Friday 13 February 2015

Rudiments of Wisdom

When I was growing up the Mater 'n' Pater 'took' The Observer, the liberal-centre-left broadsheet Sunday newspaper which was taken over by The Grauniad about 20 years ago.  They also 'took' the Sunday Times which was centre-right equivalent. I remember when the first colour supplement arrived (it had all been black&white up till then) - that's how old I am.  One of the reasons for fighting the siblings for the Observer col.supp. was a half-page cartoon column called The Rudiments of Wisdom which was devised and written by an engineer called Tim Hunkin, who had been at Cambridge with The Brother. RoW was just bonzer, a bit like a blog and QI before the interweb. Every week Hunkin would write about whatever was floating his boat - he was a Generalist with a scarcely credible range of interests.  I'm delighted to discover that someone has rescued hundreds of these chunks of data from the dustbin of ephemera and popped them up for the rest of us - Ireland - Insecticides - Ice cream - Iron.  These can be a bit dated - Ireland no longer has the lowest rate of suicide in Europe, for starters - but have a timelessly quirky erudite charm.

As reg'lar readers know, we don't own a television, so we're not up to the minute with a lot of popular culture. It seems that Hunkin has been given a television show called the Secret Life of Machines.  This has a complementary, and complimentary, web site that has bought his naive cartoons a new lease of life. Here on word-processors - fridges - central-heating.  These have tribbed by Kottke, where I caught the news and also Metafilter, where I missed it.  There is no point in me editorialising anymore, Hunkin's words and pictures speak volumes for themselves. You know where to go now; and take your kids!

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