Here are the Blogs in the Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 1 September 2013
Research has shown that those who attend to the news in the morning are more miserable for the rest of the day than those who don’t. Nevertheless, I remain partial to my morning newspapers and feel bereft without them. When for some reason I am deprived of them (as recently I was for a week because ...Read More...
Posted on 09/01/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 29 August 2013
For most of my life I have had no difficulty in sleeping, rather in staying awake. But whether because of a physiological ageing process, or of a guilty conscience aware of a life of cumulative sin, I now experience periods of insomnia. Occasionally I do what I once swore as a young man never to do: ...Read More...
Posted on 08/29/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 27 August 2013
We do not know what Shakespeare really believed, save that he liked money and feared the mob: for he was a stern creditor, and whenever a mob appeared in his plays it was sure to be foolish, fickle and stinking, at the mercy of the last orator it heard. So it is in Julius Caesar: the mob first believes ...Read More...
Posted on 08/27/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 26 August 2013
I never see the International Herald Tribune except in airport lounges or in the lobbies of hotel where it seems to be given away like improving literature or left as missionaries were once said to leave tracts on trains in the hope of converts. And thus it was, the other day, that I happened upon a ...Read More...
Posted on 08/26/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 25 August 2013
I write this on the deck of a boat that has pulled into Stavanger harbour in Norway. The contemplation of the city gives me satisfaction of a kind.
Norway, as everyone knows, is the richest country in Europe (as well as the most expensive). Its sovereign fund has invested something like $100,000 per ...Read More...
Posted on 08/25/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 24 August 2013
When doctors knew nothing and could do even less (if actively harming patients with their treatment counts as doing less than nothing), they hid their ignorance and therapeutic impotence by the use of impressive-sounding Latin terminology. Even when they spoke in the vernacular, they did their best ...Read More...
Posted on 08/24/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 23 August 2013
In private health-care systems, rationing of health care is by price; in public health care it is by waiting lists and administrative fiat. Both have their defenders, usually ferocious and bitterly opposed, but the fact remains that there are some treatments that have to be rationed however much money ...Read More...
Posted on 08/23/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 22 August 2013
The only emotion that can last a lifetime, that is impervious to all experience, and never fails in its function, is resentment. Few of us, I suppose, have never savoured its sour satisfactions, but most have us mature beyond it to a certain point of equanimity. Not everyone, though; and maturity has ...Read More...
Posted on 08/22/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 18 August 2013
There are some names that do not seem suited to ring down the ages with literary fame, however worthily their possessors write, and Percy Robinson probably is one of them. But his play, To What Red Hell, first performed in 1926, was successful and twice made into a silent film, one of them with Sibyl ...Read More...
Posted on 08/18/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 14 August 2013
There is a certain kind of person, usually intellectual and fundamentally well-meaning, who believes that he is courageous when he attacks what no one will defend, or when he becomes more-strenuous-than-thou in proposing the means by which to suppress an acknowledged evil.
The Church of England, which ...Read More...
Posted on 08/14/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 10 August 2013
Ugo Betti (1892 – 1953) was the son of a doctor who was the director of the hospital in Parma, and is widely considered to have been the second most important Italian playwright of the modern era after Pirandello. In 1955 three of his plays were to be seen on the London stage, though he seems ...Read More...
Posted on 08/10/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 4 August 2013
One of the consequences of living in an information age is that we are made instantly, and constantly, aware of the disasters around the world, both natural and man-made, and of the enormous suffering that they cause. There are no more far-away lands of which to know nothing, to quote Neville Chamberlain, ...Read More...
Posted on 08/04/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 3 August 2013
It is a truism that travel these days is not the pleasure it was once reputed to be, largely because of conditions at airports. They are horribly overcrowded and to the prospect of jet lag has now been added the experience of security fatigue and irritation. Still, airports are not without their interest ...Read More...
Posted on 08/03/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 2 August 2013
In 1912, aged 24, Joyce Cary, who was later to become famous for his novels of Nigeria and bohemian artistic life (a strange but autobiographical combination), went out to Montenegro to be a stretcher-bearer for the British Red Cross in the First Balkan War. He was fearful that if he did not take the ...Read More...
Posted on 08/02/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 1 August 2013
The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has granted, by 16 votes to one, an appeal by three men in England who have been sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of release. These sentences, the men claimed, breached their human rights according Article 3 of the European Convention ...Read More...
Posted on 08/01/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 30 July 2013
Doctors are often appalled by their patients’ unhealthy habits, as much for aesthetic as for health reasons. They are also irritated by the refractory nature of those habits and the failure of patients to do anything about them even when repeatedly advised to do so. Such repetition serves a purpose, ...Read More...
Posted on 07/30/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 29 July 2013
My wife was in her family house in Corsica when the Tour de France passed by about 25 miles from where it had set out. First, though, came the enormous cavalcade of sponsors, revealing the real raison d’être of the whole affair (as cynics might say who think that the real meaning of everything ...Read More...
Posted on 07/29/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 28 July 2013
The relationship between economics on the one hand and disciplines such as history, psychology, and sociology on the other is much disputed and seems to me a little like that of couples who live in a state of hostile dependence: they cannot live together but cannot live apart.
Are there rules of political ...Read More...
Posted on 07/28/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 26 July 2013
Dealers in antiques often scatter leather-bound volumes, usually of small value, around their shops to create an atmosphere of elegant learning. Recently in one such shop, I picked up a volume, the Justice of the Peace Reports, Vol. LXII, for 1908.
It fell open at page 467 and I was, as addicts so ...Read More...
Posted on 07/26/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 24 July 2013
Why do people say (and, a fortiori, write) things that they cannot possibly believe to be true? For effect, I suppose: to appear more intellectually or morally profound than they actually are. There is not much kudos, after all, in saying things that everyone already knows to be true: and most ...Read More...
Posted on 07/24/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 23 July 2013
Shakespeare, on the whole, was in favor of sleep – at least if the opinions of his characters are any guide to his own opinion. “He that sleeps feels not the toothache,” says the Gaoler in Cymbeline. Sleep, says Macbeth:
… knits up the ravell’d sleave of care
and ...Read More...
Posted on 07/23/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 22 July 2013
From time to time I appear as a witness in serious criminal trials, and one of the things I have learnt at such trials is how much of British life is now lived on CCTV camera.
In my last case, for example, there were more than twenty sequences of film used as evidence against the accused: the accused ...Read More...
Posted on 07/22/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 17 July 2013
It is not often that an editorial in a serious newspaper raises a laugh, but a statement in one such, entitled ‘Egypt for all Egyptians,’ in Le Figaro for 9th July, caused me to laugh: or perhaps I should say snort with derision. ‘Democracy,’ said the editorial, ‘is everyone’s ...Read More...
Posted on 07/17/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 16 July 2013
Men’s fashion, I freely admit, is not a subject of great interest to me, and this is no mere consequence of my age: it never has been. Recently, however, I could not help but notice the annual fashion shows in Milan, London and Paris as reported in the newspapers. The clothes designed at such ...Read More...
Posted on 07/16/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 15 July 2013
In the year of my birth, which now seems to me a very long time ago, C. S. Lewis wrote a short and incisive essay entitled The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment. In this essay, Lewis drew attention to the potential for tyranny of this seemingly humane theory, according to which people were to be treated ...Read More...
Posted on 07/15/2013 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple