Wednesday, 6 August 2008


As I think i have mentioned before, Norm is perhaps the greatest blogger on these islands. He posts with intelligence, wit, verve and tolerance - above all tolerance, the quality that is draining from political and cultural and even scientific discourse like blood from an English batsman's face. I plead guilty of course to being wretchedly intolerant; this tends to make up for my physical and moral weaknesses. But at least I've never told anyone I'll delete their comments if they don't share my views, unlike this clown. (I don't mean DK by the way). Heh - what if we'd heard this in late nineteenth century central Europe:

The debate on Newtonian physics is over. Newtonian scepticism is a morally indefensible position. All "skeptics" are trying to do is spread fear and doubt about Newtonian mechanics.

Actually I think some people did try it but luckily Albert just ignored them.

By the way, in British ufology, "sceptic" means a gentle agnostic type, and "skeptic" means a reverse Fox Mulder who does not want to believe. It sort of takes advantage of the UK and US spellings.

Anyway. Back to Norm. And WotN is the brilliant author Adele Geras, and DotN is the brilliant poet Sophie Hannah, how cool is that. I bet they play fantastic games of scrabble.

Norm posts, while on the idea of government targets for the Olympics thusly:

It's hard to believe I read this, but new legislation now forbids England's cricketers from dropping catches, and all batsmen down to number six in the batting order are to average at least 45 runs per Test innings.

Yes, well, I don't agree there, Norm. You see we have had a voluntary code of practice now since 1877 and I think we can all see that it is not working. We have cricketers being bowled round their legs, caught at point, hooking their first ball off a fast bowler, bowling their first delivery straight to first slip, dropping catches in frankly inconceivable ways, and it is all doing tremendous damage to society. We are reaching a point where people's first reaction to the idea of cricket will be to laugh. And think of the cost to the ECB over the years of this grandstanding incompetence, this binge-failing. No - the time is right for legislation to act in the best interests of cricket and society in general. As part of the legislation we will create the Cricket Commission, headed by Dame Suzi Leather, Lisa Jardine, or someone else with links to NuLab but no interest in or specialised knowledge of cricket at all.

Well anyway. When I was a child, Target was a wonderful word, which implied that there were Doctor Who books that i could buy (Target was the paperback imprint of WH Allen, which published 150 odd novelisations of Doctor Who over twenty odd years). I loved that word, and I loved its connotations: the discovery in the shop, the gentle flick through, the couple of hours of blessed silence on my own devouring this (to me) wholly new adventure of the Doctor. Now, it implies government driven standards, for me and others compulsorily to achieve, enforced by government apparatchiks under the bizarre language twisting labels of "entitlements" and "rights". I find, more often than not, that a child's story will contain nuggets of something: linguistic flair, unusual construction, description, whatever - that was not part of the initial brief. Traditionally I've ignored the brief and concentrated on the genius of the child's work. Now, we're actually ratcheting up the target culture, being endlessly focused, judging the work of infinite imaginations on narrow sets of criteria. It is the managerialising of creation. It doesn't matter how kindly you put it, or how many vivid colours you use on the child's work: it's come down from business and management and it is being stamped, like the boot, on the faces of those who actually do have an insight into life - namely, children.

A Target novel - yesterday

You can tell by this semi-plagiaristic waffle that i am still poorly and feeling sorry for myself. I have not eaten a meal now in 38.75 hours and my guts are still churning like I have just eaten a massive curry at that place Viz always used to promote.

1 comment:

Crushed said...

Max Planck was advised not to go into Physics because all the major discoveries have ben made.

Lord Kelvin stated in 1903 that there ere only two things Physics didn't understand;

Black body radiation and the failure to detect the ether.

Turned out the Devil was in these two details...