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"The latest PC-nonsense from the BBC" Topic


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GreenLeader11 Jun 2017 8:54 p.m. PST

link

The brain-washing / re-programming of today's youth continues.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2017 9:05 p.m. PST

Yep. If it was on Sesame Street, or some other kiddie show, fine. Historical accuracy doesn't really matter there too much when the alphabet or the numbers are what you want the little ones to focus on.

But outside of the stuff specifically made for pre-school audiences this is simply more of today's ridiculously politically-corrected history. And if you say anything about it, you'll be blacklisted or labeled a racist or whatever. So everyone just bends to the labeling thugs.

Dan
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TMP link

rmaker11 Jun 2017 9:19 p.m. PST

If it was on Sesame Street, or some other kiddie show, fine

Note that BBC still thinks of Dr. Who as a kiddie show.

MacrossMartin11 Jun 2017 9:23 p.m. PST

A black soldier, depicted in the British Army of the 1880's? What outrage. What is the world coming to? The end is nigh.

And yet not one word on the absurdity of Martian ancient bipedal reptiles, being awoken by said British Army…

And for those who prefer to wave their arms and shout, rather than read the whole article…

"…Gatiss told how he decided to research the issue, and came across the story of Jimmy Durham, a Sudanese boy who was rescued from the River Nile in 1886 and brought up by soldiers of The Durham Light Infantry regiment.
The soldiers picked the child up and looked after him, giving him the name James Francies Durham, after one of the men who cared for him.

They originally planned to place him in a mission school in Cairo, but decided instead that they would continue to care for him. Jimmy Durham went with the 2nd Battalion to India and Burma and, when he reached the age of 14, he enlisted into The Durham Light Infantry as a bandsman.

"I got kind of obsessed with this great story," Gatiss said. "This boy, when he was 18 years old, was rescued by the Durham Light Infantry. And they made him their mascot – they called him Jimmy Durham.

"And he became what was called a listed officer, by special dispensation of Queen Victoria. He retired to the North East, married a white girl, and his descendants still live there. It's an amazing story". "

For the record, I'm not a PC Nazi. I just think there's more in this life to be concerned about than the portrayal of something that wasn't exactly real in a science-fiction show.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2017 9:35 p.m. PST

If it happened only on SF shows I wouldn't have any problems.

But this is done all the time nowadays. This one example, as silly as it may sound to some, simply adds one more tiny piece of straw to the camel's back.

Or if Western education equipped young minds properly so that they could even discern when someone was simply taking literary or theatrical liberties, that would be great. But unfortunately, in many cases, the only exposure many have to history is through what they see on tv and film. Some effort should be put to portray people from the past as coming from cultures of the past, and with values that were normal for that time.

Dan
PS. As an evil German propagandist once said:
"A lie told once remains a lie, but a lie told a thousand times becomes truth"

Personal logo Who asked this joker Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2017 9:37 p.m. PST

Meh.

MacrossMartin11 Jun 2017 10:06 p.m. PST

I agree that there needs to be a stronger angle taken on the accurate portrayal of history through education.

But I think the experience of episode-writer Mark Gatiss is an excellent example of how things that could be jarring or negative in popular culture can spur us to make new and even inspirational discoveries about history; Worried about the portrayal of a black soldier in the late Victorian British Army, he did some digging, found the brilliant story of Jimmy Durham, and now, through the Telegraph article, thousands more know his story also.

On a tangent; I don't recall too many people up in arms over Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai… or Keanu Reeves in 47 Ronin… ;)

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP11 Jun 2017 10:12 p.m. PST

@MacrossMartin: "On a tangent; I don't recall too many people up in arms over Tom Cruise in The Last Samurai… or Keanu Reeves in 47 Ronin… ;)"

LOL. Oh, please don't get me started on those two. I'm still angry over what they did there. Ugh.

At least I was able to watch The Last Samurai to the very end. With 47 Ronin, I got up after the first 10 minutes and left.

Dan

MacrossMartin11 Jun 2017 10:53 p.m. PST

"…With 47 Ronin, I got up after the first 10 minutes and left."

Dan, that makes you a good man in my book. :)

advocate11 Jun 2017 11:45 p.m. PST

A brief google suggests that black soldiers in British regiments were more common in the early nineteenth century than later.
But it's a science fiction story for goodness sake, and I'd guess that the production team has a goto pool of actors. I suspect that squad of soldiers does everything from Ancient Egyptians to the 53rd Century.

MacrossMartin12 Jun 2017 1:29 a.m. PST

The BBC does have an active policy of representing peoples of minority cultures in the UK in its programs.

But once upon a time, Dr Who did indeed draw from a rather small pool of actors, leading to many being cast in multiple roles. The current Doctor – Peter Capaldi – appeared as a Roman in an earlier David Tennant episode.

I think it was Dr Who veteran Roy Skelton, who was everything from a Dalek to a Zygon, who said something like: "It takes a particular type of actor to willingly get in those bloody things (rubber suits) under blazing studio lights!"

VVV reply12 Jun 2017 2:09 a.m. PST

Dr Who is a childrens sci-fi show, historical accuracy not included (but sometimes mentioned). BTW Queen Victoria is also a werewolf (episode tooth and claw)..

olicana12 Jun 2017 2:45 a.m. PST

Are people saying they should have 'whited' the ACTOR up. Crikey, come on boys, it's not a historical documentary. Plus as has been pointed out, what about Jimmy Durham?

picture

So there was at least one black soldiers in the 19C British army, which considering some of the comments above, about what is and isn't possible, makes one wonder about Ice Warriors, doesn't it?

One should always remember the immortal words of Kipling.

"You're a better man than I am Gunga Din."

Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 3:16 a.m. PST

The brain-washing / re-programming of today's youth continues.

Storm in a teacup.

The real lesson from this is never to try to learn history from popular entertainment like Blackadder, U-571, The Last Samurai etc. And understand that even films/series/tv-shows that are supposedly "historically accurate" may still contain errors. Ditto for documentaries and certain historical works.

And if anyone has a problem with the actor being black, it's most likely much better that a new generation is "brainwashed" into not lying awake at night about the colour of their skin.

Personal logo Jeff Ewing Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 3:21 a.m. PST

Um, West India Regiment?: link

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 3:43 a.m. PST

"The real lesson from this is never to try to learn history from popular entertainment like Blackadder, U-571, The Last Samurai etc. "

Unfortunately, most people here in the US these days are not learning history* from any other source other than entertainment.

But you're probably right for the rest of the planet. They might have learned the lesson and see entertainment for what it should be, entertainment.

Dan
* They're even reducing math credit requirements, but that's a whole other story.

Dn Jackson12 Jun 2017 3:51 a.m. PST

"the BBC must stop focusing on middle-aged, middle-class audiences, or risk becoming irrelevant."

You know, stop focusing on the people who watch your channel.

Does anyone remember the uproar when Rooney Mara played Tiger Lily in Pan? Of Johnny Depp played Tonto in The Lone Ranger? It's an insult and horrible when a white actor plays a minority, but when a minority plays a white person everything is okay. I just wish people would be consistent. Yeah, that's going to happen…

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 4:00 a.m. PST

"Does anyone remember the uproar when Rooney Mara played Tiger Lily in Pan? Of Johnny Depp played Tonto in The Lone Ranger?"

LOL. I remember that. They definitely wanted "historical" accuracy then.

Dan

Dynaman878912 Jun 2017 4:00 a.m. PST

The daily indignant rant post I see. Good to know some things never change.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 4:06 a.m. PST

I think it's more like a couple of times a week than daily. :)

Dan

arthur181512 Jun 2017 4:36 a.m. PST

If one is going to portray British soldiers of the Victorian era fighting Martians on Mars, advised by a time-travelling alien, one has taken so many liberties with history that having a token black soldier is hardly an issue, IMHO.

The historical Jimmy Durham deserves better recognition than to be mere PC casting justification for Doctor Who!

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 4:44 a.m. PST

Barney on Mission Impossible tv show played a "Polish" policeman. I laughed. That was the extent of my outrage.
It was a silly show, as is Doctor Who.

FlyXwire12 Jun 2017 4:46 a.m. PST

Choosing instead to spend time creating new and exciting ways to present my own fake soldier stories.

Personal logo Who asked this joker Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 4:51 a.m. PST

Blackadder, U-571, The Last Samurai

But I always learn history from Hollywood. Are you now trying to tell me that somehow Hollywood portrayal is inaccurate? Say it ain't so!

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 4:56 a.m. PST

LOL. Seriously guys? Every time there's a movie about colonial days, I always find the number of TMP threads outraged over the inaccuracies of flags, uniform lapels, rifles or even buttons incredibly amusing. And so much is made about the importance of getting it all just right. Talk about a nitpicking crowd! :)

Some people choose to see entertainment as nothing but entertainment. It's great that they have a solid basis and can make that choice. Sadly, to many others entertainment is the only glimpse to the past they will ever really get.

Dan

axabrax Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 6:01 a.m. PST

I agree with arthur1815. It takes place on Mars for gods sake,

Henry Martini12 Jun 2017 6:41 a.m. PST

Would you believe I caught most of that episode while (non-commercial) channel surfing only a few hours ago(?)… and I don't watch Dr Who (I'm an adult). A glimpse of red coat and pith helmet and they had me (not to mention a certain nostalgia for the Ice Warriors in the days when Patrick Troughton battled them); and if the Ice Queen wasn't Joanna Lumley she did a pretty good impression of the old dame. I did wonder about the black private (careful)… and was trying to work out just which British officer was the inevitable panty waster*.

*contemporary slang

Mister Tibbles12 Jun 2017 6:43 a.m. PST

I lost interest in Doctor Who 40 years ago as a silly sci-fi serial where stories could heve been told in one episode instead of 10.

Khusrau12 Jun 2017 6:54 a.m. PST

Terrific steampunk style episode, highly enjoyable, and I welcome back the Ice Warriors. Yes, there were black soldiers in the British army. There were large numbers of black people in the UK in the 18th and 19th Century, and it seems much of the prejudice stems from later genetic theories in the latter part of the 19th Century. So entirely plausible.

And just personally, I prefer PC to the 'Good Ole Days' when people were laughed at for their race, subjected to discrimination in housing, employment and at law, lynched, and made the butt of puerile humour.

Mister Tibbles, if you haven't seen Dr Who in the last forty years, then you might find that the current show is a bit different to the one you remember.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 6:56 a.m. PST

You'd think the Telegraph would have better things to get upset about from the last few days…. but then, it's always easier to blame all the world's ills on a leftwing conspiracy at the BBC….

or, as it has already been put more succinctly:

meh.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 7:07 a.m. PST

Um, West India Regiment?

For example Sergeant William Gordon VC ?

Or, how about Able Seaman William Hall? He got his VC as part of the naval brigade at Lucknow.

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 7:15 a.m. PST

And let's not even mention Surgeon Major James Africanus Beale Horton.

Now, you may say this is a few people and not representative of the British Army of the time – and I'll say, as others have – Martians, Regenerating Gallifryaen, TARDIS.

Anyone who gets their history from Dr Who will believe that Agatha Christie was attacked by Giant Bees. Didn't actually happen. It's make believe.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 8:03 a.m. PST

It could have.

Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 8:10 a.m. PST

This is the beginning of the road to tragedy. What next Asian soldiers in the British army not Gurkhas I hope, will there ever be black troops in the army? Heaven forbid women. Next thing you know there will be a Muslim mayor of London. A minority party woman prime minister. The British Empire isn't just what it used to be as shown on the BBC.

Hafen von Schlockenberg Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 8:17 a.m. PST

And let's not let Hollywood off the hook, with those modern PC Westerns featuring black cowboys,when we all know good and well that. . . that. . . .

Oh. Wait:

picture

picture

link

(And yeah,CC, I know it's mentioned in your second link--but how many read it?).

olicana12 Jun 2017 8:24 a.m. PST

But outside of the stuff specifically made for pre-school audiences this is simply more of today's ridiculously politically-corrected history. And if you say anything about it, you'll be blacklisted or labeled a racist or whatever. So everyone just bends to the labeling thugs.

Couldn't agree more. Let's have programmes about these five things, just to clear things up.

1. Boer concentration camps

Armed Afrikaners on the veldt near Ladysmith during the second Boer War, circa 1900
During the Second Boer War (1899-1902), the British rounded up around a sixth of the Boer population mainly women and children and detained them in camps, which were overcrowded and prone to outbreaks of disease, with scant food rations.

Of the 107,000 people interned in the camps, 27,927 Boers died, along with an unknown number of black Africans.

2. Amritsar massacre

A young visitor looks at a painting depicting the Amritsar Massare at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar
When peaceful protesters defied a government order and demonstrated against British colonial rule in Amritsar, India, on 13 April 1919, they were blocked inside the walled Jallianwala Gardens and fired upon by Gurkha soldiers.

The soldiers, under the orders of Brigadier Reginald Dyer, kept firing until they ran out of ammunition, killing between 379 and 1,000 protesters and injuring another 1,100 within 10 minutes.

Brigadier Dyer was later lauded a hero by the British public, who raised £26,000.00 GBP for him as a thank you.

3. Partitioning of India

British lawyer and law lord Cyril Radcliffe, 1st Viscount Radcliffe (1899 1977) at the Colonial Office, London, July 1956
In 1947, Cyril Radcliffe was tasked with drawing the border between India and the newly created state of Pakistan over the course of a single lunch.

After Cyril Radcliffe split the subcontinent along religious lines, uprooting over 10 million people, Hindus in Pakistan and Muslims in India were forced to escape their homes as the situation quickly descended into violence.

Some estimates suggest up to one million people lost their lives in sectarian killings.

4. Mau Mau Uprising

Mau Mau suspects at one of the prison camps in 1953
Thousands of elderly Kenyans, who claim British colonial forces mistreated, raped and tortured them during the Mau Mau Uprising (1951-1960), have launched a £200.00 GBPm damages claim against the UK Government.

Members of the Kikuyu tribe were detained in camps, since described as "Britain's gulags" or concentration camps, where they allege they were systematically tortured and suffered serious sexual assault.

Estimates of the deaths vary widely: historian David Anderson estimates there were 20,000, whereas Caroline Elkins believes up to 100,000 could have died.

5. Famines in India

Starving children in India, 1945
READ MORE
British people are proud of colonialism and the British Empire poll
Oxford Union criticised over 'tasteless' Colonial Comeback cocktail
Revealed: How British Empire's dirty secrets went up in smoke in the
Between 12 and 29 million Indians died of starvation while it was under the control of the British Empire, as millions of tons of wheat were exported to Britain as famine raged in India.

In 1943, up to four million Bengalis starved to death when Winston Churchill diverted food to British soldiers and countries such as Greece while a deadly famine swept through Bengal.

Talking about the Bengal famine in 1943, Churchill said: "I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits."

Britain's Glorious History? I didn't learn about this at school. We should introduce it into the curriculum so that we all know what kind of country we come from.

Murvihill12 Jun 2017 9:48 a.m. PST

I'm picturing a movie about a slave ship following the specifications of the BBC. Would 15% of the ship's crew be black? What percent of the slaves would be white? If we follow the rules ad absurdum 85% of the slaves should be white and 15% BAME. Or maybe poetic irony would dictate that 15% of the slaves should be white.

Olicana, your post is simply a list of bad things that happened under the British watch. Rather than tsking about how bad they were, you should ask how do they compare to things that would have happened if they were never there?.

olicana12 Jun 2017 10:16 a.m. PST

It was the first thing, written by a trusted news source I found on the web to illustrate how fair the BBC is when it comes to being PC.

I'm afraid that people in the UK are under the impression that British colonialism was good for the world, which it wasn't. It was good for the capitalists but not for most.

As anyone with real connections with people from India will be able to tell you, the people of India don't trust us as far as they could throw us and don't like us very much at all – they would much rather deal with the Americans, and even the Russians. Who can blame them, we robbed them blind for 200 years.

As for 'if we had not been there' who knows but, at least we would not be directly to blame.

VVV reply12 Jun 2017 10:18 a.m. PST

Some more background to this episode
link

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 10:26 a.m. PST

Olicana,

If their intention was to retroactively portray today's PC artificial notion of "balance", then Murvihill's suggestion would be the next logical step:

"I'm picturing a movie about a slave ship following the specifications of the BBC. Would 15% of the ship's crew be black? What percent of the slaves would be white? If we follow the rules ad absurdum 85% of the slaves should be white and 15% BAME. Or maybe poetic irony would dictate that 15% of the slaves should be white."

But their so-called "balance" is selective, and has no basis on actual bilateral equality, which means that their demands for historical accuracy are made consciously and are also selective.

Dan
PS. Hafen, you are absolutely right. Just a few miles south of where I live is where the descendants of so many of those black cowboys settled, with some ranches of their own. And they have ranch hands of all colors and shades under the rainbow, both men and women. I would love for a movie or show to be made about that, to show how they began and how far they've come when it comes to race relations. But I guess that ability to accept the past, and yet overcome and not perpetuate a feud, is not what sells these days.

basileus6612 Jun 2017 10:31 a.m. PST

Rather than tsking about how bad they were, you should ask how do they compare to things that would have happened if they were never there?

We don't know… what we DO know is what happened.

Not that the British were worst than any other colonial power, though. French in Algeria, Dutch in East Indias, Spain in Northern Morocco or Cuba, Germany in Namibia, the Belgians in Congo, Italians in Lybia, the Russians in Caucasus, even the US in Philippines! All of them behave in comparable ways, even with more brutality. Bottom line is that colonialism was brutal, regardless how romantic the Boy's own stories sound.

Norman D Landings12 Jun 2017 10:32 a.m. PST

They suppressed the truth about the Amritsar massacre by hiding it away in the multi-oscar-winning global blockbuster, "Gandhi".

The lengths they'll go to, to keep word from getting out! ;)

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 10:37 a.m. PST

LOL. Are we still talking about the new movies and shows being made today, under the watchful eyes of the "enlightened" 21st century PC police, which are supposed to be so much better than the previous generations of film makers?

Or are we now just taking a stroll down Memory Lane of the entire movie-making industry history?

Dan

olicana12 Jun 2017 10:57 a.m. PST

Until the film Ghandi, very, very few people in this country had heard of Amritsar. Those that had generally believed the received story of gallant British soldiers fighting for their lives against a mob of violent terrorists when it was, in fact, a fairly peaceful demonstration cordoned into a killing ground before being gunned down by rifle fire and machine gun firing armoured car.

Filming, of course, was massively financed by the Indian Government. One has to ask if this ghastly episode would have featured in a film backed by British Government money or, if it had, how it would have been portrayed. Most people seem to think the film doesn't pull its punches in any respect and is respectful to the awful truth about that turbulent time.

olicana12 Jun 2017 11:03 a.m. PST

C.C.

Have you ever considered that, as opposed to your supposition that a new PC history is being written, eventually the truth wins out?

I wonder which of the following films you think portrays the life of a slave most accurately?

Django Unchained.

or

12 Years A Slave.

Norman D Landings12 Jun 2017 11:14 a.m. PST

I'll not have a word said against "Gandhi". A tin of cocoa, a head-shave and a bedsheet got me first prize in a fancy-dress competition. Not making this up.
My own little silver lining in the dark cloud of colonial legacy.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 11:18 a.m. PST

Olicana,

"Have you ever considered that, as opposed to your supposition that a new PC history is being written, eventually the truth wins out?"

Are you suggesting that the pendulum hasn't simply swung to the other extreme? That we aren't currently in a "payback" mode?

I'm still waiting for the pendulum to finally stop moving. The point when people finally stop trying to change history, or who try to use it to guilt others who are living today. At that point we'll start to see some semblance of truth and balance.

History happened. Accept it, don't change it, don't re-live it. Move on.

Dan
PS. Django/12YS? Are you suggesting that every slave experience and every slave-master relationship the same in the mid 1800s?

olicana12 Jun 2017 11:25 a.m. PST

I'd give my vote to any man with his outlook and intellect, even standing defiantly before the powers that be in home spun underpants. I think he was absolutely bloody brilliant. One in a billion, and I hope to see another.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2017 11:26 a.m. PST

Mine? I'm flattered! :)

If we stopped portraying some individuals always as saints, instead of as unique but flawed individuals, then perhaps the public wouldn't react this way when some facts finally come out:

link

Dan

Boodie12 Jun 2017 11:27 a.m. PST

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