Where Is the Quality?

Monday, 1 October 2007

[Picture of Winston Churchill]WE LIVE IN A BLAND WORLD. Devoid of personality, free from character and lacking in wit.

We have created a world of political correctness, of feminine sidedness and equality, an irrational and fundamentally dishonest world. A good question would be “why?” — but I suppose no-one is allowed to ask that!

[Picture of Martin L King]

Thing is I grew up in a different world — and I can almost remember it, though it seems to be fading fast. Back then, when a politician made a speech, it was possible — even likely — to be remembered, quoted and even committed to memory by a great many people. It would be analysed, and interpreted, and it would be printed in full in history books.

[Picture of JFK]I have a dream“, “We will fight them on the beaches“, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country“, “Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal“, “I know I have but the body of a weak and feeble woman; but I have the heart of a king, and of a king of England, too; and think foul scorn that Parma or Spain, or any prince of Europe, should dare to invade the borders of my realms: to which, rather than any dishonour should grow by me, I myself will take up arms; I myself will be your general, judge, and rewarder of every one of your virtues in the field.” and even “Friends, Romans, Countrymen…

Oh, yes, and I could go on (and on), but the point I am making here is that these days nothing seems to match up to this in terms of quality.

We have quantity – 24 hour rolling news, soundbites, tv and radio, podcast — you name it — but it is not memorable.

[Picture of John Cleese of Monty Python]I have met people who are able to quote me long passages of Monty Python sketches — some of these people do not natively speak English! Apart from anything else, this is a mark of quality.

Personally, I do not like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, but I respect it. It certainly must have some quality because it has lasted and people know every word and nuance.

I do despair slightly, because there is so much choice, so many channels, and therefore so few things “in common”.

All you have to do is look at calenders and diaries that provide “quotations” — ask yourself how many of them are recent?

It seems to have hurt advertising. The last thing I recall having any impact was in 2000 with the Budweiser “wasssup?” commercials. But that just shows how far we have come!

Where is the wit and the characters? Are we to resign ourselves to a future of txting, hundreds of high def TV channels selling us Cillit Bang?

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