Category Archives: rubbish

A filthy, degraded country

England, Dalrymple points out to an interviewer, is a corrupt country. Not in the way that, for instance, Italy is corrupt, but morally and intellectually corrupt, which is worse. The educational system has been ruined, there are large social problems (of which public drunkenness is an example), and the country is the dirtiest in Europe — Britishers routinely fling rubbish out of car windows to pollute the beautiful countryside, for instance. There has been a cultural revolution in the country, making it quite the opposite of what it once was.

A spouter of rubbish

screen-shot-2017-03-05-at-12-50-25The noted bodybuilder Asao B. Inoue, editor of Muscle Invasion magazine and professor of writing at the University of Tacoma in the state of Washington in the USA, writes like this:

Antiracist writing assessment ecologies explicitly pay close attention to relationships that make up the ecology, relationships among people, discourses, judgments, artifacts created and circulated. They ask students to reflect upon them, negotiate them, and construct them. Antiracist writing assessment ecologies also self-consciously (re)produce power arrangements in order to examine and perhaps change them. When designing an antiracist writing assessment ecology, a teacher can focus students’ attention on a few of the ecological elements discussed, which inter-are. This means addressing and negotiating one element, say the part of a rubric, means you are addressing others, such as power relations and the ecological places where students problematize their existential writing assessment situations.

Dalrymple comments:

Cicero said that nothing was so foolish that some philosopher had not said it. This is just as well for us journalists, because it gives us such easy targets when we have deadlines to meet and no time to think, which is most of the time. The targets are becoming easier and easier. It is almost unfair, like mowing down a herd of deer with a machine gun. Massacre is not sport.

Not exactly Gibbon

Not exactly Gibbon

Still,

it must be done, or rubbish will rule the day; for the problem with the spouters of rubbish is that they are serious, in intent if not in thought. They want to change the world, and often succeed because at first no one takes them at their word. All that is needed for evil to flourish, Edmund Burke is said to have said, though no one can find where or when exactly, is for good men to do nothing.

Inoue, whom Dalrymple describes as

a deeply conventional corrupter of youth,

has

delivered himself of the pseudo-original opinion that American grammar is inherently racist.

screen-shot-2017-03-05-at-12-58-35Dalrymple writes:

It might be thought that a man like Professor Inoue could do little damage. It is unlikely that ghetto youth will ever go on the rampage shouting Problematize our existential assessment situations! It has other problems on its mind, such as police brutality and the price of crack.

The problem is that Inoue

probably demands of his students that they reproduce his thoughts—or rather, opinions. Professor Inoue is not alone in his disapproval of standard grammar, far from it: Pedagogically, it has become almost an orthodoxy.

The professor goes in for polysyllabic pseudo-ratiocination

The professor goes in for polysyllabic pseudo-ratiocination

Whatever else may be said of this view,

it is certainly socially conservative in its effects, for to discourage impoverished children from learning a standard language is to ensure (unless they become sportsmen or the like) that they remain impoverished for the rest of their lives, not only economically but in intellect. To be intelligent but not to have the tools to be able to use one’s intelligence is a terrible fate, and dangerous.

Absurdity in the modern world, says Dalrymple,

is not just funny (though it is funny); it has harmful effects. Politically correct thinking seems to have insinuated itself into the nooks and crannies of our culture. People who have utterly conventional thoughts by the standards of political correctness think they are daring, and that subversion consists of saying what everyone else (everyone in le tout Paris sense of the word) says.

screen-shot-2017-03-05-at-12-12-27screen-shot-2017-03-05-at-13-02-38

Too far gone for Salvarsan

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 22.48.55Dalrymple notes that Llewelyn Powys

detested the Kenyan colonists, whom he saw as greedy philistine brutes.

In one of the stories in Ebony and Ivory (1923),

a farm labourer is so badly treated by his employer, but has so little chance of escape, that he decides not to kill himself but simply to lie down and die – and he does, his corpse being burned as ‘Rubbish’, the title of the story.

In another story,

a young man just out to the colony starts out better and more refined than the other colonists but is gradually coarsened by them. He takes a local girl as a lover but contracts syphilis from her, so virulent that the doctor tells him that even Salvarsan cannot help him. He takes a pistol and shoots himself in the head.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 22.54.33Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 22.53.55Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 22.54.13

Dirtiest people in Europe

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 07.32.44Let the State clear up after me

Why, asks Dalrymple, are Britain’s councils and its highways agency

so negligent?

Local public administration

is incapable of organising street-cleaning properly, and does not see it as an important part of its duty. After all, it has chief executives to pay.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 08.06.36Why do the British

turn practically every road into a ribbon development of the rubbish dump of a Latin American town?

England’s streets are

by far the dirtiest in Western Europe. A Briton’s street is his dining room and litter bin.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 08.12.44The English seem to think that

what a beauty spot really needs is an empty, glaring-orange Lucozade bottle.

Circumambient slovenliness

The explanation lies, Dalrymple points out, in the deep selfishness of the British.

In order not to litter when it might be convenient to you to do so, you have to appreciate that you are not the only person in the world, that the world is not made just for your convenience.

If you look at the British,

you would think they were like shrews, that they have to eat twice their own body weight every few hours to survive. It is hardly surprising that people who exert no control over when and where they eat exert no control over where they leave the remains.

It is no coincidence that the British,

being the dirtiest people in Europe, are also the fattest.

 

Sint-Jans-Molenbeek perambulation

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 08.31.40It is undeniable, writes Dalrymple, that Britain has ‘more unattractive people than any other country in Europe’. Yet parts of the Continent are not far behind. The sides of the roads in Belgium, for instance, are

a rubbish tip. This cannot have been for lack of money to clear…up: the Belgian economy is…50 per cent government expenditure. Nor can it have been the result of…ignorance: the Belgians are…much better educated than the British…it could only have been because …Belgians…regard their country as a…dustbin.

Screen Shot 2015-04-04 at 08.32.44Visiting Brussels, our man perambulates in the as-yet-largely-ungentrified Sint-Jans-Molenbeek quarter, where many Moroccans and Turks reside. Being a properly urban area, it does not dishearten in the way the Paris banlieues do, he finds.

Alphonse Vandenpeereboomstraat, Sint-Jans-Molenbeek

A peek at Molenbeek: section of Alphonse Vandenpeereboomstraat, Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, in what Conrad called ‘the sepulchral city’