I don’t remember if I have mentioned my strong dislike of the smell from bonfires? It’s quite a nice smell, really, but it was much nicer before the fire. After the fire – which luckily wasn’t too bad, but worse than we like to think about – that smell only brings back a feeling of worry. You are constantly checking that the neighbours are ‘just’ having an innocent bonfire, and that you’re not actually on fire.
It’s the same with fiction about ‘bad’ things. I’m sure my fondness for war fiction would evaporate if I was experiencing war myself. And then there’s the future dystopias. Wonderfully exciting and thought provoking, as well as entertaining.
Perhaps you have come across this picture recently? It is very amusing, or would be, if things in the world were different. It’s not quite on the same scale as similar photos of boards outside shops promising puppies and cups of coffee to all unattended children.
In the last year, I’ve read several dystopias that featured a worrying future [but one that you confidently feel ‘will never happen’], often with a crazed leader in charge of America. Sometimes Britain. In the last few months I’ve sometimes felt that these fictional leaders have resembled a certain presidential hopeful far too much for comfort.
And now that time is here. It is current affairs. And I’m finding it much harder to read about.