Category Archives: pop music

Notes on the indoctrination of children

Dalrymple is in favour of indoctrinating children so that they are

  • polite and respectful to their elders
  • eschew pop music
  • do not chew gum
  • resist the temptation to drop litter
  • refrain from sending text messages to their friends in restaurants

But he is against indoctrinating children

on contentious political matters, where their minds are filled with ill-digested slogans from which they never recover the ability to think independently.

Dalrymple’s impression is that children

have become increasingly like those who have been to madrassas, except that what they have been taught is not the Koran but a vulgate of political correctness.

When he talks to young people, he senses that they have been

brainwashed, and that some thoughts are beyond the range of their neuronal possibilities. When I say that I am uncertain about global warming, they react as I presume people would if, in Mecca, I denied the existence of God and alluded to the less attractive characteristics of Mohammed even as depicted by early Moslems.

‘I don’t care what you all say: there is no Allah and Mohammed is not his prophet’

Schubert can help murderers unwind

Dalrymple observes that Anthony Burgess, in his 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange, demonstrated that he had foreseen many aspects of the youth culture to come — to take one of many examples,

the importance that industrialised pop music would play in it.

Dalrymple notes, however, that Burgess

did not suggest that high culture was necessarily ennobling in itself.

The character Alex,

much superior in intelligence to his followers, is a devotee of classical music, listening to which, however, increases his urge to commit violence. No doubt Burgess had in mind those Nazis who could listen with emotion to Schubert lieder after a hard day’s genocide.

Postcard from Les Halles

Dalrymple writes that not long ago, the Paris newspaper the Monde published an article ‘inquiring why so many of the young people from the dispiriting banlieues (suburbs around Paris populated largely by blacks and people of North African ­descent) did not venture into the centre of Paris much beyond Les Halles, a huge concrete commercial centre. They said they did not feel at ease in the centre of Paris, they preferred Les Halles because it felt more American — by which they meant pop music throbbing everywhere, and shops selling ghetto outfits with baseball caps to wear backwards and sideways.’

The latrines of Nîmes

Gare de Nîmes public toilets

The No. 1 annoyance in the Gard

For the purpose of micturition, Dalrymple decides to make use of the public conveniences at Nîmes railway station.

But he is greatly upset by the lavatories’ public-address system, because of the stationmaster’s insistence that rock-music bilge be relayed through it while gentlemen pass water. He asks:

Is modern man really so lacking in what my teachers used to call inner resources that he must be entertained while he urinates?

Dalrymple admits to

an aversion to rock music at the best of times. It seeps into the public space in the Western world as martial music and political propaganda seep into the North Korean public space (and all space in North Korea is public).

To be able to point Percy at the porcelain IN PEACE AND QUIET is surely a basic human right

The enveloping sound of the pop drivel irritates Dalrymple intensely. Having paid his 80 cents, he really feels he has

a right to urinate in silence.

Rock music, he says, is

a distraction, being both a noise and a source of æsthetic discomfort.

BBC Radio 1 should be abolished

Screen Shot 2016-08-19 at 10.01.54The existence, says Dalrymple, of the British state broadcaster’s wireless station ‘Radio 1’, which excretes popular music of the worst kind,

is an example of the pervasive corporatist corruption of the British State.

Dalrymple writes:

Nobody who scans through the stations on his car radio can possibly be under the misapprehension that a taste for pop music is not adequately catered for by commercial broadcasters. There is no excuse for a State-promoted and publicly-funded pop music station.

Subsidy of what requires no subsidy

BBC Radio 1 is a means by which

public money is transferred, by royalties and other payments, into the pockets of people who are already rich, in the same way that development aid is the means by which poor people in rich countries give money to rich people in poor countries.

The only justification for a public service broadcaster

is that it broadcasts programmes that would not otherwise be produced, and that are of high artistic or intellectual worth.

But

our cultural and political élites have lost confidence in their judgment as to what is of intrinsic intellectual and artistic value. The measure of the BBC’s success is therefore the size of its audiences. The BBC becomes demotic.

The State and parastatal organisations, Dalrymple observes,

have an inherent and unstoppable tendency to swell grotesquely, especially in our corporatist society which increasingly resembles India during the Licence Raj, in which the public service did not serve and private enterprise was not enterprising.

Flattery of degraded popular taste

Why, asks Dalrymple, should

a newspaper directed at the [apparently] most highly educated portion of a large population devote so much space to the posthumous adulation of [a second-rate, repellently self-aggrandising] pop singer, and treat his activity with such breathlessly awed veneration? Was it sincere? Was it insincere? Is it worse if it was sincere than if it was insincere?

He suspects that

in the extravagance of the coverage there is an element of flattery of the popular taste, that is to say a willing and dishonest suspension of judgment. You can criticise authorities all you like, but when it comes to criticising masses of ordinary people—there the critical faculty must halt.

Prophylaxis against our own thoughts

Screen Shot 2015-12-26 at 08.15.00Dalrymple points out that in many public places, electronic entertainment of a deeply unpleasant kind is compulsory, including

The assumption by the management of these places, he writes, is that rather than being left to our devices, we must have the gap in our minds filled with

  • the weather forecast
  • share prices
  • football results
  • sex scandals
  • scenes of war
  • episodes of soap opera
  • cookery programmes

The stimulation

acts on the mind as a food mixer acts on vegetables.

Suppression of rock music in public places

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 07.55.25Such a step, writes Dalrymple,

while very tempting, is not the solution. What is required is the elevation of public taste.

This, he says, with characteristic understatement,

might take some time.

When Dalrymple suggested that the prison where he works

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 07.47.07should echo to the sound of Gregorian chant,

the prison officers

thought it was a joke.

Rock music, Dalrymple points out,

exerts a brutalising effect, and if it is not the sole cause of many of the unpleasantnesses of modern life, it aggravates them.

It has become

insidiously pervasive in our urban environment. It is like a poisonous gas that a malign authority pumps into our atmosphere, whose doleful effect, and probably purpose, is to destroy our capacity to converse, to concentrate, to reflect. It agitates us, keeps us constantly on the move, makes us impulsive and lacking in judgement.

Sadly, resistance has been feeble.

Defenders and advocates of high culture have been diffident about their claims, and reluctant to resist the relentless advance of a debased popular culture.

Dalrymple, honorary president of the Society for the Suppression of Rock Music, is pessimistic, saying that despite the best of intentions, the society will have

the same practical effect as the Society for the Suppression of Vice, namely nil.

Fuck Tha Police

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.38.38Dalrymple reports that this

charming little ballad,

performed by the gangsta rap group Niggaz With Attitude, is one of UK finance minister George Osborne’s favourites. It contains lines, says Dalrymple, that are

beautifully expressed and just the right message for the black youth of Los Angeles.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.48.53Here are the lyrics:

Right about now NWA court is in full effect.
Judge Dre presiding in the case of NWA versus the police department.
Prosecuting attorneys are MC Ren Ice Cube and Eazy motheruckin’ E.
Order order order. Ice Cube take the motherfuckin’ stand.
Do you swear to tell the truth the whole truth
and nothin but the truth so help your black arse?

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.36.41Why don’t you tell everybody what the fuck you gotta say?

Fuck tha police
Comin’ straight from the underground
Young nigga got it bad ’cause I’m brown
And not the other colour so police think
They have the authority to kill a minority

Attitude

Attitude

Fuck that shit, ’cause I ain’t tha one
For a punk motherfucka with a badge and a gun
To be beatin’ on, and throwin’ in jail
We could go toe to toe in the middle of a cell

Fuckin’ with me ’cause I’m a teenager
With a little bit of gold and a pager
Searchin’ my car, lookin’ for the product
Thinkin’ every nigga is sellin narcotics

You’d rather see me in the pen
Then me and Lorenzo rollin’ in the Benzo
Beat tha police outta shape
And when I’m finished, bring the yellow tape
To tape off the scene of the slaughter
Still gettin’ swoll off bread and water

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.53.55I don’t know if they fags or what
Search a nigga down and grabbin’ his nuts
And on the other hand, without a gun they can’t get none
But don’t let it be a black and a white one
’cause they slam ya down to the street top
Black police showin’ out for the white cop

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.52.16Ice Cube will swarm
On any motherfucka in a blue uniform
Just ’cause I’m from the CPT, punk police are afraid of me
A young nigga on a warpath
And when I’m finished, it’s gonna be a bloodbath
Of cops, dyin’ in LA
Yo Dre, I got somethin’ to say

Fuck the police. Fuck the police. Fuck the police. Fuck the police.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.53.32M.C. Ren, will you please give your testimony to the jury about this fucked-up incident.

Fuck tha police and Ren said it with authority
because the niggaz on the street is a majority.
A gang is with whoever I’m stepping
and the mutherfuckin’ weapon
is kept in a stash box, for the so-called law
wishin’ Ren was a nigga that they never saw

Lights start flashin’ behind me
But they’re scared of a nigga so they mace me to blind me
But that shit don’t work, I just laugh
Because it gives ’em a hint not to step in my path

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.58.10To the police I’m sayin’ fuck you punk
Readin’ my rights and shit, it’s all junk
Pullin’ out a silly club, so you stand
With a fake-arsed badge and a gun in your hand

But take off the gun so you can see what’s up
And we’ll go at it punk, I’m a fuck you up

Make ya think I’m a kick your ass
But drop your gat, and Ren’s gonna blast
I’m sneaky as fuck when it comes to crime
But I’m a smoke ’em now, and not next time

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.59.37Smoke any motherfucka that sweats me
Or any asshole that threatens me
I’m a sniper with a hell of a scope
Takin’ out a cop or two, they can’t cope with me

The motherfuckin’ villain that’s mad
With potential to get bad as fuck
So I’m a turn it around
Put in my clip, yo, and this is the sound
Ya, somethin’ like that, but it all depends on the size of the gat

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.58.21Takin’ out a police would make my day
But a nigga like Ren don’t give a fuck to say

Fuck the police. Fuck the police. Fuck the police. Fuck the police.

Police, open now. We have a warrant for Eazy-E’s arrest.
Get down and put your hands up where I can see ’em.
Just shut the fuck up and get your motherfuckin’ arse on the floor.

and tell the jury how you feel abou this bullshit.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 07.58.53I’m tired of the motherfuckin’ jackin
Sweatin’ my gang while I’m chillin in the shackin’
Shining tha light in my face, and for what?
Maybe it’s because I kick so much butt

I kick arse, or maybe ’cause I blast
On a stupid-arsed nigga when I’m playin’ with the trigga
Of any Uzi or an AK
’cause the police always got somethin’ stupid to say

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 08.04.44They put up my picture with silence
’cause my identity by itself causes violence
The E with the criminal behavior
Yeah, I’m a gangsta, but still I got flavour

Without a gun and a badge, what do ya got?
A sucka in a uniform waitin’ to get shot,
By me, or another nigga.
and with a gat it don’t matter if he’s smarter or bigger
M.C. Ren: Sidle him, kid, he’s from the old school, fool

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 08.03.22And as you all know, E’s here to rule
Whenever I’m rollin, keep lookin’ in the mirror
And there’s no cue, yo, so I can hear a
Dumb motherfucka with a gun

And if I’m rollin’ off the 8, he’ll be tha one
That I take out, and then get away
And while I’m drivin’ off laughin’
This is what I’ll say

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 08.05.10Fuck the police. Fuck the police. Fuck the police. Fuck the police.

The jury has found you guilty of bein’ a redneck,
whitebread, chickenshit motherfucka.
Wait, that’s a lie. That’s a goddamn lie.
I want justice! I want justice!
Fuck you, you black motherfucka!

Fuck the police. Fuck the police. Fuck the police.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 08.03.39

These people are savages

Screen Shot 2015-07-25 at 01.17.16That is what a Martian would conclude, writes Dalrymple, if he were to descend to Earth and were to find himself in the British Isles, and were then played British popular music.

Screen Shot 2015-07-25 at 01.17.01Screen Shot 2015-07-25 at 01.20.07