Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

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Idylls of the Idiotic
Yesterday was not a great day. First, Jessie (our cat) threw up en route to my mother's. Picture me dabbing at her puke-covered fur with baby wipes in the back of the car just outside Bath (and still more than an hour from our destination), while my daughter attempts to wash out her carry-case on the pavement nearby. J is much recovered after a bath on arrival, and her portable vomitorium is now stowed out of sight for a couple of days, but it was not pleasant.

Then my laptop broke. I'm writing this on my daughter's, and must perforce be brief. Mine is at a repair shop in a nearby village, being treated by a couple of rustic craftsmen who give the impression of having been in the laptop repair business for at least five generations. We wait for news.

This morning there was a programme on Radio 4 about plagiarism, a subject that interests me greatly. (The copyright page of Barthes' Death of the Author makes a great way into discussion in class.) It was presented by Robert McCrum and featured a gang of the usual LF suspects - plus, oddly, Malcolm Gladwell - but I had to switch off after ten minutes, because a) someone (I think it may have been Will Self) whitened my knuckles by attributing a mangled version of T. S. Eliot's line about mature poets stealing to W. H. Auden, and b) within two minutes someone else mentioned that Enobarbus's speech about Cleopatra on the barge was lifted from Holinshed. "North's Plutarch, you noob!!" I yelled, then lunged for the Off switch lest I have one of my "turns".

Okay - I've exceeded my time, and must go!

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It's only because I love Radio 4 that I get so annoyed with it. But it's dropped the ball an awful lot this last year.

I suspect you and I yelled "Plutarch!" more or less in unison. Stupid mistake. The programme missed quite a few things, I felt.

Sounds like I didn't miss too much by skipping the other 20 minutes.

Frustration is the price you pay for erudition. Wouldn't you be happier with X-Factor, Masterchef, One Direction, 50 Shades? My bud can give a twenty-five minute lecture on Harry Styles' hair, though, so I'm not sure even that renders you safe from highly technical and detailed analysis with plenty of room for dispute and contentious opinions.

I've had many a happy hour shouting at Will Self. Hope you get your laptop fixed soon.

I don't mean to laugh in the face of your pain, but okay, this entry made me lol. <3

I'm glad some good came out of it! I've got to admit, my daughter and I were laughing somewhat hysterically throughout the whole affair.

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