The weird global media event
It will be made of half-facts and one-and-a-half facts. And made quickly, as the desire for a media story quickly outstrips the reliable data. Certain corrections will later have to be made — silently.
It is only global in appearing to speak of a world; somewhere indifference reigns. But it does produce an image of the global for each of the interpretive spaces it touches. Images rendered incomparable by the different ideological narratives that rule in those domains.
That it is an event demands a suspension of open-ended thought. The event invokes the master-scripts of ideology, which the event will be made to fit. That which at first exceeds everyday little stories is recaptured by grand narrative.
It is odd mix of unexpected and familiar story elements that makes it at first weird. Retrospectively, what was weird will be made to seem an inevitable part of a predictable story. The predictable story then gives rise to predictable counter-narratives, also pre-scripted.
It is quite possible that the protagonist and antagonist in the story were noble and evil, respectively. But the narrative of the event will, after the fact, guarantee it. That they could be mediocre, ordinary, or just sordid characters is no longer possible.
All of the facts take on meaning retrospectively, in the light of the event. The good guys will henceforth always have been good, etc. Much ideological work will go into making it always to have been so. There will be no more ambiguities.
There’s consequences for deviating from the consensus hallucination – police-action trolling ensues. There can be no ambiguities of events, no moral complexity, and no plurality of interpretation. The integrity of bourgeois liberalism has to be re-asserted by denying the values it claims to protect.
Ethical and emotional imperatives trump political and critical ones, and to question this is to be outside the valid world. Certain statements must be repeated in the name of the dead, but in name only. The dead themselves don’t speak.