Wednesday, 14 July 2010

In My Beginning is My End


Bluster.

I love that word.

Bluster is something the world of blogging (digitised opinion) is full of and I've played my part.

Political commentary has found an apt home in the world of blogging, most of the top blogs ply their trade opining on the issues of the day, shouting from the rafters their opinions from one side of the wire or other. And then there are the army of comment-whores, either fishing for a fight or cheerleading the agenda.

Seems to me a lot of people are just seeking a bit of human contact by proxy, even if it is brutal.

And so we return to bluster, because so much of political commentary now, whether blog based or not, is all about provocation, obsessed with prediction, interpretation and telling those who actually have real power what to do.

It's all pretty shrill, instant and intrusive and has long ago drifted into bluster but particularly cruel and sharp bluster; desperate for an audience. And let's linger on this audience, which seems to be regressing in terms of what it can handle, we are mostly left with a puerile simplicity littered with Unique Selling Points but little élan.

In this cruel 24-hour news cycle nothing ever stays news for long. Drop it and move on.

The end result is a lot of bluster and the UK joining the US in becoming increasingly immature about how it engages with politics and its politicians.

Which is a damn shame.

4 comments:

  1. Like you say, the immediacy of news these days and the subsequent 'audience' comments tends to a short lifespan. The constant churn naturally deflects careful consideration or long-term perspectives in favour of The Next Breaking Story.

    But, again, isn't that part of the twisted beauty that is capitalism? In a similar way to advertising or business, news is competing for an audience or 'market' if you will. When that 'news' is being relayed as part of a multi-global conglomerate then the links are a bit more visible. Objectivity, then, is already in doubt but surprisingly that isn't an issue because, like any industrialised gratification cycle, the audience or 'market' wants The Next Big Thing. The Next Shiny New Toy. It doesn't want long, drawn out, thought provoking stuff.

    So as the gap between story and response or news and comment decreases so the frequency of stories goes up or, crucially, the quality goes down (celebrity coverage anyone? cheap and easy). And in much the same way as the next generation iPhone does or the new TV you bought does, the system distracts you with tawdry diversions.

    All the while you have to keep working to keep buying this stuff. Stay distracted. Keep consuming. Keep working. Stay distracted. Keep consuming. Keep working. Wage-slavery.

    But that might just be my take.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your comment H.

    Yes, the framework we exist in has naturally extended its overreach to the news, which has become product, has become money, has become a market tool.

    Objectivity has sadly fell by the wayside.

    I also agree that keeping people distracted is pretty crucial but where I disagree is that this is a new thing. Distraction is an essential part of humanity we crave it, always have done and always will do.

    I class religion as a device of distraction, alongside alcohol and drugs and elements such as a capitalist framework.

    We love it.

    Living a life sans distractions and fully engaging in thought and feeling is a rarity, I aim for it but often fall short.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I never said distraction was a new thing :)

    What I object to is that our distraction lifestyle will ultimately result in our destruction (did you see what I did with my word choice there?). If our primary driver is consumption, and we extend that 'business model' globally, then the end result is a given. The planet will not have the resources to sustain the human population. Not in our lifetime but within the next half-century maybe.

    But who wants the long-term view? Oh, look! A shiny, new thing...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Again, my instinct tells me that consumption, in all its varied forms, has always been a key driver. Perhaps the modern age has developed in such a way that our wildest consumption fantasies can be indulged and thus we are on a path of destruction but I really do believe that a lot of humanity's greatest flaws are hot-wired into our make-up.

    I think we are a destructive species and we will end up destroying ourselves, unless we check our natural desires.

    ReplyDelete

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