Friday, March 17, 2006

Knowing Where We Stand: Melanie Phillips has lined up a nice snap shot.

As far as I can see it there's only one good thing about the extremism of tolerance and the tolerance of extremism in Britain today: there's certainly a lot for us critics to work with; so much so it's overwhelming.

Meanwhile, Glenn Reynolds says he thinks the Beeb might have pulled her socks up. I think I'd agree with him on that (I was looking at a neat and tidy website today, wondering aimlessly what to be scathing about), but where the BBC have led, others now require no prompting to follow; it's this kind of agenda shaping which makes the BBC the loathsomely self-satisfied organisation it is, and regenerates its desire to shape the agenda anew- which it inexorably does.

I liked this part of another of Melanie's analyses, of the increasing 'choice' of marital states on offer in the West:

'causes and symptoms are inextricably fused so that they all reinforce each other. The more alternative lifestyles become ordained as mainstream, with dissidents treated as social pariahs if they try to uphold traditional moral norms, the more those moral norms are undermined'

She might have added, 'the more the agents of that alteration of perception are encouraged to contemplate the next frontier of attack'. I think what I have in mind is a media appetite, rather than a conscious desire- certainly I don't have in mind a media with any coherent intellectual purpose; in their dreams, perhaps.

I am minded to quote Shakespeare (after googling-up my memory, that is) when I think about the media and our cataclysms of social change:

'Why, she would hang on him, as if increase of appetite had grown by what it fed on.' -Hamlet, I. ii. 144-145

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