Tuesday, 8 February 2011

On the "Political Correctness Gone Mad" reponse to the Richard Keys and Andy Gray sexism scandal (first posted 25th January 2011)

Right, I can feel a rant coming on here. This might or might not be a slight departure from the subject, eventually. Unfortunately we’ll all too often find that the general public’s reaction to something like this Andy Gray and Richard Keys ballbaggery will be “It’s political correctness gone mad”.

But the response is the most natural in the world. It’s exactly what we should expect really. It’s the reaction that most people will be conditioned for. People will always like to think they’re independent, autonomous and rational.

But the fact is that a combination of factors in modern life has turned them into easily programmable mobile ignorance units. It probably only takes half a generation or so to turn the majority of a society into insular, reactionary mechanoids. We’ve witnessed a gradual dumbing down of news media alongside the introduction of 24-hour rolling news.

Celebrities are constantly pressed for an opinion like they’ve got a fucking clue and now the people who are supposed to be watching the news to be informed end up informing it by being asked to deliver the news themselves, be it in the form of a short vox-pop opinion, a video, a photograph, a comment on a website or whatever.

This has run in parallel to the entrenchment of the individualism Margaret Thatcher introduced into our society during the 80s. The kind of pull-up-the-ladder I’m-alright-Jack fuck-you-mate attitude of the laissez-faire neo-liberal market circle-jerk for billionaires that might just have been the single biggest fraud inflicted on the British people.

It could be said that the newspaper is dying out, but the shitrag that is the Daily Mail still has a circulation in excess of 2 million. The S*n has a circulation in excess of 3 million, The Mirror just over 1 million and The Daily Star almost 800,000. This is pretty formidable power. Sky TV has 10 million subscribers. In this climate of readers and viewers being bombarded with opinion disguised as news, it’s no suprise that those who shout loudest pretty much control the agenda.

And the agenda of those who shout loudest seems to be, to differing degrees of intensity, anti-Europe, anti-science, anti-immigration, anti-gay, anti-union, pro-Christian, anti-Muslim, pro-business. And it’s no surprise at all that this affects people’s ideas. For me (and quite a lot of others), this is how the world works. No newspaper or TV channel would dare to explicitly say that this is the way you should think. They’re much more subtle than that.

TV and the media present a distorted view of reality. There’s a suicide bomber round every corner. Europe is running the country from Brussels, and it’s banning curved bananas or unwrapped sweets or mushy fucking peas. Health and safety has gone mad, banning school ties or fire station poles or fucking candy floss. Or today’s topic of interest, political correctness has gone mad. Christmas is being banned. Baa Baa Black Sheep is being censored. People are having copious amounts of bullshit pumped into their eyes and ears every hour of every day, all their lives. It’s no surprise when it starts to spill out of their mouths. Karl Marx said “It is not consciousness that determines existence, but social existence that determines consciousness.” When the world is looked at like this, it does begin to make sense.

As Mark Steel has said about the Queen Mother, “Others point out that she always looks splendid in her wonderful array of hats. Well of course she does, she’s worth about a hundred million trillion quid, she’s not likely to turn up at Ascot in a bobble hat with “Derby County” on the front.” Surrounded by money and privilege, she’s not likely to turn up at an engagement dressed like that feller Dave round the corner who sells the knickers down the market. And it’s the same when people are exposed to the flood of opinions and ideas that are forced onto their retinas and eardrums 24 hours a day. It’s bound to affect anybody, and especially the people who haven’t been equipped to filter it and evaluate it. It’s all presented as fact. Except often it’s simply made up. And it drives an agenda. It keeps millionaires millionaires and leaders leaders.

And you* afraid, paranoid, hostile to outsiders and pushing their stupid fucking agenda on the telly, in letters columns and on stupid fucking comments on newspaper websites. In fact, forget all that. Just draw a circular arrow in brown crayon and write BULLSHIT along it.

*Not you, obviously. You’re here. Which isn’t out there, in the circlular arrow of bullshit.

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