How did we get to be like this? No previous generation has enjoyed the luxuries we take for granted today. But peace has made us complacent, freedom has made us irresponsible, affluence has made us acquisitive, comfort has made us neglectful of others, and security has made us tremulously insecure.
Unable to defer our gratification even for a moment, we want everything, and we want it right now – regardless of whether we can afford it or not. Our homes are viewed not as places to live in, but as ‘assets’ to generate money. Our collective civic decency has been replaced by a persistent, resentful sense of victimhood. Sedated by a dumbed-down popular culture, we are bullied by a tiny, unrepresentative elite of privileged metropolitan bien pensants, and afflicted by imaginary illnesses (Morgellons, anyone?).
In this chapter from Selfish, Whining Monkeys, Rod Liddle delves into his own family structure and his childhood experience.
Today sees the publication day of A Reunion of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell, a novel so stylishly written that Harper’s Bazaar professed ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola are slugging it out for the film rights already.’ We took the chance to sit down with the cover designer Jo Walker and ask her exactly what in the novel inspired her to create a cover that somehow encompasses the themes and the style of the book so perfectly.
Families are weird. We pretend to others that we’re normal, but we secretly wear our family ‘weird’ as a badge of honour. You know you wouldn’t really want to trade up Mum’s creepy porcelain doll collection, Dad’s irrational fear of Morris dancers, or your brother’s love of ketchup and banana sandwiches for anything. Here are a few families of fiction that are perhaps even more bizarre than our own. Read more…