Here is a repository of the texts of my together with some readings of them.
The essays were broadcast by WXXI 91.5 Classical of Rochester, NY on Salmagundy each Saturday at 9:35am Eastern Time, from the beginning of time (1985) till May 2009 when Entropa (evil Goddess of Change-for-the-Worse-or-Possibly-the-Worst) troubled the minds of the WXXIites and they retired Simon and Salmagundy, and Rochester went into a terminal decline---for ever.
But I do continue on that brilliant bastion of all that's good and kultured, on WCLV's syndicated Weekend Radio on many (mainly NPRish) stations traditionally on the first and third weekends of the month, though your weekendage may vary, (these are archived for a couple of months).
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| Arts | Britain
The other day, well really quite while ago by the time you hear this, and much to my surprise, someone at work mentioned that yet another round of those Olympic Game thingies was going on in London. They seemed to think that I should be taking an interest since it was being held in the land of my birth, and I didnít have the heart to tell them that A) I had carefully avoided the damn thing by making quite sure that my visit, earlier this year, was most definitely when it wasnít being held, on the grounds of London already being wildly over-crowded even before they shoved a great load of athletes and spectators and what have you into it, and B) that I had, in the time between said avoidily visit and the other-day mentioning, completely forgotten about the damn thing. So I rushed home (well, not immediately, I did wait for my usual knocking-off time) and checked it out on the BBC site so Iíd have something to add to the next Olympic mentioning session at work, if there happened to be one.
|I hate crowds, especially really excited crowds, not to mention the downright hysteria that so often surrounds them, so when I planned this year’s visit to the UK, I made a point of carefully avoiding the crowds and the excitement, not to mention the downright hysteria surrounding the upcoming London Olympics. Foolishly, however, I completely forgot to avoid the crowds and the excitement, not to mention the downright hysteria surrounding the Queen’s Jubilee! Completely missed the fact that my oh-so-cleverly chosen Olympics-bypassing visit would have slap-bang in its middle the entire nation going gaga for a week or more, congregating in vast excited, not to mention downright hysterical crowds, simply because the present Queen is still the present Queen.|
|We have a saying in England, in situations when, for instance, some chap is failing miserably to awaken the interest of a young lady "Huh! Chance'd be a fine thing." and chance may well be a fine thing, but coincidence is a pain sometimes, and it's funny how it takes over and everything seems to happen all at once. Often disastrously. |
|We have, and I’m sure that they are all official, in strict calendar sequence Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March, and we even have International Left-Handers’ Day in August, on the thirteenth, and then...then just to spoil my sequence. Then... then, though I believe less official, there is the American Pi Day which is also in March, and which does not (as I bet you were thinking) celebrate the movie, or the song, or indeed the pastry, but instead, being held on 3.14, celebrates the famous mathematical constant π of which that date, in American usage, is the first three digits: and I won’t embarrass you by adding that there’s also a Pi Approximation Day when, using the date expressed in the proper British way twenty-two slash seven, we can celebrate Pi rather more accurately.|
But now, at last, and to be a lot more rational than π day and to get us back on track as well, this April the twenty sixth at about about eleven fifteen a.m. we proudly introduce East Anglian History Hour when the whole nation will celebrate the many and great contributions people from my part of the British Isles made to America: not to mention to the World. And I won’t mention the World again.
|One of the great, absolutely horrid, awful, disconcerting and absolutely poopy curses of modern life is communication. Well at least it can be. Sometimes. Especially over long distances. Not to mention with family.|
|The famous science fiction author, inventor and futurist Arthur C, Clarke famously wrote that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. I know how he meant it, but with all due respect to his undoubted brilliance, I think he totally missed the real, and really sad, point of this famous third law.|
Pianos keep falling on my head.
That doesn’t mean that I will soon be squashed flat, dead
With a piano on my head!
Those pianos keep falling on my head, they keep falling
Nothing’s worrying me
’Cause I might get on TV ...
|Not that I’m much interested in such things, being as I am totally out of touch with what’s going on in the world, nor indeed particularly interested in real life at all, but I noticed a headline the other weekend on the BBC site, from England, about some woman with excessive masses of hair, which she apparently makes amends for by having a total lack of moral compass, by the name of Rebekah Streams or Something who works or worked for that nice Mr Rapine Morlock’s News InterThingy, or the Naughty News of the Eaves, or possibly both, being arrested, arrested by what were referred to on the site as ‘hacking police’. It wasn’t the exact police species doing the arresting that arrested my attention so much as how the arresting was done that, in the words of the old song ‘really got me going’: as the site said ‘The 43-year-old was arrested by appointment on Sunday’. By appointment?? My mind just can’t handle it.|
[fade in harp music] I’m... I’m...
|Ben Nevis, at four thousand, four hundred and six feet, is reputed to be the tallest mountain in the whole of Britain (by the English, the Welsh and probably a small majority of the Northern Irish) and, for some unfathomable reason, merely the tallest mountain in the whole of Scotland by the Scots. I say ‘reputed’ because I cannot vouchsafe to you it’s height from personal experience, save that the foothills are quite altitudinous. They are also quite sheepish. In fact they are knee deep in Scottish sheep with that typically Scottish ‘Let’s get the bastards’ evil gleam in their eyes. Utterly terrifyingly sheep-encrusted, and also really rainy. And somewhat cooler than one would hope.|
|When I get older, losing my hair,|
Several days from now.
Will you still be sending me a Valentine;
Birthday greeting; bottle of wine1?
When I’ve been out till a quarter to nine!!
Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me, will you still feed me? ...