NEVER LET THE TRUTH GET IN THE WAY OF A GOOD STORY.
TRUTH, REASON OR SOCIAL CONTROL?
In keeping with the chatty, narrative, rambling style of this book, my mind takes me to a vitally important issue that has been a regular in the media in the United Kingdom and across the world in one way, shape, or form for many years. I feel this issue is now losing the practical, common-sense approach in favour of knee-jerk reactions whenever the press and so-called experts get hold of a juicy story that they can manipulate from a minor happening into a monster of judgemental news creation (not reporting) that fills their news spaces for months ahead. For me, they are betrayed by the inconsistency of their high-moral reporting. I will talk about two incidents that I think are comparable and made distinctive by the reporting strategy used. I make no apology for using the word strategy for media news reporting, as it becomes obvious to anyone focusing for even a second that the media no longer report world events but rather create and fabricate news that will give them optimum economic returns and, at the same time, contribute to social control. I hope to show you with my examples how both aspects might work. I also hope to suggest that when the population is kept distracted, very few individuals bother to question what is seen or read, which is masquerading as news. This is meant to ensure that none break free of that herd we all know and love so much for providing us with a less than mediocre, thought-free existence!
This controversy starts with a heated exchange on a soccer pitch, where one well-known individual, and I use that word carefully, has subsequently been accused of racism. Worth a mention here is that when the story broke, the victim stated that he was mates (friends) with the accused and that he did not consider him racist. So, what transpired that made the initial “no problem” reaction become an issue of national importance? I am going to suggest here that the individuals lost their freedom in the matter, and they at once became objects to be manipulated by the powers that be to produce and fabricate a story, a fairy tale that would extend the life of an otherwise mundane and everyday happening. They wanted also to send a message to the masses that would aid future social control. In summary, to make a mountain out of a molehill in this instance suited both the media and governing bodies within sport and outside of sport. Apparently, the rights of the individual became unimportant in the building of a case that could be a lesson to us all.
As a comparison, at about the same time, Tiger Woods’ ex-caddy made some inappropriate racist remarks, aimed at Tiger, during a social function. The result? I witnessed Tiger Woods at a press conference stating that although the remarks were upsetting, he knew that his ex-caddy was not a racist, and had had a shadow moment and that was the end of that. We heard no more.
I must ask myself why there is one rule in golf and an obviously different set of standards entirely when it comes to soccer in the UK.
The answer I come up with is this: Golf is a sport that attracts mainly bourgeois participants and supporters. Could it be that they are expected to adhere to what is right and wrong more readily than the working-class followers of soccer, and can be trusted not to find an example for their future behaviours in observed racist behaviour? I suppose there are few or zero instances of racist hooliganism in and around golf, so they may have a point. But this shows that setting an example for the masses is a priority for the governing bodies.
What of the accused? Let us assume, as seems obvious, that he is not a racist and that calling someone a name on a football pitch in the heat of battle is normal behaviour. The word black is not an insult. The word bastard is not racist. The two words together are considered racist. I would suggest that the accused had nothing more than name-calling on his mind, as did all involved. I witnessed a woman official being called a daft cow and a top coach questioning the ability of women to officiate. This was not considered particularly newsworthy.
Any value given to name-calling is given by the reaction to the words. Overreacting to name-calling is asking for trouble, and making the words mean too much is at the heart of much of the current controversy. I am not suggesting that any oppression should be tolerated, but I am suggesting that name-calling is not oppression and that reacting to any particular oppressed minority over the next, because it is trendy and currently politically correct, is pathetic and short-sighted. It seems to me at times that certain minorities make a living for themselves out of being insulted, and they appear in their dozens as spokespersons to comment on any individual indiscretions – particularly when pressured by the media to grow their fairy tales.
Personally, I like Tiger Woods’ reaction any day of the week. The man understands that comments and words do not make a racist. Soccer reporters could learn a lesson from other sports. The individual needs to have his rights. The accused is going through Hell so the media can make a point that any intelligent, thinking human being actually is already aware of – to make a story for the media. Which is more wrong, media lies or heat-of-the-moment name-calling?
Maybe there is some justice in the fact that a top soccer player, a product of a system that has worked so well for him in the past, should finally be hung out to dry by that self-same system. It has been said in the past that in the UK, through the media and governing bodies, heroes are built up and then systematically destroyed when they have served their purpose. Could it be argued that this is just the life cycle of a role model in the UK, and that the destruction is all part of his ultimate purpose in the eyes of the powers that be? It might be a lesson to us all.
Incidentally it is my belief that our ruling classes are aiming for the reverse of what they want us to believe. They want a fearful racist society and they cleverly and subtly manipulate the masses into just that situation. Once we are aware it is not so subtle and this manipulation can be seen in governments with the help of the media worldwide. The more fear in society the easier we are to control. We are not free at all until we take back control of our minds. In reality we have a system that is racist and pretends not to be by shining the light on racism constantly. You decide for yourself but I will stake my reputation on the fact that in time they will be exposed and the masses will get wise to the fact that shrugging and loving is the only way to defuse hate. Creating separate sides and more hate has never worked unless you are a ruler wanting a fearful, angry and hateful society to rule.
Tiger Woods is right. And that the media love to create moutains out of molehills – detroying lives and reputations at the same time.