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The campaign to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson: the lunacy of modern self-entitlement and the myth of social media’s power

March 12, 2015
SEE YA, WOULD'NT WANT TO BE YA... Clarkson waves bye-bye to the BBC  until QI and Have I Got News... come calling

SEE YA, WOULD’NT WANT TO BE YA… Clarkson waves bye to BBC until Have I Got News For You calls

THAT 300,000 people (men) have signed a petition to have Jeremy Clarkson reinstated as the presenter of Top Gear is proof enough of Evgeny Morozov’s conceit that most online action is largely hollowed out, empty self absorption.

Morozov typifies this kind of political and social media commitment as ‘slackivism’ – believing that we can make a difference simply by signing something online, retweeting, or favouriting it on Facebook. It makes a mockery of the many causes, from both the left and the right wings, that deserve real support

The equivalent of 9,000,000,000 inches of old print media (approx) have been wasted online today debating what the fatuous bellend presenter of Top Gear has done and why he should, or should not be, sacked.

While some have prefaced their statements by saying they are largely agnostic, I’m not. Clarkson is one of the leading voices in a movement of right wing gobshites, given space on TV and national newspapers, for whom the golf club used to be their natural habitat to expound on why they “have nothing against poofters or immigrants, as long as they keep to themselves and stay in their own countries.”

For other fuckwits of a similar stature see: Rod Liddle, Peter Hitchens, Katie Hopkins and Richard Littlejohn.

Now, multi-platform TV, massively expanded news media platforms and social media have exponentially increased the spaces in which these views get expressed and this has normalised the kind of discourse that we once cringed at when the mini-cab driver we unluckily found started expounding this vile nonsense.

(Top Gear, of course, is not a programme about cars. Rather it is primarily the logical progression for men who were square and socially inadequate privately educated teenagers, with small penises, who were bad at sport and who dealt with their myriad dysfunctions and unpopularity by either bullying their peers or accepting being bullied.) 

Equally, the social media sphere has encouraged a sense of self-entitlement in both the offended and defenders that suggests if we get enough numbers of people to sign a petition, institutions have to yield to our will.

No it doesn’t. Write all you want about Clarkson, either for or against, sign all the petitions you want, but it’s pointless.

This is an internal BBC Human Resources (Personnel) matter. He hit a colleague in work and, legally, in most workplaces, he has to go. Sign all you want, but if you, me, or anybody, punches someone in work, we’re outta there.

Ultimately, this shouldn’t be about the power of any mob. As my mate Al O’Hare said on Facebook, Clarkson was a prick before he hit someone, he is prick for hitting someone and he’ll be a prick after this all blows over. He’s still a prick.

But a prick that hits someone in work is the same as a saint who decks someone in work: they are guilty of abusing workmates and that should never be condoned. It’s an internal HR matter.

So, rest easy: stop liking and retweeting and signing petitions because none of it matters.

Therefore, this post is largely irrelevant, but that’s also its very meta point.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 12, 2015 3:05 am

    Very well said!!

  2. March 12, 2015 3:20 am

    Ah now look. I just ‘liked’ your post and since what you said it’s gone and left me with an empty worthless feeling inside. But I liked it though. I mean I really liked what you said. I didn’t just click it and that was it.

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