It has been hard to write the diary this week. The week has not been good and I have sought to absence myself from it. I have distanced myself from it by hiding in books, or in the gym. I have even resorted to housework in the evening, a trait unseen since my last set of exams. But now I must face the week.
My desire is to pin down and shout at all the Tories: why? Why would you want this to happen? Why do you want to brexit? Why do you want to defund our society?
But then I remind myself: it’s not really their fault. Just as you should take care not to be too proud of your liberal tendencies, they should not be blamed for their reactionary wonts—for we are products of our genetics and our upbringings; we are slaves to our unchosen proclivities.
It was obvious I would be a left liberal. I was a born rebel with issues with authority, with trade unionist parents, and a snobbish streak. I read more than average, and have drank and used similar substances more than average; both I think in part due to my inherent shyness. I could become a conservative no more than Marine le Pen could become a liberal.
But, you might say, people can change. This is not likely. Changes have causes, and if people are not exposed to such causes, such as, say, studying politics and philosophy, which I did, then what will change them? We are a world split by education—the strongest indicator on whether you supported or rejected brexit was level of education.
But anyone can go to university! Well, no, they can’t. Technically anyone could; you need not be particularly clever to achieve this. But to do so without encouragement and expectation requires a significant amount of motivation. Friends: you either have it or you don’t. It is not your fault if you don’t. For the avoidance of doubt, I really believe that.
There have been times in the past year, moments of extreme upset, when I have thought: let the bastards all vote Tory. These morons deserve all they get. Maybe I’ll just join the Tories myself and devote the rest of my life to enriching myself. That’ll show them. And I think a lot of people make this mistake of logic. But it is abysmal logic, for, one, as discussed above, these people do not deserve the thing they are going to vote for, because no human deserves to be impoverished, homeless, or reliant on food banks. But further, the Tories make us all poorer. Sure, the richest may pay less tax. But they will still live in a miserable world, and when they go to town they will see homeless people sleeping outside the House of Fraser and they will experience the bitter animosity of a society divided between the wealthy and the worthless.
So I am saddened by the state of the world, and I feel powerless. I will vote Labour, and I encourage everyone to do the same, in the knowledge that I will convince nobody.
This week, I started reading The Secret History by Donna Tartt, which I have been enjoying—infinitely more so than I liked The Goldfinch. I also finished reading Decline and Fall and started watching the television adaption. I have found the adaption disappointing. I don’t find Jack Whitehall as Pennyfeather. I also didn’t find Grimes to look anything like the image I had of him, nor the headmaster. I was disappointed that the funnier things that the German architect said where removed, as was a particularly funny (offensive, racist) monologue about the Welsh. The writer’s introductions to the story—such as the unhilarious ‘modern’ piano scene—do not compare with the author’s ideas.
I also saw The Handmaiden, which was excellent. I also read two stories from Between The Sheets, by Ian McEwan. So far, the erotic content of the Ian McEwan book has been thousands of percent less enjoyable than that of The Handmaiden. There was even a point where an usher entered the theatre and shone a torch around, no doubt to discourage clandestine onanists.
Like everyone, I spent a curious hour playing with FaceApp. I discovered that, if I live to be old, I am going to look pretty much exactly like my dad. This weekend I’m going to London.