“…The BBC is now overwhelmingly run by members of a counter-culture which overthrew that old order between the 1960s and 1980s, and who now assume they are ‘the’ culture (while also not admitting to their actual power, because being powerless is prized as a virtue).
This past week I’ve been watching Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation, and while the BBC makes some brilliant documentaries today there is no comparison. What really stands out is both the individual and cultural confidence; Clark is in full control and at no point – the bane of modern documentary-making – are we told we’re going ‘on a journey’. (I don’t want to go on a journey with an expert; I want him to have gone on it already and tell me about it.)
But there is a cultural confidence and an understanding that the audience will understand what is meant by civilisation; Clark talks about ‘we’, in reference to the audience as inheritors of European civilisation, assumptions about what the audience knows and believes that simply would not be possible in 2015. Much of this has to do with religion, and in particular the Catholic faith, without which western civilisation would be a pretty thin affair. Clark comes across as sceptical but respectful of Catholicism, but there is an assumption that ‘we’ are part of western Christendom.”