I started writing here, as Pelshval, very many years ago and mostly for fun. I enjoyed embroidering picaresque scenes of daily life in my country.

Gradually, my voice grew less jolly, more cautious yet at the same time. slightly caustic. There were terrible droughts out there in the world, and sea levels were rising … but our leaders didn’t seem to worry, so maybe I was exaggerating the seriousness of our planet’s predicament.

Then came the Arab Spring. Now I happened to have some – not much, but more than most who follow the press – previous knowledge. So I soon noticed we were definitely getting skewed news reports. But I had a job that meant a lot to me, a job that required absolute loyalty, so I was mostly silent.

Nevertheless, seeds of distrust had been sowed.

During the Trump years I, too, was fascinated by US politics. While most of my friends could not “for the life of me” understand why anybody would vote Trump, I could not for the life of me understand why the Democratic Party was not learning a very important lesson. For a moment, it did seem as though Biden would actually start to notice the 50 % of US Americans who were floundering, but he soon devoted his attention to the needs of the military-industrial complex instead.

With time, I have become strident. I’m sorry. Reading William Blum’s Rogue State, I marvel at how he manages to make a book about catastrophic policy choices so wonderfully ironic and often downright hilarious.

It’s a while since I finally managed to discern, through the haze of propaganda, some of the contours of what is going on. But William Blum saw it all sharply already back in 2002. He foresaw what we are now going through, with such acuity that I suspect his book is available to us at CIA\library because even at CIA, there are those who understand that US foreign policy chickens have come home to roost in a very bad way.

There is so much that needs to be put right! More and more people all over the world and maybe even, to some degree, in the USA are starting to understand that. Alas, here in Europe, Ministry of Truth telescreens are running full throttle, incinerating the inconvenient truths of yesteryear, replacing definitions of sizeable parts of our vocabularies, updating fictions, smoothing innumerable paradoxes, and telling us that the end is near and not to worry. Staffing European psychiatric clinics will soon prove impossible as therapists succumb to the general state of universal befuddlement.

In an extremely depressing book called “Essay on Blindness”, the late Portuguese writer José Saramago has painted a stylised picture of the state of Europe today. He later wrote a cheering sequel, “Essay on Lucidity”, that explains how, one by one, people recovered their eyesight and were able to see clearly. While I certainly recommend many of Saramago’s books – he too is extremely humorous – I think it would prove more beneficial for Europeans’ lucidity (and hence also mental health) to read William Blum’s Rogue State, which can, I repeat be downloaded from the CIA library.