2012 — 12 March: Monday

A mild and misty start1 with plenty of time for a chap to change the dressing over his "duelling scar" and, in doing so, see the neat stitches for the first time. All looks well, with no sign of infection and no discomfort. Good!

It's 08:21 and there's breakfast and a packed lunch to ponder. Not to mention the possibility of my Blu-ray of Twiglet #4 turning up (thank you, Junior) though my walking companion watched his copy last night and tells me he was severely disappointed. (The fourth book is, after all, very different from the earlier three though it's also the one I liked best.)

In more primitive...

... times, (in October 1999, to be precise) Channel 4 transmitted the first comprehensive UK TV history of pornography some ten years after its producer, Fenton Bailey, originally pitched2 the idea. This must be one of the harsher examples of a production lingering in "development hell." Part of the agonising was simply over the title. "Was this to be a history of porn or erotica? As art critic Edward Lucie-Smith points out, parents have no problem looking at Bronzino's Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time, (aka Allegory of Lust, by Agnolo Bronzino, 1545) which depicts a naked woman being French-kissed by a naked boy who is not only underage but also her son, while they are having kittens about their kids seeing things on the Internet."

Fast forward to today, and the "work" of an Italian artist yclept Anna Utopia Giordano who has been reworking some classic nudes to align them with more "modern" standards of beauty. She's tackled the Bronzino — you can see the original if you click the pic:

Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time

Here are further examples of this artistic vandalism. (My opinion.) And I fairly recently captured an amusing counter-example, using Michelangelo's David, here.

Nice to see...

... AC Grayling ripping into a book, even if I missed its original appearance (I must have been busy):

The questions range over creation, the existence of evil, evolution, intelligent design and most of the other familiar old debating points, plus "How does the death of Jesus save the world?", "Why believe Jesus rose from the dead?" and "How much do you need to believe to be a Christian?"
Since these latter questions premise membership of the asylum already, I shall focus just on the various questions that touch on the relation of science and religion, because the interest attaching to Polkinghorne is that he is a physicist who became a Church of England vicar, which makes people think that he has a special line into the science-religion question. Were he a vicar who gave up the Church of England to become a physicist he would not be regarded as anything more special than sensible; but this is how the world wags.

AC Grayling in New Humanist

I particularly giggled over The gaps-god and best-explanation strategies (which both come down to "we don't know the answer so let's say Fred did it") can be left to sink in the murk of their own fatuity. Who wouldn't?

Right. Time I wasn't here. The mist seems to be burning off nicely.

Today's walk...

... is by no means the longest one we do, though it starts in Petersfield, so is relatively far-flung. However, the ascent of "Shoulder of Mutton" is a severe test of the calf muscles. There's a view from our lunch bench. (There's a photo of what it looked like in rather clearer conditions in May 2008.) Today's weather was glorious, but very hazy. Still, I'm sure the exercise does us good :-)

After a shower and a cuppa, I almost feel human again, too. It's now 15:31 and I snaffled Mike's copy of Twiglit #4 for my evening pixels. The copy Junior has bought for me has yet to materialise.


... the kerfuffle about a current 'Doonesbury' strip that's characterising Texan laws that mandate sonograms (apparently in a bid to get women wanting abortions to change their minds on seeing an image of a fetus) as "state rape" I can only wish that Texan journalist Molly Ivins was still alive so I could read what she made of it all.



1  Oddly, just like the BBC predicted.
2  In 1981, as a student and co-editor of Isis, the Oxford University magazine, Bailey had reviewed the state of the porn business in an "Empire of the Senses" issue that WH Smith promptly withdrew from its shelves, so he may have had some inkling of what lay ahead.