BBC on Harris Tweed

Word of caution: Only proceed ahead by watching the videos if you have the time. Otherwise if you watch it on a school night like I did, you will struggle to stay awake the next day while trying to make up lost time on schoolwork. Other than that, I hope you guys will enjoy this.

It's rather long but thoroughly interesting. I originally have heard of this from Die, Work Wear! which despite it's antagonistic name is an interesting read. Again I had confronted my doubts about posting this purely because the reason I moved from Tumblr to Blogger is because I was sick of all the reblogging that went on. However, I do have something to say about and perhaps some commentary that would resonate with the focus of this blog.

I first was so excited about this because I miss BBC and surprisingly the British media in general (Little Britain anyone?). No, I am not necessarily an Anglophile - though I really love Colin Firth and The King's Speech and Pride and Prejudice - nor do I share the same fascination of some Americans over the "British Accent" which I think is gross misnomer because there are in fact many accents on the island (i.e. Cockney, Essex, Birmingham to barely scratch the surface).

At first I was overcome by a wave of nostalgia of my childhood in Hong Kong when I used to watch BBC programs on a daily rotational basis. It's the overall quality of the production and focus that really sets it apart from other media groups. No longer need to harp on this but I have to say this "teledocumentary" - yes I am murdering Greek, sue me - made me genuinely feel for the plight of the Tweed industry and its workers. The plight of the people ardently trying to their tradtions, way of life and heritage really spoke to me in their great concern over their culture. I found that though the people honestly didn't "promote"their product as great as they could have, I was greatly perturbed at Brian Haggis's obstinate view that he, himself alone, with his son I suppose, needed to hold monopolistic control over the entire trade. I struggled to like him on his "noble" naïve view that he could single-handedly revive a industry and delighted in his demise when he scrambled to sell his seventy thousand odd jackets. In general I hated his egoistical stubbornness that he tried to assure everyone that he was doing when he eliminated 7,996 colours of tweed available in only one price and one cut - though it is highly probable that one would be inclined to feel that way when one becomes a successful textile tycoon up to this point. Also I hated the fact the Scottish parliament or other national government bodies did nothing to help and relied instead on the efforts of patriotic Scottish ex-pats and enthusiastic tailors from Savile Row. Nonetheless I'm glad that through the combined efforts of the ex-pats and tailors and others, Harris Tweed is able to breathe a little and survive for a little while longer - at least for now.

And to end this and sign off for now on a positive note, I wonder where my (maternal) grandfather's tweed jackets would be (though I am sure that his is probably not made by the bespoke tailors of London but of Hong Kong).

Image from Google and videos from Vimeo.


Trou, .bleuebird said...

I tried watching BBC: The Power of Nightmares, but fell asleep halfway through. I think it's the mix of the British accent of the narrator and his rather monotonous voice that lulled me into sleep. I really like Michael Moore's documentaries though because he encompasses a sense of reality by integrating stories of real people in there. I have seen almost all of his documentaries and all are heartbreakingly sad and true. Some people tend to think he's too leftist, but I think he discusses some serious issues within America that should be dissected and scrutinized.

eugenialejos said...

oh! love your original blog!!