Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gore Fest

The South Bank Show on Gore Vidal ends with a bit of awkwardness between the unpredictable 82 year old Vidal and the toadying jet black haired 68 year old Melvyn Bragg.

The camera lingers on Vidal for a while and as he starts to read we see pictures of the Earth in space.

He reads the longest sentence I've ever heard, from 'The Golden Age', 2000. I think this is what he says. It's a little too much for me.

"As for the human case, generations of men come and go and in eternity are no more than bacteria upon a luminous slide and the fall of a republic or the rise of empire, so significant to those involved, is not detectable upon the slide even with an interested eye to behold that steadily proliferating species which would either end in time or, with luck, become something else, since change is the nature of life and its hope."

We see Vidal read the last few lines as operatic music accompanies a still of the man himself and as the credits to the programme roll, as we cogitate in a state of awe, we hear the following voiceover...

"Sarah Ferguson's on a mission to help a family of overweight smokers in the first of a two-part documentary. Can she battle the bulge on a budget? The Duchess in Hull, new to ITV1, tomorrow night at 9. Next here, Hitler In Colour."


  1. That's ITV for you: no sense of occasion. Mind you, the BBC are no better, what with their habit of squeezing the end credits to about half a square inch. It's disrespectful, that's what it is! No wonder British telly's going down the plughole.

  2. It is these moments that encapsulate the nature of the mass media. They should be treasured. Thank you for recording this one.

  3. I can't believe that there are people who moan about the lack of variety in programming these days.

  4. Whatever you think of Americans, the fact that Gore Vidal is American is a definite plus point in their favour.

  5. With Corrie now, they don't wait until the credits. They stick captions on the screen about forthcoming shows during the programme itself.
    Any respect for the writers, performers and viewers has gone out the window in the battle for ratings.

  6. Frumps - Time was, the Best Boy could show off to his mates. Now he could be anybody.

    Vicus - I'd like to thank Mr Murdoch and his amazing recording equipment.

    Istvanski - Exactly! I remember the days when it was It's A Royal Knockout followed by The Horse of the Year Show followed by The Royal Variety Performance.

    Billy - He's the anti-Bush.

    Willie - I notice the captions but I couldn't tell you which programmes they plug at the end of Corrie. They're just an annoyance.