Monday, 27 June 2016

More What I Don't Miss About the 50s

And we had to wear these...
The 50s? I STILL don't want to go back there.

Cafés weren’t obliged to provide toilets, so most of them didn’t. Could a lady go into a pub and ask to use the loo, without buying anything? She might embarrass her friends. Bodily functions were spoken of in hushed tones, if at all.

A wartime writer blames “the lower middle classes” for “keeping themselves to themselves”. In the 50s, they conversed in whispers in public places, brought their own sandwiches and thermos flasks, and ate furtively. It wasn’t the “done thing” to speak to strangers. According to my mother, during the War “everybody talked to everybody”, but afterwards things went back to normal.

I think we’re almost back to “everybody talks to everybody” – but being a silver-haired old lady may help. 60s London was a lonely and unfriendly place. If people talked to you at all they teased or laughed at you. Sarcasm was the default, and it was supposed to be funny. You couldn’t point out that it was cruel.

Problems were addressed by not talking about them, and not letting anybody else talk about them. If anyone raised a forbidden topic, you gazed at the horizon, changed the subject, and acted as if nobody had spoken.

Adults were routinely nasty, abusive, cruel and sarcastic to children. Parents and teachers (not mine, thank God) smacked and hit children. No wonder abused children didn’t dare tell anybody.

In fact cruelty was normalised and explained away (“She’s got an unfortunate manner”, “He’s in pain from a bad back”). But it was more common to pretend it hadn’t happened – or if it had, it wasn’t cruelty but something else.

If someone you knew was discovered to be abusing children, nobody wanted to report him, because “He’s one of us”, and besides “He does such a lot of good work, and people look up to him”. Did I mention that it was an authoritarian and hierarchical society?

More here, and links to the rest.

Brexit Euphemism Bingo

Multiculturalism run riot

control our own borders
culture change
floods of migrants
sweeping into the country
I want things back the way they were
London isn't English any more
make Britain great again
political correctness
take back control of our borders
we aren't being listened to
British human rights
faceless bureaucrats
change, too-rapid change
red tape
common sense
experts (who give us the wrong answers)
establishment elite (who never listen to us)
I'm undecided (I'm voting Leave)
I want my vote to count
I want my country back
metropolitan elite
Multiculturalism isn't working
the PC brigade
real answers
they're not giving us the facts
smoke and mirrors
talk sense
They'll have to start listening to us now...

More euphemisms here, and links to the rest.