I'm currently in the midst of watching Sir Kenneth Clark's celebrated Civilisation, first broadcast by the BBC in 1969 and subsequently by PBS. I had heard so much about it, and remember watching it as a child, and was looking forward to having a guided tour of Western Civilisation by one of its most outspoken advocates. Unfortunately the tour, thus far, has been something of a disappointment.
Sometimes I think I’m married to Snow White. I’ve already mentioned that Susannah has every squirrel and chipmunk in the neighbourhood eating out of her hand (literally). This doesn’t really worry me, though it means that our birdfeeder has become squirrel territory, which translates as “no birds allowed”. As someone who has long enjoyed watching the birds at the feeder whilst drinking my morning espresso, this is a little irksome. Now, instead of the silent serenity of avian visitors, I find myself besieged by squirrels, peering through the window or, in the case of a male whom my wife has aptly called “Jumpy”, jumping up at the window to demand to be fed!
I wrote this piece of bellicose Bellocian rhetoric on October 29, 2011. In the wake of ongoing clerical capitulation to the forces of darkness, it reads as relevantly today as it did almost eight years ago.