As I record in a poem I wrote several years ago, there is a very real possibility that “I acquired my English via the BBC”.
I have a theory that the uncharacteristic Standard English dialect that my twin brother Wayne and I spoke as small boys was absorbed, sponge-like, from our exposure to BBC radio programming, beginning around March or April 1964, when we were conceived.
The Standard English vibrations that Wayne and I would have first experienced through the meta-Motherese maternal mechanisms of our mother’s womb was not the language of our home, which was located in Carrington Village, St Michael, on the outskirts of Barbados’ capitol, Bridgetown.
Our parents, Jeffrey and Lucille Campbell and our four sisters, Cheryl, Yvette, Suzanne and Ava all spoke the Creole, African languages influenced “Bajan” English dialect that Barbadian “father poet” Edward “Kamau” Brathwaite and other Afrocentric academics have dubbed “nation language”.
And yet Wayne and I conversed with each other in this foreign, Standard English tongue like two Ormesby born orphans, embedded with Black Barbadian parents.
Strangers would stop us on the streets of Carrington Village and ask us, “Where are you from? Were you born here, in Barbados?”
As best I can remember, we found these questions puzzling because as far as we were concerned, we were speaking the same Bajan English as everyone else.
And perhaps we did speak Bajan on many occasions.
Perhaps our use of a foreign, Standard variety of English was intermittent.
I cannot say for sure.
I only know that our “speaking great” (Bajan for speaking with a posh accent, and therefore thinking oneself better than others) aided our reading skills and that it was a counterbalance, once we started going to school, to our generally below average performance in Mathematics.
I have no doubt that our ability to speak and write a Standard variety of English was our redeeming grace, first at Carrington’s Primary School and subsequently, when our family eventually moved away from Carrington Village, at Bay Primary.
There were other dialects that emanated from the Rediffusion radio in my parent’s home in the early 1960s and 70s.
Vic “Buddy Boy” Brewster, a Barbadian broadcasting icon who channeled an American deejay accent and sensibility almost certainly had an impact on Wayne’s and my developing facility with English.
And I sometimes think that I may owe more than I can ever estimate to spiritual forces that were beamed via Rediffusion into our house on St Hill’s Road, as my father dutifully listened to broadcasts of sermons delivered by Arch Bishop Granville Williams, a pioneer among Barbadian, Trinidadian and other Caribbean Spiritual Baptists.
Similarly, my mother’s flirtation, like so many other Barbadians, with the American evangelical fundamentalist flavored, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association affiliated messages preached by Reverend Holmes Williams during his “Christ Is the Answer” broadcasts probably had a parallel impact.
But as I indicate in that poem, it is to the BBC that I instinctively trace the shaping of my early, Received Pronunciation or “Queen’s English” flavored proficiency in, what for better or worst, is the language of the Commonwealth.
So, when I say that I believe I owe a very substantial debt of gratitude to the BBC for all that I have achieved as a holistic communications and education specialist, trading as Intelek International, I mean just that.
And I am equally sincere when I say with equal parts anger and sadness that I believe that the BBC is a deeply damaged, moral bankruptcy bordering, gender, race, religion and other ideological poison propagating organization.
In other words, I believe that notwithstanding all the good that the BBC has done and continues to do, the organization is deeply flawed.
I believe that like the Bible, the BBC has the capacity to be a force for both good and evil.
Alternately, you could say that I love the BBC but I do not always like it.
And this Black History Month is as good a time as any to say that I love the BBC because of the good it has done and can continue to do for me and others like me.
Others including little Prince Archie, his mother Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and his father Prince Harry.
This Black History Month is also as good a time as any to say that I do not like the BBC when it facilitates evil, gender, race or religion motivated attacks against me, the Sussexes, the television presenter and journalist Naga Munchetty or anyone else.
And “more to the point”, as conservative political scientist Ruth Lea might say, though in a rather more prejudicial, less sound way, I believe that the legacy of the BBC bred, ethically “brain dead”, child abuse excelling sexual predator Jimmy Saville would have left no one in doubt about the BBC’s capacity to be a gender, race and religion racketeering opportunist if that establishment embedded sociopath’s evil crimes had been holistically investigated.
This Black History Month is as good a time as any to call for precisely such an investigation and I am doing so now.
I am calling particularly for a forensic study of Savile’s ties to the Roman Catholic church and his conscious or unconscious “co-conspirator” mother Agnes’ interactions with that institution.
I believe that like the “trademark mixture of gurning and garrulity” that Saville pioneered on Top Of the Pops, his reported “sequestering” of his mother’s corpse could hold important clues about a malformed, malignant Motherese attachment with precedents in the anal retentive propensities of Christianity and other excessively book-based religions.
I explore and denounce these “bookish theoric”, brain death inducing, anal retentive propensities in The Bible: Beauty and Terror Reconciled, which I brought to the attention of the BBC’s complaints department on 5 October 2019.
A copy of that complaint is reproduced below.
The complaint is presented in some of the best “Queen’s English” I am capable of, and if I may say so myself, represents the gracious workings of the Spirit of God in my life from the time of Wayne’s and my conception, until now.
I believe it is the grace of God that allowed me to recognize the confusion of the UNWRITTEN New Covenant with the WRITTEN New Testament that is at the crux of the “banker bride” Lea’s apparent confusion about the nature and purpose of stoicism.
Is there a fundamental difference between the marathon running, wrestling Aryan strong man “channeling” prolific pedophile Savile’s motivating force and the fascist, fundamentalist feminist spirit that animated Lea’s criticism of Duchess Meghan and, indirectly, her infant son?
I do not think so.
The only question as far as I am concerned, is the extent to which Savile was and Lea is conscious of the destructive “dance dialectics” of their anima.
I have been raising these issues with Rev Harcourt Blackett and other clergy and lay members of the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches in Barbados, the UK and US for a number of years.
And I recently launched a petition to Pope Francis I, calling on him to address the confusion of the UNWRITTEN New Covenant with the WRITTEN New Testament definitively.
I call on all people of good conscience to sign that petition for the benefit of humanity.
The BBC complaints department has responded to my complaint, asking for specific examples of the kind of the “deeply flawed, excessively literalistic concept of ‘objectivity'” that my complaint is about.
I might just send them a copy of this article, in the hope that it will help focus minds at that publicly funded corporation.
As the last two sentences of my complaint indicate, I am banking on the BBC, hoping it will desist from brain dead broadcasting and possum prone programming.
If it is not sure how, a recovering evangelical fundamentalist religious bigot myself, I can provide that corporation with practical examples.
My complaint to the BBC
Full Complaint: I am concerned that a deeply flawed, excessively literalistic concept of “objectivity” is exposing the BBC to manipulation by shadowy political and economic interests. I address this evangelical fundamentalist Christianity approximating, “Biblical bullying” resembling concept of objectivity in my book “The Bible: Beauty And Terror Reconciled” and elsewhere. Here I will only say that it induces BBC personnel to engage in the kind of empty, exploitative word play that was used in the extraordinary error of judgement that recently led to presenter Naga Munchetty being censored for a perfectly legitimate expression of her opinion. I am particularly concerned that these manipulative, shadowy political and economic interests (whose destructive influence I have personally experienced) include persons hostile to the Duchess of Sussex and are complicit in a media wide attack on her, Prince Harry and their infant son. The clearest evidence of this hostility is some BBC reporters’ use of the word “attack” to describe Prince Harry’s patently peaceful attempts to defend his wife and child from excessively intrusive, toxic market driven media scrutiny and commodification of their life stories. The BBC’s sensationalist use of “attack”, like Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s use of “surrender” in concert with the Daily Mail and other publishing and/or broadcasting interests was particularly prominent on October 2, 2019. Martha Kearney and Nicholas Witchell led the way with her report, beginning at 35:54 in this recording: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m0008wn6. Kearney’s apparently excessive pro-Brexit nationalism and Witchell’s past insensitivity when reporting on Princess Margaret’s death may both be relevant in this regard. Consciously or not, Kearney, Witchell and other BBC personnel are waging psychological warfare against various targets. Like my book, my 2016 complaint to the BBC (Ref: CAS-3217340-W3GQRP) provides evidence of this. I can help. Please let me.
BBC’s response (so far)
Thank you for contacting the BBC.
I understand you have concerns the BBC is being manipulated by ‘political and economic interests’.
Your complaint is quite general and does not raise a very specific issue for us to reply to. We regret that at present we’re not able to reply, unless we receive specific examples such as programme names, dates and timestamps, relating to one point.
We appreciate that you have provided some specific information; but would stress that our framework requires a complaint to be limited to a single item or issue.
If you would kindly provide this in writing, we may then be able to address your complaint. If may be helpful to read the BBC Complaints Framework on our website which explains on page 12 the type of information we may need in order to be able to reply. A link is here:https://www.bbc.co.uk/contact/sites/default/files/2019-05/BBC_Complaints_Framework.pdf
If you can provide this information please contact us as you did before, but also include the case number above so we can pick up where we’ve left off.
Thanks again for taking the time to get in touch.
BBC Complaints Team
Please note: this email is sent from an unmonitored address so please don’t reply. If necessary please contact us through our webform (please include your case reference number).