Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Mourning Sickness and Conspicuous Compassion

Civitas have got a new report out on Conspicuous Compassion, that's garnered a lot of press attention.

"Britons are feeding their own egos by indulging in "recreational grief" for murdered children and dead celebrities they have never met."

All well and good.

But I'm having a certain sense of deja vu. It's Frank Furedi and his ilk all over again: it's the libertarian right (or left; they meet round the back, sometimes) getting it's knickers in a twist about the senitimentalisation of society. And a bunch of them said all that in Faking It in 1998. And it's full of all those sheitgeist phrases like compassion inflation, and it doubtless drones on and on in quite a whingy way about victim culture, and how terribly unfair it is. Poor sods, it's them I feel sorry for.

Truth time: we all - probably myself included - have far too much free time/brainspace to consider every aspect of every aspect of modern life. It's deconstruction gone Zebedee, boinging up and down on a bit of trip desparately hoping that some idea'll stick/have stickiness so that they get their late-night righteous-debate TV show. So then, they can retire to the posh bit of Norfolk with all the other failed celebrities and faded academics.

See, I feel sad even writing this. I feel an emptiness about how we've analysis paralysis about every little item of culture or even everydayness in the modern world. How there's a label for everything. How we need to slag off more and more people and ideas to feel we've made our mark. How even me writing this now is contributing to the over-informed whatever that is the doodar that we might not like. See, it's gone to my head. The words, the words....

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