Fake News and The Victims of Entitlement

In advance of the release of his electropop re-interpretation of William Blake’s ‘Jerusalem’ (just in time for England’s ejection from the Six Nations), Sean Bw Parker analyses the problem between the punks and their (grand)kids.

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It’s the search for unity that is most misunderstood. From experienced gleaned through enough liaisons, each interpretation of the situation is different. My personal indulgence in intimacy has always been an eternal search, more often too early, for unity, either temporary or eternal. This exploration of the other is not restricted to men, I know from experience – the desire for arbitrary or integral unity is poly-sexual.

A twenty-first century complaint in dealing with this is certainly the new cult of the victim of entitlement. This is where previously perfectly ‘regular’ members of society are suddenly vilified by the generally media or politics-led vicissitudes of an under-educated generation or class. This is in no way an abnegation of ‘punk’ positions, it’s a reinterpretation of those theories for now. When an adolescent boy decides, for example, that things aren’t going his way, and searches for examples of ‘abuse’ from his past – inspired by stories from the media – this is not always objective reality, it’s his expectation, if not romanticisation. This is Baudrillard’s hyperreal at its base egregious.

There is also the fake news and the falsely accused. With social media – which most authorities advise we avoid like the plague, due to its labyrinthine intractability, and despite its evident sociological advantages – whatever notion one gets into one’s head is instantly disseminable to an audience of billions. Not that this happens of course, but with money it can. All editorial responsibility is disregarded, and the basest of tittle-tattle or uncharged accusations can appear as fact. They are simply gossip opinions, liable to sharing hundreds of times, to grossly deleterious consequences. The consequences of this unjust irresponsibility – as far from the original spirit of true punk as you can imagine – are distressingly heinous for anyone on the receiving end, and eventually for the perpetrators. They know not what they did.

There is a certain generational mindset – not entirely disconnected from the appalling aspirationalist capitalism of S. Cowell – which holds that every opinion is valid, and nothing is open to criticism, as long as it’s approved by its community. This is simple tribalism, and ignorant to objective standards of appreciation, positive or negative, built up by thinking observers over hundreds of years. This mindset results in a bizarre socialism of the popular, where a product’s innate worth is ignored in favour of how many social media likes it’s received, or whether you need to listen/see it a dozen times for it to permeate the aesthetic consciousness.

Margaret Thatcher’s plan of dissolving the working class seems to have been achieved, as the millenials wonder what it was we’re all griping for, and what the weird girl in the corner mumbling about someone called Harpo Marx is on about. The Duckface Selfie will be the defining image of the first two decades of the twentieth century, and one can only wonder where the once noble search for unity or a sense of responsibility – as opposed to automatic entitlement – in Thatcher’s individualistic, capitalised, decimated world will end.

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All words by Sean Bw Parker. Follow Parker’s generally atrocious writing here or on Twitter here.

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