There being so much more interesting to do in the pages of my books; I was watching an average of an hour a day back when I was a working man-- Netflix, until I decided to stop giving my money to their corporate politicking, Hulu, until their free trial was up, and then Amazon, since because I buy Prime at the old folks' and poor people's half-price discount in any event I may as well watch their video product-- and while I continue to subscribe to Prime, I haven't watched their videos for a couple of months.
What I have been watching is a television series from the late '50s, early '60s of the last century called 'Hancock's Half Hour' (a radio series preceded the television show); Tony Hancock had an unhappy later life (thus says Wikipedia) and committed suicide, requiescat in pace, but some of his work is very amusing.
All of this rambling was occasioned by the episode I watched earlier called The Set That Failed, which revolves around Tony's predicament when his televisison set stops working (he changes from one to the other-- yes, two television channels at that point in Great Britain's long and scintillating history of public entertainments-- by kicking the box). I cannot know how much of satirical intent there was in the minds of the writers and of Hancock, but the scene where he and his friend Sid walk into a more or less unknown family's apartment-- Tony has to see his television program, you understand, and the previous ruses didn't work-- and are able to pass themselves off as two adult children of the house because the parents and other siblings are so intent on watching the television screen that they don't recognize Tony and Sid is priceless: do we not now live in a world where it can be said, 'oh, that entire generation is glued to its screens'? I found it to be quite prescient.
In the context of 'Hancock's Half Hour', the 'more or less unknown family'-- I didn't catch their name-- is depicted as belonging to the working class, and I expect that we were intended to understand that the uneducated poor would naturally have such constant recourse to the new technology. Tony himself is always pretentious but in the series is-- most of the time-- a working comedian, Jerry Seinfeld avant l'homme (no idea if that is in fact an expression in French or if, perhaps, the concept isn't expressed by some other phrase), when he works i.e. an artist of sorts, and not a prole. Perhaps the poor still use the 'tv' in a way that the more fortunate don't, but a very great number of people with material advantages in their family lives, educations and careers become slaves to their 'screens', too, alas.
Am reading up on Adam of Saint Victor (m 1126), in the three volumes of Digby Wrangham's The Liturgical Poetry of... (1881). There is a critical edition of his proses, sequences, at Brepols for most of 200 dollars which is a sum I cannot afford (hmm; wonder if the University of Oregon's library is open in any way: card-holders at the Eugene Public Library can borrow U. of O. library system books and make use of their access to the interlibrary loan network) but Wrangham is informative and faintly amusing in his late 19th century prosey sort of way. He was vicar of Darrington in Yorkshire (Wrangham, not the venerable Adam of Saint Victor), his church being Saint Luke and All Saints, presumably.
The building [of St Luke and All Saints] was restored in 1855, and local people including antiquarians complained strongly of damage to historical features. Fine workmanship on rare stone effigies in the north chancel aisle had been "obliterated" by liberal use of whitewash. A Norman arch between nave and tower had been partially removed to make way for a large pew. A "considerable quantity" of carved oak furniture and woodwork had been sold and dispersed. A "highly interesting stone effigy of a "recumbent figure in armour" had "mysteriously disappeared."
Digby Strangeways Wrangham, our author, doesn't appear in Wikipedia, but his father, also Digby, does. Our Digby seems not to have been much interested in folllowing the parent's career in the law and politics.
I am sometimes quite daft; my starting point for this post comes at the end, tsk-- Tony Hancock was a side path that happily reunited with its source. Dr Henri de Villiers, who directs the Schola Sainte Cécile at Saint Eugène in Paris, has posted twice this week at their blog Liturgia (here and here) discussing Adam of Saint Victor's three sequences for the Pentecost Octave (one would be right, I think, to expect a third post on the sequence Qui procedis ab utroque for tomorrow, Thursday...). I am forced to admit that the actual liturgical execution of the Victorine's works yesterday and today was, unfortunately, not flawless: but where else can once catch even a glimpse of the beauty that was?
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