Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Hawking Persiflages Colonialism

Stephen Hawking has died - a brilliant man. It's amazing he lived as long as he did.

Colonialism is in the public eye quite frequently in these post-colonial days. Apologists for colonialism often say; "Yes, but look what we left behind in India." What they forget is that the legal system, the railways, the communication system were not implemented for the benefit of the Indian population, but to better aid trading contracts, the transport of goods and communication with troops - they were for the benefit of the colonial masters, not the indigenous population. The Indians benefited from them only after the colonialists disappeared - they were an unintended benefit.

The English, or rather the Britons, following the departure of the Romans from this land (what did the Romans ever do for us?), decided to destroy everything Roman and revert to a form of barbarism for the next few hundred years. I do hope that's not a portent for a post-Brexit UK.

We were watching a drama called Rough Justice the other night and Hay was taking note of the adverts in the breaks. She was convinced that the advertisers carefully research the audiences for their products and that the typical viewer of this particular programme is a post-menopausal woman with incontinence, or a man who wants to buy a new car.

Learned a new word yesterday - one I've never heard or seen in print before. It was in a biography of Charles James Fox. The word is 'persiflage', which is light and slightly contemptuous mockery or banter.