Category Archives: acting

Trump’s adolescent reply to Streep’s drivel

screen-shot-2017-01-15-at-21-43-25It was only to be expected, writes Dalrymple, that Meryl Streep

should use the Golden Globes to prove her virtue by criticising the president-elect. Donald Trump is a target whom it is almost impossible to miss, and insofar as everyone needs an object of disdain and reprobation, he performs a valuable public service. Even quite bad people can, with some justification, feel morally superior to him in some respect or other.

Streep’s attack, Dalrymple notes,

was neither unexpected nor original.

If she had

come out in favour of Mr Trump’s Mexican wall, and threatened Mexico with war if it did not pay for it, her speech would have been marginally more noteworthy.

As it was, Trump’s response

was the more interesting. He seems to have a rhinoceros hide and a very thin skin at the same time.

Trump replied that Streep was overrated, presumably as an actress. This, says Dalrymple,

was a very adolescent reply. I know nothing of Ms Streep as a person, whether she is good or bad or something in between (as most of us are), and I am not interested; but she is a very good actress, and this would be so even if she were a Nazi, a Communist, a flat-earther, a vegetarian, a spiritualist, a sadomasochist, or a child molester. Her acting ability has nothing to do with the justification of her opinion (or lack of it).

For the president-elect to react

like a child in a playground quarrel is alarming. Someone should take his mobile phone from him. If there is one person in the world who does not have the right of spontaneous free public expression, it is the president of the United States.

Snivelling Syrian beggars

In Paris, writes Dalrymple, a kind of beggars has come out like a rash in the Métro.

A mother, a father and a couple of young children sit against the wall with a carton on which are inscribed the words Famille syrienne.

The children, Dalrymple notes,

have been trained to make a continuous whining or keening sound that is neither spontaneous nor sincere. It is bad acting. Far from wanting to give them a coin, I want to give them a slap. Perhaps where they come from such snivelling is expected from beggars.


The demand to be lied to

img_2970The demand, writes Dalrymple,

for public expressions of contrition is the demand to be lied to, and it rewards thespian skill more than moral regeneration.

Often such expressions are

laughable, though no one laughs. How seriously is one supposed to take (as I have heard recounted to me) the alleged realisation that smashing a baby’s head against the wall and trying to stuff its body down the lavatory is wrong?

Even if such a realisation were

as genuine as Buddha’s enlightenment under the sacred Bo Tree, of what importance would it be, what would it count for? Is everything made right by a little light contrition afterwards?