One Man and His God

Years ago, in the dead hours of Sunday afternoon before Songs of Praise and after the black-and-white film, you could watch One Man and His Dog.  This most spectacularly dull programme featured a farmer and his sheepdog performing such feats as getting a flock of sheep through a gate two at a time (zzzzzzzzzzz) arranging them in a quadrangle, a square, a tortoise and a wedge like a Roman army; getting them to leap over hedges and perform the double pike with arabesque, and having them pile one on top of the other like the sheep in Wallace and Gromit’s A Close Shave; all of this using just a whistle and some arcane words only the dog could understand.  (Incidentally one of the best jokes in the Aardman film comes when Gromit is up before the judge on a charge of sheep-rustling: the headline reads ‘Sheep Dog Trial.’)

I’ve been impressed with Aardman lately (not that I wasn’t impressed before, because I was.  Deeply.)  But just recently, determined not to fall foul of the artistic industry’s tendency to ‘pick it up, f*** it up and drop it,’ they have sold a number of shares to their workers, thus avoiding the danger of a takeover and subsequent Disney-fication:

Anything that avoids Disneyfication and keeps things local is all right by me.  I shudder to think of what Disney might do to Wallace and Gromit: I still haven’t forgiven them for the outrages they committed on the work of A A Milne and by way of compensation I spend a long time looking at the wonderful illustrations to the books by E H Shephard:

On Sundays when I was a child there were any number of church services: an eight o’clock, then family communion followed by Matins and then Evensong in the evening.  The church would be full for communion, less so for Matins and Evensong and very sparse at eight o’clock in the morning, but my poor father had to do them all even when no-one else was there.  Because after all God was there.  So it was one man and his God…

There!  I got there in the end…

Kirk out



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