Thursday, February 14, 2013

Running out of Sweeties




This piece of mine appears in the new edition of The Spectator.

To say someone was ‘sweet’ used to be quite common in Britain. We didn’t just use the word to describe our mothers and grandmothers, but a wide range of people, including public figures. But not any more. Public acts of sweetness, such as gently warning people that their shoelaces were untied, are now rare. Sweetness seems to be in terminal decline. Having just celebrated Valentine’s Day, now seems an appropriate time to ask why.

You can read the whole piece here.

5 comments:

Ian said...

That cheered me up. Whilst I may disagree with some of your conclusions, it reminds me that on the whole we are searching for the same thing.

Thanks Neil, hope you have a nice day.

Neil Clark said...

Cheers Ian, much appreciated. Same to you.

David Lindsay said...

Superb. Beautiful, even.

John said...

Great article. One in four Americans now report that they have no confidants or close friends to speak to regarding important issues in their lives.

We cannot be surprised though, when the dominant culture teaches people to be cynical and cold-hearted. And as you point out, this is definitely not an accident, but reflects the neoliberal economic system. Solidarity is out, selfishness is in.

Neil Clark said...

Thanks, David. Much appreciated. Thanks too John. Yes, we've got a system which encourages selfishness and which aims to destroy feelings of solidarity. The 'other' is not seen as a potential friend (a genuine, close friend that is) but a 'rival' who needs to be 'destroyed'.