In “War of the Worlds” there comes a point where the narrator is playing cards with the artilleryman whilst the Martians ravage the outside world. As Wells put it “…with our species upon the edge of extermination or appalling degradation, with no clear prospect before us but the chance of a horrible death, we could sit […] playing the “joker” with vivid delight”. It’s a surreal reaction to the horrors of the outside world. There was a strange parallel this week, when it was revealed that, in the midst of the shambles which Brexit has become, the Prime Minister discussed with the Cabinet the edibility of jam with mould on top.
Apparently, she simply scrapes the mould off and eats the jam underneath, which is, she claims, perfectly edible. There is some division of opinion amongst the experts as to whether this is or is not advisable; it seems to depend on the type and colour of the mould and whether you also scrape out the underlying few centimetres where the spores can be lingering, but I wonder if the PM hasn’t inadvertently let us know why the government is in such a mess. Some moulds produce psychoactive toxins which can cause all manner of problems in the brain, including attentional problems. Someone who has consumed such toxins might well forget what was said to her yesterday and see nothing wrong with repeating the same words and activities day after day, Groundhog-style.
It’s a better explanation than many that I’ve seen.