Dear World Events: please stop being so depressing. I’m a blog looking at the way news is presented. Y’know: light hearted. My first one of these was about a spider crab. I did one about a story on an NHS boss dressing up as Superman. I never wanted these blogs to be simple political opinion diatribe but given the papers keep making it look like we’re heading into another war, I don’t really feel like I can rag on tiny stories about Taylor Swift or a puppy fell down a well at the moment. Tiny news stories at the moment do feel insignificant for good reason. Some stuff needs to be talked about and a lot of it is very depressing. Yes: we’re talking about press coverage of the Syrian Crisis. I know I’m not the most most professional person to comment on this particularly tough situation of humanitarian intervention, but given the tone the press is taking, I feel it only right to offer my two cents.
Suggestion: how’s about every single article on this topic from here on out be renamed with the following headline:
And then upon the next article it to read:
And then all articles on the subject after that to be titled:
Yeah this is my new brand of “depressing comedy” that I’m thinking about patenting. Since war humour kinda got old in the last decade over Iraq and Afghanistan, satirists are going to have to branch out with this new one that’s brewing. We’ve got North Korea, Syria, hell we’re not even out of Afghanistan yet and the struggle to laugh in the face of adversity has really taken its toll and its getting harder to remain fresh. We’re going to have to find new ways of managing to make fun of the world while this shit goes down. And also a way of justifying it so we can sleep at night without hating ourselves too much. Yes I know David Cameron’s great big “hey everybody! let’s bomb Syria! …what? at least try peace talks before blowing the shit out of people, fuck that?” got shot down in the House of Commons (funniest moment of political history) buuut if you think that’s gonna stop him you’re deluding yourself. Doesn’t matter what he’s said, politicians win elections in wartime and he’s got one coming up.
I don’t want to be too depressing when I take a swipe at world events and how it’s covered in the press but given recent events I find it hard to muster up the enthusiasm for it since…well a lot of people have died and I’d feel like a prick.
This stems back from when I studied politics at A-level. The first year of it covered local politics: Britain’s electoral system, the history of it and how it works, it was relatively harmless. Then in the second year we weighed into international politics. We were introduced to this heavy subject by being shown the movie “Hotel Rwanda” a double bill with “The Princess Diaries” to make sure we didn’t feel too suicidal afterwards. And rest assured all sharp objects were confiscated and kept out of reach throughout the duration….and Hotel Rwanda is one of the nicer movies about horrifying international politics related incidents. Just watch that movie and tell yourself “this is the one that’s rated 12A”.
One thing that’s interesting about what I keep reading about the allied forces response to Syrian chemical weapons attacks on civilians: the use of the phrase “military strikes”. This may seem completely normal if you’re taking what the papers say at face value but the words “strike” and “bombing” have frequently accompanied the words “humanitarian intervention” and “moral” in the last three decades worth of Middle Eastern conflicts rather innocuously and it baffles me why that doesn’t seem weird to other people. Yes I know they’ve gone to the UN for a resolution but it doesn’t matter, UN resolution doesn’t make it happy air strike that explodes in a shower of cuddles, chocolate and bunnyrabbits, death is death. This is the mentality we’re looking at: bombing is the most moral form of humanitarian intervention.
I’m not one of those trouser wearing hippies that say everyone should just hug each other and say “hooray the conflict’s over” without the fighting. If someone’s using chemical weapons you saying “why don’t you just jolly well stop it?” isn’t really an effective deterrent. You try it yes, that should be your first port of call which is what’s provoked the outrage, buuuut well that’s why things escalate to bombing. So why am I moaning? Why is it so depressing? Well because if this crisis over Syria is any indication its that we still haven’t found a solution to humanitarian intervention that doesn’t involve a lot of innocent people getting blown to pieces. I know that yes their government is responsible for other innocent people getting blown to pieces but the question of whether the means justify the ends isn’t exactly an open and shut case and the fact this is presented to us as an open and shut case in the media and people swallow it just makes me ashamed to be a member of this fucked up species.
No: I don’t have any alternatives to whatever the piss David Cameron and Barack Obama are cooking up. The problem I have with it is the media tactic employed weighing firmly on one side of the argument that no one has an answer to, no one is right on whether military strikes in Syria are a good idea….yet here we are and we’re talking about it like its a good idea because no one can think of anything else to do.
It was the same when Blair was around. The reason it was okay to demonise Blair is because his approach to international politics was surround storming into Middle Eastern conflicts all guns blazing and people getting fucking killed with the words “humanitarian intervention” and calling himself moral, his trying to pass off what is basically just straight up murder as having a high ground. Yeah you may have stopped death but you caused death to get there, whether you’re in a tight spot and have no alternative or not stop trying to talk your way round it and make out you’re doing something saintly, people are going to die because of you. Whether you have a choice or not that makes you guilty whatever the outcome, there’s no defence for that, drop the smugness. That’s why you should’ve hated Blair and Bush back then and that’s why you should be dubious of whatever Cameron and Obama come out with now about yet another example of fucked up Middle Eastern politics getting more fucked up because the Western forces think they could fuck it up slightly less than if they left it alone. Yes, chemical attacks on civilians by a government, something should be done. But look at civilian deaths caused during the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and then try calling any form of war justified. Yeah we can only speculate on what might have happened otherwise but at the same time drop the moral pretences and stay firmly off that high horse because blood on your hands should never be something to be proud of.
If we have to be depressed at what political leaders want to be seen done to end some bloody strife in the Middle East, don’t use flowery words to distract from a lot of innocent people that will probably get killed in the process, this is a serious issue where not everything’s black or white and if this Metro article or anything else I’ve read over the last couple of days on the Syrian crisis says anything: spin will claim it’s all white.
Fuck this species.
COMING THIS MONDAY: a silly video review of some movie about talking animals.