Since the riots in August 2011 there has been a good deal of comment and research into the causation factors. Some good, some not so good but all worthwhile, especially when it’s not based upon media opinion, knee-jerk reaction or political rhetoric, as is so often the case these days. One piece of work (see here) on the subject has been the research carried out by the The Guardian jointly with the London School of Economics but, how valid are the results?
The short answer must only be partly; given that just 270, out of so many involved in the riots, were actually questioned about why they got involved, the results can only ever be considered as indicative of the causes and issues. It has to be said, for all the ongoing research by sociology ‘experts’ there will be ‘reasons’ of myriad proportions. And, as a thug, crook or feckless oik, wouldn’t you attempt to blame anything and everyone but yourself for YOUR actions? They normally do, the legal profession might like to call ‘mitigating circumstances’ however, they’re still nothing more than poor excuses and mostly contrived ones at that.
Commenting on that research in interview recently, Ian Duncan Smith MP, chair of the social justice cabinet committee, argued that some of the looting and robbery was; “fuelled by an acquisitive consumer culture“ (see here). He went on to question the predominant adoration of the so-called ‘celebrities’ in our society. I agree, we are encouraging our kids to believe “this is the way we want you to be” – our society has a tendency to celebrate all the wrong people.
Given tha The X-Factor final actually shed nearly four million viewers this year (see here), compared to last year’s finale, perhaps society is actually starting to shy away from synthetic manufactured popularity and status? Yet another one of those social pipe-dreams perhaps however; there is a pressing need for people, especially the young to get a grip on the realities of life, because our youth is where the rot starts.
Reality television was only ever intended to be a form of frivolous entertainment. Although the genre presents purportedly unscripted dramatic or humorous situations, documents actual events, and usually features ordinary people instead of professional actors, I’m sure it was never intended as a definitive blueprint for life… Was it?
You would kind of think so… Observe the traits displayed by many of those fans in their blind following of their chosen reality heroes. And listen to the inane materialistic content of the conversations that go on between those avid followers. But it’s not just the X-Factor dream, examine shows such as the plastic and surgically enhanced TOWIE, the booze enhanced sex driven Geordie Shore and the ‘effected’ and ‘yuppie’ Made in Chelsea, they are all generating false perceptions of the realities of life. They don’t actually reflect the lives of the majority of those who reside in these areas.
I have friends and family in Essex, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and London, the venues chosen for the above shows, ask any of them and they will all tell you; local ‘real’ life is not as portrayed. You may be thinking “wow look how the other half live, I want some of that” – “Shut Up!”
In ‘reality’ these mostly self-promoting and self-important contrived ‘celebrities’ only ever represent a small minority, they aren’t ‘real’ people. But as a consequence, we now have a nation of airheads craving life as unnaturally orange coloured fashion victims, with surgically enhanced bits dripping in ostentatious bling… Perhaps this is what society wants? – Shut up! – But it’s no wonder the country is going to the dogs!
- X Factor culture fuelled the UK riots, says Iain Duncan Smith (guardian.co.uk)
- Education minister Nick Gibb claims celebrity culture and obsession with wealth is harming children(telegraph.co.uk)
- English rioters warn of more to come – The Guardian (guardian.co.uk)
- Reading the Riots Conference Review… (janespoliticalramblings.wordpress.com)