// you’re reading...


Happy Endings…

Okay, you so knew I was going to have a go at this story…

There was an item on Radio 2 (yes, it’s my day off, and I’m waiting for the car to be MOT-ed, so nothing more exciting, I’m afraid) this afternoon about ‘The Happy Ending Foundation’. Whose mission, as reported by their spokesperson, was to ensure children didn’t encounter anything as remotely un-anodyne as Shockheaded Peter, and that everyone, everywhere, must live happily ever after.

The original Little Mermaid comes in for a battering for being ’sad’, as does the Lemony Snicket series. A Tale of Two Cities ought to be removed from reading lists, alongside anything that might remotely challenge the reader. I cannot fail to observe that no child was called upon for comment, and as tends to occur, a pack of confused adults have decided amongst themselves that as children apparently grow up too fast these days, the best answer to that is to ensure they don’t encounter anything that might challenge them until they fly the nest. To observe that such children might be woefully unprepared for the real world is, I think, a given.

And apparently, you can be lighthearted about book burning. At least that’s according to said spokesperson.

To be fair, the original story came from the Daily Mail, who’ve had a run of nonsense this week. As reported by our correspondent in the know, their fearless reporter seemed to know nothing of what’s actually going on in the big wide world outside of the Mail offices.

Although, as our correspondent is far too polite to draw attention to the comments posted on the Mail story about Jonathan Ross, I ought to quote:

As a TV licence payer, I do not appreciate Jonathan Ross earning a total of £18,000,000. He is grossly overpaid. Whilst he is a nice guy with a wonderful family the amount of money that he earns from the BBC is appalling. We could have far, far better programs, Sunday afternoon viewing on all channels is absolutely diabolical.

- Daniela Pani, Reading

Well, yes. The decline of religious broadcasting is evidently attributable to Jonathan Ross. Thanks Daniela. And our next caller has this gem to add:

At least the Take That lads have dressed with style and look gorgeous (as always).

- Sue, Oxfordshire

Sue – you really felt you had to add that, didn’t you? Did you know you’ve just manage to prove Andrew Keen’s point? Give the public a forum and they’ll use it to bleat utter nonsense into the ether.

Ah well. At least we got to see Stardust last night, which was rather wonderful. And it has a happy ending, which should keep The Happy Ending Foundation, well, happy. It’s lighter than the original novel, but works as a film, and keeps the heart of the story alive. Even the Take That song didn’t detract from the experience, as it came on over the end credits and we could leave without hearing it (see, Sue from Oxfordshire – that’s how you get to mention a boy band – make it relevant to the piece).


6 comments for “Happy Endings…”

  1. “Give the public a forum and they’ll use it to bleat utter nonsense into the ether.”

    I believe this is in fact part of the interweb’s charter. There’s something written down somewhere that sets in stone the unassailable right of morons to spew vapid, bigoted crap all over the web (usually on the BBC forums – the nastiest, most reactionary, right wing bumhole the internet has to offer by the way – see also : The Guardian comments sections).

    What did these people do before the internet? Because it wasn’t “do their research” or “carefully consider the issues”. Probably they just mouthed off their worthless, narrow-minded drivel at anyone who happened to pass within bleating distance. Sadly now they have a way to spread their diseased claptrap much wider.


    Posted by mongo | October 5, 2007, 3:58 pm
  2. Ah the snobbishness of the left-wing intellectual. Always bigging up ‘the people’ but choosing never to meet them or engage with them in any way in case they talk about things that matter to them..

    Posted by Andy | October 5, 2007, 4:29 pm
  3. Winston Churchill said that “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter”. I fully agree. And if Take That are what matter to the people, then I’m glad to live up here in my ivory tower. The view is wonderful.

    Posted by tom | October 5, 2007, 4:53 pm
  4. Never Forget was their best song although it should have been their last as oppsed to How Deep Is Your Love. Bands never seem to know when to bow out with a goodbye song. Like Spice Girls with Goodbye.

    Posted by Andy | October 5, 2007, 5:39 pm
  5. “the snobbishness of the left-wing intellectual.”

    Says the middle class arts graduate working in a University!


    (only joking)

    Posted by mongo | October 7, 2007, 6:52 pm
  6. Middle class I am, an arts graduate too. Left wing, never!

    Posted by Andy | October 10, 2007, 8:37 am

Post a comment