Good people in dark times

Rosie Bell in the spirit of George Orwell on Paul Kaye on Gaza:

The good and sane are at a disadvantage at such times. They wring their hands, wondering why people can’t just calm down and come to some sensible agreements.

Wartime for the nation is like divorce for the individual. You commit acts, which on looking back you know were crazy and bad but at the time seemed perfectly rational, and the only thing you could do.

Orwell on HG Wells, a liberal progressive:
He was, and still is, quite incapable of understanding that nationalism, religious bigotry and feudal loyalty are far more powerful forces than that what he himself would describe as sanity. (from Wells, Hitler and the World State, 1941, from Vol 2 of The Collected Essays)

People revert to sanity, often out of sheer exhaustion, just as the divorced couple, having squandered their revenue on divorce lawyers, terrified their children, and tried the patience of their friends, come to an agreement about access and who gets the house. They capitulate to the facts of the case.

George Szirtes on Tim Lott on Andrew O’Hagan, who debased the memory of Orwell:

I let this article, a version of Andrew O’Hagan’s George Orwell Memorial Lecture, pass in last week’s Guardian Review, but I am very glad to see Tim Lott responding to it in the correspondence column of yesterdays’s Review with a certain, to my mind, justified indignation.

The tenor of O’Hagan’s lecture is that the English are a brutal, torpid, useless, subhuman race, unlike, say, his own noble, native, spirited Scots. All this is written without nuance or anything much in the way of evidence. In the course of this racist manure he ignores… well, some of what he ignores is there in Lott’s letter, eg.

[…]Second, he writes: “The English working class are far ahead of every other European lower class in the sheer energy of their indifference.” Any kind of supporting evidence for such an extraordinarily sweeping statement might have made this more convincing.

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Published in: on January 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm  Comments (1)  
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