Joyless, Angry, Judgemental

Freedom of speech is not in anyone’s gift

I will admit to being a fairly cynical person. Anyone who reads this blog will know I’m pretty sure that those who rule us are determined to keep their privileged positions in our society by whatever means necessary. I studied History at undergraduate level and as a postgraduate and have taught the subject for a quarter of a century. I am unpersuaded by the Whig interpretation that sees History as progress towards democracy and liberalism. I like Marxist methodology and some Marxist economics but, again, I am not persuaded that History will culminate in some classless society. Still less am I convinced by the eschatological delusions of the various Abrahamic religions. However, compared to some of the cynicism I read online, I am a wild optimist of the Professor Pangloss variety. Continue reading “Joyless, Angry, Judgemental”

Is Anyone Else Bored of This? Update

She was dull and talentless even when alive

In my original post about the media frenzy that continues to surround the proto-Kardashian Diana Spencer, I made a comment that she was always in the Daily Express and the Daily Mail, two bottom-feeding UK newspapers. I did not expect the Guardian to jump on the bandwagon, publishing this pile of tosh from Jonathan Freedland, one of the most Establishment writers in that nest of Establishment shills. But the reason I’ve posted the link is because I would encourage people to read the comments at the bottom of the article to find out what the public really thinks about the ridiculous Spencer woman. But in one way I agree with Freedland – Spencer did help shape modern Britain, a place where talent and ability are secondary to narcissism and ubiquity. Oh, and by the way Freedland, some of us were embarrassed by the emotional incontinence that followed Spencer’s death at the time.

Is anyone else bored of this?

She was dull and talentless even when alive

Apparently we are living in a “second golden age of television.” It’s true that there is a great deal of choice these days – pay TV, Apple TV, numerous streaming services – and the choices available make the poll tax levied to fund the BBC even more anachronistic than it was when I was a child. It’s also true that there are a lot of great television shows; I’ve always loved The Simpsons and Game of Thrones is excellent – the sixth and seventh series (when did television series become “seasons”?) have been of a particularly high standard. But, let’s face it, most television channels are filled with absolute dross and reality TV seems to be taking over. Baking a cake on the telly, watching people doing DIY, putting a bunch of narcissists on an island and hoping they have sex – this is not my idea of entertainment. Reality TV has spawned whole legions of people who are simply famous for being famous. When scrolling through a news website the other day I saw an advertisement for the new series of Celebrity Big Brother – I recognised one of the contestants because he used to have a minor role in EastEnders. Apparently, it is enough to appear on one reality TV show to qualify as a “celebrity” for another show. This is a longwinded introduction to my real topic – the refusal of some elements of the UK media to allow the proto-Kardashian, the original talentless celebrity, famous for wearing clothes, to fade into well-deserved obscurity. I refer of course to Diana Spencer, erstwhile Princess of Wales. Continue reading “Is anyone else bored of this?”

A Spectacular Own Goal

You can’t please all the identities

My last post was about the furore that was unleashed by the appointment of Jodie Whittaker to the lead role in Dr Who. I didn’t expect to be writing another post about the smug denizens of Jimmy Savile House quite so soon. But I couldn’t resist commenting on the row that has blown up over the release of a list of BBC “talent” paid over £150,000 because it has put the BBC on the back foot with the apostles of identity politics it has done so much to promote and legitimise. Schadenfreude? Absolutely, 100%. Continue reading “A Spectacular Own Goal”

Stay Out Of My Safe (Time And) Space

A tale of our times

The internet is currently involved in one of those periodic storms that blows up every now and then over the most innocuous of topics. And in the best traditions of pointless internet squabbles (has the internet been around long enough to have traditions I wonder) people have been taking completely binary positions about the issue at hand – this is either the best thing that has happened in history or the worst possible event that may lead to the extinction of all human life. I refer of course to the BBC’s appointment of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor in the long-running science fiction show, Dr Who. Continue reading “Stay Out Of My Safe (Time And) Space”

The Delusions Of Tony Blair Part 4,652

Those whom the gods would destroy…

I have no strong feelings about the European Union; I am not particularly in favour of the EU but nor do a suffer from the visceral hatred that some of the Conservative party appear to have. This hatred has seen the last three Conservative Prime Ministers brought down by divisions over Europe and it will almost certainly see off a fourth, probably by the end of this year. If I was still living in the UK, I would probably have voted to remain in the EU, seeing the status quo as the least worst option. In that I am rather like Jeremy Corbyn who appeared to abandon his lifelong opposition to the EU; Corbyn claimed he was “seven out of ten” in favour of the EU – this despite being a follower of Tony Benn, who “loathed” the EU and as a Cabinet Minister campaigned for a “No” vote in the 1975 Referendum. However, despite not sharing the intense dislike for all things EU on the Labour left and Conservative right, I am mystified by the insane Europhilia evidenced in all mainstream parties – the Scottish Nazis, the Illiberal Undemocrats, the Conservatives and Labour. And no more insane Europhile exists than the war criminal himself, Tony Blair.

Continue reading “The Delusions Of Tony Blair Part 4,652”