Thursday, February 26, 2004

Conspicuous Compassion

There has been a lot of coverage for this report by a think tank published this week on Conspicuous Compassion. Seemingly the mourning over Diana, the girls murdered in Soham, wearing a red, white, pink, blue ribbon etc is a substitue for religion. Public Displays of Affection in another way maybe. Minutes of silence etc are meaningless according to the authors.

I think there is a big difference between acts of rememberance (when someone dies or when we remember those affected by AIDS)and the groundswell of grief when children are murdered and paedophiles are involved.

Maybe all of this has more to do with the fact that we are in a multimedia society with constant information overload and fear in our lives as a result. And what about the disaffection form politicians which leads to direct action? Is that not how political movements started centuries ago - ie. the Labour Movment, Trade Unions, the Dublin Lockout etc etc etc. The Anti War Movements, Reclaiming the streets etc that many people who are not usually political get involved in are very similar to movements started long long ago.

The report accuses those that do on demos, or protest etc of being selfish or attention seeking. Given that our time is so precious how is this so? And what is the aim of this research?


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