Magazine article The Spectator

High Life: Taki

Magazine article The Spectator

High Life: Taki

Article excerpt

New York

Back in the Big Bagel once again preparing for the greatest debate ever, one that will decide the fate of the western world once and for all. In the meantime, the mother of my children is doing all the heavy lifting back in Gstaad, moving to my last address ever, that of my new farm, La Renarde. One of those American feminists remonstrated with me not long ago for making some chauvinist remark -- on purpose, I might add --just to get her goat. My, my, how easy it has become to get that goat.

In a 1939 film, Dodge City , Errol Flynn plays a Kansas marshal circa 1872 who visits a local newspaper and sees the virginal and sweet Olivia de Havilland writing away at her desk. He's keen on her and sits down and asks her what she's doing in such an insalubrious place. She demands to know why he asked what he did. 'It's undignified,' says Errol. 'You should be home sewing buttons for some lucky man's uniform.' If memory serves, I saw that movie with my mother in around 1946, and she agreed with Flynn -- not that she liked his wicked, wicked ways in real life.

I watched bits of the film last week on TV and loved the part I just described. Boy oh boy, show me a producer or director running a line like that today and I'll show you a dead man. They'd probably lynch the actor, too, especially if it were Errol Flynn. Hillary, you've come a long way, baby. Gender-neutral bathrooms are on the rise in the Home of the Perverse, and woe betide any old guy who challenges the right of men to become women and women to become men, as well as men who become women but then change their minds and become men again but then change... oh, the hell with it, you know what I mean.

Incidentally, did you know who the first woman to run for president in the Home of the Depraved was? No, not the black congresswoman Shirley Chisholm in 1972, but the comedienne Gracie Allen in 1940, when FDR won his illegal third term. Gracie was married to George Burns, also a professional comedian, who had great success with the fairer sex. Well into his nineties, he was reverently asked on air who was the worst lay he ever had. 'Fantastic,' he whispered back. Gracie's party was called the Surprise Party and she even held a convention where she nominated herself. When George told her that she would make a fool of herself and that presidents were born to be presidents, she answered, 'What about me? …

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