Category Archives: Essays

Warfare, According to Shakespeare

In the February issue of New English Review, our scholarly doctor covers various aspects of Shakespeare’s Henry V relating to warfare, political intrigue, and patriotism.

We have no great kings any more, of course, but we have great people who cannot be confined within the weak list of a country’s fashion. And since all men are created equal, they are indeed the makers of manners, not necessarily to the advantage of society as a whole. But at the very least, Henry’s pretensions to modesty are here revealed as false and hypocritical. He is every inch a king, an absolute monarch. He might even be considered a monarchical populist.

A Tale of Two Drunks

In his weekly Takimag column, our English doctor returns to old Blighty and encounters a varied assortment of drunks on the train to and from London.

Two drunks don’t make a social trend. It is well to remember that when next you make a pronouncement on the state of society on the basis of your personal experience, which—if you are anything like me—you will do very soon.

Children at Checkout

In last week’s Takimag, the disappointed doctor delves into the eating habits of the average Brit and comes away disillusioned with mankind in general.

My impression is that people have become more difficult of late years, more complex in an uninteresting way, possibly because of the habit, not of reflecting on themselves, but of thinking and talking about themselves. Possibly my difficulty is part of the aging process, which in this case is mine; but never, so it seems, have so many people been so incompetent in the art of living, notwithstanding all the advantages they have enjoyed in their lives.

A Victory for Academic Freedom but the War Can Still Be Lost

Over at The Epoch Times, the good doctor points to a welcome victory for normalcy, reality, common sense, and academic freedom over the absurd, aberrant, and abhorrent ‘trans’ ideology at an English university.

This is the Trojan horse for strict censorship, for nowadays distress at hearing opinions that one finds distasteful is held to lead to psychiatric disorder, and psychiatric disorder is held to be no different, categorically, from a broken leg.

A Culture Poisoned by Self-Contempt

In the Australian Quadrant, the doubtful doctor opines on the pro-Palestinian demonstrations that have been occurring in many Western countries, which he views as clear manifestations of anti-Western self-loathing.

Among Westerners, exhibitionist self-hatred is the sign or even proof of true moral enlightenment and generosity, albeit that no one wants really to pay the corollary of it in hard cash. Among Middle Easterners, such hatred is a symptom of the gnawing self-contempt of people who want everything Western without having to admit that their own region of the world has contributed so little of late centuries to what they themselves desire and cannot go without.

Keeping Up With Japan

In his weekly Takimag column, our worldly doctor opens up The Japan Times and is confronted with disturbing news stories that conflict with his clichés of Japan.

At any rate, the article hints at (though does not prove the existence of) a society in which radical social isolation and loneliness are common and, as other statistics quoted suggest, are becoming more common. No wonder the Japanese have so few children.

All the President’s Mien

Back at Takimag, the skeptical doctor takes the disgraced and dishonest former Harvard president behind the woodshed and gives her what she desperately deserves.

What the world does not need, and what it needs not to have, is ambitious or evangelical mediocrities. What political correctness and wokeness have done is to give such types their chance to accumulate power, position, influence, and wealth. Such people are inclined not merely to obstruct people more gifted than themselves, but to fear and hate them. Thus, they are ever on the lookout for pretexts to destroy them.

The Perils of Polypharmacy

Over at The Epoch Times—that bastion of Falun Gong intellectual thought—our concerned doctor laments the passing of the American actor Matthew Perry and ruminates on his excessive reliance on the pharmaceutical industry’s products.

However, we’re still inclined to believe that with advances in science and technology, we can live a life of permanent satisfaction and even happiness. Therefore, we medicalize their opposite, as if the natural state of mankind were perpetual bliss, deviations from which were a pathology that called for medical intervention.

The Food Police

In the first Takimag article of 2024, Dr. Dalrymple lambastes the spineless, politically correct JAMA while mocking the publication of yet another ineffectual and mostly meaningless medical research paper. New year, same old Dalrymple…

Could that pregnant person possibly be a woman? Heaven forfend that so prejudiced a thought should occur to us! If it occurred to you, dear reader, I suggest that your brain still needs washing. The word woman is here abjured by JAMA as completely as, say, it would abjure (rightly) the word bitch with reference to a woman. In other words, the word woman is now treated as if it were in itself an insult, a rather strange result of pro-feminist indoctrination.

Tender Death

Happy New Year to one and all! In the January issue of New English Review, our favorite doctor contemplates death, expanding his vast library, the gambling habits of his uncle (the best man he ever knew), and the value of playing the lottery.

But in the face of the inevitability of death, what hope is not illusory, or at least not of fleeting duration? And yet, who would, or can, live without hope? Better a false hope than a realistic despair. La Rochefoucauld said that we can stare for long neither at the sun nor death; T.S. Eliot said that humankind cannot stand very much reality. Illusion is essential to human existence.