Friday, 23 January 2009

Youll like this...not a lot, but you'll like it

Of course, everyone else in the world will have used the same title for posts on this subject. Lazy me.

South Bank's finest conservatively-minded celebrity magician has a blog. Sample excerpt:

Whilst on the plane to Barbados I saw the headlines about Prince Harry and an explosion of reaction to him calling a co-soldier a ‘Paki’. When I saw it had happened two years ago I had to ponder upon who caused the ‘explosion of reaction’. I don’t think it was Prince Harry if it was two years ago (because I didn’t hear the explosion then) but rather the media NOW who had just found out and decided to try to throw the shit as far and wide as they could. I wonder why? Who cares? After all isn’t it an abbreviation of Pakistani? I know that I couldn’t care less if someone calls me a ‘Brit’ and would think myself to be a pretty pompous ass if I did. The soldier concerned seemed to have treat it in the right way, recognised it for what it is, a nickname, and got on with living. How desperate can newspapers get? Oops sorry. Did I say NEWS papers? ; Isn’t this story to old to be considered as ‘news?

Woah, Paul. Outrageous. Someone's got to stand up for the decent majority in this country and stick it to the PC brigade blah blah blah blah. I'd suggest Paul and his ilk go and live on Charlie Brooker's imaginary 'Daily Mail Island', only the Mail seem to have got his goat by publishing unflattering pictures of Debbie McGee.

(Seriously, though: what makes some people think that 'Paki' and 'Brit' could possibly occupy equal ranking in the league table of offensive words?)

Also, I hope you have noticed that Daniels, although definitely not a 'pompous ass', ends many of his simple statements with either one or two question marks??

I hope he doesn't do any crazy magic on me now.


Attic Fantasist said...

I can't believe Paul Daniels! What does he know about anything?! I hate that appeal by racists in denial to the logical argument surrounding the abbreviation 'Paki'. Even Gilbert and George have used it! Perhaps this is where the accusations of their being right-wing comes from. (This is ludicrous, of course, because they aren't; a different argument and whole set of beliefs, which they practise, are harnessed when they talk about the dodgy abbreviation.)

They're so in denial, these people. It's as if all the violence - spitting, bashing, murders, instances of grievous bodily harm - never really happened in the racist way it does, which is why they can't wipe the shit from their eyes about the abbreviation. (Sorry if I'm being incoherent here, and for swearing on your comments section. I couldn't help it. Obviously feel free to edit.)

All the best ;-))
Hope the interview went well.

Attic Fantasist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Attic Fantasist said...

I trust you worked out what I really meant to say in that syntactically-challenged third sentence!

Joe said...

Thanks Chris - in your second paragraph there you manage to articulate my feelings about the 'PC brigade' thing, which I usually can't because it makes me so mad. I think 'in denial' is exactly the right phrase - there's plenty of people who in other ways are fundamentally decent who peddle the anti-PC line and I suspect it's because they simply can't begin to compute what prejudice entails and, more importantly, what it engenders. All PC is, beyond the ridiculous scare stories about councils banning Christmas* and so on, is the officialisation of a code of decency and thoughtfulness. I don't mind being called a Brit - at least not in most contexts - because there is a COMPLETELY different historical weight which goes with the word. There is very little thoughtlessness involved in its use (again, I'll qualify this by saying 'in most contexts'). When the word we're discussing, or any number of similarly intended terms, comes into play, a whole set of allegedly disposed-with hegemonies are reactivated.

It is a fascinating subject. I wrote a piece a long way back on here that there is a lack of polemicists FOR PC, because the politics that come with it - like it or not, Tories - are inherently indisposed to univocalisms. The result, which is far more troubling than we're ever allowed to believe it, is that the media only ends up providing one side of the story, which we are then asked to believe is 'the attitude of the common man'. Of course, this hypothetical 'common man' occasionally pops up to protest against such misrepresentations, like that Evening News story about the pub landlord I posted the other week. But the paranoid rambling against political correctness that's emblematised most vividly by people like McKenzie and Littlejohn, and less obviously by nearly ALL other tabloid and regional newspaper commentary, plays a significant role in legitimising prejudice in this country. It creates a certain pressure to be inconsiderate in a number of environments, and it can make those who would like to practice consideration for others into borderline pariahs. And yet, time and time again, those very voices are the ones expressing their victimhood.

I would say the anti-PC discourse is one of the most bizarre and subversively significant phenomenons of the early 21st century, and I hope that someone sharper than me will produce a decent, accessible (even populist), critique and deconstruction of it sometime soon.

Anyway, thanks for the comments. I hope you're well.


* Just to repeat a tale I heard on a message board the other day. It seems that one local newspaper had heard the 'banning Christmas' rumour and sent a reporter down to the council office to ask why, where he was promptly dazzled by the town Christmas lights shining through the window. If this is apocryphal, it's a just response to the arcane apocrypha the Mail, Express, and Telegraph print as 'fact'.