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Sunday, June 15, 2008

On the coarsening of British culture

"On what little things does happiness depend!" wrote Oscar Wilde in the Nightingale and the Rose. He was referring to the heartbreak endured by a student who needed to get a red rose to impress a professor's daughter. Actually it turned out that the professor's daughter was a bloody idiot and didn't deserve the red rose that was only secured through the agonising death of a lovely nightingale; he should've just written a request for fellatio on the back of a bus ticket and stuck it to her forehead - and insisted on the return of the ticket.

Thus Russell Brand, in the Guardian newspaper. His louche autobiography is entitled "My Booky Wook", though for some reason he doesn't apply the same baby-linguistic titling approach to his blog or website ("My Blogy... no! No! Career death!"). For there are things these jokers take very, very seriously: banknotes.

The Teflon coating on his deadly bullets of vulgarity is a trifling pretension to verbal and literary sophistication. And it's happening all around, and so very well rewarded.

Of course, the next generation is past TV. So what are your children playing on the Internet? Here's some of the games I've seen ten-year-olds chuckling at in the last fortnight:

Stair Fall
The Torture Game
The Last Stand 2

And as fast as you block these entertainments, new routes to them appear via new game compendium sites. And more and more new games, most of them free of charge.

But the work of psychic corruption must proceed, so we must be inoculated against notions of censorship by tendentious TV biopics of well-meaning moral campaigners like Mary Whitehouse, who was of course not nearly so posh, sophisticated, well-breeched and well-connected as the moguls she took on. So smart are we that she is to be condemned as much for her eyewear as for her lower-middle-class status and dowdy profession (schoolteaching - art and sex education).

I think we must wait for the University rebels of the late Sixties to retire or die before we can start the salvage operation.


Anonymous said...

There's no need to wait for them to die. Be, as they enjoy saying, pro-active.

Sackerson said...

Are you hinting at The Final Solution for mad old hippies? It would have a sort of cruel, perverse point to it, like whipping puppies. You see, they simply can't understand why not everyone agrees with them. Blair's a lovely example, an amalgam of cynicism, solipsism and being awa' with the fairies. If anybody had thought to put a cheval mirror in the corridor of Number 11, he'd never have left his house - even better if they'd given him a little ladder and a bell.

James Higham said...

I've always felt there is acase for bringing back the stocks and tomatoes. Has a sort of middle-English feel to it.