The task is done; the peace is signed,
Fearful tensions now unwind,
Peace in our time! the foolish cry,
The wise will keep their powder dry.
— Bob Harrison, Ashford, Kent, 27 Feb. 98, on BBC Ceefax.
It’s a new financial year, which means a new set of accounts here in the UK where I currently am staying. I threw out a bunch of papers from 2008, and then went through my filing cabinet throwing out a bunch of old bills.
But attached to one of them was a stray postit note. On it were the lines above. I thought them worthy of record back then; I think them worthy of it now.
I don’t recall the crisis that must have provoked that dry comment. The BBC’s teletext service, Ceefax, only just exists now, and its letters page is a memory, gone with the analogue TV service.
We forget, perhaps, that the majority of human thought and communication passes away, unrecorded. Not all of it deserves to.