Idiots and lunatics at home

‘The 1901 Census revealed a disturbing rise in the number of imbeciles and lunatics, perhaps because the question seemed to tempt householders to classify their dependants as one or the other’

From a review of Simon Heffer’s book, The Age of Decadence in the LRB 30 November 2017

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Idiots and lunatics at home

Building walls

Hot on the heels of the Berlin’s celebrations around the destruction of its wall, I came across this:

”The poor are collectively unseizable. They are not only the majority on the planet, they are everywhere and the smallest event speaks of them. This is why the essential activity of the rich today is the building of walls — walls of concrete, of electronic surveillance, of missile barrages, minefields, frontier controls, and opaque media screens.“

— John Berger “Ten Dispatches About Endurance in the Face of Walls” (October 2004)

My bold and italics.

I did the Census around here in 2011 and one of my abiding memories is of how many gated and closed communities have grown up around here.

Building walls