It’s easy to get a bit down about the state of things. Inflation is running high. It’s November. In Britain there are strikes and it is starting to feel like a rerun of the 1970s, minus the not inconsiderable cultural compensations of that decade. Activists on Twitter are arguing about Brexit. The disgraced former health minister Matt Hancock made it to the final, and was eliminated in third place, on a television show called I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, which I haven’t seen but by all accounts represents a new low in the history of Western civilisation.