Thursday, 9 August 2018

BORISOPHOBIA...



Let me start this post by saying that I'm not a fan of BORIS JOHNSON (or any politician come to that).  He often comes across as a buffoon, though maybe that's a role he plays on purpose so that his political opponents will underestimate him (or for some other undetermined reason).  However, I believe the manufactured stushie over his comments about burkas reveals just how sorry we've become as a nation in recent years.

We Brits have always had the ability to laugh at (and among) ourselves.  The 'Englishmen, Irishman, and Scotsman' jokes that were once so popular were testament to the fact that we didn't take ourselves too seriously.  If an Englishman referred to a kilt as a 'skirt', there were no accusations of 'Celticphobia' suddenly flying around, with calls for an investigation.

Johnson's comments about pillar boxes and bank robbers were an attempt at humour, and however misjudged some people might consider his remarks, their response should surely be "T*sser!" and then to dismiss it from their minds.  I'm bound to say though, that in the pursuit of comedic comparison, the opening in a burka surely can be said to be reminiscent of the slot in a pillar box, and people who cover their faces could humorously be said to resemble bank robbers (but that's not the same thing as saying that they are bank robbers - or pillar boxes for that matter) - in much the same way that nuns are sometimes compared to penguins.  We don't hear nuns (or penguins) making a fuss about that though, do we?

There are two agendas at play here.  The first is a political one, where those scared of Johnson's alleged eye on the top job are exploiting the situation to try and kick the legs out from under him and scupper his chances, and the other is a cultural/religious one, where certain people within a minority section of our society, who are determined to take offense at everything, claim that they're the victims of Islamophobia - or any other ethnic/social/religious-phobia you care to mention.

It's a way to force us to bow the knee to them and elevate their 'sensitivities' (and demands) above everyone else's.  Ordinary, everyday British people are on the defensive, afraid to question, criticise, or even comment on any aspect of immigrant or ethnic cultures that isn't in accord with what have long been regarded as 'traditional British values'.  (And there's a phrase I never thought I'd type.)  We've now been manipulated into being so scared to cause offense to certain groups (and the current 'Gingerbread Man' controversy is a prime example) - even when none is intended or anticipated - that strange customs and practices, at one time foreign to our shores, are allowed to take root and grow unchallenged.

So some people claim to be offended by Boris's remarks and, sensing blood, they now circle like vultures - not just waiting for the victim's expiration, but pecking at its flesh in an attempt to hasten its demise.  It's time this nonsense stopped!  There's one right that no one has - or should have - in this world, and that's the right to be not offended.  (Yes, I typed that right - read it again.)

Do the English think kilts look like skirts?  Then let them say so and we'll all have a laugh about it.  Do Scots think that the English are snooty snobs?  Then let them proclaim it and we'll all chuckle over it.  If immigrant or ethnic communities want to feel integrated (and perhaps many don't), then the chief British characteristic they should adopt is a sense of humour and the ability to laugh at themselves - and to allow others to laugh at (and with) them.

Remember the movie LIFE Of BRIAN?  Some Christians took offense, but it sparked an interesting and (mainly) civilised discussion.  You'll never see an Islamic equivalent of 'Brian' in today's Britain (for fear of giving 'offense' obviously, and the stushie that would ensue), and surely that should be regarded as a step backward.  No minority within our society should be allowed to exercise that type of control (through fear of how they might 'kick off' as a result of any perceived insult) over the majority, but our 'leaders' are too scared to say so, never mind do anything about it. 

The agenda is control, readers.  Certain people in pursuit of that agenda are trying to exert influence over what we can think and say, and the method they're using is the claim of being offended whenever they hear something they don't like, or don't want others being able to say.  We shouldn't let this current situation with Boris become a weapon for those who wish to impose their ideas of how society should be on the rest of us.

Any thoughts on the matter?  I now declare the comments section open.  Who's going to be the first person brave enough to raise their head above the parapet?           

21 comments:

pete doree said...

Couldn't have said it better meself, Kid. And here's another thing. You're offended? SO. WHAT.
I'm offended. I'm offended daily by the mainstream media for one. Where's my pressure group?
Oh right, I have an off switch on my TV, I'll just use that, then.

Kid said...

I'm offended by all those people who always seem to take offense at something (or even nothing), PD. I think there should be an investigation.

Colin Jones said...

I don't like BoJo either and everything he says and does is designed to appeal to the dwindling, geriatric membership of the Tory party who will choose the next Prime-Minister when Theresa is forced out after the Brexit negotiations are finished.

However, I do question why some Muslim women dress as if they lived in Saudi Arabia. And do those women CHOOSE to wear the burka or are they FORCED to? I agree that Boris, or anybody else, has the right to talk about this subject.

Kid said...

And what's more, CJ, everybody should have the right to find humour in certain aspects of other people. Laughing often lets the air out of the balloon.

TC said...

Either you have freedom of speech or you don't. If certain topics are off-limits, or if certain ideas cannot be ridiculed, because certain groups might be offended, then there is no point in having newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, or the internet.

And I can guarantee that, whatever you say, now matter how seemingly innocuous, there is someone out there who will take offense.

And, either you have equality or you don't. If Dave Allen could do comedy satirizing Catholicism, and Michael Moorcock's "Behold the Man" could be published and distributed, and Monty Python could do "The Life of Brian," then Boris Johnson can smart off about burkas. Muslims do not have rights that other groups do not have.

There is no such thing as a right to never be offended. Christians and Jews (Hindus, Buddhists, and, for that matter, people who have no religion) often hear jokes, or see media images, that they find offensive. That is the price you pay for living in a free country.



Kid said...

Exactly, TC. Succinct and to the point as usual.

pete doree said...

Everybody should watch Dave Allen & Life Of Brian, and read Behold The Man when they're 13 / 14 like I did, TC. Might just open their minds a bit. Certainly did me.

Kid said...

I'd add Father Ted to that list as well, PD. Haven't read 'Behold The Man' - must give it a try.

Philip Crawley said...

Worth a read K; a brilliant idea carried out in the usual Moorcock style (his writing may be an acquired taste for some). Can't get enough time travel stories myself and the ramifications they cause. I'd be very wary of governments who begin advocating what amounts to censorship, often aided and abetted by the spineless followers who run what passes for news and current affairs these days and the mass media in general. Free speech is one of the cornerstones of a free democratic society - start chipping away at that and who knows what other rights will be next!

Lionel Hancock said...

You always get the moaners..The ones I dont like are the highly paid ones...as for Boris his hide is as tough as boot leather. Yep the next Tory Leader.

Kid said...

The title does seem familiar, PC, so I wonder if I've read a comic strip adaptation of it, or seen a TV version or movie (if there's ever been one)? Anyway, I'll keep an eye out for the book.

******

There's not one I'd vote for amongst the whole lot of them, LH. If only politicians would stop playing daft power games and start putting the people's needs before their own.

TC said...

George Carlin said that political correctness is an especially pernicious form of censorship because it is intolerance disguised as tolerance and sensitivity.

I don't know offhand whether Moorcock's novel was ever adapted to other media. The title might still sound familiar because it is taken from John 19:5.



Kid said...

Thanks, TC. I'll have seen the mention in the Good Book, but I've likely also seen the novel mentioned in various publications over the years, which is probably why it sounds so familiar.

pete doree said...

BTW Roy Thomas & Alex Nino adapted Behold The Man in Unknown Worlds Of Science Fiction - it's on my blog if anyone wants to read it. A TV version would've been great, but I doubt it would be funded these days.

Kid said...

I'm jumping over to your blog to read it right now, PD.

Dave S said...

I agree with TC- we either have freedom of speech or we don't. It seems that what we have right now is free speech on the condition you agree with the easily-offended people who consider themselves to be right about everything.

Even if someone is wrong, they still deserve the freedom to be wrong.

Also, I love Behold The Man too! Not a huge Moorcock fan but BTM is a great read.

Kid said...

I think TC should consider having a blog (if he doesn't already), DS. His thoughts are always so eminently sensible.

Vince and Siv said...

I agree with everything being said here, a lot of sensible comments. Never read Behold the Man properly, but back in the day I loved the Unknown Worlds of Science Fiction adaptation with funky Alex Nino art! Well done Pete Doree for posting it online as I parted ways with my black and white Marvel mags a long time back :
http://bronzeageofblogs.blogspot.com/2014/10/behold-man.html

Kid said...

I'll have to give the novel a read some day, V&S. Thanks for providing the link to PD's blog. Must be something wrong with this post - all sensible comments so far. Maybe I'm losing my ability to annoy folk.

TC said...

In "The Teahouse of the August Moon," an American military officer stationed on Okinawa shortly after WWII is trying to explain democracy to the natives. He describes it as "the right to be wrong," which, oddly, is a pretty good description.

It neither breaks my arm nor picks my pocket if my neighbor is a Muslim, a Christian, or an atheist. Or if he thinks that the Earth is flat, or that the space program was fake, or that professional wrestling is real. It is another matter if he tries to force his beliefs on me. Or if he physically attacks me because I don't agree. (And it would be equally wrong if I assaulted him because of his beliefs.)

I've sometimes considered starting a blog, but the only topics I can ever think of are (1) post photos of actresses, female rock stars, and models, and label them "Babe of the Day," or (2) post covers of Silver and Bronze age comics, and say, "I had this one, but I don't remember anything about it. Is this the one where Captain America mistakes Spider-Man for a bank robber, and they fight? Or is it the one where the Fantastic Four mistake Daredevil for Doctor Doom, and they fight him?"

And those gimmicks have already been done.

Kid said...

But have they been done as well as you'd do them, TC? That 'Babe of the Day' one sounds like a good idea - I'd certainly visit.

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