High life

The difficult art of finding the right yacht

What boats tell us about the state of the world

8 November 2014

9:00 AM

8 November 2014

9:00 AM

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. Easier said than done, but after a charming lunch with two gentlemen of the New England school, and the wine, my mood was like that of children on Christmas Eve.

I noticed, lying next to the first inspected sailboat, a beautiful cruiser-sailer, hardly a pure sailing boat but with a capital ‘c’ for classy. I inquired and she was not for sale. She had been built by the president of IBM, one Tom Watson, obviously a gent of the old school. Her present owner is also a gent, I am told. Which brings me to the point I wish to make. These boats stand as proof to a later generation that there was a time when the rich really were different, and not just the ghastly, bloated slobs with blonde arm candy who own today’s hideous super-refrigerators. It has always been said that one judges a man by his boat and his woman. Today’s super-rich have horrible gin palaces as boats and super-stretched tarts for their women. There is nothing I can think of that I’d like to do less — except for catching Ebola — than to go on a yachting outing with such people. It is, however, a sign of the times we’re living in.

And one need look no further than what has happened to the America’s Cup. I saw a couple of those oldies being dry-docked in Newport, and being lovingly restored. Even after the great J-class beauties had been mothballed for the war, the 12-metre-class ones were just as graceful and wonderful to behold — until Larry Ellison, one of the richest and most disgusting men on the planet, decided he was a sportsman and won first in a court of law, then by creating a racing machine that looks like a creepy-crawly straight out of a Hollywood horror film. If the thing that is the present Cup holder is a boat, I am definitely Monica Lewinsky.

And speaking of that lady, which she is not, she came up and offered her hand to the mother of my children at the Norman Mailer gala last week, and TMOMC shook it. ‘What was all that about?’ I asked her. Well, I didn’t wish to be rude, said you know who. At least she didn’t kiss you, said yours truly, or offer you a cigar. But I am being bitchy. Ms Lewinsky is making the rounds and she’s now an honest-to-goodness celebrity because she has claimed victimhood. I suppose she is a victim of sorts; having to blow Bill Clinton takes the act out of the human realm and into science fiction. That’s why I don’t go to the movies any more. Too much science fiction and the monsters all look like Clinton.

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Show comments
  • Mikey the Innocent

    The old man once again drags his aged and talentless literary scrotal sack across these pages…

    Yawn.

    • ghostoflectricity

      MTI: The sentiment is true; no need to descend to his level of vulgarity, however. When you play Taki’s game of insult, derision, and bigotry by Taki’s rules, instead of subverting them and pointing out just what a pretentious bore (and boor) he is, he wins every time. He even got a puff piece (ostensibly about Gstaad and preservation of that Swiss ski resort in the face of the gentrifying vulgarians, as if this would concern anyone beyond the 0.1%) this past Sunday in the NYT Travel/Style fall magazine supplement. Many credulous “journalists” are susceptible to his charms, such as they are (many credulous kids were susceptible to Charlie Manson’s reptilian charisma as well in the acid-besotted Haight of spring, 1967- like Taki Manson got his loathsome followers for his loathsome agenda).

      • Mikey the Innocent

        I guess there are people who share his tedious bigotries, but that does not explain why the rest of us need to be subjected on a weekly basis to his senile offerings.

        Puff pieces? That’s all he can do.

        Mediocrity.

      • jjjj

        You’ve hit the nail of the head with the 0.1% point. He likes to rant and rail against ‘vulgar’ rich as he calls them and some of his slogans sound like they could have been chanted by the Anonymous onanists. But at the end of the day, he’s one of the 0.1% and laughing all the way to the bank on a tide of nihilism.

      • GenJackRipper

        Jeez, you’re such a boore.
        He’s not into your bland liberalism and actully has humour, wit and is not afraid of saying it how it is.

        Stop whining.

        • jjjj

          Stop cheerleading. What’s sauce for the goose…

        • ghostoflectricity

          Yes, the “wit” and “humor” of fat/money-grubbing/big-nose Jew jokes, “stupid/lazy” “Negro” jokes, and “idiot” Polish jokes. Real funny. “Bland liberalism”? What the hell is that? You know nothing of my politics or thoughts. You are good at insults, though not in a clever way. Taki is a pompous, untalented, unfunny, insulting, bigoted, crude and uncivil (while denouncing the supposed lack of civility or manners in others) jerk regardless of HIS politics. And you’re just a shill for him. “Boore”? Is that your lame, stupid, UNORIGINAL attempt at riffing on MY comment? Who’s a jerk and a bore? Go troll somewhere else. Somewhere Sterling Hayden (a fine and talented actor) is spinning in his grave at the thought of someone like you copping one of his most memorable film personas. Top that, “boore.”

          • GenJackRipper

            The amount of effort you put into this is beyond healthy.
            You should see someone about that.

      • Fritz123

        The game is to do what you want and to be as you are and to stay clean. The law of consequences. Crime is ugly and so on. Life is hard and not.

  • Robin St.Clair

    Thank you Taki, I entirely concur with your viewpoint. Just imagine your nightmares if she had kissed you!

    • jjjj

      Ah…An acolyte of Tacky. You must be one of the rich 0.1%

      • KimJongUn

        Taki is great. Takimag its also great. The Spectator is lucky to have him. You seem to have an obsession with the man. You´re like this Greek guy, this wannabe Emile Zola, who comments on every one of Taki´s articles and always starts his little rants with j´accuse. You don´t like Taki, we get it.

        • jjjj

          You’re like this dictator, this guy who presides over the state with the death camps…you know which one Kim. The mystery of how idiots can be seduced by the totalitarian mindset.

          • KimJongUn

            “Your beloved Palestinians were also settlers. Once the Jewish emigrants made the country bloom and economically viable, Arabs from the ME emigrated there.
            Jews had always lived in Palestine (The Romans gave it the name). ”
            So, STFU dirty troll.”
            Now I get why you hate on him so much.

          • ghostoflectricity

            Gefilte “fisch”? We know where you’re coming from. Not only an Anti-semitic bigot, but stupid to boot- but that’s probably redundant.

          • KimJongUn

            From someone that upvoted “The old man once again drags his aged and talentless literary scrotal sack across these pages…”

            By the bye, what´s the German word for fish?

          • Swanky

            I see you and I smell something beginning with sh and ending with it. I take it you have the wits to put it together? No, didn’t think so.

        • Swanky

          No he isn’t ‘great’. He’s vulgar to his boots. I wouldn’t want to see him in anything but clerical attire, but underneath he probably has 18 gold chains and 16 gold teeth and says ‘Arright man, rispeck’, the old fraud.

          • gerontius

            It’s 4 in the morning.
            What’s this conversation about?
            Taki? Amusing read, but wouldn’t take him seriously on anything.
            Nearest thing we have to a court jester.
            Going back to bed – hi Swanky

          • Swanky

            Hi love. It’s nothing at all. Just a rich snob with more money than taste — lord knows, the world has been full of them.

          • gerontius

            Thanks Swanky, I won’t worry my little head in that case!

    • Swanky

      Just imagine HER nightmares if HE had kissed HER. (Whoever the ‘she’ is: I didn’t bother to read it.) Eucchhhhh.

  • GenJackRipper

    I have to say that Lewinsky has aged well. I remember during the Clinton scandal me thinking “what the heck?” seeing a ugly fat woman.

    She’s not beautiful, but looks better than back in the 90s.

    • jjjj

      ‘an’ ugly not ‘a’. Oh well…such are standards.

      • ghostoflectricity

        In terms of arguing, you’d have a better intellectual discussion if you tried to argue with a banana slug- the slug would think more clearly and make fewer grammatical mistakes than “GJR.”

        • GenJackRipper

          Wow, I really stepped on your toes, didn’t I?

          Sorry, english isn’t my first language. Hang me high.

          • jjjj

            If only…

  • ”Imagine if Rochdale or Rotherham had happened at Yale. Would they have been covered by the paper, presented as race and ethnicity versus feminism? ”

    Dispossession through mass immigration (Rotherham,Rochdale …) has ruined the lives of millions.

    Labour sold 100 000s of Northern White working class children into Islamic booty slavery .Liberals and extreme anti-British kosher Miliband-ish leftist multi cults value the Ethnic muslim vote more than British children. All these sacrifices on the altar of white-guilt and multiculturalism result of liberal anti-national cultural marxism.

    This kind of racial replacement and displacement would be called ethnic cleansing in any other Non-Western country. Imagine the headlines if other native peoples were a minority in their own cities?? If Islamabad was suddenly full of white Christians in a generation, or if Baghdad was full of black muslims from Africa in thirty years, not arab muslims. It would be a terrible thing, a global crisis, and aid would be sent and bombs dropped!!

    But our own press and media think this is a good thing for their own Britain. They are mad.

    Vote UKIP and send the anti-British anti-christian anti Western BBC ,LIblabcon traitors to jail.

    • Fritz123

      Mamma Roma in America.

    • you_kid

      You will be pleased to hear that I have put in on myself to follow your future posts more closely.

  • Fritz123

    The right yacht.

    • Fritz123

      What is a yacht good for? What should it be good for? For wearing uebels gute Farben?

  • Adrian

    But he’s right = the new super-rich are more or less as dumb as dumb can be, but what’s even worse – vulgar with a capital V.

  • Swanky

    ‘one of the most beautiful’

    What does Taki know about it, the ghastly old gasbag?

    ‘The interior was spartan and I’m a spoiled old man’.

    No kidding. As my school friend once said by way of commentary: Oh, barf.

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