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Lady Aquila

Mar 31, 05 - 9:54 PM
Nasty or Nice?

We have just been listening to some charming Quirrie Children's Hour broadcasts, and it was our unhappy duty to isolate them from some bongo commentary with which they had been surrounded.

The commentary, though distasteful, was rather illuminating. It was made mostly by a lady who had actually been involved in the making of Children's Hour broadcasts in the 1950s. She still spoke with something like what used to be known as a "B.B.C. accent" but with some of the vowels dutifully, though in her case fairly subtly, "proled down" for bongo consumption.

When she announced the "original announcements", as though they were something strange and curious, she tended slightly to mock the pronunciation, even though this had, a decade or so ago, been her own. She also commented, from the "superior" position of the brave new pseudo-plebeian world, upon their delivery. Her comments frequently repeated the same word. Of a male announcer, patronisingly: "Sounds like a nice boy"; of a female announcer: "What a naice lady!" - parodying the correct pronunciation that she would have done better to imitate.

But how curious that she should select the word "nice". If the obvious, salient, mockable character of the real world is its niceness - what is the obvious implication about the Pit, to which it is being implicitly contrasted?

It reminds me of a journalist who had visited Aristasia describing her departure. "Aristasia is a very pretty fantasy. But then I saw a dustbin and remembered the real world."

Of course, when they say "real world" it means the opposite of what we mean. They mean the Pit. But perhaps our two understandings are not so very far apart. Their immediate comparisons make it clear how they themselves see it.

And it is certainly not nice.

Apr 1st, 2005 - 1:24 PM
Re: Nasty or Nice? the ubiquitous dustbin

Presumably the journalist in question was naieve enough to believe that Aristasians do not need dustbins? A beautiful illustration of the bongo mentality, a mind closed and blinkered instead of open and questioning.

Dustbins, and the things that belong in them, are a necessary adjunct of a civilised life, but they don't usually become a topic of polite conversation. Hence the great divide between the beauty of Aristasia and the pit with all its bongos rolling in the mud and telling themselves they are "realists".
Lady Aquila

Apr 2nd, 2005 - 7:51 PM
Beauty and the Beast

The series finished yesterday. "What a nice man!" exclaimed the announcer again, after listening to a perfectly-spoken gentleman-announcer. The word seems forced from her lips almost every time she hears someone speaking as she once spoke before her shameful capitualtion to pseudo-proletariaism.

Real gentlemen, one notices, tend to be "nice", while ladies are, more mockingly "naice". Perhaps this indicates that the more subtle a conditioning-process is, the deeper it goes. Proletarianisation which is hardly mentioned, but is universal among the type three professions teaches her disrespect for all who speak correct patrician English, but bongo feminism, which is constantly beating its shrill drum, does not teach her to respect women less than men.

Perhaps the loveliest piece of all, and the most heart-rending was a visit to a hospital by two wonderful examples of a species now extinct: the good, well-spoken, innocent English girl. The sheer evil which has destroyed this species is just beyond belief.

"I daresay you winced," said the announcer after the piece was broadcast, "at the word cripple. It just shows how attitudes have changed toward children in hospital."

How right she was. They have changed. Such children are no longer given a world of security, trust and decent values to grow up in. They are no longer allowed to be innocent. They are no longer in the spotless well-run hospitals of the old discipline, but in the dirty, overcrowded State-hospitals of Pit-england. But at least they have pimminy Policed-Consciousness rules and regulations telling people what words they are not allowed to use. What progress!

No, madam, I did not wince. I did not wince once during this beautiful piece, though I wince at every other sentence spoken by you and your colleagues; either at the turn of phrase, the implied values, or at the deliberately low and twisted vowels. That is why I never listen to any of your broadcasts, even when the content is otherwise supposedly unexceptionable.

I did feel pain at this piece however. Pain at the innocent and charming world your masters have destroyed. Pain for all the children who are denied true, decent childhood by you and your colleagues in the broadcasting and education systems. As well as joy at what was and what can be again if there is a new Aristasian generation.

And you, dear reader, what will you feel? Here is the piece stripped of the compulsory Brave New World commentary. Do let me know what you feel.
Rosa Renard

Apr 7th, 2005 - 1:50 PM
An extinct species?

I believe it is the right sort of grown-up which is dying out; many girls show both innocence and charm when approached and treated in the right way. Too often they are encouraged to be ÒknowingÓ (usually pretend) and ÒassertiveÓ, and to treat grown-ups as merely other, bigger children. In front of the television camera children seem to be positively urged to behave badly, screaming and jeering on cue. Rudeness is treated as funny (who can resist that?). There is a stock answer to a request for respect - ÒRespect has to be earnedÓ. No, it should be mutual, and can be lost, but everyone is entitled to it in the first instance. Civilized behaviour is not natural; it has to be taught, but it can still be taught.

Apr 15th, 2005 - 8:27 PM
Re: Nasty or Nice?

This a story about the Queen when she was seven years old:
When the Archbishop of Canterbury ruffled her hair and said ÒHowÕs the little lady?Ó she rather curtly replied ÒIÕm not a little lady; IÕm a princess.Ó
Her grandmother, Queen Mary, said to her: ÒYou were born a princess; I hope one day you will be a lady.Ó