Sunday, 29 April 2012
Murdoch: How do YOU like it, you shitbag?
There's something of the classical archetype in watching him slowly crumble into dust, isn't there? The Big Man brought down by his own inescapable flaws: kind of gives us all a bit of hope even though plenty of other wicked people seem to manage a comfortable retirement and even to turn themselves in to cuddly figures of fun if they live long enough - all those revolting murderous, torturing gangsters popping up on chat shows a few decades ago spring to mind. OK, as far as we know, Rupert Murdoch never actually killed anyone. I don't even recall hearing that he administered so much as a slap to another human being, but I still consider him wicked. I wouldn't blush to call him evil for the harm he has done. He set about making the world a more hateful place, and he did it consciously and deliberately. The other Evil Tycoon, Robert Maxwell, he was just your old-fashioned, sticky-fingered crook who died with his hand in the till. Murdoch did worse, and it's what he did that's done for him. I don't actually know whether he believed in the stuff he made his papers peddle, that toxic, manipulative, capricious sentimentality and tribalism; the sexism, the racism, the homophobia, or whether he did it on the grounds that if you keep on chucking hate-figures and secular saints at people and screaming and shouting and slobbering, you can make people forget to think and just react at the most primitive level to what they are told to do. I wonder which is worse: to grab power on the grounds that you want to make the world a more racist, sexist, homophobic, unthinking, paranoid, conformist place, or to make the world a more racist, sexist, homophobic, unthinking, paranoid, conformist place in order to grab power. But there's joy to be had in the fact that this dumb, visceral response he spent so much time cultivating is what's really going to destroy him. People might have got over or not bothered to understand the political corruption and corporate greed; everyone sort of expects large corporations to bend the law in their favour and seize as much power and money as they possibly can. A lot of people were fairly prepared to forgive hacking the phones z-list 'celebrities', at least partly because Murdoch had convinced the world that slebs are not really people and don't really matter and deserve all they get anyway. But when it came out that his organisation had also hacked into the phones of Our Troops and those of a murdered teenager and her family, that was it. He'd conditioned the masses to shriek and howl and 'love' those he'd chosen to label as heroes, or innocent victims, and to demand the instant destruction of anyone who so much as refused to ullulate along with the chorus; so when the masses found out that he'd been harming those heroes and victims and clearly regarded them as unimportant and expendable despite all the guff about their wonderfulness and specialness, well that was it. Game over. You created the monster that will destroy you, Mr Murdoch. Now get it right fucking up you.