The Progressive Scottish Gender Bill

Over at The Epoch Times, the dubious doctor highlights the devious motivation(s) behind the Scottish nationalist leader’s support for a radical, contradictory, and absurd gender bill, which is opposed by the majority of her countrymen.

Therefore, she tries to square the ideological circle by means of the transgender issue. By making it easier for youngsters to change gender, she’s proclaiming her credentials as a progressive, though what progressives think they’re progressing to always remains unexplained. Perhaps Gomorrah.

Look to the Lebanon

In this week’s Takimag column, the pessimistic doctor picks up a magazine filled with articles on Lebanon and comes to the stunning conclusion that our once glorious, but slowly fading Western world is on the road to Lebanonization.

No analogies are exact, but Western societies seem to be fracturing into various confessional communities each of which, like the Maronites, Druzes, Shiites, Sunni, and others, claims its share of the politico-economic spoils. They struggle like worms or grubs in the tins in which anglers keep their bait, while an unchanging elite preside, or at least glide, godlike, over the whole. In the meantime, public administration deteriorates, infrastructure rots, and inflation rockets.

On Purpose

In last week’s Takimag, the philosophical doctor ponders the purpose-seeking nature of man, the Lisbon earthquake of 1755, and the appeal of conspiracy theories—all stemming from misplacing his credit card.

Yet such is the nature of the human mind that even the firmest believer in the meaninglessness of existence finds purpose difficult to eliminate from his thoughts. If you read books by strict Darwinists, for example, you will frequently find locutions such as “Evolution did this” or “Evolution decreed that,” as if Evolution were a being with a mind and purpose of its own. The question remains, of course, whether we impose purpose on the world (by which I mean all that exists) because of our psychological makeup or whether purpose is genuinely immanent in the world. I incline to the former view, but I would not go to the stake for it.

MCC Podcast: Social Values in Times of Crisis – The Psychiatrist’s Perspective

Our favorite doctor appears on the interesting podcast of Mathias Corvinus Collegium here in Hungary to discuss his travel experiences behind the old Iron Curtain, Western social breakdown, the importance of judgment, as well as Hungary’s efforts to preserve traditional marriage and its historic architecture.

Knowledge and Verve

Theodore Dalrymple pays his respects to the famed journalist and historian, Paul Johnson, who passed away two days ago. Requiescat in pace.

It is customary to say of remarkable men that we shall not see their like again. Whatever may be the case with other remarkable men, this is likely to be true of Paul Johnson. It is unlikely that anyone will tackle so huge a range of subjects again with such knowledge and verve.

The Problems of Motives and Research

Over at The Epoch Times, Dr. Dalrymple reviews the case of a retracted paper from an academic journal of psychology dealing with the effects of abortion on women.

We live in an age of suspicion to a degree that I don’t remember from my youth—though I admit that my memory is fallible, and I may be mistaken in this. Perhaps we are no more suspicious of the motives of those with whom we disagree than ever we were, and we always thought that those who disagreed with us were not merely wrong, but evil.

Cuckoo Policies

Our astute doctor kicks off A.D. 2023 with a Takimag article pointing out the recent antics of the absurd, politically-correct Stanford language police. Apparently, the woke ideologues rarely ever sleep nowadays.

Stanford University has published, to much-deserved derision, a kind of index of prohibited words, that is to say words that could possibly cause anyone, even animals, distress. Of course, if you treat people as eggshells, eggshells is what they will become, especially if they derive some kind of benefit, financial or other, from their fragility.

Artificial Art

In his last Takimag column of 2022, Theodore Dalrymple considers writing in an age of artificial intelligence, the career prospects for writers, and the problems associated with an overabundance of entertainment in the modern world.

I have long thought that entertainment, or rather the ubiquity of entertainment, is one of the greatest causes of boredom in the modern world. And boredom is itself a much underestimated state of mind in the production of human misconduct and therefore of misery.

Sympathy for the Underdog

In the January edition of New English Review, the good doctor tells his faithful readers of his aversion to spiders, the growing custom of keeping strange reptiles as pets, and witnessing an encounter between a spider and a moth.

I would like to wish our readers a Happy New Year and all the best for 2023.

As a social, or perhaps antisocial, phenomenon, the keeping of tarantulas is surely of some interest and even significance, especially if it is becoming an ever more popular pastime, as the number of commercial outlets for tarantulas (and reptiles) suggests. It bespeaks a society in which more people are leading isolated lives, in which they not only do they have no social life at home, but wish to have no social life at home, indeed want to protect themselves from the need or even the possibility of having one.