Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Friday, January 14, 2011

Preserving western culture against wicked Muslims. Oh, and Jesus.

Uncle Jimmy's blog posts fall into several categories. Despite all protestations to the contrary, there are sometimes out and out racist ones. There are the normal Islamophobic ones, the tedious puff pieces for whatever ego-trip Tony Blair has most recently been on, the hilariously inept ones, the merely mistaken ones, and the barefaced lies. There are also ones that are just plain boring, and ones that I actually find myself in broad agreement with.

There are some great examples of all of the above from recent weeks on Jimmy's blog. But having laid into Jimmy recently for his racism and Islamophobia, let's begin by lightening the tone and simply put him straight on a small matter of fact. Nothing sinister here: indeed I would just have posted it as a comment on his blog if I weren't Blogger Non Grata.

One of the Blair puff pieces deals with the establishment in Sierra Leone of a Tony Blair Academy. Sorry, a Tony Blair INTERNATIONAL Academy. Jimmy has this to say:

I wondered for a while if this was a first for a British politician/(former) prime minister, within his/her lifetime?......In fact there was a precedent but some time ago – see below, Grey College, Durham.....In fact Grey College was named after the then Prime Minister – Charles Grey. Grey was among those responsible for setting up the Reform Act of 1832.

I'm not about to make hay with this as I'm sure it's an honest error, but while Grey College was indeed named for Charles Grey, it was founded rather a long time after his death: in 1959 to be exact. Grey was the Prime Minister when Durham University was founded, but the college is a comparative newcomer. I hadn't known that it was nearly called Oliver Cromwell College: how many Tony Blair Colleges/Schools/Academies/Recycling Plants/Motorway Service Areas may have been planned, only to be snatched away from their rightful dedicatee and devoted instead to lesser beings?

The only one of Durham's colleges founded in Grey's lifetime is in fact my own alma mater, University College. Though our arch-rival across the road only missed out by one year.

Clearly not a deliberate falsehood, not is it funny the way the Simon Cowell/Simon Callow confusion was. But it does draw attention to a....how shall I put it?....devil-may-care attitude to researching facts.

This blog-first-think-never attitude sometimes leads Jimmy hopelessly out of his depth, though, as in this comment.

The word “dishonour” is never used in western culture.

Leaving aside its long and, er, honourable pedigree in Western military circles (if Jimmy doesn't consider the Romans sufficiently Western, surely the impeccable British Caractacus will do?) Jimmy seems to be suggesting that neither the Bible (Old or New Testaments) nor Shakespeare is part of "western culture". Earth to American chappie: here in Britain, they both are.

Before I am accused of "juvenile humour" for drawing attention to this gaffe, may I point out that it has generally been the lot of those making sweeping and readily disproved statements (especially where any school child is capable of rebutting them) to be laughed at alike by crowds of children and adults. Do I think Uncle Jimmy seriously believes what he wrote? No. Do I think he gives a moment's thought to whether what he writes is correct, or even whether it makes any kind of sense? No again. In the case of the Grey College error, I'm sure Jimmy believed it to be true.

But if you want something really ironic, try guessing who said this about the victims of the Holocaust:

"We must never dishonour their memory by allowing the ugly poison of racial prejudice and hatred to hold sway again."

Go on, have a guess. (Hint: he is impeccably Western, though one suspects that maybe when he hears the word "culture" he reaches - figuratively speaking - for his gun.)


At 17 January, 2011 21:47, Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Gee Rob, why do you keep reading Uncle Jimmy: just to keep your blood presure up?

At 20 January, 2011 23:31, Blogger Rob said...

No Joe, my blood pressure's fine. I suppose I read him for the same reason other people watch the X Factor. You don't very often see anything you think is worthwhile, sometimes it's laughably bad and sometimes just so bad you wonder how he gets away with it. And Jummy doesn't have irritating theme music (though that grinning Blair in his masthead needs dealing with).


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