Category Archives: self-pity

Dalrymple: I met a would-be suicide bomber

What, Dalrymple asked himself, in this man

who had not yet had the chance to put his thanatological daydream into practice could have produced as embittered a mentality—what experience of life, what thoughts, what doctrines? What fathomless depths of self-pity led him to the conclusion that only by killing himself and others could he give a noble and transcendent meaning to his existence?

Dalrymple writes that

no threat (at first sight) might deter someone who is prepared to extinguish himself to advance his cause, and who considers such self-annihilation while killing as many strangers as possible a duty, an honour, and a merit that will win ample rewards in the hereafter.

And Britain has an unknown number of such people in its midst, many of them homegrown.

Bob Dylan’s drivel

screen-shot-2016-10-22-at-23-42-55Dalrymple notes that the nasal whine of Bob Dylan, the popular singer, is

the sound of spoilt middle-class-adolescent self-pity.

His supposed poetry is

not merely bad, but authentically awful.

The lines he excretes are

sub–Ella Wheeler Wilcox.

Enduring some of Bob Dylan’s atrocious doggerel, Dalrymple is reminded of what Dr Johnson said when asked whether he thought that many men could have written the poems of Ossian. ‘Yes, sir,’ he said, ‘many men, many women, and many children.

Perhaps next year, says Dalrymple,

the Nobel prize in literature could be awarded to Hallmark Cards.

A patient of Dalrymple’s

Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 23.48.53

From fresco cycle, Cappella degli Scrovegni, Padua. Giotto, c. 1305

She was, writes Dalrymple,

a working-class woman of dignified mien. Her brother died in a submarine sunk during the war, and her sister-in-law was killed in an air raid, leaving her the task of bringing up their orphaned child. Her husband had died comparatively young, and her first son had died of a heart attack at 42. (‘He had just finished a game of football, doctor, and was in the changing rooms. He fell on the floor, and his mates thought he had slipped, and they told him to stop messing about. He just looked up at them—smiled—and he was gone.’)

The bitterest blow

was the death of another son, killed in an accident in which a truck, carelessly driven, crushed his car. He was 50. She brought me his photo, her hand trembling slightly as she gave it to me. He was a businessman who had devoted his spare time to raising money for the Children’s Hospital. ‘It doesn’t seem right, somehow,’ she said, ‘that he should have gone before me.’ Did she still cry? ‘Yes, doctor, but only when I’m on my own. It’s not right, is it, to let anyone see you. After all, life has to go on.’

Could anyone, says Dalrymple,

have doubted either the depth of her feeling or of her character? Could any decent person fail to have been moved by the self-mastery she had achieved, the foundation of her strength?

Yet such fortitude

is the virtue that the acolytes of the hug-and-confess culture wish to extirpate from the British national character as obsolete, in favour of a banal, self-pitying, witless, and shallow emotional incontinence.

Warped values of certain Western Muslims

Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 08.58.13The young Islamists of western Europe, writes Dalrymple,

  • resent strongly but incoherently
  • blame their conduct on others
  • use their frustrations to justify outrageous and vicious acts
  • pity themselves to the exclusion of all others
  • use their minds as echo chambers for the wrongs, real or imagined, that they have suffered
  • have a grossly inflated sense of their importance
  • have an ideology at hand to make them dangerous on a big scale

Self-pity, last resort of monsters

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 23.10.18No one, writes Dalrymple,

not even the most murderous psychopath, is so lacking in compassion that he does not pity himself. Indeed, exaggerated self-pity may be one of the salient characteristics of those who commit the most awful acts, for it is what justifies almost anything in a mind devoid of balance and proportion.

Self-pity, he says,

is what unites the stories of two notorious recent English killers, Raoul Moat and Mohammed Emwazi (better known as Jihadi John).

A nasty, primitive ideology

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 08.07.19The Islamist cause is mad, stupid and evil

Dalrymple writes that young Western middle-class Muslim plotters, of whom there are many,

are fully at home neither in the culture of their parents nor in that of the host country.

Youth

is the time when one looks outward for unifying explanations of one’s dissatisfactions, and education is in part the means by which abstractions become more real than the phenomena before one’s eyes. An extremely nasty and primitive ideology, in which a distant but perfect future appears to its adherents more real than anything in the present, lies ready to hand. According to this ideology, insensate cruelty is a sign not of bad character or sadism, but of commitment.

Young educated Muslims

think they have plenty of supposedly objective grounds for their resentment against the host society.

In the West, Muslims

do significantly worse educationally and economically than any other group. A larger proportion of Muslims leave school with no qualifications than any other minority. While young Hindus have a youth unemployment rate below the national average, Muslims have a rate much above it. Young male Muslims are filling British prisons, while there are very few Hindus or Sikhs in prison. In these circumstances, the young educated Muslims form an élite that, with the misplaced and arrogant idealism of youth, feels a responsibility to enlighten, lead, or liberate their less fortunate brethren, of whom there are many.

Many young Muslims reject communal self-examination

in favour of conspiracy theories and the exaggeration of supposed grievance, for of course the only defect of Muslim society that believers permit themselves to admit is unjust powerlessness vis-à-vis the unbelievers.

One taboo subject is

the pivotal role of the suppression of women in reinforcing Muslim stagnation. But if you discourage half of your population from seeking education or a career, as occurs in some Muslim populations, it is hardly surprising in a modern economy that educational and economic levels are, in the aggregate, low.

Muslim journalists repeatedly write in Western newspapers that

Muslim anger must be understood and presumably assuaged or appeased: as if Descartes had written, ‘I’m angry, therefore I’m right.’ But rage is not its own justification, and the rage of young men is frequently misplaced. They project outwards what they feel inwards; and, if they have sufficient intellectual sophistication to do so, they give their petty discontents — and the discontents of the would-be bombers are petty — a vast significance. Education gives them the mental dexterity conceptually to transmute concrete evil into abstract good.

The result is often murderous

when un-self-critical and self-pitying anger meets ideology. The compass of the evil done by the uneducated angry is usually small by comparison with that done by the educated (or at least, the technically trained) angry. The worst the uneducated can manage is a mob and a riot. It takes education, or training, in close alliance with resentment, to put evil more extensively into practice.

Help! I’m starved of self-esteem

Screen Shot 2014-04-19 at 03.55.57Our modern sages teach that this is one of the very gravest of afflictions, leading ineluctably to hidebound dysfunction and very often madness, and to all manner of enormities from torture to fascism to self-harm to uncontrollable habits of self-pollution to warlordism to sexism to unbridled lust to kidnapping to pedantry to pederasty to blood-soaked dreams of conquest to Islamophobia to drug addiction to suicide to violent abuse of minors to rape to murder and even to unconcealed, out-and-out racism.

The Western intellectual’s cheap pseudo-martyrdom

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 18.02.19Every intellectual, writes Dalrymple,

likes to believe that he is struggling manfully against the hostile Zeitgeist.

His belief that he is

not only in the minority but losing the battle against the opposing forces of obscurantism and wrongheadedness allows him the pleasures both of self-pity and self-congratulation.

He likes to believe that he has

suffered for his views while at the same time making a comfortable living from them.