May 24, 2010

Being Prime Minister was Tony's idea first!

A hilarious use of YouTube (found via Drudge). I'm jumping over the first minute or so to make it funnier, but feel free to drag the slider back to the beginning if you're the leisurely sort:

11 comments:

MadisonMan said...

That is hilarious. I would love to see a split screen of the speeches though, to see for myself just how creative the editing had to be.

Very nice ending, too. Love that song.

ricpic said...

The Brits went along with being a diminished factor in the world, were traumatized by their own surrender and have never recovered from it. That's Barry Soetero's plan for us.

Charlie said...

Did Alastair Campbell say "tits"? Nice!

PatCA said...

The empire is really over, isn't it?

Theo Boehm said...

The classical discipline of Rhetoric, of which most people are bracingly ignorant today, taught not only methods of verbal argument based on the text, but effective methods of delivery as well.  Key to learning this was μίμησις or imitation.  Quintilian, for example, places considerable emphasis on how students were to observe and imitate both the content and methods of models.  Students of Rhetoric, from the ancient world to the 17th century, would have learned from famous examples, both old and new. Often this led to the servile, unintentional parody of a single author's style.  Cicero, of course, was the classic case of someone whose style was mangled for millennia.

Delivery included learning gestures and facial expressions appropriate to the content.  17th century rhetoricians, coming as they did from the great age of the theatre, were concerned to categorize and stylize every conceivable gesture and pose.  Parliamentary speeches from at least the time of Cromwell until Winston Churchill, relied to one degree or another on this bag of rhetorical delivery tricks filled to overflowing in the 17th century.

From what I've seen, British politicians since Churchill have not relied on the shopworn classic methods of declamation, but have developed modern styles.  They're still based on classic methods—there being only so many ways to give an effective speech—but most politicians are at pains at least to not display the stage machinery.

Because we like to think we value originality these days, it seems faintly ridiculous for Cameron to be seen imitating Tony Blair. But Cameron is only doing what speakers have done for thousands of years, and what wouldn't have seemed odd at all to the ancient Romans or Greeks.   Only they wouldn't have had split-screen YouTube to rub their noses into just how servile the unfortunate copy is to the original.

GMay said...

I actually laughed out loud.

wv: trapt - held captive by something thoroughly engrossing or unusually qualified.

David Cameron was trapt in the shadow of Tony Blair.

Theo Boehm said...

Perfect, GMay.

Substitute your last line for mine, and my comment would end with a bang, not the whimper it does.

Nora said...

Hilarious indeed. Also a fine example of the possibilities of video editing, and we've been getting edited "news" reports for ages.

Chip Ahoy said...

OMG that is fucking annoying.

(Indier, but China, not Indier and Chiner, and not India and China, but which shows you really do know how to pronounce those places, and since you know but choose to speak them wrongly, it's like an icepick in my ears. I'm gong back to hieroglyphics now where nobody knows for sure how to say anything and so can be forgiven.)

Deborah said...

So British. LOL.

Grantavius Kennarius said...

Time Trumpet was a great show. I got given the DVD for Christmas. It seems to me that some of the people commenting on YouTube are under the impression that it was a real documentary.