Category Archives: misery

The past — get me out of here!

Behind every great man-made work of beauty lies some ugliness

The ages in which the greatest works of Man were created were characterised, writes Dalrymple, by

  • dirt
  • misery
  • smells
  • disease
  • vermin

Anybody transported back to those ages would at once seek asylum

in our hygienic and deodorised world without artistic grandeur. For modern man, comfort is the highest good, and perhaps it always would have been had it been a possibility.

British social policy defined

An idiocy wrapped in a lunacy wrapped in an absurdity, to produce misery and squalor

Dalrymple writes:

A tax on knowledge is a terrible thing, but a tax on ignorance, prejudice, evasion and half-truth is worse. That is what every British household with a television must pay, for the privilege of having the earnest but frivolous lucubrations of the BBC purveyed to it, whether it wants them or not.

This poll tax — or licence fee, as it is known — is the equivalent of nearly $200 per household a year, and is thus worth evading. Unfortunately, it costs nearly three times as much to catch evaders as the licence fees would have raised if paid. One proposal is to halve the licence fee for single mothers. Dalrymple comments:

In other words, we should subsidise a subsidy, in the name of a universal right to misinformation and trashy entertainment (and at the same time confer yet another incentive for single parenthood).

England fans should be turned back at the border

England 1 Iceland 2

England 1 Iceland 2

Dalrymple was pleased when Portugal won the European Cup. He writes:

I would have preferred it to be Liechtenstein or San Marino, or best of all Vatican City. But at least Portugal is not a large country.

He says that as a patriotic Englishman, he was

delighted when Iceland defeated England. Everyone likes an underdog.

Moreover,

anything that humiliates, crushes mentally, and causes misery to the beer-bellied, shaven-headed, and tattooed English football supporters is a blow for civilisation. If there are more unattractive people in the world than these supporters I do not know them. If we lived in a sensible world, such people would be on sight automatically denied entry to all foreign countries.

Knack of living miserably

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 08.59.14The lack of gaiety in Dalrymple’s childhood home

Dalrymple relates that his parents

had everything to make them happy, but instead they persisted in living as miserably as the Captain and his wife in Strindberg’s Dance of Death.

For the first 18 years of his life, Dalrymple did not hear his parents

address a single word to one another. When I went to a friend’s home where parents spoke to one another, I found it strange and even mildly disconcerting. Speech, in my opinion, was not for parents and was unnecessarily noisy or loud.

It was, he says,

almost as if they felt a duty to live in this fashion. Happiness for them would have been almost a betrayal, a manifestation of not living correctly.