Taking my nine am tea break, stirring the teabag around and around in the hot water, I looked out of the third-floor window upon a scene ghastly in its reminiscence of Machine Hell.
Down the long flagged avenue, shops on each side, is a row of trees encased in concrete. These pitiable indigenous trees have their lower branches hacked off to a height of about 3 metres, their roots cramped into stone and cement containers. To give, I would suppose, the avenue that special boulevard feel. At the far end, the latest prisoner was being introduced to its new home. A huge steel crane arm had the hapless thing clasped in a death grip – yet the tree managed to twist and shudder even as it was manhandled to a point above its new cell. The obligatory white male in safari shirt, shorts and socks was overseeing a small gang of black men digging the captive’s hole a little deeper.
I nearly wept into my still unmilked tea.
Another picture rose in my mind, then – the runway of a haute couture fashion house, the models showing the clothing all bones and angles, not an ounce of healthy flesh upon their limbs, their emaciated faces gaunt and machine-lifeless.
It was in such a setting of the mind, then, that I read of Theodore Kaczynski’s upcoming book. And resolved to buy it. And wondered at that phrase” strangely coherent text” that the professor uses to describe Kaczynski’s work. The man is a certified genius, after all – why wouldn’t his words flow coherently? Unless, of course, that ‘strangely’ is aimed at the fact that society has decided that the Unabomber is insane – and insane men do not, as a rule, write coherent text. Isn’t that so, society?