Prayer for England Day 48

Today’s post is slightly longer than normal but it is an intriguing read nonetheless. Yesterday I said that I would show you where we were 20 years ago. Below is an essay I wrote in 1994. It shows where we were as a nation and how we managed to get there. The writing style is dated but I have not made any alterations but will finish by giving a postscript.

Don’t Knock It

Have you ever wondered how much negativity we are responsible for in our society? Some months ago there was a report on television that looked at the possibility of the winning goal in the 1966 World Cup not actually being a goal at all.

A group of university students, armed with the latest tools in computer technology, reckon that the controversial goal in our much celebrated victory didn’t quite cross the line after all. They must have spent thousands of pounds and hundreds of man hours only to conclude that we are a nation of sporting fraudsters. They’d have us believe it was all in the name of technology advancement but surely another subject could have been found. It’s incredible the lengths people will go to discredit their own country’s achievements. It shouldn’t matter that it was a quarter of a century ago, the fact remains we achieved a level of excellence so why spoil it? Could you see Argentina spending similar amounts of time and money proving they had won a game of football by default, if we didn’t already know? I think not.

It angers and saddens me deeply to see the British in a state of self destruction immediately after a spell of success. If not immediately, they wait until the technology to do so is available. I think this almost psychotic, self discreditation is a disease totally endemic to the British. It’s just a personal observation but I think the people of this country have an inherent fear of success. They can’t cope with prosperity or what it means to do well whether it be at work, at home or in a national sport.

One reason for this intolerable frame of mind could be that we have become a real life parody of the way we are and have been portrayed in television shows. Sit-coms and dramas’ like ‘Only Fools and Horses’, ‘Minder’, ‘Frank Stubs Promotes’ and ‘Steptoe and Son’ to name but a few. All of these programmes have one common denominator; failure. The central characters are always trying to make a fast buck, which they very rarely do, and in the meantime are always dreaming of what might one day become. I have to confess I have enjoyed countless nights in front of the television watching the antics of these loveable rogues but one thing has always confused me. These shows are themselves huge successes while they overtly promote failure. They achieve this by showing the viewer how much fun can be had by not attaining the original objective. The more we laugh at a situation the more acceptable things become to society.

If we take a look back over the years and study the effects of some comedy shows we can see that, for instance, homosexuality is much more acceptable to society now than it was ten years ago. There was a time when you couldn’t watch a sit-com without a gay central character, we laughed and laughed and then accepted. The media in this country have sown seeds of discontent for years and now, unfortunately, we are reaping the rewards. Do you remember a show called ‘Capital City’? It portrayed life in the world of high finance. I didn’t understand the working of this subject completely but it was enjoyable learning. The viewing public couldn’t have thought much of it because another series wasn’t commissioned. I think it is a shame that the working classes in this country, who just happen to make up the majority of the viewing public, can’t get their heads around anything that might promote success or get them to think differently.

One of the main reasons the working class in this country can’t deal with positive issues, I believe, is they have difficulty coping with a long term view, thinking ahead, planning for the future. How many people do you know that don’t like being paid monthly as opposed to having a wage packet at the end of the week? Another reason could be the written media. Newspapers, do they reflect society or does society mirror precisely what it is fed? An interesting question don’t you think?

I’ imagine everyone at sometime in their life has been guilty of saying such things as ‘Oh! typical, Britain finished last again’, when witnessing an athlete losing in the finals of an Olympic event. The fact that the sportsman has spent the previous four years of their lives preparing for that moment seems to count for nothing. The people of this country just adore a loser. Take Frank Bruno for instance. Until recently he was probably the most successful failure this country has ever produced. The few who do slip through the net and have the gall to make a success of their careers are usually branded smug or smarmy. How sad.

This cynicism, for that’s what it is, has to stop if this country is ever going to be taken seriously. I have travelled abroad quite considerably over the years and have witnessed what people think of us as a nation. To be honest, it borders on the embarrassing when you’re on the receiving end of criticism that you know in your heart to be true. It’s about time we stopped knocking ourselves and help to build towards a stronger future.

1994

Well, that was written way back then, has television changed for the better? Does TV reflect a stronger society? I think society is now; the way it was fed 20 years ago. We were fed corruption and perversion through humour and that is exactly how we are as a nation today.

I pray that we can clean up the media through the church becoming responsible and having a heart towards the nation and demonstrating the love and acceptance of Jesus.

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