When Kerouac wrote, in Visions of Gerard (publ. 1963), “Why can’t I say what I really want to say?”, he was speaking for many of us.

When and why do we hold back on what we are thinking, and shut down on our private opinions? (Not everything we are thinking is good to say, by the way.) I ask myself sometimes, why are you afraid to say what you really think?

What got me thinking about this was a podcast I recorded but did not publish. It concerned the Alma Rattenbury murder case, way back in 1935, in relation to a more recent, and also sensational case. I was afraid that what I was talking about might be misunderstood. I was talking about the shifting of moral standards and values — the free-floating Law, you might say — and not about the values themselves. Didn’t Cicero declaim, “O tempora! O mores!”?

This is a podcast about the shifting sands of inquisitional culture.

P.S. There is a factual error in the cast, which needs to be corrected. Mrs. Rattenbury was 39 or 40 when she began with George Stoner, not in her 50s. Incidentally, she was played on British television by Helen Mirren.