There were a couple half decent articles in The Sun the other week. It happens every couple of years. The first one, by a Jane Moore, was entitled, 'What does JT say about Britain?' 3/2/10 It starts out with an attention grabbing paragraph: Alicia Douvall is the psychologically damaged cosmetic addict who ricochets from one shallow sexual liaison to another.

Unsurprisingly, one of her willing participants was the England captain John Terry, who she claims had sex with her in a nightclub toilet while his then girlfriend Toni was pregnant. What a classy fellow. I suppose the key words in that opening paragraph are, 'psychologically damaged', and that, along with the word, 'shallow' sums up the theme of the rest of the piece. Our obsession with all things shallow, an obsession carefully nurtured by the Sun and its fellow tabloids over the past few decades, has led so many of us, not only to the brink of being 'psychologically damaged', but to inhabit a parallel universe, aided and abetted by the new online media, where we can no longer determine what is real and what is celebrity fantasy. At the very heart of this parallel universe is global sport, which has out manoeuvred fashion, music and Hollywood as the number one preoccupation.

 

In this parallel, fantasy universe, we have become inoculated, immune and desensitised to the real nature of our world, not only its injustices, its horrors and its brutalities, but also its great pleasures. So instead of being fully focused on the immorality of war, we zoom in instead on the perceived immorality of John Terry and Tiger Woods et al. Instead of being fully focused on the immorality of our government being fully complicit in the murder of some half million Iraqis all in the pursuit of future oil supplies in the region, we busy ourselves with the pseudo morality issue of John Terry and Tiger Woods. Admittedly the sheer hypocrisy of these two sporting celebrities, both of whom have secured outrageously lucrative sponsorship deals based on the myth of their wholesome family life, does make for some small comment. But the mountain of journalism in both tabloid and so called quality broadsheets is totally out of proportion to the real issue of the day, the illegality of the Iraq war, not to mention the sleaze and corruption surrounding the British armaments industry. 

 

It's easy to roll off figures. Two million Koreans killed in the Korean war. Three million Vietnamese slaughtered in the Vietnam war. Half a million Iraqis murdered as a result of the latest Iraq war. But what lies behind these figures? What do these monumental statistics really tell us about the destroyed families; the orphaned children, the widowed wives; the men, women and children hideous maimed. And what of the psychological scars of war, scars that will likely never heal.

 

Our governments preach democracy and the sanctity of the family but their wars, fought in our name, with our tax revenues, cause indescribable human suffering. And hiding behind religious platitudes of good and evil, at the behest of the military industrial complex, the killing goes on. That ought to be the scandal continuously on the front pages of our papers but instead we are fed a diet of celebrity gossip and a highly sexualised culture which tries to reduces all intimacy between humans to that of a quick shag in the toilets of some seedy nightclub. And when our ridiculously overpaid sports stars are caught out, the media, with a few noble exceptions, go into a frenzy of moral outrage.

 

The crime of war, the crime of people trafficking and the crime of global poverty are camouflaged with the crime of celebrity adultery. But what is adultery anyway? Nothing but a religious construct that seeks to lock humans into guilt ridden relationships. By now we should have outgrown church dictates and be able to negotiate our own trusting partnerships with our spouses or partners. The State and Church should have no business in meddling in the affairs of consenting adults. If trust breaks down within a relationship it is the business only of those immediately concerned. It has no place in the public arena; not the State, not the Church, not the media. As far as I understand, neither Terry nor Woods committed a crime, forced themselves on women that were not willing, nor forced their attentions upon juniors.

Tacky and seedy perhaps. Hypocritical for sure. But that is the culture that we are surrounded by, a culture that The Sun and the rest of the tabloid media drip feed us day in day out.

 

So when Jane Moore rhetorically asks what this says about Britain, the answer is clear enough. Sex has become a commodity, the sale of which makes a handsome profit for a handful of amoral businessmen, two of which incidentally have just bought West Ham United and another who owns The Sun, The News of the World and Sky TV. That is the nature of Britain today. Sport, entertainment, people; everything reduced to a commodity, to be bought and sold for a tawdry profit. John Terry did not create that Britain, he merely reflects some of the worst aspects of it.

 

Oh, I nearly forgot; that other half decent article in The Sun this week. It was Ken Livingstone's column, (5/2/10) pointing out the hypocrisy of being morally outraged by JT while ignoring the real moral outrage of Blair and Bush's illegal war for oil. Keep up the good work Ken! You can help act as a bridge between our two parallel universes.

 

End JPK 7/2/10

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Last Updated ( Monday, 28 May 2018 16:08 )