Saturday 7 May 2022



"Wouldn't it be terrible if you'd spent all your life doing everything you were supposed to do, didn't drink, didn't smoke, didn't eat things, took lots of exercise, all the things you didn't want to do, and suddenly one day you were run over by a big red bus, and as the wheels were crunching into you you'd say 'Oh my God, I could have got so drunk last night!' That's the way you should live your life, as if tomorrow you'll be run over by a big red bus."

Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother

I have mixed feelings about abortion but very clear views on #RoeVWade: Out of thin air, it outrageously & illegally created a constitutional right to abortion.
This issue must be fought out in the political arena, not preempted by be-robed dictators. Stop the activist justices.

Daniel Pipes

"It doesn’t make sense that Russia and Ukraine aren’t sitting down and working out some kind of an agreement.
“If they don’t do it soon, there will be nothing left but death, destruction, and carnage. This is a war that never should have happened, but it did. The solution can never be as good as it would have been before the shooting started, but there is a solution, and it should be figured out now—not later—when everyone will be DEAD!”

Donald Trump

[He is right but Russia needs at this stage a victory at least in Donbass so will not negotiate in good faith. Does the American defence establishment prefer endless war to a negotiated peace? I think so.]

Meme posted by friend on Facebook:

"Novelists who made their mark with exquisitely differentiated fiction about class, such as Martin Amis or William Trevor, are markedly dropping out of fashion.

"What is taking the place of this traditionally central concern? The main interests of the novel now are such things as race, particularly racial injustice, sex and sexual preference, and (a surprisingly common interest) the world as seen by individuals who are somehow hindered by an external factor, such as a mental illness...

"But now, through a combination of nervousness, embarrassment, and an apparent concern by novelists that their observations on difference shouldn’t be mistaken for snobbishness, the subject is being cast aside. In part, I think, this is because social class seems much more complex and puzzling than it used to be. What to make of a Russian oligarch with his house in Belgrave Square? Or the Syrian professor and refugee, now driving an Uber to get by?

"In part, too, it must be affected by a general squeamishness about making personal observations of a specific sort. Some readers have started to object when a novelist makes a factual note about a character’s physical nature, or their race. This style of objection might be making novelists nervous about plain statements of class."

Philip Hensher

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