alea iacta esto

A Funny Thing Happened While Watching Lolita

I read Nabokov’s book “Lolita” many many years ago quite aware that it was seen to be shall we say, less than salubrious, when first published. But since moral propriety has slunk precipitously downwards since 1962 it wasn’t surprising that I didn’t find the book that scandalous. In fact I wondered what the fuss was all about. How many old(er) straight men today do you think given a chance to hook up with a stunning and perfectly formed teenage girl (think Britney Spears in Baby, One More Time) and without the risk of scandal who won’t take that chance? The number? Zero. Except the man is a religious diehard or the vixen in question is his daughter and those reasons haven’t stopped many a man. I digress. I watch films or dramas when doing my weekly ironing (dreadful chore) and tonight was no exception. I decided to watch one film from my recently acquired Stanley Kubrick collection and I chose – Lolita. Some way into the film it became vividly clear why it caused an uproar when it was released. Lolita (I mean, Sue Lyon) was a knockout. Goddamn. As I sometimes do with celebrities from times past I decided to check up what’s happened to her since. Destination Google.

Well, she no longer acts. Her career which started on the summit soon keeled over and skidded into the valley. But one event in her history caught my eye. Her second husband whom she married in 1970 was a man called Roland Harrison. He was black. Whoa! Even for 1970 that didn’t seem to have gone down well and it certainly didn’t go well with the ebony and ivory pair as they divorced after one year. It’s what happened next (to me) that troubled the rest of my evening. I followed a link on racially mixed couples and found myself dislodged on a white supremacist blog. The write-up and the comments were vile (I won’t say offensive since too many people today find everything not to their taste offensive which is ridiculous) but certainly vile and full of bile. The hate towards “Aryan” women (referred to as “sordid, defiled and rotten”) who go out with the “mud race” was searing. White men are encouraged to shun such women. On one commentator’s blog, black people are “immature” which, coincidentally, rhymes with an Ann Romney statement about Obama. Another commentator called black people “half-breeds”. For these bloggers also, women seeking power are to be distrusted. I leave it to your imagination what they said about gay people. Do people actually and seriously think like this? For real? For a few moments, I was completely out of sorts.

Now the interesting thing is, I had just been reading Horace in which he referred to Britons as savages. And we know that the Romans regarded Teutons as savages. Given that a large stock of Aryan Americans come from tribes once seen as, ahem, less than human it would seem self-evident except to the congenitally retarded that we’ve all come from the dis-enlightened backwaters and it’s just happened that some homo sapiens communities emerged a little earlier than others. Next to the Greeks even the Romans were savages. One thing that would certainly help black people emerge quicker, if I can say such a thing, is better education and the ditching of mind-boggingly stupid superstitions such as voodoo and fundamentalist Christianity, an article of faith (or filth) with white supremacists. On another level it’s quite amazing the commonality between white supremacists and a large section of black people (religion, homophobia, smack down of women, guns …).

Anyway, all this reminded me of something that had happened earlier in the afternoon. I had gone to a cafe to read and had taken a table next to a couple of a certain “superior” hue. The lady looked at me and then touched her bag which was on my side of their table. A moment later after, what I could only imagine to be, careful rumination she moved the bag to the far side where I couldn’t possibly lay my hands on it. Perhaps I was just being silly and sensitive but this sort of thing happens more frequently than I care for. Maybe I should cut my locks, perhaps that’s what it is. LOL.

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