dank corners of the interwebz.  I have fixed a few typos, but otherwise it’s verbatim.

 

Knowing that we are no longer in the chilly autumn of 2008 is immensely whitepilling for me.

 

There is a scene in Flannery O’Connor’s 1960 novel The Violent Bear It Away, wherein the protagonist, a 14-year-old boy, is picked up hitchhiking by a man in a lavender automobile. The man plies the boy, Francis Tarwater, with whiskey and reefer. When the boy wakes up he’s lying in a field with his pants around his ankles, and his asshole burning. I won’t get into the Catholic allegory in that story, or the implication that the man in the lavender automobile is Satan, or Tarwater’s own inexorable slide into fundamentalist prophecy. I will aver, however, that I find the story relevant. Hold that thought.

 

There have been any variety of temperaments and personalities to hold the office of President. They range from heroes to rapscallions. I fervently believe, however, that not one person to hold that office has ever hated his opposition. There have been the churlish and disdainful, for sure. Carter presumed a moral vanity against his foes, which grievance he nurtures to this day. Nixon was consumed by paranoia and fear, to the point of ridiculous capers in the cause of an aforetold landslide victory.

 

I mention this because I firmly believe Barack Obama absolutely loathes my kind. This man will not be content to win the presidency. He will spend his waking hours thereafter not pursuing the legitimate goals of state, but punishing those who would dare to oppose him. The man is devoid of humility, or any sense of humor. He cannot humbly accept his incredibly lucky break in the crapshoot of American politics. The absolute lack of any pushback or intercessions on the part of the journalist class has rendered him peckish and intolerant of any dissension, if indeed he was not born that way.

 

This man truly hates. As only someone who is quite aware of his great shortcomings can hate. And like the second monkey he can hear, or tolerate, no evil.

 

The inevitability of Barack Obama has rendered the sane lycanthropic, the skeptical bemused, the disputatious fearful. It is no coincidence that formerly reliable conservative pundits are jumping the McCain ship like bilge rats in a galley fire. Most people attribute this craven capitulation to elitism. Noonan, Frum, Chris Buckley, that dithering Converse finishing school twit Kathleen Parker, they’re elitists! No, they’re not. Or that’s not what is compelling them. They are fucking afraid. Afraid to be the last dissenting voice in the face of the Hope and Change juggernaut. The Chinese kid versus the tanks in Tiananmen they are not. They are elitists, but they are cowards first and foremost. We don’t need them. And, unfortunately for them, Obama doesn’t need them. Therefore I will speak their names no more….

 

Did I mention this man hates me? You and me? Yes he does. Why? Because he can. Yes He Can. Beneath that cool persona is a megalomaniac. Cool? Like Stalin after a purge, emotionally and sexually spent. Like Saddam after a torture session, dozing in his chair with someone’s genitals curled in his fist. Like Pol Pot after a petit mal seizure, mumbling a litany of the dead. Cool that way.

 

So I will cast my pathetic vote, and ramp up my relocation to the mountains. Reduce my footprint. Carbon? That will be a nice byproduct, but I mean my personal footprint. My credit footprint. My interface with authority footprint. I’m researching micro-hydro water turbines for that stream, windmills for water, a half-acre patch for vegetables, a few goats, and a bison. Just because I want a fucking bison. My address? Fifty rounds up that gravel road.
I do hate to sound Randy Weaverish. But this is the fundament of my world view right now.

 

Speaking of fundaments, remember that guy in the lavender automobile?

 

Precisely. The whiskey of Hope. The jokesmoke of Change. I am Tarwater. We are all Tarwater.

The Awfulness of Red Lobster, and Other Awful Things

The owner of Stuff Black People Hate apparently thought better of this one, and made it private. But copied from the Google cache, the archive lives forever: http://archive.is/sPGNv . Herewith a sample:

Since you’ve been waiting 45 minutes, you gobble down four of these biscuits and, after drinking two glasses of water, you realize that you’re pretty much full already. Not only are you full, but you feel like shit because your stomach is now filled with a year’s worth of butter and garlic. You’re at Red Lobster, though, and there is no time for weakness. You open up the menu and behold how delicious everything looks – especially the beloved Admiral’s Feast: a breaded, battered, Neptunian heart attack in waiting that could be considered the most humane way to slowly kill a person. The Admiral’s Feast consists of a big ass chunk of fried fish, fried clams, fried shrimp, and fried bay scallops with a side order of your choosing that’s supposed to delude you into thinking you’re eating healthy. There’s nothing more ridiculous than someone ordering the Admiral’s Feast with a side of vegetables, which is akin to asking for a candle and romantic musing while getting raped in prison.

Red Lobster’s owners are aware of their popularity among blacks, but they prefer not to acknowledge it publicly for one reason or another:

Still, it is a well-known “open secret” that the casual dining chain ranks high on the dining-out lists of black people across the nation. Crystal Swiggett, who worked as a server in a suburban Cleveland Red Lobster for two and a half years, noted that black guests kept the joint jumping. The restaurant was located in Beachwood, Ohio, where the population is 87% white and 9% black, but the restaurant’s clientele was a complete flip flop of the town’s racial makeup.

“Ninety percent of guests were black,” Swiggett said. “It was the busiest restaurant I ever worked in. It stayed busy.” Though Swiggett no longer works at Red Lobster, she dines there regularly with her family.  She has cut back on fried fish, saying, “Family health issues led me to start thinking more about that.” Her father recently died of congestive heart failure, she said.

A while back Joe Queenan tried to address the awfulness of Red Lobster in his usual wisecracking style, but he refused to take on the racial issue as he really wanted to talk about White Trash. So it was a limp takedown indeed. He even used this piece as the title essay in his next published collection. Significantly, you never see Joe Queenan cited when other people write about the awfulness of Red Lobster.

I avoided Red Lobsters after trying one in San Diego years ago and noticing the preponderance of negroes. I have nothing against negroes, I just don’t wish to be around them when I eat. Call it an eccentricity, or delicate feelings, if you wish. As SD is not a negrified location, this phenomenon came as a surprise.

For low-cost gluttony I thenceforth depended on a buffet restaurant called Soup Plantation, full of happy, plump white families driving down from Del Mar and La Mesa. It was many years before I ever stepped inside a Golden Corral, which has acquired a reputation that might be called Red Lobster squared. A typical description, from an online forum:

Well,here I go,trying to find a nice place to eat on a budget.I work out of town alot and I get tired of microwave dinners and the like….We have a place called Golden Corral around these parts…It’s a really good buffet type place with good food at good prices ($10.00 all you can eat).I found one close by were I’m staying and went in and sat down,making sure that there was not a nigger in sight. I had just gotten my tea and salad when,you guessed it,3 fat she-boons and their 4 niglets came in and sat right beside me…I had already paid for my meal so I hoped for the best..it was not to be…These nigger sows took off on the buffet like Grant took Richmond…add to that the 3 niglets and of course a newborn nigger and the carnage was complete…Golden Corral was niggerfied…..loud talking and cell phones going off and the she-boons bragging about their new cars….Damn,it was totally disgusting….But while I ate I did get to observe the feral nigger close up and so I would like to share some of my field observations…
#1 Golden Corral has a very good selection of food,seafood,roast beef,vegetables and a great steak place where you can order steak, cooked like you like it, straight off the grill..really tasty…Well with this vast selection of food do you know what the niggers got?…That’s right…Fried Chicken….every nigger bitch and the niglets got a big heapin’ order of yard bird…..I guess there is truth in the statement that niggers and chicken go hand in hand…..
#2…every nigger sow had on bright red lipstick and blonde hair….why,if niggers are so much better than us why do they copy everything about us?
#3…Every nigger sow got or made at least 5 phone calls while I was there…what the hell is so important?
#4…Niggers are truely animals…The niglets, after eating began to roam the aisles..being a bother to all of the well behaved white persons and only calming down for a second after a nigger mammy hollars so loud that the whole parking lot can hear..”Dontarius,you get your ass over hears or you ain’t gettin no ice cream!” You could see the whites rolling their eyes at the young nigger thugs…
#5.. Niggers aren’t poor..This meal alone costs the niggers right at $60.00 bucks…and these niggers paid right up…In fact,any time you go out to eat you will see niggers with brand new cars,new designer clothes and loads of cash………courtesy of the “white debil”……..
#6…….Niggers always trying for free stuff….of course before leaving the niggers say to the young Hispanic waitress that “Dey,not be eating all dey food,so dey be wanting “snoop doggy” bags for later”…Golden Corral, being a buffet does not have take-out unless you pay….Naturally a chimpout ensues and the manager has to explain about 10 times to the she-boons why they cannot take food home without paying…..And of course the young waitress doesn’t get a tip even after bringing,I know at least 4 glasses of tea apiece to each of the she-boons and wiping up at least 3 spilled drinks courtesy of the niglets…
#7…..niggers are simply disgusting and every white knows it….I know by the look on the white faces….when these niggers walked in,every white person was secretly wishing…”Please God, Don’t let these niggers sit next to me and my family.”

Well, that was my $10.00 niggerfied Golden Corral dinner…..I try to avoid places were niggers work or eat but,nowadays it seems,especially down here in the south, that you just can’t escape from the feral nigger anywhere…..unless you can eat at the high class places where the rich, nigger-loving liberals go when they want to eat out….niggers don’t like caviar or duck l’orange……