Tuesday, March 02, 2010

In praise of SNIFFEM

Many many years ago, there was great debate throughout academia as to whether or not History was Art or Science.
I can't now for the life of me remember which side won, but I do know I had to give a paper to The Headmaster's Discussion Group on the subject. The main point of the Group was the sherry beforehand and the port afterwards. Most papers were heard through the sound of schoolboy snores or hiccups.
The best one ever was by a chap who I seem to think was called Kerry Dixon, who produced the one and only paper which had people in fits of laughter. It was, as I recall, a tongue in cheek critique of pop-music. Naturally, given the august members of the Group, it was supposed to be damning. Naturally, because he was a bit of a wag, it was full of double-entendres and red herrings, and earned him nul points from the Headmaster. Naturally,we all thought it was great.
But back to History.
I read ( amongst other things) History at University, and to this day I enjoy historical biography and histories, in particular those about World War I, on which I consider myself a bit of an expert.
Today, I had a meeting with a chap who is wanting to set up The Scottish National Film Museum , which would include not just the archive, but artifacts and all sorts of other things - including HISTORY. I think the acronym SNFM ( pronounced SNIFFEM) is particularly apt.
His take on the subject?
" History is made by the people who bother to turn up." In fact, that's pretty true.
UPDATE: This is post 1001, which I rather like.
PS: We own a domain ( canalboattrader.com) which is blacklisted by Google. Why? Because the letters ANAL appear in it. Sigh.

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