So…. how do we improve society?
How can we change the way offensive trash is thrust at us and how can we force change?
How can we make people pay their fair share?
How do we force respect and make people better – regardless of what they want?
Watching BBC news this morning, I got bored of the weather story. Has it rained more in 2012 that any other year? Why is it raining? blah blah blah.
So, in an act of pure mentalness, I changed to Sky news.
Fox news is ridiculed in popular American culture as sensationalist right wing nonsense.
Is Sky news the same?
While the BBC were trying to bore me back to sleep with tales of underground water storage tanks, Sky were practically shouting about obese people having their benefits cut. LAZY SCROUNGERS were now FAT LAZY SCROUNGERS!!
Sky then did a news round up showing the popular news papers of the day. Three of the “red tops” had a semi clad woman bulging out of their cleavage. One had a caption like “See me bursting out of my bra on page 3” – or summat.
I’m middle aged and find this offensive. If I want to have bulging ladies falling out of their undergarments, I will buy a copy of Razzle wrapped in the Daily Telegraph and guiltily “be unclean” in the privacy of the nearest public conveniences and then discard the guilt enriched filth in the nearest hedge (as had been done throughout time since parchment first could be used for the image of lady bumps).
The point that my wife then made, (as if reading my mind), was asked “How do we stop this?”.
I look at her.
She continues: “Free speech is to be respected and even fought for, but at what point do we all say ‘enough’ and get oiled up ladies off the front covers of newspapers”.
She’s right. We NEED free speech and we NEED to somehow stop naughtiness being allowed in the name of free speech.
Can I now waffle about some things unrelated, but at the same time relevant?
The behaviour of celebrities in the 1970s might have left a lot to be desired, but that level of behaviour was just about acceptable in the 1970s. A girl hangs around your dressing room all night and insists she’s 18, you might just let your standards slip and end up doing something that 30 years later is considered morally outrageous. Terrible terrible crimes. I’m not defending paedos, but I’m sure the swinging 70s allowed morally dodgy behaviour. Behaviour that at the back of the mind of a celebrity in the 21st century a voice is screaming “Leave the door open at all times, have a chaperone and call your solicitor before stating more than your name, date of birth and favourite colour of Smarties”.
Starbucks refused to pay taxes for years and no change in law would make them. Then the public changed. For roughly a week people decided to go to Costa Coffee rather than Starbucks. Suddenly Starbucks are offering to pay taxes. “Please take our money – we are good guys after all”. Pure marketing, but why? The public made a slight change, which forced Starbucks to change where laws would have made no impact.
Why these comments? Can you joint the dots?
If people stopped buying newspapers that sell an image of women that most women find wrong in some way; If people are shunned, joked about or talked about for buying these newspapers – what would happen? Would their sales suffer? Would they change their published ideas of how women should behave/ dress/ be treated?
How would you treat a member of your workplace who came in with a copy of Penthouse and just left it on their desk? In 1970, in a mostly male office this wouldn’t be outrageous. Think “Gene Hunt”. “Think On the Buses”
Drink driving is now considered a pariah act. not so in 1970’s.
The Starbucks waffle was to highlight that a comment was made publicly “These people aren’t paying for the NHS services of their staff, their staff’s education or the services that they use (road maintenance, water services etc)”. Don’t think that National Insurance covers all expenses in life.
People were warned and Starbucks were warned. Shortly afterwards, sales dropped. 2 plus 2 suddenly made 4!!!!
You need someone to make a statement (“Petrol is too expensive and we are going to stop all traffic on the roads this Sunday”) and then the consequences have a reason. Policy makers can identify what happened and why they are reacting.
So….. Where is the Mary Whitehouse for the 21st century? Where is the moral outrage pressure group telling people not to buy certain newspapers, coffee from certain shops and ethically dodgy chocolate?
I must find one.