THIS MORNING, A MATCHED pair of posts about loneliness, by Amba Azaad in The New Inquiry and Chris Dillow.


Because straight white men refuse to recognize their own unpalatability, they come up with solutions to loneliness that appropriate the rhetoric of justice- and freedom-based ideologies without actually engaging in any rigorous structural analyses of their culpability in oppression. They don’t want revolutionary change but merely a polite tolerance that would make them more bearable. And this selfishness renders them incompetent to address the structures of loneliness as a social ill.


And this has been my experience too. My grammar school was on the other side of town and it played rugby, the function of which was not so much to produce rugby players as to signal to people like me that we didn’t belong. And then I went to Oxford which was chocka with charmless dullards from “nice” middle-class backgrounds*. All along there were cues that I didn’t fit in.
Of course, the ruling class rarely gave overt outright messages of class hatred, just as Ms Hirsch rarely encountered crude racism. It likes to think of itself as open and tolerant. But this is self-regarding bullshit which rests upon a denial of the real lived experience of the tens of thousands of black, mixed-race or working-class people: Michael Henderson’s “review” in the Times is a wonderful example of this.



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