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From the perspective of 2013 the behaviours of those with responsibility for actions 1914-18 are myopic. How could they have possibly comprehended the feelings or needs of anyone in the front line? Or even had a grasp of the scale of what was taking place? It is too easy, natural for us 100 years later to have a perspective that is massively enlarged.
100 years ago it isn’t a case of everything occurring at a snail’s pace – it was slower, like stone.
Perhaps this is what a 21st century perspective offers – the extraordinary speed and quality of information that we get compared to the lack of clear or immediate data.
Friday 3rd February 2006
(First appeared in Diaryland)
There’s a danger I’m going to better my current track record of posting regularly
There’s no way I can get out of my head, get away to the level you can by drinking. I need to get out of my head and put it all on my fingertips if I am going to say, do or suggest anything mildly amusing or outrageous.
Or so I’m led to conclude having just read Tracey Emin’s Column in the Independent newspaper.
I’m starting to like her
I’m starting to feel jealous of her life style. Her scramble through life is fun to read. I’d like to be the kind of person she’d meet and enjoy. She could be rude to me, crude with me and I’d remember it all. She strikes me as the kind of person you don’t forget with ease.
‘Last week, I spent a week in bed. I got up twice.’
She begins the second paragraph. I wanted to think this was artistic licence; I take to bed to think, to find solitude. She was ill. Sorry. Some people, even Tracey Emin take to their beds when they feel sick.
‘There is more testosterone per square foot than anywhere else in the world. Men, men, men! Single. Gay. Married. Lovely, intellectual men! It’s not exactly a hunting ground – more a stampede.’
It sounds like the kind of party I’d enjoy
I’m arrogant enough to feel it is the kind of party that I should attend. We had heads this big at Oxford, all of us. At our soirees, our cocktail parties, we all thought we were so brilliant. Many of us turn out to be – I’m not amongst them. I don’t run my own firm of stockbrokers, I’m not a millionaire publisher, a Hollywood director, or an Oscar winning composer. I’m not a leader of a political party in this country, or Europe, or North America, or Asia or Malaysia, all countries that were represented by aspiring barristers and politicians when I was an undergraduate at Balliol. Nor have I written a book, I haven’t finished several. I’m the runner who competes in a marathon every year but never finishes.
Her column reads like the letters I used to get back from my girlfriend
They make you smile and wish you were there to enjoy her adventures.
‘Its a tricky life getting the balance right. I’m not a big drinker; I just can’t take my drink. I have the constitution of a mouse. Hic. ‘
‘I rarely ever make mistakes in life. Not when I’m sober. I only make mistakes when I’m drunk. Some may say that that’s quite a lot of the time. But I drink to get out of my head. I want to go somewhere else. I want the level of freedom which is absolutely impossible in my natural state of mind.’
If I found someone who wrote like this online, I’d want to love them and make love to them.
I’d want to get inside their head and share the contents of my mind with them. So where are you Trace?