Over breakfast yesterday Jennifer Rice and I looked at the double-page spread in the FT from the newly merged NBC Unversal. Which seemed only to tell us how very big they were. As well as a couple of vacuous taglines that you usually get on movie trailers. (You know the ones, with the gravelly American voice) “And the future begins now” and “Imagine the possibilities”. They say life imitates art, and here are two nominations for the art (parody) this calls to mind for me.
First, the Very Big Corporation of America from Monty Python’s Meaning of Life. (And I wonder who will play the Crimson Mutual Assurance to NBC Universal?)
Second, going back a bit, Shelley’s Ozimandias
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things.
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away
It’s a bad sign that this company has nothing to tell us except how important it is.