You can tell it’s broken when…

April 30th, 2008

the greed of a few bankers costs you your house

people scuffle over bags of rice in Walmart stores

… and it gets mapped on GoogleEarth

BP announce 48% increases in profits, as petrol hits £1.10 a litre

anyone is surprised that the rich get richer

billions are found for destruction, at the sufferance of creation and discovery

I could go on. I’m sure you could too.

My cynicism today is dragging me down. It is a good excuse to return to Ivor Cutler, to whom I referred recently. Here are his words, a small poem perhaps, with which I empathise closely at the moment, entitled ‘A Real Man’.

When I was 12 I wanted to be a real man — an old man with a beard, sitting at a table with a huge book full of wisdom. And what did society hold up to me for my admiration? A golfer, a boxer, a man who ran quickly; a soldier, a lawyer, a tycoon; a motorist, a pop star; a footballer. Into what kind of madhouse had I been born?

And what have I become? A child, witlessly pouring out whatever enters my head. I am a madman and people gather to listen to me make a fool of myself. I am not a role model. This is my protection and security. I still long for the table and the book, the smell of an old man and an old book; the afternoon light fading.

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