Magazine article The Spectator

High Life: Taki

Magazine article The Spectator

High Life: Taki

Article excerpt

To Newport, Rhode Island, the smallest state in the Union but one of the most beautiful. Driving north-east from the Bagel, there's Long Island Sound on one's right, and beautifully foliaged farms and towns on the left. The colours are spectacular: golden browns, brick reds and lemon greens. New England is the most beautiful region of America, except for parts of Virginia, where they build warships rather than sailing boats. The reason for the trip was to find the new Bushido -- as difficult a task as living one's life under the Bushido code, and then some.

Just before crossing into Rhode Island I stopped at Mystic, Connecticut, where 26 years ago a charming motion picture called Mystic Pizza was shot, starring an unknown Julia Roberts. Mystic is a fishing village inhabited mostly by Portuguese Americans, and the reason I liked the movie was that it had the right message: all three girls working in the pizza joint get their man (one of them, who is already married, stays with his wife after seducing the part-time nanny and giving her a healthy cheque so she can go to Yale). The rich men are nice, and the third gal ends up with a fisherman, which is as good as it gets. If a gal can't land a rich guy, why not a fisherman, as noble a profession as there is.

The reason I mention this is that my stop was just after New Haven, where Yale University, once a great institution, is now hounding the former head of cardiology at the medical school for sending a love letter to an Italian researcher (a woman, as it happens). He was accused of sexual harassment. (As I've written countless such things, perhaps I should turn myself in.) The newspaper that prints only what fits its politically correct agenda devoted a front page to this matter last Sunday. The doc was suspended for 18 months, but the women want him out for good. Imagine if Rochdale or Rotherham had happened at Yale. Would they have been covered by the paper, presented as race and ethnicity versus feminism?

Once at Newport, a friend and I visited two shipyards, both squeaky clean and well run. One boat was a marvel, with enormous overhangs and a flush deck of impeccable teak. The trouble was beneath. The interior was spartan and I'm a spoiled old man. The other was brilliant below deck, perfect, in fact, her deck not as classic as the first one, with no overhang, but it had been sold the week before. After a long chat with the broker we decided his job would be to find the exterior of the first with the interior of the second. …

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