Radio Derb: Black Gang Attacks, Change.org Wants Our Scalps, Etc.


04m03s — Black gang attacks: what are the numbers? (Keeping resentment alive.)

11m23s — Change.org wants our scalps. (Will Twitter dump us?)

18m20s — The Alt Right: a correction. (Refining definitions.)

23m13s — Puerto Rico: a modest proposal. (Constructive suggestions.)

30m45s — Guantánamo Bay, 15 years on. (The POW model doesn’t apply.)

37m41s — AI creeps forward. (But no robo-wars yet.)

43m53s — The endpoint of personal transportation. (Three dimensions beats one.)

46m04s — Blocking Jeff Sessions. (CultMarxists buckle on their armor.)

47m42s — Gladly the cross I bear. (With a trigger warning.)

49m50s — Signoff. (Golden oldies at New Year.)

 

[Music clip: From Haydn’s Derbyshire Marches, organ version]

01 — Intro.     And Radio Derb is on the air! Greetings, listeners, from your constructively genial host John Derbyshire, here with a look at the week’s news.

What was the week’s news? Fast run-down on the headlines.

  • Saturday:  Thirty-five Russian diplomats flew home after President Obama had ordered them expelled on Thursday. Vladimir Putin went for the moral one-upmanship play, saying he would not expel any of our people.
  • Sunday:  In the small hours Sunday morning an Islamist terrorist shot his way into a nightclub in Istanbul, Turkey where 600 people were celebrating the new year. He fired 180 rounds from an AK-47, killing 39 people.
  • Monday:  We got the 2016 homicide figures for major American cities: Chicago 781, New York 334, Los Angeles 294. Donald Trump said the federal government, under him, would do something about it.
  • Tuesday:  The 115th U.S. Congress assembled for its two-year term. The Republican Party has a four-seat majority in the Senate, a 47-seat majority in the House.
  • Wednesday:  The U.S. Senate passed a procedural resolution that will allow a debate to repeal Obamacare on a simple majority vote. That’s not repeal; that’s to allow a debate on repeal. The actual debate will be next week.
  • Thursday:  Senior national intelligence honchos testified to a Senate committee that the Russians did so try to manipulate our election via cyber-warfare. Donald Trump responded with, “Yo’ momma.”
  • Friday:  A Puerto Rican with mental problems shot up the Baggage Claim area at Fort Lauderdale airport, killing five people and wounding eight others.

There you go. That was the week’s news.

News by itself, though — naked, pale, and shivering — is not very stimulating. My job is to dress it up with some commentary.

And I won’t necessarily be dressing up those headliner stories, which don’t get my juices flowing. So

  • Putin’s a chess player;
  • Turkey’s a mess;
  • urban blacks shoot each other a lot;
  • Congress debates about whether to have a debate about having a debate;
  • the nation squirms a couple of inches closer to single-payer health care;
  • Trump gives the finger to bureaucrats;
  • lunatics occasionally go berserk in public.

It may be news, but none of it’s new.

This is one of those weeks where the inside pages of the newspapers (for those of you who remember newspapers) grab one’s attention better than the big headlines. Let’s check out some of those.

02 — Black gang attacks — what are the numbers?     The story everybody’s talking about is the one about the four young blacks in Chicago who kidnapped and tortured a retarded young white guy.

The blacks are in custody; their mugshots have been broadcast to the media. You don’t have to look very long at those pictures to know where we are here: on the left-hand side of the Bell Curve.

Intelligence-wise, in fact, we’re on the left-hand side of the black Bell Curve, IQs in the high seventies or low eighties. It’s worth making the effort of imagination to see how the world seems to people like that.

So how does it seem? Well, it looks the way the images and the narrative promoted in our media and the schools portray it. These blacks, aged 18, 18, 18, and 24, grew up on a steady diet of school textbooks, TV shows, and movies keeping alive the resentments about slavery and Jim Crow.

Their teachers told them more about the underground railroad than about Thomas Edison; more about Harriet Tubman than about George Washington; more about Frederick Douglass than about Mark Twain. If they were given any poetry it was Maya Angelou, not Longfellow. Movie producers gave them The Butler, Twelve Years a Slave, The Birth of a Nation.

All that picking at historical scabs left these dimwitted youngsters with the feeling that whatever happens to whites, they have it coming. Mix that in with the different behavioral profiles of blacks — low impulse control, high levels of psychopathology, the pack mentality — and you get events like this one. Indeed, you get much worse: anyone remember the Knoxville Horror?

Do whites do cruel things to blacks? Yes they do. One exceptionally cruel thing, the Charleston church murders of 2015, is still generating small news stories on page sixteen. The differences are in numbers and style.

Numbers: Single-offender interracial crimes of violence break five black on nonblack to one the other way. Five out of six are black on nonblack. That at any rate was the case up to 2008 when the Department of Justice mysteriously stopped producing the relevant tables.

And that’s single-offender style. I can’t find numbers for gang attacks, but my impression from news stories is that this is very much a black thing. If interracial single-offender violence breaks five to one, I bet gang attacks are at least twice as disproportionate.

Race differences in behavior account for much of this, of course; but those differences are amplified by the strange modern fashion, among nonblack educators and media creators, to nurture and inflame black hatred of whites — to keep black resentment alive. There is a corresponding effort to keep white people hating their own ancestors, their own country, and themselves — keeping white ethnomasochism alive.

So there’s nothing very surprising here. The main interest of this story in fact is that it goes against the cherished liberal Narrative of heartless whites being cruel to soulful blacks. Reporting on it therefore faced a headwind of fudging and equivocation from the mainstream media. It’s been almost painful to watch the reluctance with which respectable outlets dribbled forth the racial facts of the Chicago case. Without that Facebook video of the torturing, they probably wouldn’t have done so at all.

The media air was thick with excuses and equivocation. The gem here was a 600-word piece in Thursday’s Washington Post by a staff reporter. Sample:

If the attackers had been white and the victim had been black, the incident would have, of course, conjured America’s ugly history of white mobs committing violence against black people. There is no parallel history of the reverse happening on anything remotely approaching the same scale.

End quote. Again, I’d like to see the statistics on gang attacks — in recent times, not in 1850-something. If the Washington Post were a real newspaper, instead of a preening mirror for insulated goodwhite elites, they would have dug them up for us.

I can recall some incidents of white gang violence against blacks — the Howard Beach attack back in the 1980s, for example — but it really doesn’t seem to be much of a thing in this century, certainly nothing like as much a thing as black gang attacks on lone whites.

Probably that’s just confirmation bias on my part, though. The truth of the matter could easily be shown by the numbers.

So what are the numbers for gang attacks, black on nonblack versus nonblack on black? Didn’t journalists used to research and publish this kind of thing so that the American public was well-informed? Hello, journalists? Hello? Hello? …

03 — Change.org wants our scalps.     Speaking as the Solar System’s least enthusiastic Twitter user, I wouldn’t mind a bit if the whole silly thing went away. It doesn’t look as though it’s going to though, certainly not under our incoming Tweeter-in-Chief, so I guess I have to resign myself to reporting the Twitter news.

OK, here’s the latest. There is a website named Change.org that promotes popular petitions to various power centers. Change.org is a Cultural Marxist outfit: anti-American, anti-capitalist, anti-Christian, anti-white, anti-male, the whole nine yards.

As is the case with the Southern Poverty Law Center, another dot-org, the “dot-org” in “Change.org” is deliberately misleading. Change.org is a money-making enterprise. The Wall Street Journal, back in 2012, estimated its revenues at $15 million a year. That’s way below the SPLC figure, but way, way above any Alt Right outfit I know of. There’s a lot of money to be made in Cultural Marxism.

What’s any of that got to do with Twitter? Well, the latest petition being promoted by Change.org is addressed to Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter. The following extract from their covering letter, which is headed “500 Nazi Scalps,” gives you the gist, quote:

We’ve gathered the top 500 Nazi and white supremacist accounts on Twitter. We listed them. [There’s a link to the list.] We’d like them gone. We’ll be checking in weekly to see the progress to goal.

You started kicking Nazis off Twitter. It’s your policy and it’s a good idea.

End quote. That closing mention of kicking off Nazis refers to Twitter’s banning of MTV bimbo and Alt Right bad girl Tila Tequila back in November.

Ms Tequila actually has said favorable things about Hitler. Since her family were Vietnamese boat people, possibly she just sees old Adolf as a good vigorous anti-communist. The Führer used to have a small constituency among Chinese people in Hong Kong and Taiwan on the same basis. There was actually a star of the ten-pin bowling circuit in Hong Kong circa 1970 using the English name Hitler Wong.

I would tell you more about Ms Tequila’s political philosophy if I could be bothered to investigate it. To carry out that investigation, though, would be like looking for precious gems in the cat’s litter tray, so I shall pass.

Back to this petition. Who are these “top 500 Nazi and white supremacist” accounts that Change.org wants purged — or, as they themselves put it, “scalped”? Well, they are ranked by number of followers, and guess who’s at the top? Yes, it’s us, VDARE.com.

Well done, everybody at VDARE, and thanks to all the supporters and donors who helped put us at the top of the list. It seems to me that there ought to be some kind of trophy awarded, a silver cup or something that we can put on Peter Brimelow’s desk, but Change.org doesn’t mention this, so perhaps not.

Among the other names I recognize, Jared Taylor’s personal Twitter account is at number 4, American Renaissance itself at number 11, Steve Sailer at 22, the Chateau at 27, Matt Heimbach at 74, HBDchick at 100, Occidental Dissent at 108, and DissidentRight at 116.

Note that last one, please: DissidentRight is actually … me! [Applause.] Further down, at 186, is the DerbQOTD hashtag, run by a fan who posts my most memorable lines. So I’m on the list twice, at least in spirit — three times if you count VDARE. [Applause, cheers.]

Will Mr Dorsey act on this Change.org petition, and throw us all off Twitter? He might. I don’t know anything about the guy, but from his pictures he looks like the very model of a modern metrosexual. And these software giants — people like Bill Gates and Zuckerberg — are all CultMarx compliant. When George Soros says “Jump!” the response comes echoing back from Silicon Valley: “How high?”

Well, as I started by saying, it wouldn’t break my heart to lose Twitter. One less thing to fritter away time on. I wouldn’t be bitter at all …

04 — The Alt Right: a correction.     Speaking of lists, on Tuesday my pal Tom over at the Radio Free New Jersey blog mentioned Vox Day’s list from last August of 16 points claiming to define the Alt Right.

I think I’ve mentioned Vox Day’s list before, but this got me looking at it again. It’s developed a very long comment thread, in which you’ll find most of the things there are to be said about it.

My attention got snagged this time on point number fifteen, quote:

The Alt Right does not believe in the general supremacy of any race, nation, people, or sub-species. Every race, nation, people, and human sub-species has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and possesses the sovereign right to dwell unmolested in the native culture it prefers.

End quote.

I’d be fine with that, except that in the present age vast numbers of the world’s people don’t want to dwell in their native culture. Their native culture sucks, and they know it. They want to dwell in some other guy’s culture, with a strong preference for the other guy being white and English-speaking.

That’s the revealed preference on display in those boats heading north across the Mediterranean, in those squatter camps in northern France near the English Channel, on our own southern border, and in the battalions of bogus “refugees” deplaning daily at our airports, courtesy of the United Nations, Barack Obama’s State Department, and the “Voluntary Agency” rackets [ker-ching].

Even that’s not quite right, though. Most of those boat people, squatters, border-jumpers, and fake “refugees” actually do want to dwell in their native cultures. They want to continue in their native cultural practices — wife-beating, tax-dodging, political corruption, and so on — but they want to do so in a country that’s fit to live in.

Could it be that the fact of their own countries not being fit to live in has something to do with those cultural practices? And that upstream of those cultural practices are not only history and geography, but also population genetics?

Absolutely not! Shame on me for thinking such evil thoughts! No wonder Change.org wants to de-Twitter me!

See, the dire condition of all those countries people are fleeing from is the fault of us white devils, of our greed and colonialism and warmongering. If not for us, Eritrea and Pakistan, El Salvador and Senegal, would be stable, thriving, free, and prosperous. We are uniquely evil in our racist arrogance. Third Worlders have no agency; it’s us, we white folk, that make everything happen in the world.

If that’s the case, though, why would anyone want to come and live in our countries? Have they really thought this through?

So I’m going to suggest a slight change to Vox Day’s fifteenth point, thus:

The Alt Right does not believe in the general supremacy of any race, nation, people, or sub-species. Every race, nation, people, and human sub-species has its own unique strengths and weaknesses, and possesses the sovereign right to dwell unmolested in the native culture it prefers, in the territories where that culture has long been settled.

05 — Puerto Rico: a modest proposal.     Should the U.S.A., under suitable leadership, decide to apply the principle I just enunciated, here’s a good place to start: Puerto Rico.

You know Puerto Rico. That’s our big colony in the Caribbean, although of course we’re not supposed to call it a colony.

I’ve been grumbling about Puerto Rico for ever, I know. Why are we responsible for the stinking place? It’s a millstone round our necks.

The general level of human capital there is very low. Forty years ago, when I first made friends with a long-serving member of the New York Police Department, I expected all his most lurid cop stories would be about the local underclass blacks. There were indeed some of those. His most hair-raising anecdotes, though, were about Puerto Ricans. And those were the Puerto Ricans with enough get-up-and-go to take a plane to Los Estados Unidos. The ones back on the island are just as bad, only less energetic.

Don’t accuse me of crass negativity, either. I’ve actually made constructive suggestions. Radio Derb, July 4th 2015, quote:

If I were running the CIA … I’d stage a Castro-style coup in Puerto Rico and install a fiercely anti-American dictator, to give us the excuse to sever ties and blockade the place for fifty years. Nobody in Washington has any imagination any more, that’s the problem.

End quote. Yeah, that’s the problem all right.

Well, Puerto Rico’s in the news. Associated Press, January 2nd, quote:

Puerto Rico’s new governor was sworn in Monday, promising an immediate push for statehood in a territory facing a deep economic crisis …

The crowd rose to its feet and cheered as Rossello announced that he would fly to Washington, D.C., Monday to back a bill to admit Puerto Rico as the 51st state.

End quote. Lots of luck with that, Gov. I confidently predict that any political party in control of the U.S. government that granted statehood to Puerto Rico would never be elected to anything ever again.

Steve actually came up with another, different constructive suggestion the other day. He began by noticing that in the seven years 2009 to 2015, Puerto Rico took in just ten refugees, an average of 1.4 refugees per year. Now, it’s true that Puerto Rico has only a small population — just about exactly one one-hundredth of the U.S.A.’s. So that 1.4 per year would be an equivalent, for the U.S.A., of 140 per year. The actual number the Obama administration proposes to take in during fiscal 2017 is 110,000, up from the 85,000 we took in last year.

So the island paradise is really not pulling its weight refugee-wise. Why not? It’s not that the place is overcrowded. Population density is a tad over one thousand people per square mile — that’s less dense than New Jersey.

Hence Steve’s suggestion: Turn Puerto Rico into a refugee sanctuary. Why, after all, are we sending Somalis to the frozen wastes of Minnesota? Somalia’s actually on the equator, for crying out loud. Somalis would be much happier in Puerto Rico’s climate.

I have an alternative suggestion. The European countries have a terrible problem with illegal aliens, most of whom are unemployable. Germany alone took in 1.2 million in 2014-2015, of whom less than two percent have so far found work. Italy last year took in 181,000. I don’t have employment figures, but I doubt they’re any better than Germany’s.

The illegals claim asylum in Europe, but not many of their claims stand up to scrutiny. There’s no way to get rid of them, though. They ditch their passports and identity papers before landing in Europe, so you mostly can’t tell where they come from. Even when you can tell, the sending countries don’t want them back, so you can’t repatriate them. They just wander loose around Europe, like the Berlin truck killer.

What the Europeans need is some remote island where they could ship these illegals to holding pens. Australia did this successfully, using small Pacific islands for the pens. Europe seems not to have any islands to spare. So let’s lease them space on Puerto Rico. If it’s our island, under our sovereignty, we may as well do something useful with it.

There’d be jobs for Puerto Ricans, as guards, cooks and so on in the pens. We’d get revenue from the leases. Europe would be rid of a problem. What’s not to like?

The food and accommodation in the pens could be of a low quality. That would be a feature, not a bug. After a few years of sleeping on boards and eating yam stew, the illegals would be begging for repatriation.

Like I said, there’s no negativity here at Radio Derb. We’re bursting with constructive solutions to the world’s problems — bursting!

06 — Guantánamo Bay, 15 years on.     A holding pen in the Caribbean for people you don’t know what to do with — what does that bring to mind? Oh right: Guantánamo Bay.

Just to remind you: Guantánamo Bay is a U.S. naval base, 45 square miles, on the southeastern tip of the island of Cuba. We lease it from the Cuban government. It includes a detention camp for irregular soldiers — that is, armed fighters not members of any nation’s military — captured during our military expeditions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and some other places.

These fighters presented us with a problem right away. The model we were using was the prisoner-of-war model; but that assumes your prisoners belong to the regular military of some nation you’re at war with. When the war’s over, bureaucrats from the two nations get together and work out repatriation arrangements.

That couldn’t work for these irregulars. It sometimes isn’t even clear what nationality the prisoner is. The most famous current inmate at Guantánamo Bay, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, was captured in Pakistan and believed to be a Pakistani citizen. He wasn’t in the Pakistan military, though; and he may actually be a citizen of Bosnia.

If he was captured in Pakistan, why didn’t we let the Pakistanis deal with him? Well, because (a) the Pakistani military and political establishments are filthy with jihadist sympathizers and corrupt as all get out, and (b) he had information we wanted to get out of him. So off to Guantánamo Bay he went. Fourteen years later, he’s still there.

When Barack Obama became President in 2009 he promised to empty out the detention camp and close it. His idea was to bring the prisoners to the U.S.A. and try them under U.S. law. Guantánamo Bay is not U.S. territory, so they can’t be tried there. Congress didn’t like the plan, though; so the prisoners we couldn’t release — currently about sixty — are just stuck in limbo there.

It’s an awkward situation, and no-one seems to have a solution for it. It doesn’t look as though Donald Trump will allow any more releases. Tuesday this week he said — I mean, of course, he tweeted — tweet: “There should be no further releases from Gitmo. These are extremely dangerous people and should not be allowed back onto the battlefield.” End tweet.

That’s actually a back-off from his campaign rhetoric. Back in February he not only promised to keep the prison in business, he also said, quote, “we’re gonna load it up with some bad dudes, believe me, we’re gonna load it up.”

You don’t have to be a bleeding heart to be bothered about this. I personally wouldn’t lose any sleep if the Guantánamo Bay prisoners were taken out and shot in batches, if someone could prove it was constitutional to do so. Nobody seems to think it is, though. Legal eagles seem to think the prisoners are entitled to some due process; but without bringing them to the mainland, which Congress won’t allow, it’s hard to see how.

The trend in policy here seems to have been simply to stop taking prisoners in counter-terrorist operations. Just zap ’em with drones. That works for me too, but it can’t always be done.

Say you’re leading a Special Forces boots-on-the-ground operation, and Mohammed bin Mohammed comes out with his hands up and begs to surrender. According to the Geneva Convention, Article 41 of the 1977 protocol, he is then hors de combat and, quote, ” shall not be made the object of attack,” end quote.

Sure, I know: rules of war, hollow laugh, ha ha ha. But when you think how over-lawyered Western society has become, and recall the things that have happened to guys who ignored the rules — like Sergeant Blackman of Britain’s Royal Marines, currently serving a life sentence for offing an Afghan prisoner in a combat zone — you have to think a prudent soldier would take Mohammed prisoner and leave his future disposition to the suits.

And what if the guy in your drone sights has some really vital information you’d like to get?

There aren’t any good watertight solutions here. It would surely help, though, if we secured our borders and points of entry properly, stopped admitting Muslims for any purposes other than diplomatic, and withdrew visas from noncitizen Muslim residents, obliging them to go home. That would at least restrict the terrorism problem to our own citizen nutcases, who we could deal with constitutionally; and there’d no longer be any strong reason for our troops to be chasing jihadis around the Hindu Kush.

07 — AI creeps forward.     Here’s a thing that didn’t happen in 2016: the robo-wars.

Well, I wasn’t precisely expecting the robo-wars, but I did see an article back last January about how 2016 would be, quote, “The Year When The Machines Start Taking Over,” end quote. This would be the year Artificial Intelligence, AI, came into its own, the tech boosters told us.

So that didn’t happen. Possibility One: that announcement of the AI revolution was premature. Possibility Two: the tech boosters have their heads up their bottoms.

Possibility One is the way to bet. Tech nerds are sometimes silly and over-enthusiastic, but things that are not actually impossible tend to happen sooner or later. Forty years ago we all thought videophones would surely arrive before the end of the century. They didn’t; but they’re here now.

Some things we know are impossible — faster-than-light travel, for example. I don’t see any reason to suppose that artificial intelligence is one of those things, though. Progress has been slower than I imagined when I started thinking about it back in my college days; but progress there has been, and goes on being.

Here’s a relevant news item. Fukoku Mutual Life Insurance, a Japanese firm, has just laid off 34 employees. Their jobs involved computing insurance payouts, but the firm is replacing them with a $2m AI system based on IBM’s Watson; that’s the software that won first prize on Jeopardy six years ago.

I’ve blogged at VDARE about AI progress, and about the Japanese enthusiasm for it. I don’t mean to beat you over the head with this, so I’ll just state the National Question aspect of the issue as succinctly as I can.

  • Japan is pressing forward doggedly with automation of both physical and mental work, to solve the problems of a declining workforce while maintaining demographic stability, while
  • the U.S.A. imports hundreds of thousands of low-skilled workers every year, swamping the legacy population and weakening the incentive to advance automation.

Lurking behind the advance of AI is the specter of the Singularity — that state of affairs when the machines get smarter than us, and may decide that Homo sapiens is surplus to their requirements.

Here some skepticism is justified. We understand all too little about what the brain does and how it does it. I was for a long time a skeptic myself. I even coined a word for the opposite of “Singularitarian,” describing myself in print as a “Continuitarian.” (In math, the opposite of a singularity is a continuity.) Plenty of smart people are still Continuitarians.

I’m no longer so sure, though. The other day I took delivery of a book crisply titled The Singularity.

The book contains a preface, an introduction, and 28 essays. The first and longest essay is one that philosopher David Chalmers wrote for the Journal of Consciousness Studies back in 2010, title “The Singularity: A Philosophical Analysis.” The next 26 essays are by different specialists — philosophers, cognitive scientists, mathematicians, software wizards, and assorted other disciplines — offering critiques of Chalmers’ paper from every conceivable point of view. Essay 28 is a reply by Chalmers to all the critiques.

It’s good dense stuff, and required reading if you want to have an intelligent opinion about the Singularity. I have to warn you, though: it’s disgracefully expensive: sixty bucks for the paperback, twenty just for the damn Kindle.

I think I’m a convert to Singularitarianism, but I haven’t finished the book yet. I’ll report back.

08 — Miscellany.     And now, our closing miscellany of brief items.

Imprimis:  In the spirit of techie enthusiasm, I see that development of passenger drones is well advanced. No, this isn’t Japan; this is Israel. Reuters, January 3rd, quote.

After 15 years of development, an Israeli tech firm is optimistic it will finally get its [3,300 lb] passenger-carrying drone off the ground and into the market by 2020.

The Cormorant, billed as a flying car, is capable of transporting [half a ton] of weight and traveling at [115 mph]. It completed its first automated solo flight over terrain in November. Its total price is estimated at $14 million.

End quote. I’ve been thinking for a while, every time I read about self-driving cars, that the end point of development in personal transportation is the self-driving drone. One reason driving on roads is an AI challenge is that you only have one dimension to work in, or one and a little bit if you count turns and lane changes. Three dimensions is way easier — more room to maneuver. Takeoff and landing aside, flying is already easier than driving.

And think of the savings to the public fisc if we no longer need roads, bridges, and tunnels! Of course, mechanical failure presents issues …

Item:  I warned listeners a month ago that, quote, “the CultMarx mob will stop at nothing to prevent Jeff Sessions’ appointment [i.e. as U.S. Attorney General]. They know very well what it would mean for their program.” End quote.

It’s started. Headline at CampusReform.org: Law profs claim Sessions too “racially insensitive” for AG. Story, quote:

More than 1,300 law professors from across the country have signed a petition calling on the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject Sen. Jeff Sessions’ appointment as Attorney General.

The petition cites allegations of “prejudice against African Americans” by Sessions, charges which cost him a federal judgeship in 1986, as grounds for a rejection, though few of the claims made against Sessions appear to have been confirmed.

End quote. This is the fight, this is the big one. We, those of us who patrol the National Question, we know how important this is. Make sure your Senators and congresscritters know.

Item:  Finally, here’s a new frontier in trigger warnings.

The University of Glasgow in Scotland has a Department of Theology which offers a course titled “Introduction to the Bible.” It includes a lecture on “Jesus and the Cinema,” which has scenes of the Crucifixion. So the course is flagged with a trigger warning.

The MailOnline story about this includes the memorable line, quote: “There have been many reconstructions and portrayals of the crucifixion but none of them ends well for Jesus.” End quote.

I really don’t know what the world is coming to. Crucifixion is painful, I don’t doubt, but what about the much grislier martyrdoms we Christian kiddies used to delight in reading about: St Lawrence being roasted on a grill, St Agatha having her breasts cut off, Felicity and Perpetua fed to wild beasts (though the wild beasts didn’t do the job, so a Coliseum stage hand had to cut the martyrs’ throats).

When you’re nine years old this stuff is great fun to read about. We knew all the nastiest bits of the Bible, too. I used to be fascinated by that bit in Second Chronicles where the king’s bowels fell out. What did that feel like?

Now eighteen-year-olds have to be given trigger warnings before watching Jesus nailed to the cross. When did we become such sissies?

09 — Signoff.     That’s it, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening and welcome to 2017.

The Derbyshire family custom is to see in the New Year with a couple we’ve known since our kids were in playgroup together. This year, however, our friends are in Florida; so the Mrs and I decided to go to a show on New Years Eve instead.

No, we didn’t go into Manhattan for the show. You kidding? On New Years Eve? No, this was a show at a local theater here on Long Island, advertised as “Comedy and Rock.” So we got an hour of standup comics, then an intermission, then two pop groups.

The first set was a non-famous girl group. They were … okay. Then the girls went off and a bunch of middle-aged guys in suits appeared and started fiddling with the drums and sound equipment. I thought perhaps they were repo men — a small provincial theater like this can easily get into financial trouble. Then they got into position, the spots went on, and they started singing.

So this was the second set. It was a bit odd at first: bald, paunchy guys in suits and ties belting out oldies. They were obviously seasoned performers, though, so we sat back and enjoyed it.

They’d introduced themselves, of course, but it hadn’t registered. Then, halfway through the second number, a distant bell went off in my head. The Happenings — suddenly I remembered them! They’d had some hits in my college days fifty years ago! And they’re still performing.

Actually I think only lead singer Bob Miranda is left from the original group. They’ve kept the style though, and perform those old numbers just as I remember them. Bob Miranda is still in fine voice, though he must be older than I am, and works the stage like a pro. It’s good to know that not all the pop groups I remember from my salad days have disappeared into oblivion, or traded in the suits and ties for spangled jump suits, like the Stones. Thanks, guys — great show!

So to play us out this week, here of course are The Happenings with their biggest hit, “See You in September.”

I hope I’ll see you all next week, when there will be more from Radio Derb. Take it away, Bob.

[Music clip: The Happenings, “See You in September.”]