None Dare Call it Prostitution

Reading recently a monograph about the lives of heroin addicts in preparation for an article about addiction I had been commissioned to write, I came across a couple of comparatively new locutions that irritate me: sex work and sex worker. What is meant by these, of course, is prostitution and ...

I Have Seen the Future, and it Is Idiocy

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 ...

Television Is an Evil

Most people read to confirm their prejudices rather than to learn something new or change their minds. Moreover, they recall what confirms their opinions much better than they remember what contradicts them. So aware was Charles Darwin of this human tendency that, at least according to his ...

The Folly of Resentment

There is one group of people whom it is morally permissible to hate, and of whom in these times of speech codes it is allowed or even obligatory to speak hatefully: namely, the rich. This is rather odd when one thinks of it, for economic resentment was ultimately responsible for more deaths in the ...

Edith Schiele, 1918

The Sketch Pad Near the Deathbed

Whenever I listen to Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde, I hear not just a song cycle of unsurpassed melancholy or even despair, but the cataclysmic collapse of a civilization that was to take place only three years after its first performance. And yet such is the beauty of the work that it reconciles ...

Protecting Everyone From Themselves

Of recent years I have noticed something rather peculiar about hotels. Nowadays they treat their guests as if they were all potential suicides: that is to say, as if their first thought on arrival in their rooms was to jump out of the window. To protect against this mass suicidal mania of hotel ...

Net Worthlessness

For about three years I have subscribed to two free Internet sites that offer investment advice. In a moment of madness or lack of self-knowledge, I thought I might start to take an interest in my own financial affairs, but one does not develop such an interest (as against the necessity to do so) ...

UNICEF’s Chemical Weapon

"€œSave the world by all means, but please do so in ...