Killing Time

Do you remember early April? Were you there?

Cast your mind back – it was the days leading up to Easter, and nobody knew what was next for us all…

As will become clear over the coming days and weeks, the narrative is being established. If Johnson pulls through his mild persistent illness, it’s because he’s gutsier than you and anyone you’ve ever loved who has died…

Staying Alive –, 8 April 2020

Well, guess what…?

Blockzilla. Y'know, from Numberblocks. The Wee Man's favourite show. Yep, pretty self indulgent.
He hath riseneth!

[You know, the Tiny Letter probably makes more sense…]

I suppose we should be glad.

I dunno. That jacket and shirt sizing is giving me a real Weekend At Bernie's vibe.

The nation – Which one does she mean, I wonder? – may look fat, gout-ridden and syphilitic, but at least it’s not… dead?

It turned out that my prediction brushed up against something that has the ring of truth. I just didn’t go far enough. (Yes, that’s always your problem, Stroke Bloke – Ed.)

Yet another way in which I’m not the Tenth Doctor – *sob*

Some years ago, I reflected on here that

[a] mistake I’ve often made, is to take the admirable, humanist thought that “We’re all basically the same, aren’t we?” and pervert it into “Everyone’s a little bit like me.” Or, with less vanity, “I assume I’m a bit like everyone else.

The Stroke Bloke AKA –, 9 December 2013

Vanity, thy name is Self-reference. But regardless, that passage does seem to me to be describing a forgivable error arising from the – yes, vanity – and ignorance and inexperience of youth.

Forgiveable, but dangerous. You see, I’d noticed that a certain kind of man – and it is usually a man, I think – tends to ascribe his good fortune to some aspect of his own brilliance. And I’d come across this idea that Boris Johnson’s outlook on the world is that illness is for weak people.

No, you’re… OK, fair enough. I’m sorry.

And that seemed to be enough to terrify poor Joey Tribbiani, last week. But the secret of evil, if you will, is that

[t]he death of one man is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic.

Not Joseph Stalin, apparently

Which brings us neatly to the approach of the Johnson government to COVID-19.

The Westminster government’s handling of the epidemic, as it’s described in the linked article from The Atlantic immediately above is bad enough, but then I stumbled across the following tweet and its ensuing thread.

As an asthmatic stroke survivor with two brain aneurysms, I was feeling angry enough about the way COVID-19 is being handled here. But check out that thread. It was the last nail in the coffin of my old outlook.

Maybe next week, I’ll have something pithy to say about that. In the meantime, enjoy your moment of Zen…

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6 thoughts on “Killing Time

  1. So your tiny letter resulted me clicking on a nytimes article about coffee with milk and sweetener – 3 things I dislike, combined with coffee. Then I come here and read about Britain’s cult of buffoonery (I’m keeping that band name btw) and think ugh.

    So let me just add a performance I enjoyed among the quarantine videos and leave it at that

    1. I should say – ugh at the state of The buffoonery, not your blog of course! But the sweet coffee is unacceptable still

    2. Thanks! That starts promisingly. I’m reminded that John Prine managed to escape the focus of my teenage music mag reading (which wasn’t entirely devoted to shoe gazing and happy hardcore).

      And here’s a counterintuitive hack for the coffee thing of which you’re disapproving: take a fourth, truly terrible thing – white chocolate that you’ve bought because there’s a red-wrapped bar next to the milk chocolate at the store and it’s dark chocolate because people aren’t monsters, right?! Melt it and whip it into the foam with a dash a vanilla soy milk, et voila! You may have a workable ice cream topping sauce.

      But probably not. Stay tuned!

      1. That’s the food version of this: which I shared this morning with the child for the first time.

        The Phoebe Bridgers record “Smoke Signals” was a sleeper favorite of last year for me and that live solo is charming.

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