February 4th, 2009


Okay...sometimes the convergence is just too close for comfort

Y'all know how I followed up an aside on golliwogs with a request for decoding cryptic 20-year-old coded British racism, the other day? The reason that "gollies" and that surreal little episode in a London kitchen - yes, the Robertson's thing was a helpful factoid, it made sense (sort of) of the out-of-nowhereness, because we were having lunch, and lunch was PBJ sandwiches, and that must have been what provoked the children to plead for "their gollies" and their mother to burst out with the then-incomprehensible demurral/defensive/appealing-for-justification rant at me - had been dredged up out of the decades-old past, was the relatively-recent discussion of the inappropriateness of Alan Moore's attempt to subversively reclaim (or remyth) the Golliwog in the latest League of Extraordinary Gentlemen book at And We Shall March.

Well, (and ever and aye) it isn't just a retro thing any more: via ciderpress I have learned that Carol Thatcher - yes, she is one of those Thatchers, Iron Maggie's daughter, and sibling (twin?) to the Honorable Sir Mark (Bart.) who was caught trying to take over Equatorial Guinea with a bunch of sellswords a couple years ago, to the collective headdesking of the intersected fannish-and-politically-left blogosphere - just got herself fired from a show on the BBC for calling a black athlete just that.

Actually, it sounds like what got her fired was her steadfast refusal to apologize in a meaningful way, due to her steadfast inability to even understand why or that it was a racist remark, despite the attempts of several shocked (and white) colleagues to explain it to her, repeatedly.

Unfortunately, it isn't only fifty-something upper crust Podsnaps defending Thatcher's moment of ass id-baring, judging by some of the comments turning up on google. So, can we hear again from white British fandom* how it's only Americans who have race problems and/or care about "political correctness," in whatever way? So we know who to write off as completely uninformed, at best, and shameless liars, at worst, before they say anything else--?

* I shouldn't have to add this but you just KNOW that some willfully-obtuse person is going to say that I said that all white British fen - sorry, spiralsheep, but I am an irregular-plurals junkie and you will just have to allow me that craziness! - are racists, so this is a preemptive THWACK with the Clue-by-Four for any of the Willfully-Obtuse segment who shows up.