Isn’t it remarkable how much you can get done, doing it in odd moments? And how little gets done, when you sit down to it with a full day ahead of you?
Here I am, on Bank Holiday Monday. I have the whole day off. It’s grey outside, so no real reason to go anywhere. I have Agapius before me, and am getting close to the end of translating another quarter of the text. And my mind wanders. Compare that with when I was working on it last, in odd moments, and got some 300 pages done.
Of course then I start reading the blogs, pop over to the shop, and so on. In the process I came across bits and pieces. At ETS I learn (who get it from Archaic Christianity) that a photographing expedition by CSNTM has put several more new testament manuscripts online.
I also see this truly revealing comment on a political blog, here. Defending the a political leader from a smear, he writes:
Take a bow – the guy’s son has just died and you are attempting to smear him for doing what every 19 year old student does, or at least should do – getting an STD test. Scumbag.
Every 19 year old is fornicating with such abandon that they all take a test for the clap? God help our rotting society, if so. But one must remember that this is written by a student politician, and such people are notoriously self-seeking, self-indulgent, and devoid of any morals, and were even in my day. Probably this one is merely projecting his own vice onto others, or repeating what he believes true.
For the last 30 years the ruling class in this society has sought to debauch the young by every means possible. It has failed, of course, since few are that self-destructive! But they would be pleased to learn that their efforts have been so fruitful as this, that even a conservative could write like that. All of us rely on our families, in sickness and in health, to help us through life. Yet what family life is possible in these circumstances, when no permanent attachments can be formed? No wonder the divorce rate is ato 50%. Those from stable homes, with wealth and opportunity, will suffer only emotional damage thereby, and be corrupted in their sense of right and wrong. The less fortunate have their lives destroyed, as may be observed on every TV programme jeering at trailer trash.
This is all self-limiting, of course. Every society rests on the labours of those who do the real work. When the Roman peasantry was destroyed, replaced by the slave-run latifundia and encouraged to drift into Rome to become parasites, the Roman state did not immediately collapse. But when that state faced the stresses of the 5th century, no-one made much effort to save it. Self-indulgence is utterly destructive. Why risk your pleasures for others, when you’ve never done so before? It was not Gothic strength, but Roman weakness that destroyed the Western Empire. Augustine chronicles that when the refugees from Rome came to Africa, their first question was not how to fight back, but what games were planned at the public entertainments. As the rulers trash the ruled, the state crumbles from within. When a war comes, as come it will, such a people will not fight. The state will be destroyed, the corrupt attitudes replaced by those of the victors. The diseased portion of the body drops off. Thus is the sickness contained. That is why God allows wars to take place; because, in times of peace, the moral rot sets in.
Back to avoiding Agapius… maybe a diet coke would help. And I need to wash my hands. Perhaps I should turn the heating on. Not long to lunch, now. Perhaps I’ll have a lie-down after lunch. Is there anything on the box?