TV. I found Monday night's programme very much of a meditation on the oddity of the modern world-and this, by the way. shows that watching television need not be a wholly passive affair.
The last programme, " Secrets in the Well," magnificently demonstrated the scientific skill of modern man who can open the closed pages of history with test-tubes and make history itself serve applied science. It was, by the way, a fascinating example of television's power to instruct and entertain. Compare it with the first programme. called " Show Case." Its character was such that it seemed impossible that any reasonably civilised society could have conceived of such banality and vulgarity. the palm of hitting a new low in this matter being awarded to the gentleman who thought it funny to act as a small baby and to the studio audience which dutifully laughed. no doubt at the producer's nod.
In between we had a Donizetti operetta which also told a rather vulgar story, but told it with a sense of unsophisticated fun and harnessed it to beautiful and tuneful music.
We also had " Lady Barnett at Home," which attractively showed a gentle and dignified English home opened to the public gaze because of curiosity caused to millions through a parlour game.
There is no space to work out the moral of all this, the misapplication of brains and dignity in the modern world to the raw appetite of the lowest tastes of the mob, but it is certainly a subject of meditation.
One can only hope that by some unexpected twist Commercial Television will find that in the home circle at least space can only be sold if the goods delivered are well above the level to which the B.B.C. can sink.
Lady Pak enham and Lady Birkenhead added intelligence and charm to Friday's " In the News," which avoided the party-line. But one fears that in the short time allotted to the programme there is more entertainment to he gained from the suppressed anger of politicians than the wisdom of experts.