Thursday, April 11, 2013

4/8  AP
Opponents of the late Margaret Thatcher are taking a kind of musical revenge on the former prime minister, pushing the song "Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead" up the British charts in a posthumous protest over her polarizing policies. 
By Friday the online campaign had propelled the "Wizard of Oz" song to No. 1 on British iTunes and into the top five of the music chart used by the BBC to compile its weekly radio countdown. 
David Karpf, who studies online campaigns, said the chart battle was an example of a new kind of protest enabled by social media — "A way for people to signal protest en masse without shouting from the rooftops." 
"It's a form of symbolic protest," he said. 
The unusual campaign has caused a headache for the BBC. With the ditty near the top of the charts, the broadcaster faced the prospect of airing the words "The Wicked Witch is Dead!" on its Sunday countdown show, just days before Thatcher's funeral, scheduled for Wednesday.
4/12 BBC
Nobody at Radio 1 wishes to cause offence but nor do I believe that we can ignore the song in the chart show, which is traditionally a formal record of the biggest selling singles of the week. That in turn means that all songs in the chart become an historic fact.

I’ve therefore decided exceptionally that we should treat the rise of the song, based as it is on a political campaign to denigrate Lady Thatcher’s memory, as a news story. So we will play a brief excerpt of it in a short news report during the show which explains to our audience why a 70-year-old song is at the top of the charts. Most of them are too young to remember Lady Thatcher and many will be baffled by the sound of the Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz.

To ban the record from our airwaves completely would risk giving the campaign the oxygen of further publicity and might inflame an already delicate situation.

Katy Perry's ex.
When I was a kid, Thatcher was the headmistress of our country. Her voice, a bellicose yawn, somehow both boring and boring – I could ignore the content but the intent drilled its way in. She became leader of the Conservatives the year I was born and prime minister when I was four. She remained in power till I was 15. I am, it's safe to say, one of Thatcher's children. How then do I feel on the day of this matriarchal mourning? 
I grew up in Essex with a single mum and a go-getter Dagenham dad. I don't know if they ever voted for her, I don't know if they liked her. My dad, I suspect, did. He had enough Del Boy about him to admire her coiffured virility – but in a way Thatcher was so omnipotent; so omnipresent, so omni-everything that all opinion was redundant.
Brighouse in 2009.
Toward the end of the Miner’s Strike in 1985 I was accompanying some student march to County Hall, shaking a collecting tin, when I was confronted by a balding middle aged man in, I kid you not, a bowler hat and pin stripe suit:
(Angrily) “What are you complaining about now? I’m not going to give money to bloody students, the state already pays for you”
(Cheerfully) “Oh no, I’m not complaining about anything.” (I didn’t go into what I suspected was our agreement on the immorality of the state subsidizing the passage of the most privileged children in society into its elite, but I conveyed that complex message with a grin). “I’m collecting for the striking miners”.
(Surprised) “Oh”. He looked me straight in the eye, with genuine sympathy. “They can’t win you know. But..” he produced a 20 quid note and placed it in my tin “at least they might give this bloody shower in charge a run for their money”. (One of the lessons of collecting for the miners was never to judge a person by the way they dressed.)
The best thing on at CT now is a comment by Ajay
Rich and poor existed alike inside a great framework of British institutions. It was the lower-middle-class who went from their schools to keep shops or manage small businesses; who did not participate, for the most part, in the institutions you’re describing; who therefore saw the state not as the guarantor of the framework in which they lived, but as a constant demander of taxes and producer of paperwork; and whose resentment ultimately produced Margaret Thatcher.
The discussion at CT has devolved to a discussion of popular music, so that makes the following even more appropriate

"This is the Modern World"
Punk wasn't a rebellion against capitalism. It was capitalism, rebelling against both liberalism and the hereditary aristocracy.
Also, comedians

Behind comedians but ahead of academics, unable to distinguish between thoughtful arrogance and arrogant thoughtfulness, the earnest thinkers of the middle American class.

Glenda Jackson

Her son responds
...In truth, there was something wonderful about the Twittersphere’s reaction. “Your mother has let you down,” someone informed me. How does that work, then? “Good day at work, Mum?” “Yeah. Had a bit of a go at the recently deceased Baroness Thatcher.” “You what? What are you trying to do to me? In front of all my friends! Do you know how that makes me look? How could you?” [Slams door, storms up to room.] 
“How humiliating for Dan Hodges,” someone else posted. Humiliating? Try walking into school the day after Women in Love has just been repeated on BBC Two. In my part of south London there was scant regard for the watershed. 
“Bet Dan Hodges will have strong words for his mother when he sees her,” a third tweeter offered. Are you mad? Didn’t you see her facing down the massed and enraged ranks of the parliamentary Tory party? Plus, I need her to do some babysitting.
"Plus, I need her to do some babysitting."
Compare as always to "Scatterplot" and Brighouse the theoretician, (not the kid with the tin).
The asocial life of individualists.
Hodges "lost his left eye when a broken beer glass was shoved in his face after he stood up for two black men who were being taunted by whites in a south London pub."

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