You'll have to forgive me. My August 2009 was a harsh month, which I'm not likely to forget in the near future. To maintain minimal Internet contacts with the outside world, I was obliged to set foot almost daily, for weeks on end, in places of Purgatory (a little less nasty than Hell) that are intent upon reducing the peoples of the Earth to gut-level subservience: a slow and nasty kind of alimentary intoxication, not unlike subtle poisoning carried out in the context of the Accursed Kings of France, or in Agatha Christie novels.
Attention: I'm not suggesting for a moment that any fast-food outlet is deliberately trying to execute any kind of malicious poisoning plan. It's not at all deliberate. It just happens to be falling out that way. The saddest and most dramatic experience of all, when you're dining in this kind of place, is to lift your eyes (from your hamburger or from your computer screen) and take a quick look at your neighbors. There's a distinctly fast-food customer profile, a customer outline, a customer model, a customer contour... And it's not nice. It's a big, bulky, flabby, two-handed hamburger-guzzling shape, constantly asking for more fast fuel, like a diesel engine that starts to splutter as soon as the fuel gauge runs low. It's hard to nurture an admiration for one's humankind when you observe them devouring rubbish in a fast-food place.
But stop! I can't be totally sure that my Antipodes blog would emerge unscathed if such and such a corporation were to attack me for being verbally unkind to them. (What fabulous publicity!) My title proclaims: There is life after M. I'm here today as a survivor, to spread the Good News about our earthly sustenance.