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

Monday, 22 February 2010

Bend the knee to Neil

No picture with this post, but that’s intentional. When the BBC said The History of the World in 100 Objects would be on radio, knee-jerk critics scoffed. “You gotta have telly,” they said. But with the magnificent Neil MacGregor in charge you don’t need pictures. Today it was the Oxus chariot, a model which shows how bigwigs got around the Persian empire, 2500 years ago, in “the Ferrari or Porsche” of its day. Woven into the fifteen-minute broadcast were details of the emperor Cyrus’s enlightened rule (Iran could use him now) and the empire’s astonishing multi-culturalism.

But then both Mrs BB and I believe MacGregor, director of the British Museum, can walk on water. For me he did the impossible. His TV series, Seeing Salvation, drew me into a form of painting (Christian art) I’d regarded as formal, sterile and alien. He’s been offered a knighthood and turned it down, has been approached by New York and turned them down. The Times Online refers to him as Saint Neil but that seriously under-rates him.

Hymns Ancient & Modern poetry primer

Who so beset him round/With dismal stories,
Do but themselves confound/His strength the more is
The opportunistic rhyme.

Solid joys and lasting pleasures/None but Zion’s children know.
The inept adjective (two of them).

The holly bears a blossom as white as lily flower
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ…
The non-sequitur.

There is a green hill faraway/Without a city wall
The planning application.

With salvation's walls surrounded,
Thou may'st smile at all thy foes.
Is that all?

Novel progress 22/2/10. Ch. 16: 0 words. Chs. 1 - 15: 67,628 words. Comments: Hatch in Arcadia.