When a friend asked me why I’ll read the Murdoch media if it’s left out on a bench when I know that it’s just full of illogical propaganda and hate-filled nonsense, I replied that I thought it good to hear what other people had to say even if I disagreed with them otherwise we’d simply be living in an echo chamber and nobody would ever change anyone’s mind.
“That’s ridiculous,” he replied.
“Why?” I asked. At which point he shouted that he didn’t have to explain himself to me and promptly blocked me on social media.
Ok, that’s not entirely true. I mean it didn’t actually happen to me but I’m sure that there’s someone out there who’s thinking that I must have been listening in to the argument they had with somebody they know.
I think it’s important to listen to all people for the simple reason that, unless somebody actually disagrees with them, they’ll go on thinking that everyone agrees with them… Apart from those idiots who should be shipped off to wherever it is that the people disagreeing with them should go.
At this point, I should add that there are people on both the left and the right are guilty of not considering the simple idea that they’ll be wrong about some things at some point in their lives. I know I’ve been wrong on at least two occasions but that’s a whole other story.
Anyway, I’ve heard people on the left proclaim that I shouldn’t accept something because I read it the mainstream news, and while that’s true, I also believe that it’s foolish to reject everything that I read in the mainstream news. It’s possible to pick up information that’s factual true even when it’s presented through the medium of a biased media. I can accept, for example, that the moon landing happened and still not see it as a triumph of capitalism, particularly when it was a government program. It’s also possible to believe that Scott Morrison actually made an announcement about providing funding to something without accepting the media narrative that this is the same as actually providing the money.
And so this idea that somehow the political correctness of the past few years has invented “cancel culture” and thanks to some humourless lefties, people are liable to have their lives ruined over the odd casual remark. Of course this completely overlooks how often the conservative forces have enacted their own form of cancel culture. They don’t need to boycott advertisers to get people taken off the air or removed from their jobs. Think Scott McIntyre who was sacked over his ANZAC tweets or Yassmin Abdel-Magied. Recall the furore over Annaliese van Diemen, Victoria’s Deputy Health Officer, comments comparing Captain Cook to Coronavirus which some on the right didn’t like because they didn’t think that Cook did that much harm, while others didn’t like it because it suggested that like Covid-19, the man was largely a myth created by people with a vested interest.
Whatever, we’ve had censorship for a long time and, while some may argue that they’re sovereign citizens and they have a right to do whatever they like including walk onto private property and tell people that they have no right to impose any conditions, it’s generally agreed that some things are just too offensive to be in the public arena. The only real debate is what these things actually are. Once upon a time a woman in a bikini would have been arrested for public indecency, but now we not only allow that, but there are even photos of Tony Abbott in speedos published in the newspaper where they made lead to nightmares in impressionable children… And while standards in this area have changed, we can all agree that a photo of Clive Palmer in budgie smugglers is argument for the return of the death penalty…
So, when Johannes (son of Bill) Leak has his offensive cartoon published in “The Australian” what should one do? I mean, it’s tempting to ignore it because he’s obviously trying to emulate his father and drum up a bit of publicity, and it’s hard to do that when you lack the talent to make perceptive observations with your cartoons so you have to resort to racism in the hope that you’ll actually attract the sort of outrage that will actually alert people to the fact that you are not your father even though you basically copying his style because you never developed one of your own.
Yes, it’s tempting to just ignore it because you feel that outrage must be what he’s after because nobody could be stupid enough to think that it’s acceptable. Still something about the standard you walk past is the standard you accept.
And, like I said before, unless someone disagrees, people might actually think that nobody thinks what they’re saying is wrong.
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