(Apologies if you saw a random piece of text here earlier. Here's what I was trying to post.)

Harry Mount's asinine comment on the tsunami put me in mind of a passage from George Melly's memoir of his youthful misadventures, "Rum, Bum and Concertina":

In the newspapers and on the newsreel in the cinema where I went to see James Cagney in 'The Roaring Twenties', they showed us for the first time the appalling images of Belsen: the stumbling human skeletons with their bald heads and huge empty eyes, the bulldozers scooping up the mounds of dead. As far as I can remember, they hardly affected me, seeming no more real than the briefly illuminated bug-a-boos in the Skegness ghost train. How could I weep over a poem and remain indifferent to the proof of what humanity is capable of? I am unable to answer. In this respect the nineteen-year-old self that I am trying to recreate or understand is a total and repellent stranger. What did he feel as the camera explored the gas chambers and the ovens? I can't remember. I'd like to think it was too horrible to grasp, but fear that it may be simply because I can't face up to my own self-centred lack of imagination.
|||Clive|||http://clivedavis.blogspot.com/2005/01/empathy-or-lack-of-it-apologies-if-you.html|||1/04/2005 01:41:00 pm|||||||||