I have frequent cause to reflect upon and quote Albert Maysles’ maxim “Tyranny is the deliberate removal of nuance.” It seems at first a meek kind of tyranny; one scarce imagines that in Poland under the Nazis, people huddled together in ghettos, bemoaning the removal of nuance. Genocide, starvation and warmongering must surely have been more pressing manifestations of tyranny. It is worth considering though that the sanding down of inconvenient facets of an argument allows a prejudicial version of reality to dominate. In its most extreme form this mechanic facilitates tyranny, more extreme in nature. (via Why I Oppose Anti-Semitism | Russell Brand)
- Removing the nuance of the civil rights struggle, slavery, the shooting of Trayvon Martin and failure to convict his killer, the social unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, following the killing of teenager Michael Brown can be condemned as unacceptable violence. With those details brought rightly to the fore the unrest is totally reasonable.
- Media is of course where this form of tyranny is most obvious. When the Daily Mailpresent a story on benefit fraud or the consequences of “spiraling” immigration no nuance that interrupts the tide of their righteous rage is allowed to survive, no mitigation, or broader context, all that remains is a salient nub, pulsating with poisonous data.
- Me and my mate Gareth set up the trews in order to address this phenomenon. Not as pioneering crusaders for truth and justice, just because it’s easy to do and a laugh. Fox News quickly emerged as a reliable source of content to criticize because of the vehement delight they seem to take in galling contrarianism. Bill O’Reilly for example is so consistently outraged by the disadvantaged in society that in the end it’s hard to see him as human, more a kind of permutation of an incessantly inflamed hemorrhoid. Like his head and whole identity is secondary to a constant discomfort at the seat of his being. A hollering parasite of his own punctured anus.
- A previous video we made concerned Fox News’ shop-dummy-polemicist Sean Hannity. In the clip we analysed, Hannity refused to let his guest, there to represent a Palestinian perspective on events in Gaza, speak, instead jabbing his index finger and belching damnation like he dined only on curried hatred. Fulfilling our self-imposed brief to provide true news we offered up some of the facts about the conflict that had been censored according to Fox’s tyrannical stance.
- Like anyone who has spent any time reflecting on this complex issue I naturally wanted to make positive suggestions for positive action. The petition against European businesses provides exactly that opportunity. This is clearly distinct from a boycott against Israel, which means abstaining from buying goods from Israel.
- I don’t see Israeli military action in Gaza as a religious issue. For me it seems to be the action of an extreme right wing government that has strong economic ties to right wing organisations in the US. These affiliations are economic, not theological and are defined here with typical expertise by Noam Chomsky.
- It is the exclusion of the sane majority that allows extremists to prosper. The insanity across the Middle East is so deeply terrifying and giddyingly futile that most people, despondent and bilious want to look away. We know the US can’t be trusted. We know the UN are inactive. We know something has to be done to stop the violence in Gaza and the new medieval horror of ISIS but who can we trust? Our own governments, about who we know nothing for certain except they lie and pursue their own ends, sexing up and dumbing down, arming then attacking, fair-weather friends but perennial weapons suppliers?
- "The best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity" wrote WB Yeats
That last bit reminds me of a quote generally attributed to Bertrand Russell :)