Thursday, 11 August 2011

No-one is Innocent

I've been for a walk down the cliffs at West Bay today. Amazing place, Bridport/West Bay. Setting of one of Hardy's most ironic short stories - and if it's one of Hardy's most ironic, you're certainly in irony country.

When you consider that West Bay was the setting for the Nick Berry "vehicle" Harbour Lights, it reminds you that we are all, deep down, guilty. And Robert expands on this in his consideration of societal sin - the idea that, although these days we are obsessed with individual sin and salvation, the Biblical view is one of corporate responsibility. If a window is smashed in Dalston, on this view, we all smashed it. 

Or, your might say - we put the society together where these things can happen - we share in the acquisitiveness and the get-rich-quick ethos, we individualise to the point where every man and woman is an island. But we share our human nature, we share the spaces in which we live, we share a network of humanity. Maybe the whole of society should be in the dock. Ask not for whom the broken glass tinkles. It tinkles for thee.

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