Aug. 18th, 2010 01:20 am
jayeless: ANGRYFACE (smilers)
[personal profile] jayeless

NY Times: Book Review - Churchill's Empire

If you read my review of the Doctor Who episode Victory of the Daleks, THIS SHIT IS EXACTLY WHY THAT EPISODE PISSED ME OFF SO MUCH. Churchill does not deserve his reputation for heroism and bravery at all. Man is a fucker. Just read the article and read ALL THE HORRIFIC THINGS CHURCHILL SAID that I did not know he said; not knowing all that much about twentieth-century Britain, I was basing my opinion purely on the fact that Britain retained an empire during WW2, Churchill lead Britain during WW2, therefore Churchill is an imperialist dick. I am very articulate explaining why I hate people, I know. But as the article says itself it's not even that Churchill was reflecting values indoctrinated into him:

...even at the time, Churchill was seen as standing at the most brutal and brutish end of the British imperialist spectrum.

The article talks about how he gleefully destroyed villages in then-India, was irritated that the vast concentration camps in South Africa WERE NOT GOING FAR ENOUGH (seriously we learned about these concentration camps in history last semester and they are horrific), boasted about ~personally~ shooting three Sudanese "savages" (i.e. human beings), wanted to use poison gas on Kurds in Iraq... I mean fuck it man, when was the last time Saddam Hussein was celebrated in British TV as a hero? HMMMM.

I'm not sure about the bullshit in the article at the end, trying to salvage Churchill's image by going "he DID believe in ~freedom and democracy~ and it DOESN'T MATTER that he only thought white people deserved any because people never take things that way lol". It's like, no. STFU.

And besides, how fucking much did Churchill believe in the welfare of people as a conservative politician? How fucking much did he care when he personally shot people dead and believed he was entitled to do it? Who cares that he could string together a few pretty words about "freedom" and "democracy"? Honestly, if you do not believe that human beings are AUTOMATICALLY entitled to necessities for life like FOOD, WATER, HEALTHCARE, SHELTER, AND SO ON then you can wax lyrical about "freedom" and "democracy" all you like but it's all meaningless words.

This post is not coming across as so pertinent to Doctor Who, and I will point out that I do love the show but this is its gaping flaw for me, this is the thing that pisses me off so bad that it's unbearable. It is unflinching in its support for British imperialism. Churchill, this war criminal and general horrifically bad human being, is depicted as some kind of hero and the Doctor's friend, even. And man, this is something that annoys me about the Doctor in general, really. There's something about royalty or power that blinds him to the fact that these are people who do and support terrible things.

And I know this is because it is, you know, a BBC show and its appeal is supposedly how it reinforces the stereotypes of British nationalism and all of that. But that is not the reason I loved it when I first got into it and it is not a reason I like it now, and it is immensely narratively unsatisfying to have the supposed "good guy" doing all this shit and it's not even any kind of issue within the context of the plot, unlike say, all the "Time Lord Victorious" stuff.

That said, it would be approximately AMAZING if a writer did at some point decide to call the Doctor out on this shit and put him through hell for these stupid, uncharacteristic attitudes.

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