mercoledì, novembre 12, 2008

Are you going to the Scarborough job fair

Off to the maison communale again this morning to get the provisional license. We'll see if anybody bothered showing up today. Sigh. Fucking failed state! Otherwise in a good mood - sort of. A therebutforthegraceofGodgoI sort of mood, actually. Yesterday, a couple hours before deadline, I got breaking news of 500 people getting sacked via two different companies. One of the sites was in Scarborough, my earthly paradise when I was a child. It made me sad. Besides tourist trade I'd figured there was already nothing to do for work there and now there's 100 or so fewer things to do. And all of the other editors present also got word of mass layoffs, all that afternoon.

Balance I suppose - so many people were off for four days for the Armistice celebrations and then it's still more than a month before Christmas, so nobody can accuse the companies of ruining anybody's holidays . . . except, of course, a lot of these layoffs will roll out just before or just after the holidays. I shouldn't think about it so much. But I do. No doubt for selfish reasons - doing it to remind myself my own current prosperity may be ephemeral and I mustn't do things like buy a kayak until I'm a little more confident I won't be getting sacked.

Could be worse. Wrapping up Runciman's First Crusade. I could have been anybody in that, particularly one of the poor people or the women, and that would have sucked. You know I've actually met people who've defended the crusades as more than desperate land grabs by aristocratic younger sons? No doubt thousands of the people who went were seeking something holy, but I see no way they'd have gone to war without fierce goading by their ruling classes. Which brings me to my favorite Goering quote, given when the lousy asshole was awaiting suicide at Nuremberg, trotted out here because I've got to run to the maison communale now and it's as good a way to wrap up as any:

"Why, of course, the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship . . . voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."

1 commento:

Hilts ha detto...

Runcimen was one of my favourite writers on Byzantine times. In hs I was sold and sold completely on his "fall of constinople" - one of my most prized schoolboy essaies was a take off on that work. It (my essay) was read out loud in class - freshman year @ St. Rita H.S.- by our teacher, who kept all the "Holy Fuck's" and "Fucks" in it.

Loved that he read it in class.