Media Circus: No Snappy Title edition

I have been mostly speechless/typingless at the latest goings in local/federal politics, taking refuge in offline activities. Elsewhere the police brutality in Ferguson MO and egregious overreaction to peaceful protests, and the continuing atrocities perpetrated by the expanding Islamic State essentially makes me want to vomit rather than write. And there are stilling missing girls in Nigeria, and other horrors happening all over. But I should still put up a post for the rest of you to vent/rant or even ideally substantively discuss these issues, because disengagement is never going to be a solution, even if it’s sometimes temporarily necessary for some self-care. Go for it.

As usual for media circus threads, please share your bouquets and brickbats for particular items in the mass media, or highlight cogent analysis or pointed twitterstorms etc in new media. Discuss any current sociopolitical issue (the theme of each edition is merely for discussion-starter purposes – all current news items are on topic!).

Categories: culture wars, economics, ethics & philosophy, law & order, media, social justice, violence

Tags: , , , , , ,

12 replies

  1. I like this one. 12 things white people can do now because Ferguson.
    The police have shot another man now. Apparently he was waving a knife around and talking to himself. My son commented that it sounded like he was unwell, but I said to him that that in itself didn’t mean he deserved to die. But the way it was reported on the radio it was made to sound like a perfectly reasonable reaction. 😦

    Mine is depressing.
    “Not true” or “not enough evidence to prove”?
    How many of us have had encounters with men who either didn’t take no for an answer, or were very, very slow to register? In a toilet block or hallway or bedroom somewhere.
    Years ago, I caught an Australian movie made by the uni of Qld where a woman (who is a well known Australian actor and sexistly, I can’t remember her name) falsely accuses Roger Daltrey of rape. I was in my teens. I turned off the TV when it showed the court full of men listening sympathetically to the woman, believing her. Crash! went the fourth wall. I knew that would never happen. (I’d like to take credit for for being incredibly perceptive at a young age, but sadly, as a sheltered Catholic schoolgirl I was introduced to misogyny early.)
    I am sure the people who circulated this story were doing so out of malice towards Bill Shorten. But we all know how difficult it is to report a sexual assault, and how much blame will be assigned to the woman reporting it. I wonder how anyone could face all that knowing it wasn’t true.
    I especially dislike the friend of Bill’s who wasn’t there but is sure it didn’t happen because he can’t believe Bill would do that sort of thing. Thanks for your input.

  3. Don’t forget, eilish, rapists and abusers are slavering monsters with no decent qualities or moments whatsoever, who spring whole from the earth and have no friends or families.

  4. I’ve seen some interesting criticism in multiple fora of the overuse of the word “evil” when describing the various perpetrators of atrocities in the news. I tend to agree that “evil” has conceptual metaphysical/theological overtones that tend to deflect analysis of human causes in favour of an implied mystical threat. Obviously some pundits are deliberately aiming to invoke those overtones rhetorically for ideological purposes, and they won’t stop doing it. But that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to perpetuate their framing.
    Proposed: for the purposes of clarity and rigor it’s best to eschew “evil” as a descriptor and choose more directly descriptive terms such as brutal/repressive/racist/genocidal or even simply emotional reaction terms such as despicable/abhorrent/horrific which don’t carry such a metaphysical freight.

  5. I agree, tigtog, that ‘evil’ makes things too easy for the reader. It allows us to separate ourselves from the person or action described, which makes us less likely to recognise it when it happens on our side of the fence.
    Jenna Price on Scott Morrison and Gillian Triggs.
    Glad to see it being said.

  6. It’s my preferred descriptor for Scott Morrison. I will try to use ‘malevolent’ instead. I watched him respond to Gillian Triggs with the Long Bay analogy and I can quite truthfully say I would throw eggs at him given the opportunity.
    I have read a number of articles suggesting IS is being as provocative as possible in the hopes of drawing Western countries into further conflict. By using words like ‘evil’ we are making it easy to justify another war.
    I don’t know what we say to the people being murdered and terrorized though. “Sorry, we’re not taking the bait”?

    • I don’t know what we say to the people being murdered and terrorized though. “Sorry, we’re not taking the bait”?

      I’m all for describing the perpetrators as murderous terrorists. That’s far more accurate and gives the victims more respect, to my mind, than just describing what’s happening as “evil”, because “evil” elides the very real sociopolitical goals that the murderous terrorism aims to achieve, and failing to take their goals into account means that strategy against them starts on the wrong foot.

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