Against vulgarity

We’ve been remiss in not yet posting this Spectator piece several of you told us about, on the public discussion of Pippa Middleton’s derrierre:

When Orwell wrote his famous essay on the postcards of Donald McGill, he called them ‘a harmless rebellion against virtue;’ they were always funny and sometimes genuinely witty. He concluded, I think rightly: ‘The corner of the human heart that they speak for might easily manifest itself in worse forms, and I for one should be sorry to see them vanish.’ The corner has become, in Britain, nearly the whole. There is nothing in modern British vulgarity that I would miss if it were to disappear from the face of the earth.

7 thoughts on “Against vulgarity

  1. Gavin

    I didn’t think this was particularly vulgar actually, but then I see much greater vulgarity with my own eyes on the streets of London every day.

    Today, for example, while dining in Mr McDonald’s establishment, I witnessed through the window a man swigging from a can of super strength lager while smoking a cigarette. Nothing unusual in that, of course, but he had a special can holder on the pram (stroller) he was pushing and was at the same time teaching his small son how to fight, while uttering copious F words.

    On this short outing in a typical area of London, I also witnessed, of course, countless “flesh tunnels” and tattoos, and an “urgent blood” ambulance screaming by accompanied by several squad cars. (There’s been a knifing at a rate of approximately one every two days in London in recent weeks.) I saw nobody dressed in any conservative sense (that would be truly rebellious).

    Back to the matter at hand, general vulgarity, I’ve been wondering what TD would make of this programme: The idea of the programme is actually pretty good – giving the lost of Britain a “make-under” – but you don’t half see some sights on it..

  2. David

    Gavin, are you not able to move away from London or even Britain? Constantly whining about it on a Dalrymple website isn’t going to change anything is it?

    And if you don’t like vulgarity perhaps you shouldn’t dine in trashy American burger joints. These kind of places do attract a certain kind of person I find. You also want to be careful of the Hamburger Gases.

  3. Jaxon

    “I didn’t think this was particularly vulgar actually”

    You have a point I suppose… I remember when I was not even in my teens, my rather conservative, church going mother, was something of an enthusiast of the Royals.
    I clearly recall my older sister deriving some satisfaction in being able to say that Prince Andrew’s nick name was Randy Andy.
    My mother wasn’t too impressed, it undermined the supposed example that the Royals were expected to set… to cut a long story shorter, this was typical of my sister, she went on to almost perfectly fit the description of many of the foolish, wilful, young women that Dalrymple describes in, say, The Rush From Judgment

    I don’t wish to be a kiljoy, prude or what have you, but it seems that to give an inch is to give a mile.

  4. Jaxon

    Oh yeah, I did see one episode of Snog, Marry, Avoid.. I basically hate the format but the girl seemed to undergo such an encouraging transformation, in appearance at least, I was happy for her… she previously looked utterly terrible, like something out of a horror film… but alas, she apparently went back to her old ways.

    I got the impression that she quite liked the change but felt uncomfortable, like some kind of fraud… it caused to much moral dissonance.

  5. Edmund Bingley

    Forgive me if I am misunderstanding you, David, but I thought that Gavin merely writes his observations about London to us here, as Dalrymple himself does in his writings. This is a Dalrymple site, as you noted, so where better to vent one’s frustrations if not here, amongst like-minded individuals? If people do not speak out against the evils in society, how on earth do you propose these things can change? London *is* getting worse, do you think running away is the best solution? Troubles spread, my dear fellow, and sooner or later it will be at the small town near you. Also, I myself enjoy a meal at that great American establishment called McDonald’s, as it caters to all kinds of people. I also dine at restaurants in Fortum & Mason, Harrods, etc. And believe you me, vulgarity is present in those establishments as well at times, (mainly from nouveau riche persons). I enjoy watching SMA sometimes, as I see these painted tarts on the street and at work all the time.


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