Monday, July 11, 2005

Decline and Fall

The unsettling spectacle of what London is; what it wasn't 65 years ago. Like I say: full to the brim with potential hysteria.

On a related historical note, the following from The Diary of Samuel Marchbanks (July 1945):

Hullabaloo today about the results of the British General Election, which is interpreted in some circles as a mighty triumph for the Common Man. I suppose it is, for it has turned out of office Winston Churchill, who certainly ranked high among the Uncommon Men of our times. I confess that I find the modern enthusiasm for the Common Man rather hard to follow. I know a lot of Common Men myself, and as works of God they are admittedly wonderful; their hearts beat, their digestions turn pie and beef into blood and bone, and they defy gravity by walking upright instead of going on all fours: these are marvels in themselves, but I have not found that they imply any genius for government or any wisdom which is not given to Uncommon Men.... In fact, I suspect that the talk about the Common Man is popular cant; in order to get anywhere or be anything a man must still possess some qualities above the ordinary. But talk about the Common Man gives the yahoo element in the population a mighty conceit of itself, which may or may not be a good thing for democracy which, by the way, was the result of some uncommon thinking by some very uncommon men.