Friday, 4 September 2015
Well, I was going to write about the changing of the referendum question from yes/no to remain/leave. Seriously, the question is now planned to be “remain or leave” the EU? Have they considered how this may bias the outcome towards those in favour of ‘leaving it as it is’? And ‘remain’? Maybe that’s a harbinger of times post-EU when, once the UK has led the way, few others will remain? What about those who will ‘remain’ in the leave-it-be camp? Not really thought through is it; who’s surprised?
But no, something much less important has come up, so I’ll bang on about that for a bit. A body has been photographed, washed up on a beach. You all know the one, which is a bit odd, really, because before him thousands of other children, unnamed children, have been killed, maimed, executed, murdered, butchered, mutilated, tortured, raped, bombed, mined, burned alive and you didn’t really take all that much notice. Why did it take this one single image to get you all going?
And when I say ‘going’, boy, is that an understatement. The world has gone mad over this beautifully framed Athena poster death. For some of you it will be the defining image of your lives; personally I prefer the blonde scratching her bum on the tennis court but hey, each to his own. While nobody should be gleeful at the sight of dead flesh I have to say I am disappointed by the degree to which many have chosen to take this personally. This is what I mean when I say ‘mad’. You didn’t know him, he will feel no more pain and there will be many more to follow him; why this one? Why didn’t you identify with the 1400+ serially raped girls in Rotherham who may suffer as a result for the rest of their lives?
Humans are irrational beings – not me, obviously, I’m a dead-hearted monster; that’s the nature of pragmatism – but there is something worryingly wrong with this crowd hysteria, evoked by a single photograph splashed across the entire world’s press. Every political Svengali would be wanking himself into oblivion if he’d thought of it but this is a thing of accident. Much as in art, there are many who can spread the acrylics across the canvas but few who can push the buttons and this is the Mona Lisa of mind control. Watch me do it in the last paragraph with a single word...
Politicians, however, are made of sterner stuff and if they can’t generate the mass outcry themselves they certainly know how to exploit it. The parade of crocodile tears has been shameful. A good day to bury bad news indeed – and yes, I did think about typing ‘bury’ and then typed it anyway; see how cruel I am? Which brings me to Twitter: People whose primary interest is second-rate football and have never given the refugee crisis a moment’s thought are all of a sudden beatified and become one with the heavenly father. So saintly are they now that, in response to my stating that I am unmoved, they wish on me a horrible and painful death.
Feel the love...
Some people really do believe they have the monopoly on caring, don’t they? And so exclusively caring are they that anybody who doesn’t see what they see must suffer for their shortness of vision. There is no compassion like their personal compassion and the only way to express it is right there on a handy internet sleeve. If you’ve formed an opinion based on that dead kid, then it’s not really your opinion at all; you have been manipulated. But it’s worked; David Cameron has caved – like he was always going to; like he will on the EU ‘renegotiation’; like he has every single time public support has threatened to wane. And he didn’t seem to hesitate in using meat on a beach to justify it.