A culture war

Image thanks to Prospect magazine

We’re at war! Nobody told me, when was it declared? Who are we fighting and why?

It’s a culture war apparently, where society splits into two based upon some arbitrary and random issue. It’s a bit like a civil war but without guns. Yet!

We’ve had them before. They’re meant to pitch one group of people against another based upon a misinterpretation of their beliefs. As if everyone believes either one thing or another. Nothing to do with people is that binary. 

They’re usually meant to distract us from other events that are far more important. People are fickle that way. They would much rather fiddle than put out the fire.

How do these culture wars work then? They usually start in the media, which promotes a political agenda of division and blame. It could be permissiveness, liberality, gender, religion, political correctness, ethnicity, class or being woke, you name it – whatever inflames the passions of those who fall for such things. 

It used to be the print media, especially the tabloid press but now social media has a big role to play and even the broadsheets get in on the act, especially in their desperate fight for circulation. Television is not immune, new channels have been created on the back of a so-called cultural division though it is yet to be seen whether they can sustain their audience.

I have some questions about this culture war. 

Will culture be rationed? Will we get a book of vouchers to go to the theatre? Will Sky Arts be restricted to every other day? When the sirens wail will we all rush down into the tube stations to sing pre-approved songs that celebrate our glorious heritage? Will we resort to book burning?

Who knows?

Don’t worry too much though, this one, like all the others, will pass. They usually backfire on those that start them anyway, but these are unusual times.

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