Monday, June 01, 2009

Hell, handcart news

So, Susan Boyle then. Enough said there, I think.

Meanwhile, Nige, the great disseminator of cultural arcanicity, points me to the memoirs of one Augustus Carp, Esq.

I was struck by Carp’s opening salvo, in which he decidedly makes no apology for writing his book:

It is customary, I have noticed, in publishing an autobiography to preface it with some sort of apology. But there are times, and surely the present is one of them, when to do so is manifestly unnecessary. In an age when every standard of decent conduct has either been torn down or is threatened with destruction; when every newspaper is daily reporting scenes of violence, divorce, and arson; when quite young girls smoke cigarettes and even, I am assured, sometimes cigars; when mature women, the mothers of unhappy children, enter the sea in one-piece bathing-costumes; and when married men, the heads of households, prefer the flicker of the cinematograph to the Athanasian Creed - then it is obviously a task, not to be justifiably avoided, to place some higher example before the world.

That was in 1924. It is comforting to know that the world always is, always has been, and always will be going to hell in a handcart.

4 comments:

worm said...

on first read mr carp's story would seem to be quite an amusing little tale! Thanks to you and nige for bringing it to my attention!

Peter Burnet said...

It is comforting to know that the world always is, always has been, and always will be going to hell in a handcart.The eternal shibboleth? Good basis for a contest, Brit.

The rich always are, always have been and always will be getting richer while the poor get poorer.

Brit said...

X will always be a SAD INDICTMENT of the state of this once-great nation.

Brit said...

Carp's carping could easily have been written by Peter Hitchens today, yet he entirely blames the 1960s for all the same ills.