Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Sunday 31 March 2013

Hubris writ large

For anyone who despairs of the self-publicising antics of today's celebrities, I offer a 26-year-old news story I stumbled across this weekend that somehow appealed to my sense of the ridiculous.

Plus ça change...
A splendid, eye-catching floral display intended to advertise Linda McCartney's current prestigious photographic exhibition in Bath was dug up by order of the Thames Valley Constabulary on February 27th, just two days after it was planted.

The 20,000 highly colourful primulas and hyacinths spelling out 'Linda McCartney' adjacent to the M4 motorway were so eye-catching that they caused a four-vehicle pile-up during the evening rush-hour on February 26th.

Several casualties were admitted to a hospital in Slough. The flowers were dug up at first light the next day and were sold off to aid the Great Ormond Street children's hospital.
(The Beatles Monthly: April 1987)


  1. One thing in recent years I have wondered about was whether Paul used the then Sibelius 7 computer programme or its equivalent for his major compositions. I recall a number of Prommers being of that opinion.

  2. "appealed to my sense of the ridiculous."

    It appeals to mine too, but there is also a touch of weariness.

  3. Demetrius, I suppose, music being largely a matter of mathematics, it could be seen as roughly the equivalent of using a pocket calculator to work out the intervals or proportions for a piece of op-art - a phenomenon more or less contemporaneous with McCartney's compositions.

    AKH, I know what you mean; in this case, it's compounded by the way that her daughter is now so firmly entrenched in the clebrity stratum and making use of the same kind of publicity stunts.

  4. 20,000 highly colourful primulas and hyacinths

    Wonder if they knew what they were being used for.

  5. JH, at least it wasn't too cold for them:

    "Milder conditions spread to all parts on the 26th. 16 degrees was recorded at the London Weather Centre on the 28th, making it the warmest February day in central London since 1961."
    (Met office records)

    A far cry from our present climate...


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