Comedian: 'Outrage at protests is why they work'
Steve Allen, comedian
- Credit: PA
News these days makes me too afraid to pass comment. If I take a side on a government policy some will be aggressive online because my take is too right or left wing.
If I mention the return to imperial measures, some people will tell me I’m drowning in colonial privilege while others are also attacking me for being anti-Brexit.
Outrage is our go-to emotion when we hear someone we disagree with.
That is why I am proceeding carefully when talking about Insulate Britain. If I do any jokes about the protest group gluing themselves to the road surface (“and I thought I was stuck in traffic”) some people will piously tell me it’s a serious issue and start quoting pH levels of the ocean.
If I say anything in favour of trying to save the only planet we can live on, there’ll be angry posts quoting someone’s blog disproving climate change.
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The irony is the outrage is the reason these protests are working.
The more righteous the indignation of the radio host or columnist the more coverage it gets.
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What happens next? We’ll get used to the outrage and they’ll have to up their game. They may start delaying school buses - that would make us angry. Or they may swap the signs that are put out when your local parkrun takes place.
Imagine your anger when you accidentally did more than 5k.
The best thing they could do, if they hold up traffic again, is to let anyone with a hybrid car go through. The right-wing radio hosts would fume.
In other news, I got a new car recently. You’ll never guess what it is.