Many people are retweeting and liking the Frankie Boyle piece on causing offence and free speech (and it is worth reading), basically arguing that we should just get over ourselves and have our own ideas rather than being spoon-fed by the entrenched media interests. If Peter Oborne’s resignation from the Telegraph tells us anything that we didn’t know about journalism and the mainstream news media, it’s that any news source should be read with the thought “why are they telling me this now?” rather than “oh, how terrible about “.
Meanwhile, I’ve finally got around to reading this article about why we’ve pretty much just stalled on technology, innovation, even politics, when compared to the 25 years after WW2. The author here is suggesting that we’re just coasting on minor incremental improvements, rather than generating genuine disruptions to the status quo.
It seems to me that the two perspectives are just two sides of the same coin – that we’ve got to a point that we’re just navel gazing and skipping from one release of a gizmo to the next, trying to find things to be angry about apart from the major issues that we just ignore because our minds can’t deal with them. “Go back to bed America, here’s 56 channels of American Gladiators.” – Bill Hicks.
We should be able to solve cancer, climate change, transport, power consumption, but we’re too busy playing candy crush and trying to be nice to everyone.
Or as Douglas Adams, still very much the sage of our age, put it, “Orbiting [the Sun] at a distance of roughly ninety-two million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”
That some of the best commentary about global affairs in 2015 can be summarised by rehashing comedy routines from writers who’ve been dead for decades is not ironic in the slightest.
Maybe we do just need another good global conflict to kickstart some real conversations and progress and, thanks to the party boys in the Kremlin, we might just be on our way.