Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Original Howard Kirk

One of those, 'wish I said/wrote that' quotes:

"Like the spotty, overweight and paralytically shy, radicals would rather not be the way they are. They regard themselves as holding awkward, mildly freakish opinions forced upon them by the current condition of the species, and yearn secretly to be normal. Or rather, they look forward to a future in which they would no longer be saddled with such inconvenient beliefs, since they would have been realised in practice. They would then be free to join the rest of the human race. It is not pleasant to be continually out of line. It is also paradoxical that those who believe in the sociality of human existence should be forced on this very account to live against the grain. To the cheerleaders for Life, it seems unwarrantably ascetic. They do not see that the asceticism, if that is what it is, is in the name of a more abundant life for everyone. Radicals are simply those who recognise, in Yeat's words, that 'Nothing can be sole or whole / That has not been rent.' It is not their fault that this is so. They would rather that it was not." [Terry Eagleton]

Well, apart from the "Like the spotty, overweight and paralytically shy . . ." bit; only so much self-awareness in one post thank you very much, comrades. Let's take it one post at a time.

Debsian Ed also liked the quote. I know that 'cos I nicked it from him. Not sure about some of the comments generated by his post. I'm thinking that 'Snowball' protests a tad too much. And 'JimJay' and his ultra-leftists. Who are these fucking radicals who supposedly "denounce pay rises for nurses"? Don't tell me it's your local aged SPGBer. That urban myth sprang up around about the same time as the one about a young Charlie Chaplin being the entertainments officer of the old Elephant and Castle branch of the SPGB. I'm guessing JimJay's ultra-leftists wandered in from Joseph Conrad's 'The Secret Agent'.

But there is a hell of a lot of truth in Eagleton's quote. The day after the revolution, I'll be tending Rosa's geese whilst listening to early Talking Heads on my iPod.

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