New Pugs Club Member?

Over at Takimag, our favorite doctor informs his faithful readers of his dislike of the pug dog breed, a recent repetitive liberal house guest, and the eternal question of nature versus nurture.

This is what G.K. Chesterton meant when he said that, after Christianity, the Christian virtues would not be lost, they would run mad. With the death of God, people would replace Him in the forgiveness stakes, and in their universal but grandiose benevolence they would go round ostentatiously forgiving everyone—for what they did to others, of course.

Standards and Judgements

In the August issue of New English Review, our intrepid doctor reminisces about his visit long ago to Malawi as he reviews an excellent book on its formerly long-reigning dictator, Dr. Banda.

He was an amalgam that would now be thought impossible, that did not because it could not exist. Our official multiculturalism and post-colonialism have stunted our ability, and even our willingness, to try to understand and put ourselves in the place of such a person as Dr Banda. He was an anti-colonialist and African nationalist with a genuine admiration for the culture and achievements of the colonising countries—in this case, of course, Britain.

For Goodness’ Sake

In this week’s Takimag, the good doctor considers what it takes to be a good person, a world without hypocrisy, and our mediocre ruling elite. A delightful article to get the weekend off to a strong start.

But with the spread of the idea that goodness consists entirely of having the right ideas about the abstract questions of the day, presented in such few slogans that even the meanest of intelligences can grasp or memorize them, together with the seemingly obvious principle that the good should inherit the earth, the scene is set for a kind of prolonged coup d’état by the mediocre. And when it comes to the current crop of politicians in the Western world, many of them seem to have mediocrity inscribed on their faces.

Losing Doctors

Returning to the revamped online version of the Salisbury Review, Dr. Dalrymple summarizes the litany of avoidable missteps and misguided changes in the British health care system since the 1980s.

The behaviour of the junior doctors, reminiscent of the unionised car-workers in the 1960s and 70s who did so much to destroy the British car industry by pursuing ruinous pay claims, has severely damaged their prestige in the eyes of the public. They are no longer special; they are no different from any other group that thinks it can hold the public and the government to ransom.

The Rise of Totalitarianism: Banks Denying Services Based on Political Views

Over at The Epoch Times, our dissenting doctor illustrates the growing soft, leftist totalitarianism with the preposterous closure of Nigel Farage’s bank account by Coutts.

Even more alarming, perhaps, than the initial closure of Mr. Farage’s account on political grounds, which might have been the decision of an individual zealot and his or her apparatchiks, is that (according to him) 10 other banks, acting as a kind of inquisitional cartel, have refused to open accounts for him. Many of these banks will no doubt have been fined in the past for dishonest and large-scale illegal practices, but the one thing they will not tolerate is freedom of opinion.

Absolute Earnestness and Extreme Triviality

Over at Australia’s Quadrant, our cultured doctor attends a one-of-a-kind Haydn festival in his small English town and considers some of the latest nonsensical, politically correct leftist pieties.

Ladies and gentlemen, I hope all of you enjoy this scintillating essay.

I suspect that this hostility derives from a subliminal awareness that the music is a reproach to their own way of living, to its ugliness. Ugliness there has always been, of course, but now there is ugliness without aspiration to anything else, and indeed a desire to destroy anything else. Ugliness, being within the reach of all, is both democratic and authentic, in a way that beauty is not.

Hive Mentality

In his Takimag column, the inquisitive doctor has a visit from the local beeman after discovering an impressive nest attached to his French country house.

Most years we have to call the local beeman, who comes with an artificial hive to recover the swarm. To our surprise, he wears no protection; he says that he is used to stings, and in any case if you make no sudden movements, bees do not often sting. Not having previously known much about bees, or having had any experience of them, I was surprised to discover that he was right: Watching him closely in his work, and in the midst of clouds of bees, I was not stung even once.

Intellectual Dysfunction

Back at Law & Liberty, our concerned doctor concludes—not for the first time—that in a post-modern world utterly lacking in transcendental meaning, it is power rather than truth that most of our so-called intellectuals strive for.

As with so much in the modern world, one is not sure whether to laugh or cry. Deep academic solemnity and utter intellectual frivolity are often combined in the same sentences; academics pore over propositions that no intelligent person could entertain for a moment, as if, with enough study, some valuable truth might emerge from them. Such academics are the alchemists of our times.

Why AI?

In this week’s Takimag column, the good doctor considers the ramifications of the new AI technology, especially the menace of the omnipresent ChatGPT.

With the AI that has got me covered, I will be able to “create presentations effortlessly”—which immediately put me in mind of Dr Johnson’s dictum that what is written without pain is rarely read with pleasure. But is the effortless life desirable?