Thursday, February 22, 2007

That's Aarotainment

In between maintaining the "World of Decency", Aaronovitch Watch occasionally likes to watch David Aaronovitch. Yes, odd hobby eh?

Anyway, this week on scaremongering newspapers. Reasonably good stuff, but in the words of Kingsley Amis, one yearns to say "come off it", get off your high horse. It is not as if Aaro is above all this stuff himself, including specifically talking up the dangerousness of the King's Cross area of London and taking old dears at their word when they claim to be scared to go out of the house. Or has the new optimistic Aaro (which does seem to have been a theme of the last few weeks) begun to move away from the Asbo?

It's more John Lloyd "What the media are doing to our politics" stuff - although Aaro actually has a reasonable claim to priority on that thesis, via the Weekend World connection. But it ain't so! For every "media panic", I'll give you half a dozen "government panics". New Labour uses the moral panic as an essential tool of government, am I right or am I right?

Time for another rule of thumb; if you find yourself quoting "Theodore Dalrymple" as a factual source, you're almost certainly talking crap. The man is a limitless fountain of incredibly politically convenient anecdotes (he lost credibility with me when he claimed it was possible to buy good quality vegetables at the ethnic groceries in Dalston). And in any case, it is not as if the idea of watching one's own funeral as if a ghost was invented by Fifty Cent in 2006; it's one of the most common dreams that there is.

Can't help thinking that this is projection. Our media creating the fear of disastrous violence from unnamed others, while all the time glorying in actual violence with a sufficiently attractive brand name? Yes, they did that, didn't they Dave.

Update: note the little Pritikin Institute bit, one for the spotters there.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dalrymple lost all credibility with me as a source when he wrote that the Blackpool seafront was "strewn with empty cannabis bags."

2/22/2007 07:16:00 PM  

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