Oranges and lemmings

I have been busy as usual, and didn’t do a Movie Monday — Monday was the first day of my class this term, and I just came home, ate pizza and sat hunched staring at the television for a bit before getting an early night.

But I have not been entirely idle. I had a little trip to London, which was very nice, but notable for this-blog purposes in that I did quite a lot of reading on the various coach and Tube journeys involved. Notably, I read Travels in England in 1782 by German clergyman, novelist, journalist and educator Karl Philipp Moritz, which is … charming. You can find it here on Project Gutenberg, which I assume is where the free ebook I read also came from.


There is something goofy and lovable about Romantic types, even though I … disagree with the way they think about things. There’s something very pleasant about Moritz going into raptures about the sublime natural views of … Richmond. I mean, I’m sure it’s very nice, but it’s weird thinking about the sublime natural beauty of somewhere you can get to on the District Line.

I think my favourite line, however, was this one, one of those “some things never change” moments:

All over London as one walks, one everywhere, in the season, sees oranges to sell; and they are in general sold tolerably cheap, one and even sometimes two for a halfpenny; or, in our money, threepence.  At the play-house, however, they charged me sixpence for one orange, and that noways remarkably good.

I also read a book about the Battle of Kursk, which had a lot in common with a lot of the military history I read. That is, it was full of detail about which Corps did this, and which Front did that, and all I retained was the funny stories and an increasing conviction that most of the German high command had spent a lot of their lives starved of oxygen. But if you ask me about this or that Panzer division I’ll be as ignorant as I was before. I may be the worst wargamer.

I have some comments to make about recent historically-tinged news stories, but I couldn’t let characteristically tone-deaf behaviour by that fatuous narcissist Ted Cruz pass without pointing something out. The usual yokels, hacks and hooligans have endorsed Cruz, while slightly more alert right-wing commentators have taken to bitterly regretting his actions. It’s so terrible, they say, that Eastern Christians can’t rely on Western Christians to help them. To which I could only think:


Oranges and lemmings