Thursday, January 17, 2013

peeling digital bonnet

Landscape with peeling paint and rust.

"What is digital?" a neighbour asks me. She comes past as I take some photographs in The Grove. By way of conversation I remark, as I point mine in the direction of the sun, on the versatility of digital cameras.Hard to explain as I don't really know myself, except that information is conveyed in terms of numbers.  Analogue doesn't really help a simple account just because it is the alternative and conveys information in a continuous wave.  She and her husband are proud of possessing neither a television set nor a computer. RR, How about a sonnet to explain? Or anyone else with similar inclinations.

Joan G greets me  from the driver's seat of her car through the half open door. On her knee is the instruction manual. "I'm trying to find the bonnet release", she says. 


Roderick Robinson said...

It's no good, I just can't get on with people who take pride in not having a telly. Look I'm a snob - a hard-line snob - and have just posted to that effect. But the telly thing won't do.

There's a very modest, low-budget series on Ch4 at the moment called She-Wolves (an unfortunate title but it was used first by Gray and then by WS) which deals with the women who have ruled England. It's as unpretentious as a history lesson with a minimum of hateful "reconstruction" and a pleasingly demeanour-ed lecturer moving from one ruin to another in Britain and in France. It's packed rather too much with facts and dates but that's OK, rather that than something intended for idiots. Although a civilised well-educated person (and thus, not I) might well be familiar with these heroic women it's unlikely they would have had the information presented to them in this specially "grouped" way. Thus the argument, with the telly-less people, is that they are turning their faces away from enlightenment under the guise of avoiding technology that they don't understand. Chances are they don't understand the technology associated with radio and gas ovens but still use both. What they are turning away from is the charge of being associated with vulgarity, apparently believing that the telly will somehow force-feed them Strictly Come Dancing. Or perhaps they read 1984 (though somehow I doubt it) and have been in a state of terror ever since.

But there's a wider issue. You are tolerant and I am not. As they avert their eyes from the silver screen I avert my eyes from them.

I don't think a sonnet would be "appropriate" (in the Brian Hope sense). A more likely template probably exists in Songs of Innocence.

I apologise for being both obvious and heavy-handed.

Unknown said...

Neither obvious nor heavy handed. Well said. It needs saying.
People who are proud of not having tellies are drags because they cannot contribute to conversations about programs that are an important part of every day life. News programs and significant documentaries, if they insist on being serious. But even Stictly Come Dancing and various soaps are, like it or not, part of the nations culture. You need to know what's in the air if you want to count yourself alive.

Not so much a question of tolerance. I feel sorry for people who miss some of the outstanding programs like Borgen or Jim Al Kalili on physics and chemistry. And The She Wolves of England.

Sorry that a sonnet seems inappropriate. Allow me once, just once to correct a spelling error. Bryan Hope spelt his name with a "y". Something which I was not allowed to forget.

An interesting portrait. Surely not RR even wearing his his snob hat!

Roderick Robinson said...

I appreciate the way you've widened up an argument that I had narrowed down too much. You're quite right. I do not watch Strictly Come Dancing but I'm aware of it and what it represents. That knowledge isn't corrupting; among other things it allows us to make sense out of tabloid newspaper headlines when we pick up our (non-tabloid) newspaper.

You've corrected me about Bryan Hope before and I stand ashamed. Trouble is there are gaps between my references to him and information that is newly acquired tends to be most easily lost.

The head attached to my comments is a new departure. As I explain in my profile it is not the author of this nlog but is worn, as it were, in homage. It is of course Graham Greeme, in extremis. Possibly his death mask.