26 Jun 2016

Tom Whyman Does Not Like His Fellow Britons

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TomWhyman
Dr.Tom Whyman, (part-time) Philosophy teacher, University of Essex

Part-time red-brick academic Tom Whyman inveighs against his native English village in the American Sunday Times:

Alresford is my personal hell.

We are not used to thinking that a place like this — a pleasant town with a pretty center — might actually be hell. There is almost no poverty and only the occasional act of violence. There are good schools, a range of shops, a heritage railway. In fact, it’s somewhere that a lot of people, apparently, actively want to live: Houses in the center easily sell for upward of a million pounds. (What they will cost once the vote to leave the European Union makes the economy crater remains to be seen.)

But dig below the surface, and you will find the demons crawling. You can see them in the looks that residents give you when they pass; sneering snobs glaring down their noses with entitlement; small-minded townies, bullying you with eyes that you recognize from the primary school lunchroom; the old people, 80 and above, wearing blank stares. You can hear it in their bothered tutting at the bus stop (especially if they ever hear a visitor mispronouncing the name of the town), the shots that constantly ring out from across the countryside as they set about murdering as many of the local pheasants as they can. …

[I]t is impossible to leave Alresford, because Alresford is not just a place: It is an ideology that infects your very soul. Let’s call it “Alresfordism.” It is an ideology of smallness, of contraction, of wanting to curl up in our own personal, financially secure hole and will everything amusing or interesting or exciting in the world away.

Since my late teens, every effort I have ever exerted has been with the intention of escaping Alresford. And yet, I am an early-career academic and so I am forced to move back, every summer, to live with my parents because I cannot afford to pay rent elsewhere after my temporary teaching contract ends. Then, sometimes, I think: What if I’m actually secretly comfortable here? What if I have chosen the security of death in Alresford over the risks of life elsewhere? What if I am in fact fully in the clutches of Alresfordism?

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14 Feedbacks on "Tom Whyman Does Not Like His Fellow Britons"

GoneWithTheWind

“…I am forced to move back, every summer, to live with my parents because I cannot afford to pay rent elsewhere”.

The irony! Imagine an England where you didn’t have 20 million illiterate immigrants on welfare. Imagine how much less your taxes would be and how much more your take home income would be. Imagine too that if the government wasn’t paying for the housing for those 20 million anchors how much more affordable housing would be. Or as John Lennon almost said “imagine all the people living life in peace and not as freeloaders”.



Grumpy

Tom should go F#$& himself with a rusty claw hammer.



Scullman

What a titanic pussy.



Lee

And the wisdom of some, what. twenty eight years, rewards its ugly head.

To quote Bugs Bunny, “What a maroon!”



Thud

I live in a small village outside an affluent small town in England and life couldn’t be further than he describes, perhaps something in the water in his locality or perhaps he is just a twat?



Robert

Good grief! Another special snowflake.



Lindsey Kidd

Get yourself a part time job. Save some money. Get out of that place you hate. Stop annoying people about it.



orcadrvr

I think I’d like to go visit.
If this idiot hates it so, it sounds like a perfect fit for me.



JKB

” I am an early-career academic ”

I hate to break it to him, but he’s 20 or so years into his academic career. All he’s done is move from follower to leader (of a sorts).

And how broad his experience is, I’ve gone to classrooms for 15-20 years, I think I’d like to keep doing that.

Talk about being in the suburbia of a life of the mind.



BP

@Lee
Don’t group all of us 28 year olds in with that failure. It’s a special kind of ungrateful wretched to write about the evils of your home town’s group identity and aggregate civic attitude while retreating to it regularly for room and board.



Lee

BP —

I do apologize. I don’t necessarily group all twenty-somethings in one group. Many know enough to know they don’t know it all. When I was twenty-two, I sure thought I did. I was wiser by twenty-eight. I still had a way to go, but I thank my lucky stars I was’t as big and idiot as this clown.

There are many people wise beyond their years, and there are unfortunately, many more people who think they are totes wise.



Surellin

This idiot doesn’t hate Alresford. He hates people.



Joan Sterrett

Hell Is Other Britons: Tom Whyman, lecturer in Philosophy. Advocate of The Frankfurt School, Adorno, etc. Critical Theorists from whom he bases his attack on the Brexit vote. Why did he choose the NYT to vent his disproof of the vote and his hate of Alresford, which appears to be an idyllic town in Hampshire? He has spent much of his life in Academia. At 27 in a dead end job, a snob with no ambition to expand his life or his fortune. The European Union gave him those opportunities but he declined them.
If anything happens to Mummy and Daddy, who will give him a roof or food after college is out? Brexit should open up many jobs for the real Britons, is the Prof. ready to work or will he keep espousing his Marxist theories to anyone who cares to listen.



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