The British television is full of documentaries about the Second World War. Some are usually even worse than others. One such piece was on display on BBC Two last Monday at nine. It was a classic microwavable stuff – full of rehashed film footage. And make no mistake, the Berghof pictures were there too! When, for the one hundredth time in my life, I saw the figure of Dear Adolf set against the majestic peaks of the Bavarian Alps, in full colour, I thought I was going to vomit. Well, yes, if you want to attract the working classes and i-Generation to the screens you need a bit of colour which is usually not on offer in abundance when looking at those black-and-white ages of the 20th century. Berghof always saves the day, also stir into the bowl:
– a few computer generated X-Box- games-resembling images, menacing, fast-changing and exploding
– paltry commentary about German anti-Semitism and evil genius of Hitler
– heap loads of classical music – Mahler, Mozart, Bach … well it’s evil too, ain’t it? those long ear- tiring migrainous pieces for a strange-sounding tools. Music? Eeee. Where’s Rihanna and Lady Gaga!?
Mix the substance well (but don’t bother too much as it will always stay thin anyway) and it’s ready to be served to the masses. By the way, anti-Semitism is always presented in those documentaries as something vestigial. Well, hello there BBC producers!? Wake up! Do you still read the Guardian and Independent?! Do you laugh at Steve Bell’s cartoons?! And what about Mr Ahmadinejad or Abu Hamza?! Or comrades Livingstone and Galloway?!
I guess that BCC piece would sit well as an introductory material for some backwater primary school. But the sad reality is that these days this is your premium offered by the public broadcaster. Danny Cohen would be proud, but is busy busy commissioning some meaty celebrity-packed rubbish over at Beeb One.
Instead of poking our fingers at history and shaking in disbelief at stupidity of our predecessors, those documentaries should make us think about our present. Are we that different? Do we really know better? In the 1930s there must’ve been thousands of people for whom all that was coming have been only too obvious. They must have become crazy with (not) screaming it out. Hitler was there for almost a decade before the hell broke out. But people don’t like changes and prefer not to see them, especially those for worse – the ones that put some demand on them to act. And so people choose to sleep it away …. and steer their own existence right into the hell of oblivion.
I am reminded of those things when I look at the march of all those failed leaders of the Western world: Obama, Merkel, Cameron, Rajoy, Hollande . I think about it when, in disbelieve, I see inertia of European countries and their cavalier attitude to rising mountain of debt, their peoples’ and politicians’ arrogant unwillingness to change ways while searching for solutions by creating more problems. That’s what I am reminded of when British press constantly talks about “austerity,” when there’s virtually none yet, and when I am watching them waking up on a regular basis to abysmal economic figures. Everybody is hunting chimeric bankers and the rich as a sliver bullet to problems created by bloated social states most of us still live on as parasites chocking on their own flesh. There’s no humility and no responsibility and no alarm clock seems loud enough.
Sadly, Barack Obama’s re-election only shows the virus of irresponsibility hit the last bastion of Western world too.Perhaps it really is time for our civilisation to clock off.