David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

05 August 2013

No More Slogans! No More Slogans! No More Slogans! No More Slogans! No More Slogans! No More Slogans! No More Slogans! No more Three Word Slogans!

Yesterday, over lunch, we were watching the Alan Saunders Memorial Lecture on ABC 24. 

(Alan Saunders died in June 2012. For many years, he presented The Philosopher's Zone on ABC Radio National.)

Well into the lecture, it stops mid-sentence...
as an excited ABC24 presenter tells us "We are just breaking into that program because Kevin Rudd has left Brisbane and is currently in the air, heading to Canberra...". 

Election Fever! 

They never did return us to the philosopher. Before his abrupt dismissal, Simon Blackburn had already noted the general lowering of regard for the role and contribution of philosophy. Below science... below politics... below entertainment...

In place of the lecture, we were now shown LIVE! imagery of the closed gates of the Governor General's residence at Yarralumla. Homage to Andy Warhol. Intermittently, we were also shown LIVE! images of the TV crews who were filming the closed gates of the Governor General's residence at Yarralumla. All this as back at the studio the political journalists wet themselves in anticipatory speculation.

Anything yet? 
Nothing yet.

Several hours later we turn the telly on again. Now, in place of the lecture, LIVE! images of a lectern in front of a door at the Governor General's residence at Yarralumla.

After 15 minutes of this LIVE! still-life, Kevin Rudd appeared and announced what the journalists had already told us would be announced: an election on September 7.

Being grumpy, we had the sound off/spectacle on. A screen sub-caption quoted the politician :

"Three word slogans
one two three 
don't solve complex problems
one two three
they never have
one two three
they never will."
one two three

 K. Rudd : Count my lips : No More Slogans!

Earlier, the cut-down philosopher had broached the pecking order of power and influence: science and politics above philosophy...  Whither the Arts?

Yesterday was a Sunday. 

On Sunday nights, when most have surely gone to bed, the ABC presents/ranks it's best Arts programs.
Sunday Arts Up Late is ABC Arts weekly arts documentary showcase on ABC1 hosted by highly regarded playwright and director Wesley Enoch. Every week, Sunday Arts Up Late features high end, cutting edge arts content from Australia and around the world including feature-length documentaries, short run series and one off specials.
Last night it was Soundtrack for a Revolution (a history of the 1960s Civil Rights struggle in the United States, and the music associated with that) ending at 11.45pm; and Trumbo (about Dalton Trumbo, an oscar-winning screenwriter who was blacklisted and jailed during the period of McCarthyism in the US) ending at 1.20am. Such a cynical contempt for the ABC arts audience. Excellent programs, but who can watch them late on a Sunday? And they are not available on iView. So why do they bother at all? Perhaps it looks good on some Arts stats chart when the ABC reports to the politicians in Canberra.

Go figure!

The thinking of the ABC : this image is from the web-page for the Alan Saunders Memorial Lecture

A Person Looks At A Work Of Art/
someone looks at something ...