Mrs. Brown’s Boys 2017 Christmas Special

Metro UK pub­lished the fol­low­ing arti­cle (review/opinion) on December 29, 2017:
Mrs Brown’s Boys pulls in up to 9 mil­lion view­ers – but who the hell is watch­ing it and why?

Who the hell is watch­ing it?  Whether it’s polit­i­cal­ly, social­ly, eco­nom­i­cal­ly, cul­tur­al­ly … the media elites are so out of touch with the soci­eties and com­mu­ni­ties they live in that they sim­ply can­not under­stand how and why any­one could pos­si­bly find Mrs. Brown’s Boys fun­ny, enter­tain­ing or even watch­able when crit­ics (often peo­ple with degrees like media stud­ies and film) find it deplorable.  In fact, I don’t think it unfair to say that a lot of them don’t just find the pro­gram itself deplorable but also those who would watch it and, in par­tic­u­lar, like it:  A crit­ic paid to watch such “end-of-pier trash” for the pur­pos­es of snide­ly ask­ing, “Who the hell is watch­ing it?” — while know­ing full well that record num­bers of peo­ple are watch­ing and it is a huge­ly pop­u­lar TV show, trav­el­ling com­e­dy road­show, and wider fran­chise — is, to the crit­ic and the elites, one thing .… But to will­ing­ly choose to watch “the worst com­e­dy ever made,” and worse still to actu­al­ly like it, is some­thing for the chat­ter­ing class­es to sneer at.

It’s inter­est­ing that they feel the need to ask, “Who is watch­ing it and why?,” as if to say that the cog­ni­tive dis­so­nance between what they (the elites) say/feel/think/believe and what the peons down below say/feel/think/believe war­rants some inves­ti­ga­tion and con­sid­er­a­tion:  Not so that the elites can find out, for exam­ple, what they are doing wrong and so they can make sim­i­lar type tele­vi­sion pro­grams that actu­al­ly sell and that 9 mil­lion peo­ple will watch (which is huge for the UK mar­ket), but because they believe it is prob­lem­at­ic and I’m sure, in the pro­gres­sive aca­d­e­m­ic lin­go, sym­bol­ic of wider social and cul­tur­al issues and we need to come togeth­er and engage stake­hold­ers in dis­cus­sion and empow­er change.  Let me trans­late that for you:  Basically the elites are say­ing that the deplorables are not buy­ing what the elites are sell­ing and some­thing must be done to change the deplorables because they are wrong-head­ed.  The elites (arguably par­tic­u­lar­ly the media elites) in their smug­ness are so self-right­eous that many of them tru­ly can­not even con­tem­plate that it may be with them­selves where the prob­lems lay.

Make no mis­take about it, what the Mrs. Brown’s Boys crit­ics are hint­ing at is Donald Trump, and the rejec­tion of pro­gres­sive lib­er­al and Third Way pol­i­tics not just in the United States, but active­ly spread­ing across the globe.

There’s some inter­est­ing par­al­lels with the 2016 United States Presidential elec­tion:  More than a year lat­er the elites are still not just ask­ing how and why they got it all so wrong, but there sim­ply must be nefar­i­ous forces (Russia) at work to explain it:  It can’t pos­si­bly be that the elites are just so out of touch with real­i­ty in their echo cham­bers and var­i­ous bub­bles they have cre­at­ed and inhab­it.  In the case of Mrs. Brown’s Boys they can’t blame Russia, but the author seems relieved — at the end — to have come to a con­clu­sion and an expla­na­tion for how it can hap­pen that some­thing as “jaw-drop­ping­ly past its sell-by date” as Mrs. Brown’s Boys could be so pop­u­lar:  After speak­ing with a few old­er peo­ple it would seem that this is most­ly a phe­nom­e­non dri­ven by old­er (hint hint … back­ward, out-of-date, closed-mind­ed, not for­ward think­ing, irrel­e­vant) peo­ple (who are dying off and then things will be bet­ter) who are too stub­born to accept the mod­ern group­think and are long­ing for a return to the way things used to be.  However, that doesn’t seem to be my expe­ri­ence — a lot of my younger friends (under 30) love this show, and I’m still some­times sur­prised when some­one who is 22 or 25 asks me if I’ve ever seen this fun­ny new (to them) show called Mrs. Brown’s Boys.

The singer Bono annoys me to no end with his cli­mate change pros­e­ly­tiz­ing and so-called pro­gres­sive lec­tures, how­ev­er, I agree with some of an obser­va­tion that he made recent­ly in a Rolling Stone mag­a­zine inter­view:  Music has “got­ten very girly” and “there are some good things about that, but hip-hop is the only place for young male anger at the moment – and that’s not good.”  How does that tie in with what I have dis­cussed so far?  I think that those read­ers with com­mon sense and intel­lec­tu­al hon­esty will get it but, to explain a bit fur­ther, sim­i­lar and same forces and atti­tudes such as those that elites show toward per­sons who would watch and like Mrs. Brown’s Boys are at work all over the place and on a dai­ly basis — us (the elites) against them (the unwashed mass­es) — and as I hap­haz­ard­ly segue into a brief dis­cus­sion of angry young men (not the lit­er­ary move­ment) let me say that not just young men, but men in gen­er­al have come to sym­bol­ize the unwashed mass­es.  At least, men in their nat­ur­al state — fol­low­ing their nat­ur­al incli­na­tions, instincts and behav­iours — all of which is hor­ri­fy­ing to the pro­gres­sives and the inter­sec­tion­al­ists.  Men must admit to their tox­ic mas­culin­i­ty, we are told, and accept that there is no place for it — indeed for men — in the soci­ety envi­sioned by the so-called pro­gres­sive polit­i­cal and cul­tur­al (pret­ty much one and the same) left.  The same men, how­ev­er, are to be fet­ed and cel­e­brat­ed for their brav­ery and courage if they “come out” and “step up” and proud­ly declare they are real­ly, after all, actu­al­ly women trapped in men’s bod­ies.

We are about to see a resur­gence of young male anger as young men re-assert them­selves and their nat­ur­al mas­culin­i­ty, reject mod­ern (an impor­tant qual­i­fi­er) fem­i­nist, pro­gres­sive lib­er­al, and iden­ti­ty pol­i­tics dog­ma and, right­ly or wrong­ly, take back what they feel has been tak­en from them.

So, among oth­er things, it isn’t just old fud­dy-dud­dies who haven’t yet died off who are long­ing for a return to the way things used to be:  I’d sug­gest that it is a lot of peo­ple, of all ages and demo­graph­ics, who are start­ing to say that this or that isn’t a case of “the old way” and/or the “new way” or the past vs. future, but rather that there are uni­ver­sal truths and time­less bio­log­i­cal­ly encod­ed nat­ur­al human instincts and behav­iours, and you can con­tin­ue (for a while) try­ing to reshape and form and mould these truths, instincts and behav­iours into your own Utopian vision of how peo­ples and soci­eties ought to be (like the world and coun­tries are or even should be like a school class­room where we all get along) … But you can’t fight Mother Nature, and at some point (soon) it’s all going to burst at the seams, and the nat­ur­al order of things will be restored.

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