Ice Cold

The most recent New Criterion essay of the good doctor skewers yet another one of Britain’s mediocre, vulgar, liberal public intellectuals in his review of Tiffany Watt Smith’s 2018 book.

Schadenfreude: The Joy of Another’s Misfortune is interesting, but not because it is good. It is interesting because it is symptomatic of the increasing vulgarity and crudity of intellectual life in the modern English-speaking world, particularly in Britain, where it goes almost unopposed.

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The book has at least the virtue of being short, but also the vice of being too long. Without intending to, it displays in concentrated form the prevailing characteristic of modern British culture, namely a vulgarity in conception, thought, feeling, and expression which has been raised almost to the level of an ideology.

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