Stephen Fry and W.H. Auden

I just finished watching the Craig Ferguson show from a couple of weeks back where he interviewed Stephen Fry. I’ve been watching it in bits and pieces on YouTube. Near the end, Fry mentions Auden’s line “We must love one another or die.” I wasn’t familiar with that poem, so I Googled it, and found it here. Wow.

I sit in one of the dives
On Fifty-second Street
Uncertain and afraid
As the clever hopes expire
Of a low dishonest decade

He was talking about the thirties, of course, but that beginning at least could certainly apply to our most recent decade. I was reading an article in the Economist last week about how the previous decade was the worst (for the US economy) since the thirties. Scary bar charts.

I had lunch yesterday with a group of former co-workers who are all still out of work, since the company we worked for went bankrupt at the end of 2009. At this point, more of my friends are unemployed than employed. I know the unemployment rate is well under 50%, but it looks like a little over 50% from where I’m standing.

The “we must love one another or die” line resonates with me right now, since the support of so many of my friends and relatives is the only thing that’s kept me sane over the last several months, dealing with my Dad’s death, Mom’s dementia, then death, and (to a lesser extent) the “demise” of NMS, the company for which I’d been working for over ten years.

Economically, I’m certainly doing much better than many people right now, as I still have a job (for now) and I have some savings to fall back on if I need to. I’m really hoping the economy picks up, though, as I’d like to see more of my friends working, and I’d like to avoid the unemployment lines myself.

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