Thursday, 9 July 2009

A less puritanical past

Wikipedia is a fantastic phenomenon.

At the same time both an old-curiosity shop of nuggets of genuine arcane and obscure trivia and also a source of mis-information and downright bigotry. Not to mention an excellent vehicle for plagiarists and sloppy thinkers everywhere.

Most days I look at the home page - to see the historical anniversaries such as today's anniversary of the ratification of the 14th amendment to the US constitution in 1868. And to look at 'today's featured article'. Today's is an absolute gem.

Made all the funnier by the
poe-faced and pedantic comments on the so-called 'discussion' page. Pure Monty Python but also a reminder that our ancestors had a far earthier and healthier attitude to life than we do. Personally I blame our present up-tightness on all those bloody Presbyterians and Victorian middle classes.

So here's to the spirit of Chaucer and Bruegel - and a version of the past you won't find in the school books or the costume dramas.

No comments: