Never extrapolate from the personal to the general.
If, for example, you see a child peeing in a public park, it doesn’t follow that all other children “like that” – now there’s a minefield – do it too. Where we are now – Conservative Party in power though Conservative Party in pieces, he says/she says/ I think (s)he means, The Blond hoping for a second go, not only rising costs for everything you can think of but no point of reference, strikes and social disarray (on the railways, among nurses, midwives, teachers and others) – is most unsettling because there are few facts and a great deal of opinion.
And of course if you are convinced of one of the candidates, you attribute The Truth to him or her. Not sure about that. But then I am not sure about any of the candidates.
Last night I watched a programme about the beginning of the BBC.
I love compilation programmes, intelligent often unexpected bits of film and talking heads, faces put on names. Better than the endless run of – all the other things I don’t want to watch. And re the BBC programme, three things stayed with me.
One is that at the beginning, broadcasting was being invented and they made it up as they went along with a bias towards radio. (Pause for cheer !) Secondly so emergent not to say homemade was it, that the assassination of John Kennedy (1963) was handled as badly as could be, special relationship notwithstanding, and thirdly, the BBC censored itself
– not in a “that’s not a good idea” kind of way but seriously, through liaison between the senior suits and the government, formal undertakings which remained in the bottom drawer unless needs must, when they could be invoked as binding.
We have ceased to talk about the man in the street, probably because that’s just one sex and we admit to several, and probably because the old image was tied to newspapers and we are at the mercy of something more volatile and less reliable enacted by current technology. If I sound dubious, it is because I find the BBC (setting aside honourable exceptions) horribly reduced in impact, Al Jazeera and Sky seriously often better, though I prefer written media because of my personality and age. I don’t think it’s any more reliable but the format gives me time to think. And this week an email I used was hacked
and I, who took a risk, got ripped off.
Generalisations are just that – broad sweeping statements on which arguments may be built like shakey houses, only to fall down
on the heads and feet of people who never understood or believed in them anyway. The handsome 40-ish consultant on the prestige cosmetic counter in my nearest big store told me that she and her husband had done everything they could to provide for themselves and their old age, taken advice, invested and were now facing a mortgage increase from £1,000 to £1,600. I could make a piece out of that but it would be unreliable because she is just one person and they are just one couple. Though it is not till you hear it from somebody directly, that you realise just how destructive the last few weeks have been.
The spectacular Christmas department in a famous West End store is hundreds deep in Christmas tree decorations, streamers, lamps, toys and pretties – and has been for a couple of months. But the prices are shocking. And yesterday in a small specialist store I admired a jewelled tree about 4 inches high. Was it £65 pretty ?
I worked for years on one to one. It is an old teaching trick – if I can establish dialogue with one, and it’s interesting, all sorts of others will listen and pay attention. I am very wary of generalisations, they can be so easily manipulated. “We all” is a phrase that makes me see flashing crimson. “Them” we say meaning “not us.” The cruelty of where we are is that, whether we believe in it or not, this has been done to us, wantonly, in the name of “we know best.” Like hell they do.