This morning, in town, with an hour to kill, I buy a newspaper. Never a good idea. I sit on the banks of the Severn and read about the world I came to mid-Wales to escape. TV talent show contestants, disgraced politicians, air crashes, dead migrants, failed wars, this season’s fashions. While around me bugs and beetles and fish and squirrels and other larger and smaller animals get on with their lives; they swim and crawl and fly, eat and hoot and slither, causing as little damage as possible.
While we make a mess of things.
The top ten earners in America (I read), earned 770 million dollars between them. The chief executive of a health care firm made $145.3 million. The boss of a pharmaceutical company: $98.3 million. The boss of a car parts company: $76.9 million. The head of a bankrupt property investor: $66.7 million. Ralph Lauren, fashion designer: $66 million. The chairman of an insurance company: $57.8 million. The head of a pharmacy chain: $68 million.
Truly we live in flagrant times.
Are these tormenters not to be battled? Is this not a call to arms? Can we not, as we say to slave traders and pornographers, you are shameful, wrong people? Can we not force them, for the remainder of their days, to live cheaply, in a hut of some basic design? Tending roads and public gardens? Perhaps caring for abused race horses?
So I come home and do what I always do: put on a record and try, in my own little way, to forget. I take some advice from The Funky Kings. I grab Loraine and, for a couple of minutes, in the last minutes of the dusk, with the lights out and the music low, we slow dance.
Jeb brings his jukebox to the Caught by the River stage at the Good Life Experience in September. Details here.