You know what makes me grumpy? All the Grumpy Old Men who appeared on the BBC TV series were younger than me, that's what makes me grumpy. Mutter, mutter....

The Grumpy Old Artist

The Grumpy Old Artist
Would YOU pose for this man???

Exhibition Poster

Exhibition Poster
Catterline Event, 2011

Oil Painting by Jim Tait

Oil Painting by Jim Tait
Helford River, Cornwall

Oil Painting by Jim Tait

Oil Painting by Jim Tait
Full-riggers "Georg Stage" and "Danmark"

Other Recent Works

Other Recent Works
Fordyce Castle and Village

Hay's Dock, Lerwick

Shetland-model Boats at Burravoe, Yell

Tall Ships Seascape

The Tour Boat "Dunter III", with Gannets, off Noss

The "Karen Ann II" entering Fraserburgh harbour

Summer Evening, Boyndie Bay

1930s Lerwick Harbour

Johnshaven Harbour

"Seabourn Legend"

Greeting Cards!

Greeting Cards!
Now Available in Packs of Five or in Assorted Sets of Four

Sunday, 22 March 2009


I am a fan of BBC7. Part of my weekday morning routine is to listen, at eight o'clock, to the vintage comedy output. I titter at the surreal comedy of the Goons on Monday, the navigational errors of the Navy Lark on Tuesday, the incompetent blathering and bumbling of Tony Hancock and company on Wednesday, Al Read's monstrous monologues on Thursday and, in my opinion, the funniest of them all, Round the Horne, on Friday.

So, on Friday morning, as the hour approached to hear the wit and banter of Messrs Horne, Paddick and Williams, and Ms Marsden, I heard the female announcer introducing this week's offering with an apology for the use of the word "faggot" in the broadcast, which had been first aired in 1965, before "these enlightened times".

Enlightened times? What? I almost fell off my chair laughing before Douglas Smith had even introduced the star of the show! The last occasion when the times were as enlightened was during the Dark Ages. Communist Russia and Nazi Germany failed to produce a society as unenlightened as that of today's Britain. And, tragically, the whole population has quietly acquiesced in its unenlightenment.

Various factors have militated together to produce this tragedy, one of which is rabid political correctness, which has insinuated an element of fear and confusion into our use of language. An Orwellian "thought police" has emanated from somewhere to further the interests of powerful lobbies, such as that of the gay, feminist and racial equality movements, to name but three. I do not dispute the need for equality for all strands of society, but I also grieve over the fact that, when coupled with other elements, it is reducing our language into a bland colourless nonentity. The other elements include the national addiction to mobile phone technology with its "language" of abbreviation, a whole raft of "corporate-speak", an education system which is producing a generation of school-leavers unable to read, write or perform simple calculations (not to mention complete ignorance of geography or history), and university graduates with the equivalent spelling standards of the average twelve-year-old of two generations ago. Neither do the idiotic edicts, emanating from the cumbersome and undemocratic European Union Bureacracy, contribute anything towards enlightenment.

As, politically, we stumble towards an Orwellian "Eurasia", individual thought and behaviour is discouraged in a mannner ably predicted in 1932 by Aldous Huxley in "Brave New World". I'm glad, as an artist, that I do not have black on my palette. A time is coming when its sale will be regulated, as will my artistic output. And this blog will be censored.

The country, which produced Newton, Byron, Shakespeare, Brunel, Darwin and Churchill, is now producing a generation of bumpkins, devoid of basic intelligence (not to mention humour!), fed on the Soma of 24-hour-a-day televised football, scarcely able to tie their shoelaces (and being encouraged by commercial interests to sue someone if they trip and fall). And, presumably, this is what our lords and masters in government wish to happen.

And the greatest tragedy of all is that the announcer on BBC7 is convinced that these are enlightened times.

1 comment:

Kenny Bull said...

Heavens above Jim! Well said. Oops - so sorry. Shouldn't have said that. My solicitor was telling me just t'other day how he got into big trouble with his bank by exclaiming 'Heavens above!' - the retort was 'I shall terminate this call immediately if you continue to use blasphemous language'. So be careful Jim, they're out there watching and listening.