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

Wednesday, 29 March 2017


The Old Man

The old man looked out of his window
at the screeching gull as it wheeled away.
There is a value to ignorance, he thought.
If you lose it, it cannot be replaced.

And he looked again where the bird had been
and cursed his failing eyesight.
Was it still there or did he imagine it?

And he stood there alone.
Well, as alone as any of us ever are
or would wish to be.

6 April 1991

Over the years more than one person has commented on a certain naïveté, a kind of innocence that continues to dog me to this day. I say “kind of” because although I’m guilty of many things hanging on to such a useless notion as innocence is not one of them; I gave it up willingly and with few regrets. I think what people see in me is a readiness to give people the benefit of the doubt. And they’re right. I’ve never been able to shake that. Hell, for five minutes I even imagined that Trump would dial it back when he took office and everything that’d gone on in the months before had been a ploy to help him win votes; electioneering is after all a dirty business these day. Well, that never happened.
Ignorance is simply not knowing: I couldn’t list off more than maybe a dozen elements off the periodic table but that doesn’t make me a bad person. Innocence, on the other hand, is not understanding, which is why a concept such as the age of criminal responsibility exists. Thankfully there are still many things of which I remain blissfully ignorant. You don’t have to know everything. Far from being the first step to wisdom more often than not knowledge only leads to disappointment.

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