Embarrassment AND PREJUDICE

Can I dance the fool? (see below)

This is a hobby, we are all journalists by day This is a hobby, we are all journalists by day
This post now contains an update - see further on!

Two posts in one because that's the way it is. The hot topic of today is Morris dancing. The BBC, the Independent and other news sources tell us that Morris dancing will probably be extinct in 20 years time and this is because young people 'are too embarrassed to take part'. Well perhaps Morris dancing should be made compulsory, this is usually the route taken by our political and social elites when faced with such a problem. But then the problem within the problem is that, increasingly, the political and social elites are one and the same. Year on year the number of people who vote goes down as a percentage of the population and yet the public funding of political parties is touted as a 'solution' to this trend. Perhaps the Morris dancers should wait a little longer then help will come?

Also in the Independent today is the ever disgraceful Yasmin Alibhai-Brown taking yet another cheap shot at a section of society she hates and the target today is (again!) the white working class. "Spare me the tears over the white working class" she trills before unloading another pile of crap onto her victims. If this tedious creature had a brain as well as malevolence then she would have thought to suggest the white schoolchildren should be dancing the Morris while being mocked by their multi-ethnic classmates! But no, she remains the mono-topicalist, multi-culturalist of choice, if you're dim that is!

But how on earth or why should these things be combined? Well, speaking as one for whom the Morris is unfathomable I decided to do some simple research and lo it would seem that the very name Morris could, if you are a broadsheet journalist, have racist connotations. It is said that the dance has its roots in celebrations based on driving the Moors out of Europe, so that's a promising start. Then, it gets better, there is even a black face tradition within the Morris. Is this a hideous form of racism dating back to the Middle Ages? Probably not, but you know what history is, you can make of it what you will, so there is a chance that the Morris won't be allowed to die - it will be killed off! In fact it is thought that the black faces come from miners who adopted and adapted the dances to suit themselves.

The Fool -

Is an outgoing type of person who dances in an attention seeking manner distinct from the main troupe with a view to engaging with the audience and inviting ridicule. It is hard to do well, so they say.

Update -
Maurice - by John Hegely Maurice - by John Hegely
No sooner had this post been posted when I spotted John Hegley's poem in the Guardian. Hegley is a serious poet who can, at will, turn up and down the humour level. Compare this to some of the other modern poets who fail in this vital fine-tuning area and go from serious to pretentious, without much skill and with limited entertainment value. Mind you if an honorary degree is what you're after then Hegley has got it wrong. For all he has to his name is a single LL.D from, as you would imagine, the University of Luton. This is in direct contrast to one of the other 'nation's favourites' who has seven of these gongs plus an OBE, returned.

Not only is the poem a wonderful contribution to the topic of Morris dancing but so are the comments from the Guardian readership. In these days of supra-PC there are mantraps everywhere, into which the unwary, man or woman, may fall. When reading up on Morris dancing I was unaware of the black face tradition but could immediately see ample opportunity for the PC-warriors to wade in and right wrongs, even if they failed to understand the background to this. So one of the respondents to the Guardian article writes -

We need to get rid of this embarrassing tradition. We also need to lock up the racist Cornish minstrels who blacken their faces every year - their bigotry disgusts me. We need to systematically destroy every vestige of English culture which is the most racist, homophobic and xenophobic in the world. The sooner that we can destroy the traditions of this country and its imperialist past the sooner that we can move forward into the future and become a truly diverse multicultural paradise.

To be fair to some of the other respondents to the Guardian article cannot work out if the author of the above is being serious or taking the piss, neither can I. But there could be a mistake with the comment - Cornish minstrels. It is thought they were Cornish tin miners who went to the coal mines of the North West of England, this would have been at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. And, owing to their different accents and traditions we can only wonder at the bigotry and insults they would have endured!

Finally - please visit the John Hegely website - very good it is too! Link - HERE.