Welcome to the internet. A happy place.
Thank you all for the unbelievable support for my last post, and thanks to Ricky Gervais for posting the link on twitter. I was amazed that over a weekend of nearly 14,000 hits and several comments, I didn't encounter a single troll. All comments have been posted unedited.
But I reread the post and realised something was clearly missing. The campaign to get Life's Too Short pulled from the air is well organised. Many letters are being sent to MPs the BBC, Ofcom and national newspapers and I suspect that it has built up such a head of steam now that there will more publicity over the coming weeks. Even well respected members of the restricted growth acting community have suggested that this show has the potential to set attitudes back 150 years and depict all short people as circus freaks. It is therefore not appropriate to simply dismiss this campaign because a few people got nasty on a message board; what I really ought to do is explain why they are wrong.
The campaign organisers want short statured people to be able to walk down the road without being stared at, without being shouted at and abused, without being lifted up by a drunk chav on a night out. I want that for my daughter too. But what they seem to have missed is that so does Warwick Davis. And so does Ricky Gervais.
The thrust of the campaign is that in portraying short people in uncomfortable and unpleasant situations it somehow validates the appalling attitudes and behaviour seen in the show. I believe they have fundamentally misinterpreted the nature and intention of the show.
Last Thursday's episode caused particular outrage. The first scene has come in for particular criticism for showing Dwarf Bowling. We are all aware that Dwarf Bowling happens, and is pretty distasteful: that's the whole point of the scene. You are not supposed to like Warwick's character. He's the sort of person who organises a Dwarf Bowling contest, and after taking a 10% agency fee says "What's the problem, he's getting paid!"
It's a common argument that was voiced often after the Rugby World Cup débâcle this year, the scene seeks to invalidate the argument by putting it in the mouth of someone you already dislike.
Every scene that has caused people to be upset has a similar underlying message, and it's loud and clear. It has been since Warwick Davis first tweeted about the show, a year ago. It has been in the pre show publicity and interviews. It was clear when Ricky Gervais tweeted a link to a letter from one of the campaigners in The Guardian.
If you are not convinced of the show's intentions, let me briefly address objections to some of the other major scenes:
"Johnny Depp put him in the toilet! People look up to Johnny Depp!"
- Johnny Depp was playing a character. An unpleasant, spoiled character who you are not at any time meant to identify with. He is a dick. If you think it's funny to make someone stand in a toilet then guess what? You're a dick too.
"Helena Bonham-Carter called Warwick "it" and had him put in a bin!"
- yes because HBC was portraying a spoilt prima-donna with a sycophantic entourage. It was outrageous that she called Warwick "it". You were meant to be outraged.
Warwick was disappointed to find that Tim Burton wasn't directing.
A third of last week's episode was dedicated to the message that short stature actors should be considered for roles on their acting ability alone. Why shouldn't a dwarf play Othello or Hamlet at the RSC? This is something that Warwick has been pushing for years, and yet has been conveniently ignored by the campaign.
I wrote in my last post that the words used are not nearly as important as the intention behind them. It staggers me that the intentions here are so clear and yet the campaign still seems to be gaining ground. It is important to me that people understand that although the campaign is vociferous and passionate, it is based on a serious misconception, and does not have universal support within the RG community.
Following the last UK General Election, when Gordon Brown had no government, but wouldn't leave 10 Downing street for nearly a week I received this Tweet .
I immediately declared myself the First High Warlord of Didcot and proceeded to imagine expanding my empire to Cholsey and Pangbourne. I had Henchmen, Minions and even a Majordomo or two. Sadly Abingdon (and the formation of a coalition government) thwarted my plans for world domination.
Iam now running two blogs, @10 North of CPT which I will keep aviation based, and @ Warlord Weekly News Where the subjects may be ranty, a film review or
a gadget review.
Basically whatever I can't fit into 140 characters on Twitter