Wednesday, 17 November 2010

An Intellectual Voice In The Wilderness, And The Shortcomings Of Marriage Guidance.

I've had a brainwave. Maybe Max and I could go to Relate. I mean, that's what they're for, isn't it? Propping up the marriages that are the foundation of social stability. I decide to phone them at lunchtime, while Vicky and Greg are out.

In the meantime, I'm going to think about ways to make myself more interesting, in between dealing with the usual suspects. I think I've turned into Mrs Dull and Boring, as well as a headless child. I used to be an intellectual!

Someone mentioned Plato the other day, and I was shocked to realise that the only thing I can remember about him is that thing in the Crito about Sophocles not standing up for himself when he was wrongly accused.

I only recalled that because it came up in a discussion I had with Connie while she was studying Philosophy and Ethics at A-level. I had a terrible time convincing her of the validity of Sophocles' claim that, if you believe in the rule of law, then - logically - you should accept your sentence even if it is unjust.

"Sod the rule of law if it means I get punished for the stuff Josh has done," she said. "I'd rather have anarchy any day."

I doubt she would, actually - Josh would be bound to come off best in that situation, but Connie got even more annoyed when I said so. I had to change the subject and ask her when R.E. became Philosophy and Ethics. I might even have been tempted to have studied it if it had been called that in my day.

Whatever, it occurs to me that the way we fight cases on behalf of constituents is quite similar to old Soph's approach: force small admissions, and build on them until we've indisputably won the whole argument. (When there is an actual argument to be won, of course. I'm not talking about Miss Bloody Chambers and Edmund Beales here.)

I mention my new theory to Greg and Vicky when they get back from lunch. They look at me as if I am mad.

"What the hell are you on about, Mol?" Greg says. "Greek philosophy has absolutely nothing to do with what we have to take from this circus of freaks."

Vicky just says, "Who's Sopholololes?"

I am a rose amongst thorns. I shall put aside Henning Mankell and start reading something intellectual as soon as I get home. I might even give Perec another go.

I need something to give me hope, as it turns out that Relate's service isn't free. Can you believe it? I have no idea what I've been donating my clothes for all these years for. Big Society, my arse.


  1. God knows, Bennett, I know little enough about less and the Plato reference was the only one I could ever have managed (one out of fifty in latin mock, y'see, prompting switch to geography for O-level; thus preserving school's aspirations to higher mediocrity) but Socrates was the chap with the incremental way of winning an argument. I think. This nugget also from Republic (before I stopped reading after 30 pages).

    Big arse, high society (would be the Mail way of it).

  2. Holy shit. How the HELL did I muddle that up? I rest my case. Have become Mrs Dull, Boring and Bloody Stupid. Of course it's Socrates. (Not that Vicky will be able to pronounce that either...)