🎶 The Kinks’ 20th Century Man has been my earworm for the past few days. What a song. Half a century old and it still resonates.

This Ray Davies live version is superb:

This is the age of machinery
A mechanical nightmare
The wonderful world of technology
Napalm, hydrogen bombs, biological warfare

📚 Finished reading The Pianist by Władysław Szpilman. An incredible memoir of a Jewish man who somehow survives years in the Warsaw Ghetto during World War 2. I saw the film years ago; his encounter with Wilm Hosenfeld, a merciful German soldier who keeps him alive through his kindness, is a relatively small part of the book. Extracts from Hosenfeld’s diaries and an additional epilogue add significant context to the story:

“You can’t help wondering again and again how there can possibly be such riff-raff among our own people. Have the criminals and lunatics been let out of the prisons and asylums and sent here to act as bloodhounds? No, it’s people of some prominence in the State who have taught their otherwise harmless countrymen to act like this. Evil and brutality lurk in the human heart. If they are allowed to develop freely they flourish, putting out dreadful offshoots, the kind of ideas necessary if the Jews and the Poles are to be murdered like this.” — Wilm Hosenfeld

🚴‍♀️ Getting a flat tyre on an indoor turbo trainer is rare, but it happens. This morning is the first time I’ve ever snapped a derailleur hanger though. Ride over. 😢

📚 Finished reading When The Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs. A graphic novel about an elderly couple who experience a nuclear attack. The book was written in 1982, closer to the end of WW2 than the present date, and it shows. Sad, but didn’t grab me as I thought it might.

📚 Finished reading Lurking by Joanne McNeil. It’s a superb history of the social Internet from a personal perspective. It got me thinking about how much is already in the rear view mirror, with me lurking in the uk.misc Usenet group nearly 30 years ago, and what passed me by.