Friday 13 November 2015

Competitive correctness

I am a bit concerned about the wave of manufactured outrage that has tsunamied its way through the collective mind and spirit of Joe Public (UK).

  • Not wearing a poppy on a TV show broadcast on October 30th (and recorded even earlier)? Disrespectful cow.
  • Not bowing low enough at the Cenotaph? I mean, still bowing, just not bowing low enough to meet some new societal standard? Forget eschewing a VIP reception afterwards and mingling with veterans instead, before catching public transport across town to attend another remembrance service. Just, you know, fuck off.
  • Question the cultural changes inherent in massive net migration? Racist.

Full disclosure: regular readers will know I am a huge fan of Morrissey, but I have no axe to grind about Sienna Miller or Jeremy Corbyn. I'm just tired, tired, tired of this need everyone seems to have to be absolutely, unimpeachably right-on, all the time. And of course, should someone else not equate to that level of right-on-ness, then they are fair game. Capital letters are usually required at this point, it seems. And exclamation marks. To paraphrase:

"I'm more right-on than you! You might think you'll pretty cool and clued up about most things, and know how to behave, but YOU DON'T because I'M MORE RIGHT-ON THAN YOU!! MY DEFINITION OF RIGHT-ON SHOULD BE THE MINIMUM (AND MAXIMUM) STANDARD FOR THE REST OF THE WORLD!!!"

Dave Gorman mines this collective outrage from what he calls "the bottom half of the Internet" (i.e. the comments section) to great comic effect in his Found Poems. And Jon Ronson writes about the new "let's get 'em" attitude that underscores public vilification in his latest book, So You've Been Publicly Shamed. Both are highly recommended.

Me, I just despair. It isn't political correctiveness gone mad (™ Daily Mail), it's worse than that. It's competitive correctness. Fête me for my virtue. Scorn everybody else.

What a time to be alive, eh?

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