What’s funny that’s happened in the news this week? The Essex lion? that’s not fucking funny, that’s tragic. That’s what we use our free press for, to write utter fucking horseshit about a lion in Essex? There’s ethnic cleansing going on in Syria and we concentrate on a big cat wandering around St. Osyth. Then the news came that the police had called off their search as it seemed the lion didn’t actually exist. So while Assad’s government massacred yet more civilians the press in this country was discussing a fictitious lion. What next? “We won’t have time this evening to look at Russia’s human rights violations in Chechnya because we’re carrying an interview with Parsley the Lion from Michael fucking Bond’s The Herbs.”
It’s a good job the media didn’t have the same fucked-up priorities in 1950 or there never would have been a discussion about Atlee’s re-election or the decision to send British troops into Korea due to all the press coverage of the death of Aslan, rightful ruler of Narnia.
So next time you hear a debate around Levesson and ethics in the media and some hack pops up and says, “we need to preserve our free press” remember what they use that freedom to do. They don’t hold the rich and mighty to account and they don’t tell truth to power. They write about imaginary lions and print pictures of a clearly inebriated teenage girl’s vagina taken surreptitiously and without her consent by the paparazzi as she exits a taxi on a night out with friends.
No the story that I thought it might be fun to make gags about this week involves the beheading of two children by a group of Islamic extremists in Afghanistan.
Remember Afghanistan that we invaded 11 years ago with the aim of improving the country’s infrastructure, removing the Taliban and creating a democratic Government? I now think that the BBC should start airing some of the excellent documentaries made about the West’s involvement in two fucking stupid wars just after the 10 o’clock news on Saturday night with the announcer going, “and for those who are aiming to watch Errol Morris’ ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ and don’t want to know the results look away now” whilst the screen flashes statistics concerning the number of British troops dead or civilians disabled by bombing or even Afghanistan’s rating according to international Watchdog transparency as the second most corrupt country in the world.
There are a select few people on the left who continue to support the war in Afghanistan. One of their primary motives seems to be the belief that British troops in the region are supporting women’s rights in the region. Obviously I am a believer in, and a supporter of, feminism. But you can’t bomb people into respecting women. Explosions don’t make people leave behind out-dated notions of gender. It’s not like during the Blitz previously rather old-fashioned chauvinist men found themselves stood in the middle of bombed out houses in East London thinking, “Cor blimey guv’na! I fancy reading that Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’ to better understand the modernist feminist critique of patriarchal society”. Nor was the last thought to go through Lord Mountbatton’s head, “My one regret is not listening more to Germaine Greeeeeeee…”
If anything our military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq has made it less likely that we can bring these countries into a more modern, progressive way of thinking. It is quite obvious that if you are trying to persuade people to agree with your worldview – in the case of the allies a western, post-Enlightenment, liberal-democratic one – then removing the limbs of those you are trying to convert seems a fairly odd way of doing it. At election time politicians don’t come round your house, push a party manifesto into your hands and then blow your legs off. These people don’t hate our freedoms, they hate it when we murder their families and destroy their houses.
There is a part of me that when writing this piece attacking Iraq and Afghanistan thought, “well, it’s a bit cliché by now taking the left-wing anti-war position, of course it’s very easy to mock the reasons given to support these wars”. Then I stop and think, it really fucking shouldn’t be! The reasons that our Government picked in order to send our citizens off to not just die, but also to kill citizens of other sovereign nations shouldn’t be that easy to ridicule. Alastair Campbell in the run up to Iraq was like the world’s laziest student, with Blair as his teacher going, “I want a dossier on ‘Why We Should Invade Iraq’ and I want it completed by Thursday” and Campbell spending all week playing pool and drinking cider at the SU bar with his roommates before spending the night before the dealine copy and pasting any old shit he can find on the internet.
Considering I’m doubting the credulity of the Government’s case for war in Iraq can I make it clear on this public blog that if I am found on Winsford common near my house with my wrists cut I definitely didn’t kill myself? One of the key objections by many coroners was the amount of blood spilt by Dr. David Kelly from the supposed time he cut his wrists to the time when he was discovered, though at the Hutton Inquiry Blair explained it is possible to get a hell of a lot of blood on your hands very quickly.
Bring The Troops Home, Now!
In other news…
Charlie Brooker pens new spoof ‘A Touch of Cloth’ for Sky
So it seems Charlton “Charlie” Brooker has written a parody of the crime fighting genre for Sky. It is easy to see what Sky get from the deal, whilst rich on – well, riches? Sky is incredibly poor on talent. Securing Brooker, who has received plaudits for Screenwipe and Deadset, is a step towards correcting that. Brooker on the other hand has always sought to come across as an anti-establishment and left-wing figure and working for the despised Murdoch group will surely trouble his conscience. Simply put the better the quality of Brooker’s writing the more money Rupert Murdoch will have, that’s more money to do what he really likes to do, influence elections in democratic countries, print lies about the desperate and the weak, and hack dead schoolgirls mobile phones. Working as a writer for Sky must be like being a German munitions worker in 1938, you’re just doing a job and what your employees chose to do with your product is up to them, you tell yourself…
Millionaire uses social networking to mock the poor
Ricky Gervais has been on twitter this week tweeting under the #chavmumtshirts hashtag. In what is seemingly an attempt to write a Daily Mail article in 140 characters or fewer. Anyone who has been a fan of Gervais will have noticed his sad slide into small-C conservatism. It was not long ago he was attracting scorn for casually using the word “mong” as an insult along with ‘hilarious’ pictures of his own gurning distorted face. Now he is using twitter to make fun of impoverished single mothers. The hashtag features predictable jokes about benefits and swapping children for Benson & Hedges that are as odious as they are unfunny. Now your response to this might be to question why I don’t simply ignore them. For instance I don’t watch Peter Kay DVDs because I don’t find the changing hues of canine excrement amusing. Nor do I watch Michael Macintyre as I don’t find a slightly chubby bellend dancing about on stage and talking like a cock to be particularly amusing. However my problem with Ricky Gervais’ jokes here is they are actively harmful to society. My mother was a single mother in the 1980s under Maggie Thatcher and now we have a Government led by people who called Thatcher “mummy” as young people when they were working for the CRD, and these people are seeking to return to the old days when young parents were punished for moralistic reasons by uncaring, wealthy, white men. Every time Ricky Gervais makes a joke about “Chav mums” he furthers the cause of those who will not be happy until the poor are in workhouses. When you have Gervais’ wit and talent you have an ethical responsibility to use your comedy to better society, not to take cheap shots at those too weak to defend themselves. He should be ashamed.