I make no apology for the fact that my post today runs the risk of being pigeonholed as the pathetically-sad ramblings of a sterotypical old, out of touch, git who epitomises everything that 21st Century, “woke” ‘Generation X’, Millennial youngsters around the globe waste their time blaming for the ills of the world.
It’s just that observing the direction that the Western World seems to be going from my custom-built underground bunker somewhere in the home counties sometimes I do despair at the state of the human race.
THE 2021 BAFTA TELEVISION AWARDS
Last night I watched the first hour of the BAFTA television awards, broadcast apparently ‘live’ on BBC1 from 7.00pm and hosted by Richard Ayodae.
The best that could be said of it – echoing Samuel Johnson’s famous quip about the experience of watching a woman preaching – was not that it was done well but that it was done at all … and here I’m referencing the Covid-19 pandemic crisis – not the quality of the production which to be fair wasn’t at all bad in the circumstances.
Against the background of everyone remotely PC – including its president Prince William – having been calling for the past couple of years for BAFTA to display more “diversity”, it was inevitable that this year’s award would include due box-ticking representation (alternative description: tokenism) of every form of human life save white middle class males.
Thus – it seemed to this viewer – every category’s nominee short-list included a minimum 60% of individuals or programmes of BAME origin and/or majority content.
After a while, for this viewer, this trend went from noticeable to irritating – which is why I switched off after sixty minutes’ worth.
SPORTS TEAMS “TAKING THE KNEE”
Elsewhere in the media, it seems that there’s an issue brewing over the “Black Lives Matter”-inspired practice of players in professional sports teams “taking a knee” immediately before games begin.
For a period after the death of George Floyd in America originally this practice was an understandable and worthy manifestation of the general (and natural) reaction of revulsion at the circumstances around the globe.
But after a couple of months the number of players “taking the knee” began to drop and even some black sportsmen/women who hitherto had been taking part openly stated that they thought the gesture had now had its day.
At the moment things seem to be in a state of limbo. With the Euros beginning this week, the England football team has become a lightning rod for the dilemma of whether it should continue. At one recent England warm-up friendly fixture, fans actually booed the players as they “took the knee”.
Gareth Southgate seems to have consulted his squad and the official line is that the England team will continue to “take the knee” with plans also being laid to encourage (plead for) fans to respect the ‘statement’.
The trouble, of course, is that “the public” is a complicated beast.
For one thing, one man’s meat may be another’s poison.
Furthermore, what the authorities regard as “the right thing to do” not be popular with the hoi-polloi, or sometimes – worse – the masses may actually revel and/or enjoy any opportunity that comes along to “take the mick” and just generally stick two fingers up at whatever it is that “authority” wants to encourage or promote.
Simply because that’s what human beings do (I know I do anyway).
It will be interesting to see which country’s teams practise the “taking the knee” – and to what extent – during the Euros tournament … and what the stadia crowds’ reaction will be.
ELITISM (OR “MERITOCRACY”?) IN EDUCATION
To finish today, I provide a link for Rusters to an article by Shari Miller that appears on the website of the Daily Mail today reporting upon an opinion piece by a teacher that recently appeared in the Times Educational Supplement.
It now appears that – in keeping with the policy that became infamous fifteen or twenty years ago whereby competitive school sporting events were actively discouraged because those pupils that didn’t win might suffer a loss of self-esteem and/or be seen to have “failed” (the watchwords being “Everybody’s a winner” and/or indeed “Everyone gets a medal or else none do”) – the old chestnut that the notion that having “top” and bottom” sets in classes should be abolished is to be revived.
See here, courtesy of the – DAILY MAIL