Yesterday, the 15th day of the month, was the Ides of March, which became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar, making the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history.
Yesterday was also a blue sky day here in south west France. Although it’s very rural where we are, above us is a major aviation highway. You can’t hear the jets going over, because they are too high, but on a clear day you can see the planes, which are going to Spain, Portugal, North Africa and trans-Atlantic. Yesterday that glorious blue sky was practically empty. It reminded me of a Tuesday many years ago, when I was in central London doing a survey at an office block just across from Victoria Station. It was the first time I’d ever seen the skies above my home city completely empty of planes.
As with 9/11, we are going through a major reset at the moment – history in the fast lane. I’m not going to dwell on this, because events are still rapidly unfolding with breathtaking speed. I’ll just say that the Resistance here in France continues unabated, despite the Frankenstein flu, and the gilets jaunes were out on the streets this weekend in their tens of thousands, despite a government ban against gatherings of more than 100 people. The gilets jaunes were marking Acte 70, the 70th consecutive week of protests against ‘austerity’ and neoliberalism.
I’m also not going to add to the tidal wave of fear porn that’s going around at the moment. Instead, let’s have some uplifting music; well, there’s a bit of a back story to this one: Steve Harley formed the group Cockney Rebel in the early 1970s. Harley hails from my neck of the woods, south London (my cousin went to school with Steve Harley and they were mates). Harley was a bit of an egomaniac and a very difficult customer. During the early days of Cockney Rebel all of the original band members walked out. The band’s biggest hit, Make Me Smile, was done with session musicians, and even these walked out during the recording of the song. Harley had to get in further session musicians to finish recording the track, which went to the number-one spot in the UK charts and was a hit worldwide. Listening to the song you wouldn’t believe the acrimony that lays behind it.
So, grab your toilet rolls and dance around the room in your Hazmat suit while listening to this. Santé…