Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Not even dumbed down, just willfully perverse...

I can't believe I just heard a BBC newsreader invent the word "ordainment" in a report on the C of E's General Synod decision on women bishops! It was the midnight news, but even so...... perhaps it should catch on,  because I don't think it actually will be ordination....
I had similar thoughts about last Thursday's afternoon play, 'Gerontius' (listen to it here for another two days) supposedly inspired by the impending beatification of John Henry Newman, but predictably and almost exclusively occupied with Newman's friendship with Ambrose St John.  Despite a distinguished cast, it somehow failed to convince; even with the frequent use of his own words, it just wasn't the Newman we know so well from his writings or from his biographers. Sex, or even - as here - the complete absence of it, is a desperately restricting twenty-first century preoccupation, whatever one's 'orientation.'
I really wish contemporary writers and the media itself could be a little less conventional in their responses to the past. They seem to think the Victorians were exactly like us but only in fancy dress. Repeat after me - for as long as it takes: "The past is another country, they do things differently there." In this context I actually agree with that rather notorious sentence of L.P. Hartley.

1 comment:

  1. "The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there". The British always have trouble with anything foreign.
    Simon Cotton


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