Category Archives: throat-cutting

Wild animal

Man

Dalrymple recalls a story told by Vera Hegi in Les Captifs du Zoo (1942), which he summarises as follows:

One day a man gave an elephant in the zoo three bread rolls, into the last of which, from malignity, he insinuated a razor-blade. The elephant managed to remove the razor-blade with its trunk.

Well, Dalrymple has a story of his own. He writes:

In the prison in which I worked as a doctor, a man repeatedly tried to cut himself, sometimes dangerously. He was under the constant watch of two guards.

However,

a prisoner slipped him a razor-blade embedded in a potato.

The prisoner managed to extract the razor-blade from the potato, and with the razor-blade,

he cut his throat.

Yes, says Dalrymple,

Man is definitely different from other animals.

We drive lorries into them: they light candles

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-09-08-50A moment, writes Dalrymple, used to be defined as the period between

a Mexico City traffic light turning green and the sound of the first car horn.

Now it might be defined as the period between

a terrorist attack in a Western city and the first public appearance of a candle.

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-09-10-14Every terrorist attack

is immediately followed by the public exhibition of lighted candles. It is as if the population keeps a store of them ready to hand for the purpose.

Dalrymple imagines that all the candles

are an encouragement to the very kind of people who commit the massacres that are the occasion for the exhibition. We cut their throats, or drive lorries into them: they light candles. They are not morally superior, as they like to think they are; on the contrary, they are feeble, weak, soft, enervated, vulnerable, defenceless, cowardly, whimpering, decadent. Against such people, we are bound to win, and it won’t even take long.

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-09-11-47