"You may say that I am a dreamer/But I am not the only one" John Lennon: "Imagine"

"So come brothers and sisters/For the struggle carries on" Billy Bragg: "The Internationale"

Elizannie has a reading room at 'Clarice's Book Page' http://www.villiersroad.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Good Golly Miss Molly

To wake myself up in the mornings - never my best time! - I eat my humble cereal in front of the lap top, catching up with the news on the BBC web site, reading my emails and catching up with the latest from my contacts on social media. Where, on a good day, I can be having three or four 'conversations' at once: possibly discussing the latest new baby in the family/wonderful thing one of my grandchildren has achieved; a political thread; a bit of a philosophical debate and maybe something which comes under the general heading of 'culture'! On a really good day I could still be sitting at the keyboard when I notice it is lunchtime and once more the housework has mysteriously not been done. Oh dear, how sad, never mind.

Today's philosophical question was on the subject of Golliwogs*, should they still be on sale. To be honest, I didn't think many shops sold them.  I googled on amazon.co.uk and Toys 'r' Us and to my relief could not find any. Amazon did have some books but of the historical context variety. Oh and some very old knitting patterns! E bay and a google search provided a few for sale, but then sadly many undesirable and inappropriate things can be purchased in these places - I am told! [I saw a local shop selling small plastic golliwog models a couple of years ago and asked for them to be taken off display. They were]

When I was small, 60+ years ago, we didn't see anything wrong with them BUT kids also played with guns and parents thought nothing of teachers battering their kids in schools. Black and white minstrel shows were popular at the end of the pier and on TV. Times have changed. Hopefully we are now more intelligent and informed.

I think it is obvious that I don't think they should still be for sale. I am not a great fan of censorship but there are certain things we used to sell - across the board - that we realise are nowadays inappropriate. Nothing against dolls of different skin colours, these are obviously representative. Gollys [and I spell it that way deliberately] represent something altogether nastier. And yes, before someone says it, I would agree with the re-casting of Enid Blyton books. There is no suggestion she was racist including these characters at the time she was writing but there is no need to include them in new editions. And before people cry censorship hypocrite at me [!] I would point out that I was an English Lit lecturer in a previous life, specialising in 19thC novels. And many of those novels were written in what would now be considered politically incorrect ways with politically incorrect descriptions of characters and actions. I would always point out when introducing such novels that these were written with the words and mores of the times and although we deplore them now the works should be read and analysed in the spirit of contempory readers, not with our own enlightened views.

So the problem of giving this blog a subject line and headline picture. Well I wanted to include the word 'Golly' but without any fear of insult, so I thought I would celebrate the great singer Little Richard and to see and hear his version of his song please click here. The picture was a little more difficult. I like to think laterally. Or as others would say 'Elizannie lives in a world of her own. Thank goodness'. So as I have mentioned piers earlier in this piece, and I am a complete anorak about piers [honestly] I thought I would include a picture of Southend Pier. And indeed, why not?

This photo of Southend pier is one of the many times it has caught fire - this is is of the 1976 fire. And is dedicated to my children who, to their joint disgust, have been roused from bed or collected from school so many times over the years to see the Pier on fire or once - on a truly memorable occasion - to see a boat sitting in the middle of it due [I believe] to a wrong turn by its captain.

Well done, another morning and no housework done!

*For an interesting history of the origins of the name and 'history' of the toy, 
please visit here.

On a purely personal note and nothing to do with this or any other blog:
Sadly Other Half has now become Ex. But hopefully still friends.

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