What indeed is the point...

Later this week, our American-African correspondent will have to trade in his credentials for the next twelve months or so to serve, instead, as our Tottering and Aged Track and Field correspondent during home assignment here in these United States. Anyhow, that most esteemed man forwarded a news article reporting stunning news from important Oxford U scholars.

It turns out every four inches of a woman's height above five feet is correlated to a sixteen percent increase in cancer risk...

But not to worrry. The article quickly moves on to better news: "Cancer Research UK said tall people should not be alarmed by the findings."

Then the press inquired of lead Researcher Dr. Jane Green concerning her best guess at the correlation between height and cancer, and she responded, "The point is, we don't know."

Indeed. That's the Brits for you--always ready to blow the trumpet heralding that ubiquitous point that we simply don't know.

I'm reminded of Gavin Millarrrrrrrr's review of Neville Shunt's play, It all happened on the 11.20 from Hainault to Redhill via Horsham and Reigate, calling at Carshalton Beeches, Malmesbury, Tooting Bec, and Croydon West:

Some people have made the mistake of seeing Shunt's work as a load of rubbish about railway timetables, but clever people like me, who talk loudly in restaurants, see this as a deliberate ambiguity, a plea for understanding in a mechanized world.

The points are frozen, the beast is dead. What is the difference? What indeed is the point? The point is frozen, the beast is late out of Paddington. The point is taken.

If La Fontaine's elk would spurn Tom Jones the engine must be our head, the dining car our oesophagus, the guard's van our left lung, the cattle truck our shins, the first-class compartment the piece of skin at the nape of the neck and the level crossing an electric elk called Simon. The clarity is devastating. But where is the ambiguity? It's over there in a box.

Shunt is saying the 8.15 from Gillingham when in reality he means the 8.13 from Gillingham. The train is the same only the time is altered. Ecce homo, ergo elk. La Fontaine knew his sister and knew her ...well. The point is taken, the beast is moulting, the fluff gets up your nose. The illusion is complete; it is reality, the reality is illusion and the ambiguity is the only truth. But is the truth, as Hitchcock observes, in the box? No there isn't room, the ambiguity has put on weight.

The point is taken, the elk is dead, the beast stops at Swindon, Chabrol stops at nothing, I'm having treatment and La Fontaine can [shut up].

(TB)

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