Thursday, 17 February 2011

Children's Crusade: Memoirs of a Teenage Radical by Philip de Gouveia

The blurb for tomorrow's afternoon play on BBC Radio 4 references the Luddites in a context that unsurprising and fairly predictable. Have a read for yourself:
Evie, a phenomenally bright but socially marginalised fifteen year-old, has had it with Western Civilization. Self-educated in the ideas of the Luddites, Mao and T.E. Lawrence, she wants to launch a mission against technology and the damage she believes it has wrought on the human race. She's taken a look at human history and decided it's time things changed. For good. But can she get her mobile-addicted classmates to join with her?
You only have to type 'Luddite' into Google and you'll find no-end of ill-informed popular references to Luddites along similar lines described by E P Thompson back in 1963 "Luddism lingers in the popular mind as an uncouth, spontaneous affair of illiterate handworkers, blindly resisting technology." The BBC's description of Philip de Gouveia's play lines that up alongside a vague anti-civilisation idea that so-called 'Neo-Luddites' have more recently cornered. Of course, we can't blame Mr de Gouveia for the copy written by the BBC about his play, so at this point we'll suspend judgement and may report back with our thoughts in a few days.

The play will be available on this webpage soon after broadcast, and will remain available for a number of days.

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