Happy in the haze of a drunken minute


You, The Living – Roy Andersson, 2007

Roy Andersson’s ‘Living’ films are each made up of a series of tableaux – a word I didn’t know the meaning of until two minutes ago. The films are moving paintings and I love that they create and capture strange and beautiful moments.

I rarely go ‘out out’ these days, but when I do, there’ll be a moment when the room is aglow and everything is in hazy harmony. Achieving this state of momentary bliss is a tightrope act, as one or two sips later, the balance and harmony disappears.

The Daily Mash is therefore absolutely correct to pose this question:

 ‘You’re four pints in. The highlight of your evening is behind you. But is it ever ethically defensible to say, ‘Right lads, I don’t want to spend another 30 quid to feel like s***, I’m off home?’

The answer is, of course, ‘Yes!’ The highlight has happened: go to bed and look forward to the next one. But we never do this…

Louis MacNeice was a master at conveying the wonder of a perfect moment. I have probably read ‘The ­­Brandy Glass’ a hundred times:

‘Only let it form within his hands once more –
The moment cradled like a brandy glass…’

He wrote in ‘The Sunlight on the Garden’:

‘We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold…’

Yet, in ‘Meeting Point’, love can cage the minute:

‘God or whatever means the Good
Be praised that time can stop like this,
That what the heart has understood
Can verify in the body’s peace
God or whatever means the Good.’

So, I suppose that a perfect life would be repeatedly drinking brandy in the garden with someone you love…But not repeatedly, as the moment would lose its special uniqueness and you would both be horrifically drunk and in pain.

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