Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Rooting for answers

The rains came to London overnight, and it looks like a steamy day. Climatics didn't much concern that early-morning urban fox, sniffing the length and breadth of Malcolm's garden.

Then came a couple of questions.

One was a hang-over (nothing to do with last night's cheapo Cabernet) from yesterday's Evening Standard.

If there ever was a prime example of If it didn't exist, nobody would bother to invent it, the Standard qualifies. On the rare occasions it falls into Malcolm's lap, he can see why they give it away free. The best he can say is there's a small improvement over the days when the old comic was a lying, ranting, canting Evening Boris.

Leith it alone!

Anyway, here is Sam Leith's half-page of gossipy snippets. For no accountable reason, apart from the accompanying photograph (rather as below, left) of the fetching young lady, Malcolm's eye fell on this paragraph:
Sex, spies and red-top wars
Funny the way epithets attach themselves to characters in the news. All the stories about Cold War cutie Anna Chapman introduce her as “the redheaded spy”, as if that were the key fact about her. The New York Post quotes her hairdresser saying she's a natural brunette, anyway. And imagine how odd it would sound if we called Guy Burgess “the brown-haired spy”. But then again, I don't imagine this article will be illustrated by a photograph of Guy Burgess. Woof!
There's a "dog eat dog" element in that already (though the Standard has adopted a LibDem ochre as its masthead colour). But why whinge about the sexist description of the lady if that's precisely what Leith then sets about doing? And, quite frankly, what goes on between a woman and her hairdresser should remain in the confessional (except for a diplomatic male compliment — no matter what — when she arrives home).

The ethnic question

Then the morning news bulletin on the BBC rolling news marathon was emphatic we should know:
Ethnic minority numbers 'to rise'
Ethnic minorities are set to make up a fifth of the UK's population by 2051 - up from the current 8%, researchers predict.
That makes as much sense as declaring: 52% of the populace are female, the rest are human. Why should 92% of us, falling in the next forty years to just 80%, be denied ethnicity?

Is it coz Ah isn't black?

When Malcolm taught in tougher London schools there would be the inevitable confrontation, where a prime example of yoof would denounce Malcolm as "Whitey".

Malcolm's habitual and disarming response was to visibly shrug and say "Well, I'm more of a pale pink person, actually."

With no exception, the yoof's accompanying girl-friend, for whose benefit the confrontation had been engineered, would snigger. Result!

So, for the record, Malcolm proudly affirms his Anglo-Irish-Icenian-Parisian ethnicity! See helpful accompanying map.

As for Malcolm's grandchildren, with admixtures involving Huguenot, Brooklyn and (shudder!) Lancastrian origins, heaven help them.

Just don't deracinate us. Sphere: Related Content

No comments:

Subscribe with Bloglines International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory
Add to Technorati Favorites