I came across this article last week, and wanted to pass it on in whatever the blog equivalent of re-tweeting is… re-blogging perhaps?
In any case, it’s an outstanding article from Elizabeth Farrelly, who writes a column in the Sydney Morning Herald, amongst other things. I particularly enjoyed how she summed up my feelings on these often irrational, self-serving and self-important shock-jocks, of which Alan Jones is the archetype. To quote a couple of particularly nicely-put paras:
They are the cane toads of contemporary culture: ugly, ubiquitous, toxic to most other life forms and adept at using their peculiar behaviour to force change in ours.
It’s not so much that they’re rude, lowbrow or just plain wrong, although these, too, are often the case. The most destructive effect of the shock-jockariat is the poisoning of the logic-well itself; followed by the incremental death of the argument tree that is root and branch of intelligent civilisation.
However, I must say Elizabeth does cane toads a disservice. These poor creatures are just trying to make their way in life, having been introduced into our country some years ago as a means for defeating pests having a crack at cane fields in Queensland. At least they had some purpose, and their behaviour since that time in trying to colonise this great land is understandable, and in fact quite logical.
In contrast, the behaviour of their human counterparts is almost impossible to understand. Even harder to understand is how so many readers/viewers/listeners get taken in by these people – perhaps there is a percentage of the population that just wants someone to do the thinking for them, and simply outsources it to the shock jocks. Not sure. This is especially frustrating when they portray themselves as armchair experts – as is the case with Jones regarding climate change, not to mention Bolt on nuclear engineering. These guys are clueless, really. It’s even more galling when their opinion can be bought, as was the case with Jones and Laws in recent years. These guys didn’t even have the courage or honesty to let their listeners know they were being paid to spruik banks, airlines, telstra and whatever else.
That’s another advantage cane toads have. They’re honest about what they’re doing. And probably more highly evolved.