Guilty of supreme sordor

The Ched Evans affair was, writes Dalrymple,

emblematic of a prevalent aspect of contemporary British culture. No one who has gone down the main street of a British town at midnight on Friday could really have been much surprised by the incident.

The case illustrates

the sub-Gomorrah nature of many contemporary British enjoyments, in which women participate as enthusiastically as men. Evans has acknowledged that his behaviour was bad, though (perhaps understandably) without recognition of how disgusting it was. But it would be implausible to say that the conduct of the alleged victim was on an altogether different and higher moral plane from his.

Monstrous Macron

Dalrymple likens Emmanuel Macron’s face to that of an ‘intelligent shark‘, and notes that his voice, ‘when he tries to play the role of passionate demagogue, is enough to shatter glass’.

Fillon’s sin

It was, writes Dalrymple haltingly, perhaps

venial. They are all at it, I tell myself.

It is hypocritical, to be sure, for Fillon to attack the State whose finances he has exploited. But

is his hypocrisy any worse than that of the Leftists who argue for equality and live like élites, who are egalitarian in everything except their lives?

The unspeakable

The object of political correctness, writes Dalrymple,

is to make the obvious unsayable, or at least sayable only under the threat of a torrent of criticism or abuse.

This does violence to the mind and spirit.

Those who refrain from objecting to the false pieties of political correctness (which are intoned within organisations as regularly as in public) come to despise themselves.

Speaking power to truth

Political correctness is not a neurodegenerative disease, the doctor explains,

but it might as well be, so devastating is its effect on intellection. It appears to be infective, spreading from brain to brain. It is more like a form of chronic mass hysteria.

A little like our economic system, it must be forever expanding to survive.

The capitalist system, Dalrymple reminds us, must

stimulate new desires in consumers and make those desires as quickly as possible seem like needs, without the satisfaction of which life is rendered impossible.

Similarly, political correctness,

to extend its soft-totalitarian hold over the population, must discover new injustices to set right — by a mixture of censorship, language reform, and legal privileges for minorities. The meaning of life for the politically correct is political agitation.

Dalrymple points out that the greater the violation of common sense, the better.

It is like communist propaganda of old: the greater the disparity between the claims of that propaganda and the everyday experience of those at whom it is directed, the greater the humiliation suffered by the latter — especially when they were obliged to repeat it, thus destroying their ability to resist, even in the secret corners of their heart.

That is why the politically correct

insist that everyone use their language: unlike what the Press is supposed to do, the politically correct speak power to truth.

All that is necessary for humbug to triumph is for honest men to say nothing

The politically correct, Dalrymple notes,

never seem to become bored with their thoughts. This leads to a dilemma for those who oppose political correctness, for to be constantly arguing against bores is to become a bore oneself. On the other hand, not to argue against them is to let them win by default. To argue against rubbish is to immerse oneself in rubbish; not to argue against rubbish is to allow it to triumph.

Hide a bushel under your light

screen-shot-2017-03-05-at-17-20-51Dalrymple writes that there was a time in his life, many, many years ago, when

people were not expected to boast about their accomplishments: they were expected not to boast about their accomplishments. Self-praise was regarded as no praise: someone who praised himself was thought to be a bad character.

These days,

boasting and the expression of self-satisfaction are essential to getting on in life, to climbing a hierarchy. You have to recommend yourself, not wait to be recommended by others (which might never happen).

screen-shot-2017-03-05-at-17-17-46Dalrymple reads an article in which an interviewee is asked to summarise his or her personality in three words.

This is a question that should not have been asked, that is almost obscene, being an invitation either to self-congratulation or to arch self-deprecation, the higher and slightly more acceptable form of self-congratulation. To adapt slightly the final sentence of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, whereof one ought not to speak, thereof one ought to be silent.

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A spouter of rubbish

screen-shot-2017-03-05-at-12-50-25The noted bodybuilder Asao B. Inoue, editor of Muscle Invasion magazine and professor of writing at the University of Tacoma in the state of Washington in the USA, writes like this:

Antiracist writing assessment ecologies explicitly pay close attention to relationships that make up the ecology, relationships among people, discourses, judgments, artifacts created and circulated. They ask students to reflect upon them, negotiate them, and construct them. Antiracist writing assessment ecologies also self-consciously (re)produce power arrangements in order to examine and perhaps change them. When designing an antiracist writing assessment ecology, a teacher can focus students’ attention on a few of the ecological elements discussed, which inter-are. This means addressing and negotiating one element, say the part of a rubric, means you are addressing others, such as power relations and the ecological places where students problematize their existential writing assessment situations.

Dalrymple comments:

Cicero said that nothing was so foolish that some philosopher had not said it. This is just as well for us journalists, because it gives us such easy targets when we have deadlines to meet and no time to think, which is most of the time. The targets are becoming easier and easier. It is almost unfair, like mowing down a herd of deer with a machine gun. Massacre is not sport.

Not exactly Gibbon

Not exactly Gibbon

Still,

it must be done, or rubbish will rule the day; for the problem with the spouters of rubbish is that they are serious, in intent if not in thought. They want to change the world, and often succeed because at first no one takes them at their word. All that is needed for evil to flourish, Edmund Burke is said to have said, though no one can find where or when exactly, is for good men to do nothing.

Inoue, whom Dalrymple describes as

a deeply conventional corrupter of youth,

has

delivered himself of the pseudo-original opinion that American grammar is inherently racist.

screen-shot-2017-03-05-at-12-58-35Dalrymple writes:

It might be thought that a man like Professor Inoue could do little damage. It is unlikely that ghetto youth will ever go on the rampage shouting Problematize our existential assessment situations! It has other problems on its mind, such as police brutality and the price of crack.

The problem is that Inoue

probably demands of his students that they reproduce his thoughts—or rather, opinions. Professor Inoue is not alone in his disapproval of standard grammar, far from it: Pedagogically, it has become almost an orthodoxy.

The professor goes in for polysyllabic pseudo-ratiocination

The professor goes in for polysyllabic pseudo-ratiocination

Whatever else may be said of this view,

it is certainly socially conservative in its effects, for to discourage impoverished children from learning a standard language is to ensure (unless they become sportsmen or the like) that they remain impoverished for the rest of their lives, not only economically but in intellect. To be intelligent but not to have the tools to be able to use one’s intelligence is a terrible fate, and dangerous.

Absurdity in the modern world, says Dalrymple,

is not just funny (though it is funny); it has harmful effects. Politically correct thinking seems to have insinuated itself into the nooks and crannies of our culture. People who have utterly conventional thoughts by the standards of political correctness think they are daring, and that subversion consists of saying what everyone else (everyone in le tout Paris sense of the word) says.

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They have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing

Thus, says Dalrymple, the partisans of political correctness confronted with the election of Donald Trump. Their response, he points out, is to

carry on as before, causing the same bitter reaction everywhere.

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No garment is so ridiculous that it has not been designed by some modern couturier

screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-23-21-13London Fashion Week, writes Dalrymple, consists of seven days of designers whose only talent is self-promotion

parading their inelegant, unwearable and absurdly expensive rags, worn by a group of pale, half-starved and miserable models, to an audience of uncritical sycophants who possess neither taste nor insight.

He observes how strange it is that

there is so much interest in fashion, yet rarely do you see anyone in the street who is tolerably neatly turned out, let alone elegantly dressed.

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Prolefeed from the British state broadcaster

screen-shot-2017-03-04-at-23-06-35Publicly funded frivolity

Dalrymple notes that the BBC is

dedicated to reducing the IQ of the population and reducing its attention span. Its content is a distasteful mix of sport, the sexual antics of politicians, and gossip about celebrities who have achieved nothing.