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February 12, 2009



As one who attended the YAF convention in St. Louis in 1969, I can claim first hand observation of what Mr. Tyrrell is describing. It was certainly all about factions among the younger set, although our numbers were so small in the Boston area that each potential faction had only a couple of students--we had to build bridges to be able to do anything.
I think our friend Andrew is a different type altogether. And after all he has actually lived on four different continents already. A man of the world, while remaining a New Yorker at heart.

Mrs. Peperium

Alright, I'll ask the questions -what does YAF stand for and which were you sporting; the monocle or powdered wig?


Mrs P, my friends and I in college went through a snuff period. The first time I tried it I didn't know you were supposed to tap out a speck on the crook of your hand. Instead I applied my nostril directly to the opening in the tin and inhaled. Great fun, I can tell you.

Mrs. Peperium

Elk, in college, I used to think boys who used chewing tobacco were extremely attractive. I also thought if they not only chewed tobacco but played baseball or wore chocolate chaps with 3 inch fringe and cowboy boots, they were the real ginger....


YAF stands for Young Americans for Freedom. They were the reaction to the SDS and the Port Huron Statement, and, if I remember correctly, they were founded by noted social engineer William F. Buckley, Jr..


And as for snuff, it's the only thing I've found that has the happy double effect of (a)getting me, a smoker, through a long flight or train ride, and (b) assuring that my seatmate will ask to be reseated, giving me some elbow room.


As a point of clarification, I would say that when I refer to snuff I refer to the powdered stuff you keep in boxes and sniff up your nose to make you sneeze.

As for Copenhagen, we did that, too. Plus Red Man. Mrs P, you would have found us very attractive (though I'm not so sure you would have felt the same about the spittoons all over the place).

Andrew Cusack

It is, I have no doubt, an immense honour to be the subject of a post on Patum Peperium.

A few words in my defence (or rather, of clarification): I am no fop. I have a certain amount of respect for fops, with their monocles and capes and such. They are an extreme in one direction which exists to remind us that we, as a whole, have gone too far in the other direction. I have never had a cape, nor a monocle, and my only walking stick is for walks in the marshlands and countryside, never for town. In fashion, I am more of a Nantucket summer's day than a Pall Mall club evening, though I should prefer to fall somewhere in between (preferably not the north Atlantic, however).

I can avow that I have never, ever taken snuff (not that I have any objection to it). There can be no doubt, that I am (for lack of a better phrase) "smitten with monarchism". A more precise and accurate description would be to say that I am a firm believer in the hereditary principle, both in government and in society.

I have often been accused by folks from the sticks (R. Emmett Tyrrell... isn't he from Bloomington?) of being un-American, and the easiest response to this is the simple fact that I am American. (This argument, at least, has always satisfied me).

There is a boring conformism that is part of the middle American characer (note: the MIDDLE American, not the AMERICAN). It insists that only what is normal is American, and anything even slightly different is ipso facto un-American. In reality, it is just a different kind or variety of American than they have previously encountered.

One admires and appreciates the tolerance for eccentricity found amongst the Angles and the Celts. It is why my favoured drinking companion in New York is an Irish ironmonger.

Crackie & co: YAF survives, albeit in much reduced form. Nonetheless, the other YAF, the Young Americans Foundation, is much more active and undoubtedly its acronym is inspired by the older YAF. One also denotes a hint of inspiration in the new Ron-Paulist group, Young Americans for Liberty.

Vriendelike grote van Suid-Afrika en baie dankie for this honour, Mrs. P!

Old Dominion Tory

Mr. Tyrrell's memories are amusing and, indeed, "conservatism" is one of the biggest tents I have encountered politically. However, the tendency toward schism is not just restricted to Europeans. American conservatives have the same predilection to declare themselves the purest of the lot and then busy themselves with heaving brickbats at other conservatives from the confines of their exclusive tree houses.
Also, it is more than a little rich for Mr. Tyrrell to snicker at those conservatives who model themselves after Churchill and others. That because he labored to come across as the successor of the so-called Sage of Baltimore, H.L. Mencken.

Mrs. Peperium

"In fashion, I am more of a Nantucket summer's day than a Pall Mall club evening, though I should prefer to fall somewhere in between (preferably not the north Atlantic, however)."

Now I get why you're always wearing flip flops!!!

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