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Dalrymple in "Spoilt Rotten" highlights one of the most serious afflictions affecting modern advanced societies, and an issue that, unfortunately, only continues to get worse as the decades pass.
Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Another series of essays which attack what Mr Dalrymple calls the cult of sentimentality. His main target is the media , he asks why does a wealthy handsome victim of a serious crime deserve the public sympathy by having their story told over and over in the media when an alcoholic homeless man suffering the same fate hardly merits a mention.
This is over simplifying what he says but I believe I have expressed the point he is trying to make. Another very valid point he made is that if you behave like Madeleine McCann's parents and face the media stoically without screaming and spitting and rolling around on the ground you in these enlightened times get accused of not caring enough.
With the result that very soon it is being suggested that you have murdered your daughter because you didn't scream and spit and roll about on the tiles.
Again a over simplification of what he is expressing but the point is the same. Again a very good collection by a man who has worked in the fields he writes about, recommended.
I must admit I bought the book quite some time ago and only last week picked it off the shelf. I can't deny, though, that once opened I had a hard time setting it down.
Each observation, each point, and each description I could place in context with incredibly similar issues I have been dealing with.
Working at a large Fortune company, I was having issues getting my support staff to execute their duties per their roles and responsibilities.
I went to management and was told to not rely on the roles and responsibilities but to work on my 'relationship' with them.
The end state was that if I couldn't hold them accountable then I was either bribing them or manipulating their emotions neither of which does justice to a professional experience.
He his the nail on the head over and over with the observations of questioning a persons motive becomes callous and 'evil' in itself and subjects the questioner to the derision of his peers.
Aid is hard to vote against because who can't empathize with starving children? I think his hardest hitting point is on children and the thought that they are the manifestations of purity until spoiled by the evils of adult hood.
This lasts insofar as anyone witnesses a preschool classroom, the purity argument quickly flies out the window through logical observation but since the majority of the population isn't logical it persists through all facets of our culture.
Dalrymples book is expertly written. His command of the language lends itself well to explaining the complex social and political problems he has observed over years as a psychiatrist working in England and abroad.
An illuminating intellectual excursion into the dreadfully deleterious effects of political correctness, sentimentality over reason, and the society that enables it all.
Read this book and you will learn some psychology, how an educated person makes a proper argument, and learn much about the world we live in.
We hear much blame as to the cause of societal woes, often lamenting racism, capitalism, big business, greed, warmongering or western civilization at large.
The future demands more of than those intellectually impotent excuses born of sentimentality over logic, reason, or observable fact.
One of my top ten reads for better understanding our modern socio-political climate. In depth and fascinating.
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rotten spoilt -Sparen Sie bares Geld. Spoilt Rotten Beads, Ely. Würden Sie einem Freund empfehlen, für einen Zugang ohne Warteschlange zu bezahlen? Jetzt geschlossen Öffnungszeiten heute: Kommentar "rotten" ist halt nur die Steigerung von "spoiled spoilt " Hier sehen Sie Ihre letzten Suchanfragen, die neueste zuerst. Würden Sie für diesen Ort oder diese Aktivität Sportbekleidung empfehlen? Erfahren Sie mehr oder ändern Sie Ihre Einstellungen. Würden Sie einem Freund empfehlen, an diesem Ort eine geführte Tour zu unternehmen?
The book is full of unvarnished truths whilst being balanced and surprisingly empathetic. Some of the points he makes: SJW's and the myriad of priviliged kids with pretend victim status.
There are now new laws to protect "the oppressed" who can define any and all things as "hatecrimes" such as using the "wrong" pronouns.
The victimized are placed upon a pedestal, the perceived oppressors are demonized and vilified. You can also find this irrational sentimentaly on both sides of the immigration debate in Western Europe, the identitarian left and right, MRA's vs certain parts of the MeToo-movement and the black vs blue lives matter.
Dalrymple is a rational and reasonable voice in this debate without being callous or cold. There are things I do not fully agree with mostly the parts on the effects of slavery and colonialism on the continent of Africa but overall the book is a very strong attack on the cult of sentimentality.
Perhaps it is worse than that: From pervasive victimisation e. Since when sh Sentimentality: Since when should sentiments have a role in public debates and policy making?!
Logic off the window. Common sense more often than not completely ignored. In a word, as Theodore Dalrymple rightly points in the quotation above: Just the title says it all and, gosh!
How I was so looking forward to read and love that book! Well, there's some good points but, all in all, the whole thing crumbles pretty quickly because of poor or irrelevant arguments, misguided stances and, sadly, unwelcome rants.
I was very, very disappointed. It started well, though. Focusing on nowadays children, their appalling behaviour and educational level at a bottom low getting worst by generations I agree with him that, we should hang our heads in shame for having created such bad generations The thing is, looking for the cause of such decline both in terms of discipline and literacy and numeracy levels he is throwing his darts at the wrong target namely, 'romantic educationists' Rousseau, Montessori, Froebel, Dewey Well, I have experience working and volunteering in Primary schools, and I don't know what he is on about!
Rousseau has absolutely no influence on teaching ethos. As for Montessori and co. Beyond that, the problem is one of poor standards, low level and irrelevant curriculum fostering ignorance and, true to a certain extent, some poorly applied practices e.
Yet, none of these last issues are being addressed here, so focused the author is at blazing his guns at child-centred philosophies which, he doesn't understand and therefore misrepresent -No!
It still is all about learning. Such widespread prejudices could be understandable coming from people having no clue or experience of how children learn; but in a book targeted in part at modern educational philosophies and policies, they show a poor understanding of complex issues.
Education is not the only topic where I thought he went completely off track. A whole chapter dedicated to the relevance or not of Family Impact Statements in British courts was, in my opinion, as misguided.
Here, it was indeed baffling to see him racks his brain trying to understand why such impact statements have been implemented in the first place since, they are given after the jury has returned its verdict, and so have no impact on sentencing.
To him, either it is 'to give suffering people the opportunity to vent their emotion in public' or, as if courts were intended to have some sorts of therapeutic virtue, 'restore psychological equilibrium to victims or to close relatives of victims.
This was baffling because, it seems that at no point did it crossed his mind that Family Impact Statements were implemented for the reason then given to implement them that is, involved families of murdered people in courts' proceedings whereas before they felt excluded.
There is a line between denouncing sentimentality and, defending a cold judicial system leaving victims out. I felt here he crossed that line by not seeing the point in allowing families and relatives to express themselves in courts through such statements.
Another issue I had was scapegoating. He indeed personally attacks some individuals in rants that I found either misplaced or, plain out of order.
I will just give two examples: Steven Pinker and Sylvia Plath. Trying to dismiss Steven Pinker tellingly, criticising only one of all his books -namely, 'The Language Instinct' he just comes across as with educational philosophies, as having an over-simplistic and prejudiced view of complex academic debates here, prescriptivism vs descriptivism.
So, he then just jumps on bandwagons, firing guns using nothing more than straw man argument As for his dealing with Sylvia Plath, I found him insensitive.
She was what she was, but let's not forget that she dealt with clinical depression so severe she was treated with EST, until finally committing suicide.
To therefore call her 'the patron saint of self-dramatisation' is, I think, crossing a line if not being vile. Now, having said all that not everything in this book is misplaced.
On the contrary, there are also some sharps and relevant points being made, not least the core of the book that is, emotional responses devoid of judgement are toxic.
I indeed agree with him to the effect that, 'like all currencies, that of emotional expression can be inflated or debased' and, sentimentality, by encouraging public display of pathos, more often than not reflects all the symptoms of our egotistic societies.
One may not unlike I and the author long for the time when self-restreint, fortitude, and dignity meant that some emotions belonged to the private sphere.
No one can denied however the damaging impact such misplaced displays can have. Alluding to the commercial success of books in the Life Tragedy genre, what he deliciously refers to as 'psychobabble' 'the means by which people talk about themselves without revealing anything, and certainly without having undergone the painful process of genuine self-examination' he shows that sentimentality feeds narcissism and self-pity.
Mocking some sensationalists' newspapers headlines, he also shows how substituting reason for emotions can have dangerous and unhealthy consequences for public debates.
More importantly though, he goes further by demonstrating how sentimentality can be linked to brutality and, mask counter-productive policies behind a sickening do-gooders attitude -sickening not because such attitudes are philanthropic but, but because they are hypocrite and self -interested e.
In fact, he sums it all up in a killing paragraph: The public expression of sentimentality has important consequences.
In the first place, it demands a response from those who witness it. This response has generally to be sympathetic or affirmatory, unless the witness is prepared to risk a confrontation with the sentimental person and be accused of hardness of heart or outright cruelty.
There is therefore something coercive or bullying about public displays of sentimentality. Join in, or at least refrain from criticism.
In the second place, displays of public sentimentality do not coerce only casual passers-by, sucking them, as it were, into a foetid emotional swamp, but when they are sufficiently strong or widespread they begin to affect public policy.
Discussing then in whole chapters topics like the reactions to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and the death of Princess Diana and, foreign aid policies, I must say he can be brilliant and, on these points at last, clearly demonstrates the, yes, toxic impact of sentimentality.
I just regret that, he uses only Gordon Brown's policies to argue his point against foreign aids. Why him only when, all PMs before and after him, royals, and even celebrities have been guilty of the same sins?
Again, he is here scapegoating -worst, falling victim of political bias- which is sad because, I think, it undermines an otherwise powerful argument.
All in all then , because of the misguided, prejudiced, simplistic views of the author on too many topics, 'Spoilt Rotten' fails to deliver. There is indeed a need for a book to address the zeitgeist of nowadays that is, the triumph of sentimentality; that sickening 'cult of feelings' serving nothing but the taking over of reason with all its damaging consequences and the self-service of a narcissism so typical of our societies.
Unfortunately this book is not the one to do so. High expectations being thus unmet, it felt flat. Apr 11, Dierregi rated it liked it Shelves: This is the second Dalrymple's book I read, after "Anything goes".
I totally agree about the toxicity of the cult of sentimentality, but I did not like much the book's structure.
The six essays exploring different aspects of sentimentality are loosely connected, while I was expecting a single, articulated essay.
How Psychology Undermines Morality. Life at the Bottom: The Worldview That Makes the Underclass. The Mandarins and the Masses. The Knife Went in: Real Life Murderers and Our Culture.
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Read reviews that mention spoilt rotten theodore dalrymple cult of the victim cult of sentimentality toxic cult princess diana third world read this book book i have read read dalrymple culture public society modern british content education emotion examples feelings.
Showing of 53 reviews. Top Reviews Most recent Top Reviews. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. At the root of so many of the absurd stories we see in the news is sentimentality.
Author Theodore Dalrymple notes that dictionaries define sentimentalism as an excess of emotion that is false, mawkish, and over-valued by comparison with reason, and he also asserts that "sentimentality requires the attachment to a distorted set of beliefs about reality, and also the fiction of innocence and perfection, either actual or potential.
The author traces the cult of the victim responsible for so much of sentimentality back to the Romantic era.
Today's sentimentalists have anything but a live-and-let-live ethos, as their condescension, self-importance, self-indulgence, and elevation of feeling over reason leads them to coerce others psychologically, and Dalrymple provides brilliant examples of this phenomenon and how it harms truly innocent people.
Sentimentalism has inflicted deleterious effects on the family, relationships, public safety, pop culture, the justice system, and government spending levels in recent times.
Dalrymple in "Spoilt Rotten" highlights one of the most serious afflictions affecting modern advanced societies, and an issue that, unfortunately, only continues to get worse as the decades pass.
Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Another series of essays which attack what Mr Dalrymple calls the cult of sentimentality.
Perhaps the most suggestive sentence is tucked away in an endnote about tattoos: If only someone had awarded him that space".
Spoilt Rotten was chosen by Jasper Fforde on the Penguin Books website as one of the books he would most like to get for Christmas. Fforde wrote that the book, "makes uneasy reading for huggy liberals, and asks harsh questions over the bizarre sense of sentimentality that seems to have befuddled us Brits ever since millions of us queued up to sign a book of condolences for a princess we didn't know.
Dalrymple looks at the downside of an overblown sense of sentiment, which resulted this year with a murderous thug who saw himself as a victim and found 32, people agreeing with him, and even opening a tribute Facebook page in his posthumous honor".
He is frequently witty, always punchy and sometimes rapier-like, as he analyses the 'bunk' of his opponents to within an inch of its cant".
In a negative review in The Sunday Telegraph , historian Noel Malcolm suggested that Dalrymple "is spreading his net too widely, so that 'sentimentality' comes to stand for any moralising view that does not satisfy his own scrutiny; it's not that these things should not be criticised, merely that sentimentalism may not be the key to what is wrong with them".
The 'progressive' attack on discipline, and on traditional institutions such as the family, was concerned as much with power-structures and class as it ever was with sentiment or human goodness",  and took issue with Dalrymple's assessment of Rousseau.
What is disheartening is his bleak attitude towards human nature; having diagnosed the disease he is at a loss to suggest a remedy".
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Spoilt Rotten: The Toxic Cult of Sentimentality. The Toxic Cult of Sentimentality Front cover of the edition.
To make up for its lack of a moral compass, the British public is prey to sudden gusts of kitschy sentimentality followed by vehement outrage, encouraged by the cheap and cynical sensationalism of its press.
Spasms of self-righteousness are its substitute for the moral life. Retrieved 27 October Retrieved 4 January Retrieved 31 July Retrieved 2 August Retrieved 4 August Addiction is a moral, not a medical, problem".
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