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brand new ugly

Brand New Ugly: Boris Johnson’s Übermenschy Forehead

By David Futrelle

I‘m starting a new series of posts — which may become a regular, possibly even daily, thing — called Brand New Ugly, in which I’ll highlight items in the news or in social media that seem to be emblematic of the new era of political and social ugliness we’ve fallen into.

So let’s get going with …

today's brand new ugly

It’s bad enough that the Trumpian, bad-haircutted buffoon Boris Johnson is going to be the British Prime Minister. Did Quillette have to compound the damage by writing a weirdly phrenological puff piece on the man that, among other things, rhapsodized about his “Germanic” skull shape?

Calipers out, lads! Here’s the relevant passage from Toby Young’s piece “Cometh the Hour, Cometh the Man: A Profile of Boris Johnson,” describing Young’s first meeting with Johnson way back in 1983.

With his huge mop of blond hair, his tie askew and his shirt escaping from his trousers, he looked like an overgrown schoolboy. Yet with his imposing physical build, his thick neck and his broad, Germanic forehead, there was also something of Nietzsche’s Übermensch about him. You could imagine him in lederhosen, wandering through the Black Forest with an axe over his shoulder, looking for ogres to kill. This same combination—a state of advanced dishevelment and a sense of coiled strength, of an almost tangible will to power—was even more pronounced in his way of speaking.

Later on in the piece, Young describes Johnson as “a cross between Hugh Grant and a silverback gorilla.” This is supposed to be a compliment.

H/T: Aaron Sankin on Twitter

Send tips for Brand New Ugly to dfutrelle at gmail dot com.

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Moggie
Moggie
1 year ago

@Jaminet:

I live in Scotland and should there be another referendum, I’ll be voting for independence.

If SI becomes a thing I suspect there’ll be a lot of English folk heading up here.

How many do you want? England’s population is, what, eleven times Scotland’s? Admittedly, part of me thinks it would be hilarious to see anti-migrant rhetoric directed at white English people for a change…

Jaminet
Jaminet
1 year ago

How many do you want? England’s population is, what, eleven times Scotland’s?

This is very true…I’m sure all the tub thumping Brexiteers will do their patriotic duty and stay in England though and as they keep telling everyone, they are in the majority!

Problem solved….

Lollypop
Lollypop
1 year ago

Toby Young sums up the kind of self-satisfied, unself-aware, high-handed mediocrity which is currently dominating the attitudes British decision-makers and media opinion-havers. If he thinks he’s being subtle or clever with this he’s very mistaken – although I have to thank him for being inadvertently hilarious.

Although he’s done worse, the thing that really sticks in my mind was when he tore apart a film being unrealistic and ridiculous because a character on state benefits listened to Radio 4 (which has lots of cultural, political and science-based programming). He’s an utterly contemptible bellend, basically.

Beyond Ocean
Beyond Ocean
1 year ago

Of course, since the Mayans never actually predicted an apocalypse that day, it doesn’t make much sense to assume that was the day we went to hell over any other. I think November 8, 2016 was more like it.

I scoff at the Americentrism 😛

The telltale signs were visible in some parts of the world as early as 2014. In 2016 we only confirmed that there was no stopping it. And it’s still going on, with BoJo as the latest incident.

@Moggie

You probably only have adblock and not completely disabled JS. I can confirm the page doesn’t work in that case. Not that it probably matters anymore.

@Surplus

The site sometimes takes a long time to display a post. It seems to be random. It’s been happening as long as I can remember posting here.

What I mean to say is that it’s not a new issue, and it can probably be expected to remain for forseeable future.

It’s never actually lost me a post. But I compose them in a text file, just in case, and paste the contents in the comment box when I’m done. I recommend this method to you too, you won’t be worried about the data getting lost.

Moon_custafer
Moon_custafer
1 year ago

@moggie:

How many do you want? England’s population is, what, eleven times Scotland’s?

Suddenly recalling an old Monty Python SF-movie parody in which extraterrestrial invaders turn everyone Scottish: “Scotland began to suffer severe overcrowding! Five people to a bed! Three men to a caber!”

Simon
Simon
1 year ago

For anyone who doesn’t want it by video this, from the saner wing of pro-leave (which isn’t saying all that much) is a good summary of the necessity for the backstop and why Boris will never be free of it-

But, it does mean that when we place ourselves outside the Single Market, all sorts of procedural and legal controls apply automatically.

What does not seem to be fully (or at all) appreciated is that, unless exemptions have been negotiated within the framework of a formal free trade agreement, the controls must be applied in full and uniformly to all third countries – of which the UK will become one.

Under WTO rules, any concessions made by the EU to one country outside the framework of an FTA must be granted to all of its other trading partners. Major relaxations of border controls, could therefore, prejudice the integrity of the Single Market. This is something the EU is not prepared to do and will never negotiate. The integrity of the Single Market is a fixed and unchangeable quantum.

On that basis, the only sure way of securing frictionless trade across of post-Brexit Irish border is to maintain total conformity with the operating parameters of the regulatory union.

Here, what is definitely not understood is that applies to far more than simple conformity with Single Market regulations. On both sides of the border, there must be formal conformity with the regulatory ecosystem, which means that systems must be fully integrated right up to the highest policy level, with full and unrestricted intercommunication. And, in the case of Northern Ireland, this must apply also to the rest of the UK, if there are to be no regulatory borders between the province and England, Wales and Scotland.

This is, of course, what the backstop is all about, and it is that which has proved to be the only acceptable solution which the EU will adopt and which the UK government – under Mrs May – was prepared to put to parliament. In a nutshell, trying to secure frictionless trade without the backstop is like trying to go to the moon without a rocket, or expecting to win the lottery without buying a ticket

And if the idiot Brexits by crashing out there’s absolutely no doubt he’ll have to crawl back to the EU to pull our economy out of the shit. Guess what the first item on the agenda will be?

Moggie
Moggie
1 year ago

@Moon_custafer:

Suddenly recalling an old Monty Python SF-movie parody in which extraterrestrial invaders turn everyone Scottish: “Scotland began to suffer severe overcrowding! Five people to a bed! Three men to a caber!”

“They mean to win Wimbledon!”

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 year ago

@Beyond Ocean : try 2002 at the very least (the first french presidential election between right wing and far right). Possibly before.

It’s hard, for example, to not see George Bush Junior as a precursor of Trump.

Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Laissez-Fairy Pronoun Boner
1 year ago

I think it started with Reagan.

When dealing with huge spans of time like the Maya were, it’s completely normal to be a few decades or so off.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 year ago

https://twitter.com/peterwalker99/status/1154354147363364865

A french proverb say that it’s alway the most intelligent one who crack. Mr. Johnson is trying to be less intelligent than physical reality.

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
1 year ago

“You know, they talk about people of color. I’m a person of color. I’m white. I’m an Anglo Saxon. People say things all the time, but I don’t get offended.” .

“With a name like Mike Kelly,” he added, “you can’t be from any place else but Ireland.”

Kind of amusing when the Irish (and Scots Gaelic) word for a person of English descent, Sasanach¹, a) literally means “Saxon”, and b) can be used pejoratively in both languages (for obvious reasons, given the history). No-one in Ireland or Scotland considers themselves “Anglo-Saxon” unless they actually trace their descent from English settlers.

It’s pretty depressing how many of the most revolting scumbags in the Trump era have Irish names: Bannon, Conway, McConnell, Kavanaugh, … ☹️

¹ This follows a standard convention of adding an “-(e)ach” suffix to the name of a country to get the term for a person from that country; e.g., “An Iodáil” = “Italy” (literally, “the Italy”), “Iodáileach” = “Italian person”, or “An Fhrainc” = “France”, “Francach” = “French person”. However, “francach” (lower case) is also the Irish for “rat” 😳. I assume this is an embarrassing philological collision caused by centuries of convergent sound change and not a deliberate slur…

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
1 year ago

Also, regarding missing posts, this has been my experience. Others’ mileage may vary.

When you follow a link to a post from the home page, the post’s URL looks something like:

https:‌//www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/{yyyy}/{mm}/{dd}/{title-of-post}/

where {yyyy}, {mm} and {dd} are the year, month and date of the post.

When you click the “Submit Comment” button, you are redirected to a new URL that looks like:

https:‌//www.wehuntedthemammoth.com/{yyyy}/{mm}/{dd}/{title-of-post}/comment-page-{n}/#comment-{xxxx}

where {n} is related to the number of comments on the post (1 for 0-50 comments, 2 for 51-100 comments, etc.) and {xxxx} is the automatically-generated ID of your comment. It is this page that is often “stale” in that your comment doesn’t appear on it. However, if you edit the URL in your browser back to the way it was (delete the “/comment-page-{n}/#comment-{xxxx}” bit, in other words) and hit Return, the post will reload and your comment does show up! I suspect this is caused by whatever caching plugin the site is configured to use but I’m not a WordPress developer so I can’t be sure.

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
1 year ago
Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
1 year ago

@Yutolia

I think it started with Reagan.

The idea that it just started, as opposed to always being there, is a bit questionable. I mean, there’s literally two degrees of separation between Trump and Joe McCarthy; the only reason Goldwater’s not thought of as a precursor is because he lost. And so on.

Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
1 year ago

Cat Mara:

Kind of amusing when the Irish (and Scots Gaelic) word for a person of English descent, Sasanach¹, a) literally means “Saxon”, and b) can be used pejoratively in both languages (for obvious reasons, given the history). No-one in Ireland or Scotland considers themselves “Anglo-Saxon” unless they actually trace their descent from English settlers.

Since apparently most people in Ireland are more or less English-speaking and England-hating, I guess they could be called anglophobe saxophones?

Moon Custafer
Moon Custafer
1 year ago

@Moggie:

“They mean to win Wimbledon!”

Did you try guessing the easy way, or standing on your head in a ten-quart pail?

Cat Mara
Cat Mara
1 year ago

@Lumipuna: Very good 😂

Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
1 year ago

Cat Mara – Thanks. On Irish-English relations, I’ve been reading CaseyExplosion and the people she retweets.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
1 year ago

Given the current declarations of the irish governement and UE official, Johnson seem very invested in making people think he will suicide his country to slightly inconvenience its neighbor. Sadly, it probably won’t have the effect he seek 😡

For the brexit itself, I follow IanDunt for the political aspect, and the duo DmitryOpines / DavidHenigUK for the economic aspect.

Greebos left eye
Greebos left eye
1 year ago

I was at a crime writing festival in Harrogate last weekend. First panel I attended was ‘Irish Noir’. One of the authors, who was brought up on the Northern Irish side of the border but now lives on the other side said hed noticed a change already. Since the Good Friday Agreement he’s seen the removal of the physical border and noticed that the psychological border was falling away, but with talk of and then the vote on Brexit, the psychological border has returned. All the authors agreed, people on both sides were just starting to heal from the trauma but now that’s being hindered. They also discussed the dilemma of how they lable themselves now – Irish, British, Northern Irish. It was really eye opening to listen to, because it’s not a perspective often aired in England.

Also, there were a lot of jokes about Boris and a terrible crime novel he wrote called ’72 virgins’ during the awards ceremony.