Fans of Theodore Dalrymple
September 3, 2019
Greta Thunberg, writes Dalrymple,
is to self-righteousness and self-satisfaction what Mozart was to music — a prodigy.
But unlike Mozart,
she is an unattractive child, the grimness of her humourless puritanism being inscribed on her face. She has added a vision of hell: being preached at by her for eternity.
awfulness (of which she is unaware) is not really her fault. Her transformation into a celebrity is the work of adults.
The exaggerated respect with which her pronouncements have been received
will be a matter of wonder to future generations. She has addressed not only crowds but parliaments, where she has been accorded a mixed status:
is a great asset in the modern world, for when earnestness is mistaken for seriousness and gaiety for frivolity, a sense of humour is not only unlikely to flourish, it is likely to be reprehended. Literal-mindedness has become so general a psychological phenomenon that jokes, most of which are directed against someone, are sure to be taken in their most literal meaning.
Humour has become dangerous. But Thunberg is safe; Dalrymple notes that
the very idea of a joke seems alien to her. I suspect that she is one of those persons who is puzzled when people laugh.
This article was posted: Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 8:23 am