In what feels like one of the authen-tically Wildean moments in Stephen Fry's film on the unforgotten dram-atist - another being the presenta-tion of Jude Law's molded eloquents - he is introducing his devoted friend Robbie Ross on a stroll through the park as, "Canadian, you can tell by his youth." A tumblrist friend and gracious resource of this page - discoverer of our intrepid marginal explorer, Dickie Hakluyt - Derek admits to that nationality as well as its actuarial idiosyncrasy, but his tumblr bears such finish of Hibernian irony that condescension to these charms is summarily rebuffed. We treat with mischief, then, a mischievous new presence.
I happen to anticipate that the young, who are more fluent in reconcil- ing themselves to the blamelessness of being gay than their mid-life predecessors have said, are more interested in remedies for the crimes conducted in their name than they are in being assured they're not a criminal. They are not, moreover, the source of shame which attaches to their citizenship, and of guilt which attaches to the conduct pursued in their name by their nation. They know who is, and my feeling is that this perception is what deflates their hopes of 2008. Maybe the President will try to shave a few more points for them, in the loan reduction bill he'll never pass.
My response to hypotheses like these is always a little guarded, even knowing (as we all do) that the ultimate disposition of existence may be as tidy as they suggest. My interest is in that middle ground of things, where narrative has some liberty and necessity to draw breath, where our arguably vain little projects of investigation can sufficiently be absorbed by the mechanisms and matter of experience as to occupy the senses with some notion of what is being destroyed all the while, even as they may refresh with continuing distraction by their charm. Immolation can perform its dour corrective any time.
Meanwhile, I mark another gratifying occasion of stimulation by a cultiv- ated mind, and celebrate its extract as I go.