You would have to go a long way to beat the opening sentence of Carla’s comment yesterday but your road might just take you back to the start of "Enivrez-vous!" [Get drunk!], one of Baudelaire's prose poems:
One should always be drunk. That’s the great thing; the only question. Not to feel the terrible burden of time weighing on your shoulders, you should drink without respite.
Alas, I am suffering the agonies of “respite” at the moment, this being a non-drinking night, but least I am building up virtue points that can be squandered tomorrow night.
As for my point in my previous post about the history of the world being made by people in a state of inebriation, I think that, in the same spirit in which public figures have to declare their financial interests, they should also make public the state of their consciousness. The reporting of events might then go something like this.
Downing Street insisted it was not Mr Blair's (a bottle and a half of claret and a single malt) view that the violence in Iraq had been a disaster.
A spokeswoman (three vodka limes) said: "He was simply acknowledging the question in a polite way before going on to explain his view.
"To portray it as some kind of admission is completely disingenuous."
But BBC political editor Nick Robinson (four pints of extra strong lager) said Mr Blair's agreement indicated he knew there was "simply no point any more arguing with interviewers".
Readers could then decide whether they needed to reach the same state of consciousness to comprehend Mr Blair’s view or whether more was required to believe that the war had not been a disaster.
By the way, the picture at the top and the following piece of dialogue are from the great Billy Wilder movie Lost Weekend. I pinched them both from the erudite and well-written blog “Booze Movies: The 100 Proof Film Guide. Reviews, news, and features from the world of soused cinema”. Terrific stuff.
BIRNAM: You don’t approve of drinking?
NAT: Not the way you drink.
BIRNAM: It shrinks my liver, doesn’t it, Nat? It pickles my kidneys, yes. But what does it do to my mind? It tosses the sandbags overboard so the balloon can soar. Suddenly, I’m above the ordinary. I’m confident, supremely confident. I’m walking a tightrope over Niagra Falls. I’m one of the great ones. I’m Michelangelo molding the beard of Moses. I’m van Gogh painting pure sunlight. I’m Horowitz playing the “Emperor Concerto.” I’m John Barrymore before the movies got him by the throat. I’m Jesse James and his two brothers. All three of them! I’m W. Shakespeare. And out there, it’s not 3rd Avenue any longer. It’s the Nile, Nat, the Nile, and down it floats the barge of Cleopatra.