In his weekly Takimag column, Theodore Dalrymple ponders the importance of toilet paper, workers who provide us with our basic services, as well as the position of supermarket shelf-stacker during these dark days of the Chinese coronavirus. Classic Dalrymple.
For example, if there were no electricity, there could be no theater productions, at least in their modern form, and certainly no films, to say nothing of many other refined aspects of existence. While we could do without plays and films, we could not do without electricity; just think how upset we are when the lights go out even for a short time because a power cable is down. We feel a sense almost of moral outrage, as if our rights were somehow being infringed. Therefore the least worker on the electricity grid is more important to us, if we think honestly, than the greatest director in the history of stage or film; and yet we admire the director far more than the man whose work is a precondition of the director’s work.