Friday, 8 July 2011

Converging Lines

Friday night. I've seen to the dogs already, but feeling far more like "tea for one" than "steppin' out". I dislike taking care of the dogs at night (because they bark far too much at strangers who, symptomatic of Chinese culture more generally, tend to have no affection or understanding for dogs or animals in general) - but it's a necessary chore. I don't like to punish the dogs on the one hand, and on the other hand, I don't like having to stand up to the locals - but there's nothing for it, that's just what has to be done sometimes. I can't stand the sight of anyone chasing the dogs, even if they were barking for no good reason (territory and perhaps curiosity): it just flips my lid. It happens every month or so: in response to a mere bark, somebody will pick up a stick or a rock and start to run after them. Until they run into me.

The front page story of the Taipei Times this morning was purportedly about some daft Taiwanese kids wearing Nazi uniforms on arrival at a military training school. Yet what the story vividly illustrated was the strength of the politicized "offense" reflex, in this instance of the Israeli office in Taiwan. The opening whiplash is at once emblematic of the remainder of the article and of a tiring outrage clinging to the tattered ethical imposter of politically sanctioned offense:
"The Israeli representative to Taiwan yesterday said her office would like to work with the Taiwanese government on education programs about the Holocaust, following the release by a military news agency of a photo featuring three students wearing Nazi army uniforms."
Wearing Nazi uniforms for a laugh does not equate to condoning the Holocaust, nor does it necessarily imply ignorance of the Holocaust. Is it likely that kids in Taiwan don't really learn much about National Socialism and the Holocaust*? Perhaps, but this question cannot be answered by sheer force of presumption. Had the whip of politically sanctioned offense been passed around willy nilly like this when I was a kid, then comedy like Allo Allo** might never have been made. None of that, however, is especially important. What is important is the strength and growing reach of that PC reflex to forbid that which may be said to provoke "offense". The perceived protection of this reflex is precisely what Simona Halperin (the Israeli rep) is persuant of - with a sense of expectation and entitlement at the expense of other people's freedom which is nothing short of disgraceful. She may or may not be aware of this, but Halperin's attempt to muffle her shrieking in dignity code words was a technique originally developed by those famous friends of Israel, the "Cultural Marxists".

Leviathan thus strengthens another of its' reflexes.

Converging on the same point, the big story in the UK this week has to be the shutting down of "The News of the World". Andrew Gilligan, he whose name will forever be associated with that of David Kelly, is alive to the angles from which the Left approach this "tipping point". He refracts the light by setting a quotation from Alistair Campbell alongside one from Ed Millipede:
"The public inquiry announced this week must, said Campbell, look into "all newspapers", leading to "a new and different culture and a new and different regulatory system". The Labour leader, Ed Milband, said last night that the News of the World's closure "doesn't solve the real issues".

You see what's happening? Two separate grievances and two separate targets – one totally justified, the other largely not – are being joined together."
Basic politicizer precept: let no "crisis" go to waste. I don't hold any particular affection for "The News of the World", but the news of its closing down surely signifies the "circling" of the enemies of a free press, as Gilligan puts it. Those new regulations Campbell speaks of in that quotation will not, I think, proscribe the methods of investigative journalism, but rather the subjects in pursuit of which they are applied: "robust" investigative journalism will remain admissable provided it is pursuant to those interests not sufficiently tributary to political power.

Increasingly, survival will come to depend either upon the extent to which you and your interests are plugged into the political power socket of Leviathan, or upon the extent to which you can manage to route around this.

This would not happen in a society which was properly Liberal.

*As to "Holocaust studies", that is properly the function of parents in possession of things called "books" or documentary films such as Shoah.

**(Star line at 1.40 onwards: "You must give to this vicked girl a pennance."
"I see. Go home - and say von hundred Heil Hitlers!")

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