Snake Charm

Theodore Dalrymple reflects on the increasing popularity of keeping snakes as pets after reading about a woman in Indiana who was asphyxiated to death by her python.

We seek to avoid emotional commitment because it impinges on our freedom—freedom being an infinitely large buffet or smorgasbord of choices, in which one choice does not preclude another later on. This attitude is perfectly appropriate to youth, which naturally enough wants to try many things before it settles on something that limits choice and creates obligation.

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