I saw the new film My Week With Marilyn the other night. I’ll leave it to Trevor Lynch or someone else to give the film a proper review, but what I’d like to focus on here is the recent spate of films and TV shows that hark back to the late fifties and early sixties. In the case of My Week With Marilyn, it looks back to 1956 in England, and recounts the experiences of a young Colin Clark working on the set of The Prince and the Showgirl. The film is very well done, and seems especially celebratory of that era of British culture.
In the United States, this trend was inaugurated by the excellent AMC series Mad Men, of which I am eagerly awaiting the fifth season next year. That series takes place in New York in the early 1960s, which is essentially the same cultural moment as the 1956 England of the film. In both cases, the triumph of the Second World War is still the dominant feeling in the air, and the cultural madness of the mid and late sixties has not yet arrived.
The film and the television series both showcase the wonderful fashion and sensibilities of that era. The men wore suits and the women dresses, and they knew how to act like ladies and gentlemen, in public at least. For someone like myself who was not yet alive then, it conjures up immense nostalgia for a time that seems far better than the present, and judging by the popularity of Mad Men and now films like My Week With Marilyn, I am not alone in this feeling.
But there’s something else. It’s not just the suits and dresses, the manners, and the cute now-outdated technology. It’s the whiteness. And it’s not just the whiteness — it’s the whiteness devoid of modern self-consciousness and self-loathing. It’s whiteness in unconscious affirmation of itself. I submit that the popularity of that time in history reflects an unacknowledged but deep-seated longing among white Americans and Europeans for a time before mass immigration and cultural Marxism destroyed both their outer and inner worlds.
Consider the recent incident in which a British woman was recorded on a train lamenting the present state of Britain.
“My Britain is fuck-all now,” she says. She means the Britain of her ancestors. I’m sure this video will receive wide-spread attention on Counter-Currents and other New Right sites in the coming days, as well it should, because it’s iconic. She will be demonized and despised by all the talking heads. But millions of people around the world will know in some part of themselves that she is right, and that she is speaking for them, who will not speak up for themselves.
I imagine this woman seeing My Week With Marilyn, and seeing an England populated by English people and English culture. Sure, it’s Hollywood and it’s exaggerated, but it makes her think back to her childhood, which was not nearly so glamorous as the film, but also not nearly so bad as the present. Then, looking around her on the train, she sees the contrast to her memory and her history in the images before her. An England no longer English, but rather populated by non-English of various hues and cultures. Of course she’s disgusted.
Personally, I dislike expressions of vulgar racism and mistreatment of people merely because of their appearance or ethnicity. I find it unnecessarily mean and ignoble, not to mention cowardly and unjust in many cases. But I am not bothered by this woman’s outburst, even though she is directly addressing people of color in the train with her. Why not? Well, for one, she is alone and risking life and limb to speak her mind. There is an element of fearlessness in her that is admirable.
Second, if I try to put myself in the shoes of the non-British on the train, the various Africans and others, I would be forced to see her point. Third World immigrants in Europe and America are an occupying force, comparable in some respects to American soldiers and contractors in the Middle East. If I were there, and a local shouted at me, “You are not Arab! Go back to where you came from!” I would have to agree. It’s important to remember that, just as most soldiers are not aware of how they are being used as an occupying force, neither are most immigrants. They are simply trying to make the best of their situation for themselves and their families. But none of that changes the bigger picture.
As of this writing, the BBC reports that this woman is being arrested for racism. In America, the First Amendment still carries just a little more weight, but not that much, and its days seem increasingly numbered. Or rather, the right to free speech will stay on the books, but thought will be so totally controlled that no one will even think to say anything outside the acceptable discourse in the first place. Soon movies like My Week With Marilyn and shows like Mad Men will no longer be made as they are now, and will instead feature re-written history with multi-cultural casts, politically correct dialogue and themes, and the next generation will have no idea that the world was ever any different than it is. Welcome to the future. The past is fuck-all now.
Appendix: Transcript of the Video
EMMA WEST: What’s this country come to? A load of Black people and a load of fucking Polish, a load of fucking East… Yeh. You’re all fucking skipped from a… You ain’t English.
UNSEEN WHITE MAN: No, I’m not. No.
EMMA WEST: No, you’re not. You ain’t English either. You ain’t English. None of you fucking English. Get back to your own fucking… D’y’know what? Sort out your own countries. Don’t come and do mine. Britain is nothing now. Britain is fuck all. My Britain is fuck all now. Britain is fuck all. My Britain is fuck all.
FAT BLACK LADY (FBL): Excuse me dear, there’s little kids on the tram.
EMMA WEST: Yes, fine. I’ve got a little kid here.
FBL: Then have respect. Yeh? Have respect. My little boy’s here.
EMMA WEST: I’ve got a little boy here.
FBL: Yes, then get off the tram.
EMMA WEST: Fuck you!
FBL: And you.
EMMA WEST: Fuck you!
FBL: Then someone need to throw you off.
EMMA WEST: Really?
EMMA WEST: I dare you. I fucking dare you.
FBL: Just watch your language, man.
EMMA WEST: Don’t watch my language. Go back to where you come from. Yeh? Back to Zai…Fucking Nig… Nicaragua or wherever you come from. No idea where it’s at. Yeh?
UNSEEN BLACK MAN: No, no, no, no!
FBL: If we don’t come here you guys don’t work. You guys don’t work. We have to do the work for you.
EMMA WEST: Really? I work. I work. I work. This is my British country until you lot come over.
FBL: So what. So what …call me Black?
EMMA WEST: Yes, so what. It’s my British country. You aren’t British. You aren’t British. Are you British?
FBL: Yes I am. Yes I am.
EMMA WEST: You ain’t British. Fuck off. You’re not British. You’re Black. You’re Black. You ain’t British you’re Black.
FBL: Yeh, because I’m Black?
EMMA WEST: Where’d you come from? Where’d you come from?
OTHER WOMAN: My lady. My lady.
ANGRY ENGLISH MOTHER (AEM): Now you’re waking my baby up. You want to shut your mouth Look, shush, and now you’re waking my baby up. I’m English and what’ve you got to say to me? Fuck all! Now, shut your mouth.
EMMA WEST: Shut your face.
AEM: No, I won’t shut my face.
EMMA WEST: Someone’s gotta talk up for… Look, the whole fucking tram. Look at that.
AEM: No it ain’t.
FBL: Black is beaut…