Monday, 20th April 2020
I am not a fan of the current fad in news broadcasting: the Skype (or similar) connection to talking heads. The connections invariably fail, stutter and the mouth and the voice become, strangely, separated.
But there is one upside. In an attempt to appear more intellectual, the guests always position themselves in front of their bookcases. Some are woefully understocked, some are amazingly crammed that it leaves me wondering if they have read the majority of them.
But whilst the talking head, some professor, doctor, politician, whoever, is waffling on, I like to play a game. To anyone watching, it surely appears that I have lost my marbles as I crawl up to the TV screen and crane my neck to see. I like to find books that I have read on other people’s bookshelves.
Now, I don’t judge. That’s a lie – I do! You see, in these people’s attempts to appear intelligent, they unwittingly allow me to spot all the saucy and trashy novels they’ve read. All the cheap holiday thrillers that are carefully arranged appear like scientific reference material. You’re not fooling me!
One head didn’t play my game, however. He had, and I’m almost so certain of this I’d stake my red pen on it, he had a set of 1980s VHS leather-effect VHS covers on his bookcase! You know the sort: meant to look like ancient books, but really just hid your tapes! Play along. Next time an expert appears on the screen, don’t get distracted by the actual science. Look at their bookcase. How many of their books have you read? Maybe you’re really as intelligent as they claim to be!