Thursday, March 30, 2006

An odd thing about now is that people who people flock to listen to as wise or talented are frequently people who have no idea where they are.

They are jet-lagged; they just got here; they aren't here for long. People gather from miles around to hear what these nowhere people sing or lecture or lead the meeting.

This is somehow related to once I read a famous smart person who said everyone had done all there important reading by the time they were 25. I found that shocking and depressing. This would mean that by the time people have direct decisionmaking power they are living in a world of ideas that is decades old.

I mean, the world does look like that, I admit. Like it's run by people who haven't been shaken up by an idea in years and who don't know in any detail at all where they are.

Roy Strong writes books of basic history about the history of England. I like that. He's smart, a good writer, and his books have lots of great pictures.

He writes these books because he is conservative--tons more conservative than I am, for example. In his history of English art I just started reading a little and looking at a lot, he talks about how much of art and architecture in England is related to the Romans, who ruled England for several hundred years, and the Bible. People have ceased to be educated in these things so they don't know what is around them.

Yeah, I thought, and he doesn't know and refuses to know what is around him in terms of people who have moved to England, been born there, grown up there, with roots in the non-white parts of the British empire. He, I imagine but do not know, is as ignorant about their culture as young Brits are, he imagines, about Rome and the Bible.

Knowing it all would be a lot to know