Argentina predictably wrong on Top Gear

After months of listening to official complaints about the show, we finally got to see the two-part, two hour Top Gear special filmed in Patagonia…

By making all those whiney, ineffectual official government complaints about Top Gear without having seen the programme, Argentina, predictably, made themselves look extremely foolish.

Up to the point where the mindless neanderthals decided to attack the film crew, the whole two-part, two hour special had been, like all the other specials, an extended tourist promotion for the area.

The last eight minutes and the utterly misjudged Argentinian government reaction to it managed to undermine that. Had they left well alone and had the so-called “veterans” (who all looked suspiciously young to have been fighting in that conflict some 33 years ago) just ignored the camera crews, Argentina would have had its most positive global media exposure for decades.

Instead, they’ve portrayed themselves as thugs and idiots. Their loss…

The Guardian under-analyses 2014

In their article here, The Guardian suggests that 2014 was pretty much more of the same. I disagreed and commented:

What became crystal clear in 2014 is the complete submission and resignation of former independent professions to the mindless, unelected, unrestrained drones of social media. Not just politicians, as detailed in the article, but journalism too.

I suppose it is a natural extension of Blair’s over-reliance on focus groups that these days we no longer have conviction politicians with their own views on how society should best function. These days, no politician dares to have a policy or view on anything whatsoever without seeing what Twitter or Facebook are saying. An entire political party, UKIP, is based solely on the new chattering classes’ bigotry and hatred with policies and commitments that vary by the hour depending on the proles’ current mood and latest hate-figures.

The same applies to journalism. It is very rare now for any stance for objective truth to be taken lest it annoy some sector of the online hoards and result in a drop in page impressions. So, like politics, jounalism has come to cater for lowest common-denominator bottom feeding mouth-breathers rather than anyone with a genuine social conscience – the Guardian’s utterly misguided stances on feminism during 2014 are some prime examples of this. Rather than analyse and dissemble news items, they get tailored to the audience expectations. That’s not journalism, it’s masturbation.

In both areas, once Pandora’s box has been opened, and the Great Unwashed have been given a taste of the power they now possess, we can never go back. There are no controls, no ethics, no standards, no rules; just a pouring forth of unfiltered, uncontrolled, uninformed, instantly-reactive and ever-changing bias.

When both politics and its monitor, journalism, fall prey to the same debilitating sickness, it becomes a recipe for chaos. 2014 will mark a line in the sand when that chaos became tangible, just as 2015 will mark the time it reached critical mass. Next year will be interesting in the way meant by the old Chinese curse.

Thames Garden Bridge

On the day the London Mayor gave the final go-ahead to the building of the Thames Garden Bridge, I thought I’d voice my support against the gobby naysayers:

I know there are soulless types who oppose it, but I’m delighted that the Thames Garden Bridge has got the final go-ahead from the Mayor. It will be an excellent addition to London’s attractions and will easily pay for itself.

They edited it down to:

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How cheap is life?

After breathless, almost constant media coverage of a seige in a Sydney, Australia coffee shop which resulted in two deaths as well as the gunman’s, the Evening Standard devoted just half of page 24 to the Taliban’s massacre of over 120 Pakistani schoolchildren.

Sirs,

I realise that it might not have had the glamour and excitement of the live coverage from Sydney, but surely the cold, calculated murder of more than 120 children in Pakistan could have rated higher than the mere page 24 coverage you assigned it yesterday?

Or is there some mathematical function that defines exactly how much less a Pakistani child’s life is worth compared to a white middle-class Australian adult’s?

Paul Harper