Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Righteous Indignation and Moral Outrage!

In recent weeks I've been trying to trace back to the time we lost our collective sense of proportion. It coincided with a complete loss of dignity or, as it used to be called, 'the English stiff upper lip'. It's hard to pin down precisely but there have been numerous landmark occasions.

The death of Princess Diana is one of the bigger landmarks, especially the national outbreak of emotional incontinence that followed it. Of course head mourner was that greatest fraud of all time Mr Tony Blair. The sight of all that blubbing and flower laying like an outbreak of some dreadful national psychosis left those of us with a sense of proportion feeling like foreigners in our own country for weeks.

"Oh God how I loved that gerbil"!
I'm not sure when turning of the site of deaths, be they accidents or murder, into shrines became fashionable but that's another sign of our loss of dignity. Whether it was before or after Diana I'm unsure, but didn't we used to lay flowers on the graves of loved ones? I suppose cemeteries just aren't public enough for the public show of grief and loss needed to show how much we really deeply care for departed loved ones today. Personally I wouldn't want to mark with flowers the terrible place where a loved one had died but I'm obviously not 'caring' enough.

On a personal note I remember going on a training course about ten years ago. The trainer was one of these 'touchy feely' types. You could tell she truly 'cared' because if we covered a slightly sensitive area her voice became all soppy and her head leaned towards her right shoulder. To 'break the ice' she asked us to inform the group when the last time we had cried had been. Of course, as long as none of us found it too traumatic. I didn't find it traumatic, just totally stupid and irrelevant to training about volunteer recruitment. I think she realised I wasn't taking it seriously when my turn came and I informed her that I couldn't remember the last time I had cried but I had filled up on May 26 1999. When she asked me what had happened on that date I informed her I had been in the Nou Camp in Barcelona when United beat Bayern Munich to win the European Cup. She said nothing for fear of being seen as judgmental.

Racism, or the perception of racism is a trigger for outbreaks of righteous indignation. Any comment that could be somehow construed as 'racist' is jumped on and there is a queue of morally outraged indignants desperate to out-outrage each other. The latest victim is a non-league footballer who has caused a huge outburst of righteous indignation from the emotionally incontinent with the following tweet:

“Respect to all the heroes 11/11/11 now to all the illegal *****, **** off out of are country all call of duty could become a reality – kill um.”
The report in the Worcester News is telling, especially the comments section. There is a queue of the morally outraged and indignant attacking this evil racist. Now forgive me but whichever way you look at that statement it is not racist. But racism is the new witchcraft. Duck him in a pool, if he doesn't drown he's racist, if he drowns he isn't. Have you ever talked about stringing 'em up? I had some banter on here yesterday when we talked about stringing up MPs from lamposts. Are we to be hunted down for incitement to murder? Indeed, it's interesting that the moral outrage is not that the player advocated murder, no, far worse than advocating killing innocent people, call him a racist!

By way of explanation 'Call of Duty' is some kind of violent video game.

1 comment:

Richard Collins said...

I think we lost our sense of moral outrage after the Lady Chatterley's Lover trial in the early sixties.
Pandora's Box had been opened.