By Theodore Dalrymple
In no longer with a Bang yet a Whimper, Dalrymple takes the degree of our cultural decline, with specified consciousness to Britain-its bureaucratic litter, oppressive welfare mentality, and aimless young-all pursued within the identify of democracy and freedom. He exhibits how terrorism and the transforming into numbers of Muslim minorities have replaced our public existence. additionally listed below are Mr. Dalrymple's trenchant observations on artists and ideologues, and at the remedy of criminals and the mentally disturbed, his quarter of clinical curiosity.
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Extra resources for Not With a Bang But a Whimper: The Politics and Culture of Decline
I still do a certain amount of medico-legal work, preparing psychiatric reports on those accused of crimes, and recently a case reminded me of how sharply a few words can bring into relief an entire attitude toward life and shed light on an entire mental hinterland. Describing her childhood, the young accused mentioned that her mother had once been in trouble with the police. ’ I asked. ’ I asked. For her, and those around her, work was the last resort; economic dependence on state handouts was the natural condition of man.
Gardner asked the man about his job before he had the stroke. ’ These words were emitted slowly, and with great effort. ‘You were a signal…’ ‘A sig-nal man… right,’ [he] completed my phrase triumphantly. As Montaigne tells us, there is no torture greater than that of a man who is unable to express what is in his soul. An intelligent man who can make no constructive use of his intelligence is likely to make a destructive, and selfdestructive, use of it. It is fantastic because – you know – they’re – the child’s dependent on you and you know that (um) – that you – if you – you know – you’ve gotta do everything for the child and it just feels great to be depended on.
Having come into the world marked by Original Virtue, he was a natural-born preacher. In a confessional mood, he admitted that he had sometimes fallen short of what was expected of him. Bless me, people (Blair appeared to be saying), for I have sinned: but please don’t ask me for details. He managed to come out of it all smelling of millions (to change the metaphor). Still, I will try. It revealed an unfailing eye and ear for the ersatz and the kitsch, which allowed him so long to play upon the sensibilities of a large section of the population as upon a pipe.