Friday, February 06, 2015


Just last week we `marked` the 50th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill`s passing and this week two separate `events` have prompted me to recall one of his many true and memorable quotations.   

A year or so ago a good friend was kind enough to lend me a copy of Hilary Mantel`s `Wolf Hall.`   I didn`t get on with it too well as, although the narrative was interesting from a historical perspective, the style in which it was written - almost the English of the time - left me struggling.   It`s the same with `Gone Girl,` which I have also just struggled through because, again, whilst the story line was intriguing, the style, the annoying Americana, the irritating plethora of obscenity, took away much of any enjoyment from what might otherwise have been an acclaimed novel.

There seems to be a trend these days for writers and especially so-called `comedians` to use gratuitous obscene or blasphemous language under the misguided belief that it`s either clever or funny.  It`s neither, of course - merely the last resort of those devoid of sensitivity, talent or both.   `Mrs. Brown`s Boys` again springs to mind immediately and, whilst I`m no prude - how could I be having lived through the `culture` of the 10th Royal Hussars? - I do find it all rather tiresome.  Maybe I`m just getting old.......

Anyway, back to Sir Winston and the events that reminded me of his wisdom.  I`ve now watched the first three episodes of the BBC`s adaptation of `Wolf Hall` and it has much to commend it, not least being its ability to bring light to the darkness of Dame Hilary`s anguished prose. The last episode included reference to a beheading and the gruesome spectacle of the burning of William Tyndale - for the unpardonable sin of translating the Bible into English.

And with what seems to be an unfortunate accident of timing, in the same week we have learned of similar atrocities carried out by ISIS - the beheading of the Japanese journalist and the burning of the Jordanian pilot.  Now it would be comforting to believe that, despite the passing of 500 years being but the blink of an eye in the infinity of time and history, we as a species had by now grown away from such outrages against our fellow men.   As things stand, however, all we seem to have is the knowledge that Sir Winston was right all along.

When will we ever learn?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We old troopers should object to our reputation for expressive language being usurped by media types.