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Monday, 5 October 2015

Sorry, I Wrote!

It’s now uber chic to insult someone – and then apologise.

It makes life so easy. But the damage has been done; the mud sticks and the scars remain.

Even worse is when a serious affront is made to the dead and it must be left to others to defend them and their reputation.

What, after all, is an ‘apology’? Nothing more than a passing expression of regret; simple words that  admit guilt or failure but are often insincere, especially when they’ve been forced.

I thought about this for the umpteenth time  when the BBC was widely criticised and so back- tracked after publishing a viciously anti-Jewish stereotype of the Hungarian-born violinist, Leopold Auer in this year’s Proms programme.

“We use a range of caricatures and illustrations in our concert programmes”, explained a spokesperson “and wanted one of Leopold Auer. We're sorry to anyone who was offended by the image choice - this was never our intention”.
That’s funny! I was under the impression that a cartoon is supposed bear  some passing resemblance to its subject – just like one recently published to illustrate an interview with novelists Howard Jacobson and Jeanette Winterson about their current projects based on Shakespeare’s plays:

But what about the photograph (left) of Auer and the cartoon (right) published in the BBC Proms programme.  I’d say the total lack of similarity is quite uncanny!


But if I’m wrong, let me ‘apologise’. Forgive me. Please.

I am unable to see a link between the two images. Indeed, the only connection I may suggest is that between the cartoon and something that may have been produced by Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher.

Then, of course, there are further links: How about the infamous 2011 Israel Philharmonic Orchestra BBC Prom that was taken off air due to  “sustained audience disruption within the concert hall”?

Or the unceasing barrage of  deliberately slewed anti-Israel reports aired by  BBC  News – most recently in its coverage of the terrorist attack in the Old City Jerusalem on Saturday when two ultra-Orthodox men were murdered and a woman and toddler were badly injured.

Should I continue? Or are you feeling bored?

I’m sorry. Really …

© Natalie Wood (05 October 2015)

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