Monday, 18 June 2012

Private Eye: Dumb Britain. Julie responds.

There is a satirical, highly politic and left-leaning magazine in Britain called Private Eye. It's efficiency in annoying the establishment, the arrogant and the merely(?) powerfully inept shows up very well in light of the times that the publishers and editors have been called to court for daring to challenge a dangerously unbalanced status quo. And won. Among many things, Private Eye dislikes celebrities and the cult thereof, the class system, hypocrites, biased journalism (yes, I know), corrupt officials and excess of most kinds.
They also like to poke gentle fun at other things, such as poorly-worded signs, odd things for sale under bizarre pricing conditions, and just how some people only open their mouths to insert their feet. One of their features in this vein is the 'Colmanballs' column. Another is 'Dumb Britain', which centres on questions in quiz shows and the otherworldly responses. Admittedly, it is sometimes the quizmaster fouling things up, but it's usually the contestant. Sometimes, it appears as though the magazine is poking fun at people less educated than themselves, but it does have to be said that a lot of answers go against any kind of internal logic and clues that the question has provided. Take a look at the feature from the latest issue.


In the first two, there is definitely an element of educational snobbery, but the third one has no excuse. They have already been given the county and they go and mention a different one? And as for the 'Dumb Australian', (s)he was told that the answer was a country. Where on Earth is there a country that has a name sounding like 'Fiddler on the Roof'?

Julie enjoys this section usually, so I was reading out the questions to her. Once she had provided an answer, I would go on to inform her what the contestant had come up with. When it got to the final one, I asked, "Which Mediterranean country, whose name sounds like that of a musical, owns the island of Rhodes?"


Oh dear. I thought she was Being Silly, until I saw her expression...
Mind you, at least Julie,unlike the contestant from Australia, managed to come up with an answer that was geographical. The rest of it can be put down to her admirable lack of grasp of matters geographical.

Actually.. and I can't let this slide... Julie really should have known better, because the correct answer, of course, was 'Greece'. The homophonic musical, Grease, is one of Julie's all-time favourite films and musicals.
Oh dear.