Category Archives: youthful stupidity

The nation’s future

A snapshot of the social and cultural life of a portion of the youth of Great Britain

Attempting to clear up his study, Dalrymple comes across a document

which I must once have studied carefully though it left no trace in my mind.

It was

the dossier on a case of assault and criminal damage in which I had been asked to prepare a medical report on the perpetrator (mostly I prepared reports on murderers).

The reply of the accused reads in part:

We were having a drink, drinking bottles of beer, having a laugh, having a mixture of Jack Daniel’s and coke, Southern Comfort and lemonade and basically having shots in every round and drinking bottles of beer and that, having a laugh pulling birds, having a dance and that, having a chat, and, er, I had an argument with my ex-girlfriend who was working behind the bar. She told me to fuck off and said something to me, so I spat at her. One of the I think it was the bar manager that come out and grip me up. We were having a little scuffle and he threw me out. I was outside having an argument with the bouncers, that’s when John got dragged out by the bouncers and threw up the fence and that, so we were there for about twenty minutes and that, arguing with the bouncers. I said to John, I ain’t having this man, she got me threw out for nothing I said, the silly bitch. I said, fucking started an argument on me, so I said I’m going to go and smash her car up. So, er, we walked off and, er, I went round the back of the bar, where all of the cars are parked. I seen her car, I walked back and said to the two lads who were waiting, I said here, I’ve found the car. I’m gonna get a brick so I can smash her window. So I went over the road, picked up a brick, walked back to her car, smashed the window. I threw it at another window, it didn’t smash, so I picked it up again, threw it, it smashed the driver’s side window. I said to them two lads, carry on…

Dalrymple comments:

It was all the girl’s fault, of course. If she hadn’t offended him in the bar, he wouldn’t have behaved like this. This, more or less, is the argument offered by the defenders, or at least extenuators, of Muslim terrorists who attack those who offend them, and also by those who believe that taking offence at something someone has said justifies aggressive or violent reaction. Some people delight to take offence. It gives them licence (they think) to behave badly, which is what they always wanted to do anyway.

Advertisements

The intolerable young

Dalrymple writes that he feels

a cleavage between my generation and that of young adults today.

He does not understand, and does not like, their

  • tastes
  • ambitions
  • enjoyments
  • sorrows
  • opinions
  • humour

Britain’s lumpenintelligentsia at play

The soul of modern British youth: half Jellyby, half Marie Antoinette

The Glastonbury Festival, writes Dalrymple,

is a mass gathering not of youthful idealists, but of moral and intellectual hybrids of Marie Antoinette and Mrs Jellyby.

The festival, Dalrymple explains, is

a large gathering of the British lumpenintelligentsia come to celebrate its appalling taste in music, in a place vaguely associated with druidism, the healing chakras of the earth, Hopi ear candles, that kind of thing: ideal for people who claim to be spiritual but not religious.

It often rains during the festival. Dalrymple comments:

Rain improves the behaviour of young British people: it discourages them from leaving their homes. (Rain is also almost the only prophylaxis nowadays in Britain against crime.)

This year at the festival, the lumpenintelligentsia

was addressed by Jeremy Corbyn. He enthused the massed ranks of youthful idealists by telling them that another world was possible. It was, for when they departed Glastonbury, they left behind them so much litter in this corner of rural England that it made a rubbish dump in Mexico City seem like Switzerland.

The Glastonbury mob contentedly wallowed in this rubbish

for days. Horrified by CO2 emissions and rising temperatures, they failed to notice what was about their very feet, and certainly did nothing about it. They slept contentedly among it, too exhausted by their idealism and labours of licentiousness to apply their minds to anything as lowly as the litter that they dropped, as cows defæcate in fields. It was for others to pick up their rubbish after them: that is what social justice required.

Dalrymple notes that among British youth,

mass concern for social justice and the fate of the planet is combined with indifference to immediate surroundings.

The lumpenintelligentsia also, Dalrymple points out,

plays at being prole, though never with the intention of remaining at the bottom rung of society for any length of time, let alone permanently (and certainly not economically).

British youth, says Dalrymple,

have gone further in self-proletarianisation than any other I know. In their imitation of the proles (which they think virtuous), they demonstrate how they really conceive of them: vulgar, dirty, coarse, and foulmouthed. Genuine proletarians are, or were, not at all like this—not en masse, not as the lumpenintelligentsia now is.

Why the West has to import labour

Despicable work, according to the UK newspaper the Guardian

Despicable work, according to the UK newspaper the Guardian

People, especially young people, in the better-off countries of Western Europe very often have completely the wrong attitude to work, if they work. The result, writes Dalrymple, is that,

despite mass unemployment, we have to import labour

in order that certain kinds of work be done. In Ireland, for example, Dalrymple says that

an old lady of my acquaintance needed 24-hour attendance, and this was provided by a Filipina, even at a time when there was 15% unemployment in Ireland.

An important factor is the

system of social security and unemployment benefits. The economic difference between doing this type of work and not working is not great enough to entice any native to do it.

There is also a

psychological, cultural or even religious difference. The change in the title of the senior nurse in a hospital ward from sister to ward manager is indicative of a change in sensibility, from a residually religious notion of serving others to a technocratic one. In the popular imagination, the distinction between service and servitude has been more or less eliminated.

Dalrymple cites a sentence written by a columnist in the London newspaper the Guardian:

So when a girl at 17 decides to go ahead and have a baby, there is no tragedy of lost opportunity other than the local checkout till waiting for her low-paid labour.

Such a sentence, Dalrymple notes,

breathes snobbery and disdain for those who do such work; it assumes that once a checkout cashier, always a checkout cashier, a fate worse than death. That there might be people for whom such work is suitable and potentially not odious does not occur to the writer. What makes the work odious is not the work but those who communicate their disdain of it. Snobbery thus makes the import of labour necessary.

Take hotels. In Britain, Dalrymple points out,

all good hotels employ exclusively foreign labour. If you want to go to a really bad large hotel in Britain, find one in which the staff are British. It is guaranteed to be ill-kept, with slovenly service, not very clean, with atrocious food, grubby staff, inattention to detail. Even a foreign telephonist is likely to be better, and to speak better English, than an English telephonist. If you want a good or even only a decent hotel, you must find one in which all the staff are foreign. This is so whatever the unemployment rate, high or low.

Dalrymple says he asks people to imagine that they are employers who seek an employee to perform work that is not skilled but requires such characteristics as punctuality, politeness, willingness to oblige.

The imagined employer has two applicants about whom he knows only two things: their age (shall we say 24) and their nationality. One is British and one is Polish. Which of the applicants does the imagined employer choose? Not a single person to whom I have put this question has hesitated for a moment: he chooses the Pole.

Our need for migrants

has a cultural, not an economic root.

But of course,

this does not mean that we need all the migrants we are likely to get from wherever we get them.

The world is rotten but I am not

Screen Shot 2016-03-19 at 23.39.11

The student prig’s moral grandiosity has a coercive quality, for he has liberated his inner totalitarian

Such, writes Dalrymple, is what the student prig, in his self-importance and complacency, wishes to communicate.

The student prig’s chief aim is to convey

the militant purity of his heart and soul. The world is rotten, he is saying—but I am not. I am pure. If the rottenness continues, it won’t be because of me.

Awareness of his virtue shines from the student prig’s face.

He glows with it, virtue for him consisting of the public expression of the correct sentiments. Virtue requires no discipline, no sacrifice other than of a little time and energy, instantly rewarded by the exhibition of his goodness.

The painlessness of virtue as the expression of correct sentiment is its chief attraction for the student prig.

Who would not wish to achieve goodness merely by means of a few gestures, verbal or otherwise? In that way, you can avoid genuine self-examination.

The student prig

feels a youthful impatience with the intractability of the world, hence a desire that its problems should be solved by symbolic means. This desire partakes of magical thinking: incantations will bend reality in the desired direction.

The student prig’s

moral grandiosity has a coercive quality. His virtue gives him the locus standi to dictate to others for the good of humanity. The expression he wears is that of someone who has liberated his inner totalitarian.

Well, much may be forgiven youth, says Dalrymple. But what is craven is

for older people in positions of responsibility to surrender to youth, even if the once in their lives that they were young happened to be in the 1960s.

This fucking fucker of a tattoo’s fucked me up

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 22.29.24Anthropological interlude

Among the British savages

Dalrymple runs into three men with tattoos,

  • one with Fuck off
  • one with Fuck it
  • one with FTW, which stands for Fuck the world

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 22.40.26The trio tell Dalrymple that they

bitterly regret their youthful stupidity in having had themselves thus maimed. They did it to be like everyone else.

Another has Fuck off tattooed on his forehead in mirror writing. The message, the man tells Dalrymple,

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 22.37.25tends to wake him up in the mornings when he looks in the mirror.

Dalrymple observes that some men

have the letters LTFC tattooed on the knuckles of one hand and ESUK on the other. These appear enigmatic until the two hands are joined together.

In the customs of the British, a man who is tattooed in this fashion approaches, in the public house, a lady whom he admires and puts his hands together in front of her. She is charmed and flattered, and they begin their courtship.