Media Growl

 

At time of going to…press…post…no one has convincingly coughed up to the bombings on Thursday but all the newspapers are hinting at Al-Queda. There are pictures of Muslims saying “Not in my name”, pictures of Bin Laden and more speculation. The IRA, those lovely people who blew up shopping centres, pubs and Conservative conferences, had they been about today would have got less press and soon as a bomb went off fingers would point to our chums in Afganistan.

Wait.

There’s no evidence, as yet, to prove or disprove it was Al-queda, the IRA, the Neo-Nazi’s or Uncle Tom and his failed gardening experiments. Well..not quite….there’s a bloke on a bus saying he saw an “olive skinned gentleman” repeatedly dipping into his carrier bag. I’m sure if you asked 1000 people there that day at least one would say they saw a suspicious looking seagull or someone dressed in a black cowl carrying a scythe. So why so quick to blame Al-queda? Why so quick to point fingers at a group of people? When it could have been a lone nutter with a hobby in remote control electronics.

As a Fortean, I like to keep an open mind to all possibilities in a situation. angelhands says I am pessimistic or negative. I don’t think I am. OK when people think positive things I have to bite my tongue so that I don’t put a pisser on their plans or ideas, by pointing out possible worse case risks and scenarios. (I’d be good in a risk assessment job methinks) Where as when people come bawling their eyes out wailing about how their life has come to an end because their girlfriend/boyfriend has left them for Barry Mcguigan or their house has burnt down and left them with thripence ha’penny and a box of socks…its always me that points out the positive side of things.

This curse of mine sometimes leaks over to world events. I am constantly thinking “Who benefits?”, “What are they not telling us?”, “Which bits are misinformation?”, “Why have they done that?”, “Is there a movie in it?” or “What else has happened that they’ve buried under this news?” when newsworthy things happen. Even more so with the discreditation of the BBC by the powers that be. Then people say “uh stegzy stop being an alarmist/conspiracy nut/wanker”. Well fine. So I over analyse the news. I over analyse events and normally my over analysis pays off. Events I predict will happen, happen.
Examples. When Piers Morgan, editor of the Daily Mirror, started publishing the pictures of abuse of Iraqi POW’s I immediately thought “Woh! Piers. This is a blinder for discreditation! You’ll lose your job mate”. Lo! and behold! He did!

When Diana started seeing Al Fayed, banging on about banning land mines and being generally against the grain, alarm bells rang. “Hang on a minute. You’ll make too many enemies there. Watch your back girl!”

and 9/11. Well there’s too many inconsistencies in 9/11 for my likes. Like almost immediately fingers started pointing at Al-queda. The knee jerk reaction to bumble into Afganistan and bomb the fuck out of everyone. All a bit to quick and reactionary. In my eye it kind of went like this

Boom
Crumble
Who?
Them
Bomb the shit out of them
Here is your evidence.
Ta-da!

Likewise when people (especially children) get murdered and like people go “Oh hang on it must have been that dodgy bloke that dresses in black and looks funny! Burn him!!”. Then later on we find out it was actually the kids uncle or cousin that’s done the horrid deed. Its almost as if people forget; in this country (the UK) the general ethos is People are innocent until proven guilty.

Yet it seems the media lead the way in the witch hunt. This is scary. I see really bad things that can come out of this system.

So instead of.

Stab.
Bury.
Search
Point finger
Investigate
Point finger more
Publish in papers
They must be guilty
point finger again
evidence gathering
media black out
Court case
It must have been him the papers said so!

We should have

Stab
Bury
Search
Investigate
Point finger
Shhh don’t talk about it now
Evidence gathering
Court case
Ah it was him/wasn’t him

If you can remember the Jamie Bulger incident where little Jamie got carted off killed horribly by two young shit bags . At the time the media was filled with speculation of Jamie being seen with a older man. As it turned out he wasn’t and in fact he was being towed off by two 10 year olds. I remember the local media was alight with accusations directed a local paedophile and when the truth was found out everyone stopped pointing and moved away.

Even later on lessons were not absorbed. There was a little girl in the south of the UK, think her name was Sarah something, went missing from parents back garden and immediately the press was alive with accusations of this bloke, that bloke, the other bloke and with the frenzy, a witch hunt for paedophiles got under way. Of course this got out of hand when in Southampton a paediatrician had his house and office burnt down because some thick bunch of chavs couldn’t spell. Appeals then went out for calm.

All led on….by the popular press.

So now we have bombings. The IRA? Well they’re nobody now chief, decommissioned. Ah so it must be Al-queda!

Before you start saying “hang on stegzy this German group of Islamic extremists posted something on a website admitting to it. Yes. I know. But there would have been hundreds of other groups also claiming responsibility, Sons of Glendower, Far Right extremists pissed off at the G8, anti capitalists pissed off at the G8, the French pissed off at missing out on the olympics, or Barry Smith of 2a Frog Street, Milton Keynes pissed off at the price of fish in Tesco. We do not know. Basically what I’m saying is it could easily have been a complete loon working out on his own with no religious or financial motive, just pissed off with something.

I think that is more scary than a group of people plotting the downfall of an empire.

My initial reaction to 9/11 was what if these guys, and they could well have been, were American citizens? My initial reaction to the Madrid bombings was, Basque separatists. All led by my distrust of the media, what we are told and how things seem to be heading. But then there is part of me that says “well, yes there may be a bogey man with a beard in Afganistan, who wants me to pray to Allah.”. When the government owns or controls the media, or the media owns or controls the government, you no longer live in a free world. Everything you are told may well have a seasoning of misinformation or a few drops of underlying spin. What’s better than the feeding of incomplete details is the complete lack of coverage on a subject. Like page one might be something like “Charlotte Church in Machete Blood Bath Massacre – “My dress was so ruined I had to get my tits out” says busty Charlotte, 19″ followed by 20 pages of why getting her tits out would aid her defence, a 2 page exclusive of someone that once served her fish and chips, the new “Charlotte Church slice your way to a new you” diet, why red is this years black and some old hack scribbling about the effect of tits on the young today and how all breasts or mammaries should be banned. Yet tucked away on the bottom of page 12 will be a little column “Man finds cure for cancer up his bottom”.

Visual media is not much better. Sophie Raworth and Huw Edwards oozed with concern on Thursday. If their faces had got any sterner they would have bled. Unless its ground breaking and effects people directly it doesn’t get a look in. So like ok my example of “Cancer cure up arse” would probably get a look in. But Turkmenbashi making a deal with Norway on the slaughter of whales in exchange for David Hasslehoff records probably wouldn’t. Yet we all know that if Norway started exporting Hasslehoff records the world would know no peace and war would erupt again in Europe.

So my theory, for what its worth and the record, is a lone bloke with a grudge. My reasoning? Well that’s simple. The risks are high, especially in this climate, for people of the same determination to get together and plot bad things. It is far more easier for a lone person to keep something like that to himself. Thus minimise the risk of the person you are telling running off to tell mummy. Psychopaths work better as either husband and wife, brother and sister or best of all, on their own. He would probably have few friends. Be committed to something, maybe on the verge of obsession, it could be Hornby model railways, LINUX, FreeBSD. He would have had a knowledge of remote controls or electronics. It could be that he was either very depressed or very pissed off about something. But because of his psychological and psychopathic tendencies got carried away or more and more determined to cause harm. He might even have left a note. (“No Milk Today” or “Two Pints please”).

But if I am right and it is a lone man, there will be the need for something to blame. Maybe he played Doom 3 too often, maybe he watched Blown Away or Die Hard: With Avengence one too many times and all this will come to light when the police find out who they are. The press will go wild. Ban computer games, ban violent films, ban single males with psychopathic tendencies. There will be calls for the monitoring of users of LINUX. Physics geeks will be ostracised. Maplin will be sued for supplying capacitors. Remote controls for TV’s will be illegal in case someone uses the insides for making a bomb or something. That’s my speculation on the matter, and most probably 102% pure bollocks with real hair and there are many other possibilities I can see which I won’t go into. Indeed, such an act could well have been committed by a group of nutters hell bent on some misguided cause and the media may well be right. But restraint is in order and speculation should be held too.

For until the police complete their investigations we can never be 100% certain and until then, hopefully you will disregard this entry as me being over thoughtful. So please, no one take offence 😉

Reports

First off, from London, storm1jet2 texted and is ok, and my big high-flyer solicitor friend Tim (whom I see at Christmas) also let me know he is ok. We are still waiting to hear from “Little gay” Chris. But he’s probably in Singapore or Paris making clothes for someone famous. I don’t really want to go into anything about the bombings, mainly because I don’t know anything other than what I hear, see and read. In times like this its best to keep an open mind as to what’s gone on and not speculate or swallow all of the media we are fed.

The chaps in the office have Radio 2 on who are broadcasting bulletins nearly every 5 minutes. Yet little has changed. Nothing new to report, although occasionally someone will speculate on something and then moments later get their speculation disregarded because of something else. I’ll probably be flamed for saying this but there are other things going on in the world, G8 protests etc. yet the bombings seem to have blanketed most of the other news. Big news I suppose. But there’s only so much you can report without repeating yourself incessantly.

In the pub at lunch time they had the TV on Sky news, I heard and saw the same items being read about 4 times in 30 minutes, pictures of the damaged bus and live footage of a street where these guys were pushing these cages up and down the street. Cage pushing being completely newsworthy. Pointless news coverage! Yes I know people are concerned and worried about loved ones and things, I’m not going on about that. I do have compassion (despite what some people may think about me). What I am going on about is the 24 hour media circus constantly braying on about the same bits of news until something happens like an investigator farts or someone spots a box in a doorway and we end up with 2 hours of footage of a box, professors from the University of Bangladesh discussing boxes and parliament footage from right wing back benchers demanding a ban on boxes. The same treatment was given to the 9/11 events, the 12/27 tsunami and the death of the Pope. Endless…tiresome. Almost akin to 1960’s psychological torture. It got so bad that Ifan, the Landlord, flicked over to the cricket.

Another, unrelated, example is BBC breakfast. Yesterday when I turned on Breakfast (at about 7:55) it went like this.

Tail end of local weather
Graphics and music
Cue Dermot Murnanhahnehanmanan
Dermot (wearing a huge fuck off grin) Hello the Olympic committee results will be announced at 12ish today so I’m in Singapore and you’re not! Look at me! I’m in Singapore! Wooo!! Now back to Sian in London
Sian Fuck off Dermot you lucky bastard

Like why send him all that way to Singapore? What the fuck can he do there that he cant do from here other than grin his big “Look at me” grin? Ok at least Natasha Kaplinski (who secretly fancies me honest) in Kenya is curiously interesting for a brief angstroms of a second before she ponces about showing off her tan and talking to a bloke who milks elephants or something. But all Dermot seemed to do, from his studio overlooking the Singaporian skyline, was link to reporters at the venue itself!

A final example, is like when someone gets shot or sent to prison for stealing a cat they sometimes show the outside of their house. Why?! Like knowing where someone lives makes an ounce of difference as to what’s happened. Local BBC news is bad for this and also for using stock footage. Either that or there’s this couple that walk up and down Blackpool Promenade at the same time everyday for the past 5 years and just happen to time their passage passed the camera perfectly!

Why is it that these news corporations feel the need to report on things like this with tiresome repetitiveness? I know just watching a pretty face reading out the news while some background graphic changes is not very interesting. But neither is repeating the same thing over and over again. Really? Is it?? I mean like just think about repeating the same thing over and over again? It gets repetitive repeating things over and over really doesn’t it? I spoke to a professor here at the University of Liverpool who has written many books about repeating.

stegzy – Prof Proff Proph would you like to explain why we need to go into close detail and repeat ourselves time and time again?
Prof Proph – Yes I think I would like to explain in detail why we have the need to go into detail and repeat ourselves. We like to repeat ourselves because we like to know as much detail as we can about things. This is normal and I have in the past gone on about detail and why going into detail is important and crucial to our development of detail and incessant repeating of the same facts over and over again.
stegzy – I’m sorry I have to interrupt you there as we go live to the House of Commons where we have a motion raised by Daley Maylereadr MP for somewhere in Surrey
Cut to House of Commons
MP I suggest to this house that repetitiveness and fine detail should be banned and so should fine detail and repetitiveness. In fact I raise the motion that fine detail and repetitiveness should be made illegal as it only assists the rise in terrorism and repetitiveness. And should have an ID card too!

Anyway, I’ll shut up about it now.

If you know someone injured, missing or killed then you have my sympathy and thoughts. I don’t want to go on and on like BBC News 24. I’m going to have a news break for a couple of days I think.