January 25th, 2006

fat pony like thunder

(no subject)

Having just watched Stephen Fry's Who Do You Think You Are?, in which he discovered that pretty much all of his (Jewish) mother's relatives were killed in concentration camps, I am still a bit weepy. I think I started sniffling when he found the Viennese house in which his grandmother had grown up and discovered a plaque which he first thought was dedicated to famous people who lived in the house and then realised with horror that it was a tribute to the house's former Jewish residents who had all been deported and murdered - including his great-grandparents. I sniffled more or less continuously throughout the rest, which also included his eventual discovery of the names of his great-aunt's children, whose anonymous photo he had known since childhood. He discovered their names because they were listed among those who died at Auschwitz (and the only time Fry swore during the whole thing was when he found those names and said "fucking Auschwitz..." while tears ran down his face - and mine). But I wanted to post something he said towards the end of the programme (and I'm slightly paraphrasing here): "People talk about the lack of respect today, but we have more respect for each other's lives than our ancestors ever had."

Which is something I wish the vile Dailies Mail and Express might like to remember when they're chuntering on about the good old days when the proles and women knew their place and Johnny Foreigner didn't keep swanking about the EU thinking he was superior to true blue Britishers and hanging was legal and you could rape and beat your wife as much as you wanted and darkies were there for comic relief and most of the globe was coloured pink. Because in reality, we've never had it so good. Except of course the Mail, which was printing pro-Hitler articles up to the late '30s, may not really think Mr Fry's ancestors (or mine, given the fact that they still print anti-Irish cartoons reminiscent of something from Punch in the 1870s) deserved all that much respect after all.
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