Online writing has many advantages. It is immediate, and allows space for dissenting opinion where other media fail. It also provides a space to write without compromise. I think most bloggers (and blog commenters) would describe themselves as ‘uncompromising’, but often the rants are gratuitous, and serve no higher purpose other than a catharsis for the writer.
At other times, the shocking imagery is entirely appropriate, as in a post on Friday from Justin at Chicken Yoghurt, on the subject of teen killers and Rhys Jones:
If the author has any sense, he’ll be working on ‘101 Uses For A Dead Kid’ and make a fortune. The first use, I’d humbly suggest, is wedging a dead kid under the leg of a political party to stop it from wobbling, much as you would with a beer mat and a pub table. If that doesn’t work, take the corpse and beat your political opponent with it.
For years editors have found that if they suspend a dead child over the news desk, the resulting smell will attract hordes of readers seeking an emotional outpouring by proxy.
It is a sound point, but I doubt it would find its way into a newspaper. The satire is well placed, but it would be deemed too risky, and liable to being misunderstood. Journalists know this quite well, and self-censor as a result. Madeline Bunting also makes an important point in The Guardian today, but her article has a boilerplate feel to it, and lacks the impact of the Chicken Yoghurt piece.
Justin’s post prompted me to add a comment, which I may as well post here too.
It is notable that when an Islamic terrorist atrocity occurs, or a black child is murdered, the chat is all about how their culture is obviously flawed. Members of that ‘community’ must weed out the perpetrators and provide better role models.
Yet when an atrocity occurs within a predominantly white ‘community’, and the liberal left begin blaming the wider culture, the condemnations of wishy-washy self-hating political correctness are not far behind.