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This is from the Spectator apparently. Interesting.

http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2015/07/the-suns-photo-of-the-young-queen-playing-nazi-is-an-important-historical-document-it-should-shock-us/

I am surprised to see something as hard-headed as this turn up in the right wing Spectator, while the left wing Guardian is being oddly conciliatory. Personally I think the greatest result from all this could be the opening of the private archives. The insights into another world would be utterly priceless.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
semyaza
Jul. 21st, 2015 07:09 pm (UTC)
Kate Maltby is out of her depth on this subject. She's a graduate student with an early modern specialty. Michael White's opinion in the Guardian is more historically sensitive. It would be nice to get a look at the private archives though.
smokingboot
Jul. 21st, 2015 08:19 pm (UTC)
Google has failed me!
I can't find Michael White's article. Do you recall what it was called?

Edited at 2015-07-21 08:19 pm (UTC)
semyaza
Jul. 21st, 2015 08:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Google has failed me!
This is it.

There's more to be said about this but what mainly concerns me about Maltby's article is the sense that people knew something or ought to have known something when, in fact, the past was almost unimaginably different and it's hard to make that kind of judgement about it. There's a point, as White says, when ignorance is no excuse but while that point is easy to see in retrospect it's harder to see on the ground, as it were. Maltby is right about complacency and yet we continue to be complacent about things that seem okay to us but which might well look ghastly 80+ years from now.
smokingboot
Jul. 21st, 2015 09:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Google has failed me!
Thank you, most interesting...Michael is a little bit too gentle for my tastes, I think. The excuse is made that no-one knew what the regime would become, but foresight wasn't required; they needed only to be aware of what was going in 1933 Germany to Jewish people and others. And certainly some among the ruling class, including the future king of Great Britain, were aware.These things were ignored because the bolsheviks might take everything away, everything the aristocratic classes possessed through neither merit nor effort; Hitler would defend their unearned privilege. And he made the trains run on time.

Having said that, I do understand that ideas and ideals we consider a benchmark of basic humanity were not always deemed as such. You are right. In time to comes, things that we take as a given now may well be regarded as anathema. How to step out of one's mindset and consider what it might be? I'm hearing a massive amount about cultural appropriation right now all over social media, and my honest response is, 'Stop telling me what to wear, or how to do my hair.' But maybe there's a monstrous insensitivity in that.

Edited at 2015-07-21 09:04 pm (UTC)
semyaza
Jul. 21st, 2015 10:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Google has failed me!
There are degrees of cultural appropriation. It depends on whose culture is being appropriated and how. Sometimes I see cultural appropriation where others don't see it - such as at the Chinese-themed Met gala.

I make no excuses for Edward VIII. He was a total scuzzball.
semyaza
Jul. 21st, 2015 10:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Google has failed me!
And no, I don't think it's monstrously insensitive. All cultures appropriate other cultures. Context is truly everything.
smokingboot
Jul. 22nd, 2015 09:57 am (UTC)
Context is Everything
It really is. As far as I can tell, cultural appropriation is like art. No-one can clearly define it but everyone can tell it when they see it.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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