Here are the Blogs in the Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 21 March 2016
Harvard Law School, in abject surrender to student activists, is about to change its escutcheon because its design was derived from that of Isaac Royall, Jr., who endowed the first chair at the school. Royall’s father made the family fortune from slave plantations in the West Indies and Massachusetts, ...Read More...
Posted on 03/21/2016 9:41 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 12 March 2016
A friend of mine drives a minibus for a local authority. His passengers used to be old people whom he took to day-care centres; now he takes the mentally handicapped to their schools. The old people are left to volunteer drivers using their own cars.
The reason for the change, he told me, was ...Read More...
Posted on 03/12/2016 8:56 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 11 March 2016
In the prison in which I used to work as a doctor, I would ask prisoners in confidence who were held pending trial whether they intended to plead guilty or not guilty.
“It depends,” they replied.
“On whether or not you did it?”
“On what my counsel says.”
In other words, their decision was ...Read More...
Posted on 03/11/2016 5:20 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 8 March 2016
An American friend of mine recently received an invitation to a symposium at the Yale School of Architecture. The invitation was in the form of a poster largely filled with words in various fonts upon a matte black background as follows:
writing stating accompanying overwhelming looming meeting overriding ...Read More...
Posted on 03/08/2016 9:19 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 6 March 2016
'Smoking kills,' say the packets, but from the litter-picker's point of view not quickly enough.Fag-ends are not difficult to clear because the implement won't take hold of them but because birds of a feather - in this case fag-ends - flock together. It takes a lot of concentration to clear a square ...Read More...
Posted on 03/06/2016 7:36 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 1 March 2016
London is among the best cities in the world for art exhibitions, and whenever I go there, which is rarely, I try to see as many as time and energy will permit. Recently, for example, I saw two in a single day, the contrast between which seemed to cast a light on the soul of modern humanity, or at least ...Read More...
Posted on 03/01/2016 7:18 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 27 February 2016
One of the greatest advances in modern medicine was the realization that doctors’ personal experience is not sufficient evidence for the preference of one treatment to another. The double-blind trial was developed to overcome various kinds of bias and prejudice in both patient and doctor, and on the ...Read More...
Posted on 02/27/2016 9:36 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Friday, 26 February 2016
Economics is a difficult subject and I don't understand it. Take armed robbery, for example: does it stimulate or retard the economy?
The question arose in my mind when I went with my neighbour recently to a jeweller's shop. My neighbour wanted his expensive watch repaired but to enter the shop ...Read More...
Posted on 02/26/2016 8:32 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 23 February 2016
We all laugh at horoscopes and the people who read them, but I am not sure the financial pages of our newspapers (or the people who read them) are much better. Had I, for example, never read a single article in them, not only would I have been none the poorer, but I suspect I would have been none the ...Read More...
Posted on 02/23/2016 4:54 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 22 February 2016
We laugh at the French Academy's tinkering with French orthography to make it easier for the poor children to spell (I predict that it will make no difference), but something far more sinister is happening in English: more sinister because it is not an identifiable institution that is at work, but a ...Read More...
Posted on 02/22/2016 7:00 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Saturday, 20 February 2016
Men squabble as much over symbols as over more tangible realities, and this in itself is a reality of the human condition. It is not surprising, then, that an amendment to the French constitution precipitately proposed by President Hollande in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris on 13 November should ...Read More...
Posted on 02/20/2016 5:10 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 17 February 2016
When I was young I was quite good at sport, but I never improved at it much because I couldn’t take it seriously enough: my competitive spirit must have been deficient. Sport was always said to be good for the character, but I never noticed that the best sportsmen had the best character: if anything, ...Read More...
Posted on 02/17/2016 5:20 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 15 February 2016
Awful, terrible news! I noticed a small item in last week's British Medical Journal that once again revealed the cruel and callous nature of patriarchy. Under the headline Fall in Death Rate we learn that 'Between 2009 and 2015 deaths from leukaemia in children have fallen by 38 per cent in boys and ...Read More...
Posted on 02/15/2016 5:41 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Tuesday, 9 February 2016
A man who had worked for the BBC in the 1960s told me some time ago that James, aka Jimmy, Savile was employed by the BBC because it was worried that there were so few working-class broadcasters. I had no reason to suppose that he was lying or mistaken, though I have no corroborative evidence either. ...Read More...
Posted on 02/09/2016 8:02 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 4 February 2016
The preposterous nonsense known as homoeopathy has long exasperated doctors: but at whom, exactly, is their exasperation directed? At the homoeopaths themselves, or at the credulous and foolish public that persists in its patronage of such quackery on quite a large scale? According to a recent commentary ...Read More...
Posted on 02/04/2016 5:46 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Sunday, 24 January 2016
In his essay, "Politics and the English Language," George Orwell recommended that, in prose, the active voice is always to be preferred to the passive. He put it more actively: never use the passive where you can use the active. But he knew that any such rule must have exceptions and the last of his ...Read More...
Posted on 01/24/2016 5:20 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 21 January 2016
Anyone who examines the contents of his own mind without prejudice in his own favour will be obliged to admit that the vast majority of his thoughts are of the utmost banality: I'd like a cup of tea, it's nearly time for bed, why don't my visitors go home, etc. This, perhaps, explains why instant communication ...Read More...
Posted on 01/21/2016 5:50 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 7 January 2016
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely: but it is common knowledge, or at least opinion, that it also ages. Men who achieve political power early in life turn middle-aged within a year or two, however youthful they may have appeared at the outset. Do they die earlier than they otherwise ...Read More...
Posted on 01/07/2016 6:54 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 6 January 2016
On Christmas Eve, a group of 12 Muslims in the northern French town of Lens gathered round to protect a church where midnight mass was about to be performed. They wanted, they said, to give a different and better impression of Islam from that which is increasingly taking hold in Europe.
No doubt ...Read More...
Posted on 01/06/2016 6:53 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 4 January 2016
I have reached the age when friends start to suffer serious illnesses and today I had to take one of them (whom I have known for more than 40 years) to hospital for his radiotherapy. Oddly enough, this was not the depressing experience one might have expected it to be.
In the first place, all ...Read More...
Posted on 01/04/2016 7:07 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Thursday, 31 December 2015
Man, as far as I know, is the only creature who can envisage his own extinction: not only envisage it, but enjoy doing so. Deadly new viruses, collisions with asteroids, overwhelming floods: all are the stuff of Hollywood films.
But of all of mankind that enjoys contemplating its own extinction, ...Read More...
Posted on 12/31/2015 5:30 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 28 December 2015
Every cloud, it is said, has its silver lining: but does every silver lining have its cloud? So it often seems in daily life, and there is no situation so favorable that men are incapable of extracting disaster from it. But medicine is one field in which progress seems almost unalloyed: setbacks are ...Read More...
Posted on 12/28/2015 8:17 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 21 December 2015
My heart sank whenever a patient said to me that his or her ambition was to be happy: I knew that he or she was destined for misery because happiness is not the kind of thing that can be aimed at like the bullseye of a target, and that trying to aim at it is therefore an exercise in futility.
There ...Read More...
Posted on 12/21/2015 10:41 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Wednesday, 16 December 2015
In the introduction to his magisterial anthology, the late John Gross declined to offer a definition of good prose. His taste was as catholic as his knowledge was deep and wide, but it was also sure. Gross included examples of the flowery and the spare, the tragic and the comic, the poetical and the ...Read More...
Posted on 12/16/2015 7:11 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
Monday, 14 December 2015
Freedom of expression is precious, there is no doubt, but sometimes I wonder whether freedom from expression is even more precious. This never occurred to me before the advent of the internet, which revealed to me as nothing else had ever done the vile nature of the thoughts of some, or many, of my ...Read More...
Posted on 12/14/2015 5:06 AM by Theodore Dalrymple