Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Thursday, 24 January 2013
Up betimes, and to the office by water
This is the second year in a row that a flimsy gazebo under which I try to do most of my messy work has collapsed through the weight of snow. It's a good job they are so inexpensive. It's also a good job that I have other, more pressing work to do in someone else's heated workshop.
I called in briefly to make sure stuff had not frozen up inside, and put out a lot of fatty kitchen scraps for the birds, on that oil-drum you can see to the right. The scraps included the left-overs for the mutton stew, which I thought would be appreciated by the crows and magpies. When I returned a few minutes later, all the mutton had gone and I thought that the birds had made light work of it, until I saw the footprints of Jonah the Collie Dog around the base of the drum. He's taller than I thought.
I am always saying that if I was born again into a different era, it would - by choice - be sometime during the 1660s, after the Restoration and at the beginning of what we now think of as the 'modern age'.
I had a mini-revalation this morning (before I had started thinking too hard about pressing issues) which was that most of our modern social problems stem from the sheer amount of us who currently walk the face of the earth, and how easy it is to keep tabs on each and every one of us, despite the astronomical figures involved in counting us.
In the 17th century, it was quite possible to bump into the King of England whilst out for a stroll in a London park, and not only that, but it would have been impolite not to bid him good morning, if not have a lengthy conversation with him. The chances were that he would only have been recognised by people of substance in any event, so he would not have to have a conversation with every one of his subjects in the hour or so he strolled (or trolled) around in the park.
Oh well, I suppose that I am only behaving like every other motorist who wishes that only he and a handful of others were fortunate enough to own a motor car, every time he is stuck in heavy traffic. I also suppose these things have a way that they sort themselves out into a natural balance (viz The Great Fire of London), but it's not always in a way that is immediately obvious - or pleasant - to the people involved.
I think that there is a strong relation between the present obsession with celebrity and the fear of being faceless - and therefore worthless - in a large crowd. The very tool that modern and social media provides for the opportunity of instant recognition is in itself a symptom of an escalating hysteria caused by over-population. In the 17th century, fame was an unremarkable thing for the very few, and not at all to be envied.
Hey! All you Creationists! Where did all these extra souls come from?