Out Now!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Standing in my garage doesn't make me a car





 Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,
The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.
A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire,
And after him the parson ran, the sexton and the squire;
A merry road, a mazy road, and such as we did tread...
...Or in my case Kindle. 

What a mistake, downloading the COMPLETE works of G K Chesterton for something less than a penny. I should have realized that something might be missing - in this case interactive contents.

I read for forty –five minutes every night before my head hits the pillow and a gently snoring fills the room. Sometimes the house shakes, or so I am told. For the last four weeks I have been reading the ‘Complete Works of G.K. Chesterton’ and have reached a Kindle milestone. 

3% 

I will be dead before I finish or have reached the stage of not knowing what I’m reading – or care. 
At present my 3% sees me tramping through the foothills of his essays. I suspect there are thousands upon thousands, but my Kindle offers no inkling. I am on a 'rolling English road' leading to nowhere. But the journey is pleasant. Last night I ‘went to Birmingham by way of Beachy Head.’ Or so it seemed.

Why don’t I just stop? Partly bloody-mindedness, and partly because, to modify a popular ballad - I’ve grown accustomed to his voice. It is a voice of past certainties robustly expressed; self indulgent at times, often sentimental but with flashes of wisdom and humor that bring me good dreams, though that might be the beer.

I'm coming round to the idea that Chesterton makes an ideal counterpoint to Gore Vidal, one Christian, the other Atheist but both possessing the same magical gift. I can imagine them, celestial gladiators, and suitably garbed, exchanging barbed quips and aphorisms to admiring Cherubim. Your task is to spot the twoVidal quotes from the selection below.
 
“Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

 "There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise."


  "There is something about a bureaucrat that does not like a poem."
“The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.” 
“Do not be so open-minded that your brains fall out.” 


So, will I continue? Probably. I shall report back when I reach the inconceivable figure of 4%. Open the champagne when I hit 5% In the meantime, like the Californian miner of old, I shall continue to stumble upon nuggets like:

“A good novel tells us the truth about its hero; but a bad novel tells us the truth about its author.”

If there were no God, there would be no atheists.”

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.”

“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.”

“I regard golf as an expensive way of playing marbles.”

And when I’m feeling angry at yet another petty absurdity foisted on us by Brussels, I shall remember:

And for to fight the Frenchman I did not much desire;
But I did bash their baggonets because they came arrayed
To straighten out the crooked road an English drunkard made,

Bu what the bloody hell are baggonets? Militarised bread sticks employed as bayonets? Who knows. And who knows - in time I may grow corpulent, grow a fine moustache and wear a cloak and felt hat.

This curious snippet of GK Chesterton accepting an honour from Worcester College would, in today’s climate, bring mobs on to the streets and close consulates

5 comments:

LD Masterson said...

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.”

I love this.

Jay Paoloni said...

Nice quotes.
The Atheist one is the nicest one. Even Atheists, like it or not, are closely bound to the idea of God by virtue of negation, which I find absolutely and exquisitely paradoxical.

Mike Keyton said...

Both good quotes. Maybe the glories of the digital age will one day 'manufacture' a controntation between Vidal and Chesterton : )

Maria Zannini said...

Apparently, it doesn't take much to close consulates anymore.

Mike Keyton said...

I love Texan laconic : )