This is our truth, tell us yours
I despair of the commentariat, and of the chatterati below the line.
This comment piece about this week’s train disaster in Spain would shame the most inept of bloggers. Out of a genuine tragedy the author desperately tries to weave a metaphor that reflects his own obsessions and concerns.
My problem with the metaphor is quite simple. There is nothing unique about the accident in Spain that makes it suitable for use as a metaphor for specifically Spanish concerns. If you don’t believe me, go away and google ‘Morpeth curve’.
Simply put, the commentariat is all too willing to shoehorn an entirely comprehensible event that is universal (build a curve as tight as the Morpeth curve, on a high speed line, and you’ll have accidents) into specific national events as if it has some deeper meaning.
The second article that made me despair is the below the line commentary on this article about Jack Monroe. Now, let’s put my cards on the table. I know nothing about Jack Monroe except what I have read in the Grauniad but she passes several of the tests I have for being a sexy woman. She likes food, she has principles and she is, by all accounts literate and intelligent. If she were also a beautiful, submissive socialist christian she’d be almost the equal of my co-author on here….
However, that aside, if you read the comments below the line you’ll find every flavour of political temperament being paraded, using the reality of Jack Monroe’s life and experiences as an excuse to argue a point of view.
Until I sat down to write this blog, I couldn’t work out quite why I found the comments below the line of the Jack Monroe article quite so infuriating. Now I can.
Whenever I read about what other people think of sex workers, I see the same phenomenon. No matter what the story, no matter what the facts, individuals will parade their prejudices, their obsession with fitting the facts to their preconceptions.
As I say, sometimes, I despair.
But I will still blog, in an effort to argue that we should do more than merely frame every news item in the prism of our own preconceptions.