Tuesday On The Links

Discuss amongst yourselves:

The 18th century Church of England preached "a tepid kind of moralism" disconnected both from any serious faith and from the great questions facing the nation. It was a sensualist culture amusing itself to death: Wilberforce goes to a performance of "Don Juan," is shocked by a provocative dance and is further shocked to discover the rest of the audience is too blase even to be shocked. The Paris Hilton of the age, the Prince of Wales, was celebrated for having bedded 7,000 women and snipped from each a keepsake hair. Twenty-five percent of all unmarried females in London were ;-)s [prostitutes]; the average age of a prostitute was 16; and many brothels prided themselves on offering only girls under the age of 14.

Many of these features -- weedy fainthearted mainstream churches, skanky celebs, weary provocations for jaded debauchees -- will strike a chord in our own time. "There is a deal of ruin in a nation," remarked Adam Smith.

And finally: at the top of the hours yesterday the radio crowed: Administration Silences Scientists! Yeah, the witness only got to give 1400 interviews!