Dalrymple at the supermarket

The doctor-writer enters, and is immediately highly irritated. There is

horrible compulsory music, pumped in like poison gas; one feels as if one were an experimental laboratory rat trapped in a cage, manipulated by psychologists trying to determine precisely what kind of music makes people buy more of what they don’t need.

Then there are

fatuously jolly announcements, informing customers of the good news that there is a reduction this week in the price of nougat.

Supermarkets, Dalrymple points out,

destroy the small commerce of towns, which is essential to their social life.

They have

severed the population from an awareness of the seasonal rhythms of nature, at least where food is concerned, until they scarcely exist for us. Everything is available all the time, imported from the far ends of the earth.

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