First, a thematic cartoon:
Got the idea? Well, then let’s proceed.
One of the critical conduits for the prescription of attitudes among Americans, and possibly among Westerners generally, is our entertainment stream. This is unlikely to surprise my Gentle Readers, several of whom have complained about it to me – privately, of course. It’s caused me to abjure and forgo conventional television – broadcast and cablecast both – and go looking for something else to watch in the evenings while the C.S.O. and I await the onset of sleep.
Most recently, we’ve been gorging ourselves on the products of British television, many of which are of appreciably higher quality than American productions. The C.S.O. particularly enjoys British murder mysteries – she’s a pushover for anything with a mysterious death in it – so we’ve mostly been enjoying those in the evenings, via streaming channels Acorn and BritBox.
But that might not be for much longer.
In the beginning, there was Midsomer Murders. This series, now in its twenty-third season, is the all-time favorite of bloodless blood-and-gore buffs. Its first fifteen years were guided by the hand and mind of co-creator and producer Brian True-May, who apparently loved it as much as any of its viewers. But True-May was forced out of involvement with the series after someone asked him why there were no blacks or Asians in it:
The co-creator of Midsomer Murders, Brian True-May, is to step down from his role at the end of the current series after he sparked a race row by suggesting there was no place in the programme for ethnic minorities.
True-May, the co-creator and producer of Midsomer Murders which began on ITV in 1997, described the show as the “last bastion of Englishness” and said it “wouldn’t work” if ethnic minorities appeared on screen….
True-May told last week’s edition of Radio Times: “We just don’t have ethnic minorities involved. Because it wouldn’t be the English village with them. It just wouldn’t work. “
“Suddenly we might be in Slough. Ironically, Causton (one of the main centres of population in the show) is supposed to be Slough. And if you went into Slough you wouldn’t see a white face there.
“We’re the last bastion of Englishness and I want to keep it that way.”
Oh, my. Someone who’s fond of the English village as it was and mostly still is! There are very, very few blacks or Asians in the English countryside; they’re almost exclusively urban populations. True-May committed the ultimate offense: he spoke the truth about something that displeases Britain’s racial and ethnic minorities. Clearly, he had to go.
The series has gone sharply downhill since True-May’s departure. While that also correlates with the replacement of its leading man, the internationally famous and wildly popular John Nettles, by the less popular (and less charismatic) Neil Dudgeon, one cannot escape the feeling that as blacks and Asians have crept into the casting, the series has lost some of its verisimilitude and some of its viewer appeal.
Still, we must placate the minorities, mustn’t we? They tend to run riot if we don’t. Especially those pesky “Asians,” British journalists’ preferred term for Muslim immigrants from the Middle East, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. The “no go zones” are bad enough already. Mustn’t provoke their further multiplication, enlargement, or intensification.
That was a case of an entertainment executive speaking his mind without forethought about who might be moved to attack him for it. We know that the racialists and ethnicity-floggers are perpetually on the alert for such things. But now and then there’s no obvious explanation for the sudden insertion of an absurdity into a popular show.
Let’s turn to our current fare, Grantchester. For its first three seasons, this series, which starred James Norton as Reverend Sidney Chambers of the Church of England and Robson Green as Detective Inspector Geordie Keating of the Cambridgeshire constabulary, featured as a major subplot Chambers’ yearning for Amanda Kendall, whom he’d loved since boyhood. However, Amanda, played by Morven Christie, marries Guy Hopkins, a member of the landed gentry, a match heartily approved by her father. The clash this creates provides a large amount of the show’s propulsion, as Chambers’ steady descent into self-pity and dissolution leads him into one instance of bad judgment after another.
That thread runs in parallel to another “love that dare not speak its name:” that of curate Leonard Finch, played by Al Weaver, for Daniel Marlowe, played by Oliver Dimsdale. Now, in the years of the series’ setting, the early to mid-Fifties, homosexuality was still illegal in Britain. (It was legalized by the Sexual Offences Act of 1967, after a number of scandals involving the nobility and several members of Parliament.) Thus, such a love was something to be kept out of the public eye…but here we have an ordained curate of the Church of England enmeshed in it, on screen!
I’d hoped that Leonard Finch’s desire to remain staunch against homosexual temptation would triumph. I was disappointed; late in the third season he succumbs, in blatant violation of his vows as an ordained Anglican priest. Moreover, the series presents this as some sort of triumph for the Right and the Good, even though Finch remains the curate of Grantchester parish.
But wait: there’s more! While Sidney Chambers does eventually choose his Church and his vows over his love for Amanda, his fidelity to his vows doesn’t last. In the fourth season he becomes instantly infatuated with a young black woman from Georgia, and abandons his parish and his Church to go to America to be with her. In 1954, when the southern states nearly all had laws against miscegenation!
Implausibility piled upon implausibility, all for the sake of “controversy” – which seems always to mean placating the racialists, the homosexuals, and the ethnic-identity floggers. Yea verily, British entertainment has been colonized and conquered quite as thoroughly as that brewed in America.
Don’t read too much into this, Gentle Reader. I’m mostly venting. But normal people are coming to recognize the agenda. The implausibilities, the deliberate distortions and cancellations of the normal patterns of association and commitment, have a message: “You cannot escape us. We will follow you wherever you go. Your preferences are irrelevant. We will force you to submit to our ways of thinking and living.” That message becomes more widespread, more insistent, and more brutal with every passing day.
You don’t want my thoughts. They might scorch the intertubes.
I’m mindful of the scene in Dr. Zhivago where Alexander Gromeko, denied living space because a house has been declared appropriated for the people, shakes his fist at the sky and shouts “I’m one of the people too!”
I just finished rewatching the excellent 1995 A&E/ BBC version of “Pride & Prejudice”. None of the characters were blackwashed.
Seems to be an age old problem of facing facts. They never ever change. Facts are facts, even if you don’t like them or acknowledge them, they are still facts.
Sure as the Sun rising in the East. Fact is it’s going to continue rising in the East. Until it doesn’t. Then it’s the big curtain pulled over this circus we call life. As Porky said. That’s all folks.
The imitation president is meeting with the families of the deceased in Buffalo today, yet he didn’t venture into Waukesha Wisconsin to meet with families of those deceased. More political mileage to get from the trip to Buffalo.
The slug who killed those at the Christmas parade in n Waukesha is every bit the racist as the one in Buffalo, yet who’s getting the anal exam.
And, to ramble a bit, how is it, in this racist country, so many black people are cast in TV commercials? Very few don’t include blacks. White supremacy? Where is it?
Hallmark RomComs are doing the same thing. My wife and I are likewise getting a bit tired of the Black Best Friend and the Black Female Boss. It seems…forced.
Back in the eighties, I used to wonder if British murder mystery writers were subject to a clause in their contracts that required at least one slighting reference to Margaret Thatcher.
Nowadays the mysteries require at least one hysterical statement about how we’re all gonna die from climate change. So do a lot of the nonfiction books I read. Midway through a book on British manufacturing, the author went off on an irrelevant tear about how anthropogenic climate change had been so thoroughly proven that he couldn’t understand how anybody could dispute it, concluding with the assertion that since voters are inexplicably disinclined to vote for higher energy costs and wind turbines in their back yard, “government must act despite the voters.”
Or, as Brecht would say, it’s time for the government to dissolve the people and elect another.
Plus ca change…