Here are the Blogs in the Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 14 March 2014
No doubt marketing is an exact science but I doubt that it can fully account for the choices made by people in second hand bookshops. Purchases there depend much on chance and whim; for example, I was in a bookshop in Dublin recently and I found myself irresistibly drawn to a book with a photographic ...Read More...
Posted on 03/14/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 12 March 2014
Political power or office often gives those who possess it the illusion that they control events. That, after all, is the reason why the story of King Canute retains, and will always retain, its relevance to the current political situation. Men think that if they can sometimes do something ...Read More...
Posted on 03/12/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 11 March 2014
A moment’s reflection is all that should be necessary to convince anybody that our passions are not necessarily engaged by public controversies in proportion to the numerical or statistical importance of the question in hand. The debate over euthanasia and physician assisted suicide (PAS) is deeply ...Read More...
Posted on 03/11/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 10 March 2014
When I was young enough still to consider myself rational, I was irritated by patients who tried any remedy in desperation to save themselves from their fatal disease. I have long since mellowed and when an acquaintance of mine with glioblastoma, a rapidly fatal brain tumor, decided recently to go to ...Read More...
Posted on 03/10/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 7 March 2014
Twenty years ago I published a novella in which a purported serial killer, using all the arguments of liberal or radical criminology, proved to his own satisfaction that not only that he was as good as the average citizen, but better. To my surprise an eminent critic thought that my character expressed ...Read More...
Posted on 03/07/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 6 March 2014
I think others must know something about me that I don't. Yesterday, for example, a newspaper called me to ask for my comment on the claim of some Finnish researchers to be able, by means of blood tests alone, to estimate statistically who was likely to die in the next five years. ...Read More...
Posted on 03/06/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
How quickly the human mind turns to paranoia! The majority of what doctors call insults to the brain, either physical or chemical, can uncover man's underlyingly suspicious attitude towards the world, his ur-belief that others, real or imagined, must be plotting against him or ...Read More...
Posted on 03/04/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 2 March 2014
I was out of the country when T G Rosenthal died, and so missed the news. He wrote a beautiful book about L S Lowry whose work he championed against the philistines of the Tate Gallery, who for long could barely bring themselves to hang any of Lowry's paintings on their walls. Rosenthal ...Read More...
Posted on 03/02/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 1 March 2014
Modern medicine’s ability to save life – to keep people alive who would once have died – gives rise to an increasing number of ethical dilemmas. An article in a recent edition of the New England Journal of Medicine discusses the case of Quelino Jimenez, a Mexican illegal ...Read More...
Posted on 03/01/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
It is rarely that I go to my local cinema, for the films shown there are generally atrocious. However, I let myself be persuaded to go last night by my neighbours, though the film turned out to be just as atrocious as I had feared, shallow, sentimental, narcissistic, kitsch and boring. My neighbours ...Read More...
Posted on 02/26/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
For five centuries before the Enlightenment, animals were sometimes put on trial in Europe. Pigs were the most frequent defendants, followed by rats, but even insects were not immune. Edward Payson Evans’s classic The Criminal Prosecution and Capital Punishment of Animals, published in 1906, ...Read More...
Posted on 02/25/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 23 February 2014
Le Figaro recently ran an article predicting that, by 2030, the British economy would be the largest in Europe. I felt a momentary spike of patriotic optimism: then I pulled myself together, and thought 'If this is really true, so much the worse for Europe.'
I suppose that having ...Read More...
Posted on 02/23/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 21 February 2014
One of the first psychiatrists who ever taught me exclaimed, after a patient he had just examined left the room, “A psychopath of the first water!”. It was a phrase that I never forgot, and if ever there were a psychopath of the first water, it is Joanna Dennehy, the 31-year-old woman who ...Read More...
Posted on 02/21/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 20 February 2014
Many medical papers nowadays have such complex statistics that not one in a hundred doctors understands them fully, and the rest have merely to hope or take it on trust that the authors’ conclusions really do follow from their data. I am afraid I hold to the rather crude view that, if results ...Read More...
Posted on 02/20/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 19 February 2014
Only once have I hit my wife and that was by accident. I was driving in Naples and a motor scooter swerve in front of my car, causing me to stop. At that moment a young man, a pedestrian, opened the rear door and grabbed my wife's bag sitting, vulnerable, on the back seat. I turned to give him a ...Read More...
Posted on 02/19/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 17 February 2014
The Times of 29 January led with a story about National Health Service managers who received large redundancy payments and then found employment in the service immediately afterwards. The article was at pains to point out that the individuals involved had done nothing illegal, without fully grasping ...Read More...
Posted on 02/17/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 16 February 2014
Every intellectual likes to believe that he is struggling manfully against the hostile zeitgeist, or else what would be the need for intellectuals? His belief that he is not only in the minority but currently losing the battle against the opposing forces of obscurantism and wrongheadedness allows him ...Read More...
Posted on 02/16/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 9 February 2014
It is a hard lesson in life that many of the most important things that happen to us are beyond our control. Indeed, a large part of wisdom consists of the willingness and ability to distinguish what is and what is not happenstance. The distinction, however, may be very difficult: and while too little ...Read More...
Posted on 02/09/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 8 February 2014
One of the great advantages of the ever-increasing plethora of rights conferred upon us by government (except that of keeping the product of our own labor) is that it requires lawyers to adjudicate between them when they conflict, as they so often do. It prevents unemployment among the ever-increasing ...Read More...
Posted on 02/08/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 6 February 2014
What would induce the citizens of a prosperous and peaceful country to leave for an increasingly impoverished and violent living hell? Why would anyone exchange France for Syria?
The French Ministry of the Interior is concerned that the number of French citizens going to Syria to participate in jihad ...Read More...
Posted on 02/06/2014 12:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple