So my ipad is brilliant. There’s no surprise here, I knew it would be. I won’t go on about it, who wants to hear people go on about how brilliant iPads are? Read the Guardian technology pages if you do? Am I right? [Note to self don’t try and appeal to the righteousness of people make comments on stories about Apple products on Guardian articles – especially when you dislike those people.]
One effect of the iPad is that my iPhone now feels fucking tiny. It is strange how seeing a bigger version of something makes the smaller version seem even smaller but other small things do not appear smaller. My key seems to be the same size but the iPhone seems now dwarfed by my small, fat fingers. It is like how visits to the cinema always made our television seem tiny when I got home (in my head it is Cheers in particular that is playing on the ‘small’ television).
The real fact of both matters is that my iPhone is small and the Bridgehouse family television was both tiny in comparison to a cinema screen and to the flat-screen behemoths straddling the living rooms of modern living rooms (lounges if you are posh).
I watched this week’s episode of Make Bradford British, a show of which I was relatively unaware. Apparently there had been some furore about it. Essentially the show was another reality show, the premise this time was to get members of Bradford’s not so integrated community interacting and – hopefully – allowing the makers and viewers to get a snapshot of Britishness.
The show didn’t capture what Britishness was. Trying to define Britishness seems counterproductive in modern Britain. You use the word britishness and immediately there are all the historic connotations which ignore/expel 90% of what makes up modern Britain. By no means am I saying we shouldn’t strive for a collective sense of non-excluding togetherness. I am simply saying it might be better for all the different cultures in the mix to celebrate the differences and understand each other, rather than try to sum up the collective in a convenient sound bite. Or something.
Certainly the idea of Britishness expressed by several people in a pub to one of the show’s ‘stars’ Sabbiyah was as repugnant as one can imagine. Sabbiyah was told she shouldn’t wear her choice of clothes and should wear a miniskirt or go home. And that was probably the nicer part of the two minute onslaught she was on the end of.
It is grossly oversimplifying multiculturalism to suggest that that all the evils of Britain could be solved by a little bit of understanding fellow citizens’ ways of life. But it is a good start. I did watch bits of it with genuine tenderness to the participants. Except the retired Policeman who couldn’t let the issue of race lie. He wasn’t being malicious and clearly it was his haphazard way of dealing with an issue that he just avoided for the majority of his long life. He did really wonder if a black person knew someone he had dealt with at work because she was also black. Even he learned something by the end as his very patient houseguest broke down recounting a harrowing race attack he had once suffered.
It wasn’t the perfect programme but it certainly had a lot of positivity in it which weren’t eroded by the brief moments of horrible people in a pub.