Why bother when Leg-iron is on such form over at underdogs bite upwards? Here he is on the cowardice of the past few days. Observing that planes flew when scare-mongers (yes, we had them then but we laughed at them) told us the world was ending during the 1980 Mount Saint Helens eruption, he writes:
The Wright Brothers would have been arrested for endangering themselves. Edison would have been imprisoned for trying to get people to buy a thin glass bulb with a vacuum inside, and then run a high voltage through it. Tesla would have been shot for the safety of the herd because he did some wonderfully wild stuff. Henry Ford would have been ordered to take the engine out of that Model T and tie a horse to it instead.
People traveling on rails behind something that runs on high pressure steam? Insanity! Gas running through pipes right into people's homes? Oh, the risk! A coal fire - indoors? A bridge over the river? What if it falls down? Safer to go around. Better yet, safer to stay here. It might be dangerous over there.
What if, what if, what if. Once that little phrase led to great things. What if lightning could be harnessed? What if we refined that black oil and made an engine that ran on it? What if we were to build a rocket that could take men to the Moon and back again? What if we ignore that 'edge of the world' stuff and just keep on sailing? Let's try it and see what happens.
Now it is completely reversed. What if someone electrocuted themselves? What if that engine caught fire? What if the rocket couldn't get back? What if the edge of the world is real?
Vintage stuff - and how very true. Every time I read the news today, I hear my grandfather's rich snort of contempt in my mind's ear. The West is dwindling. A small sign of that is that thinkers like Leg-iron languish in obscurity, while cowardly moral defectives compete for the stealing/wasting your money concession for the next five years.