The Poetry Of The Welfare State

Perhaps because Dalrymple illustrates so much of his work with his myriad personal experiences, his shorter essays often read like blog posts, albeit the best blog posts ever written. The effect is even more pronounced now that Monday Books is posting his Second Opinion pieces on a blog dedicated to the book.

Here is the latest, in which the doctor tries looking on the bright side of his patients’ vulgarity.

7 thoughts on “The Poetry Of The Welfare State

  1. Jonathan Levy

    I’m not sure I properly understood what is meant in the last line of the post:
    “If I’d run him over, I’d’ve put my hands up to it, wouldn’t I?”
    Can anyone explain exactly what he means? Is he saying that he would have confessed if he had done it?


  2. Steve

    Yes, I think that’s right, Jonathan. He is saying he was raised properly: for example, taught to confess to trying to run over his parents with a car.

  3. Dan Collins

    I’m not so sure (that he would have confessed if he had done it) Steve (and Jonathan).

    I think he’s probably reflexively lying – either about whether he ran his father over, or about whether he’d admit to it if he did.

    It reminds me a lot of the men who beat up women and then say that they love them: words are cheap, and in the case of some of the people Dalrymple writes about they rarely have much in the way of significant truth or meaning.

  4. Jonathan Levy

    I don’t think anyone was suggesting that he was telling the truth – I merely wanted to be certain that I had understood his lie correctly 🙂

  5. Tricky

    Interesting that he describes his girlfriend as both a smackhead AND a crackhead. Clearly he regards the presence of both deficiencies as providing extra justification.


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