Happy Valentine’s Day. I doodled a big black airship and swashbuckled a bit in the library. Forgot to grow a beard, though. Damn.
Presentation on the Berlin Airlift bucked the trend by a) me doing proper preparation for it b) it being not as good as usual. But the research was still interesting. As with a couple of world wars, I’d gone in to the Big Freeze with the preconception that all sides were equally revolting, mostly as an (equally flawed) reaction against the ignorant, one-sided views of popular history in general and Internet retards in particular. Yet just as I’d come out of the Great War better educated on German militarism and Hindenburg/Ludendorff’s proto-totalitarianism (as well as only-slightly-less-repulsive nationalism in the not-quite-democracies, and that good ole Woodrow Wilson was a shocking racist), and come to the conclusion that Imperial Japan deserved everything that hit it and then some… Everything I’ve been learning from actual historians seems to indicate that the Americans genuinely were motivated by altruism as much as paranoia, and that the Soviets generally were the villains most of the time.
Not believing myself qualified to pass moral judgment makes things a hell of a lot easier, let me tell you.
Saw The Hurt Locker with Warsoc on Tuesday. The same style, production values and politically hands-free approach as Generation Kill, and a manlytears-beautiful ending. Can’t be beaten.
The essay due Friday didn’t go so well. I couldn’t get my hands on any of the resources, and had a similar issue as my first essay for Stuart with the whole alternately procrastinating, panicking and self-doubting, as well as a serious lack of motivation (it’s formative and for the first time on a subject I don’t find at all interesting) so I sent a rather worried email to Chris ahead of time. He gave me a week’s extension, meaning that I have reading week (where the books, specific to the past essay, should mostly be back in the library rather than in the grubby paws of my peers) to mop it up. I’m definitely warming to him.
Besides the newly hopeful essay, I will for reading week have a stack of books on Why Wars Begin, Jon, Tom, a 4meg connection, a floating coffee shop, and the other undiscovered delights of Bromingham to explore. It’s not looking to be a bad time; certainly not an empty one. Yes, Bill, Tom will bring the shovel.
Looking ahead, term ends March 26; on March 27, Philip Reeve is doing a talk in Oxford, and Eli will still be in town with a student house at her disposal, after which France. Which will be a very nice reward for finishing all my essays, I think.
Week’s expenditures: £41 (also, I need to renew my railcard.)