The Right - Learn it! The Left - Burn it!
In the iconic British comedy series Blackadder, on its third outing and set in Regency times, Rowan Atkinson’s scheming courtier discovers something delightful about two actors, one of whom is played by Carry On regular Kenneth Connor. Blackadder could not be made or, probably, even repeated now, as comedy came under a course of social reprogramming by the Left shortly after the series. But back to the wily Regency schemer.
Blackadder discovers that actors do not like to hear the word ‘Macbeth’ in reference to Shakespeare’s play, preferring that it be referred to as ‘the Scottish play’. Blackadder, of course, says the word as much as he can, which obliges the actors to go through a ridiculous jig and a nonsense rhyme ending with a painful nose-pull.
Blackadder: So you don’t like it when I say ‘Macbeth’, then?
Actors: (Perform ridiculous jig). No!
Blackadder: You would rather I said ‘the Scottish play’?
Blackadder: Not ‘Macbeth’.
Actors: Aaaargh! ‘Hot potatoes…’ (The nonsense rhyme proceeds once more).
The Leftist robot spiders who are crushing what used to be cultural debate in Britain are very much like Blackadder in this scene. Now they have found some words – ‘racism’, ‘transphobia’, ‘Islamophobia’ – that they know will have an effect, like Pavlov’s famous experiments, or neuro-linguistic programming, you can be sure they will say them many and oft a time.
A lot of cultural static now is the charged relay system of interview and press statement. Politicians present an interesting example. A politician interviewed on television by a seasoned hack is not going to be concerned with talking about policy in any but the most anodyne, pre-scripted fashion. What exercises them a good deal more is the gaffe, possibility of.
We’re not talking about some mildly amusing fart joke brought about by standard Freudian parapraxis and mysgraphia (I was under the impression we had covered digressions? Possibly not. Ed.). No. We’re talking about the wrong answer to questions like, do you give your full and unequivocal support to all aspects of transgenderism, despite its faddish, cultish, deviant, deliberately dysfunctional charade along with its persecution of those who think of gender as being something rooted in biological reality and terra firma and so on, and generally would you like to see any dissidents with regards to gender fluidity doing their dissidence in jail?
This is precisely why Vladimir Putin and Viktor Orbán deal so well with the media. Because they don’t care what the media think. Incipit Donald Trump. If the media’s most fearsome weapon, that of media/social shaming, doesn’t work on its enemy, then some other skullduggery must needs be found.
The problem with the key words of the Left, who come to life like a player-piano when the right roll of card is pushed through, is that they have rubbed the coin too hard. Apologies for the mixed metaphor, but these are desperate times. When you rub a coin too much, or life does it for you, it eventually loses its distinguishing marks and becomes just another blank coin we don’t recognise. Linguistically, we hope that this means certain words will be used so much – as they are being used – that they will attain the ontological status of ‘wheelie-bin’ or ‘shoe’ or ‘blender’. Just things that are around and can be used, but don’t have any great relevance in the grand scheme of things.
This is all due to the coinage, of course, and legal tender inflates and deflates. The word ‘racism’ has been changed by the Left, whose greatest enemy is the dictionary, into a one-size-fits-all moral subpoena for anyone not absolutely on the melody line. The reason Trump, Putin and Orbán can ‘get away’ with their attitudes is because they don’t care about media hysterics, and that is because they know what they are talking about, they are more level-headed men than the effete rulers of the West. They know what racism is and what it isn’t.
But for Western media, this just proves that the media across the Carpathians and beyond are not doing their jobs properly and calling these heretics to account. Isn’t that rich? Western journalists dismayed at the lax standards of the Pravda crew.
Some gaffes are deliberate, water-testers, canaries in coal-mines. So when some rubber Johnny from the British Police tells the press that shopping bags and trolleys may have to be examined for non-essential shopping, he’s just seeing if he – and the police – can from taking the right piss to taking the right royal piss. He had to retract it, but it was only an experiment anyway. There are a lot of these little try-outs. Will they swallow this? Will they just suck this up? Really?
But the overall effect is that the political and media class, along with their celebrity catamites, have even less free speech than the rest of us. Why would they care if we have ours taken away?
If every time they say ‘Macbeth!’ we have to go through a song-and-dance routine of obeisance and groveling apology, then they have won. Far healthier to shrug off the demands of these hobbyist social engineers and explain that words are not, indeed, sticks and stones. That would be a very cunning plan.