I’ve had four unremitting years of this – four years next month to be precise – and it’s getting on my nerves. Accordingly, the dear old blog was doomed to remain torpid until I found a nicely apposite passage in Slaughterhouse 5 which I should like to quote:
The protagonist, Billy Pilgrim, has been abducted by aliens and taken aboard their spaceship. He’s asked whether he has any questions. He asks ‘why me?’
‘That is a very earthling question to ask, Mr Pilgrim. Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen a bug trapped in amber?’
‘Yes.’ Billy, in fact, had a paperweight in his office which was a blob of polished amber with three ladybugs embedded in it.
‘Well, here we are, Mr Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.’
I like this book.
On a mostly unrelated note, I have to say that I’ve also grown to quite like certain aspects of American linguistic idioms. I’ve even taken a few of them on board. One exception that seems to have been universally adopted these days is that habit of serving you with something (like a YouTube upload, for example) and then inviting you to ‘enjoy!’ One word. It doesn’t sound like an invitation, it sounds like an order. It’s cheap, smug and patronising, and I don’t like it.