I have a ridiculous aversion towards Thought For the Day, [TFTD], that worthy broadcast to the nation. However, in the spirit of reconciliation, I wish to overcome curmudgeonly feelings, and provide a ‘Not the Thought for the Day’ instead.
According the the BBC, Thought for the Day is ‘a daily scripted slot on the Today programme on BBC 4, offering reflections from a faith perspective on issues and people in the news’
TFTD is broadcast at around 7:45 each Monday to Saturday morning. Nowadays lasting 2 minutes and 45 seconds.
There was an earlier version, five-minute religious sequence Ten to Eight (1965–1970) and, even before that, Lift Up Your Hearts, which was first broadcast five mornings a week on what was then the BBC Home Service, starting in 1939, two years before I arrived by stork-transit at East Glamorgan Hospital, in the charming township of Church Village in South Wales, on Christmas Eve 1941.
But I distract myself. TFTD has a prescribed structure and product. It begins with a selected item of news, often cunningly presented as nothing to do with religion, but everything to convey a cosy relationship between speaker and congregation, sorry audience.
The news item might be drawn from the news, or from sport, the arts, science or some other area of public life. As varied, in fact as my daily notes on everyday creativity.
I can do cosy but not in the same league as the TFTD presenters often drawn from the great and the good in national life. At first these were of the Christian faith, and male. Later innovations included those of other faiths, including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. In time, even those of other genders were also allowed to broadcast.
My Everyday Event
The Gleam team arrived at my home this morning. They restore a semblance of order to the clutter of my weekly labours. I understand I may be guilty of self slut-shaming, but you get the idea.
A young newcomer was worked her way around me, as I watched the midday News. She was still clearing up debris, before deploying the Dyson, when she unearthed a book which I had mislaid under a few miscellaneous kitchen implements.
Wittgenstein’s Poker, I said. I’ve just finished it,
I like psychology. What goes on in the mind of a mass murderer. She said.
It’s about philosophy, I said. You can borrow it if you like.
To my surprise she said she’d like to.
If you like, you can borrow this one afterwards, I said, showing her my copy of Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, which was peeking out from another pile of reference books. The author’s one of the people in the book you just found,
It was open on the chapter on the ancient philosophers. To my surprise she began reading out aloud with obvious curiosity. In a way which showed she understood what she was reading.
I’m now waiting to find out what she makes of Wittgenstein’s poker…
See? Not Thought for the Day. Just an example of everyday creativity…