The horrific events in Woolwich yesterday are shocking enough but I can’t help but worry about about the front pages of the British media and their choice of images. I have to say that I’ve found the Guardian’s front page the most worrying in that the picture and quote could easily be used as a rallying cry for other radicalised extremists. It would be hypocritical of me to reproduce it here.
To be clear I am not saying don’t show such pictures or shield people from real life events but I find it irresponsible to plaster a front page with a blood soaked extremist brandishing a meat cleaver whilst quoting his own words that indicate that anybody else may be next.
Front pages are on public display in places where people of all ages including the very young and impressionable can see them. Let alone available in the family home.Is it responsible that the very young should see gratuitous images of violence or even implied violence in the name of circulation wars?
I’m not saying censor these images but newspaper front pages are on public display to all who should happen to glance at a news stand. The Daily Express out of all the papers may have been the most responsible front page layout by reporting the story, only showing a small picture that shows an air ambulance arriving on the front page and keeping the gratuitous images for inside the paper itself.
It’s much the same in tragic cases of serial murders. The media give killers the very publicity they crave and it often fans the flames and appears to sometimes encourage copycat events. I’m not saying under report it. I’m not saying don’t ask the questions that need to be asked but don’t unwittingly become an extension of the very terrorism and violence you (the media) report on and end up a recruiting agent for others who may be on the verge of undertaking or thinking or undertaking the similar acts of violence.
Of course the media will say they have to compete for readers and they’re giving the public what they want. We shouldn’t always get what we want. It may not be good for us in the long run.
Others, of course may disagree.
Just read about a phone camera app that takes multiple shots in quick succession and then uses face recognition software to create a single picture that makes sure that everyone is smiling. Useful or wandering into Stepford wives territory?
Great for group wedding shots I’m sure but we’re probably not far off phones and cameras with enough processing power and inbuilt software to make sure everyone is smiling, clutter and obstacles are digitally airbrushed out, grass is always green and skies are especially cloudless and blue.
From Kodak moments to prozac moments?
Image by seanbjack under this creative commons licence
Eric & Ernie’s comedy script writer for much of the classic BBC 70′s period has sadly passed away. I remember him being interviewed about the pressure of writing during that period when the Xmas show was almost deemed to be the highlight of the season itself in Britain and how that intense demand pushed him over the edge mentally at one point. A very talented comedy writer who helped make so many of us laugh.
One of his last TV interviews is worth a watch here.
(In case you are unaware of the context of this I suggest this background piece.
Image by annrkiszt under this creative commons licence
Legislation to legalise gay marriage returns to the commons today (UK) which will inevitably put a spotlight on any MP who opposes it. I include abstainers in the no vote as in this case it’s a pretty clear cut yes or no proposal.
On Friday the Church Of England issued a statement that in the event of gay marriage becoming law the prospect of abolishing the current civil partnership arrangements or extending them to opposite sex couples would cause ‘confusion’.
Maybe those who say gay marriage will dilute the meaning of heterosexual marriage and what it means are somehow fighting to save the benefits of heterosexual privilege. It’s a status thing isn’t it? And it’s change. People hate change. And some people really get off on enforcing a hierarchy,still if only in their minds.
My marriage is better or more ideal than your marriage, they will continue to say. Same old, same old.That we’re still hung up on marriage as the top of the relationship tree and don’t recognise long term partnerships in common law is lamentable enough. Laws don’t always change attitudes. Sometimes attitudes prompt legislation and other times the road is long and equality takes longer to achieve in practice.
Look at the equal pay act of 1970. That was meant to pay women the same as men for performing the same job. We’re still fighting that one despite the legislation of equality.
To the opposer’s of legalising gay marriage I refer them the recent debate in the New Zealand parliament and the comments of Maurice Williamson who attempted to address their concerns.
In an attempt to bring a veil of unreality to the days I’m immersing myself in this.