Friday, 15 February 2008

A Blissfully Brief Visit from the Land of Abominatory Codswallop

Southampton, 15th February 2008

The jury's out on Ms. Allen's generally contemptable attempt at television...
It's been a long time, and this is a short post. I merely wish to bring attention to the young media of the minute — and, yes, I am aware of the irony of her appearance in a blog named for profundity! (Although no offence against the girl personally) The dear folk at Auntie have decided, not only that BBC Three needs to be pink and "interactive", but also that a certain Ms. L. R. B. Allen should have her own high-profile chat show. Lily Allen and Friends, the website for which is at BBCi, and of which you may draw your own conclusions by viewing online on the excellent BBC iPlayer service here, features, strangely enough, Allen herself, and her "friends" (as you may or may not be aware, these are electronic "friends" from that everyday social abomination, MySpace), YouTube videos, celebrity guests, and inane questions from "friends" such as that foul, vulgar wart Chris Crocker.

As I say, I leave your judgment to you individually, but I am in the process of watching the first instalment. I'm unsure what to make of it — is it a new form of television, rooted in "new media"? Or a shocking example of declining standards in both society, and, more importantly at that fine bastion of quality the Beeb? The "newly-discovered" band is playing out, and the closest thing resembling a conclusion I have reached is that I have a largely unexpressable feeling of distaste for the whole affair. Whilst I'm at it, Rule Brittania!

God Save the Duke of Edinburgh!
D.S. B-Davies, Esq.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Tales from an Oxonian

Chelmsford, 6th January 2008

Once upon a time in Oxford
Dear Sirs,

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Darren Poole, born in the fine market town of Chelmsford, student of that most glorious bastion of academia, the University of Oxford. I was most pleased to learn that I had been invited to partake in this venture started by Messrs B-Davies and Rutland, so that I might add my (oft controversial) opinion on things of profundity.

It came to pass in recent days that both myself and my esteemed friend Cpl G Rutland esq. completed our ascent of the Everest that is teendom, and have now begun our descent into adulthood, both having now turned to the ripe old age of 20 ans-de-vie.

The celebration for this festival of our aging began on this Thursday past, when Mr Rutland and I did journey to Her Britannic Majesty's glorious capital, to view the musical whimsy of Mr Eric Idle, Monty Python's SPAMALOT. It was a rather jovial affair, with much hilarity throughout, and thoroughly enjoyable I should say!

The next day saw the continuation of festivities for both myself and my dear friend, when a dozen of our dearest fellows did descend upon the Rutland residence, in the town of Witham, for assorted japery. This was an enjoyable evening, with much mirth based around the musical stylings of a certain Guitar Hero, and the viewing of comedy in its televised form.

And so, the celebrations of our twentieth voyage around the Sun complete, I shall leave you, dear reader, until I find some other cause to ramble.

Mr D L Poole, Oxon

Sunday, 30 December 2007

The Origin of Wit

Good Easter, 30 December 2007

So, gentle reader, it strikes me that my opportunity to welcome you all has presented itself — I bid you all the warmest of 'hullo's to this truly great publication, Res Profunditas – Things of Profundity. Of course, that title itself may or may not be entirely kosher, because, I must confess from the off, it is formulated from whimsical memories of A-level Latin, rather than, say, a dictionary and grammar aid (which remains in my souther residence) — I daresay I'll be forgiven forthwith, as we all by now realise — or I do, and you shall before too long of reading this fine binding of effusivities — that 'language is a strange thing, but she is my mistress' (Fry 2005).

As some of the readership will be aware, both of your esteemed hosts have maintained collexions of writings prior to this — Mr Rutland currently keeps his personal thoughts (to which the side of this page will refer you), and I did start my own, before I found that posts came too few and far between. Before our original departure from our alma mater in the town on the ford of the Chelmer, we, along with, at various times, Messrs Blore, Davis, Morris, Poole, Siggers, Thoung, and Watts, maintained our belov'd site of FirePretty, whose cadaver rests peacefully in the cyber√¶ther — equally, there, my contributions were sparse, whereas Graham's were indomitable and legion. So, one sincerely hopes, this new endeavour will be the one to ensnare my attentions, as I venture forth with my dear cohort.

During this Christmas (or, to coin a new term, Jesusmas) holiday, as usual, that fine bastion of televisual entertainments, the British Broadcasting Corporation, has been fielding a great plurality of feature films for my viewing pleasure. These have included home-grown productions such as Oliver Twist (serialised, but a film nonetheless) and Ballet Shoes, and imported Yankee delicacies, such as Disney's Ice Princess and Disney-Pixar's Finding Nemo. I daresay I've forgotten one or two. However, one film I have particularly enjoyed this holiday was not broadcast, but, rather, called forth from the depths of the Sky Plus, whence it had languished with a blue K (for 'keep') beside it since BBC Four's Stephen Fry Night (which is quite a considerable languish-period, but not as lengthy as the Pullman-based film Ruby in the Smoke, starring Billie Piper, which I recorded on 27 December 2006, and have yet to watch...). I talk of Wilde, in which Fry himself portrays that glorious penman and renowned wit, Oscar Wilde Esq.

I must say, this film is the one I have enjoyed most so far — Fry gives a truly emotive, subtle, and faithful interpretation on a tragic man. Now, be warned, discerning reader, this film contains moments of undeniable pederasty and various other homosexual practises (not for the faint of heart), but I daresay these are forgiveable in light of the thoroughly gripping character study at the core of this work. Naturally, the film inclined me to study further this great man (on the subject of his works and wit, rather than his sordid relations), whom I had previously come across as a rally-point for gratuitous witticisms.

It now strikes me that our dear forbear was most dreadfully abused in this employment of his words — for, as I consider further, it strikes me with increasing force that this gratuitous use of his wit, or indeed any, is not contingent of wit's nature — surely gratuitous wit is simply humour. Perhaps it is witty humour, but, nonetheless, its nature is something in entertainment, in the provision of jollity, whereas, I have considered, wit doesn't have this. I believe that wit, whilst some will pronounce facetiousness its fondest users, is in fact an articulation of one's highest mental faculties — a surest signpost of some ultimate zone of mental effulgence. Thusly, this concept of gratuitous wit should be deemed a perversion, or even a contradiction in term — for, I ask you, far reader, to consider — can an utterance be deemed 'witty' if it is directed for entertainment, or some purpose outside of wit itself?

I myself am of the firm belief that 'wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure' (Rowling 2003), and that, although not a necessary quality, wit (although I am aware that Rowling and I use the term equivocally) is the measure of a great man. Speaking of whom...

God Save the Duke of Edinburgh!
D.S. B-Davies, Esq.

Corporal G of London

Witham, 30 December 2007

Graham Andrew Rutland, Corporal (Retd) KEGS of London
A good evening to you most esteemed reader, and pray permit me to bid you a warm welcome to a bold and pioneering venture that has been created 'RES PROFVNDITAS.' Those of you of want for Latin would do better, perhaps, to know it by its translated (and I must say awkward) title of 'Profound Things.' I think you'll agree that 'RES PROFVNDITAS,' in itself, bears a profundity that even our mighty English tongue cannot hope to convey.

A keen mind should always feel the need to question that which claims to be bold and pioneering. Do not doubt for a second, dear reader, that I am unaware of the irony in that which we, as one such venture, aim to achieve. That is, to question and explore the equally bold and pioneering venture constituting the world in which we live today, and specifically, this great British nation's place in that world and in particular at what risk proud traditions and modes of thought are placed.

Joining me on these brave endeavours is Dan B-Davies, Esq. a colleague of many a year of my school-days and now a gentleman of the Philosophical trade and one of the best-regarded wits and gentlemen the academic circles of Chelmsford and Southampton have produced. Apparently we also made anew the acquaintance of a chemist of the Oxonian mould during a night of merriment and revelry past, and I have applied to him in writing accordingly in the hope that he may join this most gentlemanly of undertakings.

But, with or without other scholarly fellows, many topics of debate and discussion will doubtless fall within our compass in time, the politics of the day likely to be foremost among them, alongside culture, arts, the domestic, the academic and, rather simply, the most splendid spur-of-the-moment thoughts that can be called to mind. That a man, gentleman or otherwise, is best witnessed unrehearsed and as nature intends, is a belief to be both practised and upheld with fervour in the writings that will follow.

As for myself, I am one who has taken both the militaristic and linguistic stand in ardent defence of the British interest. While steadfast in the belief that much can be readily solved by a man equipped with a redcoat and musket, I am also of the opinion that still more can be remedied with the best application of our fine language in a manner so erudite that one's opponent doesn't do himself the dishonour of reply.

To present you an opening thought however, I invoke my military self, who espies quite the rapid solution to the problem of congestion in our urban centres. Observe the ant, how each is unto itself yet part of a single, greater colony, all heading in a singular direction toward a singular purpose with such remarkable and unwavering efficiency.

Man by contrast in his urbane realms fails to learn by example. The body of human traffic is a congested and confused brouhaha exacerbated by those lacking purpose, direction and haste. Ladies, and I'm afraid to say, gentlemen that halt, inexplicably, upon the byways to the hindrance of others, open the floodgates to chaos, much to the frustration of their fellow man.

It is my proposal therefore that our innermost urban areas be patrolled by the monarch's finest men whose duty it is to ferret out these ne'erdowells and make a fine example of them, by musket or other method which suits, to the benefit of the greater good of our urban populace.

Amen &c.
Corporal Graham Rutland