Friday, December 23, 2005

Are we Programmed to Fear Symbols?

When I graduated from Queens University Belfast not so long ago. I sat at the graduation and started to look symbol of the collage. Which is pictured. As I sat their I felt offended looking at the symbol of the crown. Now as I stated before my republicanism is not very creamy. I have no really strong desire for a united Ireland nor do I have any problem with British people or the union jack. Yet I felt off putted by this symbol. Why? Christmas in America is being replaced by the “Holidays” while it might say something about the lack of work holidays in America it is mainly done because people don’t want to offend people. It is purely due to not wanting to offend. If calling days and events after Christian festivals truly offended people then Halloween (Hallows eve) and St Patrick’s Day would have been changed through mass protest to scary day and wearing green drinking and singing Danny boy day. As Tuathal pointed out in his post it is a bit crazy. Article here about how it is a political devide in America(Hat tip California Conservative ) Talk to any collage student about music and you will hear them going on about the brilliance of Pink Floyd, how John Lennon symbolised the youth movement and how the Kaiser Chiefs are the new great hope. They will also turn away in repulsion of the thought of listening to Bon Jovi talk about how X factor is destroying music and denounce Robbie Williams. Yet give them a few pints and they drop the inhabitations would they be more likely to sing Robbie Williams Angels or Pink Floyd Money. What will make them jump up and dance in a night club more Bon Jovi Living on a Prayer or a Kaiser Chiefs song. Something tells me in 90% of the cases the non blasé act will in fact be the popular choice. Why? Also the same can be said for The Rock and Hugh Grant movies vs. art house movies. People seem to think that they should be offended by something. Like me in Queens from years of living in the south learning our history going to schools with some students and teachers of the republican. I felt that I should be offended. The whole oh ah up the RA the them verses us and the anyone but England in football ethos of Ireland places in your subconscious a unease with all things British. While some of the anything but England brigade is to do with the English medias exalting the greatness of Gary Nevilie most of it is programmed into people from an early age. Also the collage music and film thing is built up by the belief by many in collage that they are something of a cultural elite and that there taste must be anything but mainstream once a band is heard of by more then a few people suddenly it is no longer good. This programs other people into believing that they must listen to this type of music to be in the part of collage life. Collage life is far from about free thinking it is about conformity. If you don’t believe me how many students do you think in this country will ever say anything good about Bush. While many like their music because they like it. I believe they are in the minority. Other people don’t want to offend anyone it is a natural reaction but in this modern world people seem to have taken this to the next level. They try to pre-empt offence. In Dublin a hospital was reported (never happened seemingly) to have removed a crib that was placed in the lobby as although they received no complaints they didn’t want to offend anyone. Now I know you can make the whole “we live in a multicultural Ireland” so we should change to accommodate and respect them but put it this way . If there was a menorah in the lobby would you be offended? If you would not be offended why do you think any Jewish person would be offended by a crib.

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