You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
~ Abraham Lincoln


I’ve reread Tom Sharpe’s “The Wilt Alternative” a couple of weeks ago, while on vacation. The plot revolves around a German student (Gudrun Schautz) the Wilt family lets an attic room to in their home, who turns out to be planning all sorts of terrorist assaults together with her Argentinian and Irish coreligionists. Of course this is all redolent of Ulrike Meinhof and the Rote Armee Fraktion. At some point, Wilt and Gudrun are together in the Wilt home, surrounded by the police, who suspect Will of being an accomplice of Schautz’s and her cronies. What follows is outrageously funny, convoluted, complicated. Read the book: it’s pure, undiluted Sharpe.


Now, why do I mention this? In the last few months and weeks, we’ve been confronted with gruesome, sadistic acts of the most loathsome violence, all (allegedly) in the name of some vague ideal. And I was reminded of what Sharpe had written, so I looked it up again. I’m giving it verbatim, because I think the text speaks for itself. Of course, it’s politically extremely incorrect, and it’s not really kind on German philosophers. But I think it’s spot on…

posted by Larry

The dinosaurs when phht… over 60 millions years ago.

And then, someone invented the typewriter.


If, like yours truly, you’re old and decrepit, and you’re afflicted with osteoporosis or a receding hairline—as the case may be—, failing eyesight and/or hearing, then you’ll remember the ruddy contraptions. Of course, the internet generation has no idea.

When I was a kid, we had a German portable Adler. And when I say portable, I really should say transportable. Anyway, it was really a wonderful piece of German grundlich engineering. Solid and stolid, I suspect it was made of cast iron. With some lead in the bottom, for added gravitas. I know where my father got his hernia from. Plus, it was your regular knuckle-bender. Getting any letter on paper required determination, stamina, and a healthy breakfast. Today’s keyboards are for wimps. In actual fact, fifty years on I still strike the keys so hard that more often than not, my Apple keyboard either misses the strike, or forms the letter twice.

posted by Larry

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