City Journal Autumn 2014

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Autumn 2014
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Theodore Dalrymple
Revelry and Mayhem « Back to Story

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If the alcohol industry is responsible for drunkenness who is responsible for sobriety? Could it possibly be the individual who decides how much alcohol to pour down his own gullet? Schurely not.
I wish you'd spend more time in New York City. When I came here in the 70's, there were riots in the streets, in the 80's it got worse with mass vagrancy (euphemized as homelessness, as if it were a social service problem), and crime, theft, and murder common. We lived in fear. I don't know how I managed to survive as a young girl taking the subway home at night as late as 9:30 pm - after night classes. Then Rudy Guiliani and his police commissioner replaced the regime of inept mayors we'd had since the 60's and suddenly, New York was safe. You could walk the street. Times Square became a tourist mecca, rather than a squalid filthy zone you'd do anything to avoid. Public spaces like Port Authority have been transformed and are the domain of commuters, rather than seedy and frightening. I don't see much litter on the street, and I live near a council estate (what we call a public housing project). I feel safe coming home at 11 pm (late). The streets are populated with normal people going about their business. If New York City could turn around so dramatically, why can't the Britain? Oh, and we have a very large population of prison inmates, as the Guardian would be the first to remind us, more prisoners than any Western democracy. Hurray, I say! And let's keep them there. There's a reason why Britain is going to the dogs, it's because they are not enforcing their laws and are obsessing over minutiae to avoid facing large policing problems. Why doesn't David Cameron invite our police commissioner and former mayor Rudy Guiliani over to ask them how they made New York livable?
feed them trash and they grow up trash
I have a sense of deja vu.

Heaven knows why.
Obviously a media beat up intended to increase circulation. In all the baby sitting TV programs young people have watched in the last 20/30 years, never has anyone of any social value ever been killed or seriously hurt by being shot or stabbed or gang bashed etc. The Media reports on and shows us real life, therefore!!!
Society is a product of culture. When culture devolves to vacuousness, what can be its end product other than anarchy and mayhem? This is not a condition limited to Brittan or its American offspring but anywhere that has accepted the high art of nihilism as its only defining trait of character.
It's amazing what's been accomplished in America given our fat and stupid yearning to be free. The point is it's always been the case and Brits are, now, simply playing catch-up. Enjoy Geordie Shore!
Bob T. He's a writer insofar as he writes the same article every time but just changes the order of some of the words.

B.Samuel. How many of the 8 million residents of Greater London did your parents meet? I was in the US a few weeks ago and everyone I met was fat and didn't know where the rest of the world was. Would you care to exchange any more anecdotal stereotypes?
My parents were in London not long ago. I asked them what it was like, and the response was that the people were rude, and that there were drunken kids everywhere.
I agree with DrFinlay, this article was probably written on the back of a stained beer mat at a pub serving cask ale on a sunday in Chelsea
DrFinlay,

He's a writer, it's his job to write. If you don't like his dispatches, read Anthony Daniels instead.
Usual lazy stuff. Do you actually write this, or is it just an automated programme on your laptop? Set outrage setting to apopletic, press enter ....
Steve M.,

The old British Empire was a force for civilization. I don't want to think what an empire conquered by that lot would look like.
Shouldn't be too hard to rebuild the Empire then, should it? Just needs a bit of organization. Maybe the first conquest should be Normandy.