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From my new column in Taki’s Magazine:

Full Stoppard
Steve Sailer

April 07, 2021

The English stage’s second Elizabethan Age might not compare to its first, but it’s been nothing to be ashamed of. And Sir Tom Stoppard has been the closest to its Shakespeare. Strikingly, of all the major English-language authors of the later 20th century, Stoppard was the most dedicated anti-Communist.

While many top writers born in the 1930s, such as Tom Wolfe and John Updike, were conservatives of one sort or another, Stoppard, who was born in Czechoslovakia in 1937, wrote as many works against Soviet tyranny as perhaps all the other big names combined.

With the publication of Hermione Lee’s authorized biography Tom Stoppard: A Life and the announced resumption in London this June of Stoppard’s 2020 play Leopoldstadt, a fictionalized family album of his ancestors, it’s timely to consider whether Stoppard’s extraordinary lack of awareness of his Jewish ancestry until he got in touch with a cousin from the Old Country in 1993 was relevant to his anti-Marxism. …

One reason that Stoppard didn’t wonder much about how Jewish he might be is that while he is an unusual-looking man, he’s not particularly Jewish-looking. He looks instead like a Rolling Stone, a cross between his friend Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts.

Read the whole thing there.

 
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  1. wren says:

    That article didn’t go quite as I expected it would. Or perhaps it did. How far ahead of you is Stoppard?

    Steve, 23andme provides interesting family information.

    • Replies: @Anon7
  2. …my margin note on the third page of the book reads, “This play needs a family tree.”

    …on the third-from-last-page of Leopoldstadt, one of the cousins indeed presents to the Stoppard stand-in his family tree.

    Deus ex Ahnentafel?

    • Replies: @Father O'Hara
  3. Dumbo says:

    Tom Stoppard is good, I like his “Arcadia” play, although he really should have not written the trite “Shakespeare in Love”…

    But, I wouldn’t ever compare him to Shakespeare, actually, not even to the three only great playwrights of the 19th/20th century, Chekhov, Ibsen, Strindberg.

    Stoppard’s extraordinary lack of awareness of his Jewish ancestry until he got in touch with a cousin from the Old Country in 1993

    There’s a lot of stories about famous Jews who only find out that they are Jewish late in life and… I don’t believe them, sorry. I mean, would you have such a lack of curiosity about yourself or your ancestors?

  4. One reason that Stoppard didn’t wonder much about how Jewish he might be is that while he is an unusual-looking man, he’s not particularly Jewish-looking.

    One weird thing is that many people tend to look more Jewish as they age, even if they didn’t look particularly Jewish when young. No idea why this is.

  5. OT….
    Ivy League Acceptance Rates Fall to Record Lows Due to Covid-19
    Harvard accepts just 3.4% of applicants, while Columbia admitted 3.7%

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/ivy-league-acceptance-rates-fall-to-record-lows-due-to-covid-19-11617767857

    Covid. Is there anything it can’t do?

    [MORE]

    A pandemic-fueled surge in applications translated into record low acceptance rates this year for the country’s elite colleges, including most of the Ivy League.

    Harvard University admitted 1,968 candidates, or 3.4% of the 57,435 people who applied. The previous lowest acceptance rate was 4.6% two years ago. Applications surged 43% over last year.

    Yale University accepted 4.6% of the 46,905 people who applied. The applicant pool grew by 33% over last year, when the school accepted 6.6% of applicants.

    Columbia University in New York City was the second hardest school to get into among the Ivies. Of the 60,551 students who applied, just 3.7% were accepted—down from 6.3% last year.

    The eight schools making up the Ivy League and several other highly selective colleges late Tuesday notified applicants whether or not they had secured a slot for the coming fall’s first-year class. Notices went out a week later than in previous years to give admission officers time to vet the deluge of applications.

  6. @HammerJack

    “In unrelated news, donations to Ivy League development offices were up, up, up!”

    Okay, I don’t know that is true.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
  7. @HammerJack

    Young people look good and old people look … not so good?

  8. In an era when everybody else was obsessing over the long-gone threat of Nazi Germany

    Well, I wouldn’t say everybody. But the little group that was yelled the loudest.

    ____________________________________________________________________________________

    On Shakespeare (of which I know little), there is a move to do plays in the original pronunciation. Makes them sound more earthy without the posh pretentiousness.

    • Thanks: Dieter Kief, Not Raul, epebble
    • Replies: @Inquiring Mind
  9. Anon[337] • Disclaimer says:
    @HammerJack

    Ivy League Acceptance Rates Fall to Record Lows Due to Covid-19

    Isn’t this basically a combination of not requiring standardized test results and spamming any warm black body with deceptive mailings implying that they have a chance?

    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
  10. @Steve Sailer

    Dartmouth used to be the least “diverse” school in the Ivy League, possibly due to its location. Now that it’s 50% Bipoc and ~20% Jewish, it can still be almost one-third “white”. That’s a good thing, right?

    At Dartmouth, where the acceptance rate dropped to 6.2% from 9.2% last year, 48% of accepted students identify as Black, indigenous or other people of color, the school said, while 17% are the first in their family to attend college.

    “It is safe to say this is the most broadly diverse accepted class in the long history of Dartmouth,” said Lee Coffin, vice provost for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid.

    Applications were elevated at brand name schools, but were flat or down at many lesser known institutions. The rich are getting richer and a lot of other schools are struggling, said Bill Conley, founder and co-principal of Enrollment Intelligence Now, an enrollment-management consulting firm.

    “I think we are going to continue to see a severe separation of the elite from the sub elite and everybody else,” he said.

    • Replies: @Rob
    , @MattinLA
  11. Anon[337] • Disclaimer says:

    This was a really funny piece.

    I think it’s not implausible for boys, even a hyperintelligent one such as Stoppard, to not be alert to family history. For example, when I was 21, my best friend told me he had just been watching TV with his mother (a Katharine Hepburn look-alike), when she said, “That actor looks just like Frank.”

    “Who is Frank?”

    “Oh…I guess never mentioned that I was married before.”

    My friend then slowly extracted from his mother that she was sitting in a bar in New York in 1946 with her husband, Frank, when “your father,” just back from D-Day, swaggered up and asked her what a classy dame like her was doing with a loser like him.

    So I told my mother this scandalous story while we were washing dishes. She replied, “That reminds me, I never told you. I was married before too.”

    Her story, however, turned out to be less salacious: She showed me her first husband’s medal, awarded posthumously after he died in combat on Iwo Jima.

    But I should have guessed something like that years before, because that finally explained why I had a third set of relatives besides my mother’s family and my father’s family. We went to Big Bear every couple of months with a family whom I addressed as “Uncle Chuck” and “Aunt Betty” but who, my mother had informed me, weren’t exactly my relatives. But I had never been interested enough in family relationships to ask what that meant.

    It turned out that they were my mom’s late husband’s extended family, whom my mother had lived with when he had enlisted in the Marines. Yet, up through age 21 I not only hadn’t figured that out, but it hadn’t occurred to me to even ask what exactly was our relationship to our quasi-relatives.

    “that finally explained why I had a third set of relatives” … LOL

  12. @Dumbo

    When our class did genealogical research in 10th grade, the teacher was disappointed at how little information I had recovered.
    Guys tend to be not that interested in that stuff when they’re younger.

  13. @HammerJack

    No test scores needed, baby!

    Under this new admissions regime unencumbered by meaningful quantitative standards, ‘name’ schools gain access to ever deeper pools of applicants from which to assemble their ideal color-coded cohorts, while much of the rest of the US higher ed sector scrambles for survival.

  14. OT
    Smugglers drop children over US border barrier

    Relevent xcerpt from the Camp of the Saints:

    [MORE]

    …the turd eater lifted his hands toward the sky. He grasped his son by his two twisted stumps, and when he raised him high in the air with a signal-like flourish, each soul in the numberless mass thought he heard himself summoned by name. The rush that followed was peaceful enough, but it took its toll of dead: expendable dross on the fringe of the surging tide … The monster children had no trouble boarding. They were passed from hand to hand, over the heads of the crowd. But time and again the narrow, teeming gangplanks spilled over like brimming gutters into the pitch-black water between ship and pier.

    • Replies: @Alden
  15. Old Prude says:
    @Steve Sailer

    Just so. Young people get better looking each passing year, until they get old.

  16. black sea says:
    @Anon

    Jack Nicholson grew up being told that his mother was his older sister, and his grandmother his mother. When Time Magazine was doing background research on him, they uncovered this bit of news. It was something he’d never wondered about before. By the time he discovered the truth, both his mother and grandmother had died.

    That must’ve been weird.

  17. @Anon

    It could be worse: Imagine being an adopted black child having to endure the White gaze of three families.

    • LOL: Harry Baldwin
  18. Mike Tre says:

    “ He looks instead like a Rolling Stone, a cross between his friend Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts.”

    Actually from the photo above I immediately thought of a more fairy looking version of Bob Dillon.

  19. Neither Mick Jagger nor Tom Stoppard seems to have talked much about their decades-long friendship. I hope one of them at least will, occasionally. – I wonder if Sympathy For For Devil has something to do with Tom Stoppard?

  20. Dumbo says:
    @Steve Sailer

    So you’re saying that Jewish people don’t look so good? 😀

    I think it’s just that old age tends to accentuate certain facial characteristics and not others.

    So you look more “Jewish” as you get old because your face gets reduced to a few more identifiable traits.

    Leonard Cohen, for example, OK, he already looked very Jewish as a young man, but when he was old, he looked almost too Jewish, like an archetypical Ashkenazi.

  21. Tony Tea says:

    Shakespeare in Love rolls along as if Stoppard woke up one day thinking he wouldn’t mind winning an Oscar, if only to pad out his cv, so he tossed off a few bon mot, hit all the stock plot points, and reeled in the statuette. He could probably still do it now, if he ever felt like slumming it again.

  22. Graham says:

    Steve, like you I’ve been a fan of Stoppard all my life, and went to see some of his plays in London when they first came out in the 70s and 80s. And like you I enjoy reading them too. But recently, having received Hermione Lee’s biography as a birthday present, I conceived a strong wish to see or at least hear some of them again, and discovered the excellent audio versions from LA Theatre Works. I bought Arcadia, The Hard Problem and The Real Thing quite cheaply on Amazon and listened to them on my iPhone using the Audible app. It would have been even better to see them on stage, of course, but at at total price of £16 it was well worth it. I think some of the actors in Arcadia were American, but to my very critical ear they performed with almost perfect British English accents.

  23. @HammerJack

    Ears and noses keep growing as you age.

    • Replies: @James J O'Meara
  24. It all makes me wistful for the days when it never would have even occurred to me to care whether someone was Jewish or not.

  25. Twinkie says:

    When I saw the film “The Russia House” based on a le Carre novel, I thought the movie had certain wit and sensibility quite unlike le Carre’s. It turned out Stoppard wrote the screenplay. It made sense.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  26. @Reg Cæsar

    Are there many Jews from Czechoslovakia named Tom?

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  27. Anon7 says:
    @wren

    “… 23andme provides interesting family information.”

    Yes, it does. George RR Martin, the author of the Game of Thrones novels, thought he was partly Italian, due to an Italian grandfather. DNA testing revealed that he was instead about a quarter Ashkenazi jewish, which didn’t surprise me based on watching him for five minutes in an interview.

    • Thanks: Pheasant
    • Replies: @wren
    , @MEH 0910
    , @R.G. Camara
  28. Anon7 says:

    “That reminds me, I never told you. I was married before too.”

    I got that same story from my father when I was 16, about how he was married in the early years of WWII and so I had a half-sister who was about eight years older than I was. Eventually, it also explained why he took frequent “business trips” (she lived within driving distance), why we never seemed to have much money in spite of his hard work (alimony) and why my mother hated him and therefore why he drank.

    But it’s true, boys don’t pay much attention to family trees.

  29. “but it’s been nothing to be ashamed of”

    Oh Sailer.

  30. Tom Stoppard is just a poor man’s version of the great man from Akragas (Agrigento), Luigi Pirandello.

  31. @black sea

    It’s just as well he never found out while his mother was still alive. That could have been awkward.

    “I’m your mother!” (Slap!)
    “I’m your sister!” (Slap!)
    “I’m your mother!” (Slap!)

  32. The Holocaust is probably the most well-documented event in human history

    It’s the most proscribed event in human history.

    What was a great story of your own family and your understanding of who you are is undercut by ridiculous Holocaustianity.

    You’re adopted. We knew that. You think you’re ashkenazi. We knew that.

    You’re dumbfuck bogtrotting Irish but too proud to admit it…we can tell by your subject matter and your writing style, along with your Irish fro.

    Loved this essay till I choked upon the schmaltz.

    • LOL: Pheasant
    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  33. MEH 0910 says:

    Steve Sailer Retweeted:


  34. Jewish and born in Czechoslovakia, just like another quintessential bouncing Czech and imported British establishment figure Robert Maxwell, Ghislaine’s daddy.

    Strangely enough I knew Hermione Lee when she was a very young woman. I remember being very impressed the first time I saw her as she was wearing knee length high-heeled vinyl boots with black velvet pants, a big-buckled belt, long dark hair parted in the middle, gold rimmed glasses, and acne. You couldn’t miss her.

    I very much doubted whether she would go far in life, and was impressed a few years later when I saw that she had written a book review in a weekend newspaper.

    How wrong I was! She has had an extremely distinguished academic career and written a number of substantial books.

    • Thanks: Abe
    • Replies: @Abe
  35. @Steve Sailer

    One weird thing is that many people tend to look more Jewish as they age, even if they didn’t look particularly Jewish when young. No idea why this is.

    Young people look good and old people look … not so good?

    How offensive! Maybe you haven’t heard of the good-looking Paul Newman who was part-Jewish? Or the good-looking Harrison Ford who is part-Jewish? Or the attractive Emma Samms who is part-Jewish?! Don’t even get me started with the large number of good-looking barely-Jewish actors!

    http://www.jewornotjew.com/

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @adreadline
  36. Gordo says:

    How can I not reply to comments?

  37. @Dumbo

    When Madeline Albright’s Jewish heritage was revealed after she was ensconced as Secretary of State, she claimed not to know about it. When that proved to be a lie, she claimed to have meant that she didn’t know that all four of her grandparents had perished in the Holocaust. It was suspected a the time that kept the secret because she feared she wouldn’t get the job if Clinton knew. After all, being Sec’y of State involves delicate interactions with those who may not have unalloyed good will towards those of her religion/ethnicity.

  38. Anon[162] • Disclaimer says:
    @HammerJack

    Columbia University in New York City was the second hardest school to get into among the Ivies. Of the 60,551 students who applied, just 3.7% were accepted—down from 6.3% last year.

    I didn’t see that coming. Why would kids be clamoring to live in a dense city during a pandemic?

  39. Rob says:
    @HammerJack

    Because blacks have higher self-esteem than other populations and black males do not try in school, pretty much regardless of IQ, without standardized tests, it is easy for people who want to to believe blacks are smarter than they are. Probably a bunch of the blacks admitted to Dartmouth have high self-esteem because they are good at sports. In a normal year, their 925 SAT scores would put them out of the running for Dartmouth. Well, I’m guessing. I have no idea how far down Dartmouth has to dig to turn up enough blacks. 925 might be a good score for a Dartmouth black.

    If lack of hard data kept a lot of blacks in the running, then FloydFest must have put a lot of blacks over the white Gentiles for the admissions office.

    Reed College is 1.43% Black. It is 7.odd% two or more races, but I’ve read that part-blacks apply to svhool’s in the black bin. All the ‘two or more races’ are half-Asians who think that gives them a better shot than swimming in either the White or Asian pools.

    With numbers like that, it is easy to see how Reed can keep its notoriously liberal campus culture. I have read about a black gorilla war against Hum 110 carried out by black students. Maybe the school successfully appeased the activists by adding Aztecs and Harlem Renaissance to the class. On the other hand, maybe they replaced black admits with Hispanics.

    I’d rather hire a Reedie than a Dartmouthie.

  40. Now that you’ve found yourself, Steve, go home.

    “If you don’t like the accusation of double loyalty, then go the f*** home. It’s as simple as that. If you live in a country where you are constantly under that charge, then you don’t belong there. You go home. You come home. If you’re outside Israel, then you live in a society in which you are basically considered unreliable. The bottom line on this charge of dual loyalty is, I’m sorry, we’re Jews, and if we’re Jews, we will always have dual loyalty.”

    “American Jewry has one major problem – they consider themselves more American than they do Jews.”

    • Replies: @Pericles
  41. Jeem says:

    Just a dissenting voice here, Steve.

    I watched a t.v. production of a Stoppard play (‘On The Razzle’), which I’d seen praised by a lot of people. However, it was just plain … weird. On the other hand, I enjoyed the movie ‘Shakespeare In Love’, so there’s that.

    But overall, I think Tom Stoppard — like Alan Ayckbourn, another 1970’s playwright — is overrated. Sorry.

  42. Jack D says:
    @black sea

    Family secrets are not uncommon. When I was maybe 10 years old I found out that my sister was really my half-sister from my father’s first wife who had died when my sister was two years old.

    Steve figured out his family secret when he was 21. But Stoppard was allegedly 56 when he found out that all 4 of his grandparents were Jews who had died in the concentration camps. Steve excuses it thusly:

    At least in the English-speaking world, family trees are not of intense interest to boys. And Stoppard has been an impressively boyish man throughout his long life.

    56 years is a LONG time to have a boyish disinterest in genealogy even for an Englishman. And remember we are not really talking about family trees in the sense that you don’t know who your 5th great grandfather was in 1782. A lot of people don’t know that and don’t really care. I don’t. We are talking about grandparents – the parent of your parents, not to mention aunts and uncles and first cousins. Your immediate family members. Madeleine Albright, another Czech/English Jew whose grandparents all perished in the Holocaust, also claimed not to know that she was Jewish.

    What this is really like is the phenomenon formerly known as “passing” which certain very light skinned blacks in America would do – for example the Louisiana Creole of Color and prominent writer/literary critic Anatole Broyard. “Passing” meant telling no one, not even your children, your family secret. It also meant cutting yourself off from your parents, siblings and other relatives. Even if they weren’t conveniently dead like Stoppard’s relatives, you had to treat them as if they were dead. Creoles of color come in many shades and not all of your cousins or even siblings might be as white as you. If you were seen in the company of black people that seemed to look like darker versions of you, people might start asking questions.

    In making a career in the mainstream literary world in NY in the 1940s when Broyard was starting out, being black was not an asset like it is today (boy is it ever!). It was still somewhat of a negative. Your life would be much easier as a white person. The KKK was not lynching people in Greenwich Village but blacks were not fully accepted in society either – the parents of that cute white Seven Sisters girl you were dating would go ballistic if they found out that you were a black man. In your literary work, you would be pushed into a minor league niche as a “Negro author” – you couldn’t play in the big leagues as a black.

    Embarking on this path was difficult (and very few blacks were light skinned enough to even try and even among those who could, cutting yourself off from your family was a really high price to pay) but once you made the commitment to do this there was pretty much no going back – you had to play the game out to the end, which in Broyard’s case was until after his death. Even later on when the stigma was lessened or gone, at the very least you would be revealed as a fraud.

    Same thing for Stoppard’s mother. While being Jewish in England would not get killed like your parents, neither was it an asset in ascending into the upper reaches of British society. A genteel sort of anti-Semitism still existed. (It must of been in the back of her mind that when she grew up in Czechoslovakia, being Jewish would not get you killed there either – the situation was not that different than in postwar England. But then it changed. Rationally, it was unlikely to change in the same way in England, but there is nothing like having your entire family murdered to instill a little irrational fear.) But mainly it was a practical thing. She was not deeply committed to the Jewish religion. Her family was dead. Her new husband was Christian – life would be easier for her and all future generations if this whole Jewish thing was put behind her, so she did.

    In our Current Year minoritarian world, it’s sort of hard to conceive of a different planet where being a minority was not the absolute best thing since sliced bread, but that’s what it was like once upon a time. Most people have a racial identity that is so unambiguous that they have no choice to begin with but for edge cases, people will swing toward the favored identity at the time. In our time, Elizabeth Warren ran AWAY from being white but in earlier times people like Stoppard’s mom and Broyard ran TOWARD it. Does this make them frauds? Yes it does, but the direction in which the fraud proceeds tells you more about the society than it does about them.

    • Agree: Abe
    • Thanks: ic1000
    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    , @Abe
  43. I love to read and the theatre is sometimes a nice evening, but I was force fed Shakespeare in high school and college. So, I don’t really have a desire to read classical lit. Anyhow Steve, isn’t it time to prime us for the Masters?

    • Replies: @Barnard
  44. @black sea

    Same with Eric Clapton. His mom was 16 when he was born (his dad was off fighting in Europe) and he grew up thinking she was his older sister and his grandparents were his parents.

  45. Anonymous[735] • Disclaimer says:

    “The Holocaust is probably the most well-documented event in history”

    Lmfao

    Did you even read your own host’s piece on the subject? The pretense ripped to shreds.

  46. Bill B. says:
    @MEH 0910

    I know nothing about comics.

    Do I take it that the top panel is different from the lower panel (which appears laughably bad)?

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  47. @black sea

    My father didn’t know the truth of his paternity until his mother told him on her deathbed. By that time, his biological father was already dead.

    Both of my paternal grandparents died in their 40s, even before my own parents met.

    I don’t have my father’s last name and he doesn’t have his. He barely knew his biological father and I barely know him. We’re both alienated from our paternal ancestors.

    And we’re both high-IQ screwups. He was a state chess champion in high school and ended up as a homeless derelict. (At least he managed to pass on his genes. If my grandmother hadn’t talked my mother out of having an abortion, he wouldn’t have been able to accomplish even that much.) I’ve been somewhat luckier, mainly because my maternal grandfather left behind quite a bit of money. But I’ve drifted around a lot.

    The demographic collapse in my family has been fairly remarkable. My mother has two siblings; I have none, and neither do either of my maternal first cousins. I have no kids. My cousin has two, but they’re half-black.

    (If I had to choose between being a genetic dead-end and mating with a black, I’d probably choose the former.)

    Amazingly, the black father is still in the picture – they’re still married after 12 years. They’ve known each other since high school. He’s a decent guy – not brilliant, but blessed with a strong work ethic. He has a good blue-collar job with a county agency. She’s a “stay-at-home mom” – she stays home and gets drunk while he works his ass off and the kids play Fortnite.

    Contrary to Whiskey’s fantasies, he doesn’t dominate her – she orders him around and treats him with open contempt, and he just takes it. She admits without apology that she doesn’t love him: “He’s just a roommate.” (She still pines after the rich Cuban guy whose baby she aborted.) They both admit that, without the kids, they would have split up a long time ago.

    The nice thing about my life is that I am surrounded by miserable, dysfunctional people. It makes my own difficulties easier to bear.

    • Replies: @obwandiyag
  48. Sweet piece from Steve.

    Fwiw, I loved “The Russia House.” “Enigma” is another Stoppard-written movie I liked a lot. And, so shoot me, while I found the hate for it understandable I found “Shakespeare in Love” pretty charming.

    As for Anatole Broyard … Didn’t know him myself but I did know people of his generation and from his writing/publishing circles, and they told me that no one was fooled — in other words, no one really believed he was 100% white. If it was important to Broyard to pretend he was white, why make a big deal of it? The assumption, btw, wasn’t that he was ashamed of being black but that he simply didn’t want to be pigeonholed as a “black writer” — always carrying on about being black, civil rights, politics, etc. He was by nature a ladies’ man, a litterateur and a bon vivant, and he wanted to write about what he wanted to write about without always having to write about black subjects. When his daughter came out with her own memoir I was surprised to learn that she’d believed her dad’s claim to be white, because everyone I knew who knew him knew perfectly well that he was part black. Or maybe she just said that for the sake of her book contract.

    • Replies: @Dan Hayes
    , @Jack D
    , @utu
  49. p38ace says:

    Charkie Watts is Jewish. Keith Richard is a quarter Jewish.

  50. @RichardTaylor

    I think Shakespeare is best in the original Mumbai pronunciation.

    • LOL: RichardTaylor
  51. From Wikipedia’s entry on Anatole Broyard:

    Broyard did not identify with or champion black political causes. Because of his artistic ambition, in some circumstances he never acknowledged that he was partially black. On the other hand, Margaret Harrell has written that she and other acquaintances were casually told that he was a writer and black before meeting him, and not in the sense of having to keep it secret. That he was partially black was well known in the Greenwich Village literary and art community from the early 1960s.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatole_Broyard

    Anatole’s daughter Bliss tells her story: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/15/bliss-broyard-father-black-roots-race-ethnicity-rachel-dolezal

    • Replies: @Jack D
  52. J.Ross says:
    @Twinkie

    I haven’t read the book so I don’t know if Roy Scheider’s speech is Stoppard or taken verbatim from le Carre, but it’s funny that le Carre’s career was spent arguing the thesis that “spies are card sharks” and the Scheider speech Stoppardishly makes the same point far more elegantly, entertainingly, and briefly.

    The Russia House benefits from two indulgences-that-work: the loving cameo of a devilbound Ken Russell and the forced-yet-it-works happy ending, which served to symbolize the fall of Communism.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  53. Bill B. says:

    My dim memories of seeing Stoppard plays in the 70s and 80s is that the jokes could have been funnier.

    Stoppard’s humor reminds me of a teacher whose jokes fall flat in the classroom because they are merely clever rather than actually funny.

    A non-cerebral example: an Englishman lists the qualities of Americans – generous, open, will invite one into their house at the drop of a hat, are enthusiastic, optimistic (etc., etc.). Then admits that they also have good qualities.

    Or something like that. Forget which play. A talented comedian might have pulled it off but the actor I saw could not.

  54. @Jack D

    And Stoppard’s mother never spoke to him about what had happened to her parents?

    It does seem odd that as an author and playwright he had never asked more questions about who his grandparents were and what happened to them.

    However your denial theory could be right. I remember Robert Maxwell as long ago as the early 1960s, and although it was known that he was originally a Czech Jew, he was more English than the English, spoke in a booming upper class English accent, lived in a stately home (that he rented on the cheap), and was a member of Parliament.

    This video has Maxwell speaking.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  55. Mr. Anon says:

    While many top writers born in the 1930s, such as Tom Wolfe and John Updike, were conservatives of one sort or another, Stoppard, who was born in Czechoslovakia in 1937, wrote as many works against Soviet tyranny as perhaps all the other big names combined.

    Has he had anything to say on the descent of Britain into tyranny over the last twenty years or so – accelerated just in the last year by the COVID lockdown madness?

  56. Dan Hayes says:
    @Paleo Retiree

    Some time before a work colleague had informed me of Broyard’s black Brooklyn relatives who were so proud of him!

    • Agree: Paleo Retiree
  57. @HammerJack

    One weird thing is that many people tend to look more Jewish as they age, even if they didn’t look particularly Jewish when young.

    Many, Jews included, mistook me for Jewish when I was younger. But that hasn’t happened this century.

  58. Dutch Boy says:
    @HammerJack

    Noses and ears either grow a bit as we age or look like they have grown. Nosiness is a Jewish stereotype, of course. My wife told me a story about her college psych class:
    Psych prof (Mexican-American): ranting about racism and anti-Semitism: “how many Jewish people get their noses fixed to avoid stereotyping?”
    Female student: “not enough”
    Prof: “that’s anti-Semitism!”
    Student: “I’m Jewish!”

    • LOL: Polistra
  59. Jack D says:
    @Paleo Retiree

    If you see photos of Broyard, especially in his younger years, it’s pretty clear that he was not a blond haired blue eyed Nordic. (His daughter on the other hand looks like a generic white person – once you get below maybe 1/8 or 1/16 black, all signs of blackness tend to disappear). Once he became successful he got “whiter” as is common. Bleached his hair or whatever. But (contrary to modern retconned myth where all the members of the Coalition of the Fringes were treated the same as blacks, which is to say horribly) “white” identity in America always included some darker skinned people – Arabs, Latins, Italians, etc. (many of which, if you had done a DNA test, have a touch of African blood). What made you “black” was being a slave descendant.

    I assume that when the subject came up (if it did at all) Broyard had some back story constructed about being from one of these darker skinned (and yet still on the right side of the color line) groups. It’s also not implausible that other (liberal NY) white people saw thru the ruse but didn’t care – they understood why he was doing it and regarded it as a relatively harmless affectation, especially in later years. Probably if Broyard had started his literary career even 10 years later he wouldn’t have bothered. Lots of upwardly mobile people in NY are phonies of one sort or another – working class kids who have gone to college and affect vocal mannerisms, styles of dress, etc. that are not their own.

    • Agree: Paleo Retiree
    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
  60. @black sea

    Bobby Darin grew up in exactly the same situation: older sister was actually mother, and “mom” was actually grandma. He didn’t find out until after he was already famous.

    Darin’s stepfather, his “sister’s” husband (and the only father figure Darin ever knew), was a taxi driver in NYC. For decades he would quiz his fares about their knowledge of Bobby Darin.

  61. prosa123 says:

    I’ve read that in past generations people with small amounts of black ancestry who weren’t quite light enough to pass for white, but who didn’t want to identify as black, sometimes would say they were partly of Native American ancestry. As such they weren’t subjected to any sort of one drop rule.

  62. res says:
    @HammerJack

    The article was actually informative and not paywalled. They made two specific points.

    As other commenters have noted, standardized tests were optional. Here is an article from last year talking about this at the Ivies. The interesting question is whether that policy will continue.

    https://www.crimsoneducation.org/us/blog/admissions-news/four-ivy-league-universities-drop-sact-act-requirement-for-the-class-of-2025-/

    But there was also a decrease in open seats because of COVID-related admissions deferrals.

    the number of open seats declined when a disproportionate number of students deferred admission due to the pandemic.

    “Ten percent of the class entering this fall were admitted a year ago, and decided to take a gap year,” said Christoph Guttentag, dean of undergraduate admissions at Duke University, where a 25% uptick in applications drove the acceptance rate to a record low 5.8% from 8.1% last year. “That left fewer places than usual.”

    A quick check of those Duke numbers:
    0.9 / 1.25 = 0.72
    0.72 * 8.1% = 5.832%
    Shows that is a good baseline for a case with 10% deferrals and 25% increase in applications.

    Let’s try to estimate the proportion of deferrals for the three Ivies. (MORE since this is OT)

    [MORE]

    Harvard

    Since they did not give previous year acceptance rate, we find 4.92% of 40,248 applicants accepted here
    https://features.thecrimson.com/2020/freshman-survey/makeup-narrative/

    4.92% / 1.43 = 3.44%

    Compared to 3.4% actual this indicates either almost no deferrals or a different way of accounting.
    3.4% /3.44% = 98.8% (and that might be rounding error)

    Yale

    6.6% / 1.33 = 4.96%
    4.6% / 4.96% = 92.7% so about 7% deferrals

    Columbia

    Increase in applications not given, so see here for 40,084 applicants with a 6.15% (not sure why different from 6.3% in article) acceptance rate. Notice that the class of 2024 admission rate was the highest in 5 years though (5.14% for class of 2023 was lowest). Perhaps they and others increased class of 2024 admissions rates because they expected deferrals?
    https://www.toptieradmissions.com/resources/college-admissions-statistics/columbia-university-acceptance-rates/

    60,551 / 40,084 = 1.51 so 51% increase in number of applicants
    6.15% / 1.51 = 4.07% (using lower class of 2024 admissions rate to be conservative)
    3.7% / 4.07% = 90.9% so about 9% deferrals

    Not sure how much I trust those numbers, but the trend of decreasing deferrals with increasing prestige seems plausible.

  63. prosa123 says:

    “white” identity in America always included some darker skinned people – Arabs, Latins, Italians, etc. (many of which, if you had done a DNA test, have a touch of African blood).

    All scientific research has shown that African DNA among the Italian population is at most 1%. Slightly higher in Sicily and a few other areas but nonexistent in many places. If I’m not mistaken that’s less than among white-identifying people in South Carolina and possibly a couple other southern states. While generations ago there was some discrimination against Italian immigrants in the US it was cultural and sometimes religious rather than racial.

    Excluding recent immigrants the only European country with a non-trivial percentage of African DNA is Portugal, IIRC around 4% to 5%, and at least in the US the common perception is that Portuguese people are maybe somewhat less fully white than other people of European ancestry (in Hawaii they’re considered nonwhite).

    Finally, Arabs have never been considered white in the US, with a possibly semi-exception for Lebanese and Syrian Christians, who not only are Christian but tend to be somewhat lighter than the Muslims from those countries.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    , @Jack D
    , @anonymous
  64. res says:
    @MEH 0910

    Thanks for the more. Saved me a bunch of searching. So that was in 2016… I had no idea how over the top Black Panther was then. I thought the idea of treating T’Challa like some kind of superman than having him switch from a serious conversation to TV pop culture was…interesting ; )

    • Replies: @R.G. Camara
  65. לא בנושא: Stereotype threat?

    Pfizer halts corona vaccine shipments to Israel after country fails to pay

    It’s a “government-in-transition” issue, according to J-Post. But isn’t that an inherent problem with democracy? E.g., our broken Indian treaties. One electorate approves them, and is replaced by another which doesn’t.

  66. It’s almost Mothers Day. The blogger is overcome with sentimentality.

    (Still, a nice piece.)

  67. @prosa123

    …the common perception is that Portuguese people are maybe somewhat less fully white than other people of European ancestry (in Hawaii they’re considered nonwhite).

    Seen as a feature rather than a bug? A belated reward for bringing them the ukulele?

    A Short History of the Ukulele: From Nunes to Kanile’a

    Manuel Nunes Soprano Ukulele circa 1915 flamed golden koa

  68. Muggles says:
    @Reg Cæsar

    But isn’t that an inherent problem with democracy? E.g., our broken Indian treaties. One electorate approves them, and is replaced by another which doesn’t.

    This is an inherent problem with government, period. Though in autocratic or oligarchic set ups the “democracy” consists of the ruling Politburo or Executive Committee or whatever.

    The upshot is that you can’t trust any government promises to do or not do something beyond a short time horizon. Normally radical change is slow but not always (as we are in now).

    With private contracts you have legal recourse. With government “contracts” you only have various legal statutes or at the top, constitutional documents which are hard to change usually. But then they can be ignored or simply decreed invalid.

    What freedoms remain for us here, now, rests on the thin thread of making extreme changes very difficult. For everyone. Biden is going all out to override what he can, but this is strategically foolish. He doesn’t have the “troops” to push it through. The Dems are running a bluff and hope to scare the weak GOP leadership into hidey-holes over false narratives of racism, etc.

    FDR failed at court packing in 1936 despite his popularity and Dem majorities.

    The Pelosi-Schumer effort to surround the physical Capitol building with federal troops is a worrisome trend. If Trump had done that, there would be endless screams of “military coup.” Here, now, the toothless GOP barely squeaks.

    The only real thing to prevent full politico-military rule (the common form of authoritarianism) is the Second Amendment. Sad but true. The Woke commies know this so that is why they are constantly on the offensive here. Ditto the Supreme Court.

  69. Jack D says:
    @prosa123

    Most Italian immigrants in US were from Sicily or bottom part of the boot. If most northern Italians are 0% black (and they are – some have blond hair and blue eyes) then southern Italians are at least 2% black on average and some are even more. Putting aside whether this is significant (it isn’t) methinks you doth protest too much when you say attempt to minimize the presence of African blood in Italy when Africa is virtually within sight of the shore and there has been intercourse (of all kinds) with (northern) Africa since ancient times. Of course this is not the same thing as sub-Saharan ancestry.

  70. Clyde says:
    @Dumbo

    Tom Stoppard is good, I like his “Arcadia” play, although he really should have not written the trite “Shakespeare in Love”…

    He wrote for a great payday. I would too. This fluff gets 92-80 at Rotten Tomatoes and is lots more wholesome than these retarded zombie and vampire films and TV series that proliferate. Or how about the current American Horror Story series? More society degrading degeneracy. No wonder the Chinx and Putin are laughing at us and Joe Dementia Biden with our open borders and Tranny pimping military leaders. Yeah it is all linked!

    American Horror Story (sometimes abbreviated as AHS) is an American anthology horror television series created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk

  71. utu says:
    @Paleo Retiree

    “Enigma” is another Stoppard-written movie I liked a lot. – The problem with Stoppard’s Enigma is that it contain a blatant and perfidious lie by creating a fictitious character of Polish code breaker who is a wannabe traitor because he hates Stalin and thus wants to pass the secrets about breaking Enigma to Germans. This is a double lie because it covers up the fact that initial Enigma deciphering was done by Polish code breakers and was passed to French and Brits in 1939.

    The historian Norman Davies argues that in the film the fictitious traitor turns out to be Polish, but only slight mention is made of the contributions of prewar Polish Cipher Bureau cryptologists to Allied Enigma decryption efforts, but historically, the only known traitor active at Bletchley Park was British spy John Cairncross, who passed crucial secrets to the Soviet Union. – Wiki

    The British bombe was developed from a device known as the “bomba” (Polish: bomba kryptologiczna), which had been designed in Poland at the Biuro Szyfrów (Cipher Bureau) by cryptologist Marian Rejewski, who had been breaking German Enigma messages for the previous seven years, using it and earlier machines. The initial design of the British bombe was produced in 1939 at the UK. -Wiki

    • Replies: @Jack D
  72. @Reg Cæsar

    The Ferengi Rules of Aquisition

    1. Once you have their money, you never give it back. (“The Nagus”)

    3. Never spend more for an acquisition than you have to. (“The Maquis, Part II”)

    6. Never allow family to stand in the way of opportunity. (“The Nagus”)

    7. Keep your ears open. (“In the Hands of the Prophets”)

    9. Opportunity plus instinct equals profit. (“The Storyteller”)

    10. Greed is eternal. (?)

    16. A deal is a deal. (“Melora”)

    http://marvin.cs.uidaho.edu/About/ferengi.html

    No wonder Phizer is pissed.

  73. @Anon

    Sounds about right. It would also be interesting to see the ethnicity charts of the recipients of acceptance letters.

  74. @Dumbo

    I won’t generalize on this, but I’m a guy and I certainly never had any interest in my relatives or my genealogy. Perhaps I felt that trying to lead my own life was hard enough.

    • Agree: Harry Baldwin
  75. Altai says:

    OT:

    https://twitter.com/i/events/1379812006836891648

    The guy from Bridgerton who was himself cast and granted vast money and social status simply because he was black despite it not making any contextual sense for the time period is now complaining that he was denied a role on a terrible TV show because an exec thought a show about Superman’s grandfather might make more sense if Superman’s grandfather looked like… Superman.

    The madness to complain about not being cast for being black after being cast in the most heavily promoted TV series of the pandemic because he was black is amazing.

    The LA Times are breathless about their ‘damning report’ on the matter.

    https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2021-04-06/rege-jean-page-bridgerton-dc-krypton-ray-fisher

    This is all the more amusing since Regé-Jean Page is also tipped to be in the front running to be the new Black Panther to replace Chadwick Boseman. Another role in which being black is a bit of a pre-requisite.

    Finnish and Danish TV execs should seize the moment and start making (In Denmark’s case, more) TV shows for export for Western white middle classes to enjoy but still feel cultured about since it’s still foreign and exotic. More or less every other first world country will have it’s entire TV production with massive black quotas.

  76. Abe says:

    On a golden Sunday evening of late, as the PBS programming on telly changed from locally-produced post-dinner content to the typical Sunday evening gavage of “classy” BBC midwit service, a show more interesting than the 20th iteration (post-COVID) of PRIDE & PREJUDICE or that detective series about the red telephone booth repairman who solves murders on weekends started to play so we kept the TV running and gave it a shot.

    The show we saw was a one-off called something like THE CHILDREN OF WINDERMERE about 300 Holocaust-survivor orphans sent to a converted seaplane factory near Lake Windermere in Scotland for rehabilitation. Naturally for there to be any dramatic tension the kids’ journey is not a rose-strewn stroll to total personal fulfillment & regeneration- the townies’ attitudes range from mildly curious to peeved, with a teenage boys gang acting as the primary miscreants- they even do mock Nazi salutes in front of the orphans to get a rise out of them.

    But that is about as bad as it gets. The orphans and the local boys eventually establish a rough modus vivendi, playing a soccer match against each other towards the show’s end. The Holocaust orphans are not complete angels either- one of them rather barely steals the Corgi of a local woman. These kids suffered immensely- pretty much all of them lost their entire families, a couple of them even recount seeing instances of cannibalism among fellow concentration camp inmates. And yet the overriding, unmistakable theme of the show was resilience, integrity, and gratitude. The children have only 6 months to rehabilitate themselves at the camp; after that the money (scraped together from whatever charity still remained in an exhausted, nearly-itself-starved postwar-Britain) would run out and they’d need to start their normal lives with all the bumps, bruises, and occasional unpleasantries that always entails. The British people had suffered too during the war, and whatever special pity people felt for these kids now was soon going to run out.

    The coda at the end showed the real-life individuals (all Stoppard’s age now or older) upon which many of the shows’ characters were based. None of them went on to particularly distinguished lives- one became a member of Britain’s Olympic weightlifting team and another was knighted, but for the most part they all became moderately successful tradesmen and small business owners. Yet all are beaming with contentment and, most significantly, GRATITUDE to the British nation that took them in and given them a new chance on life. No stewing into middle-aged man-boyhood of how the townie boys’ Nazi salute still feels like a “punch to the gut”. No resentment at some anonymous Scottish woman’s request to touch your hair.

    A couple months ago I finally caught the Merchant-Ivory production of HOWARD’S END, which initially left me with the same feeling of confusion Steve describes feeling at the start of a Stoppard play. Yet I hung in there and it was completely worth it. God, for a time when movies were made by adults for adults! Is it really a surprise then that today’s 30-something Hogwarts re-enactors and Marvel Universe layabouts act the way they do, with no sense of proportion, no inner strength, simply looking for excuses to feel aggrieved at something, looking for excuses for their own mediocrity?

    • Replies: @Graham
  77. Haven’t read a line from Stoppard.

    Last playwrights I’ve had an interest in were the early 20th C ones- Ibsen,Strindberg, Chekhov. All the rest I tried (O’Neill, Hauptmann, Brecht, Miller, Williams, Pirandello, Fo, …)- resulting in boredom of insignificance.

    Stoppard is just a figure I’ve heard about ….somewhere, sometimes….

  78. OT:

    Just now I was reading the story of an intelligent, athletic, blonde, never-married, childless 40-year-old woman who decided to adopt a baby from a meth addict. This woman has made all of the “correct” decisions in life, and yet she’s the one whose genes will die with her. Meanwhile, the meth addict has multiple kids.

    In a sane society, a woman like this would have nailed down a good husband in her early twenties and raised her own brood. But we don’t live in a sane society.

    https://www.washingtonian.com/2020/12/04/carrie-brady-adopt-baby-addicted-opioids/

    [MORE]

    I made the decision to adopt more than three years ago while running product strategy for Google Cloud in London.

    There must have been lot of storks flying through those clouds.

    I had turned 40 and hadn’t yet found anyone I wanted to spend my life with.

    It’s always the same old story: “No man is good enough for me! I’m never going to settle! I don’t care how long it takes!”

    And then one day you wake up and discover that all your eggs are dead.

    Everything else had fallen into place. I made sure of that.

    I don’t doubt it.

    The middle child in a flag-flying Catholic family in Cleveland, I had earned a soccer scholarship to the University of Michigan, where I was a starting player as a freshman, and completed a five-year engineering program in four years. After college, I took up long-distance racing, racked up marathon and duathlon championship titles, and in 2005 was among the top ten finishers in my age group in Hawaii’s famed Ironman triathlon.

    So you’ve racked up a long list of impressive accomplishments, but you still feel empty because you haven’t fulfilled your biological mandate. Score another win for feminism.

    I’d always had boyfriends.

    “I wouldn’t want you to think that I’m single because men just don’t want me.”

    My college sweetheart was quarterback of the Michigan football team—the “wrong quarterback,” friends joked, because the other Michigan QB was Tom Brady (no relation but a college classmate and friend).

    “Take that, bitches! I dated the quarterback!”

    But my romantic relationships never went the distance.

    Hmm. I wonder why. Could it have something to do with unrealistic expectations? Impossibly high standards? An abrasive personality?

    Nah, you’re never to blame for anything.

    I knew adopting a baby on my own would throw my tidy life into disarray, and friends and family reminded me of that daily. “Why do you want to uproot your life like this?” my mother asked repeatedly. And even: “How will you feel if your child isn’t good at sports?”

    “Gee, Mom, thanks for the support!”

    Adoption is a control freak’s worst nightmare.

    Yes, I would imagine so.

    By now, you must be getting the picture. It’s sad that this woman ended up this way.

  79. TWS says:
    @MEH 0910

    I guess he doesn’t fu*&ing love science.

  80. Jack D says:
    @utu

    is that it contain a blatant and perfidious lie

    Enigma is a fictional movie (based on a novel) that is (very) loosely based on the work of the real codebreakers at Bletchley Park. Turing is also absent and replaced by the fictional (and very heterosexual) “Tom Jericho”. In fact, ALL of the characters are fictional. Although the urgent need to decode German submarine communications is used to provide background interest and build dramatic tension, the movie is a fictional thriller with a love triangle at its center. Another name for fiction is “blatant and perfidious lies.”

    If Stoppard was writing a documentary about Bletchley Park then he could have been faulted for omitting the Polish contribution but he wasn’t – inventing lies is exactly what fiction authors do.

    • Replies: @utu
    , @Dube
  81. TWS says:

    I thought an entire branch of my family was Norwegian until my son got a DNA test and they were Finnish and Saami. I had even heard them speaking ‘Norwegian’ as a boy and I was puzzled because it sounded nothing like the actual Norwegian my other great grandmother spoke.

    My son asked me how I didn’t know. I just didn’t see any clues. He reminded me that my uncle’s nickname was ‘Saami’. So I guess if your assumptions are baked in young enough you might not question them at all.

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
  82. @black sea

    Weird?

    This is psychopathological.

  83. Barnard says:
    @Buffalo Joe

    Speaking of golf, Tiger Woods was driving between 84 and 87 mph when he crashed in California in February. It is hard to understand how this fits with the L.A. county sheriff’s insistence he received no special treatment and should not have been cited. Isn’t going this much in excess of the speed limit an automatic reckless driving charge in California? Given his driving history can we assume Woods is a terrible driver. How stupid of him to continue to insist on driving himself.

    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2021-04-07/la-county-sherriff-says-speeding-caused-tiger-woods-crash

  84. Prosa123 says:
    @Jack D

    Untrue. I am quite familiar with the physical appearance of Italian people, both in the US and in Italy, and whatever African DNA some of them may have is so trivial to have zero effect on the way they look. Other than that the percentage of light hair and eyes is somewhat less in most of Italy than in more northerly parts of Europe there’s no meaningful difference.

    That being said, there is a distinctive facial appearance that some Italian people have, something I can recognize but can’t describe in words. An example can be seen, of all places, in portraits of Dante. I had a couple older relatives of Italian origin who had that look. What’s relevant here is that the look is not racial or derived from any (alleged) African DNA.

    • Replies: @Abe
    , @James J O'Meara
  85. @Reg Cæsar

    The Jerusalem Post story had this curious line: “It is understood that Israel paid much more per dose than any other country.”

    Surprising, in light of the Eleventh Commandment: “Thou shalt not pay retail.”

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
  86. Abe says:
    @Prosa123

    Untrue. I am quite familiar with the physical appearance of Italian people, both in the US and in Italy, and whatever African DNA some of them may have is so trivial to have zero effect on the way they look.

    Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino (from the once famous MTV reality show JERSEY SHORE) looks like Derek Jeter’s brother.

  87. utu says:
    @Jack D

    Again you demonstrate that you have an exceptional talent to be disingenuous. Being correct on formal level and missing the essence is a sign of willful obtuseness. And when it comes from hype-chauvinistic Jew who engages in constant Jew-splaining and whitewashing is stereotypical.

    • Agree: Pheasant, 3g4me
  88. Graham says:
    @Abe

    “Lake Windermere in Scotland” – a minor correction is needed here: Lake Windermere is in England.

    • Thanks: Abe
  89. @Jack D

    Two ultra white (presumably, northern) Italian athletes today.

    Jannik Sinner:

    Marvin Vettori:

    • Replies: @Peter Akuleyev
  90. Abe says:
    @Jack D

    What this is really like is the phenomenon formerly known as “passing” which certain very light skinned blacks in America would do – for example the Louisiana Creole of Color and prominent writer/literary critic Anatole Broyard. “Passing” meant telling no one, not even your children, your family secret. It also meant cutting yourself off from your parents, siblings and other relatives.

    The first time I heard about “passing” was when I read the Philip Roth novel, HUMAN STAIN. My total unfamiliarity with the concept, the fact that Roth was somewhat “touristing”-it when he concocted the story (a white man writing about the black experience, and yet the novel was generally praised and no one felt like their gut had been punched!), and the improbable casting of Anthony Hopkins in the movie role made me think for a long time the whole thing (at least to the point of some blacks being able to pass while their own siblings could not) was a literary concoction…

    However, my “nieces”- children of a ~30-40% black baby dadd- could all easily pass, and none of them are less than 1/8 black. Sometimes in such mixes, though (as with Meghan Markle, whose mom is quite dark and I would say is therefore probably at least 40% black) have what I can only describe as telltale funny-looking heads, with this sort of shiny, almost plastic-looking skin and odd/non-congruent sharp edges all over, such as around their orbitals, foreheads, cheeks, etc.

  91. Abe says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    I knew Hermione Lee when she was a very young woman. I remember being very impressed the first time I saw her as she was wearing knee length high-heeled vinyl boots with black velvet pants, a big-buckled belt, long dark hair parted in the middle, gold rimmed glasses, and acne.

    A couple days ago all-praise was given to some random NYT story commentor who in his clapback at the Grey Lady wrote something like- “You are the lead character in your own story, but lucky to be a supporting character in someone else’s”.

    While witty, personally I felt the line was a bit too Oprah Book Club-ish, and seemed like something hoarded over the years in a Great American Novel stab that, after 10 years of on-and-off work, was still only a little over 2 single-spaced pages in totality (“And after 20 years of excruciating, unfulfilled labor on his novel he took its best part and one day made an offering of it to the Op-Ed pages. And he died soon after, content.”- and that is what I will use in MY novel).

    Your passage above, sir, made me LOL today, and I will wager is better than any two sentences appearing in any published English language novel this year.

  92. @Reg Cæsar

    לא בנושא: Stereotype threat?

    Your dropping in these Hebrew phrases is possibly why people thought you’re Jewish as you mentioned in comment 27.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  93. Not Raul says:

    It’s surprising to me that you never asked about Uncle Chuck and Aunt Betty. Were you not curious, or did you feel that it might be impolite to ask?

    Did you know growing up that you had been adopted?

  94. @Jack D

    I assume that when the subject came up (if it did at all) Broyard had some back story constructed about being from one of these darker skinned (and yet still on the right side of the color line) groups

    “One of my grandparents was Italian/Greek/Spanish/Native American” was a common cover story. Native American being a particularly liked one, since it gave the allure of being exotic, savage, and yet pacified. There was a “tribe” in the Southern U.S. that turned out to be more light skinned black than Indian.

    • Replies: @Jack D
    , @James J O'Meara
  95. Not Raul says:
    @Jack D

    The “African blood” in Sicilians is North African (Caucasian), not West African (Black).

  96. @res

    With Black Panther, Marvel gave blacks a character freed from all the stereotypes and tropes of black American characters in comics.

    Then Tennessee Coates took it over for a few minutes and turned him back into a stereotype.

  97. Ian M. says:

    One reason that Stoppard didn’t wonder much about how Jewish he might be is that while he is an unusual-looking man, he’s not particularly Jewish-looking.

    I don’t know, I think he has Jewish lips. Also, in his old age, I think he looks a bit like George Soros, though maybe that’s only because they are both so wrinkled.

  98. @Abe

    The Spanish and Portuguese colonials studied and developed a complex racial taxonomy system for intermarriages among blacks and whites.

    One fascinating bit was the “black returned back” phenomenon—basically, the Spanish/Portuguese noticed a recurring phenomenon that if a family had but 1 black ancestor but the rest white, the family would gradually lighten up in each generation —-until something would happen about the great-grandchildren stage where suddenly one or more children would be born who all looked far more Negro/dark than their parents.

    The Spanish/Portuguese noticed this occurred frequently in such situations, so they surmised a crude early version of recessive gene theory.

  99. Ian M. says:
    @HammerJack

    Agree. Is this true only of Jews though or is it also true of other ethnicities? Maybe phenotype differences become more salient as the individual ages.

    I always think it’s interesting when you find cases where the reverse is true. Can’t think of a lot of examples off the top of my head, but one is the subjects of Three Identical Strangers, who I thought looked more Jewish as young adults than they did as middle-aged adults. Another example, pointed out by Sailer in the past, is Harrison Ford.

    Actually, Soros might be another example: https://static01.nyt.com/images/2018/07/22/magazine/22soros-slide-YLX4/22soros-slide-YLX4-superJumbo.png?quality=90&auto=webp

  100. @Gary in Gramercy

    The Jerusalem Post story had this curious line: “It is understood that Israel paid much more per dose than any other country.”

    Surprising, in light of the Eleventh Commandment: “Thou shalt not pay retail.”

    That may have run head on into the rule of thumb about anything you buy: “Good, cheap or fast – pick any two”. The EU went for good and cheap, and they will get what they paid for, eventually.

  101. Jack D says:
    @Abe

    I think it’s one of those things that you can completely miss when you don’t know about it, but once you know you can’t unsee it.

    Photos can be very deceptive, first of all because color reproduction is notoriously inaccurate – you can be many shades lighter or darker than you appear to be in a photo. Second because Octoroons have the Picasso like quality that you mention – they can appear negroid from one angle and caucasian from another and photos only capture a single angle whereas in real life you see all of them.

    In Broyard’s case (as in the case of many successful blacks – Steve has mentioned this before) the older he got the whiter looking he got. I cannot say exactly how successful blacks achieve this but they do. So in his younger photos you think, “How could anyone have been fooled” and in the older ones you can easily believe it. And his kids from his 2nd marriage, who were apparently fooled until they were told by their Nordic mother as Broyard was lying on his deathbed, knew him as an older man.

    BTW, if you are a light skinned black man or woman and want completely white looking kids, you should choose the absolutely palest blond or redhead you can find as a mate as Broyard did. Your kid’s skin color is sort of an average of his parents (with some scatter in either direction) so your best bet is to pick a super pale mate and you kids will end up being darker than their pale parent but 100% passable as a European. Bliss Broyard looks like George Washington dressed as a female impersonator. BTW, she has upgraded herself to “mixed race” and has done exactly what her father refused to do – make a career out of it. (Broyard BTW absolutely detested it when blacks did stereotypically black disfunctional things – if he was on the scene with George Floyd he would have helped Chauvin lean on him.)

    https://twitter.com/blissbroyard/photo

    As I have also mentioned before, in one of God’s little jokes, the daughters of very manly men (and Broyard was such a man – he shtupped half of the non-lesbian female population of Manhattan) often end up looking like their daddies instead of their sexy feminine mammas, which is not a good look for a female.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
  102. @MEH 0910

    Even for comics that dialog is execrable. Tee-Hee is a plump arsonist, though the characters and mythologies he desecrates will still be alive and awaiting reinterpretation whilst he feeds the worms and gives them cholesterol. In a sane world Tee-Hee would be a traveling circus act, showing off his moobs to the rubes.

  103. I’m sure that Jack D is right about Stoppard’s mother’s motivation for keeping her Jewishness out of the family picture.

    One of the most fascinating mornings of my life was spent with a Jewish family in Hampstead: they lived in the 18th century house which my mother’s parents had rented in the late 1920’s, their last sojourn in the old country before returning to the USA.
    The husband, a lawyer and later a distinguished judge, enthusiastically opened the door to the complete stranger I was when I diffidently told him, having knocked even more diffidently on the front door at 8 am, this fact with the request merely to be allowed to photograph the exterior of the house.
    He gave me coffee, found the papers of ownership, and listened along with his wife and daughter (who drifted in separately, still in their dressing gowns), as I talked of the original furnishings and the twelve live-in servants of that long gone era. We laughed and shook our heads together when he found my grandfather’s contract for three years, with the today unbelievably low annual rental of £125. The stark reality, not only of inflation but also of fiscal sanity (my grandfather was making well over £10,000 a year back then – who today spends so tiny a proportion of his income on housing, in this case so opulent that this property sold recently for £12 million?).
    We parted warm friends.
    But the point here is that as obviously Jewish as they were, they shied away when I mentioned the Jewish friends of my grandfather, all of them names known to most everyone here, but strictly “unknown” to them, in the blandest of ways.
    I was careful not to press the point.

    • Thanks: Pheasant
  104. wren says:
    @Anon

    I was all ready for Steve to say:

    It turned out that they were my mom’s late husband’s extended (Jewish) family, whom my mother had lived with when he had enlisted in the Marines. Yet, up through age 21 I not only hadn’t figured that out (that he was my dad), but it hadn’t occurred to me to even ask what exactly was our relationship to our quasi-relatives.

    😉

  105. prosa123 says:

    Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino (from the once famous MTV reality show JERSEY SHORE) looks like Derek Jeter’s brother.

    Derek Jeter is remarkably light and altogether white-appearing for a mixed race person, especially as his father Sanderson is quite dark. Derek’s sister Sharlee is only somewhat darker than her sibling but is unquestionably of mixed race.

  106. @kaganovitch

    Your dropping in these Hebrew phrases is possibly why people thought you’re Jewish as you mentioned in comment 27.

    ?האם הערות אלו גורמות לי להיראות יהודית? האם הג’ינס הזה גורם לאשתך להראות שמנה

    Actually, “לא בנושא” just means “OT”. Nobody’s taken me for Persian, Estonian, Maltese, or Armenian. Let alone Korean, Thai, or ancient Roman.

    Google Translate needs to get cracking on Faroese, Cornish, and Cherokee. I’m surprised they don’t have Klingon or Hobbit, though.

  107. OFF TOPIC

    House by house, block by block, Minnesotans are digging into the history of their homes and reckoning with what the legacy of discrimination that they find via racial covenants. https://t.co/97eFRw13Hv— Star Tribune (@StarTribune) April 7, 2021

    • Replies: @HammerJack
  108. black sea says:
    @Abe

    However, my “nieces”- children of a ~30-40% black baby dadd- could all easily pass, and none of them are less than 1/8 black.

    In an odd twist of fate, Muhammad Ali’s grandson, Biaggio Ali Walsh, looks decidedly Italian, but not particularly Black.

    https://www.si.com/college/2017/01/31/biaggio-ali-walsh-cal-recruiting-class

  109. MEH 0910 says:
    @MEH 0910


    [MORE]

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
  110. @Pat Hannagan

    The Holocaust is probably the most well-documented event in human history

    Actually it is not well documented at all, surprisingly so.

    • Agree: Not Raul
  111. @Barnard

    It is well known that the Los Angeles sheriff’s department is starstruck and invariably cuts celebrities a break, probably because they have access to high powered lawyers who can make their life hell.

    Cops also have part-time jobs providing security for celebrities.

    Bruce Jenner got away with a road accident that killed a person.

    It is surprising that OJ Simpson was put on trial at all. Probably somebody noticed the cut on his hand when he was signing an autograph.

    • Agree: Not Raul
  112. @Jack D

    BTW, if you are a light skinned black man or woman and want completely white looking kids, you should choose the absolutely palest blond or redhead you can find as a mate…

    As Meghan Markle did.

    • Replies: @Alden
    , @epebble
  113. Dube says:
    @Jack D

    – inventing lies is exactly what fiction authors do.

    Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.

    You mean to say that never happened? And we are telling this to children?

    • Replies: @sayless
  114. MEH 0910 says:
    @Bill B.

    The top panels are from a different work than the bottom panels.

    The panels above the [MORE] were written by Ta-Nehisi Coates:

    https://www.marvel.com/comics/issue/89543/captain_america_2018_28


    [MORE]

    The panels below the [MORE] were written by Mark Millar:

    https://www.marvel.com/comics/issue/4468/civil_war_2006_3

  115. MEH 0910 says:
    @MEH 0910

    The blurb on the Esquire tweet is misleading, the Jordan Peterson/Red Skull material is from the latest issue of the comic.

    Coates is currently wrapping up a 2½-year run on Captain America, and in Captain America No. 28, which was released on March 31, the Red Skull has a YouTube channel that looked very familiar to Peterson, except for the red skull part:

  116. @Father O'Hara

    Are there many Jews from Czechoslovakia named Tom?

    Tomas was a very common name among Czech Jews. My mom had two cousins named Tomas from Czechoslovakia.

  117. wren says:
    @Anon7

    George RR Martin, the author of the Game of Thrones novels, thought he was partly Italian, due to an Italian grandfather. DNA testing revealed that he was instead about a quarter Ashkenazi jewish, which didn’t surprise me based on watching him for five minutes in an interview.

    I know very little about that guy, but after seeing him on TV once, he occupies the same space in my mind as Weinstein and Epstein and (alas) Woody Allen etc…

    I could be wrong, of course…

    • Replies: @Peter D. Bredon
  118. northeast says:
    @Rob

    The Ivy League gets the cream of the crop of black students from around the world. Very few Ivy League black students are unqualified; if any.

    The lowest SAT scores on any Ivy campus belong to their athletes.

    • Replies: @Polistra
    , @Pericles
  119. @Rob

    “A black gorilla war against Hum[anities] 110 carried out by black students”?

    That’s a very good pun (on “guerrilla”), if it wasn’t simply a Freudian slip-cum-typo.

    (By the way, to my knowledge Reed has always had more in common with an East Coast liberal arts college like Swarthmore than an Ivy like Dartmouth: very selective, with a high degree of emphasis on intellectual ability and curiosity; small classes, where students can’t hide if they don’t understand — or haven’t done — the assigned reading for the day; no grade inflation, making it unusual in this day and age where students expect a B+ if they can fog up a mirror, and an A for the slightest effort at all.)

  120. Alden says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome

    Turns out the little girls are Ecuadorians. Parents live in NYC. Border Patrol turned the girls over to Health and Human Services for reunification with parents. I’m sure some Christian refugee resettlement charity will glom on to the girls for more taxpayer money. At least they’re not Muslim boys.

    Girls are worth about $500 a month apiece in EBT cash and food as well as subsidized housing now the parents have 2 little waifs entitled to housing.

    America, old age pension system for Asia child health education and welfare for Mexico and S America.

  121. Rapparee says:

    I think it’s not implausible for boys, even a hyperintelligent one such as Stoppard, to not be alert to family history.

    I was very interested in genealogy even when fairly young (my father is the de facto family historian), spent many hours discussing the past with all of my grandparents and many great-aunts and uncles, and despite all of this, I never knew until several years after her death, in my mid-twenties, that my paternal grandmother had been originally baptized Methodist, and converted to Catholicism only in her late teens. We whippersnappers automatically assumed that she was a cradle Catholic just like the rest of us. It never once crossed our minds, before we stumbled on the documentation, that our wild clan of pugnacious spud-munching bog-trotters were actually Mayflower descendants.

    So yes, I can well believe Sir Stoppard was once as ignorant as he claims.

  122. Alden says:
    @Vaccine Passport Counterfeiter

    Paul Newman was about 80 when he made Road to Perdition. Much better better looking than I’ve ever seen him. And far less wrinkled baggy eyed and jowly than the average 80 year old man.Actors have both the reason and lots of money for plastic surgery. That’s why he looked so good as he aged.

    Plastic surgeons don’t just sew new seams the way tailors make oversized clothes tighter and fitter. They make the client look a lot better. I believe Jane Fonda has had at least 100K worth of work on her face. Ever seen Oprah when she was a teen? Very short bulldog face square bulldog jaw. Her end of her chin is very close to her lips. Now she has a longer more feminine face with a long pointed chin. The chin is probably a titanium implant Cheekbones too

    Oprah’s new face is more or less the standard proportions of a perfect female face. Longer than it is wide, wide visible cheek bones and pointed chin.

    Of course Oprah was so ugly originally even all that plastic surgery didn’t make her ever average attractive, or even less ugly than as a teen. She’s just ugly pointed chin face instead of ugly bulldog face.

    Enough money for really really good plastic surgery makes the average pretty and the pretty drop dead gorgeous. Except Oprah.

    • Replies: @Stan Adams
    , @Buffalo Joe
  123. Polistra says:
    @Gary in Gramercy

    Reed was always vastly easier to get into and to graduate from than Dartmouth or Swarthmore. Notwithstanding that, I wonder how and why they get away with such a low POC quotient. Geography is no longer a defense! Nothing is a defense!

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  124. Alden says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    Look at Markles parents. Caramel colored mother with fine features found a very pale N European husband. If she hadn’t made such a point of being black, I would have thought her just a White brunette. After she became famous, I watched her show Suits. She looked completely White in that show although her dad was black black and mom brunette White. Either Markle or her .dad were mis cast.

    Mixed race actress Jennifer Beale looks more mixed race than Markle.

    They’ll make a fortune in America for being famous. Harry can be the spokes critter for the next liberal crisis and cause. Not save the trees, cut down the trees because they symbolize lynching.

    • Replies: @anon
  125. @Polistra

    Reed was traditionally a tough school academically.

    • Replies: @Polistra
  126. Anonymous[141] • Disclaimer says:

    My father helped trans-ship the a-bomb at Tinian. His brother got a Navy Cross in Viet Nam. I was well aware of these things. But my sisters to this day don’t know/care. So I would say girls are much less interested in their relative’s military careers than boys are.

    All that said, despite hearing many great family and Navy stories from my Dad, I did not know that my grandfather (died before I was born) had attended the Naval Academy for two years in the 20s. My old man told me when he dropped me off for I-day. During plebe summer, I tracked down pictures of the old wrestling teams in Lejeune Hall during plebe summer. He was in one of the pics from the 20s, captioned and recognizable as family. I had never seen a picture of him before.

  127. Twinkie says:
    @J.Ross

    The Russia House benefits from two indulgences-that-work

    Michelle Pfeiffer and Klaus Maria Brandauer.

  128. One reason that Stoppard didn’t wonder much about how Jewish he might be is that while he is an unusual-looking man, he’s not particularly Jewish-looking.

    He looks Jewish to me.

    • Agree: kaganovitch
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  129. @Stan Adams

    Nice black guy. Mean white.

    That’s impossible.

    • LOL: Abe
  130. @Altai

    I’ve noticed an odd thing with the google browser on my Android phone.

    When I open a blank tab, I get a series of pushed news stories Google has sent me. There’s a menu option for giving feedback on those stories, i.e. if one doesn’t interest you, you can tell Google you don’t want more stories on that article’s subject/theme. I’ve used this a couple of times to (successfully) stop the flow of stories on particular subjects.

    In the past couple of weeks I suddenly started getting 1-3 stories on each new tab on the same theme: the transporting dreaminess and wonderfulness of Regé-Jean Page.

    I used the ‘I’m not interested’ option to reject them. They kept coming. No matter how many times I reject stories about le Grand Duke Count Lord Bridgerton, there are new ones every time. Just now I opened a new tab, and, sure enough, there’s a story about how Regé-Jean Page would be just perfect as the new Bond.

    I don’t pay much attention to these article recommendations; I look at them occasionally because they include some recipes and product reviews I’ve found helpful. I could ignore them altogether, of course. But every time I do look I’m reminded that Google is decidedly not interested in allowing me to control the flow of information they provide me — they know better what’s important.

  131. @Anon

    Interesting. At some point in my teens I found (poking around drawers) that my father had been married before, to someone who had never been mentioned by anyone, even neighbors.

    As far as I ever knew, my mother was clueless as well. But she was clueless about most things.

    Continuing the family tradition, I never inquired further.

    My mother, a Welsh woman born in the West Indies, with a Special Marriage Certificate, authorizing marriage to an American citizen, signed by the Duke of Windsor, was exotic enough to keep me satisfied. It’s also allowed me to claim Pokemon points as a “mixed race” chap.

  132. @Alden

    Enough money for really really bad plastic surgery makes … Michael Jackson. And the socialite who thinks she’s a cat.

    • Replies: @Alden
  133. Comparing Stoppard to Shakespeare? Why? Because of Rosenkrantz? Because of Shakespeare in Love? Because his name begins with ‘S’?

    Stoppard isn’t even as interesting as his flatmate, Derek Marlowe (note the name). See my essay on Marlowe’s A Dandy in Aspic,

    https://counter-currents.com/2016/12/passing-the-buck-spy-dandy-ubermensch/

    reprinted in my forthcoming Passing the Buck: Coleman Francis and other Cinematic Metaphysicians (Melbourne, Australia: Manticore, 2021)

  134. @TelfoedJohn

    “Ears never stop growing. And I like a nice, taut lobe.”

  135. Jack D says:
    @R.G. Camara

    Lumbees. I just saw a bumper sticker today here in PA that said “I’m a Lumbee.” They do “tribal” dances and wear feathers and all that, that they picked up at Indian conventions in the early 20th century. They were never able to gain Federal recognition although who knows what Biden will do – that kind of phoniness is right up his alley.

  136. Polistra says:
    @Steve Sailer

    It’s all relative. Toughest school in Oregon, maybe.

  137. Polistra says:
    @northeast

    The Ivy League gets the cream of the crop of black students from around the world. Very few Ivy League black students are unqualified; if any.

    That’s essentially true. The ivies can skim the cream off the top and enroll some really amazing students of any color. The top 0.1% from around the world.

    But I wonder how many were ever disadvantaged, FWIW, and especially I wonder if the dynamic will change as they’re required to enroll more and more.

    Scratch that last–the effective demand for places will always exceed the supply, likely by orders of magnitude.

  138. @Inquiring Mind

    IIRC, the standard German translation (by one of the Schlegels) was so good that Germans would say Shakespeare was better in the original German.

  139. @TWS

    Well, the Sami down the street runs the best Afghan restaurant in Astoria, so there.

    • Replies: @sayless
  140. Dube says:

    I was Claudius in Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and I timed an acid drop on a cliff under the sun as it crossed the sky next to the great sea so that I could come in big for my two brief appearances. You know that TS included brief scenes from Hamlet that were played around by the two minor characters, and those scenes are to be played traditionally, but I’d been disappointed at walking in off the street and abruptly feigning majesty – robe and crown notwithstanding. The theater was small, and dark, and I was almost too big, but I was committed to navigating responsibly, which included telling no one. In the dressing room with the large cast I refrained from conversation, and had to resist deep study of everyone’s eyes in the mirror. But I stepped out with full breath and reached the back wall with minimum effort, as do good actors and of course the opera singers, who don’t sing in the hall, they sing the hall. I’d read Artaud’s Third Manifesto, in which he propounds direct communication via the breath from the chakras of the actor to those of the audience. Richard Burton was in a restaurant after a performance of Camelot and the diners hushed to hear him order. That was big. I wouldn’t do it again because it was a moral risk, and the acting, while passable, was just enhanced representation, since I was employing my senses too much on awareness of the stunt. But, call it for science!

    In Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound I was the pompous theater critic Birdboot, and I enjoyed too easily the character of an arrogant ass. The plot is of a British murder mystery in which the actors have set up Birdboot to be drawn into the play to be murdered himself in vengeance for his uncharitable reviews. Drawn into the action, Birdboot leaps into the scene and story, and my bright director had me pour a glass of whisky from a decanter and throw back the full glass, only to realize with puffed cheeks that it was stage booze, tepid from the last performance, and there’s no place to spit. That set him up for the deadly shot and the drop to the floor.

    • Replies: @black sea
    , @sayless
  141. @Prosa123

    “there is a distinctive facial appearance that some Italian people have, something I can recognize but can’t describe in words. An example can be seen, of all places, in portraits of Dante. ”

    Yeah, Mile Mathis would have a field day with Dante.

  142. @wren

    The first time I saw him, he reminded me of this guy:

    and hence I never took him or GOT seriously.

  143. Alden says:
    @Stan Adams

    I get your point. But whoever did Jane Fonda and Paul Newman did superb jobs. Michael Jackson got the look he wanted. Who are we to judge what is attractive ? Cat woman Ms Weinberger Wittenstein ‘s face was designed by her husband to his taste.

    Plastic surgeon joke; design and build your wife.

  144. MattinLA says:
    @HammerJack

    “Elite” Har har. They’re no more”elite” than a newly-minted priest on the eve of the French revolution. And they will share the same fate.

  145. @Dave Pinsen

    Jannik Sinner is from South Tyrol, right on the Austrian border. In other words he hails from the same ethnic group as other fine “Italian” athletes like Raimund Pigneter, Irmgard Lanthaler and Roland Niedermair.

  146. Mr. Anon says:
    @Jonathan Mason

    However your denial theory could be right. I remember Robert Maxwell as long ago as the early 1960s, and although it was known that he was originally a Czech Jew, he was more English than the English, spoke in a booming upper class English accent, lived in a stately home (that he rented on the cheap), and was a member of Parliament.

    And……………….just happened to be an Israeli agent.

  147. black sea says:
    @Dube

    You lost me at “I was Claudius . . . ”

    • Replies: @Dube
  148. Pericles says:
    @Pat Hannagan

    You should attribute that quote.

  149. Pericles says:
    @northeast

    Oh, aren’t the SAT scores of black ivy league admittees markedly lower than, say, those of the whites?

    Of course, intellectual horse power doesn’t really matter for social clubs like Harvard or Yale Law. So in that sense they are, indeed, not unqualified.

    • Replies: @northeast
  150. MEH 0910 says:
    @Anon7

    George R.R. Martin Learns About His Jewish Roots (From PBS’s ‘Finding Your Roots.’

    Courtesy of PBS ‘Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’

    [MORE]

    Finding Your Roots | Henry Louis Gates Jr. helps Andy Samberg and George R. R Martin answer | Se5Ep1

    Grandparents and Other Strangers
    Host Henry Louis Gates, Jr. helps actor Andy Samberg and author George R. R. Martin answer some family mysteries when DNA detective work uncovers new branches of their family trees. The DNA analysis upends family history and reveals new relatives.

  151. @Gary in Gramercy

    Being a City College/State U type myself, I never quite got the minute differences of prestige and snob factor between a true Ivy like Dartmouth and a selective Ivy-adjacent like Swarthmore. Can you explain it to me, please? (In fact, would Swotties disdain being called “Ivy-adjacent”?)

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  152. @Barnard

    Barnard, com’on man, Tiger is a great driver, long off the tees and his short game is rock solid too. You probably have a 23 Handicap. Cut the guy some slack.

  153. anonymous[383] • Disclaimer says:
    @prosa123

    Finally, Arabs have never been considered white in the US, with a possibly semi-exception for Lebanese and Syrian Christians

    You are definitely wrong here. Lebanese and Syrian Christians who came in the wave of immigration in the early 20th century were considered white socially and politically, especially in the areas they settled in heavily such as Detroit, Toledo, and New England. Nothing semi about it. There was no notion that assimilated Arab Americans in the mid 20th century such as Casey Kasem, Ralph Nader, Danny Thomas (the dad on Father Knows Best), or Jamie Farr (Klinger on MASH) belonged in another category.

    Scratch the surface of a white ethnic from the upper midwest or New England and you will often find a Lebanese grandfather or grandmother. Even Michael Anton, author of The Flight 93 Election, has one.

    It has only been since the post ’65 era when Arabs who are either Muslim and/or of less European phenotype (from Egypt, Yemen, etc.) have immigrated in large numbers, combined with the cache of being non-white, that some Arab Americans have attempted to assert a non-white identity, and to have one assigned to them by the idpol left.

  154. @Alden

    Alden,wigs and hair pieces and hair plugs, but few are not noticeable. Michael Milken, the junk bond king, wrote a check for $650Million to pay his fines to the government and yet his hair piece looked like road kill on his head.

    • Replies: @Gary in Gramercy
  155. anon[768] • Disclaimer says:
    @Alden

    If she hadn’t made such a point of being black, I would have thought her just a White brunette.

    Did she have any plastic surgery, rhinoplasty?

  156. Dube says:
    @black sea

    You lost me at “I was Claudius . . . ”

    That’s humbling. A walkout as soon as you took the seat. Money back.

    • Replies: @HammerJack
  157. sayless says:
    @Dube

    Thass a lie. To fetch water you go down the hill. Good call.

    • Replies: @Dube
  158. sayless says:
    @Peter D. Bredon

    What’s the name of that restaurant, Peter D. B.? Thanks.

  159. sayless says:
    @Dube

    Thanks for that, Dube.

    I’ve always loved Stoppard. He’s interested in ideas and normal human responses and he’s not giving a lecture. Just reacting to life. Lots of ideas. Interesting. Funny.

    Didn’t know he was responsible for Shakespeare in Love. That’s hard to overlook. But,

    How on earth were you able to drop acid and then go onstage?

    • Replies: @Dube
  160. @Dube

    Confess. You also played Growltiger in a dinner theatre production of Cats.

    • Replies: @Dube
  161. Dube says:
    @sayless

    Thass a lie. To fetch water you go down the hill.

    A lie it is! After all these centuries, justice.

  162. northeast says:
    @Pericles

    Black SAT scores, except on select individual applicants, never equal or surpass white or Asian SAT scores, but the disparity at the Ivy League level is not horrible.

    The last time I was directly involved in looking at black SAT scores, specifically at Harvard, I believe the average score for blacks was around 1200. That number is more than adequate to successfully complete college work at an Ivy.

    BTW I’m in no way supporting any form of affirmative action for college admissions. Blacks are about 11% of Ivy students currently.

  163. Dube says:
    @sayless

    How on earth were you able to drop acid and then go onstage?

    I timed the performance for six hours after the drop, enough to collect the grandeur, but at the point of returning to civility. I was acquainted with the actor xxxxx xxxxxxxxx, who’d taken the potion near the start of another play and then sat on the edge of the stage laughing. I don’t know how the house handled it, but he was too important to get fired. We became acquainted after someone gave him a long poem I’d published, and he’d dropped acid for the flight to London and gave it, doubtless, the best reading it’s had.

    • Thanks: sayless
  164. Dube says:
    @HammerJack

    Confess. You also played Growltiger in a dinner theatre production of Cats.

    I would, I would! I like to let loose while personally unidentifiable in a head-to-toe costume. I did Geronte the Miser in Moliere’s The Doctor in Spite of Himself, with whiteface and a red cock and balls for a nose, attached ’round the head by a black elastic band, which member I’d thoughtfully snap with two fingers. I crouched in baggy pants so as to look about four feet tall.

    But I’ve written more reviews than I’ve played parts, and don’t want to be typecast as an actor! All my stuff here is a tribute to Stoppard, who plays with the preposterous.

  165. @Anon7

    A middling ripoff author who is obsessed with sexual perversion and pushing it in all his work….is Jewish?

    What are the odds?!?

  166. @Paperback Writer

    I have no interest in the lesser Ivies, much less the almost Ivies. at least in this precise and narrow context.

    In the old days (pre 1960, say) only Harvard, Yale and Princeton (and in that order) counted for the real (i e angst -less) elite.

    And of course the really ohne Angst types often didn’t bother with college at all.

    And grade point averages? For the few public school swots let in as fresh blood from time to time, or those increasingly numerous and bothersome Jews. “Best do something about them before it is too late” said the noticers of the day.

    Except that it was already too late.

    • Replies: @Paperback Writer
  167. @Old Palo Altan

    In the old days (pre 1960, say) only Harvard, Yale and Princeton (and in that order) counted for the real (i e angst -less) elite.

    Well, Old Palo Altan, even Stanford didn’t rate?

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  168. @Paperback Writer

    No. Stanford was a quiet backwater for sons and daughters of solid middle and upper middle class families. The oldest and most established families of San Francisco and the Peninsula ignored it and sent their children back East to the three places I mentioned, Harvard in particular.

    Everything is in flux now of course, and has been for fifty years at least.

    • Replies: @Paperback Writer
  169. @Jack Armstrong

    OMG! We’re all so guilty!

    Also, and not entirely unrelated: sad to see what passes for a sentence in today’s newspapers.

  170. @Old Palo Altan

    Oh, so I shouldn’t be impressed that Pat Loud went to Stanford?

    • Replies: @Old Palo Altan
  171. @Steve Sailer

    No, Mick Jagger does not. It’s something about Stoppard’s cheeks and jaw.

  172. MEH 0910 says:

  173. @Paperback Writer

    Had never heard of her. Looked her up to find that wiki calls the program she was in was about “an upper middle class” family.
    So she fits what I wrote about Stanford – be impressed or not as you wish.

  174. LGBTQ+ and BIPoC hit hardest!

  175. @Buffalo Joe

    Joe, I was in law school during 1987 — the year in which Milken reportedly made $550 million, when that was a lot of money in a single year — and after seeing pictures of Milken and his dead-squirrel toupee, remember thinking, “with all the money he’s raking in at Drexel, can’t he get a better hairpiece?”

    Apparently, the answer was no. In a way, it was comforting: here he was, the ultimate Master of the Universe; a man who almost singlehandedly had taken Drexel Burnham Lambert from a third-tier bulge-bracket backwater to one of the most powerful investment banks on Wall Street, one of the few places on the Street that Salomon Brothers actually feared could take away its customers and its business; a man whom you had to travel to Beverly Hills to see, since he had moved Drexel’s entire junk bond operation there from New York; a man who was so busy that his appointment schedule began at 4:30 a.m., he actually made someone fly from New York on the Saturday night red-eye to meet him on Sunday morning at 4:30 because he (Milken) had no other openings available.

    Yet, even this man — as rich and powerful as he was — and his receding hairline could not avoid looking as if the cartoon characters Chip and Dale had briefly come to life on his head, and had then expired quietly, their furry carcasses the only clue they had ever been there at all. Milken might have been richer than Croesus, but his hairpiece still looked (like) offal.

    “The law, in its majestic quality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to get fitted for proper toupees.”

    • Replies: @Johann Ricke
    , @Buffalo Joe
  176. @Gary in Gramercy

    after seeing pictures of Milken and his dead-squirrel toupee, remember thinking, “with all the money he’s raking in at Drexel, can’t he get a better hairpiece?”

    As a fabric supplier once said to a disgruntled rag trade buyer – “never mind the thickness – feel the width”.

  177. @Gary in Gramercy

    Gary, great reply. My son used to provide Market advice to a fund manager who had a three minute egg timer on his desk. Turned it over and then your began your spiel. Impress him and he re fipped it. Bore him and you were gone in three minutes…after flying out to meet him.

  178. @Vaccine Passport Counterfeiter

    I’m aware I’m three days late, but I want to say I completely approve of your handle and the website you linked. They are both terrific. Many thanks.

  179. “The Holocaust is probably the most well-documented event in human history”

    If by “Holocaust” you mean the German decision to dump the Jews in what Hitler in his table talk called “the morass of Russia” then, yes, there is a lot documentation of a decision to violently expel the European Jewish populace. But there is no evidence of the alleged gas chambers. Orthodox writers on this piece of fable from World War II have had to lean on the code-language theory. Every phrase in German documents which speaks of “evacuate the Jews” is to be read as a coded reference to “exterminate with gas chambers.” But there actually is no documentation whatsoever of the alleged gas chambers.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  180. @Patrick McNally

    So Tom Stoppard’s grandparents didn’t die, instead they went to live on a farm in Russia?

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  181. @Steve Sailer

    I can’t comment on whether or not they were possibly shot somewhere in eastern Europe or perhaps perished in the midst of wartime epidemics. But just about any story which attributes their purported deaths to execution in a gas chamber can be written off as hokum. That’s assuming that they did in fact die during the war, which is quite plausible.

    It can be noted on the side that there have been cases of family members turning up alive decades after 1945 when both sides had thought the other dead. A careful look at how official Jewish organizations have reported demographic data since the 1930s suggests that the official number of 11 million Jews worldwide in the summer of 1945 is probably a significant underestimate. But that doesn’t mean there were no significant deaths on the order of perhaps 1.5-2.2 million during WWII. For a prominent figure like Stoppard it seems likely that his family, if perchance they may have not died in the way thought, had likely passed away somewhere by the time he became well known. Whether that means they starved in a ghetto, were shot by the SS, or even managed to survive the war and died somewhere a few years later, that I can not know.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  182. @Patrick McNally

    They were all sent to a farm in Siberia. That’s why there is a secret Jewish Wakanda near Lake Baikal with flying cars.

    • Replies: @Patrick McNally
  183. @Steve Sailer

    This is your idea of the best documented event on record? Yeesh.

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