Tuesday, 5 May 2015

#33 - "The Camp of the Saints" by Jean Raspail

Turd-Eating Indian Zombies


By Admiral Fartmore

(book chosen by Beau Dashington)

Editor's Note: Mmm... turds.

The Camp of the Saints by Jean Raspail is a racist, apocalyptic novel about zombie-like hordes of South Asians flooding into Europe and bringing about the fall of Western civilization. It has been referred to as a French “anti-immigration analog to The Turner Diaries,” the rambling white-supremacist bible that inspired the Piece of Shit Book Club in the first place, and there is no misreading its message: immigration is very literally the end of the world. It’s basically The Walking Dead except with Indians. Quelle horreur!

To briefly recap the plot: in India, a dalit man (referred to exclusively as “the turd eater”) has with his wife produced the Antichrist; a disfigured, wailing baby that is able to control hordes of Indians through his unintelligible screams. The screaming monster-baby rides on its father’s shoulders, commanding its followers to board steam ships and sail to Europe. So millions of impoverished Indians load up in boats and sail to the promise-land. Most of the book deals with the French government's debate over what to do when these steamboats arrive. There’s also some side plots about Chinese flooding into Siberia and black people taking over New York, but they are just typical half-baked race war crap and are secondary to the whole HMS Antichrist zombie-invasion conundrum.

Imagine a combination of World War Z and American History X.

The ships make their way to the French Coast, while their denizens sing, dance, bang and shit a lot. During the journey, the antichrist baby dies on Good Friday and comes back to life on Easter, and international blockades are unable to contain the ships because of how bad they smell. In the meantime, French society has been split on the issue of how to deal with their arrival, leading to the President giving the bizarre order for military forces to shoot at the immigrants “if they choose.” Half the military fights, half doesn’t, a sort of civil war erupts, and then a few months later France has becomes some kind of multicultural dystopia where white women must serve in whorehouses and public pools are ridden with STDs. He’s a bit loose on the details, but I guess racism is always a you-fill-in-the-blanks kind of thing.

Dehumanization is a pretty standard step in any kind of racist manifesto: all other things removed, humans are generally compassionate toward other humans, so you have to make the target ethnicity as non-human as possible in order to kill the reader’s empathy. But rather than use cliché terms like cockroach, rat, leech, etc., Raspail takes things a step further and accomplishes the complete zombification of Indians: they are always in a horde, “a forest of fleshless, Gandhi-arms,” “monsters thronging about,” a “tide that absorbed and digested” all in its path. They never speak, just moan and grope and trample things. They aren’t portrayed as consciously evil, just mindless and starving. So, pretty much exactly like zombies.

Raspail sharing another terrifying tale from the crypt!

Seems like a case of the ghoul calling the zombie dead. And as for the antichrist that leads the zombies from the turd-eater’s shoulders? Well, he apparently looked something like this:

“At the bottom, two stumps; then an enormous trunk, all hunched and twisted and bent out of shape; no neck, but a kind of extra stump, a third one in place of a head, and a bald little skull, with two holes for eyes and a hole for a mouth, but a mouth that was no mouth at all—no throat, no teeth—just a flap of skin over his gullet.”

Raspail's cartoon villains are like something out of South Park, except they aren't parody.

Raspail is otherwise a celebrated figure in French literature, but he couldn’t resist referring to the dalit exclusively as a turd-eater. I think that’s the most annoying part of this kind of racist trash – this strange duality of very serious demonization and very immature characterization of other ethnicities. One paragraph Raspail will be literally talking about the end of the Christian world (a plane carrying the Pope inexplicably explodes), and the next he will be talking about how much better forks are than chopsticks. He says curry stinks. He even says that Indian guys have weird looking dicks. All this, from a guy whose collection of literary awards rivals my own cabinet of Most-Improved-Player awards.

The work is also as much an attack on modernity and liberalism as it is a racist manifesto; the flood of immigrants is basically presented as a punishment to Western society for failing to uphold conservative, Christian values. Raspail includes an extended allegory about an old oak door in some hamlet in southern France (it represents a strong, Christian Europe, or whatever) and this door is eventually destroyed not by Indian zombies, but by infighting in the French army. The real enemies in Raspail’s world are those who failed to just bomb the fleet of ships before it arrived; his heroes are those characters that started shooting Indians (even back in India) without a second thought. Anyone that attacks the mobs inevitably gets crushed to death, but all of them “die with a clear conscience,” and so the book attempts to vindicate extreme xenophobes today by casting them as misunderstood martyrs, while the rest of us are actually working the bring about the apocalypse.

As a work of horror, it’s commendable. This is terrifying for anyone to read; for racists it is a potentially real end-of-days nightmare, and for the rest of us it is an actually real glimpse into a violent, hate-filled worldview. Raspail warns that immigration to the West is leading to a society where people “shit on [the] terrace and wipe their hands on books.” It’s funny he mentions that, because after reading this, I’ve never wanted to wipe my ass with a book more.

Jean Raspail, you - monsieur - are the turd-eater.

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