Category Archives: parents

I am very corpulent. It’s not my fault

Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 08.12.19Like my hoarding disorder, my penetration disorder, my caffeine-induced sleep disorder, my sex addiction, my impulse-control disorder, my sexual aversion disorder, my anorexia, my social phobia, my oppositional defiant disorder, my lepidopterophobia, my depression, my hypoactive sexual desire disorder and my gambling disorder, my adiposity is a disease. I blame

  • the food manufacturers
  • my childhood
  • chemical imbalance
  • restaurants. Portions are too big
  • brain scans
  • genes
  • evolution
  • neurochemistry
  • my parents. I hate my parents, don’t you?

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.

Delirious joy of rioting and looting

Panama City

Panama City

A day out that combines the pleasures of destruction with those of moral indignation

Dalrymple recounts that while working as a journalist, he once reported on a riot in Panama City

in which I saw middle-class people throwing bricks through windows and making bonfires in the street. I recognised one of the rioters dining in an expensive restaurant that same night.

Baltimore

Baltimore

Rioters, writes Dalrymple, are

a self-selected group, who are fully aware of what rioters are likely to do.

He points out that in the London riots of 2011, rioters

smashed and looted every store in a street except the bookstore, the only one to remain with its windows and stock entirely intact. The rioters had no use or desire for books.

London

London

And when eventually the police,

who took a long time to intervene, arrested some of the rioters engaged in the gravest actions, it turned out that the majority had serious criminal records.

During the Parisian riots of 2005, the rioters

burned thousands of cars belonging to people very similar to themselves, and who lived in the same area as they.

Paris

Paris

This, Dalrymple points out, was hardly

the manifestation of an acute sense of injustice. If anything, it was a manifestation of wounded amour propre, for the rioters would never have rioted against the kind of injustices that people such as they committed every day.

The rioters

expect from the authorities a completely different standard of behaviour from that they exhibit themselves: they are children, the authorities parents.