Category Archives: drug dealers

What the jeune-de-banlieue wants

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 21.53.30He desires, writes Dalrymple,

a good time.

Bakunin’s aphorism about the destructive urge being a constructive one

would have been nearer the mark if he had mentioned that it was, above all, a highly enjoyable one.

Destruction

is fun; but to destroy in the name of a supposed cause, that is bliss. Impunity helps, of course.

Insofar as the jeune-de-banlieue

has a discernible if unexpressed demand, it is for extraterritorial status. He wants to be left alone. He does not want the State to interfere in his affairs — theft, drug-dealing, the abuse of women — in any way.

Coventry sojourn

A jewel of Coventry commercial architecture

A jewel of Coventry commercial architecture

Dalrymple visits the West Midlands city, where

amid the hideous and dilapidating buildings of a failed modernism

he sees

  • precincts with half the shops boarded up
  • youths in hoodies skateboarding all day along the walkways
  • the prematurely aged, fat and crippled unemployed occupying themselves in the search for cheap imported junk in such shops as remain open
  • lurkers, muggers and dealers waiting for nightfall
One of the city's elegant hotels

One of the city’s charming hostelries

He stays in an establishment

whose nearest architectural equivalent is the hotel in which I stayed in Makhachkala in ex-Soviet Dagestan.

Council House, Coventry: the delicate, judicious, infinitely sensitive blending of the old with the very finest of the new architecture

Council House: the very finest of the new architecture is judiciously and most delicately grafted upon the old edifice to make a charming, congruous and unified whole. The conjoining of the two structures in this way is considered a masterstroke of restraint and elegance, much loved by the inhabitants. Truly the city is blessed to have working for it architects the likes of these

Names to attract suburban Satanists

Screen Shot 2015-07-15 at 09.18.38Dalrymple is intrigued by the names of certain products of informal chemical factories:

  • Voodoo Gold. Merely antinomian
  • Damnation. Ditto
  • Pandora’s Box. Suggestive of the release of inner demons, or perhaps of talents (though the mythological precedent is not altogether happy)
  • Space Cadet. Suggestive of the exploration of the vast vacuum known as one’s inner space
  • Exodus. From what captivity are the consumers seeking escape? Who is their Charlton Heston? To what Promised Land are they to be led by this noid?
  • Annihilation. What of the immense progress that we think that we have made?

Revolutionary rehab: the Mao method

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 22.17.58

Opium: force-fed by the rapacious, ruthless British maritime superpower: taken away by the merciful, resolute Great Helmsman

Some 20m patients cured

Mao Zedong, says Dalrymple (from 3:10), was

the greatest therapist of drug addiction in world history.

Large numbers of Chinese had become addicted to opium, which had been forced on them, in a vastly lucrative and longstanding racket, by gunboat-backed English traders.

Screen Shot 2015-06-26 at 22.43.47When Mao took power, he did not hesitate to act. He threatened

to execute opium addicts if they did not give up.

Threats to murder

were about the only things Mao said that were believable, and 20m people gave up.

 

Gum-chewers should holiday elsewhere

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 07.58.49Drug-traffickers, also, may wish to alter their travel plans

Gum-chewing is prohibited in the Dalrymple Public and Reserve Gardens. Also in the Singapore city-state, though pharmacies have recently been allowed to stock the kind of chewing-gum products that are useful for maintaining dental health. Observing, writes Dalrymple,

that it was difficult to look either kindly or intelligent while chewing gum, and that gum-chewers more often than not disposed of their gum on the pavement or the streets, Lee Kwan Yew simply turned the chewing of gum into a crime. He gave even shorter shrift to drug-traffickers.