reality bites

July 26

Yammering on about words and grammar seems callous, careless and stupid in the light of all that is happening in the world. More deaths, more attacks, more brutality, certainly you are all aware of what is going on, not to mention the political chaos in the United States. 

“Man's hope is his capacity for irrelevance.”

I picked up that line from a novel by Aldous Huxley, can’t remember which one, didn't write it down, not in those days. (I was seventeen, taking a novel course in third year university, not too careful.)  I guess i’m trying to offer hope with my irrelevant prattle.  Right now I’m grateful for it, for prattle.  You get bits of news from the world of science or nature, discoveries of some hitherto unknown species or star that add to our knowledge of the universe.  A discovery is comforting but most reassuring are the confidence and dedication of the discoverers.  They are so focussed. It’s the rest of the world that is irrelevant.

On Sunday, March 8, 1941, Virginia Woolf wrote: “Haddock and sausage meat. I think it is true that one gains a certain hold on sausage and haddock by writing them down”.  They gave her a hold on reality and I get that. I grasp reality every week when I write down a grocery list. But you see, the list is irrelevant. That’s the point.  What have sausage and haddock to do with terrorist threats?  A lot, of course, if the threat becomes a reality and it is impossible to get sausage and haddock, food, that is, to feed one’s family.  I think I just contradicted myself.  I should stick to easy questions like how to pronounce niche. 

I’m sure you understand what I’m trying to say.  Every news program on TV concludes with a slice of human interest, some bizarre event that has gone viral, something to ease the anxiety over the daily horrendous news, something  that provides some brief respite, in short, something irrelevant.

I sent this yesterday, July 26, but it didn't arrive so I'm posting it again.  I'll be back.