11 October, 2016

Life at the bottom : the worldview that makes the underclass by Theodore Dalrymple

This was an awful read…
Yes, there we go folks, enjoy your week!

Sorry, what I mean is if you have trouble dealing with pretty dire human stories that are given no real avenue for change (probably one of my criticisms of Mr Dalrymples writing), then be prepared for some depressing stories when you pick up this book.

Couple this with a sneering tone as our pretentious author descends from his high horse to aid and listen to the 'hoi polio' and their ‘self-induced’ problems, while railing on liberal thinkers and idiotic educationists. (._.)

“Woah, why did you pick this book then, you amazing person?”

Because it’s really good! For all his criticisms of the lower classes and societies ‘blending’, his points are often worthy of thought. The vivid, raw and (presumably) true anecdotes are compelling, tragic and sad, told with appropriate detachment and tinged with black humour in some cases:

Domestic violence, criminal responsibility, declining education standards, declining police standards, police anger, willful ignorance by the upper echelons of society and government… I'd like to say it gets brighter...

This book isn’t new (most of the articles are set before the turn of the century), but it is both good and relevant. Despite its strong conservative leanings, it is more than worth a look and Dalrymple’s language is immaculate. There’s even a chapter on his visit to New Zealand (we get a good kicking too)!

Read it.

Title: Life at the bottom: the worldview that makes the underclass
Author: Theodore Dalrymple

James W still hasn’t seen the film Titanic. Since he hasn’t seen it… does it truly exist (and therefore deserve 11 academy awards)? James is familiar with the anthropic principle.

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