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View Full Version : The Class Antagonism of Tolerant Multiculturalism



hundredmillionlifetimes
21-01-2007, 06:37 PM
http://www.worth1000.com/entries/100500/100975JOrn_w.jpg http://www.kamat.com/indica/faiths/gods/1962.jpg


............."Be normal! Be normal!" .................................................. ....................... Laxmi - Goddess of Wealth.


The REAL of class antagonism - via displaced racism - finally raises its head on ... Reality TV!! Only to be delirially disavowed ...

Interesting analyses of the Channel 4 Jade/Shilpa Celebrity Big Brother controversy here (http://foucaultisdead.wordpress.com/2007/01/18/racist-ideology-inside-and-outside-big-brother/)and here (http://foucaultisdead.wordpress.com/2007/01/21/the-difference-between-but-and-and/)and here (http://k-punk.abstractdynamics.org/archives/008918.html).

[I can't help conjecturing that if the programme had featured a pompous, condescending member of the British Royal Family instead of Shilpa, the structural form of the outcome would have been much the same.]

Edward
21-01-2007, 10:05 PM
I find it hard to understand why anyone gives a toss about what these silly people say on an idiotic tv programme, but for it to be on the front page of the papers and on the BBC news is really shocking to me.

Firstly, isn't there anything more newsworthy going on?
Secondly, aren't we all aware that most people you meet are a bit racist without being out-and-out nazis? So what's the big deal?

luka
21-01-2007, 11:27 PM
craner (http://worldwarfour.blogspot.com)

Mr. Tea
21-01-2007, 11:32 PM
Agreed. In a way, I think it's encouraging that people are making such a big fuss this, as it clearly shows how intolerant of racism - or at least open racism - mainstream society has become. On the other hand, I find it depressing that Big Brother actually means that much to so many people. I think it's one of the most shameful things in this country today, not because it's exploitative or anything like that but because it's simply so shit yet holds a large proportion of the population in rapt attention. That, and the vapid, preening retards they feature on the show. It seems to me that Shilpa attracted the flack she got more because she doesn't fit this discription than because she's foreign (and it seems to be her foreign-ness rather than her ethnicity the others reacted to).

Then again, I've not actually seen any of this crap first-hand, I've just had it stuffed down my throat by the news every day. To think that cabinet politicians are getting involved is ridiculous.

bruno
22-01-2007, 02:58 AM
i had it semi stuffed down my throat by the bbc, unfortunately.

i don't know. pick a place on the map at random and you'll find that people with much less money and education are more polite and kind than these little monsters.

it's about manners. it's about generosity of spirit. class has nothing to do with it!

they should be forced to read this (http://www.amazon.com/Manners-Can-Fun-Munro-Leaf/dp/0789310619) a thousand times in a cold damp cell. they should be subjected to their own footage again and again until the reality of their wretchedness sets in, until they are physically ill. they should be flogged in public as an example to young people everywhere! then everyone should burn their television sets.

mms
22-01-2007, 08:08 AM
it was pretty grim the bits i saw, three utterly mean spirited girls picking on one fairly gentle pleasant girl. i think it was racist, but it was quite weirdly self aware in a way, no one said paki or anything but the the girl who had the least to loose, the most to prove, the youngest and least confident, the one whos name and characteristics i can't remember eventually said some directly racist things, while the other two kinda held their mouths tight lipped and let her get on with it.

It is about class as well, shilpa definded as a princess, a star in her own country, the other three girls, not without some truth were defined by their lack of things.. their unrefinement, constant need to drink and talk about sex, lack of self control etc, their uncosmopolitaness.

im hoping it will help dismantle the utterly useless culture of complete obsession with people who are given moley good will and respect (or meanness and money) just because they are in tatty mags and bad telly more than other people to be honest.
some kids do grow up thinking they don't have to do anything to earn money and respect and at least two of those girls are examples of why.

alo
22-01-2007, 09:03 AM
On the other hand, I find it depressing that Big Brother actually means that much to so many people. I think it's one of the most shameful things in this country today, not because it's exploitative or anything like that

What really made me angry was the statement read out from Big Brother's producer. (I think it was a producer, could have just been a Channel 4 rep)
1) Apparently Big Brother doesn't condone rascism or bullying. It might not condone overt or clear-cut racism, but as is clear from the mixed reaction this furore, most racism these days is of a murky nature. However, it does condone bullying, mainly because it instigates conflict for peoples entertainment, and bullying is a product of that. Jade Goody herself was bullied when she was in first time around, and what is hypocritical is the fact that the Carphone Warehouse weren't pulling out then.

2) His excuse was that Big Brother was representative of Britain which is a spit-your-tea-out-moment if ever there was one. In this instance they are
people who are given money good will and respect (or meanness and money) just because they are in tatty mags and bad telly and in the last, supposedly normal series, about 50% of the contestants had boob jobs. Its just stating the obvious that these are desperate, neurotic, empty, fame hungry people, not the folks who you meet in the butchers or down Tesco's of a day.

3) Something that i wanted to shout at the TV during the press conference was "PUBLIC! SERVICE! REMIT"!!!!!! Can you believe that Channel 4 get any kind of public funding? Its total shit. What service is Hollyoaks providing except some lucky sixth form students a chance to write and film their own show?

captain easychord
22-01-2007, 10:08 AM
The whole show is a disaster. It says a lot about British culture that it's assumed to be perfectly reasonable for these vapid contestants to bully, intimidate and otherwise act like animals in front of millions of viewers for entertainment, but as soon as the odd racist epithet gets tossed around it's a huge national crisis. Bizarre man.

mistersloane
22-01-2007, 11:01 AM
The only possible grace Jade can come out of this with is if she kills herself and gets the whole fucking thing closed down.

mms
22-01-2007, 12:25 PM
The only possible grace Jade can come out of this with is if she kills herself and gets the whole fucking thing closed down.

i wonder what would go on if that did actually happen, brit celeb culture's sacrificial lamb, however i imagine jade will suffer a bit, get a bit of a ticking off then get heralded for her bravery and her willingness to change and round and round....

mistersloane
22-01-2007, 12:35 PM
i wonder what would go on if that did actually happen, brit celeb culture's sacrificial lamb, however i imagine jade will suffer a bit, get a bit of a ticking off then get heralded for her bravery and her willingness to change and round and round....

I believe in the power of positive thinking...she seems very close to it if the horrific interview in the News of the Screws was anything to go by yesterday. Go on girl, that's what I say. Show the fuckers up.

I met some people who worked on Big Brother once. They were monsters, even more monstruous than TV people normally are, it was quite something.

Mr. Tea
22-01-2007, 02:08 PM
they should be forced to read this (http://www.amazon.com/Manners-Can-Fun-Munro-Leaf/dp/0789310619) a thousand times in a cold damp cell. they should be subjected to their own footage again and again until the reality of their wretchedness sets in, until they are physically ill. they should be flogged in public as an example to young people everywhere! then everyone should burn their television sets.

Haha, good idea. Perhaps strap them down in a chair with their eyelids held open and force them to watch footage of people spitting in the street and swearing in front of young kids, all set to the music of old Ludwig Van? :)

Viddy well, brother...

mms
24-01-2007, 01:07 PM
she's paying her penance god dammit, she's off to India to do a telly show where she learns about India and apologizes to the Indian people.:slanted:

swears
24-01-2007, 04:03 PM
Class is still a big factor in British life. Being lower-middle class with aspirational working class parents (my dad was a mod), I can tell that working/underclass types (or people trying to appear so, anyway) think I'm a pretentious homo, and upper-middle class types may well consider me a boorish oaf, paticularly if they're more well-educated than me.

noel emits
24-01-2007, 04:40 PM
Being lower-middle class with aspirational working class parents (my dad was a mod)

That's roughly where I'd place myself too, although my parents were also both migrants. From an observational point of view it's a fascinating place to be. I don't feel any particular class allegiance and without a pre-defined space in 'society' I am free to create my own. Of course I am often dismayed at the willful ignorance of the wc, the complacent smugness of the mc, and the weird superiority/inferiority post-colonial complex of the 'English'.

Mr. Tea
24-01-2007, 04:47 PM
Class is still a big factor in British life. Being lower-middle class with aspirational working class parents (my dad was a mod), I can tell that working/underclass types (or people trying to appear so, anyway) think I'm a pretentious homo, and upper-middle class types may well consider me a boorish oaf, paticularly if they're more well-educated than me.

I think you've hit the nail on the head there. I was considered 'posh' at school because, shock horror, I spoke properly and knew how to use a knife and fork, that sort of thing. I'd definitely say my parents were middle class but *their* parents were most certainly working class - I guess my parents grew up during the 60s when there was social mobility on that scale for the first time.

What saddens me now is inverse snobbery - people who are deep-down middle class affecting to talk like chavs. Wankers.

mms
24-01-2007, 05:10 PM
I think this whole fiasco, especially the outcome is that television esp channel 4 with its endless self improvement shows and reality shows which are almost completely based on showing extremes of class, race and beliefs, has to be seen to be winning and by sending Jade off to India, it's now done it's job, encompassing the self improvement of another crass working class person, a travel show, and an anti-racist apology all under the channels brilliant programming.

In a way it's displayed how it's won by showing that celebrity culture is good, that exploiting these extremes works and has a moral value and that television has redemptive qualities. They had to pull this one off as Jade's managers are the same as all the other celebrities who work around big brother. This seems to be one of CH4's main aims nowdays this kind of shrug shouldered two faced morality.

mistersloane
24-01-2007, 11:16 PM
I'd like to start a little meme to get the producers, editors and general profiteers from Big Brother to be entered into the house for next time, and allow anyone who's been on the show to edit them and provide the tasks.

hundredmillionlifetimes
04-02-2007, 02:13 AM
I'd like to start a little meme to get the producers, editors and general profiteers from Big Brother to be entered into the house for next time, and allow anyone who's been on the show to edit them and provide the tasks.

You should write to Channel 4's Deputy Chairman, film-producer David Putnam (soon to become the new BBC Chairman), in his Cork, Ireland, abode (where he actively simulates the role of fruity-voiced and condescending Anglo-Irish fogey-squire), who, in a recent interview on RTE radio attempted to pathetically distance himself from all the goings-on at BB despite actively presiding over its pre-meditated orchestration (Putnam reminds of Sasha Baron Cohen's distancing from Borat: "Oh, Borat has nothing whatsoever to do with me or my lifestyle or my values". Just because I invented him doesn't mean I've any responsibility, etc).


ANIMAL MOTHER: So! Ya seen much racism!?
JOKER: Well, I've seen a little on TeeeeVeeee!!


The Big Brother brouhaha (http://lecolonelchabert.blogspot.com/2007/01/wastepaper.html#comments): A pseudo-reality, this "unscripted/improvised" but entirely contrived drama, this faux-history concocted to be recorded, starring some bourgeois women, becomes the scene/narrative/history onto which the critical interpretation of race and class in Britain and the world are displaced - this, not Iraq, not Guantanamo, will be the scene of history, politics, class war, sociality, for public examination. Many levels of simulation away from any reality but retaining its shape, its appearance - pure Image. "Goody" as image is "working class" but also "white"; "Shetty" as image is "racial other" but also "gentry" etc.. The reaction of the audience appears chaotic but is deftly managed self-management - a spontaneous agreement to focus and to become mesmerised by the image-reality, to pretend to interact with it, to take it seriously. Several aims are achieved. Everyone gets to vent and everyone's discontent is simultaneously expressed and disciplined by this containment, this magnetic gathering of public thought and feeling and its commodification as images - of "racism", "class hatred", misogyny too. For those with hatreds to vent, here are image-targets who can function as distilled elements of class and race (and gender) precisely because they merely represent on the level of appearance the objects of class oppression and race oppression (in life, they have escaped, by joining the bourgeoisie, the elite of wealth and status; what remains is a spectre of racism and class oppression plus prejudice; a spectral alliance based on Shetty's individual identity as a person of colour and Goody's accent and manner, purified by the concealed frame.)

To the realm of pure spectacle, class oppression and racism are transferred, etherialised on the way, gutted of history and of content. Everyone is gratified - those harbouring ill-will or anxiety, who wish to vent their hatred and by doing so establish their own purity and innocence, are provided with scapegoats, but more importantly those who experience simmering discontent and dissatisfaction are provided an opportunity to play at a dissident or self-assertive activity normally obstructed - to denounce racism and/or class contempt, but to do so as the studio audience of a spectacle (an indispensible part of the democratic-eviction spectacle) where the images of these evils, commodified and empty of all content and materiality, wrenched from context, made convertible, are presented as entertainment. Anti-racists can denounce the hostility and racism to which Shetty was subjected; this can be followed by a debate among them between those with class contempt to vent and those with contempt of bourgeois politeness to vent; racism itself can be transformed by some viewers, unaware of being prompted, into an Image that is an utter bogey, evil incarnate, and therefore pronounced not present. Goody isn't/is "a racist" - is anyone/isn't everyone? What could this racism be that would justify such a question, such a framework? (It's like "a homosexual"? He may have fucked a few boys but that doesn't mean he's "a homosexual" as Kushner's Roy Cohen puts it? Or is it like "a liberal"? A "terrorist"? Or what?)

What the "debate" creates is a racism that is an essence that owes everything to racial discourse itself - the "debate" is between one-drop-rule and other varieties - which emanates from A Racist that is nothing but Image, the companion of Race as Image, Image-Race, itself. The Image-Racist which the audience response portion of the programme invents harmoniously - both the "she is" and "she isn't" sides participating equally in this Image-Production - slips unobserved into the place of racism as a political, social and economic reality and blocks our comprehension and perception of it. In the same manner, the class contempt which appears in the disgust for the vulgarity of Goody produces Image-Class, and the prejudice which is vented slips into the place of exploitation, of the reality of class, equally blocking comprehension. As with the "veil controversy" and the "cartoon controversy", the important thing is not how various blocks of audience interpret the show but that all obey the demand to a) interpret it at all b) interpret only its "interior" as if it were not a contrived spectacle, ignoring the contrivance, contrivers and their purposes and c) apply to this contrived spectacle treated as history only this very small set of Image-Ideas supplied by the contrivers themselves.

The achievement of the spectacle-producers is that audience is persuaded to accept the spectacle in place of reality, even/especially those who are livid about it, and assist in its process of the commodification of audience thought and attitude and their re-vending to audience, packaged and branded by mass media, as imaged opinionettes and attitudettes. You can "personalise" them of course, like embroidered Nike sneakers. But you must have your politics, your racism/anti-racism and your class contempt(in either direction), and indeed the "reality", the social world toward which you take these postures, in relation to the corporation, supplied by it alone.

Sectionfive
26-07-2011, 02:15 PM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/26/anders-behring-breivik-multicultural-failure?CMP=twt_gu

IdleRich
26-07-2011, 02:58 PM
Yes, you can see all over the interent people stating the utter inevitability of this as a response to our political elite's failures to address the problems of multiculturalism or to listen to the voices of the people - "not that I'm in any way justifying it or am at all racist myself of course". Normally by someone who signs himself as SwordofPurity or something.