AFP pic, January 8, 2015
In amongst the mind numbing stories coming out of France yesterday my attention was drawn to the strong and succinct message from the Guardians cartoonist Steve Bell http://tinyurl.com/ken7jkv. reminding me of a story as a child growing up in South London.
In those days I would play safely in the streets with my friends, much to the annoyance of a single man in his late forties who would regularly complain to our parents about us, although we never caused damage.
One day he came out of his house and because his hat was askew one of my mates started laughing, to which we all joined in. He got very angry and tried to chase us but we were too quick for him. Every time we saw him after that we would start laughing and pointing at him for no apparent reason, there were never any words, just laughter.
After a few short weeks he found his complaints to our parents fell on deaf ears and his anger gradually subsided. Eventually an unspoken truce broke out and from then on we got on fine with each other, in the awareness that the victims can turn and be more devastating than the bully.
We know the devastating power of global media and the effect it can have upon shaping public opinion. From Edward Snowden to global warming and MP’s with their hands in the petty cash or a colleague’s underwear, it can be unrelenting and wreck reputations with ease.
Why, oh why, is it not being trained upon terrorism now, with cartoonists like Steve Bell applying their incredible talents to setting the whole world laughing at any and all terror groups? Think about it. Laughing is one of the most humiliating and sobering tactics if applied properly. If every newspaper in every country fought back simultaneously terrorism would be cowed, once and for all.
Why? Because I believe it would achieve three objectives:
- It can isolate and make fun of terrorism alone and NOT the religious beliefs and true followers that are being manipulated and maligned by these cults.
- In so doing it would draw the fangs of this odious practice by ridiculing the whole concept of terrorism.
- In ridiculing terror it would make it less macho, alienating these cowardly groups from the young impressionable minds they prey on for their source of ‘bomb fodder’.
Our sense of impotence can be overwhelming against continually cowardly acts, by a hidden enemy that hits the unsuspecting and quickly runs back into the obscurity of the crowd it has just attacked. Taking on the might of the world media however is a whole new can of worms, as their dastardly acts are brought front and centre in a whole new deprecatory manner, proving yet again that the pen is mightier than the sword!
Just imagine how you would feel, watching the media unite on our behalf to cower the terrorist bullyboys across the globe.
Let us now turn to the ‘Or Not’ as, in reality, I think this suggestion would open another can of more slippery and slimy worms the size of an Olympic swimming pool. Would it be in the best interests of the media’s lords and masters to come to our rescue? I think not!
It would unbalance traditional power structures that are both suppressive and VERY profitable. Terrorism not only supports a lucrative international military/industrial complex, it also continues the policies of ‘divide and conquer’ that have suppressed us for millennia, by ensuring we continue to fight against each other.
Indeed only recently the Pentagon declared that the war on terror would continue indefinitely. Of course it will, there is too much at stake for it to be resolved easily or quickly. Indeed I am sure that there is satisfaction amongst the global ruling classes at the widening gap between Muslim and non-Muslim in France, as this sad affair stirs animosity to new levels in a country with the largest Muslim population in Europe.
The internet is uniting us in a manner never before possible in our history, placing this traditional means of ruling by ‘divide and conquer’ under serious threat, as the growing levels of abuse now directed at us, including surveillance, confirm. Terrorism may suit the minority but it will also unite the majority through its obscene actions.
It is feeding the global will to unite and preserve our freedoms of speech and movement, we simply have to find the means . . . No pressure!
Until the next time
Thinking from his Book: Global Magna Carta. Returning Power to The 99% . . . If They Want It! By J T Coombes