Living with the Truth Stranger than Fiction This Is Not About What You Think Milligan and Murphy Making Sense

Sunday 25 December 2016



There are people's worlds
collapsing all the time.

Some say it's a "bug:"
The Black Death was a "bug."

And they give us pills
to make themselves feel better:

an empty gesture
in the face of gods.

You can't see them either.

29 August 1989

When I was thirteen I was sitting in my English class and the world ended or at least it began to end. At least that's what I thought. Somewhere in the distance there was this almighty explosion and a rumble that shook the whole room and I thought the world was about to end. When it didn't I felt like an idiot—the loud boom had been a huge cooling tower being demolished—but the important point here is my gut reaction. I was terrified. Luckily I didn't fall to my knees and start praying or anything (that would've been hard to live down) but I might've done such was my fear, the fear that's been installed in me by my well-meaning, godfearing parents.
Here's the thing though: why was I afraid? Because I wasn't sure I'd be saved. The simple fact is I had a far better chance then than now. I knew I was going through the motions but at least I was trying and that counts for something. Doesn't it? Hard to second-guess God.
There's a brief mention in The More Things Change of "the signs of the times"—wars, earthquakes, famine, pestilence etc—because the propinquity of the end of days is part of the plot and I make a joke of it but that's now. In the early seventies we read into everything and that's a terrible way to live, it really is.

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