Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin

More bad signs from France:

I witnessed an instructive but depressing little scene three days ago. I was on an escalator in the Paris Metro at quite a busy time of day when a young man in international slum-costume and face as malign as the late Mark Duggan’s who was standing a few steps ahead off me used a spray gun to scrawl his initials in bright red on the hand rail. Scores of people saw him do it but no one intervened; and at the top of the escalator he returned the other way to repeat his action on another hand rail.

4 thoughts on “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin

  1. Laban Tall

    Off topic, but any chance of retrieving the full Dalrymple Interview of July 2004 in the New York Sun, which I blogged here :

    “Most of Birmingham is asleep, but here on Broad Street no one will go to bed for hours.

    Despite the near-freezing temperature, people are dressed in astonishingly little. Women in mini-skirts, high heels, and halter tops shiver visibly, hugging their sides with cold. A girl staggers down the sidewalk on stiletto heels, bent over and clutching her stomach: She’s about to vomit.Another collapses entirely, and her friends howl with laughter as policemen stare impassively. The crowd, which is multiracial, ranges from white men with shaved heads to Bangladeshis with gold-capped teeth. People eat as they walk, dropping fast-food wrappers on the ground.The noise is unbelievable.

    The throng includes the unlikely figure of Anthony Daniels, better known to readers of City Journal, the New Criterion, and the London Spectator by his pen name, Theodore Dalrymple. Stocky and balding, he has a wheezy laugh, a pugnacious mouth, and the devil-may-care smile of the born provocateur.

    “If you can have ideological drunkenness, this is ideological drunkenness,” Mr. Daniels says, almost shouting to make himself heard.

    “And what is the ideology?”

    “The ideology is, ‘I’ve got a right to do whatever I like, and you’re not going to stop me.’”

    Mr. Daniels has invited me to look at what’s going on not because it’s unusual, but because it’s commonplace, ordinary, and to be seen every weekend in urban centers all over the country. “This is British culture,” he says. “What you are now seeing is British culture.”

    1. Clinton

      I think I once had the entire interview, but I’ve been looking for it and can’t find it. I guess since the NY Sun is defunct now, it’s no longer available. I guess you could probably find it in a library somewhere. Sorry, I wish I could be more helpful.


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