Friday, 12 May 2017

Old Geezers

"'Christ, I get so fucking sick of these old geezers who never shut up about things before the Change.'"
-SM Stirling, The Sunrise Lands (New York, 2008), Chapter Nineteen, p. 462.

I am 68 which makes me an "old geezer" but it also means that I was born in 1949, after World War II. My problem is with some of the older geezers who were in the War.


(i) I hand an anti-fascist leaflet to an older geezer. He responds, "You can't tell me anything about fascists! I fought them!" I reply, "If you think that there is no current threat, then I can tell you something about them!"

(ii) In Northern Ireland, Orangemen march to celebrate the Battle of the Boyne in 1690. Sometimes, they try to march through Catholic areas. Discussing this with a Northern Irish work colleague, I tried to make this comparison: "Suppose I wanted to celebrate the Allied victory in World War II and I deliberately routed a march down a street where there were a lot of German households..." When I had got as far as "World War II," an older colleague interrupted, "You ain't old enough!" I replied, "If I ain't old enough to celebrate World War II, then these bastards ain't old enough to celebrate the Battle of the Boyne!"

To the second man, all that mattered was that he was alive during WWII and I wasn't. The issue of provocative marches was lost on him.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    Sometimes I feel so frustrated with how the word "fascist" is used! What does the word even MEAN these days? I doubt most people who sling that word around so carelessly mean, in any serious way, either the relatively mild, lower case "national socialism" of Mussolini or the far more vicious German brand of National Socialism, with its poisonous mix of racism, extreme nationalism, totalitarianism, and socialism.

    There are even people who falsely call conservatives who favor the LIMITED state, free enterprise economics, belief in God, etc., "fascists." When such people are the polar opposites of REAL fascists.


    1. Sean,
      I agree about the misuse of "fascist."

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Thanks! And I doubt your "real fascist" friend would disagree with my exasperation at how carelessly the word is used these days.


    3. Sean,
      I visited Andrea yesterday. He remains unwell but is relieved that his condition is not as bad as it might have been. He is also full of opinions about corrupt politicians and our current General Election!

    4. Kaor, Paul!

      Good, and I hope Andrea makes a complete recovery!

      I'm never surprised when politicians are corrupt. It goes with our fallen human nature, alas! And that proneness to corruption is why conservatives favor a limited state--because it limits the harm done due to corruption.