December 23, 2007

No embedding? No comments? The Royal Family on YouTube.

The Royal Family has a YouTube channel now — here's the BBC report — but it's really not much fun at all. Too controlling. I can understand keeping us from messing up your site with comments, but embedding is key. I want to mess up my own site with your video, but you'll have to relinquish some control.

I did watch Queen Elizabeth's first TV Christmas message from 1957, and fortunately there's a link to the transcript, so I can quote something (and correct a bad typo):
Twenty-five years ago my grandfather broadcast the first of these Christmas messages. Today is another landmark because television has made it possible for many of you to see me in your homes on Christmas Day. My own family often gather round to watch television as they are this moment, and that is how I imagine you now....

That it is possible for some of you to see me today is just another example of the speed at which things are changing all around us. Because of these changes I am not surprised that many people feel lost and unable to decide what to hold on to and what to discard. How to take advantage of the new life without losing the best of the old.

But it is not the new inventions which are the difficulty. The trouble is caused by unthinking people who carelessly throw away ageless ideals as if they were old and outworn machinery.

They would have religion thrown aside, morality in personal and public life made meaningless, [honesty] counted as foolishness and self-interest set up in place of self-restraint.
So even as YouTube is now new, television was once new. And just as television was part of a world that tempted people to throw out religion and live a life of meaningless immorality, we've got the internet making us feel lost and unable to decide what to hold on to and what to discard. We're still worrying about whether we're throwing out all religion and morality, and it's got to be a little heartening to see the Queen wringing her hands about it 50 years ago.

8 comments:

Tim said...

All speech is labored; there is nothing man can say. The eye is not satisfied with seeing nor is the ear filled with hearing.

What has been, that will be; what has been done, that will be done. Nothing is new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:8,9

MarkW said...

We're still worrying about whether we're throwing out all religion and morality, and it's got to be a little heartening to see the Queen wringing her hands about it 50 years ago.

I suspect what the Queen was really worrying about was that her 'subjects', while discarding the old and adopting the new, would think of throwing out the absurd anachronism that is hereditary nobility.

As it turned out, unfortunately, she needn't have worried.

rhhardin said...

Because of these changes I am not surprised that many people feel lost and unable to decide what to hold on to and what to discard.

This was also covered in Christian Schutze's stenciled speech for all occasions, reprinted in Adorno's _The Jargon of Authenticity_ p.89

rcocean said...

"The trouble is caused by unthinking people who carelessly throw away ageless ideals as if they were old and outworn machinery.

They would have religion thrown aside, morality in personal and public life made meaningless, [honesty] counted as foolishness and self-interest set up in place of self-restraint."


Obviously aimed at Christopher Hitchens, even at 9 he was a troublemaker.

He should listened to the Queen instead of stealing his Dad's Rum ration.

Paddy O. said...

I'd be a little more heartened had she done more than hand wringing in her own household.

She has no real power, but she has a tremendous influence she could wield. Only she held onto the image, the outside show and refused any real moral authority.

She's the symbol of modernity. Fancy on the outside, utterly empty on the inside, all while touting how advanced things are.

Sad really. I'm curious to see what Prince William makes out of the role in a few decades.

peter hoh said...

God save the Queen.

She gives a sweet smile at the very end. Almost girlish.

Ron said...

I've taken to loving the anti-Hitch crowd; they make me feel he's more accurate than I would have felt if they had just shut up!

Blake said...

MarkW,

My understanding is that QE2 never really wanted the job, and regarded it as having killed her father.

Assuming they didn't take all the stuff away from her (and maybe even if they did), I'd not be surprised if she did not feel personal relief where the monarchy ended.

But I think she believes in the power of the post as a figurehead and maintenance of tradition.