The institute of bad ideas

October 21, 2005

You're a think-tank and you know you are, a think-tank and you know you are. You're not fit to think a thought, you're not fit to think a thought. Shall we think a thought for you? Ooooooh, you're a think-tank, ahhhhhh. The Institute of Bad Ideas.

Dear Dr Howie

Institute of Bad Ideas

We were ever so pleased to receive your letter of September 28. What an original suggestion - raising awareness of the classics by presenting Ovid's Metamorphoses as a TV makeover/ self-improvement show. As you point out, transformation is indeed at the heart of that genre of popular programming. But we were a little baffled by the detail. Jo Frost, presenter of Supernanny , telling Jupiter how to improve his children's behaviour by turning them into animals only if they have been really naughty? Charlie Dimmock of Ground Force being transformed into a laurel tree and cut into planks to be used as decking around a River Styx water feature? Kim and Aggie of How Clean is your House telling Hercules the secret to getting King Augeas's stables "lemon fresh"? Jamie Oliver's pomegranate seed moussaka "well worth spending six months in Hades for"

according to Persephone? Would this really garner interest in classical literature? The four-volume "thinktionary" pack Homer Improvements was impressive but perhaps the concept is not really for us. Still, we did appreciate the accompanying coaster, a lovely idea. And we all agree about Patrick Kielty.

Yours sincerely, Janice Gitton Classics Society

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