Monday, September 19, 2005

Political Correctness and the Dreaded Lurgi

The weekend finds the youngest master Pedant-General beset with the DREADED LURGI and, consequently, the grace and favour apartment is, in the immortal words of the PG sister-in-law, "awash with snot".

What better time for the entire household to retreat to the Drawing Room, curl up under a "duvet" and enjoy a good dose of the unsurpassably beautiful Audrey Hepburn, taking another starring role in "My Fair Lady".

I must admit that, never having seen the film before, I was rivetted and not only by Miss Hepburn herself.




Hmm? Oh yes, where was I?

You see, it occurred to me, about 10 minutes into the film, that Political Correctness has advanced so far that this film would now be impossible to make. Yes, yes, yes, we have plenty of gloopy, syrupy Disney candy-floss confections of the "rags-to-riches" type, but just imagine the dent in the scriptwriter's head if he (she? it?) were to produce dialogue with anything approaching Rex Harrison's disdain for the lower classes. I suggest that it would, today, be impossible to produce this film, because its setting, its basic assumption, does not compute: the audience could not comprehend its fundamental premise and therefore it would not "ring true".

Whilst no-one in their right mind would wish to return to such a calcified social order, we have almost reached the point where it is not possible to admit that such an arrangement - for good or ill - EVER EXISTED.

Of course, every now and then, some berk sticks his head above the parapet, but the speed, certainty and vigour with which he is inevitably machine-gunned makes one wonder....
The purpose of Newspeak was not only to provide a medium of expression for the world-view and mental habits proper to the devotees of Ingsoc, but to make all other modes of thought impossible.


No comments: