Too much knowledge

Saturday March 7, 2020

I heard a news item about people being 'deprived' of new technology (G5, latest, woss that? Thought it was what happened when you were shot into space).

It appears fastest way 'stuff' moves around, and there are poor folk who cannot get a choice of 130 films on their phone. Films, on a phone? How can you watch a chariot race on a phone? Apparently these people are seriously deprived.

This is not a 'rant' piece, but that too much technology is actually spoiling my one time unsophisticated enjoyment of films and books.

I must admit to the marvels of Amazon. I never watched 'Call the Midwife'. Now addicted, because the era was when my children were born and the area where many of my rellies lived before both world wars. So, bend my credit card again with earlier series on Amazon, and 'Who do you think you are?' (always presuming I can find my password).

I am totally fazed by Podcasts, BBC sounds, the Red Button, Netflix, Streaming. People talk about 'spoiler alert' because it appears you can almost watch something hot from its birth, before it is issued to the hoi polloi.

The access to a world of encyclopaedic knowledge via wikipaedia etc is what is spoiling much of my enjoyment in a weird way. This is allied to my insatiable curiosity, and tying events together which are generations apart. I had to do a broadcast on local radio last week on Brexit. A stiff challenge. A week steeped in French, reading, listening, pronouncing, history of EEC (all in French).

Also that week were harrowing broadcasts of the 75th anniversary of the holocaust. I was nine when Belsen was liberated. My father was in the Royal Marines, and my Mum kept all newspapers away from me, but she did not hide the pictures of Belsen quick enough. That horror has lasted all my life.

A neighbour, very erudite, very right wing, lent me a book on London, written by a French diplomat. The book is fascinating; his vocabulary enormous. He was very unflattering about the Jews. I HAD to 'Google' him. He was an extreme anti-Semite, collaborated with Vichy during the war, and de Gaulle tried to stop his admittance to the Academie Francaise (akin to our Royal Society). I nearly stopped reading the book because the author seemed rather nasty, and very superior. But I would have missed an excellent book. Then I got a film out of the library, excellent, loads of Oscars. Then I saw in the credits 'Harvey Weinstein' and thought 'I am not going to watch a film directed by that awful man'. How stupid can you get? The film was the thing that mattered; his personal deeds are external to that.

I remember being furious when the actor Nigel Hawthorne 'came out'. Not that I am homophobic, but furious that this poor man had to 'come clean' about his private life (not illegal, either) or be badgered into a nervous breakdown. Can you keep truth and fiction apart?

The Gardener
A Moodscope member.

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