If the world was a less excruciating, less incorrigibly awful place for most people to be, there might be a case to be made for taking it seriously. Just a glimmer of the possibility of doing something about any of it, would justify making that the centre of your life. As it is, sincerity seems at best naive, more likely self-righteously and pointlessly pious. (Just reinvented the wheel there: the best lack all conviction, the worst are full of passionate intensity.) So I think now, after so many years of watching very little improve, unless you count the freedom to fuck on TV a great humane breakthrough. It's not cynical to be cynical, it's perverse not to be.
Still, I remember marching from Aldermaston to Trafalgar Square at sixteen, half of me thinking that so many people must have some effect, and the other half knowing absolutely that at best I was just making myself feel good. Exactly divided. I confess I still am astonished (while 50% of me knows better) that the voiced dissent against the invasion of Iraq could be entirely ignored, that the scandal of lies, evasions, claims to having god's ear and the corruption of those who both bombed and made money out of rebuilding, all just went on and on, transparent enough for an infant to see through. How can that happen? How, in full daylight, with intelligent objections, can essential individual human rights in the UK and US be whittled away in the name of guarding against an incredibly handy global something which, for entirely understandable reasons, doesn't like us? I don't like us either.
This morning, the radio news announced that some international negotiator had stood in 'a jungle clearing' and tried to persuade the leader of God's Revolutionary Army in Uganda that the best way to get the international community to respect him more would be to release his child soldiers. I hope the negotiator moves on to jungle clearings in Washington and somewhere near Downing Street.