Category Archives: defæcation

Britain’s lumpenintelligentsia at play

The soul of modern British youth: half Jellyby, half Marie Antoinette

The Glastonbury Festival, writes Dalrymple,

is a mass gathering not of youthful idealists, but of moral and intellectual hybrids of Marie Antoinette and Mrs Jellyby.

The festival, Dalrymple explains, is

a large gathering of the British lumpenintelligentsia come to celebrate its appalling taste in music, in a place vaguely associated with druidism, the healing chakras of the earth, Hopi ear candles, that kind of thing: ideal for people who claim to be spiritual but not religious.

It often rains during the festival. Dalrymple comments:

Rain improves the behaviour of young British people: it discourages them from leaving their homes. (Rain is also almost the only prophylaxis nowadays in Britain against crime.)

This year at the festival, the lumpenintelligentsia

was addressed by Jeremy Corbyn. He enthused the massed ranks of youthful idealists by telling them that another world was possible. It was, for when they departed Glastonbury, they left behind them so much litter in this corner of rural England that it made a rubbish dump in Mexico City seem like Switzerland.

The Glastonbury mob contentedly wallowed in this rubbish

for days. Horrified by CO2 emissions and rising temperatures, they failed to notice what was about their very feet, and certainly did nothing about it. They slept contentedly among it, too exhausted by their idealism and labours of licentiousness to apply their minds to anything as lowly as the litter that they dropped, as cows defæcate in fields. It was for others to pick up their rubbish after them: that is what social justice required.

Dalrymple notes that among British youth,

mass concern for social justice and the fate of the planet is combined with indifference to immediate surroundings.

The lumpenintelligentsia also, Dalrymple points out,

plays at being prole, though never with the intention of remaining at the bottom rung of society for any length of time, let alone permanently (and certainly not economically).

British youth, says Dalrymple,

have gone further in self-proletarianisation than any other I know. In their imitation of the proles (which they think virtuous), they demonstrate how they really conceive of them: vulgar, dirty, coarse, and foulmouthed. Genuine proletarians are, or were, not at all like this—not en masse, not as the lumpenintelligentsia now is.

Latrine-cleaners and politicians

Dalrymple writes:

Someone has to do politics, just as people have to do other unpleasant jobs, such as cleaning lavatories.

Harmless futility of alternative medicine

Ayurvedic steam treatment for irritable bowel syndrome

Ayurvedic steam treatment for irritable bowel syndrome

The continued popularity of alternative medicine does not matter, writes Dalrymple. There may be cases

in which a belief in it prevents someone from seeking treatment for a serious but treatable disease, and thereby causes avoidable death. But most believers in alternative medicine also avail themselves of the orthodox variety.

Supposedly healing herbs and minerals

can be poisonous. I have seen people poisoned with lead and arsenic by Ayurvedic practitioners. But these cases are few and far between.

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The number of people saved by alternative medicine

approaches zero,


I have long since ceased to be irritated by the irrationality of others in this matter, for we are all of us irrational about something and all of us in need of consolation at some time or other in our lives.

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Propriety in the evacuation of waste matter



The singular habits of A.R. Powys

A description by his brother J.C. Powys of A.R. Powys, author of Repair of Ancient Buildings (1929) and secretary of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, comes to Dalrymple’s attention.

The account reads, in part:

Nothing in his life was at random. Nothing was wanton or wilful. In dress, in ablution, in food, in drink, in the minutest arrangements of his time, of the objects around him, of his rooms, of his garden, of his household utensils, in lighting a fire, in opening a bottle, in whittling a stick, in driving a nail, in hanging a picture, in washing a dish, in chopping a log, in cutting a loaf, he would always follow a carefully considered method of his own, for which when challenged…he would bring forth a most confounding and irrefutable weight of elaborate justification.

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