Appalling numbers of youth have been led into a cynical ultra-sophisticated attitude which regards drinking as a badge of social aptitude, which makes a fetish of sport and professes eroticism as a way of life. A perverted and insane pictorial art, lewd exhibitionistic dancing and jungle music form the spiritual norm of this sector of America's youth.
I marvel again at the nakedness of men's lives: the showers right out in the open, the body exposed for inspection and comparison, the public display of privates. What is it for? What purposes of reassurance does it serve? The flashing of a badge, look, everyone, all is in order, I belong here. Why don't women have to prove to one another that they are women? Some form of unbuttoning, some split-crotch routine, just as casual. A doglike sniffing.
Some bruises you wear like badges of honour: when you got it playing rugby, or quad racing, or falling off something while drunk, no opportunity is lost to show off a good contusion. A bruise inflicted by someone else, however, is a whole other story: it's like a big flashing arrow marking you out as punchable, and before long there'll be boys queuing up to add bruises of their own, as if they'd just been waiting for somebody to show them it could be done.
The House of Lords, architecturally, is a magnificent room, and the dignity, quiet, and repose of the scene made me unwillingly acknowledge that the Senate of the United States might possibly improve its manners. Perhaps in our desire for simplicity, absence of title, or badge of office we may have thrown over too much.
It is utterly exhausting being Black in America - physically, mentally, and emotionally. While many minority groups and women feel similar stress, there is no respite or escape from your badge of color.