Poolside cocktails at noon. The Southern California sun shines and the drinks flow like the Trevi fountain, and yet my reveries are interrupted by the cries and panting of young people who run about the place like wild animals. It is most irritating. I do not ask much from life, but I do require on occasion some peace and quiet. I do my best work slipping away somewhere else. In fact I am almost there now.
As you know, I have no children--which fact makes me eminently qualified to comment upon their proper cultivation and training. Detachment fosters objectivity. Plus there is the fact--as difficult as it may be for some to accept--that I myself was once a child, albeit a famously good one who kept his crimes well hidden, which should come as no surprise at all.
Now back to poolside cocktails. I am reminded of a passage in the New Testament: "Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God" (Luke 18:16) I like to think Our Lord did not have in mind the spoiled little brats that I increasingly find disturbing my morning tea and afternoon alcoholic meditations. Indeed this kind of religious thinking, if taken literally (as it too often is), can be quite damaging. It encourages adults to act, think, and dress like children. It inspires parents to indulge their children's naughty behaviour and to serve every childish whim. The infantilisation of society also promotes the interests of bolshevik-capitalist elites, for whom a crude, unformed populace is one that is easily managed. Childishness is the conduit through which consumers are manipulated. For our ancient foes, it is a winning formula; for us, it is a disaster. It is a situation in danger of getting out of hand. In which case it might be best to stop feeding the monster.
For this reason our children, the most vulnerable members of society, should be neither seen nor heard. Young people, especially pretty girls, do not really become interesting until they are aged 18 or so. So until then they ought to be kept in special compounds or schools, acquiring knowledge and practical skills, learning good manners, absorbing our people's traditional mores and customs, and memorising the complete works of G.K. Chesterton, Rudyard Kipling, and P.G. Wodehouse. There is much to be said in favour of a convent education along traditional Roman Catholic lines.
Most certainly not should children be allowed to run free in martini bars like gangs of African savages on holiday, creating general mayhem, pestering handsome older drunk chaps in Persol sunglasses and Vilebrequin swimming costumes. In situations like these I always ask myself: What would Bertie Wooster do? Most likely he would remain oblivious to it all. Alas I am no BW and therefore must act determinedly with a cocktail and rolled-up copy of the FT in hand. Now excuse me while I stumble off to biff some grown-ups on the nose.