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It just seems to me that the world's kind of a mess, and the more messy it gets, the more interested I am in escapist fare. Having a good time is something that isn't about the war in Iraq or the Asian flu or the Kyoto protocol - things that are horribly depressing to consider in our real lives. I'm eager to get away from them.
But human beings fall easily into despair, and from the very beginning we invented stories that enabled us to place our lives in a larger setting, that revealed an underlying pattern, and gave us a sense that, against all the depressing and chaotic evidence to the contrary, life had meaning and value.
Maybe it's a little depressing to think that my vision of a perfect world is actually so messed up, but I think it means that I don't really understand what 'perfect' is.
What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter - a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.
One of the things I find depressing about some of the upper echelons of Anglicanism on both sides of the Atlantic is that it's sort of taken for granted that we all basically know what's in the Bible, and so we just glance at a few verses for devotional purposes and then get on to the real business.