We might sometimes wonder what we’re all actually watching.
We’re usually wise enough to treat such speculation with the same English good sense as salaries – you shouldn’t ask and you don’t really want to know.
But I want to share three videos I’ve watched within the same 24hours that together I think paint a certain picture. One that Murdoch surely keeps in his attic.*
Because, while I am still trying to gather dumb wits enough to find any regular useful words about *@!everything!∆* I figured other people’s more honed and commited communications skills pitched against the hell of now might be, dunno, something to take note of.
In fact, these three little films are a little comparing of notes that evidences an image of the world I have currently. They’re not hot futurism trends or specialist names from cultural academia. This is not about diffusion models – I’ve told you to ease up on that stuff or you’ll go blind.
These are just three little typical lunchtime washing up watches for me, voices who use the impenetrable art of writing jokes to cut through the crap.
I shall then wang in a fourth video at the end that I found later, because perhaps I’m just trying to take the board in (the increasingly fictitious) liberal media Monopoly.
Hanging by a frame.
Writing and compiling my talk for Bournemouth Writing Festival, I’m thinking of the framing of stories a fair bit in the background, conscious that everything we say and see is of course just one take. One reckon into the wind, shouting silently with our flies open in a wood under a falling tree. But the frame is what everyone banks on – and the most powerful… >checks notes< arseholes of our times are making the most out of a very particular window on the world.
A view so edited it’s a freakshow collage.
No wonder Cold War Steve’s work (and Sleaford Mods’, for that matter) feels so squinting-with-sick-in-the-mouth real.
I never liked collage.
I have referred to the 2020s’ entry into the one day forthcoming An Amusing And Brief History Of The 21st Century as The Nazi Theme Park Years. And it’s a flatly good way of looking at it, if you want to get your cultural bearings properly here.
I see it. Surely you can? The great Upside Down being constructed next to reality by the billionaires in our media – an inverted world where every fact is backwards, every economic crime means nothing, every victim of it deserves a good upskirting. It’s a Babel tower, an Olympic park sculpture, a black mirror, a 1000 metre gibbet for kindness and decency and what’s left of the natural world.
It’s purpose is not ideological. At least, not any of the vile ideologies it pedals to draw in therightly worried, the genuinely aggrieved and the vaguely niggled to trigger contextless sociopathy it isn’t. It’s just a thing so boring I can barely type it. A power thing. Which by now is so grotesquely deranged it is long past sentencing to a nuke-proof secure hospital.
Below, shows and people I have grown much respect for illustrate aspects of this Upside Down. This perverted, dead-eyed, slack-jawed world. You don’t want to see it. I don’t want to see it. It’s like that Midjourneyed image of a fused Beyonce and Michael Gove that a mate on thread put on the thread. It’s like all AI art.
But y’know. If you don’t clean out your own attic, someone else will have a go at your portrait.
Don’t worry, next week I shall take you for a long walk in the woods and talk about nature. It is a portal out of this scissors & glue nightmare.
Satire in the Age of Murdoch and Trump | The Problem With Jon Stewart Podcast
Is Hollywood Actually Woke? | Some More News
Republicans Remind Us: Never Let the Devil Out | Steve Shives
Why is the media afraid of Gary Lineker? | LBC
(*You may well quip that Murdoch must be living in his attic with a cloth over his head and is sending his picture on public appearances, judging by the fearful look of him now, but I would simply point out the scale at which his haunted art must be working to keep him alive at all.)
(**And you’re right too – YouTube apparently isn’t taken in by my flimflam talk of equity and representation and continues to serve me an old white sausage fest. But the point is, none of these people are talking with their sausages.)
(***Also yes fine, it’s five little films if you rightly count the UK Grim video, which you absolutely should. As you can see from the still in the header image, it’s horrifying.)