Dan Wootton, Media Neurosis and 'Diversity'
'The activists are in a permanent state of adolescence, and the adults are paying the price.'
GB News presenter and experienced tabloid journalist Dan Wootton was recently accused by leftist website Byline Times of potential video sex extortion, heavily quoting Wootton's ex-partner.
This came hot on the heels of veteran BBC News presenter Huw Edwards having 'no case to answer' to a similar type of allegation, but being outed by his wife after Jeremy Vine and other media types who said it was 'bringing the BBC to its knees', so to fess up. These were not long after This Morning's face-of-the-ages Philip Schofield, having previously come out as gay, was exposed as having an 'unwise but not illegal' affair with a young ITV staffer.
While Wootton will likely never be forgiven by an army of Johnny Depp supporters who hold him personally responsible for their hero losing his libel battle against his old paper The Sun, he (and all the others mentioned above) are a product; empathy as to their situation from this angle is irrelevant.
We think we know them as they are public-facing, well-mannered and ambitious, but they are creations of the Simulacra - philosopher Jean Baudrillard's term for the fantasy-reality we create through celluloid and related technology. Is the science behind the magic, or magic behind the science? At what point does the private person become the product, and when are they - or we - allowed to switch off in a culture that now never does?
The 1960s featured a cultural revolution due to previous generations being too restrictive, class-bound and warlike. The 2010s and 20s' (thus far just attempted) woke revolution has been led by the (great) grandchildren of that revolution: but the Boomers did nothing explicitly 'wrong' to cause this.
While footballer Ryan Giggs was cleared of long-standing domestic abuse charges due to his ex-partner withdrawing charges due to 'pressure', Brass Eye and The Thick of It producer Armando Iannucci revealed that the BBC had reinstated actor Chris Langham on the latter show, previously convicted of keeping prohibited images. The fact that the BBC decided that once a sentence has been served - whatever the accused's plea - the sentence is served, is admirable in the current conviction-on-allegation culture.
The activists are in a permanent state of adolescence, and the adults are paying the price. No midlife crisis goes unpunished, and every high profile male is as likely as the next to see his entire legacy binned. Toxic masculinity is in fact feminised masculinity, as the public sees the crime of rape as actually MORE serious than do the activist-feminists; who see rape as almost all hetero sex, and conflate sexual assault and non-violent rape allegations on a regular basis. Must be the patriarchy - which, contrary to the messaging, is now to all intents and purposes a matriarchy, due to the prevalence of women in positions of power across most industries.
When it comes to bloodthirsty social media trolls, seeing all human behaviour in black and white terms and blocking before anyone has a chance to defend themselves - as if there's any point anyway - is it Asperger's or arrogance? The 2010 Equality Act has enabled many with psychological conditions to be promoted to powerful positions within myriad institutions, and consequently the social discourse has become less balanced, less nuanced, and more childishly moralistic. It's almost as if no one is responsible for their instant emotional reactions any more, and to ask if there's a deeper reason behind them would be somehow 'hateful'.
On the subject of not burning down the past in this rush to monomaniacal scorched-earth, it's almost as if the British cultural habit of letting madness prevail quietly - then cleaning up afterwards with muttered observations behind hands - has been given new horizons upon which to ponder. Neutrality as a virtue has become a real challenge, as attempted slurs such as 'centrist dad' or 'fascist enabler' circle. In the creative algorithmic economy you're more likely to be put in prison for not having principles or a stance than for having them, and hypervigilant social media jackdaws will make sure that no response goes unnoticed.
It's important that individual cases stop influencing legal policy, as Name Laws (Claire's Law, Jodie's Law etc.) follow these generally isolated, highly mediated cases, allowing legal dominance ideologues the opportunity to extend existing restrictions in ever new, ever more ghastly forms.
The culture industry has gone from the scarcity model of the past to the 'just attract attention/impact' model of the present, at the same time that positive discrimination has become as culturally repressive as upper class privilege. In separating the art from the allegation, corporate governance + artificial intelligence = the New Authoritarianism, leading to the current situation where such social commentary art-as-relevance can no longer meaningfully exist.
Is it possible to be indoctrinated into a sort of anti-free speech dogma? The kids and their digital fingerprints don't think so, as they turn away shy from any controversial project, lest its influence infect their future careers. This is a recipe for bland art, and cowed creative spirits. In the era of new bonds being formed - within the endless remixing of identities - in the past the Right were arrogant and entitled, which is why many would vote against them; now they are humbled in cultural opposition.
The art of happiness lies in analysing oneself less: stop being that Proud People Pleaser, and say what you were feeling just before you were exposed for doing so. Just beyond identity politics and meritocracy still lies nepotism; professional mobility within the media class is dead; woke is essentially religion; and diversity, equity and inclusion policies ensure only produce bland, hegemonic and non-engaging art.
Maybe that's why we're so keen on feeding our household names to the lions? Or that's definitely why their internal score-settling is so engaging. Baudrillard and Dan Wootton be damned, the simulacra is way more entertaining than a million mixed-race family adverts in high-def, teeth-whiter-than-snow youngsters - and nary a happy, white middle-class couple in sight.
By Sean Bw Parker
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