Well I just had a properly depressing conversation. I went outside the building where I have an office and entered into conversation with two young men of Pakistani origin. The elder of them, 32 years old, had spent seven years in prison and was bitter and frustrated at not being able to find work. His language was liberally sprinkled with references to “the Zionists” who were controlling everything. This led him to talk about the situation in the Ukraine and the Russian annexation of Crimea. It was the Russians standing up to America and the Zionists who want to control everything. Russia was populated, he said by orthodox Christians, they didn’t have a poke or anything like that and they were real Christians. Unlike, he was keen to tell me, the Catholics, who were like devils. The Catholics believed that God was a woman he told me. Did I know why all of the Slovakians were here? What was worse he said was that they were all Catholics. Hitler wanted to kill the Catholics after he killed the Jews. The world is going down Hill and we will all end up in concentration camps. This will start in America.
It always depresses me to have conversations with people whose views are so distanced from my own. Both young men were smoking weed and the elder of them told me that his main occupation was trying to give up weed which was completely burning out his brain.
The gulf that separates us from each other can appear to be so deep. If anything it was his weakness that gave me some proximity to him.
These are writings from somebody not from where they are. In such an encounter I meet somebody from where I am who is not from where I am which further complicates things.