Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Mrs BB goes (briefly) back in time

The surgery for a trabeculectomy lasts a mere eighteen minutes; the bad news is it involves the eyeball. Like most who’ve worked in hospitals, Mrs BB, an SRN, is an unwilling patient. I drop her at the hospital and we bid our goodbyes with no visible show of emotion, typical of Brits and appalling to most Americans. Four hours later, back in the car, she insists vallium isn’t worth a damn.

Denied books for twenty-four hours, she regards the blank telly and asks, “What do people who don’t read do all day?” Aloud I offer The Wine Society fine wines list and we agree on a Sancerre (les Monts Condamnés,) for Christmas. Rid of stress she dozes profoundly. Sleeps well that night.

MEANWHILE… Later, on BBC4, we watch an Oxford don exploring Greek myths. His plumminess, which renders Rome as Rame, is old-fashioned since such programmes now find wider audiences via presenters with regional accents. He irritates me further by patronising workers sorting mounds of pottery shards.

At first he’s dull and abstract. Then, as he compares Greeks and Hittites (surely the least amenable to Christ’s teaching) things hot up. I didn’t know Kronos was Zeus’s father. And I certainly didn’t know Kronos interposed himself between the copulating bodies of his father (name forgotten) and his mother, Earth, biting off his father’s “private parts”. The sequel is too extreme even for the liberalism Works Well practises.

The don returns to this theme of castration, pronouncing the word with relish and appearing, simultaneously, to grin. We are, of course, beyond the 9 pm watershed which defines adulthood, but I imagine a review in The Daily Mail. Mrs BB shares my opinion about the plumminess.


Julia said...

How are her eyes this morning?

Is the BBC4 more prone to plumminess than other BBC channels? We've noticed that the accents on the BBC kids' website ranges from Scottish to a faux (and inexplicable) Southern. At the least, they keep us on our toes trying to guess origins.

marja-leena said...

Hope Mrs BB is doing well after the evening's entertainment and a good night's rest. How eager she'll be to read again.

Avus said...

As often, BB, you educate me. I had not heard of trabeculectomy, so dived into Wikipedia where all was made clear. I hope Mrs BB's eye progresses well and she is pain-free.
I, too, saw our "plummy don" last night. The subject was fascinating but he was not. Poor presentation (just think of Bronowski or Clark);rude, patronising and, I felt, a little salacious and prurient. He seemed to want to return to the details of genitophage (new word?)and lovingly linger. (Freud might have had a field day).

Hattie said...

My cousin is facing this surgery. A constant reader myself, not being able to see to read would be my idea of hell. I hope this terrible state of affairs does not last too long. Being condemned to the telly around here, in TV wasteland, would make me suicidal.

Rouchswalwe said...

Wishing Mrs. BB a speedy recovery! This may be a good chance to read for her, BB! Some sonnets, perhaps?

Barrett Bonden said...

All: After 24 hr of purgatory from not being able to read, from having to depend on me for purely oral intellectual stimulus, and from a constantly watering eye, Mrs BB is now reading, cooking and ordering things online. The recovery period will take several months but she and I are cheered that the first stage is now over. My profound thanks for your sympathy.

Julia: BBC4, is a purely digital channel and, chez Bonden, is easily the most watched. It consists of reasonably serious coverage of music, science and history. The plumminess with this particular programme was like a thirty or forty year throwback to a time when everyone on the BBC (radio and TV) talked like this and there was a conspiracy to make you feel inferior if you didn't. In recent years there has been a swing in the other direction whereby presenters must have a regional accent, the stronger the better. (eg, the poet, Simon Armitage who comes was born in Huddersfield, a mere 12 miles from Bradford from which I fled in 1959).

M-L: Normal service now renewed.

Avus: One might have accepted his Olympian tones if he'd been better at his job. But there are at least a dozen specialists (especially in the field of painting) who are both more articulate, less affected and more individual.

Hattie: We're luckier with TV (see above). And there is of course music.

RW (zS): We have a mutual agreement. Mrs BB may read the verse I post but is not required in any sense to provide comments. For my part, I never even draw her attention to the stuff.

The Crow said...

Glad to hear Mrs. BB is doing better after her surgery. (My apologies for jumping on the get-well wagon so late, BB.)

Lucy said...

Yet more belated get well wishes, glad the worst is over, eye things are never comfortable to think about, much less to endure. Though perhaps marginally less eye-watering than that which the plummy don was relishing.

I am quite fond of Brian Sewell, whose plumminess is entertaining and very much part of his appeal for me now, though slightly off-putting at first. But then he often does have something worth saying. I don't really find Simon Armitage very tempting to watch. I didn't see the plummy don but mean to watch the 'Ancient Worlds' one tonight, which I missed last week.

Barrett Bonden said...

The Crow/Lucy: Thanks for the good wishes. Mrs BB must now put eye-drops in for four months. Other than that reading is back up to World Championship levels and, as I write, she's baking a cake.

Lucy: Sewell. Ah, now we're talking transcendental plumminess - a reason for turning on the telly in the first place. For him one may rewrite the biblical line as "and the gadfly shall be a burden". A master of the disgusted putdown. On the other hand I was quite moved at the end of his de Compostela pilgrimage when he burned his clothes and strode off naked into the waves.

Plutarch said...

A relief all round. Best wishes to Veronica. And an unEnglish hug. I thought that it wasn't so much plumminess that made one want to sleep during that programme so much as the fact that the presenter sounded thorougly bored with what he was saying.