Wallowing in the past

We like to think that we are immune to propaganda. Yes, other feeble-minded individuals may allow their attitudes to be shaped by the media and their surroundings, but we’re sure that we are far too smart for that.

In 1975, John Cleese savagely satirized British attitudes to Germany, in the classic Fawlty Towers episode The Germans. After a blow to the head, hotel proprietor Basil Fawlty loses his ability to self-censor. While taking a dinner order from some German guests, he proceeds to blurt out the names of Nazis; eventually he descends into xenophobic ranting.

The sad thing is that after 30 more years, nothing much has changed.

Professionalism

Background: Richard Desmond is the owner of the Daily Express, and publisher of many of Britain’s finest (?) porn magazines. The Daily Express has just switched political allegiance, and is now backing the Conservative Party under Michael Howard. Desmond wanted to buy the Daily Telegraph, but the price he was quoted was too high. In the mean time, the German Axel Springer publishing group has put in a bid for the Telegraph.