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On This Day: 5/5/55

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  • Michael Moorcock
    Site Host
    • Dec 2003
    • 14278

    On This Day: 5/5/55

    On 5th May 1955, at the age of 15. I went to work for Messrs Balliere Tindall and Cox, medical publishers. After a day, I refused to go back and that same week got a job with Flexhill Shipping Company near the Tower of London. I hadn't been taken on as a messenger but volunteered happily for jobs which took me to the docks and embassies, E&W, and familiarised me with the heart of London. Travelling on public transport gave me lots of time to read and write and work on my fanzines. Docklands and the posh West End. There were still bombed sites everywhere and a lot of rationing still. The irony was that Britain had for some time fought Hitler alone but emerged owing the US for all that lease-lend (only recently paid off) and virtually bankrupt, especially since the Labour government had begun a process of relinquishing the British Empire, so was paying a higher financial price than, for instance, West Germany which, thanks to a fear of aggressive communism, as well as from sensible compassion, received a massive injection of wealth from the USA. This isn't a question of dispute for me, but that's where we were. The general atmosphere in London, at that time full of people who were displaced or waiting to get home, or for permanent status in the UK, was outlooking and welcoming. The atmosphere was pretty progressive, in spite of problems. Unprecedented numbers of people of working class and bourgeois backgrounds going to university and a gradually improving economy which had actually spread the wealth!! Which meant universal and equal healthcare and the healthiest generation ever. I lived in a world which saw progress in terms of human happiness. Unfortunately the HUAC and Joe McCarthy put a serious stop to similar progress in the US. Europe was practical -- if socialism worked in this area, have socialism. If capitalism worked better, use it. The countries which have democratic monarchies are generally pretty flexible, too! Compromise tends to work. Dinosaurs find it harder to get out of trouble. Their strategy becomes ossified, aggressive and decadent. I'm glad I had the good fortune to be born when and where I was. 5.5.55 was a good date to start earning my own living!

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    Pre-order or Buy my latest titles in the USA:
    The Laughter of Carthage - Byzantium Endures - London Peculiar and Other Nonfiction - The Sunday Books - Doctor Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles
    Kizuna: Fiction for Japan - The Sundered Worlds - The Winds of Limbo - Modem Times 2.0 - Elric: Swords and Roses

  • lemec
    Eternal Champion
    • Jul 2005
    • 5309

    In that atmosphere and time period, it does seem like someone could learn a lot of useful things. That is indeed the foundations of a strong character.

    "With a deep, not-unhappy sigh, Elric prepared to do battle with an army." (Red Pearls)
    - Michael Moorcock


    • Pietro_Mercurios
      Eternal Champion
      • Oct 2004
      • 5745

      The Fifth of the Fifth, 1945, is recognised as the Netherlands' official 'Bevrijding's Dag,' when the country was finally liberated from the Nazis. Victory in Europe Day, came three days later, on the 8th. So, an important date for more than a few reasons. 😉