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Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
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Thursday, 27 April 2017

Getting from then to now


In a month Britain's political landscape will (sez me) change radically and for the worse. In two years, far worse. In ten years, I can't bear to think. But will I be thinking at all in 2027?

The rate of change is terrifying given my lumbering evolution:

Age 0 - 5: A world-view confined to the space beneath our kitchen table.

Age 6 - 10. Subsequently reduced to a single policy: hating a man with an unlikely moustache.

Age 11 - 16. I recall only impenetrable arguments between adults. My parents read Daily Mail (I blush!); by osmosis I learned to sneer at the unhandsome members of Labour government who were (I discovered much later) working a social revolution in Britain.

Age 17 - 20. Low-grade employment on newspapers. Sought to become a cynic in all things other than the opposite sex. Succeeded, perhaps even over-achieved. Unloved.

Age 21 - 23. National Service in RAF. As a tool of the government I was forbidden to even contemplate politics. Sneered at all uprisings: Suez Canal, Cyprus, Kenya, Malaya and (Not sure about either of these) Aden and Belize.

Age 23 - 25. Magazine work in London. Membership of National Union of Journalists led to leftwards tilt.

Age 25 - 32. Magazine work in USA. Became temporary if inactive Democrat.

Age 32 - 60. Magazine work in SE England. Read Times (pre-Murdoch) then Guardian. In a watershed moment I took out a mortgage. Involved passively in NUJ industrial action. Voted Lib-Dem since Labour hadn’t a prayer where I lived. As life got easier, theory became more attractive than practice.

Aged 60 to present. Retired to sparsely populated county. Now a mere fulminator.

4 comments:

MikeM said...

Well, an entertaining fulminator. Simply capitalize the word from now on and steer yourself toward the conviction that you are Jupiter, controller of all meteorological events.

Roderick Robinson said...

MikeM: Perhaps it was ambitious to imagine I ever had a political landscape. Accepting instead I was born to the cap and bells and passing off WS Fool lines as my own:

If men could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage.

Winning will put any man into courage.


Although the line I most envy is attributed to one of your countrymen, now, it seems, unjustifiably discredited:

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

But no, let me not be bitter; sirrah, you pay me graceful compliments (See how easy Bardspeak is.) Fulminator (with a cap. F) befits my aged bones and I'll wear it in my dotage.

Thanx.

Rouchswalwe said...

The words 'mere' and 'fulminator' don't even go together, lieber Robbie! In today's world, we need more fulminators and less yes-men and selfish people. The older I get, the more I fulminate (can I use this as a verb in English?).

Early in life, my world-view was confined to the space beneath my grandfather Willi's great desk, I am told. Afterwards, I strayed beyond its confines and began to live up to my nickname, Rauchswalbe, aka Rouchswalwe.

Wear the Fulminator badge proudly!

Roderick Robinson said...

RW (zS): My only misgiving about "fulminate" (though it isn't shared by the dictionaries) is that the associated explosions and criticisms seem, in the end, to be futile. No doubt I picked up this impression because both words start with the same two letters. Which is salutary.

Just consider the size of your vocabulary (several languages in your case) and reflect on the number of words you have never verified. In my case "fulminate" was just one, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands more. Occasionally, if I have a cleverclogs friend close by, I ask them for a definition of a word which has become more and more prominent in my life to the point where it is irritating the hell out of me.

"Existential" was one such word, as in "North Korea is proving to be an existential threat". The definition proved to be dismayingly simple - a threat to our (ie, the developed world's) existence. Typically I was aware of its other more obscure meaning relating to existentialist philosophy which is far less likely to crop up in conversation.

Perhaps you and I should toss into our blogs regular examples of words we have failed to verify - proof that we can both be humble. On the other hand in these AT (Anno Trumpeii) times humility may be temporarily shelved.