I’d been thinking along similar lines as Helen Razer, it seems: two of the most egregious recent instances of insta-commentary and of the pathologies of the 24/7 trash media were starkly highlighted over the weekend in the reaction to two tragic events.
As I suggested on Saturday, Amy Winehouse’s death exemplified the power and the vacuity of fatalistic and misogynist tropes. As Kim suggests today, the out of control Islamophobia which greeted news of the awful massacres in Norway also bore very little relation to truth.
Winehouse’s travails will have been magnified by the refraction and repetition at enormous volume and stunning intensity of a bunch of useless and prejudicial discourses, just as the climate in which Anders Behring Beyrik’s thoughts and deeds were inculcated is part and parcel of a decade or more’s Islamophobic obsessing.
In both instances, we can see clusters of ill-informed, prejudicial and stupid sentiments take on their own force. Razer makes the connection deftly.
I’ll cite again Jens Stoltenberg’s remarks about “more democracy and more humanity”.
One of the ironies of a few weeks which has also seen the media fight back against the claims of democratic accountability in the wake of calls for enquiries stimulated by the #NoTW scandals, is that its more articulate defenders have framed arguments in terms of enlightenment principles. We now have ample evidence that the early 21st century mediascape is anything but enlightened and rational.
It’s time, well past time, that citizens called time on the sort of rubbish that pervades the privatised sphere of the information industries.
Perhaps the most pressing fight, on a whole range of fronts, has to be one for humanity and rationality.