Monday, 11 July 2011

Downhill all the way

Ruminating on the state of our printed media and my mind went into the wider arena of the way in which the old accepted standards of British life have changed. We appear to be in a general decline; something akin to 'the lights are going out all over Europe' Things have stopped working. Graphs all go the wrong way. Daily intercourse has coarsened; foul language is heard everywhere. We are subjected to violent images on the television with scenes of war and starvation, casual murder on our streets, yobbo behaviour.

Education we once relied upon to set our children on the path of good citizenship has failed. It has failed in even the basic instruction of the three Rs. Young adults are finishing their education lacking any quality that will make them attractive to any employer. The idea that competition is something distasteful resulted in the concept that everyone must gain something so education was dumbed down, marking was made charitable. At higher levels of schooling, pretensions of scholarship were satisfied by the introduction of degree courses that demanded little of the student.

Our arts have also suffered. A canvas daubed with technicolour paintwork attracts favourable attention. Sculpture often looks like the rejects from a showing of Scrapyard Challenge. The alleged music is akin to grunts heard in a game park by night. Popular dance involves people spinning on their heads whilst classical ballet has given way to interpretations where the performers are likely to be dressed as dossers or the Black Swan is represented as a bestial bugger.

The internet has opened up avenues of swift and easy communication but has also a dark side. Grammar is ignored or perverted. Pride in composition has gone; the almost universal use of 'init' or 'you know what I mean?' has seen to that. Invited responses most often have a LOL reply.

So, who is to blame for this degredation of our culture? The answer must be 'us' We have lost the ability to say NO. Modern youth is nothing if not confrontational and disrespectful. Physical correction has (rightly?) been outlawed and all that is left is reasoning. With youngsters who lack the vocabulary to understand or the comprehension to follow the line of a debate. Any adverse comment is dismissed with scorn. Fifteen year olds know all they need to know to swim in their feral society.

There is another factor. The rise of immigration has brought to our shores large numbers of people who never had a chance to experience our culture anyway. Integration has failed. The tide of political correctness has swamped those who say "If you wish to live here, you must do things our way". Misguided attempts to make things easier for them have allowed them,in the main, to enjoy lower expectations. Their enjoyment of welfare benefits militates against any compulsion to suit themselves for employment in any but the most menial level.

I see no solution. I suspect that the numbers of those who lack the idea of culture have reached a critical level. Any attempt of correction would be as much use as sweeping flood water with a garden rake.

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