The Fragrant Matthew Parris

The unpaid Lyrical Terrorist urges the decapitation of the infidel – justifiable outrage and a court conviction..
Overpaid, toffee nosed moron in Kensington High st calls for the decapitation of cyclists – it’s just a joke!
But not any more, according to the IPPC, who forced Parris into a grovelling ‘apology’. With that precedent set, the rest of the tabloid motormouths can look forward to the same treatment. The Clarksons and Gaunts and Littlejohns in the gutters of publishing will have to smarten up their act.
And about time too.
But let’s look at that ‘apology’ again.

In fact, Parris merely tried to blame the outraged for not seeing the joke.

“I offended many with my Christmas attack on cyclists. It was meant humorously but so many cyclists have taken it seriously that I plainly misjudged. I am sorry…”

Which simply doesn’t make sense. The reaction can’t have caused him to ‘misjudge’ as it didn’t happen until after he had judged. He is not apologising, just despicably trying to get off the hook.
And this confusion of basic Cause and Effect from a man so ostentatiously full of the joys of rigorous, analytical, classical education and such a valiant defender of all forms of elitism. Here is a Great Mind Oe’rthrown indeed.

In the meantime the likes of Parris and the other tabloid brats can go on promoting speeding and jumping lights and using mobile phones as positive signs of virility and status on megaphones of Lad Culture such as Top Gear.
But it seems the game is up. Any columnist seeking an easy target will now have this ruling hanging over him, and a large number of people watching their every move.
Expect a class action of some kind if editors don’t come to their senses and make their columnists grow up, or at least wean them off their dependency on casual incitement to murder, because whatever the comic pretensions of hacks like Parris, Clarkson and Littlejohn, someone will do as they are told, and there will be no way of proving it. All it takes is a little delay on the brake pedal and another cyclist is dead. And that delay can be caused by the hatred spread by the media. In effect, it is the most efficient form of incitement there is. At least with other forms, the means of execution are explicitly criminal and rarely able to be disguised as an accident. This is not the case when the murder weapon is a car. And is much too easy when the target is suitably demonised by the media – when people on bikes have been dehumanised to a problem on wheels.
In the critical second or two before a collision with a cyclist, anyone agreeing wholeheartedly with Parris, which he presumably hopes is as many readers as possible, would not first see a human being in danger but just another obnoxious bloody cyclist – and only finally, when it is too late, see the human being. It is not a conscious decision, just an unnecessary, synthetic emotion getting in the way of the normal human response.
This is something which happens all the time – especially to drivers, subject as their personalities are to the distortions of being in control of superhuman power. We call it Road Rage, and it is entirely understandable in a culture which worships power for its own sake, and especially in one in which every individual is seen as competition, as getting in the way, and effectively shortening the commuter’s life by delaying the time he can spend away from his work, doing wht he ‘likes’. The politics of the cult of the superman are not that different from the politics of Lad culture after all, it seems.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/mat…s/article3097464.ece

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/mat…s/article3123486.ece

http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/matt_seaton/2008/01/parris_je_ne_taime_pas.html

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