Had a few thoughts yesterday,but they didn’t get onto paper because of a houseful of kids, grandkids, and in-laws for a low-grade Easter Egg hunt and dinner, all very jolly, loud, and full of movement. But it was April 20, a day of portent on several levels. Of course, the stoners claim it as their own. I think I’ll stick with wine as my complement to coffee, but I will opine that we spend far too much time repressing the stoners’ urges to escape.
It also marks the birthday of Adolph Hitler, a man who continues to mark our lives and haunt our society, not only through the memory of the Holocaust, but also for what his friend Benito Mussolini is said to have quipped: “Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” This, of course, is precisely the point of Thomas Piketty’s recent musings on Capital In The Twenty-Frist Century.
But my favourite Four-Twenty thoughts go to my parents who fell in love in 1945 and never fell out again, a very special relationship that weathered six children, several changes of venue and a slow climb out of the splendid squalor of self-imposed poverty (through rejection of lucrative but compromising employment) to relative comfort and recognition as architect and potter and as a pair of pretty committed activists, working for something like racial and gender equality, human rights, ecological preservation and enhancement and a host of other less lofty, but no less deserving, causes. Part of their long infatuation with each other was the practice of celebrating multiple anniversaries, their civil wedding (1946), their church wedding (1964, with all their little bastards present) and a host of other occasions, most of them likely relating to carnal acts of some sort (not a discussion that we ever had). I recall an April 20 when I was still in knee pants, but reading a lot of history, particularly the Second World War because they had lots of neat fighter aircraft, when we were all on the verge of being banished to another part of the house so that the parents could have a quiet moment of celebration together, and I had the silly temerity to point out that this was not only one of their anniversaries, but that it was also Hitler’s birthdate. They took it stoically, but it was clearly not a notion that they cared to contemplate.