BBC Gay Pride and Prejudice
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife”.Except, in the case of the week of the bicentenary of Jane Austen’s classic novel, at the BBC, where our public broadcaster has decided to broadcast, instead, Tales of the City - an everyday story of the transgendered Anna Madrigal and her gay friends set in San Francisco during the 1970s and 80s.
Brother Ivo has no difficulty with its author Armistead Maupin receiving the deserved wider exposure. He devoured the whole series of novels 25 years ago and would liken the work to a latter-day Dickens. Not everyone who is in favour of traditional marriage in this country is narrow or 'anti-gay', indeed many in Civil Partnerships share this view.
Maupin writes well and encompasses a wide range of characters. There is humour, topicality, and tragedy. Like Dickens, the stories were originally written for serialisation in a newspaper, so the chapter lengths are commensurately short, and often end with a cliff-hanger to encourage the reader to buy the San Francisco Chronicle the next day to discover what happens next.
There is also a commendable degree of kindness about them, of which the world is very short.
The trailers to the serialisation have begun, and like any reader who has enjoyed a work, my immediate response was to recoil at the rather heavy and instrusive use of a 70s psychodelic musical soundtrack. If you need the soundtrack, you were not of the era. A Garrison Keiller 'Lake Woebegone' kind of audio presentation would have been Brother Ivo’s choice - a point made only for the purpose of establishing that he appreciates the work in question and comes to these thoughts with no malice towards the work, its author or his orientation.
What jars is the choice of the BBC to begin it in the days leading up to the debate on 'gay marriage'.
One can be quite sure that if we asked the BBC about this, we should be assured that this is quite 'coincidental'; it will have been in the planning for many months/years, etc - but I will not believe a word of it.
It a clumsy piece of orchestrated mood music in advance of the Commons debate.
picaresque Alf Garnett was shuffled off our screens during periods of elections, lest his forthright opinions and prejudices affect the outcome, while Tony Hancock was removed from the schedule on election night for no better reason than to avoid the likelihood of voters preferring his appeal to that of the political parties.
It is this shift in the BBC approach that I find so troubling.
The BBC holds a privileged role in the nation.
No other organisation of any size - let alone this Leviathan - has the right to tax any of Her Majesty’s subjects on the basis that they wish to avail themselves of the right to watch a television channel - not just this television channel; any channel. It can procure the fining or imprisonment of anyone who does not pay, even if that person never watches its output. Like all bullies, it targets the weak and vulnerable which may be seen by attending the TV Licensing prosecutions in the local Magistrates Court.
The holding of that special and privileged position ought to engender a certain reticence about how such influence might be exercised, yet as Andrew Marr succinctly put it:
“The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It’s a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities, and gay people. It has a liberal bias, not so much a party political bias. It is better expressed as a cultural liberal bias.”If anyone doubts that 'cultural liberal bias' imagine, if you would, the prospects of the BBC commissioning a 'History of Marriage'; imagine them choosing Colin Hart, the Director of the Christian Institute, to present such a programme; imagine the screening of such a programme in the time leading to the vote on the Bill now before Parliament.
We all know that there is not the slightest chance of any of that happening.
The problem which Andrew Marr identified is deep and important. The cultural castle of the BBC has been captured by the progressive movement which has moved on from 'Summer of Love' to something altogether less relaxed.
With a significant lack of awareness, the BBC overlooks the truth that through its monopoly it has given us 'Room 101' and 'Newspeak'. It seems not to appreciate that its political correctness was satirised by George Orwell even before it evolved out of the Cultural Marxism of the Frankfurt School of Philosophy. At the BBC today, all pigs are equal but some pigs are more equal than others (other halal animals are all equally non-equal).
It is an organisation of known prejudices.
From the commanding heights of a £5bn turnover conglomerate there are regular sallies in support of an agenda that always seeks to 'push the boundaries'. It has acquired an unhealthy bias towards what I call 'The Culture of the Transgressive'. Desiring to be 'cutting edge and challenging', albeit sometimes 30 years out of date, it is an ongoing cultural revolution which will never be satisfied.
Yet, however unfashionable it is to say so, boundaries exist for a purpose. They are of value on a sports field, in a theatre or musical production, in families and clubs, or, indeed, in a societal or behavioural context.
Show me a three-year-old without a boundary, and I will show you a child who is deeply insecure and a risk to himself and others. Without boundaries, the world is a confusing, frightening and dangerous place.
Where all the known parameters are insecure, fear and recklessness are not far away. In adulthood, the situation is no better, and the person who knows or respects no boundaries is no boon to the society he or she inhabits. When they come to acquire leadership of such a society, we know where it ends.
(Posted by Brother Ivo)