September 12th, 2015

laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

When Am I?

A combination of overcast, too little sleep lat night and a late nap this afternoon brought me one of those confused moments when I woke up not knowing if it was morning or evening. It actually took me about fifteen minutes to puzzle out that it was still Saturday evening,though I might have saved myself the puzzling simply by looking at the computer's clock. Windows always knows what day it is, if nothing else. But I never think to look at the computer's clock in such situations. I had to wait until it became obvious that the uniformly gray sky was getting darker, not lighter, before I managed to convince myself that I hadn't somehow lost an entire night of my life. As always, the sense of displacement that such confusion generates still lingers, and will probably be with me most of the night.

There will be some compensation for the sense of displacement (and the lingering heat) in the fact that our PBS channel has an hour English people murdering one another tonight. It will not be the best English people murdering one another as the main character created by G. K. Chesterton, and one always feels that the only reason he is able to discover murderers is because the murderers aren't very smart, or even very clever. After all, if they were smart or clever they wouldn't have gotten themselves stuck in a Chesterton story. But Chestertonians murdering one another is better than no Englishmen murdering one another at all.

It's certainly an improvement on the Americans murdering one another en masse which both of the regional PBS channels have been showing all week. They've been having a 20th anniversary (or is it 15th) of Ken Burns' The Civil War, and it's gotten as tedious this time as it did when it first ran. Some Americans do have a flair for murder, but when they are in uniform it usually just ends up messy and depressing. I think it's telling that some of the most interesting American murderers were created by Raymond Chandler, a transplanted Englishman. Say what you will about the English, you must admit that they do murder very well, and manage to make even a little bit of it go a long way. It's unfortunate that Americans have never developed the British preference for quality over quantity.

Oh, the murders are about to begin, so I must cut this short. I don't want to miss any clues.