In boarding school, forty years ago
colour television was a novelty, though
many of the broadcasts were in black
and white. Even now I cringe inside
at how cried in front of other boys
when no staff were about, after viewing
'Robinson Crusoe'. Its theme music
made me feel wretched and homesick.
But to improve on all that, 8mm versions
of some popular films were screened on
the white anaglypta of the common room wall.
One such was 'The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie'.
I heard the staff openly worry about the effect
of briefly exposing the boys to the naked breasts
that there were one scene in the film.
They need not have worried about the young,
I was one, and we drank in images
as if we were taking sweets from strangers,
without discernment. The more forbidden the image
the less we understood it, but the more attractive it was.
Looking back now I wish they had wondered more
at the proto-fascism of the figure of Miss Brodie,
and the cheesy sub-plot of art teacher-falls-for-gardener.
The school never taught art, or had a gardening staff.
But if they had we would have been theirs for the taking.