Thoughts on 'Red Nose Day'
A red nose has many connotations. It is of course a distinguishing feature of the clown and silliness but you also get one after crying a lot.
You are also likely to get one after catching a cold.
We are told of "sticking one's nose in where it doesn't belong". There is an ever-present danger in life of doing that, and depending where you live and who you are, it can have serious and adverse consequences.
Pinocchio had a problem with his nose which grew every time he told a lie if I remember correctly.
Old Falstaff's sidekick Bardolph took a lot of stick for his nose from Prince Hal. It has been said that, "Falstaff looked at Bardolph, but he did not see Bardolph. He saw souls burning in hell." "I never see thy face but I think upon hell-fire and Dives that lived in purple; for there he is in his robes, burning, burning."
George Cruikshank' s take on Falstaff and Bardolph. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bardolph_(Shakespeare_character)#/media/File:Bardolph_and_Falstaff.jpg
Sadly in Shakespeare, this Army Corporal came to a nasty but well-deserved end. He provided a rope long enough to hang himself - and was. According to one commentator, Bardolph (and presumably Falstaff) posed a threat to the welfare of the kingdom, "by virtue of High Treason and by corrupting the heir to the throne".
So we have the BBC's "Red Nose Day" which follows hard on the heels of an outrage in Westminster which has evoked a predictable and well-deserved pull on the nation's heart strings - both outrage and sympathy in equal measure. I predict that this will have a corresponding consequence on the generosity of giving, that might even be considered fortuitous for the many good causes that benefit. Its timing could not be more propitious either for a brand and initiative was somewhat jaded and tainted by less than complimentary revelations regarding the BBC.
Red Nose Day has a long history and requires much planning. In contrast the terrorist attack appears almost random and unplanned, which makes the timing even more coincidental despite the fact that it was one year to the day of the deeply suspicious Brussels bombings. It would be extraordinary if the ISIS planners actually supported the BBC event and its good causes wouldn't it?
However we cannot escape the conclusion that in this twentieth anniversary year of the tragic death of Princess Diana, it presaged a new era in public expression of grief that has become the insignia of these terrorist events also.
The darker, what perhaps we might call the Bardolph side, is that we can be sure this phenomenon was not missed by those that wish to influence and manipulate the public mind. We have witnessed such outpourings being actively facilitated and utilised by government for its own, not always beneficent purposes.
Mass expression of grief can, but not always does, misdirect attention away from the examination of actual events and underlying causes, particularly if they are sinister and not in line with official explanations. It is a danger that all free-thinking people should be aware of and guard against.
On behalf of the Queen: Harry lays a wreath at the Innocent Victims Memorial
Spiegel im Spiegel for Cello and Piano (Arvo Pärt)
Now as it is Red Nose Day, it would be impossible to leave the topic without an appropriate reference to the man with a cold who was disqualified from the walking race because his nose ran. Oh dear!