Turn and Face the strange
There’s going to have to be a different man
The late great David Bowie
Campervans self isolating
It is said that when Ziggie first started writing songs he copied chunks of lyrics from newspaper and magazine articles. Whatever, he wrote some beautiful songs with some smart underlying meanings. He was a smart man. And no song more so than Changes. We are in a world of change at the moment and it is very, very difficult for many people around the world. Most of us are quite privileged so let’s think of the good things we have and try to help those who don’t. I came across this little essay from C.S. Lewis best known for the Chronicles of Narnia including the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I thought it quite apt. Except of course the bit about gathering together over a pint and darts.
“In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. “How are we to live in an atomic age?” I am tempted to reply: “Why, as you would have lived in the sixteenth century when the plague visited London almost every year, or as you would have lived in a Viking age when raiders from Scandinavia might land and cut your throat any night; or indeed, as you are already living in an age of cancer, an age of syphilis, an age of paralysis, an age of air raids, an age of railway accidents, an age of motor accidents.”
In other words, do not let us begin by exaggerating the novelty of our situation. Believe me, dear sir or madam, you and all whom you love were already sentenced to death before the atomic bomb was invented: and quite a high percentage of us were going to die in unpleasant ways. We had, indeed, one very great advantage over our ancestors—anesthetics; but we have that still. It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world which already bristled with such chances and in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty.
This is the first point to be made: and the first action to be taken is to pull ourselves together. If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb when it comes find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled together like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies (a microbe can do that) but they need not dominate our minds.
C S Lewis from Present Concerns: Journalisitc Essays