I have just realised what Princess Beatrice’s hat puts me in mind of: it looks rather like what you’d get if you asked Dr Seuss to design a toilet seat.

A toilet seat, designed by Dr Seuss.


Was I woken by rain, last night? I seemed to hear it in the wee small hours as I tuned from one dream to the next, and I smiled.

There will be quite a lot of people not smiling today, for the curious reason that they are still alive. I refer, of course, to the people I think of as “the Rapturists”. While they and their leader are a pretty obvious target for derision, I can’t help but feel terribly sorry for them. For one thing, they’re all a bit mad, aren’t they? Mad in a way that all our societies seem to rule is an acceptable sort of madness. While fricasséeing your own young or attempting to tunnel under your house to the core of the Earth are censured as forms of madness, believing that god [and at this point you can insert anything you darned well please], is considered a personal issue, a sort of mild and even laudable eccentricity, the business solely of the person who holds that belief. It’s an odd exemption. Don’t get me wrong: I like the idea that you can be a little mad. I think any society that attempted to “fix” the human tendency to derail and trundle across the grass for a bit would be an inhumane society. Reality can be a tough place to live sometimes. It’s nice to have a holiday.

But this particular madness – longing for Rapture – smells like loneliness and suicide to me. The devastation those people will feel today is very real, and I hope they feel better soon.

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