Far too many years ago, in my sailor days, I got muddled up between two of the chefs on board the ferry I worked on for the summer. I mentioned something to one of them, believing he was a peer, if somewhat older. Turned out he was my boss. (I had thought it was the other one, much older and kinder.)
Anyway, I was told off soundly by one of my [definite] peers, because I’d been telling tales. Except to my mind I hadn’t. I’d grumbled about the behaviour of another peer, the way you do ‘between friends.’ But instead of letting on that I’d had no idea who the boss was, because that would have made me look stupid, I simply let her tell me off without a word in my defence.
Setting my stupidity aside, you’d have thought the boss would have introduced himself as such when I started.
But, there it was.
I thought of this when I discovered the upset seemingly caused by Philip Pullman to a lot of people, in and out of the literary world. He appears to have been more mature than I was at 19, and has explained the mistake he made and he has apologised. But people like being upset these days, so his head, or at least his resignation from the Society of Authors, is something others feel justified in demanding.
Some of these I know, others I don’t. And I’m disappointed. Much more than I was with the chef and my peers at sea.
I don’t know whether Philip is considering leaving Twitter. I know I am. But he is meeting the accusations head on, gamely admitting to his shortcomings in general. Luckily he appears to be the only person in the world to have these. His accusers are perfect.
Earlier this evening we watched an episode of The Good Fight. Excellent stuff and well written. But what struck me when thinking about today’s episode was that unlike other such shows, where the characters can see off the bad things and look forward to better times, the plot is taking them, and us, into worse times. And I don’t know what we can do about it.
Because I don’t believe it’s Christine Baranski’s fault.