John Derbyshire explains why American dinner parties are traditionally less playful and jolly than British ones:
A lot of the fun of British life used to consist of scoffing at foreigners, whom we all understood to be comical half-wits.... Now of course you can't do that, at any rate in public.It's a shame, isn't it? There are few better ways to liven up a stuffy party than to break out one's 78rpm copy of Uncle Josh at a Chinese Laundry (in which Punkin Centre's ambassador of goateed goodwill recounts his epic battle against "a critter with his head and tail on the same end").
But now, thanks to the Cult of Diversity, such harmless entertainments are frowned upon...in public, anyway. And honestly, where's the pleasure in laborious racialist axe-grinding if one must fear remonstrance, or - worse yet - the medusa gaze of the humorless woman? I mean to say, dash it all...it's enough to give a chap the blue devils.
As you've probably gathered, I'm fatally afflicted with the "plonking earnestness" that makes Americans such unsatisfactory company for live wires like Derbyshire. So I don't think I'll risk losing an invitation to dine chez Derb by arguing that there seems to be a link between his belief that scoffing at wogs, darkies, and spics is harmless fun, and his belief that slaughtering 'em by the million is a sovereign remedy for existential dread.
I wouldn't expect him to disagree, nor to care. But I do find it interesting that his loud-thundering lust for "punitive ruthlessness" in Iraq led him to support a war he now deplores. I wonder if it's possible that unblushing racism is as poor a foundation for political analysis as it is for dinner-party etiquette?