Monday, February 18, 2013

Plus Ca Change, Plus Ca Le Meme Bullshit Chose

Oh, those whiny war protestors!  So narcissistic, thinking their opinion should trump that of parliament!  So self-indulgent, to ignore the fact that many had different opinions!

I mean, I understand these whacks at anti-war hacks.  I found all those Boo-hoo how come nobody listened to us? opinion pieces trite and annoying too.  Who wouldn't?  I agreed with the authors' sentiments and I felt like launching the laptop out of the window.  Me!

What's noticeable though is that the last week's pre-war nostalgia parties came in only two flavours - either the We-Were-Right variety from the anti-war folks themselves, or the You-Were-Kind-Of-Right-But-You're-Dicks species from their detractors.

And indeed, the But-You're-Dicks guys have a point, at least about democracy.  Loads of people really did think Saddam Hussein was armed to the teeth with nuclear and chemical weapons and that somewhere beneath the smoking remnant of his fucked airforce or the charred ruin of his 70's-era army, lay the Destruction Of The West.

I imagine quite a few even believed he could fly over London in one of those model planes the Americans pretended to be afraid of, then drop an ebola-stuffed atom bomb on Great Ormond Street Hospital out of his arse.

People believed these kinds of inane fictions because largely, they were naive enough to think that the government wouldn't lie through their teeth with the charm of conmen slipping a sly finger into Granny's purse, but they believed it nonetheless.

And so it's noteworthy that we've seen so many pieces reminding us of how many people believed all the bullshit propaganda, and so very few pieces explaining why people actually believed this facile, transparently fantastical nonsense.

I mean, this is surely the big story here.  When nearly half the population base their opinion on a war - a war with a bodycount big enough for a respectable mid-20th century conflict, mind - on tall tales and oogah-boogah, you'd think that would be an issue.  And yet, from what we've seen this week, it barely rates a mention.

The reason is plain, I imagine.  It's fun to club writers like Owen Jones and Laurie Penny for being angsty and strident.  It's fun to concuss these people with the club of political reality, and fun to call them wankers for dismissing so many suckers.  Let's laugh at the weepy idealists is a grand lark.  Point with me, people!

We fucked up and got tens of thousands of people killed, on the other hand, is not fun.  Explaining why you fell for one of the most hilariously obvious con-jobs since those American women got serially-groped by the door-to-door Breast Inspector isn't fun at all.

Nope, correspondents can't don Kevlar, stand on the deck of an aircraft carrier and shout over swooshing infographics, which demonstrate that unmitigated lies and bullshit came out of this mouth here, entered journalistic ears at this strategic point, and were then distributed verbatim to the populace over a wide area, here and here.   

Can't do that, no sir.  We were slack-jawed, credulous idiots doesn't sell papers, unless maybe you can think of a way to get a credulous but photogenic idiot to get his or her arse out during the confession.

Nobody can explain their grand theory of humanitarian derring-do while perched upon the carcass of a nation.  You can't take the moral high-ground when you've carpet-bombed the middle-ground and napalm-nuked the low-ground, and then strafed the rubble.

Nobody looks good when they're gabbling justifications for credulously accepting Iraq as some kind of sudden, pressing threat to world civilisation.  It sounded ludicrous back when there was doubt over the issue but now, long after the matter has been settled, even the masters of the art just sound like they've been caught whacking-off to bestiality-porn on the office computer.  Again.

And that's what all of this is, in the end-up - a choice between publishing self-effacing articles openly declaring the authors' incredible levels of gullibility, or just forgetting the nation's credulity and giving the hippies one more richly-deserved slipper-thrashing.

This country's no different to any others, I imagine.  Lay out a choice like that, and the hippies are always going to wind up with smarting arsecheeks, especially if they've had the temerity to be both correct and smug about it.

If it also has the effect of drawing a discreet veil over one of the most crass and nonsensical episodes in recent British history well, that's just one of those little added benefits that life sometimes throws you.


Strategist said...

plus *c'est* la meme bullshit chose

Gilbert Wham. said...

Aye, pretty much. Glad to see you yelling at stuff on the internet again, BTW.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I could have sworn that the by-now-traditional reply to the by-now-traditional FR Iraq piece had been posted.

Maybe it was not "approved by the blog author". Or the Alzheimer's kicked in again.