Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Linda Smith

Another left-wing BBC comic, but I liked her downbeat, deadpan wit, even down to the flat, Sarf Landon tones. When smacking at the usual lefty targets she managed to strike a human, empathetic note - something that Jeremy Hardy, Mark Steel and co. always avoided.

48. From the generation which didn't have kids. No one will inherit her humour or intelligence.

From the generation that was taught the hymns and prayers, but didn't pass them on. President of the British Humanist Association, a non-believer in God or an afterlife.

Well, as Stevenson said, she "knows the long and short on it now".

UPDATE - We are all sinners - I'm terribly tempted to go to the New Humanist comments and add words to the effect that Satan has ordered a couple of tons of extra Coalite and a carbon-fibre reinforced toasting fork, but that I will be praying for her soul. You know, just to cheer them up.

I will resist the temptation, and pray for her tonight.

Tributes at Assistant and Normblog.


Anonymous said...

I'm not clear what point you're tyring to make in your comments about Linda Smith. The fact that she had no children and was a humanist reflects that fact that she exercised her capacity for choice in these matters. Are you suggesting that child-bearing and religious observance should be compulsory?

As Linda died from ovarian cancer, it may well have been the case that she was unable to have children anyway

Anonymous said...

Linda Smith started as an alternative comic, but became a regular on BBC comedy panel shows where she would turn to the audience and ask them:

"Would you mind looking under your seat and see if you can find any WMDs, only George Bush can't find them in Iraq"

The audience would, of course, laugh, but I always felt she was simply pandering to their middle class predjudices.

I always meant to write and offer her a more 'alternative' version of the joke:

"Would you mind looking under your seat and see if you can find any mass graves, only they've found a couple of hundred in Iraq but they're sure there are plenty more."

Or perhaps:

"Would you mind looking under your seat and see if you can find any noses, or ears, or tongues, only Saddam and his boys used to like to cut them off and there are a lot of people in Iraq who'd like them back."

I never got round to it and now I guess I never will.

Kevin B.

Anonymous said...

'As Linda died from ovarian cancer, it may well have been the case that she was unable to have children anyway'

...or that her lack of children increased her risk of ovarian cancer


Anonymous said...

here we go again - any woman who opts for anything other than Kinder, Kuche, Kirche deserves all she has coming to her...

Anonymous said...

no its not a matter of them deserving it, its a fact, women who have abortions have increased health risks because of the sudden shock to the body that was preparing to create a child.
Women who don't have children are at increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
The morning after pill is also very toxic and dangerous.

You might not like reality 'anonymous' but its here to stay.

Laban said...

I wasn't trying to make any point - it was just an observation. Ae you suggesting that her wit and intelligence WILL be passed on (pass on that if you're a Hindu) ?

Her (and my) generation have indeed exercised our capacity for choice. Doesn't mean that we necessarily made the right choices, does it ?

Anonymous said...

The point is that its all very well for Linda Smith and her ilk to choose not to have offspring but thats only good for a generation or so. Who will replace them? Largely people, like muslims for instance, who really dont share any of their values. So in evolutionary terms its a dead end.

Anything good about Linda Smith is passed on only culturally and if those who come after are culturally (and genetically) different and really not interested in her legacy its all been a bit of a waste.

Anonymous said...

Pointing the figure at any particular individual and intoning "You should have had children!" is completely ridiculous. The decision is up to them and them alone.

A more worthwhile issue is how to keep the overall lifetime fertility rate up at replacement levels. If that isn't tackled, we're either going to have increase immigration, or extend the age of retirement to the point at which most people practically drop dead.

Anonymous said...

Eskimo fox - true its the mass that counts there are always going to be individuals who dont conform.

As for "having" to increase immigration. Why? Because this particular country must have a certain number of people in it. Presumably it doesnt matter to you where those immigrants come from? If not why not just replace the entire population with hard working Chinese chaps, law abiding, polite, sounds great. We would be better off than now. Except one tiny problem..."we" would no longer exist. Still, there would be the right number of people to pay taxes and keep the economy going and thats whats really important isnt it.

Anonymous said...

I don't support increased immigration at all.

However, with increasing longevity and decreasing lifetime fertility, there's an obvious problem emerging with the ratio of working people to retired people.

Three solutions are commonly mooted:

First, increase immigration.

Second, raise the retirement age.

Third, increase the birth rate.

I favour number three. Both France and Sweden have managed to keep their birth rates close to replacement levels. So maybe there's something to be learned from them.

Anonymous said...

Thats right anonymous, be they Labour or Tory, all these people seem to want is a stronger economy, ie more money. What the fk is the point in making us richer if we are dying out!

eskimo, if you have a friend or know someone you think would make a good family etc. What exactly is wrong with suggesting they have children. Or saying its a shame they didn't? The fact that people are so sensitive about the subject suggests it is not the simple choice you like to pretend.

Anonymous said...

eskimo fox, France?
Which France is that, the white middle class or the 6 million ghettoized North-Africans?
Is one group propping up the stats of the other?

The white French birth-rate has been in nose dive for years. I knew they were trying to turn it around, but I'd be supprised if they've totally turned it around.

Anonymous said...

Eskimo fox - OK, thats more like it. I favour cutting back immigration and pushing up our birth rate.

Increasing immigration to increase the working population is useless. Immigrants get old too in the end.