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parrot_knight [userpic]

A stranger in his own land

October 16th, 2005 (11:44 am)

current mood: melancholy

I went into London again yesterday, at short notice, and rambled around the City with my sister. We went to Dr Johnson's House, which I thought I had last visited twelve or thirteen years ago with gervase_fen. It was only when I reached the first floor, a large room which can be subdivided by hinged partitions, that I remembered I had been there for a book launch last year. The City, as usual on a Saturday, was quiet, though a feature film which required black grime-smeared London buses and cars, with numberplates and other insignia that suggested that it was set in a post-apocalyptic near future or an alternative present, was shooting that afternoon in Fleet Street.

My sister and I ended up talking about the foibles of our times, particularly the defensiveness so many people seem to feel towards a perceived underclass which has led to the media obsession with the 'chav', a figure which probably only came into existence in the same way that mods and rockers were unknown before journalists in the 1960s needed labels to differentiate between gangs of young people at the seaside, and then ended up being taken far too seriously. We also discussed how so many professional careers today need so much push and committment that one is acting all the time and one's sense of self is consumed by the mask necessary to maintain one's living.


Posted by: Penny Paperbrain (pennypaperbrain)
Posted at: October 16th, 2005 11:42 am (UTC)

What's your take on chavdom, then? Do they exist?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 16th, 2005 12:20 pm (UTC)

I can't say I'm keen on the fashion traits that lead to the application of the label, no. But I don't like the way the people are deplored, because after a sub-education and exposure to a mediasphere dominated by the celebration of the superficial and a 'bias against understanding' more real than anything feared by Peter Jay when setting up the disaster that was TV-am in the early 1980s, they don't have a chance.

Posted by: Penny Paperbrain (pennypaperbrain)
Posted at: October 16th, 2005 08:34 pm (UTC)

Who was Peter Jay, and what was wrong with TV-am? Was it vacuous?

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 16th, 2005 08:37 pm (UTC)

Peter Jay was one of the founders of TV-am, and its problem was that it lectured its audience and assumed that they wanted to watch twenty-minute interviews with cabinet ministers at 7.40am, when they wanted to get to work and perhaps be entertained by Diana Dors trying to diet, or similar.

Posted by: Penny Paperbrain (pennypaperbrain)
Posted at: October 16th, 2005 08:52 pm (UTC)

Oh, so vacuosity was bequeathed upon us by wrongheaded attempts in the wrong direction(!)

Posted by: Adilo Creamon (the_marquis)
Posted at: October 16th, 2005 09:18 pm (UTC)

See what you learn when you stop patronising people! :p

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: October 16th, 2005 09:40 pm (UTC)

Peter Jay is now the deputy mayor of Woodstock, and sometimes walks by my flat on a morning.