The wonderful CK/CK shared this photograph, taken near London in November of 1942. Breaking between missions flying machines less sophisticated than a contemporary car in a war of annihilation with a nearby and superior enemy, a pilot breaks for a haircut, reading, and a pipe. The insistence on the accouterments of culture, on leisure —the book and pipe, of course, but also the nearly formal attire of the barber and the pattern of the sheet wrapped around his shoulders— seems so British, so laudable, so impossible to imagine today for innumerable reasons one hardly has the energy even to consider.
slaughterhouse five anyone?
“They were adored by the Germans, who thought they were exactly what Englishmen ought to be. They made war look stylish and reasonable, and fun… They were dressed half for battle, half for tennis or croquet.”