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Making People Appear


A recent article reported on how people can be made to disappear. Herein, we see the exact opposite, namely people who never existed appearing out of nowhere.

When the globetrotting documentarian Alan Whicker visited a film set in Pakistan, he commented he had heard of Spaghetti Westerns, but Curry Westerns…? The former were of course low budget 1960s films made by the Italian director Sergio Leone. Released initially in Italy, they went on to become massive in the US, boosting the career of a time-serving actor named Clint Eastwood.

Using American or at least white actors was no big thing in Italy, but is it so unreasonable that Pakistani film-makers should use native talent for their Westerns rather than import Americans? Should they also make such films in English for the sake of authenticity? Obviously not. The clue is in the word acting.

What about sex  roles, should women be portrayed only by women? As every student of English drama surely knows, in the early theatre, there were no actresses at all; female parts were played by prepubescent boys, or in the case of older women, by older male actors. There were sound reasons for this; as with the acting profession today, the lifestyle was largely itinerant; travelling and accommodation were far below today’s standards. Also, such women were believed to be prostitutes, as indeed some were, while male actors were also considered disreputable, but should the acting profession or society in general be engineered to be, or at least appear to be, that awful word, diverse? Clearly there are some people who seem to think so, and if you don’t, you can only be a bigot, right?

As if casting a woman as Dr Who wasn’t bad enough, a black actress was recently cast as Anne Boleyn in a British drama series, something that was totally unforgiveable. Again, if this series had been made in Pakistan or Nigeria, it would have been perfectly acceptable for all the actors to be Pakistani or African. Does anyone not see this?

The latest and most ludicrous diversity delusion comes from the CIA; the image associated with this article was put out by this august organisation. Are these people all spies? Probably not the guy with the guide dog, nor the woman in the wheelchair. Probably not any of them in fact, because this image has been photoshopped. Tucker Carlson and others have mocked it relentlessly. So what do CIA spies look like? Ironically, they are probably even more diverse than this, certainly the ones working in Afghanistan and elsewhere, but unlike this smiling crowd, they won’t be happy to be outed as such.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.