June 22: context is everything; the old trap

Last night I watched Germany playing in the World Cup in a German bar. They drew. I supported them. Supporting them – normally when they play England I am against them – but supporting them this time, they looked a bit rubbish. Maybe it is my support that makes teams look rubbish.

In Oxford the other day I was spirited back to when I was an undergraduate there and how ill-at-ease I sometimes felt in the presence of that upper middle class English drawl. Again I felt unable to cope with it. And yet in London now I cope well enough with the upper middle class.

I remember sitting in as a student on a trial Maths class for a trialing teacher some years back. When the poor guy started up with his x and his y and his axes and stuff like that my mind immediately and faultlessly wandered off to another place, as it had done when I was a boy at school trying to learn Maths for real.

A context is reconstructed or reappropriated and we are easily sunk again. Back in the old trap.


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