I was not, I was, I am not, I care not. (Non fui, fui, non sum, non curo)
The confusion is not my invention. We cannot listen to a conversation for five minutes without being aware of the confusion. It is all around us and our only chance now is to let it in. The only chance of renovation is to open our eyes and see the mess. It is not a mess you can make sense of.
To us, it is incomprehensible that millions of Christian men killed and tortured each other because Napoleon was ambitious or Alexander was firm, or because England's policy was astute or the Duke of Oldenburg was wronged. We cannot grasp what connection such circumstances have the with the actual fact of slaughter and violence: why because the Duke was wronged, thousands of men from the other side of Europe killed and ruined the people of Smolensk and Moscow and were killed by them.
Okay. You are somewhere, at least in theory, between Butte and Mobile, going faster than sound in a long metal container that is not in physical contact with anything. A slight jiggling sensation at your prostate (if you have one) is, essentially, all that is holding you up 30,000 feet above something that looks like a badly distressed suede jacket, but is in fact the surface of the earth. You have been served a brown puddle with a lump in it, a rectangle of pale-yellow congealment, and some kind of mineral-based salad. There is a wheeeeengneeeenngn noise. The jiggle-at-the-prostate feeling gives way to a kind of giving-way sensation. You are swallowed by a cloud. Rule one: Maintain perspective.