I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like… tears in rain. Time to die.
One of those moments when you sat in a cinema and thought: I wish I'd said that, even I wish I could be capable of saying that!
Just heard that Clive James has died. One of those celebrity deaths that leaves me feeling quite unexpectedly upset. He had one of those thoughtful, dry wits and was a wordsmith that made his observations of life very funny - if not in a laugh-out-loud way. A good example is something I just read where he was talking about his "embarrassment" at still being alive long after his diagnosis for leukaemia:-
The Australian broadcaster and critic, who has been receiving treatment for terminal leukaemia for more than five years, writes of blushing at the realisation he had “written myself into a corner” by announcing last September that he would die very shortly, when in fact his health has rallied thanks to an experimental drug treatment.
That prediction came in a poem called Japanese Maple, published in September 2014, in which James suggested that when the leaves of a tree in his garden turned brown, it would “end the game” of his own life.
In fact, he writes in his column, “Winter arrived, there has been a whole other summer, and now the maple is just starting to do its flaming thing all over again, with me shyly watching.”
A new chemotherapy medication prescribed to the writer earlier this year is “holding back the lurgy”, he writes, “leaving me stuck with the embarrassment of still being alive”.
Despite his own sheepishness, however, “people are still sympathetic, except perhaps for some of my Australian critics, the most scornful of whom has always wanted me dead anyway”.
Smarter people than I have been total idiots - and I've met them all.