Is it wrong to not watch the news ?
As a grown-up, I’m plagued by guilt for a variety of reasons: I’m white, I’m English, I’m middle class, I grew up in the 70s and 80s and I was well educated. When I was born, it was a great time and place to be: the swinging sixties were in full flow, the England football team were world champions, Sean Connery was still James Bond, The Beatles hadn’t even thought about splitting up yet, Leeds United were on the rise (I admit might be a bit niche for most of you) and we were about to enter the most creative decade the world had ever seen, culturally.
The seventies were ground-breaking in many ways, as the west finally threw off the shackles of restraint that had held us back since the end of the second world war. We really did let our hair down and the seeds of the modern, free-thinking society were at last being sown. The cold war still loomed over us and along with it the threat of nuclear war. At least we’d be alright if we hid under our kitchen tables, eh ? Those four minute warning films gave me the willies at the time though, and it took a few years but I can clearly remember two things that made me just shrug and stop worrying. The first was a live stand-up show by Billy Connolly in which he declaimed the power held by the men with their fingers over the red button because “the nutters are in charge” and in effect it doesn’t matter because “they’re all fucking crazy”.
The other was the music video for Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Two Tribes. Not only was it a great parody of the politics of modern warfare, it was also doubly effective because the song itself featured the voice of the government’s Protect And Survive public information film, Patrick Allen:
By that time, while some of my friends were becoming politically active, I found myself becoming more involved with music and football … it just didn’t seem that important to me.
And it still doesn’t …
I guess you’re either “political” or you’re not, and maybe it’s down to upbringing or internal wiring or something, but current affairs have never interested me that much.
If I bought a newspaper, it was more for the sport than anything else and I’d always read it from the back first.
I can’t help having the nagging feeling that I should take more interest. That I should – dare I say it – care more, but .. I don’t seem to be able to. I never have. I’m just not made that way. It sounds terrible to admit it and I feel incredibly ignorant in doing so, but it’s the truth.
I don’t know if it’s another excuse to go in because of the oil deposits or if the people really are being oppressed. If so, by whom ?
I couldn’t tell you.
I don’t even know if either Gulf War were really about fuel supplies or politics. Didn’t we supposedly arm and train the aggressors ? Or was it the Russians ? Oh no, wait .. we’re friends with them again, aren’t we ? Arms across the Volga, and all that …
If you watch the BBC news here or abroad you see how different it is to CNN or even Sky, let alone Al Jazeera, Fox News, CBS, TV5, RTI, etc …
I’m currently avidly watching the entire run of The X Files as I never got into it when I was younger. There’s a lot of cynicism in the show which I find surprising for an American production, and though while a lot of it is “monster of the week” hogwash, it’s a lot more palatable than what’s happening in the real world.
If the truth is out there I wish someone would show it because I do want to believe … I just find it hard to fathom in amongst all the crap about celebrities and reality tv shows.
The truth is, I just don’t want to feel guilty any more …