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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Offensive article on Welsh Language

Today's Daily Telegraph contains a review of 'A Spectacle of Dust: The Autobiography by Pete Postlethwaite' and includes details of his complex character. One passage of the review though really jars:

The most curious incident he records concerns a tour of Wales in the Seventies. Postlethwaite thought the tannoys in the dressing rooms were monitoring him and believed Aberystwyth was the centre of a secret cult. He was plunged into a full-blown episode of paranoid schizophrenia. “I was in meltdown… It was terrifically frightening.” He walked off the stage mid-performance and “was gone for two or three days, nobody knew where, not even me”. It is true that listening to the locals jabbering in the Welsh can tip any average person over the edge, but it is also germane that Postlethwaite was meant to be starring as a lunatic in an adaptation of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

That is possibly the most offensive passage I have ever read about the Welsh language. Are we really meant to take this review seriously?
I'd be inclined to leave the comment, "Twll d'un bob saes" on Roger Lewis's article. But then, after the Welsh Not, nothing surprises me.
Thoroughly agree, Peter. Also, it is a terribly unjust comment about mental illness. When you're mentally ill, you're mentally ill - it's like diabetes or a broken leg. An illness. It really is an awful insult to those who have suffered, and suffer and will suffer, mental illness to suggest that people talking (any language) would be even partly responsible for such an illness. When you are mentally ill, you tend to need lots of peace and quiet. But the problem is not people talking, it's being ill in the first place.
It seems unbelievable that the Telegraph would allow such loose and despicable commentary on both the language of many UK citizens and an illness suffered by thousands to be part of an obituary on an actor. Bizarre.
... 'seems to me' 'that phrase comes to mind': "Much Ado About Nothing"; William Shakespeare.

Really, we Welsh who get so uptight about this 'kind of thing' really need to step back and have a laugh at ourselves.
Oh the welsh language crew can look afer themselves without you being offended on their behalf (after all, they've managed to get all the top jobs for themselves and their colinguists, and even rail announcements at cardiff central give precedence to Welsh, which is very handy).
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