Yes, I know. It’s pretty hackneyed to say so. It’s a cliché – yet, even so, a truth.
Is that why publishing empires like Murdoch’s have grown to such a size? He has, after all, specialised in giving people what they allegedly want. And perhaps, for some decades, what people have wanted is precisely not the truth. The truth consists in the following:
- Those in charge will always remain in charge.
- Those in charge are not those best suited to rule.
- Those in charge will always try and make your life more miserable.
- Those in charge are there to win every bloody battle.
- Those in charge are there to win every bloodless battle.
- Those in charge are bloody, full stop.
- Those in charge are greedy and money-grabbing.
- Those in charge are always lying.
- Those in charge feather their nests at our expense.
- Those in charge are permanent cuckoos in the nests of democracy.
Mind you, one truth that Murdoch does sell runs as follows:
- Given the chance, we’d all love to be like those in charge.
Or so, at least, I used to believe. But I do truly think things are changing. My last post kind of reaches, in a nakedly rambling sort of way, a quite precise conclusion:
I don’t know about the civilisation you live in – but it seems to me that something really dirty is about to unspool out of the civilisation I habitually inhabit.
It’s probably a consequence of all that social media honesty. If you start doing it for fun in your everyday life, how can you avoid not ending up doing it for real in your work? We’re all, little by little, acquiring whistleblowing instincts, aren’t we? Even those people in the middle levels of organisations, who generally find their job is to filter away reality from both the public and workforce’s gaze.
Who said Facebook and Twitter couldn’t conquer the world? Maybe what’s really happening here is that these environments are actually retraining us all in the twin, unassailable and universal virtues of honesty and good faith!
With truth becoming a natural instinct again, perhaps there really is a chance for hope on the horizon.
Perhaps we are seeing a changing of the guard in the publishing world. Murdoch’s penchant for avoiding the truth in his papers, that hackneyed clichéd boring truth which no wage slave on a daily basis would be able to survive, is being undermined by the amateur realities we generally honestly transmit in our social media communications. And even when you avoid your truth in such communications, it’s eventually clear to the gathered audience what you’re really about – as well as where that truth is to be found. So whether you tell the truth or not, the multi-directional nature of social media makes it impossible to convincingly sustain for any length of time a posture which does not approximate to reality.
Think of the tabloid empires throughout history and how they managed to support establishment inexactitudes. Think of phonehacking and the police; think of certain MPs’ outrageous privileges; think of Hillsborough and maybe the miners too; think of Iraq and other points of intellectually brutalised conflict, wiped out in a tide of impositional politics.
The age of editing reality – without a productive and immediate comeback from those who might know differently – is coming to an end.
In a sense, therefore, so is traditional newspaper publishing.
The future lies once more in the hackneyed and clichéd realities that fairly paint our world as it actually is – instead of as the powerful would have it be shaped.
Thank goodness it’s Friday, eh? Thank goodness it’s Friday.