Société pour la prévention de la cruauté envers les mouches de l’Ardèche

A new organisation dedicated to protecting this vulnerable group

We have always, warns Dalrymple,

to keep a hold of ourselves, and temper our inclinations by conscious thought and self-control. The fact is that the Kingdom of Cruelty is within us.

Flypapers cannot be permitted in a civilised society

The misery of these oppressed insects must end

He writes that certain people, when for instance hanging up flypapers, and after the cloying ribbons have been hung,

enjoy watching flies arriving on the flypapers and engaging in a struggle that can lead only to their slow death.

Such people delight in

witnessing the suffering of flies.

Outlaw flyribbons now!

They can

happily watch it for many minutes on end.

Therefore Dalrymple has founded the SPCMA, which will campaign for the outlawing of flyribbons.

He points out that

it is not the fault of a fly that it is a fly and not a kitten.

He notes that

if things had been otherwise, we could all have been born flies. There (that is to say the flypapers) but for the grace of God go we.

It is not the fault of a fly that it is a fly and not a kitten

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British social policy defined

An idiocy wrapped in a lunacy wrapped in an absurdity, to produce misery and squalor

Dalrymple writes:

A tax on knowledge is a terrible thing, but a tax on ignorance, prejudice, evasion and half-truth is worse. That is what every British household with a television must pay, for the privilege of having the earnest but frivolous lucubrations of the BBC purveyed to it, whether it wants them or not.

This poll tax — or licence fee, as it is known — is the equivalent of nearly $200 per household a year, and is thus worth evading. Unfortunately, it costs nearly three times as much to catch evaders as the licence fees would have raised if paid. One proposal is to halve the licence fee for single mothers. Dalrymple comments:

In other words, we should subsidise a subsidy, in the name of a universal right to misinformation and trashy entertainment (and at the same time confer yet another incentive for single parenthood).

Decay of the USA

A statue of Christopher Columbus in the centre of Los Angeles has been covered up, and a fence put around it. Columbus Day has been suppressed and the authorities of the city — which is bankrupt and has the largest population of homeless people and the worst traffic in the USA, and a frighteningly high rate of murder, rape, gang violence and other serious crime — focuses all its energies on recognition and celebration of ‘Indigenous Peoples’ Day’. Dalrymple comments (from 01:14):

It’s rather odd. Here we have criticism of someone who lived 500 years ago.

He notes that it is one of a number of putrid present-day cheap

moral enthusiasms.

There is

a kind of retrospective condemnation of people — without any examination of our current conduct. It’s all part of a syndrome in which to be good is to have the right opinions, it isn’t necessarily to behave well.

 

To require expressions of remorse from prisoners is to demand to be lied to

Remorse, writes Dalrymple,

is a private emotion, and is sullied and rendered doubtful by the possibility of personal advantage if it be expressed.

Moreover,

there are some crimes so heinous that remorse for them is beside the point, at least where earthly judgment is concerned.

And

while people may pride themselves on their compassion when they claim that no person is beyond the reach of remorse, redemption, and rehabilitation, in fact what they show is a lack of imagination. There are some crimes that are properly beyond secular forgiveness; there were many in the 20th century; and we should not confuse the realm of the secular and divine.

Going to Syria is not like going on a day trip to Bognor Regis

Max Hill QC: a conceited ass, and at the same time a naïf

Dalrymple writes:

One of the reasons given by Max Hill QC, the independent reviewer of anti-terrorist legislation, as to why not all British travellers returning from Syrian war zones will be prosecuted — namely that many of them were merely naïve — is itself somewhat naïve.

What we are being asked to believe

is that young people — but not so young as not to have reached the age of discretion — travelled to Syria without knowing very much about what they might find there, or what they might be asked to do.

This, Dalrymple points out, is

among other things an insult to their intelligence.

Corbusians versus the cockroaches

Dalrymple writes that Le Corbusier’s

casual but vicious totalitarianism, his inhumanity, his rage against humans, is evident. He felt the affection and concern for humans that most people feel for cockroaches.

Like Hitler, Le Corbusier

wanted to be an artist, and, as with Hitler, the world would have been a better place if he had achieved his ambition — one could have avoided his productions. The buildings that he and myriad acolytes have built scour the retina of the viewer.

The Corbusians are original in nothing but the new outrages they commit

A single Corbusian building

can devastate a landscape or destroy an ancient townscape, with a finality quite without appeal.

As for Le Corbusier’s city planning,

it was of a childish inhumanity and rank amateurism that would have been mildly amusing had it remained theoretical.

Dalrymple’s æsthetic detestation of Charles-Édouard Jeanneret

Le Corbusier, Dalrymple points out, was

  • personally unpleasant
  • a plagiarist
  • a liar
  • a cheat
  • a thief

His ideas were

gimcrack at best, and often far worse than merely bad.

A criminally bad architect

To commission a building from Le Corbusier

was to tie a ball and chain around one’s ankle, committing to Sisyphean bills for maintenance, as well as to a dishonest estimate of what the building would cost to build. He was technically ignorant and incompetent, laughably so. His roofs leaked, his materials deteriorated. He never grasped elementary principles of engineering.

A house by Le Corbusier

was not so much a machine for living in (one of his fatuous dicta) as a machine for generating costs and for moving out of. In the name of functionality, Le Corbusier built what did not work; in the name of mass production, everything he used had to be individually fashioned.

Having no human qualities himself,

and lacking all imagination, he did not even understand that shade in a hot climate was desirable, indeed essential.

Foulest of the fascist architects

Le Corbusier’s writing is

exhortatory and often ungrammatical, full of non-sequiturs and dubious assertions. He raves rather than argues; everything is written in an imperious take-it-or-leave-it mode.

Le Corbusier’s pronouncements, and the belief in them,

led to the construction of a thousand urban hells, worse in some ways than traditional slums because they were designed to eliminate spontaneous human contact. He hated the street, because it was messy, unofficial and unofficiated. He hated it as an obsessively houseproud woman hates dust.

Despite his horrible failings, Le Corbusier exerts

an unaccountable hold over architects and intellectuals. In France (but not only in France), to criticise him is to put oneself beyond the pale, and careers have been obstructed if not ruined by doing so. He seems to have a grip over minds, and those who are attracted to him are attracted also to totalitarian methods of keeping control over opinion. While hundreds of fawning books have been published about him, only a relative handful have taken a critical stance, and even those that provide ample evidence of his manifold defects and crimes refrain from drawing the obvious conclusion.

Stench of Marxism

Dalrymple reads (not by choice, but for a reviewing job) a 700-page biography of Bertolt Brecht

without coming across a single instance of a decent, kind, or selfless act.

Brecht

could not even be bothered to wash for the convenience of others.

The decision not to bathe

was his tribute, albeit not a very flattering one, to the proletariat.

Passeggiata a Mogadiscio

Dalrymple is struck during his perambulation by

the Italian atmosphere and influence.

He comments:

Whatever else might have been said of the Italians as colonial overlords, they knew how to build a graceful city, and they had a beneficial effect on the cuisine.

Italian Cinema

The Savoy

Bank of Rome

Garessa Museum (built as a fort by the Sultan of Zanzibar)

Town Hall

Cathedral

Cathedral ruins

Governor’s Palace

Customs House

Gates to Customs House

War Memorial

War Memorial

Emilio De Bono School

4th November Square

Gold Market

Triumphal Arch, built in 1928 for the visit of the Prince of Piedmont

Triumphal Arch

Triumphal Arch

Town Hall

Southern Cross Hotel

Bank of Italy

Governor’s Palace

Fish Market

Triumphal Arch

Governor’s Palace

4th November Square

4th November Square

4th November Square

4th November Square

Bazaar

4th November Square

Bank of Rome ruins

Garessa Museum interior

Garessa Museum interior

Cathedral

Cathedral ruins

Cathedral ruins

Governor’s Palace

Governor’s Palace

Triumphal Arch

Triumphal Arch

Triumphal Arch

Garessa Museum

War Memorial

War Memorial

War Memorial

Triumphal Arch

Triumphal Arch

Giacomo De Martino Hospital

4th November Square

4th November Square

4th November Square

4th November Square

Visit of the Princess of Piedmont (Princess Marie-José of Belgium)

Garessa Museum

Arabian eroticism

Flying from Riyadh to Mogadishu on Saudia, Dalrymple is placed for the first and only time in his life in first class (for lack of seating elsewhere on the aircraft). Soon after take-off,

niqab are thrown off with a flourish, revealing the women underneath to be stylishly, expensively, and in some cases scantily dressed in tight-fitting designer clothes, as well as heavily made up.

He comments:

The reality of a society is often different from at least some of its appearance.

A doctor working in Arabia tells Dalrymple that

the inviolability of the women’s quarters in a Saudi household and the niqab itself are conducive to extramarital affairs, provided the male lover is prepared to don a niqab himself, which he often is.

How the noble conduct themselves

Richard I

To have gone through much, writes Dalrymple, yet

to continue without any demonstrative conduct that inconveniences others or puts them off their ease —

this

is heroism.

It is scarcely to be found today, when

self-disclosure, as public as possible, is what we admire and call brave — known in prolefeed journals and internet sites as opening up.