Theodore Dalrymple; The Passion of the Passionless

10th March 2017 0

There was a time in my life, many years ago, when people were not expected to boast about their accomplishments: indeed, they were expected not to boast about their accomplishments. Self-praise was regarded as no praise; indeed, someone who praised himself was thought to be a bad character. These days, however, boasting and the expression of self-satisfaction are essential to … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple: Modernist architecture is inherently totalitarian.

22nd February 2017 4

Modernist architecture is inherently totalitarian: it brooks no other, and indeed delights to overwhelm and humiliate what went before it by size and prepotency, or by garishness and the preposterousness which it takes for originality, and which turns every townscape into the architectural equivalent of a Mickey Finn.   In the Guardian newspaper last week, its architectural correspondent wrote an … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple: Obedient Servants

21st February 2017 0

A friend of mine, of a profession different from my own, received a letter the other day from his professional licensing authority – that is to say, the authority without whose approval and permission he cannot practise at all. ‘Dear Colleague’ the letter began, all nice, friendly and collegial. By its end, however, it had turned nasty and threatening. It … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple: A Modern Macchu Picchu

21st January 2017 9

In the second section of the Guardian for 16 January, there is an article about a building in Peru that has ‘just earned… the title of best new building in the world.’ As the awarding body was the Royal Institute of British Architects, it was only to be expected that the building was a complete aesthetic mess, an eyesore: for … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple: Bread and Circuses

18th January 2017 0

The circuses division of our bread-and-circuses regime is certainly in rude health. Opinions vary as to the health of the bread division off that regime: one can find everything from predictions of imminent collapse to those of vigorous growth and expansion. For myself, I find myself unable to decide whether economists belong more to the world of bread than they … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple; ‘I had that drunken student in my taxi’

13th January 2017 2

Taxi drivers are among the best sociologists I know, and even in war-torn countries they are usually better-informed about the military situation than the generals, or at least the military spokesmen. For me they are oracles: I believe everything they say. I arrived in Loughborough the other day. It was the first time I had ever been there and I … [Read on]

Theodore Dalrymple; Keening

28th December 2016 2

I usually give a few coins to beggars in the street. I know that some people think that this encourages beggary and even fraud, but I would rather be duped sometimes than never to trust anyone. And even the beggar who asks for alms when he could perfectly well earn his living some other way is pitiable, as a day … [Read on]

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