Manufacturing Dissent Since 1996
New interviews throughout the week

Goodbye London: On alienation, stoicism and life without twist ties.


When Samuel Johnson said 'when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford' I think he was right, but those things often need to be sought out. They don't come automatically, and as a result there is often a tendency toward alienation. So London can be a place where millions of people all come to be alone together.

After 12 years in London, correspondent David Skalinder says goodbye to the city with a list of First World gripes (lightbulb inconsistency, troublesome faucet configuration, no Ziploc bags) and a set of larger, alienationish problems with the social geography (difficulty of spontaneous urban space travel, impossibility of cheesy American-style cultural integration, stunted social communication) and explains why the ancient Roman hero Gaius Mucius Scaevola figured out how to deal with all these problems, 2,500 years ago.

David is moving to Madison, Wisconsin to pursue a doctorate in Sociology. Plenty of Ziploc bags there.

Share Tweet Send



David Skalinder

David Skalinder dreams of an agile and compelling ideology of the left; but that’s a quiet beat, so he usually reports on the nimble American right, the lumbering institutional left, and the confused frustration of everybody else on both sides of the Atlantic.


Related Interviews
More with David Skalinder