Monday, 27 April 2009

The Man from Atlantis has gone home

Lord Bassington-Bassington has just learned that John Michell has returned to wherever he came from: be that the dust of the Earth, Atlantis, the command bridge of a UFO or some warp in time.

It would be futile for Lord Bassington-Bassington to try to top the excellent obituaries published by Fortean Times or Cryptomundo.

Still, Lord Bassington-Bassington would like to pay tribute to this extraordinary man, as Mr. Michell has been a leading influence on the development of His Lordship's character through the book Confessions of a Radical Traditionalist.

The book is a generous collection of short essays written for Mr. Michell’s column in a British magazine for adults (but not an "adult magazine" in that sense of the word), The Oldie.

The book itself is a masterpiece, produced according to the principles of sacred measure, and is a treasure for any bibliophile. Mr. Michell's penmanship was superb, and his sense of humour would win anyone's heart, no matter how skeptical the reader was towards Mr. Michell's mystical speculations.

Lord Bassington-Bassington’s Mullah once commented, upon reading Richard Dawkin’s annoying screed The God Delusion: “Dawkins makes you want to argue against whatever he says, even if you totally agree with him”.

Mr. Michell was quite the opposite: Michell made Lord Bassington-Bassington really want to agree with him, no matter how much he objected to some of his ideas. Not just because it was obvious that Michell was a wiser person than the humble Hound, but because Mr. Michell showed the reader what an exciting place this piece of rock we inhabit can be.

Lord Bassington-Bassington decided that it would be in the spirit of Mr. Michell to indulge in a bit of bibliomancy. Opening Confessions of... on a random page, the following passage simply leapt off the paper:

Having justified my emotional belief in Jesus coming to England, I then gave it up. When people insist the legend is true I remind them that there is no proof of it. On the other hand, when scoffers denigrate it I vigorously defend its probability. As a philosopher you have to be ruthlessly perverse.

And strangely, this paragraph culled at random expresses exactly what Lord Bassington-Bassington, who has no belief in magic whatsoever, has to say. Somewhere, John Michell is having the last laugh.

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