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November 20, 2008

gaming: a biography

odowd.jpg [image: "Fallen Knight", Michael O'Dowd, 1990]

"Alea jacta est" -- Julius Caesar, 10 Jan. 49 BC

Nov. 1917 -- a great-uncle is mown down at Paschendaele: the familial and class-based sense of sadness, resentment and unfairness is born: alea jacta est.... 1944 -- a mystery: an aunt's lover, a member of a secret commando group, is killed by members of his own squadron during a dive: alea jacta est.... 1945-1960 -- period of decline and contraction in post-Imperial Britain: alea jacta est.... 1964 -- early years; his dog (companion to the infant) is taken away: alea jacta est.... 1967 -- he is dumped with his dreams in front of the television: alea jacta est.... 1968 -- his first name is a nightmare: alea jacta est.... 1969 -- he lies awake at night hearing his parents argue: alea jacta est.... 1970 -- he weeps over the failure of the national soccer team: alea jacta est.... 1971 -- fellow pupils ostracize because of his fat legs: alea jacta est.... 1973 -- at cub camp, no-one wants him in their tent: alea jacta est.... the mid-1970s -- every night on the television the incomprehensible and banal: bombs, shootings, kneecappings, stone-throwing Irish teenagers: alea jacta est.... 1975 -- his father's father's treasured possessions are a volume of Churchill's speeches, Henry V, and the hero of Paschendaele's medal and portrait: alea jacta est.... 1976 -- he learns rage, humiliation and shame at his father's table: alea jacta est.... 1978 -- he fails to be chosen for the advanced stream in his secondary school: alea jacta est.... late 1970s-early 1980s -- his father's businesses implode: alea jacta est.... 1981 -- he reads of Caesar declaring "alea jacta est" after crossing the Rubicon, and he smiles bitterly: alea jacta est.... 1981-1984 -- one by one his girlfriends leave him; one says in exasperation, "You are too... intense": alea jacta est.... 1984 -- the miner's strike, Mrs Thatcher's war on "the enemy within": alea jacta est.... 1986 -- Oxford over, the young man sets out, as in a Bildungsroman, to conquer the capital: alea jacta est.

Posted by njenkins at November 20, 2008 12:36 AM

With the exception of interspersed quotations, all writing is © 2007-09 by Nicholas Jenkins