Thursday, 18 June 2015

Humiliated and insulted

Everybody’s offended these days. It’s like an exciting new hobby, almost a job. I swear, by this point I believe there are people actively trawling the Internet looking for things that would offend them. And in case there’s no Tim Hunt to hurt their feelings so fucking much, they will find something else.

There’s an old-running TV show in Britain called Midsomer Murders. Basically, it’s an idyllic and imaginary county somewhere in England that thrives on serial killings. Think of a most preposterous murder weapon – and it’s been done already. By now, the show has sunk so deep into shameless self-parody that I can’t see why people would bother. And yet I do, once in a while, just to feel that one-millionth of excitement I got when I first saw the pilot about a hundred and fifty years ago.

It’s season 17 now (incredible, I know), and 3 episodes in I realise that something has changed. I can’t quite put my finger on it, it’s something vague and uncertain, but there’s no way to shake off the feeling. It takes me another thirty minutes to realise: from now on, they insert at least one black actor into each episode. It had all been fine for 16 seasons, and then someone wrote an angry letter claiming offence. I just wonder how these actors feel about the situation; after all, they are only making up the numbers. 

Really sad. ‘A disaster’, as Norman Mailer put it. Like there’s no middle ground between racism and insanity anymore. Like it’s feminism or irony (remember that excellent Hitchens interview). Honestly, political correctness offends me. It’s just that I don’t know who to complain to…