Sunday, March 14, 1982

City state

A steady downpour most of the afternoon which turned torrential after dark. I spent all day revising for my History exam tomorrow. Mum and Dad took Nanna P. for a run in the car to Busk Falls before taking her home.

In the evening me, Mum and Dad watched Saul Bellow on ITV talking about his latest book, The Dean’s December. We talked about America, Mum saying that people in the US speak with an “earthy directness.” Maybe this is because America's so young and still evolving as a nation: there's a lack of class structure compared to Britain and even writers speak on the same level as the “ordinary” person because they all have the same background. In America money buys power; America is raw, exciting, dynamic, new, different. . . .

Dad said that our problems began when people started to owe an allegiance to something other than the City-state. He spoke in a laboured, pent-up, frustrated sort of way, as if he couldn't quite articulate just what it is he feels: he advocated a Greek style borough plan for living, sort of like one I've argued for before but have always been shouted down as a “bolshie.”

I can’t communicate. All the problems of the world, all the teeming cities full of violence, poverty, despair, all the shit . . . there’s no solution, other than the one inside each individual (à la Zen).

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