Tuesday, July 19, 1983

TV eye

I got a dole cheque for £23.65 today and a postcard from Lindsey. She's in London at the RCP Conference; Pete’s there too. She sounded surprised at herself for enjoying it.

Carl Cotton rang me last night, very late, just after I’d gone to bed under a cloud and feeling none too healthy (I haven’t felt too good since I went out with Lee and Jeremy at the weekend and I keep getting irritating aches and pains that are probably my body’s protest at enforced inaction). My absence I put down to poverty (coward), but I went back to bed thinking I probably should have gone, if only for my own good.

Suddenly wide-awake, I lay in bed thinking about Carl and the RCP. I felt my mind filling with a great empty nothingness and I couldn’t focus properly on anything. I finally lay my head down unable to think at all. My ideas were indistinct and weakly formed, like I was seeing them vaguely beneath the surface of mud.

I watched two TV programmes with Andrew and Dad. Both were on the subject of war journalism and censorship. The first roused no comment from Dad, but the second raised his hackles and he came out with all the hoary old arguments and platitudes, and the old huffing puffing “I love my country, I’m patriotic” crap.

I just couldn’t see how he could trot this out yet again after sitting through two hours of (what seemed to me) fairly honest stuff. How can anyone be so blinkered and totally bigoted? I felt an impossible anger—anger that he should be so infuriatingly blind to military ideologies, anger at the lies and falsehoods and that censorship keeps people from understanding the true horror and violence of war, and anger from wanting an end to the fucking mess once and for all.

But I think I ought to shut up now as there is nothing so boring as a zealot and I suppose I’m the wettest liberal of all in that it takes a TV programme to get me going.

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