Friday, 5 July 2013
Goodies and Baddies
In amongst all these world changing coup, counter-coup, insurgency, revolution, resignation shenanigans it’s hard to tell right from wrong, left from right, up from down. The world is a complicated place and it’s high time we straightened it all out. We should make it easier for any one of us to tell the goodies from the baddies, just like in the golden days of Hollywood. The goodies could wear white and the baddies could wear black… decorated with a handy and stylish skull and daggers motif. Or wear a badge. Or have a facial tattoo,or even hide their baddie faces.
Good old Auntie Beeb has been doing this on our behalf for years. I’m surprised it’s taken this long for somebody else to notice, but then if we’re too thick to work it out for ourselves I suppose we need to be drawn pictures. Nigel Farage drew attention to the practice in this interesting piece for the Daily Telegraph (Why do they never ask me… and what are their rates?) about the recently revealed bias of the BBC extending his observations to drama where, “ those who oppose mass migration are bigots, stupid, physically ugly, those on the other side are sensitive, beautiful, intelligent.”
We all go about bearing coded identification already, actually. The way we dress, the way we behave and in particular the way we pass on those traits to our dependents and so forth. Notwithstanding the odd out-of-character outburst, first impressions are a bloody good way of deciding ‘U’or ‘non-U’ and these days you need to be more aware than ever of your audience before revealing your allegiances. The bird in the burka? Probably not going to be ultra-receptive to a tirade against immigration, even if she was born here. The kid with the can of Stella at ten in the morning? Unlikely, I’d have thought, to respond well to a Tebbitarian, get-on-your-bike, pep talk.
Of course, part of the problem is we don’t carry around mirrors with which to ‘check our privileges’ before we engage in what was “only words, your honour” and we are often blind to the shortcomings of our own tribe. While sympathy might be easy enough to rustle up, or at least fake, empathy is a poorly developed part of the human psyche, especially in approximately fifty per cent of the world’s population. Just as we think all the Chinese look alike, so they also believe we are indistinguishable from one another. And it’s the same for non-physical expressions of where we belong too - cultural norms, innit?
No wonder the country’s in a mess. To the hot-house-raised gilded elite in Westminster who only ever see an outsider as a potential vote we all look the same to them. They don’t see what we see when we are swamped in ‘diversity’ and they seem genuinely mystified that we can’t just rub along as they pretend to do. There is a name for inbuilt human preference for those who look, dress, act and think like oneself but to keep it simple, a much shorter version is generally used. They call it racism.
Those who prefer the company of the left recognise and applaud the heroic workers’ struggle against oppression and believe in fairness and equality. Those who align with the right see only oppression in leftist big government, resulting in unfairness and squalor. What’s needed is a middle way, one that sees liberty and democracy in equal measure; we could call them, I dunno, lib-dems? (*irony klaxon*) But wait, even democracy fails if the demos is insufficiently informed and educated to be able to operate it. Pull the wrong levers and you get Egypt, where a democratically elected government has had to be overthrown by military action. This is harder than it looks...
Boo? Yay? I dunno... It's behiiiind you!
The problem for Egypt & Syria and all those emerging from the dark ages is now abundantly clear; if even THEY can’t tell the goodies from the baddies how can we decide which side to help? This is clearly a job for the wardrobe and makeup department because right now they all look like baddies to me.