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I too get tired of the continual citation of "Gin Lane" by people who obviously seem to think that it was a real place. They neglect, or more properly are simply ignorant of the fact, that it was part of a pair of works. The other was "Beer Street" which showed industrousness as a contrast to "Gin Lane". Rather than some "photographic representation" of reality, it was more of a political cartoon, and is as realistic as those we see in newspapers everyday. Charatertures rather than showing a genuine scene, even if some of the events shown are similar to real incidents.

In fact Hogarth published those prints in support of the Gin Act. So "Gin Lane" actually proves the opposite of what these "liberals" claim. Namely that it is possible to put a stop to this sort of thing, and it isn't "inevitable". Strange that they would cite a society they would clearly condemn, namely that of the 18th Century, in support of this "paradise" they've worked to create.

Posted by PT on July 3, 2009 02:16 PM

The self-control you so admire, desire for your fellow citizens, and mourn is in truth the moral aspect of Christianity. You cannot have the morality, society and culture without the theology I'm afraid. The sooner you and your fellow secular reactionaries such as Roger Scruton come to terms with this the better. Otherwise you are merely beating a melancholy retreat, and it is not pleasant. I recommend a course of Roman Catholic Chritianity for you and your fellow sufferers. You might do worse than start with the SAU's excellent "Nation that Forgot God."

Posted by John on July 4, 2009 12:53 PM

From the CD version of the Oxford English Dictionary: "In terms of its Latin origin, referendums is logically preferable as a modern plural form meaning ballots on one issue as a Latin gerund referendum has no plural; the Latin plural gerundive referenda, meaning 'things to be referred', necessarily connotes a plurality of issues. Those who prefer the form referenda are presumably using words like agenda and memoranda as models. Usage varies at the present time 1981, but The Oxford Dictionary for Writers and Editors 1981 recommends referendums, and this form seems likely to prevail.

Posted by Edward on July 5, 2009 10:59 PM

While I generally sympathise with Dr Dalrymple's views on self-restraint, I'm not sure I see anything wrong in crowds shouting, whooping and clapping at sporting venues, or in the sportsmen they are watching expressing joy, relief, frustration and so on. People watch and play sport precisely because of its emotional dimension. Take away the emotion and sport loses meaning. It serves no practical purpose, after all.

If Andy Murray punches and snarls after winning a crucial point, and if people shout out their appreciation, what is the harm exactly? Is Dr Dalrymple now so despairing of modern egotism that he can no longer tolerate anything more than the humblest expressions of emotion? Does he think that the slightest movement away from buttoned-up prudery puts us on a slippery slope to permissiveness and barbarism? I like to think there is an acceptable compromise in these things.

Posted by Russell on July 6, 2009 05:29 PM

Another suberb article by Dr Dalrymple. I was at Wimbledon only a few years ago and felt rather isolated as I simply applauded occasionally rather than engaging in shouting, etc.

Posted by AJ Stidwill on July 10, 2009 04:07 PM


I think you have rather hit the nail on the head, although sticking only to Catholic Christianity would be a bit like flying on one wing. Being a Huguenot Hedgehog, I think he also needs a dose of the Protestant version.

Nevertheless, I would recommend him to start with G.K.Chesterton's "The Everlasting Man".

Posted by HedgehogFive on July 16, 2009 11:03 PM

John McEnroe was known for years for his foul, abusive behaviour on the tennis court, and other players were beginning to follow his example. Then one day, at the Australian Open, an umpire told him he would award the match to McEnroe's opponent if McEnroe did not stop his abuse. McEnroe did not stop, so the umpire awarded the match to McEnroe's opponent. Since then, behaviour on the court has been, for the most part, far better mannered. It only took one decent, brave action to reform the whole of tennis.

Perhaps part of the problem is that for many decades there were such strong unwritten codes of behaviour that such courageous action was never needed, and consequently few people now have the ability to call misbehavers to account publicly. I certainly don't have it. If someone in my presence in public contravenes my idea of public decency I just feel helpless and angry.

Posted by GeorgeT on July 31, 2009 06:17 AM

I think immaturity causes the display of unregulated emotion. A citizen brought up in a multi-generational household has a chance to mature. Consumers with working parents were brought up by the television. They get old, but remain immature. Emotional Dysregulation and little impulse control cause high rates of consumption, but interfere with comportment.

In other words...
If I'd been brought up by wolves, I'd be better behaved.

Enjoyed Mr. Dalrymple's perspective. Thank you.

Posted by Catie Lott on July 27, 2013 09:27 AM
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