The British Reserve

We all know that this country has changed. In lots of ways, some are good and some are ..well you tell me.

The first change has been that the British stiff upper lip has almost gone. We have embraced the American attitudes to a lots of things. These days if a tragedy strikes,it is not  just enough to express concern,but the crash/accident site is visited and flowers are laid.Thousands of boquets in some cases.Yellow ribbons are tied. And people turn out in droves to see the vicitim`s grieving family at the funeral.And the family is given almost a celebrity status ,whether  they want to or not.

The case of the parents of the missing girl Madeline is another one. It is said that when the parents,devout Catholics,went to the church,lines of sight seers formed.British tourists who were on the beach,still in their beach wear will join the crowds. Bursting into applause and wanting to have their photos taken with the parents.Turning them into reluctant celebrities.

The media now a days is something else. Good news doesnt sell newspapers,the editor of one of the tabloids said recently.The newspapers go into minutae. Feeding our curosity with all the relevent and ir-relevent detailes. And this  goes on for days and weeks. Cranking the emotional screws even tighter.The broadcast media is not excluded either. Yesterday a phone -in programme was abandoned on the BBCdue to the hostility of  the callers.This programme was talking about the McCanns again. Asking the public if they believed them.If that is not trying to gain sympathy I dont know what is. And that too when the case is going on in Portugal.

The case of Diana, Princess of Wales was and is a classic example. The books, films and articles are so many that none of us could ever read or list them. When she was alive,she was pursued and photographed all the time. Though she did protest too much, but we all know now that she herself was involved in briefing the press and inviting the cameramen to suit her purpose.And  it was not just her but the other royals were also involved in this game.

But is it right to just blame the media for this phenomenon? Are we not the ones who are theconsumers? So we must take the responsability of creating this climate. We are interested in celebrity culture. Just look at any news agent , the number of weeklies/ monthlies and dailys who just “specialise” in celebrity gossip. And we create our own celebrities to be photographed with,even if they are victims/suspects or someone who has claimed the fame by just naming or implicating another. Which could be a politician or a football player.

So has the British upper lip has gone forever? And was that quality ,among others responsable in making this country Great? Or is it a good thing that this country is full of people who empathise with others and leave flowers/tie yellow ribbons and have endless phone-ins on the subject?

 

 

 

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