A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

From The Golden Age.....

This is a self-indulgent blog - and why not on a grey, dull Wednesday in the dark recesses of January? Just every now and again, one desperately wishes to throw off the sheer tedium of what Kenneth Grahame so perfectly encapsulated as the life of 'The Olympian', with its non-sensical talk of 'global warming', 'carbon trading', and 'precautionary principles' - "Oh!, for goodness sake, can't we forget those damn 'precautionary principles'!":-

"It was a perennial matter for amazement how these Olympians would talk over our heads - during meals, for instance - of this or the other social or political inanity, under the delusion that these pale phantasms of reality were among the importances of life." (From: 'The Prologue:The Olympians', The Golden Age, by Kenneth Grahame, 1898).

So here are four or five wonderfully non-Olympian 'virtualities' that recall to perfection the Just William existence which we have all lost, but for which we are always seeking:

Oliver Postgate's (what a genius!) spiffingly quirky Chairman Bagpuss Site:

"In his autobiography Oliver Postgate declares that he does not exist - that he is a means, not an end. To a cat of my intellectual prowess it is clear that this is philosophically unsound, because he obviously must be there in order to say that he is not. And anyway, if he were, or rather weren't, where would that leave us, his figments?"

Fun, fun, fun (even though the essays are inevitably from the world of The Olympians, although still somewhat 1960's-style). Bagpuss, on the other hand, is immortal. How we loved him!

Northlands: Noggin the Nog - gloriously free of PC rubbish about 'global warming' melting the Ice Dragon. Superb sagas for a winter's evening.

The Clangers - the home-knitted icon of everything late-1960s/early 1970s. Here is how they were discovered: 'Origins of the Clangers'. Spaced-out before Bush ever thought of Mars!

While here is the Pattern for a Felt Clanger. How much better the world would have been if the dire dictators had spent their days making felt clangers.

I feel happier already - The Magic Roundabout is working once more. I shall never read The Groaniad again!

But aagh!

"A saddening doubt, a dull suspicion, creeps over me. Et in Arcadia ego - I certainly did once inhabit Arcady. Can it be that I also have become an Olympian?"

Philip, in need of Olympian coffee!

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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