How the British are manumitted

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 23.17.38The attitude of mass-circulation British newspapers to vulgarity tends to be ambivalent, writes Dalrymple.

In theory, they are against it. In practice, they do much to advance vulgarity’s cause.

As vulgarity correspondent for one of these papers, Dalrymple is sent to the Spanish island of Ibiza, where he witnesses

nightly drunken Saturnalias on the beaches and in the streets.

The British holidaymakers there are

proud of their disgusting behaviour, exhibitionistic of it.

He notes that one of the nightclubs is called Manumission, and asks what kind of slavery it is from which those who enter seek release. Perhaps it is

  • the slavery of having to earn a living, often in a capacity below that which their education had led them to expect or hope for
  • the slavery of social convention (though, acting in crowds, they are deeply conventional people)
  • the slavery of consciousness, the sheer inescapability of thought

Another nightclub is called Amnesia. Dalrymple says:

If I were opening a new nightclub in Ibiza in competition with Amnesia, I would call it Anæsthesia.

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