We apologize for our recent long absence, as we were attending our parents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebration in our country’s spectacular Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks. Besides offering a wonderful time, it was an occasion to catch up with our family, and is now causing me to reflect on the truth of one of Dalrymple’s most important arguments.
Steve and my family life has been as easy and happy as Dalrymple’s was (according to him) difficult and resentment-producing. We have never seen or heard our parents even argue. That humans can be happy, civilized, and morally upright without questioning existing mores, or even being much inclined to reflection at all, as long as the proper prejudices (properly understood) are inculcated in them, is a truth on constant display by our parents. For which we are extremely grateful.
In the meantime we have fallen far behind in posting Dalrymple’s work, and this is made more difficult by the man’s unrelenting productivity (a good problem, of course). So rather than follow our usual format we are going to dump his latest pieces here:
A series of video debates by the Institute of Art and Ideas in which Dalrymple argues that “commodification of the body leads to a vulgar and violent society”.
On May 16th Dalrymple spoke at the Heritage Foundation, perhaps America’s most influential conservative/free market think tank, adapting the theme of what is probably his best-known book. I hope this doesn’t come off as boastful, but in creating this website Steve and I hoped to promote Dalrymple’s life and ideas and, judging by the introduction given to him before his speech, we are very pleased that someone at the Heritage Foundation has obviously read our site!
A few days later Dalrymple spoke at Hillsdale College, a liberal arts university in Michigan that National Review calls “a citadel of American conservatism”, condensing the arguments in Life at the Bottom and Romancing Opiates into a powerful explication of the dangers of the welfare state. Hillsdale’s impressive publication Imprimis has re-printed the speech.
Theodore Dalrymple wonders why the US authorities do not ship their condemned criminals to Belgium where that country’s doctors, skilled at euthansia, won’t make a botch of the executions.
The egghead in question being the president of Niger, who claimed that “poverty is the principal ally of terrorism”…
Until quite recently I had never read John Ford’s ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore though I had always meant to do so, partly (I suspect) on account of its title. But while it is Man that proposes, it is Time that disposes; and it is one of the one of the glories, or at least the consolations, as well as the frustrations, of our human existence that we never have time enough to achieve all our projects and purposes. Imagine what life would be after such complete achievement, how time would stretch before us featureless as oblivion but with the torment of awareness and the awareness of awareness, without any subject except itself to be aware of! No wonder people without projects or purposes go off the rails! At least self-inflicted crises give the illusion of meaning.
A sleepless night leads Dalrymple to Internet searches of his former professors, fellow students and colleagues.
A review of the drawing “The Electric Pencil” by James Edward Deeds, inmate of a Missouri state psychiatric hospital.
Theodore Dalrymple on a generation who expect genius to descend on them without any effort on their part.
When the French leftist newspaper Liberation attempts to blame Greece’s economic crisis on austerity, clearly a review of the country’s recent history is in order.
A major epidemic in America, which seems to me to have received rather less publicity than its scale would warrant, is the dramatic increase in the number of deaths in the country from overdose of prescription opioids.
Slobbery as Snobbery
For some, dressing poorly is a matter of ideology.
How a routine search for drugs turned up a terrorist.
Theodore Dalrymple wonders at a public sector company making loans to the poor at 44% p.a.
Reading the journal of an 18th Century doctor-turned-bestselling-author in France after the Revolution…
British values? Vulgarity: militant, uncompromising, aggressive and ideological