Influential People in the life of a White Male Pseudo-intellectual in his Mid-twenites Volume 4: The Ghost of Alec Guinness

The British Empire is long since dead and buried. Mourned by a crowd of weeping nationalists who wear high-priced football shirts in lieu of black and chant racist epithets in place of an epitaph. All we really have left of our once proud nation is the fading resentment held by the innumerable cultures we tried our damndest to stomp out; a generation of highly trained British character actors playing butlers and villains in American movies; the dying embers of a once pioneering musical and cultural vanguard; and our ghosts. The ghosts of a civilised past that haunt our collective consciousness. Ghosts like George Smiley, Colonel Nicholson, Professor Marcus and Henry Holland. Ghosts like Alec.

Alec was a man who would not slouch to avoid a spurt of napalm at a dinner party; a creature of such outstanding etiquette he would not interrupt his host to request a glass of water while consumed by flames; a soul of such bearing that he would utter nothing but an embarrassed cough as those damnably inconvenient flames overcame him; and an elegant ideal who, with his last ounce of strength, would nod and smile politely at the recycled anecdote of the bore who talked on regardless. He was that rare thing, perhaps no longer extant – a gentleman.

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