Category Archives: media

09 Feb

In praise of Oik Telly

Three cheers for James Purnell, director of strategy at the BBC. He has just announced that “Civilisations,” a new version of cultural history to succeed Kenneth Clark’s original “Civilisation” series of 1969, will, along with all new documentaries programmed by the BBC, be “the opposite” of Clark’s monstrously “elitist” production.

I’m only sorry that the wonderfully egalitarian Mr Purnell fell short of calling the new series by a title more suitable for the emancipated and enlightened age we now live in. He should have been brave and called the series “Barbarism.” But, as they say, brave new world was not built in a day, and I am grateful that Mr Purnell has dared to go as far as he has along the road to pure oikism.

The disgusting patrician Clark – Order of Merit, Companion of Honour, Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath and Fellow of the British Academy – is sure to be surpassed by the presenter of the new series who, according to Mr Purnell, will be “a trusted friend” who will deliver “expertise without elitism.”

I’m all for it: let’s hear it for mediocratism!

Even after 48 years, I can still hear Clark’s disgraceful voice, speaking with sickening mellifluousness in grammatical English – in whole sentences, for heaven’s sake! Our new version will feature the iconic demotic of our democratised times innit, like, dropped aitches and t’s, “their” for the, like, sexist “his” and “her,” and as many sentences – though of course these will not be sentences – as possible starting with “So…”

I recall also Clark’s initial reluctance to produce a book of his series, “…because it would have to be without the classical music on the original soundtrack.”

“Classical music”! I ask you – did ever a man so completely condemn himself out of his own mouth?

Purcell, Byrd, Bach, Tallis, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven: the 1969 series was full of such class-ridden rubbish. This was made worse by Clark’s misplaced and undemocratic admiration for so-called “Great Masters”: Giotto, Leonardo, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Rembrandt and similar trash. I’ll have you know, Kenneth Clark, your vile era of deference to “masters” is long gone.

The new series will feature the art of the people and its comrade multi-millionaires such as Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst and that other hero of our thoroughly-democratised art who fashioned an installation of the siege of Troy on an exquisite pile of (real, his own) shit.

And there will be no problem with the music. How could there be when we have to hand myriads of downloads of David Bowie, Queen, Eminem, Michael Jackson and the sumptuously adenoidal narcissist, St Bob Dylan?

Our new remake will accomplish a total revolution, amounting to an utter repudiation of the repressive “values” of the original. In that old version there was credulous and mawkish piety in the depiction of St Augustine of Hippo, St Benedict, Erasmus, Martin Luther and other devotees of the primitive and superstitious era of so called “Christendom.” We shall present true heroes of modernity and of the people: Marx, Engels, Lenin Stalin, Mao – with a special section on their greatest prophet Eric Hobsbawm.

All together now, let’s join in a thanksgiving chorus of John Lennon’s great hymn of heroically blasphemous praise: Imagine

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09 Jan

“The Governess, Part III”

Take your seats today for the third and climactic act of this three act pantomime starring Theresa May. “The Governess” was the tile given to this show only after other suggestions had been examined and rejected: these included: “The Stunt” and “The Art of Self-advertisement.”

Acts I and II were hugely enjoyable. The first contained the memorably comic scene in which Mrs May, with the assistance of the Department of Cliches and Political Hand-me downs, is seen composing several articles for publication in national newspapers. How we roared with laughter at her subtle articulation of “Let me be entirely clear.” Then came her side-splitting, “My first priority” – for which due credit was acknowledged in the programme to the Department of Tautologies and the EU Commission on Pleonasm.

In the second act, Mrs May pretended to be a serious politician – the prime minister, no less -  and was seen giving an extended television interview. Our theatrical correspondent commented favourably: “This was the most brilliantly effective political satire we’ve seen since the days of that great comic actor Harold Wilson.”

I attended the dress – and what a dress! – rehearsal for today’s final act which begins in total darkness. In mock horror a disembodied voice calls out, “Now then boys and girls, what are the most terrifying words in the English language?”

At this point there was a palpable sense of unease and apprehension. Suddenly the stage was a fountain of light and Mrs May rose from a trapdoor in a gorgeous leopard skin leotard and answered: “Hello, I’m from the government and I’m here to help!”

I swear the audience laughter continued for all of five minutes.

There were some breath-taking moments of sheer bathos as when Mrs May began to sing the smash hit number “The Shared Society.” It began with the rising chromatic line in parody seriousness: “I’m going to do something about mental illness.” But yet again the tension was relieved quite hilariously as she went on to sing, “Oh no I’m not! I’ve already done that – when I said I want to make Brexit work for the Remainers!”

The rest of the act was the enumeration of all that Mrs May is going to do to make the country better and spread happiness. I won’t spoil it for you by going into details. “”(Actually, Mrs May didn’t go in for details either).

At the end I strolled into the green room which was crammed with theatrical journalists and literary people from the upmarket weeklies. Hieronymus Bosh from The Guardian interestingly denied that what we’d witnessed was a pantomime at all: “It was really a social comment piece – put me in mind here and there of Brecht, particularly in her evocative minimalist phrasing of “The Handouts Song “ and the rousing strains of “immigration, Immigration, Immigration” and its unforgettable refrain, “You ain’t seen nuffin’ yet!”

The Times Literary Supplement’s Jean-Paul Fartre seemed angered by Bosh’s remarks and he screamed back, “Social comment piece my arse! It was pure theatre of the absurd. Didn’t you get the Sam Beckett reference when the demon king character (Boris Johnson) tells her, “You can’t go on!” and Theresa slaps her leather trousers and replies, “I must go on! I’ll go on!”

The editor of The Tablet said, “What really did it for me was at the end of her moving song about all her magnificent achievements, the Theresa May-like-character vowed to make us all love one another and to abolish Original Sin.”

I ventured to ask, Where is the great lady, by the way?”

And the whole chorus erupted, “She’s behind you!”

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26 Dec

The sport of blasphemy

“When beggars die, there are no comets seen; the heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes.” We’re going to have to revise Shakespeare and for “princes” substitute “pop-stars.”

Another went down in the night. First thing I heard on the wireless on waking – accompanied by several sample blasts of noise. The air waves will be infested with hysterical “tributes” all day long.

The adoring journalists and broadcasters can’t quite get the nomenclature right though. They refer to these dead cacophonists as “artistes” and “musicians.”

That can’t be right.

Ah but suddenly they hit on the right word and describe their dead heroes as “iconic.”

Spot on. Blasphemous, yes. But still spot on. For an icon is something you may worship. And pop-stars are what the devotees of our debased culture worship.

And the object of worship says as much about the character of the worshipper as it does about itself. What we worship defines us.

Show me what you value, and I will tell you what you’re worth.

I think I shall show uncharacteristic reticence and say no more.

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23 Dec

And the word was made trash

“And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)

When it comes to the Church of England, we feel obliged to ask, “What mind?”

The Church authorities have produced a two minutes film “Joy to The World” presented by Gogglebox vicar and Songs of Praise presenter Rev’d Kate Bottley. It has been designed to compete in the “Advertisement of the Year” competition with the likes of Sainsbury’s and Tesco

The film begins unpromisingly with Ms Bottley, dressed in civvies, trying to appear…. well, like unto her imagined audience. And behold, she openeth her mouth and spake unto the people these words: “My idea of Christmas is me, in my ‘jamas, sat (sic) on the sofa watching a lovely film.”

The rest of the two minutes does nothing to make amends for this philistine irrelevance and I wondered for a long time what the purpose of this film might be. Clearly, it was meant to portray the priest as unclerical and untheological as possible. I don’t think she found this difficult.

And yet the image she projected was also a cliche – the cliche of the thoroughly modern vicar or vicaress who is not at all churchy, but just like you.

But the authorities haven’t grasped the irony that this image is exactly what the Church is like today: vacuous, suburban attitudes and mores – no different in fact from the world to which St Paul said we are not to be conformed.

The film offered a short resume of what it wanted us to perceive as the modern clergyperson’s Christmas. But there was nothing about the Incarnation. No glimpse of the Christmas gospel. A lot of excited rushing about bathed in a soft focus cloud of sentimentality.

Since the Church of England omits to preach the Christmas Gospel, the least I can do is to write out the words here, John 1:1-14:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

The same was in the beginning with God.

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

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03 Dec

The Richmond Park Slaughter

O joy, joy and more joy! Here’s a treat rarer than any blue moon: A radio interviewer with brains, articulate and sharp enough to ask the killer follow-up question to any politician’s fumbled reply. They can’t do this on The Today Programme. But is it perhaps not can’t but won’t for fear that such an intelligent approach might pierce the fog of cliche in which the BBC usually manages to conceal its modus operandi of obfuscation and prejudice?

Sarah Olney, the newly-elected MP for Richmond Park, came on TalkRadio to be interviewed by the very sharp Julia Hartley-Brewer. Julia was noteworthy among radio journalists for her ability to think sequentially and to speak in sentences. From the very beginning, she was on top of her game – which is more than you could say for the flaky Ms Olney.

She began, “When are you going to hold the second bye-election?”

The flummoxed Olney stayed flummoxed.

“I mean, you want a rerun of the referendum on our membership of the EU. That was won by the Leave campaigners with a bigger majority than you got.”

Waffle punctuated by squirming silence.

“Fewer than 50% of the Richmond electorate voted for you. Leave got 54%. But you want a second referendum. Why not a rerun of this bye-election?”

“There wasn’t a clear result to the referendum.”

“Yes there was!”

A very long silence.

“If you can’t answer a few simple questions, people might wonder if you’re up to the job of being their MP.”

An even longer silence.

Enter Olney’s spin-doctor:

“We have to go.”

“No you don’t!”

“Sarah has another interview to do.”

“But how can she? This time was booked with us”

Exit Ms Olney, pursued by her quavering minder. Leaving Julia to speak the closing soliloquy:

“She doesn’t feel she’s up to these questions – which is a bit of a shame, isn’t it?”

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26 Nov

How to get on the telly

What’s the best qualification to get to appear on TV? Certainly, to be a young woman with large breasts – or, in the case of Ed Balls, a middle aged man with the same. Belonging to a rock band might get you on BBC4. I remember when that channel was opened, the BBC advertised it as “a place to think.” Well, they’ve given up thinking now as some evenings – particularly Fridays – are given over entirely to pop music. You could change your career and become a supermodel or a Premiership footballer. If all else fails, try dressing yourself up and pretending to be David Attenborough or Stephen Fry.

None of these devices – not even the last – is guaranteed to work.

There is, however, one foolproof route to success: have one of your relatives murdered. It helps if it’s a teenage son or daughter or a devoted husband in his forties.

There have been a few successes using this method this week alone, but respect for the dead and sympathy for the bereaved forbids mention of their names.

You would think that after such a grievous loss, the bereaved relative would wish most of all for privacy, to be left alone to reflect, even to pray, and to try to come to terms with the terrible event. That’s what used to happen. But now we live in the days prophesied by Andy Warhol when “Everyone is famous for fifteen minutes.”

After the verdict is announced, the fulminating widow appears outside the court and denounces “the scumbag” who killed her husband, whom she describes as “my rock.”

Or the grieving father faces the TV cameras beside “a roadside shrine” and describes his eight year old daughter – murdered by an “animal” – as “lovely bubbly.”

All these televised grievers have completely mastered the psychobabble that the media requires. the verdict has all;owed them to “achieve closure” and so now they can “move on.”

There is something inappropriate, mawkish and frankly creepy about all this. Grief is not a suitable subject for display and publicity. And the best way to assuage your grief is by not advertising it.

Kierkegaard said, “There is a sign in Copenhagen which forbids spitting in the street. I wish there were a similar prohibition on sentimentality.”

But in our blatant therapeutic culture, fame trumps all.

I think it was Anthony Burgess who commented that the highest accolade of our times is “You woz on the telly!”

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10 Nov

Drain the swamp!

D’you remember how the metropolitan elite said we voted for Brexit because we’re thick? Well now the American branch of this elite is saying the same of those who voted for Trump, describing these poor, afflicted and unenlightened citizens as “low information types.” That’s what we thickos call “thick.”

Moreover, we thickos can’t be expected to pull our socks up. The journal Foreign Policy printed an article saying, “The people are deluded and it is the task of those with reason and expertise to undelude them.”

George Monbiot explained in The Guardian: “Why elections are bad for democracy.”

The Guardian wants us to appoint a sort of secular “episcopacy” to teach us all to come to the right – I mean, of course, left – conclusions.

It’s been done before, at least twice: in the USSR it was made up commissars; in the EU it is the commissioners.

And who will be on this committee of the righteous, The Guardian’s guardians, so to speak? There’s sure to be their own George Moonbat, the zoologist and master of the non sequitur Richard Dawkins, the know-all Attenborough, Polly Toynbee and Emily Thornberry who established her credentials at the last general election when she sneered at “white van man.” I suppose they might throw in Diane Abbot, just to add intellectual weight. They would bring back the Stalinist apologist for the Terror and the Gulag Eric Hobsbawm from the dead, if only this were permitted by dialectical materialism.

All these creeps who make up the lumpen intelligentsia must be pretty thick themselves if they can’t see that for their kind the game is up – at last. In Britain and in the USA, the common people have risen up and said, “We’ve had enough of you. You have sat here too long for any good you might have done. Go. Get out!” The entrenched left wing establishment – what Trump has called “the swamp” – is on the way out all over Europe too, as Frau Merkel and Monsieur Hollande will discover in next year’s elections. We are seeing a similar uprising of thickos in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Holland, Belgium and half a dozen more countries.

God bless us every one!

Thickos of the world unite and drain the swamp!

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01 Sep

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Here come our minders again. Here come the thought police. We’ve all been naughty – both Leave and Remain – in the EU referendum campaign. “It was dogged by glaring democratic deficiencies” with voters turned off by big name politicians and negative campaigning, says the Electoral Reform Society.

The Electoral Reform Society attacked both sides of the referendum campaign, saying people felt “ill-informed” by the “dire” debate.

Of course the debate was dire. It was hustings red in tooth and claw, a first-rate political punch-up. Have these nannies in the ERS never witnessed a political campaign close up before, complete with lies, scandals, rotten eggs and jiggery-pokery wholesale? That is the nature of political campaigns – I’m delighted to say.

As for the accusation that the public were “ill-informed,” well, who’s fault is that? If the public wishes to be informed, then the public  must inform itself. We know a politician is lying to us every time we see his lips moving. It’s not the duty of political opponents to fight according to the Marquis of Queensbury rules. Politics is a bare knuckle fight and there will be blood.

So, when they’ve finished smacking the bottoms of both Leave and Remain, what do the apparatchiks, prigs and trendies in the ERS recommend?

They call for a “root and branch” review of the way referendums are run. There should be “a public body appointed to intervene when misleading claims are made by campaigns, to review the broadcasters’ role and to publish a rule book to govern the conduct of campaigns.”

And then, as a prelude to the repudiation of Original Sin, the ERS will monitor every political speech and itemise every “misleading” claim.

Impossible. For who is to decide which claims are misleading? It is conflicting claims which are the very issue and substance of political campaigns.

And who, pray, are to be made members of the “public body appointed to intervene”? A committee of MPs perhaps with their well-known devotion to truth? Or the BBC with its famed lack of bias? Maybe the ERS itself?

This chastisement from the sanctimonious busybodies in the ERS marks a new low in the ongoing process of politically-correct thought control

Never mind Project Fear. This is worse: it is Project Infantilisation.

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29 Jul

The Religion of Peace and Love: Overseas Branch

The European mass media has devoted hundreds of hours and thousands of pages to the murder of an elderly priest in Normandy.

Understandable, because this occurred in our own backyard. But let’s put this atrocity into perspective.

David Curry, president and CEO of Christian Watchdog Group Open Doors, has reported that in 2015, more than 2,000 churches in Africa were attacked by Muslim arsonists and murderers and more than 7,000 Christians were killed. Muslim terrorist organisations such as Islamic State, Al Shabaab and Boko Haram are particularly keen to perpetrate wholesale slaughter inside Christian places of worship.

Mr Curry added, “In Nigeria, an average of five churches are attacked every Sunday.”

Similar figures are reported for the persecution of Christians by Muslims in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan.

Syria and Iraq were home to populous and flourishing Christian communities for two thousand years.

But Christianity has been almost completely wiped out in those countries.

The same goes for all the North African nations, as well as for Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In the face of these massacres, genocide by any other name, taking place across three continents, I don’t want you to be disheartened.

Instead you should turn for reassurance to the people in authority, and to those who really know what’s going on: The BBC, The Guardian, Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Pope.

These luminaries constantly give you all the reassurance you could possibly need. they are unanimous in saying:

“THESE ATROCITIES HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH ISLAM!”

There now, that feels better, doesn’t it?

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18 May

A world fit for narcissists to live in

I was, as my custom is, doing not much purposefully, when I stumbled across the end of an exciting film on TV. It was called Safari (1956). It seemed to have everything: a rugged, intelligent hero – a white hunter – Victor Mature, and a pretty female lead, Janet Leigh who wore a variety of glamorous costumes; elephants, lions, giraffes, crocodiles and hippos; and, of course a murderous cad with a blackly beautiful alcoholic mistress. A terrific adventure. The whole panoply of the Masai Mara before my very eyes.

I pressed the information button on the TV remote to find out a few more details. These were helpfully supplied. There was also a health warning: This film shows scenes of hunting and colonial attitudes.

And a useful warning it was too! Who, turning up a film from sixty years ago about a white hunter in deepest Africa would have expected to come across hunting and colonial attitudes emanating from colonisers! I could easily have been offended. In fact, we are all these days at risk of being offended all day long and so we require the provision of “safe spaces” – hermetically-sealed cultural hideouts where we can be assured no one will upset us

What a wonderful civilising innovation is the concept of the safe space – quite the best thing to happen since the invention of health and safety and universal political correctness!

It is particularly important that our elite – the university students – should never have their ideas and prejudices challenged. They could easily burst into tears , for instance, if a speaker turned up to suggest that global warming is not going to bring about the end of the world, and very soon. Or, if some evil, insensitive chauvinist came along and declared that gentlemen who have their willies cut off and pump themselves full of oestrogen do not thereby turn into ladies – why, it would be more than enough to produce a panic attack in our young people, or to bring on an episode of their fashionable eating disorder.

On no account must our universities become places for the exchange of ideas.

But back to Safari. There is no reason at all why a film about a white hunter should actually feature hunting. And there is no excuse for showing wild animals on the Masai Mara – which ought to be revealed only in its full vegetarian splendour. They could have done without the cad. The femme fatale was an example of sexism at its worst. And to cast her as an alcoholic might encourage viewers to exceed their permitted daily allowance.

Persuaded of these principles and their extension to cover all aspects of our lives would improve our quality of life immeasurably. Anything by Ken Loach, for example, might carry the warning: Beware: scenes of excessive mawkishness. Or the European Song Contest: Consists of limitless puerility. Or Strictly Come Dancing: Caution: relentless vulgarity

Won’t you join me in my task of trying to create a better world in which can all enjoy our infantilisation from the cradle to the grave?  

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