Monday, February 18, 2008

Oh, you Poor Lamb

16 Comments:

Anonymous Seyfried said...

"But there is no way - whatever he writes next week, it would be pilloried. It's a no-win situation. He has seen some of the blog. He has said to me that he doesn't like the media world now. He doesn't want to go into it any more.'"

Lol.

Nice cap. If..., right?

11:50 pm  
OpenID Voyou said...

That's such a wierdly badly written article; it never actually says (although as far as I can see it must be the case) that Max Gogarty is Paul Gogarty's son. Presumably because, if the author were to actually admit that in print, it would be difficult to maintain that the "tsunami of hate" wasn't kind of justified.

1:06 am  
Blogger dave said...

When I watch If...'s closing scene, I always think: you bloody fool, you're just killing the benefactors of the system and expressing your rage, but what are you actually doing about it? What good does it do, attacking the ruling class in their cribs before they've even taken the reigns? The schoolmasters and elder boys are one thing, but what of the rest of them? And how does that change anything?

which is to say: I'd really like to know what's meant by "kind of" and "justified." So the lad is just collateral damage then?

Shouldn't we distinguish between real (systemic) enemies and the petit-bourgeois (at best) knowledge workers of the future?

5:00 am  
Anonymous Neil said...

Dave, I get your underlying point about the intense focus of cruelty and anger on the lad.

But take a look at this -- http://www.paulgogartycommunications.co.uk/media_contact.aspx

It's the boy's father's website.

Precisely how do you distinguish between systemic enemies and mere "knowledge workers of the future" in an market-driven and marketing-led economy? In these terms, should we be trying to distinguish between good and bad systemic entities?

Neil
feastofpalmer.com

10:17 am  
Anonymous Neil said...

I neglected to include this gem from the gogarty site:

"with our unbeatable contacts, we're uniquely positioned to find the most productive outlets for our creative story lines."

10:30 am  
Blogger owen hatherley said...

Dave, I know full well it doesn't change anything. But let's have some Schadenfreude, eh, it's not often we get the chance.

1:24 pm  
Anonymous sam said...

it seems to me that the ugliest, most manipulative aspect of all this is how these reports on the event so shamelessly use the lad as a pawn: they redirect all the hate towards him for being this cliched character, when a lot of it was actually directed at the guardian and its editorial team for such a poor decision in terms of the blog's premise and its author.

6:28 pm  
Blogger dave said...

Neil, you make a good point about distinguishing between entities, but I'm not sure that even a provider like PGC is quite "systemic" enough for me to find them a worthwhile target. And Sam, I think you're right to point out the manipulation inherent in the attention given the victim while ignoring more legitimate criticism. The father's words do sound like I'm being scolded for picking on his boy in a way that makes me almost doubt their veracity, or at least that he's presenting the whole story.

As for Schadenfreude, it strikes me as a counterrevolutionary distraction from the real work, a vent for resentment when what's needed is more steam.

7:55 pm  
Blogger dave said...

Schadenfreude is a replacement opiate for the people, really; rather than the belief that their lives will get better in the afterlife, instead we offer that the lives of the well-off will eventually be worse.

7:55 pm  
Blogger owen hatherley said...

it seems to me that the ugliest, most manipulative aspect of all this is how these reports on the event so shamelessly use the lad as a pawn: they redirect all the hate towards him for being this cliched character, when a lot of it was actually directed at the guardian and its editorial team for such a poor decision in terms of the blog's premise and its author.

That sounds about right. I'm sure he's a decent, dim little gap year scrote, and doesn't deserve to be hounded for the idiocies of editors. But! c'mon Dave, tell me that one shouldn't take just a little pleasure when something like this gets pulled? Is that really counterrevolutionary? Can't we enjoy their misfortunes *and* organise their structural downfall?

8:27 pm  
Blogger dave said...

Owen,
I'll concede the "counterrevolutionary" claim only for those of us already organizing their structural downfall. Feel free to enjoy it, as you will; it's just not my style.

But for society as whole, it does seem that schadenfreude is an outlet for the very forces of resentment that might be put to productive revolutionary use. I'd venture that those revolutionary impulses are in short supply because we've been sold - willingly - the very tools of our own neutering. "Stars: Just Like Us!" seems to cover all the striving-towards-the-comeuppance-of-our-"betters" emotional territory that used to be reserved for peasant revolts or workers seizing factories from their bosses.

9:05 pm  
Anonymous Venomist said...

"You may like or dislike the blog, but the cruelty is shocking, if quintessentially British."

There are occasions where I do feel rather patriotic...

3:45 am  
Anonymous Ben said...

Nice to know that being 'bright, 19, and middle class' has finally made it to the statute books as a crime - this suggests a new kind of ASBO not directed at the (supposedly) 'thick, teenage, and working class'.

12:23 pm  
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8:53 pm  

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