Thursday 29 May 2014

Paying tribute

This run of frivolous posts now ends. It's time to get serious again, and pay tribute to the late Maya Angelou. (It's what everyone's doing, especially at the BBC, and Is the BBC biased? refuses to be left out.)

Maya Angelou meant a lot to me. Yes, I've never read a word of anything's she's ever written - or had the slightest inclination to do so until today - but I recognised her name when the news of her death broke (having heard it many times before on the BBC) and I felt the need to rush onto the internet to tell you so. 

I learned from the BBC that she didn't believe white people were real when she was young and that she was proud to be black on Saturday nights. I saw that on last night's Newsnight, shortly after the feature on racism in the UK. 

It made me search my own white soul and reflect that - in contrast to Maya - I've never doubted, not even for one single minute, that people of another race are real human beings. Unlike Maya, I even knew they were human when I was young! (I was precocious like that). 

Plus, I really can't remember ever having given a thought to being a Caucasian-Englishman on the evening before Sunday, never mind having been proud of the fact, regardless of how many glasses of Shiraz I'd had. (I'm sophisticated and European like that, pace Mark Easton).

In the wake of the BBC's many, many tributes to the lady on PM, News at Ten, Newsnight and Today (etc, etc, etc), here's Is the BBC biased?'s tribute to the late, great Maya Angelou - a transcript of her appearance on The Simpsons. 

I feel that this is an honest tribute because I like The Simpsons and this is my closest ever personal encounter with Maya Angelou:
Kent Brockman: Alright, does anyone have a question for our panel that's not about how much money they make? [The audience’s hands go down]
Lenny [at the microphone]: Uh yeah, I'm a techno-thriller junkie, and I'd like to know, is the B-2 bomber more detectable when it rains?
Kent Brockman: Oh, what do you think, Tom Clancy?
Tom Clancy: Well, the B-2…
Lenny: No, no, no, I was asking Maya Angelou!
Maya Angelou: The ebony fighter awakens, dabbled with the dewy beads of morn.
Moe: Maya Angelou is black?!!
Maya Angelou: It is a Mach-5 child, forever bound to suckle from the shriveled breast of Congress.
Lenny: Oh, Maya, you're a national treasure!


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