Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Bin Laden Broadcasting Corporation

Elizabeth Kantor put it best in the excellent 'Politically Incorrect Guide To English And American Literature': philosophy can tell what the right thing to do is, but literature can show us why it's the right thing. All of which is by way of saying that while the BBC's factual output is rightly criticised, their drama output also deserves scrutiny.

Which brings me neatly onto 'White Girl'. Apparently, when the BBC announced a season on the white native working class, they meant it in the sense of 'open season'. Either that, or the hive mind has descended into terminal liberal tourettes.

In so far as 'White Girl' appears to have drawn on every possible negative stereotype of the native working class, it at least has the advantage of being unequivocal. Now no one can deny both the BBC's elitism and its partisanship.

Still, let's consider the underlying message of this drama: on the one hand, we have the violent, drunken, dysfunctional, workshy, promiscuous Infidel trash, on the other, the idyllic lives of those who live in accordance with the Koran.

This is the world as Al-Quiada sees it. In fact, one of their spiritual forefathers advanced exactly these kind of arguments, while closer to home in time and space, the same attitudes were expressed rather more pithily.

You can argue as to whether or not media organisations should carry this kind of material, but for a publicly funded broadcaster - let alone one known for hysterical denunciations of 'extremism' and pious sermonising about 'code words' and 'dog whistling' - to be producing output that Bin Laden would be nodding along to is simply despicable.

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