Your Aardvark, at fifty-three, is flexing his maturity. As a callow yout', he used to view submitting to Emily Post as equivalent to durance vile. The bondage of societal niceties was a burden not to be borne.He would read Miss Manners later in life for the entertainment value. Today, he is still unlikely to write a thank you note, but that is his being boorish, or at least busy. This blogging thing, both reading and writing, consumes time, as does the working.
What brings this up is TV. Chez 'Vark is enthralled by the smorgasbord of history and science shows served up on Charter Cable. A commercial came on, breathlessly touting an upcoming something-or-other on the National Geographic channel.
Wait. "Nat Geo".
When a very young callow yout', your Aardvark was nominated by some kinsman to be a Member of the National Geographic Society. No, it was not a mere subscription, nosireesir. Your Humble had the feeling that when the magazine arrived, he should have donned safari jacket and pith helmet. It was An Event, participating as a Member of the National Geographic Society, whilst reading of Kon Tikis, bathyscaphes, Biblical archaeology, Telstars and Sputniks, safaris on the Serengeti, like that. The International Geophysical Year, for cri-yi! The Dust of Ages on every page. The National Geographic TV specials were "put your homework away 'til this is over" programs. Alexander Scourby narrated them, and he recorded the whole Bible four times!
And your Aardvark was a Member.
To quote Commodore Decker: " But not 'nymore". Now, any rube with a couple of shekels to rub together can buy a subscription, and revel in well-crafted articles supporting politically-approved articles on Climate change, rainforest predation by indigenous farmers, and the amazing strides forward in Sustainable Energy.
The venerable National Geographic Society has been stripped down to "Nat Geo", to feed the fast-food brains of the fast-food fed and bred.
Faugh. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find appropriate times and places to wear a pith helmet?