Tuesday, January 30, 2018

No More Heroes

It isn't just celebrities we should be wary of idolising and placing on pedestals.  Those individuals lionised by the popular press as 'heroes' in the wake of some disaster or terror attack are equally suspect.  Just today, I was reading how that homeless guy hailed as a hero for supposedly helping victims in the immediate aftermath the Manchester Arena bombing plead guilty to having actually robbed several of them.  Taking advantage of the seriously injured following a terror attack is about as far from heroic as you can get.  In another newspaper report, I read that a Millwall supporter, also hailed by the press as a hero for apparently taking on some of the knifemen during the London Bridge terror attack, had just been given a suspended sentence for two racist attacks, one before his 'heroic' actions, one later.  In the former, he racially abused and spat at a black photographer involved with an anti-globalisation protest, in the latter, he started hurling anti-Islamic abuse around at his local MP's offices.  Frankly, he comes across as a thoroughly nasty piece of work.  Well, let's face it, he's a Millwall supporter (he supposedly shouted 'Fuck off, I'm Millwall' at the London Bridge attackers). Which means that he probably didn't realise there was a terror attack going on - he just saw some 'darkies' and attacked them.

The problem is that the popular press is always so desperate to find some kind of supposedly 'positive' side to things like terror attacks and immediately latch on to anyone who seems to have done anything 'heroic'.  These two reprehensible characters fitted the profile for the right wing press: white and apparently selfless.  Ironically, under normal circumstances, they are exactly the sort of individuals the tabloid press likes to vilify: a homeless beggar on one hand and an unemployed benefits claiming Millwall supporter on the other.  But, in the end, the tabloids' eagerness to create 'heroes' in the face of Islamic extremists has backfired on them.  If they'd showed some restraint, they might have avoided such embarrassment.  When military personnel are awarded medals for valour, the military actually goes to great lengths to investigate the incident they were involved in so as to verify that the would be recipient is actually deserving of the accolade.  Which makes perfect sense = it avoids potential embarrassments of the kind we've seen here.  The most depressing aspect of this whole business were the comments under the story about the Millwall guy, all supporting his 'right' to express his 'opinions' - 'just like the Muslims do when they say they hate gays and women'.  For fuck's sake, where do you even start in the face of such ignorance and bigotry?    



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