We are entering into the realm of the unknown and the unlived, and we are entering it joylessly and without much hope. We can no longer believe in the theories of progress which deceived the minds of the nineteenth century and made the near future seem always to be better, more beautiful, and more desirable that what had gone before. We are more inclined to think that better things and finer and more lovable are to be found rather in eternity, and that these were to be found also in the past in so far as the past touched upon eternity and took its rise therefrom.

The End of our Time, Nicolas Berdyaev, tr. Donald Attwater  (the book a gift from Garth)

But is this just? Let us consider the case with an impartial eye.

The Present

Typical English persons. i found this by Googling for “chav scum” but i must have seen hundreds of such vermin in my temping years, in Leeds and Manchester. i occasionally chanced upon colleagues at the weekend – during the week they dressed in Asda power suits but at the weekend, thus:


A typical town in Europe (Kassel, where i lived last yeaer):

Modern life & democracy in general:

All very unsatisfying. And the past? Let us consider a typical American from the past, TS Eliot:

Kindly note the waistcoat. i need not mention the cufflinks, the waistcoat is quite enough for now.

And old cities – from my last trip to Durham; this a view i had every day, living as i did just below the great Cathedral:

and a representative scene from the old world:

The court finds in favour of the past.