Monday, 26 September 2011

God down the memory hole

James Delingpole looks at the BBC's decision to abandon using AD and BC for dates in favour of CE and BCE.  I particularly like this point:
But the BBC isn't doing this because it has been flooded with complaints, you understand. Nor is it responding to public demand. No, as it primly explains on the Q&A page on the section of its website, it is doing it to be 'in line with modern practice'.
'Whose modern practice?' you might well ask. Do you know anyone outside the BBC or the fields of Left-wing academe who has even heard of CE and BCE? Or anyone who seriously finds them preferable to the perfectly innocuous term 'AD'? 
Almost certainly not. And this is what gives the lie to the BBC's weaselly, passive-aggressive excuse. The implication of 'in line with modern practice' is that anyone who disagrees with the change must be reactionary, backward, fuddy duddy. Note, too, how the phrase is careful to evade responsibility for the decision. Nothing to do with us, it's 'modern practice'.
As an archaeologist, I see that this imposition of CE and BCE on the world is Newspeak in its most dishonest, repellent form.  It isn't being done for any reason other than to shove Christianity off the board and the culture it supports with it.  It seeks to change the basis of the modern calendar away from the year of the Incarnation, or as close as our ancestors could determine it, to some arbitrary "common" date that merely hangs in history.  And this only because proclaiming a Year Zero isn't practical while people still remember all the other Year Zeros from the French Revolution to Pol Pot and the charnel houses they all ended up creating.  It is nothing but intellectual thuggery and totalitarianism masquerading as "tolerance" when its real purpose is base intolerance of Western culture and Christianity in particular.  As Mr Delingpole points out, this is one small example (Actually, it's a major example), but it's by this steady drip that Civilisation is eroded.

The only solace in this is that the BBC makes the same mistake as academia made.   They think that people respect ideas because of the institutions they come from and that those ideas can be issued like proclamations from the Elite on high that the Outer Party will meekly obey.  What they forget is that institutions are respected and true elites made by the ideas they present and defend. When those ideas are false, self-serving and oppressive, all that happens is that the institutions and their members are abandoned.

When the BBC is finally reformed and returns to being the objective body it was intended to be, that day will be noted as 201* AD.

Update: "Someone needs to get out down the corridor and find the individual who passed this edict and give him or her a figurative kick in the pants."

I agree except for the "figurative" part.  An edict is exactly what this is.


eon said...

I suspect that, in spite of the pretensions of a few, SF will be the last place to give in to the demands of the PC crowd.

Let's face it, "Armageddon 2419 CE" just doesn't cut it.*

(* Extra credit for anyone who knows what iconic SF character made his debut in the novella "Armageddon 2419 AD", written by Philip Francis Nowlan in 1919 AD.)

I've never used "CE" or "BCE" myself, and don't intend to. Anymore than I measure the caliber of a .45 in millimeters. Systems and notations exist to avoid confusion. I see no point in deliberately thwarting the reason they exist.



jayessell said...

At least they're not resetting the year.

How would you like to write the year 14,638,712,472 on your checks?

David said...

eon: Buck Rogers agrees with you.

Mabuse said...

I use BCE/CE and frankly I've never heard anybody kick up such a stink about it; honestly David, sometimes I think you won't be happy until somebody invents a time machine so you could move to 1900.

eon said...


+10 points! ;-)


If we have to change, I'm holding out for the Piper A.E. (Atomic Era) dating system. Making this 69 A.E. rather than 2011 AD.


Actually, it's more that a lot of us wish that the arbiters of what is "acceptable" would just leave well enough alone. ;-)