We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]


As you can probably tell, Samizdata is undergoing a phase of collective preoccupation with Other Things just now, not least the difficulties associated with the programme Perry uses to run the thing. And to adapt Groucho Marx, any enterprise that relies on me might as well give up now and save itself the bother. The point being, I’m busy too, even if it may not look it. I’ll tell you all about it in due course, but not until I’ve done it thank you. A man’s got to know his limitations, failing to stick to public promises being one of my worst.

So let guest writer P.G. Wodehouse take up the slack. I swear on a stack of Jeeves paperbacks that I picked this paragraph, which is from The Code of the Woosters, completely at random. The only qualification I looked for was that it lacked inverted commas, because I especially like Wodehouse when he alone is doing the talking. Here is the random paragraph:

The whole situation recalled irresistibly to my mind something that had happened to me once up at Oxford, when the heart was young. It was during Eights Week, and I was sauntering on the river-bank with a girl named something that has slipped my mind, when there was a sound of barking – and a large, hefty dog came galloping up, full of beans and buck and obviously intent on mayhem. And I was just commending my soul to God and feeling that this was where the old flannel trousers got about thirty bobs’ worth of value bitten out of them, when the girl, waiting till she saw the whites of its eyes, with extraordinary presence of mind suddenly opened a coloured Japanese umbrella in the animal’s face. Upon which, it did three back somersaults and retired into private life.

Now I know what you’re thinking. What is this whole situation? Well to echo Clint Eastwood just once more, this time from the closing moments of Two Mules For Sister Sarah: I haven’t got time for that.

Bloody Antoine. You spend half your life trying to get him to do things, and then he does something just when you don’t want him to (see below), and makes nonsense of everything in this post so far, which you might as well have anyway.

I know that individual Muslims can be the salt of the earth. I too regret the passing of the kebab shop in Tachbrook Street. Some of my best friends are Muslims. The trouble is that when one of these Islam-versus-the-rest horrors erupts, it swallows up individual salt-of-the-earth Muslims along with everyone else. In Yugoslavia for example, happily married city folks who hardly even realised that their marriage was “mixed” suddenly got shot to hell.

Plus, I’m not in favour of a war for heaven’s sakes. I’m just frightened there might be one.

An “individualist” approach doesn’t cut it, because individuals ain’t the problem. But I’ll supply a more thoughtful response when I’ve more time. (Damn, another public promise.)

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