Thursday, September 27, 2007

Fighting Fire with Fire

It's interesting to see the BBC pushing the story of Miles Cooper, who's been sending letter bombs. Today's article, "Bombs sent 'in protest at state'" is just under the main headline of the Burmese protests. The previous article on Tuesday mentioned his reasons in the headline, as I recall, but it's not until the 6th paragraph down that these are noted:
He sent them because "of an overbearing and over-intrusive surveillance society," Mr Wolkind said.
I'm all for coverage of such attacks with such reasoning behind them, but one can't help but think the BBC are pushing this fairly hard - harder than needed, perhaps?

On the one hand, it could well be an interesting backlash against a surveillance society. There's a certain level of anger building up over ever-increasing acceptance of a submissive population. On the other hand, Mr Cooper might just be combining this "public" level of anger with a slightly ... deranged desire to blow shit up. Of course, without knowing him personally or reading the court transcripts, it's difficult to say which. But his method - references to animal rights on the letters - doesn't exactly pinpoint the locus of discussion he might be trying to raise.

That said, violent terrorism seems to be the protest tool of choice these days. Maybe this ties in with a question I raised ages ago - what is the best way of getting a point across, today? We don't trust politicians, or corporates, yet we let ourselves be ruled by them and buy their crap. Through tolerance, things are forced upon us - a subtle, masochistic violence. Do we need violence to counter it?

I had some thoughts on this that I'll try to coalesce and post somewhere soon.

1 comment:

Richard Veryard said...

If the people protesting about the surveillance society were mostly nutters - the kind of people who send letter bombs - then their ideas wouldn't have to be taken seriously. The media are always doing this - trying to associate particular instances of violence and terrorism with ideas that may be held by millions of peaceful people, as if to discredit these ideas. POSIWID