Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Meek shall Inherit a World of Idiots

We were told that the meek will inherit the world, but little was said about just what sort of world that would be. We are well on the way to an Idiotic one, judging by the talk in the Tavern.

I could dine out on stories of Fathers for a start. The idiotic situations they encounter in our Courts leaves a sane mind reeling. But one really needs a Psychiatrist to spell that out. He has the proper credentials. Like wot I have.

And one other such well credentialed and experienced 'shrink' was in the P&B last night to chew the fat and swap stories with me. Patient confidentialities aside we have much in common and many tales which are best told only in the Snug with the doors closed.

Dr Daniels. AKA, Theodore Dalrymple is a man I admire.

The good Dr has retired now. He has not been thinking of following my example and opening a Tavern, fortunately, but continues to write books. He was musing on the Idiocy of our modern world and offered a few vignettes about France. It could have been anywhere.

"I Have Seen the Future", he said, "and it is Idiocy"
He explained.
 Yesterday morning, as I was sitting in the flat on Paris that I have rented for a time quietly finishing my latest book, Murderers I Have Known (and I have known quite a few), a furious row broke out in the street six floors below.  

I went out onto the terrace—the flat is on the building’s top floor—to see what was going on. There were several other equally curious people standing on their balconies on both sides of the street. 
 A little knot of young black men, with two or three girls among them, was having a furious row. It was obvious that they were in earnest, though goodness knows about what, as I could not make out any words. I was like a dog; I went by the tone of their voices. 
 One of the young men struck another and he fell, his face covered in blood. The man who had struck him kicked him with full force and got down on him to punch him as hard as he could. He got in several very hard blows before some others hauled him off. If he had not been hauled off, I think he would have beaten him to death.  

I was very glad that neither of the two, the beater and the beaten, had a gun, for I am sure that in their heightened state of emotion, whatever it was about, one of them would have used a gun to kill.  
Of course, there will be those who say that if each of them had thought the other had a gun, they would not have fought in the first place. 
 It was strange to see cars crawl by this scene, the drivers obviously seeing what was going on but doing nothing about it. Some passers-by passed by and others tried to intervene. More than one called the police. 
 Oddly enough, once the man had been hauled off his prostrate associate (former friend? long-time enemy?), the group reformed and went up the street, still arguing furiously. A couple of shopkeepers came out to tell them to calm down, as the frightening fury was presumably bad for trade. 
 This all continued for several minutes.  
The police never came.    
They probably had other things to do. 
 As it happens, their slowness to react (infinite slowness, in fact, since they did not react at all), contrasted oddly with an experience I had the previous Sunday.  
A couple of American filmmakers came to Paris to interview me—it always surprises me that anybody would take so much trouble to interview anybody, let alone me—and decided that the little park opposite my flat, with a pretty little bandstand, would be a good place to do so.  
They set up the camera, but a few seconds later, before they could ask me a single question, a municipal policeman arrived. They were not allowed to film here without a permit from the mairie of the arrondissement, he said.  
I explained that these were Americans, come all the way from Texas expressly to interview me. He, a very pleasant and polite man of African origin, phoned his chief to see whether an exception could be made. As I suspected, it could not. 
 I told the film crew that we should make no fuss; the man was only doing his job, silly as that job might be.  
As it happens there were several drunks in another part of the park making aggressive-sounding noises and breaking bottles, but them he did not approach, perhaps wisely, as they were several and he was only one.  
He thought he would have more luck with someone wearing a tweed jacket and corduroy trousers as I was.  
We found a cafĂ© willing to accommodate us. 

 The contrast between the authorities’ alacrity on one hand in preventing innocent filming for a matter of a few minutes (the policeman said authorization was necessary because it might cause a disturbance, and, being kind, I refrained from laughing), and on the other their slow response to a nasty incident that might have ended in murder, was emblematic of the modern state’s capacity to get everything exactly the wrong way around, to ascribe importance to trivia and to ignore the important.  
There are, of course, many more employment opportunities in trivia, since there is much more that is trivial in the world than is important. 

 **Being kind, I refrained from laughing**
 France is not unique in this respect, or even the worst example I know.  
In London I once parked outside a hotel where I proposed to stay.  
Parking was forbidden outside, but I stopped only to take my baggage inside. I received a parking ticket within sixty seconds, a miracle of efficiency (I genuinely admired it in a way), though it was perfectly obvious from my car’s open doors that I did not propose to stay long and was only taking my luggage into the hotel.  
But on another occasion when my wife telephoned the police to inform them that youths were committing arson in our front garden before her very eyes, they had no time to attend to it. A more senior officer, however, did find the time a quarter of an hour later to complain to my wife that she had wasted police time by complaining in the first place. 

 It often seems, then, as if modern state authorities live in a looking-glass world:

What normal people regard as important is for them of no importance, while what they regard as of supreme importance normal people regard as of no importance.  
For them the respectable are suspect and the suspect respectable.  
A tweed jacket is a sign of menace, while a broken bottle is a sign of harmless intent. 
 One must not exaggerate the degree to which official idiocy impinges on our lives.  
The exaggeration of misery is one of the royal roads to political disaster.  
Still, I have seen the future, and it is idiocy.

I raised a glass to that observation.

Pax Dei. You know it makes sense.


  1. A little knot of young black men

    The new collective noun?

    1. Knot a great one if it was meant to be. Perhaps a 'boat-load' would better group them.

  2. Going back I few years I encountered difficulties with the police when I was trying to help them.

    I lived next to a railway line and on the opposite side of the track a new block of flats was being built. After pub kicking out time one evening I heard the newly installed windows being smashed. I phoned the police station which was situated just around the corner from the building (two minutes walk, tops) who informed me that I had to go through a special regional phone line. By the time they had finished faffing around, the damage had been done and the culprits were well gone.

    On another occasion in the same location. I had popped out for 10 minutes and when I returned I noticed that a downstairs window in one of the flats where I lived was wide open (it was night time) and it alerted my suspicions. On checking the car park at the back of the flats I found that my car had been broken into and also one of the other cars had been broken into and the steering wheel broken off. I phoned the police who did not turn up that night. The next day they said they had but nobody had answered the door.


    I then had to report the crime over the phone and they insisted on recording the crime as three separate incidents and didn't link them together. Also some evidence had been left in my car which they were dismissive of. When I got insistent they reluctantly sent out the 'Scenes of Crime' officer. He treated the whole thing a lot more seriously, took away the evidence from my car and inspected the other damage too.

    A few weeks later I received an admin letter about the incident to my car. It went along the lines of if I knew anything that might help with police inquiries I should disclose it and that if I with-held evidence and obstructed the inquiries action could be taken against me.

    I am sure you can imagine my blood was boiling at the stupidity of the letter after all the trouble I had gone to, to try and help them only to receive disinterest on their part.

    1. If I gave out a pint of Grace to everyone with such stories, Cherie, I would have to install a pipe-line to the source. I could tell a dozen such myself.

      Like the time my RL next-door neighbour was dragged from his doorway by a chap and given a sound kicking at the behest of the chap's lady-friend. I called the cops who arrived three hours later. They took a statement and refused to arrest the behesting instigator (the chap has buggered off) because of the additional paperwork the cops would have to fill out when arresting a woman. It seems the Office for the Status of Women here insist on special forms for women 'suspects' and a lady police-person has to be on the scene to 'monitor' the male coppa..

      But they did try to arrest my injured neighbour, who when being interviewed next to the police car, leaned on it. It took a bullocking from me to deter them, despite them threatening to arrest me too 'for interfering'.. I told them to go right ahead, and while they were at it to contact a lawyer for the personal suit I would take out against them. The ambulance driver also joined in bullocking the stupid policemen for interfering with their patient.

  3. I think we need to *sigh* loudly, then take a deep breath, exhale that breath and share a pint of Grace together.

    Just for today the pints are on me ;-)

    1. :). Smile. my dear. We shall not let the thick get us down. Plod on !

  4. New York City has this "policy" called Stop and Frisk, whereby, using that "special intuition"
    claimed amongst certain women, (and "some" individuals touting intuitive "gaydar") to "NEVER be wrong", would "detain, question, and pat down profiled folk exhibiting thinly veiled "tells" traditional amongst neer' do wells.
    STRANGELY, violent (and other) crime statistics (for what THOSE are worth) plummeted.
    Naturally, as a consequence, the eternally offended sought the "public activism" of professional practitioners of subvention, (known amongst economists, sociologists, anthropologists, and other "political scientists", as Rent Seekers.)

    In response, the nice people of New York City were goaded into "electing" one of the pigs
    campaigning on the moral dangers from "The Farmer", to be in charge of windfall apple distribution.

    Of course, there are great works of literature, drama, music, dedicated to informing and educating folks of the perils "Wolves in sheep's clothing", as well as unintended consequences of disingenuously promoted good intentions. The best ones are crafted
    to be universally comprehended amongst broad age groups and cultures.

    Sadly, there's ALSO a "truism" that the path of "too stupid to recognize that one is ignorant", and in no further "need' of practical education, is a Ponzi scheme so "too good to be true" that it's inevitable collapse at it's irreparable "event horizon" comes at great, unavoidable, cost.

    Apparently, a majority of folks don't fancy criticism of their behavior, and lack of actual social industry. There's ALWAYS a grasshopper, troll under the bridge, or wolf or two to loudly tell them so.

    The "lucky" ones are not necessarily the survivors.

    For todays promotion of an allegory, made palatable by bright colors and flashing lights so as not to offend the eternally offended, and suitable for "children" (with enough double entendre to amuse college certificate recipients ) I'll promote the movie...

    It may be tough to find. It doesn't "celebrate" idiocy, and is difficult to form coherent, "complicated", denial of it's premise, THEREFORE, it's been quietly buried from notoriety by elite leaders of "Worshipers of the Golden Calf", desperate to maintain their assent, or at LEAST, their place, in the architecture of the pyramid.


    1. A fine recommendation and elucidation, Capt. The idiots multiply; they spread. Barely a western country is immune.

  5. I suppose I COULD have been less "haughty" and simply typed "Same Shit, different day".
    But the lessons reiterated in the movie "Second Hand Lions" might have been lost.


    1. If a chap cannot have his turn at the bar, holding forth at length, 'tis a piss-poor bar. The Tavern is open to assent and dissent as long as one refrains from soiling the carpet.


Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..