It’s early evening. I have just come off my weekly Zoom with Colonel L, as I shall now call him, to distinguish him from other Ls. It’s 34C in my study, and the door and windows have been open all day. A lot of work done today, and I have one working day left before I go on hols (although I have to say that I might spend some of the weekend just tidying up a few loose ends so that I don’t forget anything important). Talking to Colonel L is always a joy, because he has an endless reserve of stories, and because I like talking to my very good friend.
Before that call, I went on my usual 2-mile walk, this time under the cover of the trees on Mousehold Heath which offered some respite from the sun (I’m not really bothered about the heat, because I like it very much). I was muttering away to myself in German on that walk, and then when I got back and sat down at the table to drink some water, check my phone, and roll a cigarette before I had the very necessary shower, I was talking to myself in Norwegian (the house being empty because M was at her work’s office today). I too often forget what a blessing it is to be a linguist, what a blessing to have an aptitude to have learned languages, and to be able not just to speak them, but, and this is even more important, to understand what other people are saying in those languages, and to be able to possibly understand their cultures better for it. If people think I am open, I think me being a linguist has an awful lot to do with that – it has opened me up to all sorts of different things; to the entire world, actually.
The above of course gets me to thinking how much the UK is cutting itself off from the world, about how our freedom of movement to Europe has been stolen from us by a corrupt and lying government, that our freedoms within this country are being impeded more and more. An illustration of the lack of intelligence is that many of these right-wing politicians are now trying to make a case for getting the UK out of the European Court Of Human Rights, an international body which was established after World War II, with the UK a primary mover in its establishment, in order to ensure that human rights violations would be stopped. These idiots in the Conservative party either don’t know this, or they are, yet again, trying to feed the uneducated populace yet more disinformation, and that piece of disinformation is of course being swallowed whole.
All this, all this, comes back to the one central tenet of tyranny – don’t educate the people. It’s worth noting that private schools do teach critical thinking (to a greater or lesser extent), but that no government in the UK has ever made it a legal requirement for state schools to teach it (whilst also underfunding those schools to make sure it can’t be taught, I should add). Just like the underfunding of state schools, and the government-driven STEM efforts (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) have done their best t suppress any language and arts teaching in state schools. And with the disappearance of modern foreign languages from school’s curricula has gone the ability of young people to understand or be open to foreign cultures. That says it all.
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 122