Hello and welcome to The Week. I could talk about the atrocious attacks in Tunisia, France and Kuwait but after the USA Church atrocity last week, and the mass death of migrants the weeks before I don’t think Isis need any more publicity, even if it is from my small blog. Isis as an issue can only be sorted by a combined strike of all western countries but after Afghanistan and Iraq we don’t have the stomach for it any more. I thought I would concentrate this week on accounts of rich kids on Instagram and such like. As an avid non user of most social media I don’t have Instagram but it’s not hard to find evidence of these rich kids everywhere else. The fact that there are so many of them makes my face screw up even more, who views these and why? I directly attribute the peacock style of this media to the rising levels of suicides in young men and women because for the first time in our history we live in a time of true extremism – in this one week there have been those gruesome attack; President Obama being berated for using a racist slur; gay marriage legalised in the USA and the message ‘love winning through’; a young man indiscriminately killing holidaymakers on a beach – what extremes of good and evil.
The news organisations have switched from item to item and this has shown the complex, polar opposites of events and views. And as all this is going on we have these sites with the rich showing off how rich they are – and everyone else viewing in envy – As I have said before, it is an obligation of wealth to do something constructive with it but this showcasing is destructive. Shows like Only Way is Essex and Rich kids of New York are popular but destructive in that they stir up dissatisfaction and envy. No one looking at the pictures on Instagram, or watching these shows, can do so without having an emotion reaction to them because it causes immediate comparisons to their own lot when viewing a 15 year old kid sitting in a 370K Phantom in Marbella. It doesn’t make me feel happy or glad for him, I will own up that it simply induces the green eyed monster and a dislike for this kid, who I don’t even know, simply because he is smug about it being born to someone who is rich. So why do we watch all this in such numbers, why do we care? You may think this is a bit of a leap but coming back to Isis it is clear that the world of extremes is because society has become morally bankrupt – we care more for possessions and what they say about us; material possessions give us worth, value – now more than ever before – and this creates extreme reactions – most of us know it’s not right but we are drawn to this voyeurism which triggers a reaction. We only have to look at the many films and books have come out since the crash that explores the disparity between the rich and the rest of us. Can this carry on? Can we allow generations to be influenced in this way? That is the big question. It seems that the ostentatious display of wealth is by the wealthy on Instagram and various TV shows is creating a dangerous reaction – from an increase in mental health issues to the Isis view that the world had descended into a hedonistic state for the privileged and finally pushing some disenfranchised young people to embrace such extreme opposition as Isis present – these are incredibly dangerous times – social media may well be the undoing of society.
Given the awful news this week I wondered how to approach this in my writing this week and could only empathise for the victims and their families. Rather than recount events I took a look at the divisions between people and, in researching this piece, found myself reading an article on a site that talked about the Isis gunman who attached people in the resort in Tunisia, and included a video segment where the gunman pointed out that the west is hedonistic and referred to the rich kids of Instagram as an example – it made me kind of agree with him, which was shocking , to find I agreed with something a madman who has killed fifteen people or more was saying – clearly he was mad to think his actions on innocent people could be justified, they cannot . However a friend recently said to me that we have the dangers of Elysium for the privileged in the making – and where does that leave everyone else? She may be right, and that is a sober thought.
However, there is still some good in the world, and seeing the happiness in the USA at the move to recognise the importance of equality gives us some hope! Have a good week.