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.