My parents told me that their wartime childhoods were punctuated by the expression: ‘Don’t you know there’s a war on?’ It was used as an excuse for not attending to something urgent. The modern equivalent is the phrase ‘climate emergency’ (leading to ‘extreme weather events’). This emergency is supposedly so great that billions have to be spent on it annually, leaving little time and money for actual emergencies, e.g. floods.
The stupidity of XR digging up the lawn outside the gate of Trinity College, Cambridge, needs no further comment. The event does bring home our cultural change. Shortly before I went up to Trinity in the mid-1970s, a few young bloods drove some ducks up from the Backs at dawn. Then they put them up and shot them as they flew above the roofs of Great Court. None of the culprits was sent down. Nowadays, such an event would cause global viral outrage. Cambridge Police, so lethargic with XR, would be inside Great Court with Swat teams before you could say ‘Greta Thunberg’.
A source passes me a recent missive from a Research Management System Implementation Manager within a well-known university:
There are times, one feels, when almost any job in the world would be preferable to working under the rule of Big Uni.
As I write, I have before me the online catalogue of Burstow and Hewett, our local auctioneers in Battle, Sussex. I am looking at something described as ‘A Second War Period Bakelite erotic toy, depicting Hitler and Goring [sic], 5.5cm’. It is a remarkable object. Both men are naked except for black boots and — in Goering’s case — his Reichsmarschall’s cap.