Most of the people buying the Soviet paraphernalia were Americans and West Europeans. All would be sickened by the thought of wearing a swastika. None objected, however, to wearing the hammer and sickle on a T-shirt or a hat. It was a minor observation, but sometimes, it is through just such minor observations that a cultural mood is best observed. For here, the lesson could not have been clearer: while the symbol of one mass murder fills us with horror, the symbol of another mass murder makes us laugh.
It's crazy, if you think about it. The God of the universe - the creator of nitrogen and pine needles, galaxies and E-minor - loves us with a radical, unconditional, self-sacrificing love. And what is our typical response? We go to church, sing songs, and try not to cuss.
Did we get anything like the sort of reform that would make the EU work better? No. Not even close. And worse, even with the certainty of a UK referendum following the negotiation, it is clear that there was no appetite amongst European leaders for anything more than a few minor concessions.
In the silence of their studios, busied for days at a time with works which leave the mind relatively free, painters become like women; their thoughts can revolve around the minor facts of life and penetrate their hidden meaning.
The idea is to use minor events that are believed to be related to a terrorist organization, so graffiti is one of them, banners and leaflets are others, but also a lot of minor crimes if you can connect them with the group - credit card fraud, thefts - these types of things have been used to support them.
People should either be caressed or crushed. If you do them minor damage they will get their revenge; but if you cripple them there is nothing they can do. If you need to injure someone, do it in such a way that you do not have to fear their vengeance.
Your soul is a chosen landscape Where charming masked and costumed figures go Playing the lute and dancing and almost Sad beneath their fantastic disguises. All sing in a minor key Of all-conquering love and careless fortune They do not seem to believe in their happiness And their song mingles with the moonlight. The still moonlight, sad and beautiful, Which gives the birds to dream in the trees And makes the fountain sprays sob in ecstasy, The tall, slender fountain sprays among the marble statues.
I would change very little because I have been very, very fortunate. A lot of things fell into place for me simply by happenstance. When that happens you don't really want to change anything, even if you could. Editorially my regrets are few and for the most part minor. I look back on my first published book and think I held on to it too long, babied it too long.