Saturday, January 19, 2008

Serbonian bog, etc

It's taken fifty-odd years, but I think I am finally beginning to break free of the shackles imposed by my formal education. Don't misunderstand me: I had some wonderful teachers and tutors, and I know my life has been blessed and rewarded in a way that would not have been possible without the education, ie paper qualifications, that school and university gave me.
What I mean is, it has taken me till now to question so many things that I took for granted simply because of where they came from ("the fallacy of origins", as the logicians call it). Let me take an example before you lose interest in this piece:
"Coelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt."
Why have I accepted that dictum uncritically till now? First, of course, because it's in Latin and anything in Latin MUST be both true and profound, right? Secondly, because I absorbed it during my Sixth Form years, along with lots of impressive polysyllables like "hegemony" and ponderous phrases like "the Serbonian bog of politics"( see pic!), acres of verbiage which I have never actually USED outside of tutorials and examinations. Back to the Latin tag: sure we are the same person wherever we travel to on the planet, but spending time under different skies can make you a different person, or at least change the way you think and feel.
So, what I am saying is that my late adolescent rebellion is only just now getting underway. I am going to challenge every dictum, axiom and aphorism, I am going to question the teachings of every tutor, pundit and guru. Problem is, I probably won't have anything to put in their place.
By the way, I wrote this after a few glasses of wine. In vino veritas. as you might say.

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