Tuesday 22 November 2011

Is that what they are saying? Because I don’t think that’s what they are saying…

I don’t really mind Tony Parsons. I can take or leave his books – I took the first two, didn’t enjoy them and have left the rest. He’s a spunky* lad though and doesn’t mind pulling his punches – I like that in someone, even if I don’t agree with them. But what is he on about here?

“I can’t watch any more celebrities in the same chair as the parents of murdered children and daring to think they have known the same horror”

(And admittedly this involves me reading quite a lot in to a tweet but I don’t think it is a massive leap of faith to know that he’s talking about the ongoing investigations of the Leveson enquiry in to the phone hacking scandal). Oh and he earlier tweeted this as well:

“You could blame the wicked press for kiss and tell stories. Or you could blame rich celebrities who think they can treat women like garbage.”

I think it’s safe to say he isn’t completely sympathetic to celebrities who don’t want their private lives smeared over national newspapers. Nice of him to try and put a feminist slant on his opinion, in the second one. It’s not really relevant though is it? It’s his way of making what is essentially a anti-privacy (and as such a bit of an infringement of some liberties) stance in a pseudo-radical, forward thinking socio-egalitarian stance. In less pretentious language – he seems to be suggesting that raking through the sex lives of the famous (and it is the famous, not just famous men – but yes, mainly famous men) is somehow a blow the liberation of gender equality. My opinion on this would be this: it isn’t. It’s about people making money out of titillation and tawdry details of things that hold no public interest, not real interest anyway; the kind of interest we all have as nosy bastards.

But back to my point that I have meandered away from slightly – but only slightly. And my point was as eloquent as my earlier ‘it isn’t’ rebuttal. And my point is what the fuck is he talking about? Now I am not comparing celebrities having their private lives aggressively raked through under the veil of public interest to the press hacking the phones of the parents of murdered children. More importantly I don’t think Hugh Grant or Steve Coogan are, or anyone else. However the investigation is in to the phone hacking – and everything that went with it – of everyone they hacked. Are Grant, Coogan et al supposed to act as though their privacy isn’t violated?

Yes, whatever was done to the families of murder victims is worse. It’s morally deplorable and is grounded in not one iota of a the concerns of a free press. But going through Steve Coogan’s bins is also horrible. Tapping Hugh Grant’s phone is also wrong. And what Parsons has done here is deplorable in another way – deflecting, if not defending,  what they journalists did….well maybe not deflecting or defending it; but he’s mocking the celebrities by supposedly pointing out how trivial their sex lives are in comparison to a child being killed. Well quite – it’s very fucking trivial, so hows about they don’t waste all this energy and money and newspaper ink on it? If it’s not in the public interest – and by this I mean what someone is doing has legitimate repercussions on any public role they fulfil – then don’t print it, don’t put it on websites and don’t get all ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘celebrities deserve it: they’re rich’ about it.

It’s just a bullshit argument. You can’t so this because this is worse. If you follow this through only people who rape and murder children would be in prison because isn’t everything just irrelevant in comparison? Yeah he stole millions, but, he didn’t kill them kids on the moors in the late 70s so, fuck it, let’s just get on with it. Yeah I know she has been crippling shopkeepers to steal money but she didn’t go on a shotgun spree in a nursery so just give a pre-final warning and lets get on with it for goodness sake. If someone does something wrong to a rich man or a poor man then work out a fair and just punishment and not defend the immoral because you make your money out of writing sanctimonious columns for newspapers about how footballers and film stars should be decapitated for being rich and having sex with people who aren’t their wife/husband. [Unless you are a newspaper columnist who is the wife/husband of a footballer who has cheated on you publically, then – fair game I supose.]

Actually I do mind Tony Parsons. He’s a prick.

*yeah – spunky

Autumn Days When The Grass is Jewelled

I had a right nice Autumn walk home after work tonight. Just me , a long straight path covered in leads and The Best of Cat Stevens. I was going to say if you want to know what I went through you could put the CD on and slowly click your way up Lloyd Street on Google Maps. It wont quite work: the images on Google Maps aren’t dark and there aren’t leaves everywhere. You could mess about with the contrast/brightness and colour on your computer settings though – it might work. You need to time it so you are just finishing track 8 as you get to Platt Lane to make it work properly. Enjoy.

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