If you read my most recent blog post (the one that started with ‘We are all lost and we are all fucking terrified’), you may be getting the impression that I am a dramatic person.
I assure you that this is not the case. However, I really do think that the world might just be going to shit.
On top of the fact that recently the news has been reminding me of the history lessons I used to have in school – the ones where we analysed each event that took place in the run up to World Wars One & Two . . . seemingly separate events but entirely catalytic. As if that wasn’t shit enough, more terrible news hit us this week:
Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended from the BBC.
Jeremy Clarkson has been suspended from the BBC . . . and the people are fucking outraged.
As I write this, there are over 900,000 people in this world that are outraged that Jeremy Clarkson . . . who supposedly punched a man in the face . . . has been suspended.
Supposedly is an important word. Supposedly degrades a fact to a speculation, a supposition even.
The truth of the matter is that we, the public, the 900,000 people signing the petition, will never truly know what happened between Clarkson and the producer. Yet we willingly, blindly, sign a petition to reinstate a man who is knowingly xenophobic, racist and let’s be honest, a bit of an all round twat.
And when I use the collective ‘we’, I mean the accusatory ‘you’. Because I have played no part in this bullshit.
The petition to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson got more signatures in 24 hours than the He For She petition has garnered to date.
The petition to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson has more signatures than the petition to end female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK . . . a good 800,000 more.
Over 900,000 people were clearly too busy watching Top Gear that they forgot to sign a petition to make it obligatory for people working in regulated activities to come to the aid of children in distress e.g. they were too busy to protect vulnerable children.
Almost (but not quite) 46,000 people signed a petition to push the government to work with other EU countries to try to put an end to human trafficking. Human trafficking? You know, the thing where human beings are coerced, abused and exploited? That means, that there are not even quite 46,000 people the care about other human beings, and 900,000 that care about one tax dodging human being who has been suspended from a job where he earned shit loads of money to drive nice cars.
We don’t know the truth of what happened. We, most likely never will.
What we do know is that there is still a long fight ahead of us for equality between men and women. You need evidence of this? As part of an attempt to control the female sexuality, young girls are being forced to have their vaginas mutilated and . . . to put it bluntly, in varying circumstances, have their clitorises cut off, their labia cut off and their vulva closed up. Another thing that we know to be fact and not supposition: children are abused and workers are not obliged to stand up for them. More widely known facts for you? Human trafficking is a thing, and it’s a fucking awful thing at that.
Is it because these cold hard facts are mildly terrifying that they are so easily ignored? Or is it because they don’t necessarily directly affect the average person?
It is easy to ignore FGM when it’s just something you hear on the news. It’s easy to pretend that gender inequality isn’t a thing if you’ve never experienced it yourself. It is easy to forget about human trafficking when the most you know of it comes from a Liam Neeson film.
What is not easy to ignore, is an interruption to your own weekly viewing schedule.
Nothing to motivate an angry mob like a change in the BBC’s running order.
A BBC presenter getting suspended, not even sacked, suspended, has rallied the nation more than issues concerning human rights. If you can read this post and still tell me that you are not at all concerned that the world might just be going to shit . . . well you are a very optimistic person.
Some might say naively optimistic.