Monday, 24 May 2010

Is traditionalism another word for snobbish?

There seems to be a certain amount of snobbish, self indulgent, belittling of anything modern by some people who frequent the canal forums. Where, everything to do with the working boatmen of old is romanticised to an absurd degree. Which is in turn is a condescending attitude to the working boat-people of yesteryear. A hard-working group, who were for the most, illiterate or at best semi-literate. The middle class now to be seen aping their lifestyle, as if it was once upon a time, a virtue to be making a poorly paid living with long hours of work and terrible conditions.

Some people have a genuine love of the boats and the machinery of the canals, in a Fred Dibnah-esque sort of way. Others are a trying to discover for themselves a long gone class system that has been romanticised beyond recognition. Living in a cloud cuckoo land of embellished feelings about the canals of the past and what life on them was like. Aping a life in the main built on anecdotes and historical inaccuracies.

Is this aping of the traditional skills of a real craftsman and his family something to actually cherish?

The history of the canals has been well catalogued by many writers. From a historical perspective the canals are well chronicled. It's time to move on, it's time from those in a time warp to come from behind their rose tinted goggles and smell the fresh brewed coffee of a new era. The time of the canal has been and gone, welcome to the new order of canals which are intended for people to enjoy as their leisure time.

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