Warnings from history

Regular Marvels

The generation born after the Second World War, known today as the Baby Boomers, is widely associated with comfort, prosperity and what was once known as the permissive society. Their claims and their imagination created the Sixties—as cultural phenomenon not decade—and today they are blamed both for the decline of Western culture and for eating all the pies.

One difficulty with this narrative (and there are many) is why the ‘greatest generation’, who defeated fascism and eventually totalitarian communism, should have produced the most selfish.

As a child of the 1950s, of parents who survived the war, I don’t recognise the regressive interpretation of my generation’s values and history. The world of my youth—which the French look back on wistfully as ‘les Trente Glorieuses‘—was admirable in many ways, though certainly not all. But it was impossible to forget that our peace, prosperity and…

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Life is precious, not safe

It’s a widely held idea that art is dangerous—or at least challenging. It threatens established thinking, especially the complacency of the bourgeoisie. It dances barefoot on the ‘cutting edge’. I’ve never been wholly convinced by that belief, though it flatters the egos of artists and their admirers. The truth is that most art, most of the … Continue reading Life is precious, not safe