Friday, 22 November 2019

Political Broadcast -- The Brexit Election

I interrupt my delightful series of posts on my sabbatical in Italy, to write a little about the upcoming UK election, on December 12th.

From my vantage point within the operatic chaos of Rome, it is perfectly obvious what is the Number One issue of this election, in fact really the only relevant issue, and equally obvious how any sensible person should vote. But word trickles through to me that it is not obvious to everyone. There are, media pundits tell me, large quantities of people confused about who to vote for. They are despairing at their options! They are throwing up their hands! They are going to -- horror of horrors! -- sit this one out!

As a pompous conceited theoretical physicist, even I cannot believe that so many people are so blisteringly stupid. That means it's hats off to the booming misinformation and obfuscation industry. Nice try, guys, but your dastardly campaign to wipe out human civilisation is at an end. I can take you down in 1200 words. Maybe less. (I did mention conceited, didn't I?)

Friday, 8 November 2019

All Roads

Traffic is one of the great spectacles in Rome. As a tourist, if you lower your eyes from the Colosseum, or St Peters, or the vast mad monstrosity of the Typewriter, your gaze will twitch and tremble at the sight of the traffic. At its best, a roaring swarm of cars and motorcycles on a four-lane road with no lane markings, veering and swerving and braking in a vulgar affront to the laws of reason, if not physics. Crossing these roads is exhilarating enough -- the sight of it would leave mere firewalkers aghast -- so how terrifying and wonderful must it be to actually get behind the wheel of a car, and accelerate directly into the maelstrom?

I have done it, and I have lived to tell the tale.

Monday, 21 October 2019

Certified Mail

Previously: A Letter from Rome

Rome is a place of untamed primal forces. Your fortunes will experience wild mood swings.

One moment I was the resplendent champion of the routine retail transaction, the next I was being flailed in a state-funded hell. The Divine Comedy, Part I, if Pasolini had taken another crack at it, for Amazon.

To recap: I needed to mail a letter.

Ho ho ho, you might chortle. No problem. Slap on some stamps and put it in a mailbox.