Slow News Day

28 Oct

Is staging a Cage Wars parody really so much worse than charging each other in hordes the length of a playing field and calling it “Cowboys and Indians”?

13552-20077261616240cage-wars.jpg Following on from my previous post I should mention that the Perthshire Advertiser (PA) and Andrew Welsh are not solely culpable for the release of personal details leading to the identification of the 15 year old girl. Both the Courier and the Daily Record can join my local rag in this “Hall of Journalism Shame” (again, neither of whom I deem fit for a link).

My initial reaction on reading the article was to ask myself, my other half and my kids what all the fuss was about. A bunch of pupils staged a parody of the popular mixed martial arts live combat show Cage Wars (which is as it says on the tin – fighting in a cage) in a makeshift cage, filmed it on a mobile phone, added a commentary spoofing the wildly overenthusiastic WWE-esque US presenters along the lines of “OM MY GOD I CANNOT BELIEVE WHAT I’VE JUST SEE HERE!!!!!!!” and “THIS IS BRUTAL!!” and uploaded it to Youtube. Other than tampering with the safety fencing around a building site, which I can fully understand those involved getting it in the neck for… do any of them really deserve the histrionics and derision poured on them by the media? Do they really deserve to be slammed by and on the end of demands that they be “punished” from local councillor Alexander Stewart? Where the hacks see the “dark days of bullying” return and the reputation of the school at stake I see creativity, comic genius and FUN. Expecting children not to play with the tools our generation has developed in our quest for easier, faster, bigger and cheaper connectivity is just rank stupidity. Punishing them for doing so is just wrong.

It’s just this sort of knee-jerk reaction that marks adults as aliens in the digital world our progeny inhabit. Andrew Welsh is, I believe, the first “digital tourist” I have seen in action, I’m sure he won’t be the last. Would he, in his professional capacity, dare travel to another country, pour scorn and derision on their cultural activities (after he has fled of course) without so much as an attempt to engage with and learn from them? Well yeah he probably would given his record, but you get the point.

As a parent I hate being backed into a corner by social pressures and obligations to conform to the norm by forcing any of my children to accept, perhaps even accept punishment in the name of, a social nicety which I feel is alien. Of course I might be jumping to conclusions… perhaps the school “involving” their parents means raising the child protection issue I have already identified – I do hope so.


4 Responses to “Slow News Day”

  1. chris October 29, 2007 at 4:11 pm #

    Couldn’t agree more. What a series of asterisks! (I’m being really polite here) I think people are terrified by what they don’t understand – an old story, really.

  2. MrsW October 31, 2007 at 2:23 pm #

    Old indeed – part of me is fascinated at witnessing this deviancy amplification spiral stalling and stuttering along. That same part will get it all down in words one day… a day when nobody wants hot food obviously as the over-riding part of me just can’t think straight when the kitchen is a tip and the ironing pile is taller than my 2 year old.

  3. Anonymous November 26, 2007 at 10:39 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more with this post! It is stupid to brand this ‘shameful’ and have it in the national newspaper! People have done worse! I am by no means condoning what these pupils did, I think it was pretty immature etc, but the big fuss that has been made of it is even worse!


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