Details (promised yesterday) on proposed future schedule for the journal
After some months we are still without an intern. In fact there are normally only two of us in the office, Karela and myself. Simon occasionally comes in for purely social reasons, and has only contributed one item in the past year. As readers will know, our invaluable and talented political correspondent Montgomery Skew has taken on new duties in London beside his journalistic work. Berthold’s administrative work looks set to take ever more of his time, and his recent contributions have been relatively brief. The Dr Baron von Hollenberg still communicates frequently but naturally is not in a position to take a very active part in our own administrative work. (If only we could prise Isabelita away from her very successful career in Ecuador!) Manos never did carry much of that burden but was still excellent value in other ways; none of us begrudge him his startling and unpredicted rise into the higher strata of big business. There is no particular problem on the financial front. Dr Baron Philipp still supports the journal generously (our other principal benefactor being of course Lady F-, now well into her nineties but, she tells me by telephone, still enjoying sea-bathing most days)(and I still murmur thanks to her every time I take the Lamborghini out for a spin round the island). Another matter which I am honour bound to take into account is that Karela has been inspired by the world tour taken by our last intern Maud, and is clearly hoping to try something of the same sort (though not thinking of taking up sumo wrestling). One further factor is that I am engaged in a project to establish a radically new approach to grammar, potentially resulting in a book, with a provisional target of having the writing done in a year. In one way this will be hard. As with many overpopulated academic subjects these days – and contrary to the impression the public receives – the mainstream of activity relies very heavily on not stepping too far out of line. Small modifications of what the established authorities teach, yes; but serious breaking of ranks is dangerous, a cue for the academically polite version of trolling. In another way, however, it could be relatively easy for those willing to break with tradition because the standards of argumentation in the subject have long been pitiable despite confident and even arrogant remarks to the contrary. Purely by chance, the third item in yesterday’s posting touched on this issue from a wider perspective, suggesting that over society at large standards of reasoning are poor and possibly declining quite sharply, and it indicated a reason why this should be so. I could easily be persuaded that the problem is more deepseated, but this is not the place to take up that topic.
In summary, this seems a suitable moment to announce, not the end of this journal, but the intention of putting it into hibernation or if you prefer, slow motion. Again provisionally, and on condition that suitable pieces are contributed, it is hoped a posting may be made 1 May 2017, 1 August 2017, and 1 November 2017.
fn 1 We are sorry to learn that our candidate for ‘Outstanding issue by journalists under 25’, one of the awards made at the end of the year by the Association of Editors of Topical Magazines’, was turned down since the judges did not accept that the excellent posting of 1 August 2016, was in fact genuinely prepared and organised by Maud and Karela alone.
fn 2 I can assure my pseudonymous correspondent “Valens” that the idea of my becoming a field operative of the CIA is fiction. It is true that very tentative suggestions were once made that might have led to becoming an intelligence analyst, a very different matter, but they came to nothing (and at that period I would not have been a good ‘catch’ for them). In any case they concerned a British, not an American, organisation. I might add, though, that I formed a rather favourable personal impression (of at least some) having as a teenager met a group of them when my father took me with him to Shemlan to visit a friend of his attached to MECAS.
fn 3 In the past six days, this office has received five enquiries (four of them from the US) asking about the fully functioning emergency governments (postings 10 July and 15 September of 2017) that can be provided in under ten days thanks to modern 3-D printing technology. We must make it absolutely clear that those reports were based on information we received, and we have no link whatever with the group that is now marketing them. Any such enquiries should therefore be directed to them.