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  • Andrew Andersen

Those gentlemen were too busy playing tennis...

The other day, I met a completely charming centenarian English gentleman (well, not exactly a centenarian, to be more precise, he was ninety-nine years old) at a company. In fact, there are still many British old men and women of venerable age left in our city, whose appearance and behaviour still retain something of the real West, which we aspired to in our youth. And after talking with them, it is very difficult and sad to look at the surrounding, excuse me for the expression, 'Animal Farm'... But, anyway, right now I was going to share something else with you...

I got into a conversation with the old man, and it smoothly turned to the events of World War II, in which the old man actively participated, first commanding a platoon of Indian soldiers and then a company of Canadians. In the course of the conversation, I asked him if he had ever been to Singapore during the war years.

"Oh yes! Of course!" the old man replied. And then he added, "I just want to make it clear that I had nothing to do with the disgrace that is now known as 'the defense of Singapore!'"

"Oh, was it really a disgrace?" I asked.

"Well, of course it was!" the old man replied. And then he added, "Those gentlemen were too busy playing tennis and golf! So they didn't have time for the defence of Singapore!"

And indeed, the former British colony of Singapore was too easily captured by the Japanese at that time. But I'm not really writing about Singapore now. It just occurred to me after that conversation that in the second half of the 20th century, Western elites were also too busy playing tennis, golf, and other games, and practically screwed up our civilization...

Andrew Andersen

Victoria, 2019

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