December 7th, 2010

breaking bad

Black and white, unite and fight

It's obviously not only poor people who are disdained by the Oxbridge junta. It appears that only one British person of black Caribbean descent was accepted into any Oxford college in the last year. One. The comments on the Guardian website are as usual mixed - including our friend the 'I-am-not-a' racist. Only read if you want to be as annoyed as I am.

I think there is a great common cause between black and white working class British people. For both communities are oppressed by a myth among the rest of society - a terrible pseudo-scientific lie - that we are genetically inferior, that it is right for us to be excluded from education and jobs and cultural participation, because we bring nothing of value. This despite the fact that so much of the creative and intellectual power which drives Western culture has come from the working classes and from black people.

There is a slightly more sophisticated version, which is that black people or working class people may not be genetically inferior, but that our cultural heritage is so degenerate that it handicaps us from participation in society, and that we must learn to reject our culture to be acceptable.

I think that people who see themselves as intellectuals, academics and people in technical and medical jobs, are particularly keen to emphasise this second myth. Possibly because it reassures them. There are of course parents very damaged by poverty and deprivation, and help is needed to support them. And there is a mistrust of for example literature among groups who have been told they can not participate in it. But other aspects of culture - the arbitrary distinction between one vowel sound and another, ways of having fun, clothing styles - are not inferior, they are simply different, and I do not think they need to be unlearned.
haz flavr

Mad Men D+D alignment chart

andrewducker linked to a great Mad Men character alignment chart" (you know the 'chaotic evil/ neutral good' thing you get). And there's a great discussion of it on metafilter today.

This is what I mean about a proper TV show:
Pete is the Hellmouth
Betty is no more understandable than a demon that just waltzes along, fucking shit up.

I like this comment: 'My favorite mad men game to play is "I like to think I'm ... but I know I'm really ...". For women it's usually "I like to think I'm Joan but I know I'm really ..." I know I am Trudy. My SO knows he is Lane.'

OK: I like to think I am Don but really I am... probably Harry? Lazy, greedy and lucky?

And mightygodking, the creator of the chart, steps up to respond:
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