Category Archives: candles

We kill: you light candles

Dalrymple notes that in the West, Mahometan terrorists and would-be terrorists, together with their many sympathisers, have rightly gained the impression that they live in

a weak society that will be easy to destroy, so that their acts are not in the least nihilistic or pointless, as is often claimed. They perceive ours as a candle-and-teddy-bear society (albeit mysteriously endowed with technological prowess).

 

We drive lorries into them: they light candles

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-09-08-50A moment, writes Dalrymple, used to be defined as the period between

a Mexico City traffic light turning green and the sound of the first car horn.

Now it might be defined as the period between

a terrorist attack in a Western city and the first public appearance of a candle.

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-09-10-14Every terrorist attack

is immediately followed by the public exhibition of lighted candles. It is as if the population keeps a store of them ready to hand for the purpose.

Dalrymple imagines that all the candles

are an encouragement to the very kind of people who commit the massacres that are the occasion for the exhibition. We cut their throats, or drive lorries into them: they light candles. They are not morally superior, as they like to think they are; on the contrary, they are feeble, weak, soft, enervated, vulnerable, defenceless, cowardly, whimpering, decadent. Against such people, we are bound to win, and it won’t even take long.

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-09-11-47

Candles and teddy-bears

screen-shot-2016-09-14-at-04-47-08

‘No one should dismiss their effect on the political thought of a modern electorate,’ writes Dalrymple.

Out come the candles

Outside the French Embassy, London

Outside the French Embassy, London

They’re such a comfort to the Islamists

Dalrymple says he knew that,

within a few hours, the candles would be out.

Sure enough,

like the ants that appear on my kitchen surface when there is something sweet left about, lit candles in little glasses appeared. Where do they come from, these candles, and where are they hiding before a massacre, an assassination or a disaster?

Promenade des Anglais

Promenade des Anglais

Dalrymple thinks it likely

that all those who light candles and stand or sit looking sad but beatific and virtuous behind or beside them after a terrible event are not religious. They would not be seen dead lighting a candle in a church. But they are probably the kind of people who say they are ‘spiritual but not religious’, that is to say who indulge in all kinds of spiritual kitsch, for instance

  • reiki therapy
  • healing chakras of the earth
  • wind chimes
  • strategically-placed crystals
Circular Quay, Sydney

Circular Quay, Sydney

What, he asks, is the message?

That they are opposed to massacre or assassination and regret disaster? Does this have to be expressed? Perhaps they are trying to recapture a belief in the transcendent whose very existence they doubt or, in other circumstances, vehemently deny.

Dalrymple says that candles

are a couple of rungs up the spiritual ladder from teddy-bears, the intermediate rung on the ladder being bouquets in cellophane piled high at or near the site of death. The black armband and the mourning dress have been replaced by the teddy-bear, the unwrapped bouquet and the candle in its little glass.

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 12.17.25Candles are also

a couple of rungs up the social ladder; the lighters of candles would probably regard teddy-bears as infra dig.

Dalrymple notes that the candles and teddy-bears

must be very comforting for Islamists. When they see them, they must think, ‘These are weak and feeble people, easily intimidated and eminently destructible.’

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 12.32.10

Candles, my dear, candles. Teddy-bears are infra dig

Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 21.05.48As soon as Dalrymple heard of the Orlando nightclub shooting and of the Jo Cox murder,

I knew that within a few hours the candles would be out.

Sure enough,

like the ants that appear on my kitchen surface when there is something sweet left about, lit candles in little glasses appeared. Where do they come from, these candles, and where are they hiding before a massacre, an assassination or a disaster?

Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 21.06.57Dalrymple thinks it likely

that all those who light candles and stand or sit looking sad but beatific and virtuous behind or beside them after a terrible event are not religious. They would not be seen dead lighting a candle in a church. But they are probably the kind of people who say they are ‘spiritual but not religious’, that is to say who indulge in all kinds of spiritual kitsch, for instance

  • reiki therapy
  • healing chakras of the earth
  • wind chimes
  • strategically-placed crystals

Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 21.11.24What, he asks, is the message?

That they are opposed to massacre or assassination and regret disaster? Does this have to be expressed? Perhaps they are trying to recapture a belief in the transcendent whose very existence they doubt or, in other circumstances, vehemently deny.

Dalrymple says that candles

are a couple of rungs up the spiritual ladder from teddy-bears, the intermediate rung on the ladder being bouquets in cellophane piled high at or near the site of death. The black armband and the mourning dress have been replaced by the teddy-bear, the unwrapped bouquet and the candle in its little glass.

Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 21.14.01Candles are also

a couple of rungs up the social ladder; the lighters of candles would probably regard teddy-bears as infra dig.

Dalrymple notes that the candles and teddy-bears

must be very comforting for Islamists. When they see them, they must think, ‘These are weak and feeble people, easily intimidated and eminently destructible.

Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 21.15.38 Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 21.18.09 Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 21.19.43 Screen Shot 2016-06-18 at 21.16.25