Missing The Point

Ola gang. Here's an article I wrote for The Guardian on the train yesterday morning, that ended not going the Guardian as the editor was having a grump/meeting/cry/something and didn't get to the right people until a day after it was written, by which time it was deemed obsolete. I  Deem it RELEVANT and NECESSARY, but I would. Anyway.


By me.

Due to a death in the family (that of my not-so-trusty PC) I've been forced outside, and onto public transport for much of the past week. An unfortunate circumstance, and one made all the more risible by my forced exposure to national media, in the form of God-sized Orwellian tele-screens in train stations, and the ubiquitous trash "newspapers" that litter afternoon and evening train carriages like so many shrieking turds.

Armed with fine literature, I have managed to avoid reading these things, but the images on the covers, and their accompanying hysterical headlines have burned their way into my subconscious, and my soul is all the filthier for it.

Here in the United States of Britainny, the great unwashed public are being whipped into a righteous frenzy - a terrible wailing and gnashing of teeth fills the air, and tens of thousands of our good people have used their telecommunications devices to call our institutions of outrage to demand justice. Overpaid nitwits have crossed the line, and the people want scalps.

And who are the poor, hapless recipients of this percolated rage? The bankists who've cursed our housing market, trashed our share prices and doomed our economy?

Of course not.

Once again, the rage of the populace has been queerly diverted, this time in the direction of a pair of comedians. Well paid, public-funded comedians. It has been decreed that quaint Limey chuckle-gatherers Jonathon Ross and Russel Brand are to suck up our national rage and sorrow, to take the fall for the crimes of the moneymen.

For my foreign brothers and sisters, and those who do their best to avoid such nonsense, here's the skinny: a shit-storm of Biblical proportions has erupted this past week, over a practical joke made on BBC radio, in which the aforementioned comedians informed a fellow comedian, Andrew Sachs - Manuelle from Faulty Towers, no less - that legendary lothario Brand had bedded his granddaughter, a  burlesque dancer from the previously-unheard of Satanic Sluts troupe.

Sachs was very upset by this, and our proffesional media outlets decided that we should all be deeply incensed. Why, even our beloved prime minister felt it necessary to express his disgust at what he deemed, "inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour", and demanded an immediate investigation.

"What's funny about humiliating a lovely old man who has never harmed anyone in his life?" squealed the granddaughter, before heading off for another round of interviews, in which she demand the pair lose their jobs and get "no more publicity". Ho Ho. As if dear Manuelle wasn't a degenerate of the highest order, what with his gambling cover ups, rat stashing, corpse hiding antics (and how offended can a man whose drandoughter dances under the moniker "voluptua" in a bourlesque troupe called "Satanic Sluts" be anyway?). "Que," indeed!

Regardless. There must, cry the papers, be blood! So Brand has been forced to resign, and Ross has been suspended.

The collections department at T-Mobile rang me to demand I pay my bill just now, and the man on the phone felt it necessary to inform me that Brand and Ross' behaviour was completely unacceptable and wrong, especially as BBC employee Ross "is paid £6 million a year of our money to be obscene."

Evidently, what we have here is a classic case of misdirected anger - like when Othello suffocated Desdemona with a pillow, instead of that rotten lying hyena Iago. As happens so often during times of extreme institutional fuckery, here we see a deceptively, and distractingly similar parallel narrative to what is undoubtably the most urgent story of our times. Yes, our money has been misspent - on bailing out a crowd of lunatic, coke-fuelled, decadent greedheads, who no doubt at this very moment are rolling around naked in piles of damp red bills laughing until little bits of wee come out.

The actions of Brand and Ross are irrelevant - to even defend them is to miss the point entirely. Naturally, we are all sickened by the hierarchical greed and wholesale looting going on in this fair land, but we must not be distracted by false enemies. We must not lose sight of the true perpetrators of our woes, and they are definitely NOT comedians! Our foes are further from funny than a fourteen hour flight to Alaska with nothing but Little Britain on the tiny back seat television. They are Bankists and they Swine and their scalps Must Be Ours, and now!

So yes! Screw these rotten swine! Sack each and every one of them! Their behaviour is indeed wrong and inappropriate! Their bonuses must be revoked! Their parties cancelled! Their suits repossessed and made into blankets for the destitute! We must hunt them down like rabid curs and beat them like gongs!

Of course we must. Yet, madly, we are encouraged to demand the heads of a pair of broadcasters, funnymen. It is expected that after our five-minute hate we will feel better, and trudge on down to Iceland for our £5 meal-deals dutifully, until the warm fuzzy feeling bought on by public lynchings wears off, and we hear whispers of further real-life outrages, which will no doubt be offset by the revelation that there are paedophiles working in children's television, then we can all go crazy again. Rah!

God forbid anyone whose actions have actual real world consequence feel our ire. Those people don't need that kind of ugly scene - they have work to do. There's still a few pennies left in the coffers to snatch.