Category Archives: satire

The superstitions that beget terror

Dalrymple says of the 2019 London Bridge stabbing:

If it had been an episode in a novel by a social satirist, it would have been dismissed as too crude or absurd.

He writes that public discussion in the wake of the outrage reveals three superstitions that, thanks to the activities of criminologists, sociologists, psychologists, and others, are deeply ingrained in the public mind:

  1. Terrorists are ill and are both in need of and susceptible to ‘rehabilitation’, as if there existed some kind of moral physiotherapy that would strengthen their moral fibre, or a psychological vaccine that would immunise them against terrorist inclinations.
  2. Once terrorists have undergone these technical processes or treatments, it can be known for certain that the treatments have worked, and that some means exists to assess whether the terrorists still harbour violent desires and intentions.
  3. There exists a way of monitoring terrorists after their release that will prevent them from carrying out attacks, should they somehow slip through the net.

Usman Khan

These notions are, of course, false,

though they have provided much lucrative employment for the tertiary-educated and have contributed greatly to Britain’s deterioration from a comparatively well-ordered society to a society with one of the West’s highest rates of serious crime.

Their broad public acceptance

is evident in the remarks of Jeremy Corbyn, who, after the attack, said that terrorists should undergo rehabilitation rather than serve full prison sentences.

The father of the slain young criminologist said that he would not want his son’s death to be ‘used as a pretext for more draconian sentences’. Dalrymple comments:

Decadence can go little further.

Why should the dying have all the best deaths?

Screen Shot 2016-04-09 at 11.04.23Dalrymple quips that it might be considered

whether confining euthanasia to the dying was illegitimate discrimination in their favour.

But he checks himself.

Perhaps one should not joke, bearing in mind that satire nowadays is prophecy.

Western moral and intellectual imperialism

Dalrymple draws attention to a cartoon (pictured below) by Bill Leak in the Australian newspaper, a satirical comment on the deliberations of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. Leak rightly implies, says Dalrymple, that

climate change is principally the concern of the spoiled political class of rich nations, and efforts to reduce worldwide carbon emissions from energy consumption will not benefit the desperately poor. Quite the reverse: they will inhibit the breakneck industrial growth that has lifted, and is lifting, so many millions out of abject poverty in countries that not long ago were deeply impoverished.

There is even the suspicion

that rich nations want to inhibit the breakneck industrial growth not so much to save the planet as to preserve their position relative to poor nations.

The cartoon is

a variation on the old English proverb that fine words butter no parsnips; but it could also plausibly be interpreted as a protest against dishonest Western moral and intellectual imperialism.

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 12.41.40

Allahu quackbar!

Civilised people, writes Dalrymple,

must defend to the death the right of satirists to mock, bait, and needle Muslims.

2a 1a Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 13.23.03 Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 13.22.42 Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 13.22.21 Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 13.21.06

How the West is suspended in a state of cultural adolescence

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 08.37.30Dalrymple on the ludicrously overrated pseudo-artist Banksy:

His choice of targets for satire is conventional and what one might expect of a privileged member of the intellectual middle classes. His work seems that of an adolescent — one who is now in middle age.

The interest his drivel excites, so

disproportionate as it is to the work’s artistic merit, shows that an adolescent sensibility is firmly entrenched in our culture. In the modern world, art and celebrity are one.