Rout of the Rebel Angels, by William Blake

A Dog Starv'd

A dog starv'd at his master's gate
Predicts the ruin of the state.
      -- William Blake,
     "Auguries of Innocence"

Monday, November 26, 2007

Big Rivers and the Mainstream

The text for today comes from Cyril Connolly (who died exactly 33 years ago); the source is his The Unquiet Grave, a collection of philosophical thoughts and observations which he published under the pseudonym "Palinarus":
The river of truth is always splitting up into arms that reunite. Islanded between them, the inhabitants argue for a lifetime as to which is the mainstream.
Not a bad thing to keep in mind as we debate -- "argue for a lifetime" -- the relevance of the mainstream media.

While we're on the subject of Cyril Connolly and the mainstream, another of those weird little convergences of coincidence... The Wikipedia article on Connolly includes this tidbit:
In April 2007 the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography marked the twentieth anniversary of The Simpsons in its online newsletter, with approximations for the Simpson family from its list of subjects: Cyril Connolly was selected as the equivalent of Homer Simpson, being judged "a man who, like Homer, never wrote a great novel; whose genius, like Homer's, lay in failure; a man notable for his 'greed, his sloth, his gourmandizing, his inconsistency and melancholy.'"
I have no idea if this is a legitimate assessment of Connolly's work (or of Homer Simpson's, for that matter). But coincidentally, last night -- at least in our area -- the Fox TV network ran two episodes of The Simpsons, back to back, the second of which was a repeat of an episode called "You Kent Always Say What You Want." The episode is one of several in which the show lampoons the Fox TV network, especially cable's Fox News. (Always entertaining, these episodes are, given that the show itself airs on Fox.) Worth keeping an eye out for, should it show up again in repeats -- or of course, on DVD.

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