If you take the contempt some Americans have for yuppies and multiply it by 10 you might come close to understanding their attitude towards the City, as they call it - London, the people of the south.
The government is shutting down the coal industry, they say it's cheaper to draw nuclear power off the French grid and cheaper to buy coal from Colombia.
Then there was the whole concept of coal mining, which is a culture unto itself, the most dangerous occupation in the world, and which draws and develops a certain kind of man.
Julian Assange is certainly no hero. The man behind WikiLeaks issued threats as if he were Dr. No bent on ending civilization as we know it. We will find him, lock him up, and throw away the key. But give the man credit; for a week the truth was laid bare.
Most people - and particularly people whose lives have nothing to do with books at all - are intrigued by the idea that somebody wants to listen to them and get it right.
Then years back, when I moved to California, I happened to see a book about fashions of 19th-century Victorian England, only four pages of which was devoted to the dress of the working class.
'High Concept' means a book or a film whose core idea can be stated in a single sentence, such as 'Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito are twins.' Or, 'Arnold is pregnant.'
What's wonderful is to read the different translations - some done in 1600 and some in 1900 - of the same passage. It's fascinating to watch the same tale repeated in such a different way by two different centuries.
I have another Russian idea, too, with a place and a period, so I guess I have enough to keep me busy for quite some time, especially considering that I'm such a slow writer.