Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Saturday 1 August 2009

A dilettante society completely loses the plot

I like James May, I really do, he's both amusing and quite subtle I think, and of the three presenters on Top Gear I think he's probably the most 'grounded' in some kind of reality (or he's a good actor) and I like his motoring column in the Saturday Telegraph, but I think his latest idea, apparently dreamed up over a beer with friends, takes media frivolity way beyond even some of the more grotesque reality shows of the past few years. His idea is to build a full-size house out of Lego bricks, complete with working shower and toilet, and to live in it for 'a few days' as part of his new BBC series James May's Toy Stories. No doubt it will become a 'visitor attraction' in the winery in Dorking (Surrey) where it's being built once he has finished filming it for his programme.

I'm sure it will be fun and whimsical and I'll probably find myself idly watching it when it airs. I know I probably sound like some awful old curmudgeon for writing this, although I really don't think I am, but I do admit to feeling that our quest for 'amusement' and 'diversion' in our pampered, bored lives (and most of our lives are pretty pampered, even in a recession/depression, in the wealthy countries of the world) is going beyond what is decent and proper when one reads about how people must live in many poorer countries. Now, passing on to much more serious matters, should I have pink champagne with my mixed berries and cream, or some rather lovely Sauternes, as a follow-on to the rib-eye steak and salad I've just enjoyed with a very nice Sicilian Cabernet Sauvignon? You see how bad it's got?

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