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Thursday, 10 March 2016

Blood on the Rooftops: The Mundanity of Media Horror

Blood on the rooftops, Venice in the spring
The Streets of San Francisco, a word from Peking
The trouble was started, by a young Errol Flynn
Better in my day, oh Lord!
For when we got bored, we'd have a world war, happy but poor
So let's skip the news boy (I'll go and make some tea)
Blood on the rooftops - too much for me.
The couple in the song seem to have no interest in the news because it's too much hard work. They don't want to sit around listening to a discussion on current affairs. They'd probably hate Question Time. I can't blame then. I hate it.

This song was written in the 70s. The news was pretty grim - "Arabs and Jews, boy". So some things don't change. So they turn to anything else. Blood on the rooftops is OK, apparently, as long as it's tomato ketchup.

Today The Twitter is full of news. People share pictures of decapitations. so we can know just how evil decapitation is. The Blood on the Rooftops couple would put on a sensitive media filter, and just follow kitten accounts.

But are we so different? The horror that floods social media - the horror that is choreographed on the news. Either the horror becomes mundane, or we have to turn away. Nobody could be that horrified, or that outraged, that often. We don't have the energy. So we can collect the horror up and do nothing - apart from a few retweets or one of the endless petitions that make no difference. We can surf the mundanity of horror. Or we follow the kittens.

"Drop of wine?" Let's skip the news and look at some "amazing things that happened when the photographer was filming." It's incredible, apparently. I see the cricket's not improved.

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