Monday, 15 October 2012

Media-reality versus reality: the case of Jimmy Savile

*

US readers may not be aware of an extraordinary business going on in the UK mass media at present: the un-masking of the late Sir Jimmy Savile (1926-2011) as a chronic, serial, aggressively predatory sexual abuser of children (amongst others).

(I shall leave it to interested parties to sift the vast coverage on this for the sordid details.)

The intense interest of this case is that Savile was, for several decades but especially in the 1970s and 80s, massively promoted by the UK media as a lay saint, due to his raising lots of money 'for charity'.

(Savile was, indeed, one of the earliest people to recognize the vast career possibilities of becoming personally very rich, famous and powerful by well-publicized charitable 'giving'.)

The media, and especially the BBC, made Savile into the leading British example of a 'good' person, held-up as an example to others.

*

And not just the media - Savile was awarded a Papal knighthood to go with his British knighthood (Savile was one of the best-known Roman Catholics in public life), he was apparently a close personal friend and guest of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, and also of the Queen and Royal Family.

In other words Savile was unanimously endorsed by the establishment at the highest possible level and with the greatest possible force.

They invited Savile into their own homes to meet their own families; but now we discover that many of these establishment figures were aware of multiple reports and complaints, and persistent and plausible rumours of his activities; and did nothing, or denied, or covered-up what was really going-on; did not even use this knowledge to safeguard their own loved ones!

Typical of the insanity of modernity (it being characteristic of the politically correct elite that they believe their own lies above their own eyes).

*

And yet, to the unbiased eye he was a cold-eyed, self-promoting, self-enriching, egotistical weirdo - with an embarrassingly inept persona; a man who never conversed but spoke entirely in cliches, and deflected enquiries with strange noises and displacement activities.

The only people whom I know who actually met Savile disliked him intensely, one knew him as a nasty child, a woman friend reported that he made an immediate sexually aggressive approach.

A very obviously untrustworthy person.

*

So, on the one hand there was one's own instinctive reaction backed by personal contacts which said Savile was nasty; and on the other hand the mass media, especially the BBC, the government, the Royal Family, numerous hospitals and prison services, and (for goodness sake!) the Vatican - all united in telling us that Sir Jimmy was the nearest British equivalent to Mother Teresa (and I am not exaggerating this in the slightest).

*

There we have it, in a nutshell.

The necessary relationship between media reality and reality is not just zero, but potentially negative: the worse the reality, the more the 'establishment' ruling elite, promoted it.

The 'lack of discernment' displayed by the Queen, the politicians, the media moguls and the Pope could not have been more extreme.

A perfection of inversion: one of the most evil people aggressively promoted as one of the best.

This is a measure of what Christians are up against.

*

20 comments:

AlexT said...

Isn't it odd just how often lust is behind a lot of the misbehaviour of elites these days. Makes you wonder what really controls their minds. Can it be as simple as sexual predation? Getting your rocks of with people who are too weak to resist and getting away with it. JFK, Jimmy Savile, Bill Clinton.....There seems to be a theme!

bgc said...

@AT - It is clearly a very powerful motivation.

What is underestimated is the long termist strategies to which people will resort for what are ultimately sexual reasons.

Also underestimated is that most of sex is fantasy, not actual- but that this fantasy is equally powerful (and strategic) a motivation as real sex.

The sexual revolution is dominant not so much because of what people actually do or have done, but becuase of what they might do or hope to do; what is opened-up, not excluded...

Thordaddy said...

"A perfection of inversion: one of the most evil people aggressively promoted as one of the best." --Bruce Charlton

Pure anti-Supremacy.

The radical liberal formulation:

Supremacy = degeneracy.

And the degenerate life is "supreme."

sconzey said...

I'm not sure it is that leftists portrayed the man as a sant whilst knowing he was not; to leftists the man IS a saint. Someone utterly unconstrained by personal morality or social propriety. Someone who pursues their desires wherever they may lead. The left, denying any system of morality are unable to condemn such men, for fear that their own lesser sins would also be judged. I think it was Moldbug who described progressivism as a mystery cult of power. Saville held social and sexual power, and so was made a high priest.

As to HM, I am never sure the extent to which her actions reflect her own opinions, or the opinions of her political advisors. Judging by her facial expressions during the Olympic games opening ceremony, and her recently revealed comments about Mr Hamza, I suspect she is far more reactionary than most believe.

dearieme said...

On Savile, I didn't believe The Media then and I remain pretty cool about much of what it is saying now. Time might tell, but it's not certain. Meantime "A very obviously untrustworthy person" is spot on: an obvious creep who nobody with the least sense would have allowed his daughter near.

PatrickH said...

I have no doubt the media will focus ever more narrowly on the fact that Savile was a Catholic who received a Papal knighthood. Eventually they will manage to spin all those non-celibate post-Protestants at the BBC who covered up for him into yet another story about how priestly celibacy produces perverts like Savile. Sigh.

bgc said...

@PatrickH - While I take your point, I do find it shocking that the Vatican made such an egregious error.

James James said...

"As to HM, I am never sure the extent to which her actions reflect her own opinions, or the opinions of her political advisors. Judging by her facial expressions during the Olympic games opening ceremony, and her recently revealed comments about Mr Hamza, I suspect she is far more reactionary than most believe."

Look to political appointments to the Order of Merit, the only honour really chosen by the Queen. Thatcher, Boothroyd, Jean Chrétien, John Howard. Not much to draw conclusions from, and Boothroyd wasn't appointed for her party politics. Thatcher and Howard show where HM's sympathies lie. Chrétien is an outlier -- maybe he was appointed for opposing Québec separatism.

I do wonder what Norman Foster is doing in the OM, though. Is HM really a fan?

The Crow said...

The first time I laid eyes on the Savile monster, I despised him with a visceral loathing. He utterly repulsed me. How terribly predictable that he should have been lauded the way he was, by the many, in direct proportion to his grotesqueness.

Proph said...

"While I take your point, I do find it shocking that the Vatican made such an egregious error."

But why? The history of the postconciliar Papacy is a litany of egregious and gratuitous errors born of a misplaced desire to appease modern sensibilities.

Thursday said...

I do find it shocking that the Vatican made such an egregious error.

Given some of the men who have ascended into the papacy, I'm shocked that your shocked.

The history of the postconciliar Papacy is a litany of egregious and gratuitous errors born of a misplaced desire to appease modern sensibilities.

Tempting as it is to blame modernity for everything the church does wrong, I would again note that the church has been responsible for a lot of bad things that took place well before modernity. Is this ordinary human failing or is it some peculiarly modern failing? Tough to say without more study than is given here.

bgc said...

What this case seems to mean is very radical - or it would be for most people. That the media reality is unrelated to truth, is utterly worthless - and that this has been the case for many decades. Our minds are full of deceptions about people and things, and have been for many decades. Not a nice thing to know about oneself.

bgc said...

@Thursday - I don't really approve of the way that you are dismissive of my (and other people's) shock at Saville's Vatican knighthood. It smacks of cysnicism rather than realism.

Unless one is truly detached from the influence of the media and ruling elite (and this does not apply to any blogger or blog commenter) then I think it is correct to be shocked by this kind of thing, because the implications are indeed shocking.

It means that the core of intellectual Reactionaries in the West, who are mostly traditionalist Roman Catholics, are revealed to be in an extremely difficult position.

The point about Saville's Papal knighthood is that it represents an un-forced error: there was no need at all to honour Saville, and even the most cursory enquiry would have led to the determination not to do so.

This behaviour of the RC Church thus resembles the way that the Glasgow University Student's elected Winnie Mandela as their Rector while I was teaching there.

WM was a PC figure, yet it only took the most cursory enquiry to recognize she was a vile person. So, the act of electing her made clear that the Glasgow Student Leadership was active in their promotion of evil, which was very obviously the case, and hardly unexpected.

But the Vatican likewise? If so, and it seems so, then it emphasizes that we are in very deep and almost totally pervasive trouble.

Whom can we trust?

We *must* trust some people or some institutions, else we are paralysed - but who? The list is shrunk very small indeed...

PatrickH said...

Savile was awarded a papal knighthood given for conspicuous service to the Church. Savile did raise considerable funds for the Little Sisters of the Poor, and was given the award on that basis. The Church now says it may strip him posthumously of the award, and would not have granted it to him had they known of the allegations and were the allegations proved to be true. I don't see quite the reason for shock here. Rupert Murdoch was given the same award. I see no reason to think that the Church has to do detailed background checks on those to whom such awards are given. And remember, there is not even a hint of cover up. That was the province of the BBC and those who were in a position to know.

bgc said...

@PH "I see no reason to think that the Church has to do detailed background checks on those to whom such awards are given. "

You don't see any reason, or indeed obligation, to do background checks before awarding the imprimateur of Papal honours?

I do. That reason is Jimmy Savile. But I'm sure there will be many others, if that is how the awards are given.

Clearly in future I will have to get used to the idea that being honoured by the Pope means precisely nothing in terms of a person being in good, or even adequate, standing.

JP said...

Not knowing much about Papal knighthoods, I did a google search. One of the top results shows that they are not always given for good works...

Tony Blair's priest fixed papal knighthoods for cash: Senior Catholic took up to £50k donations for honours
By Ian Gallagher
UPDATED: 11:22 EST, 12 October 2012
Senior Catholic Fr Michael Seed admits soliciting charity donations of up to £50,000 for prestigious honours
Franciscan Friars ‘appalled’ by MoS disclosures... as Seed admits his actions could be ‘morally wrong’

The most damaging evidence concerns his attempted cultivation of an Israeli arms dealer, Hezi Bezalel, who was seeking business opportunities in the Balkans.
It shows that Fr Seed, a former ecumenical adviser to the Archbishop of Westminster, had ‘agreed’ a papal knighthood for Mr Bezalel before approaching him. In return for a £45,000 donation to charity, Fr Seed said he could also introduce Mr Bezalel to influential Balkan politicians ‘and the man who looks after all arms for the region’. Mr Bezalel declined the offer, saying he did not give to charity ‘under instruction’.

Papal knighthoods are awarded to lay men and women for conspicuous service to the church and society. They are among the highest honours the Pope can bestow.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1370323/Tony-Blairs-priest-fixed-papal-knighthoods-cash.html#ixzz29U0PU3ID

Thursday said...

Unless one is truly detached from the influence of the media and ruling elite (and this does not apply to any blogger or blog commenter) then I think it is correct to be shocked by this kind of thing, because the implications are indeed shocking.

They are indeed shocking, but not any more so than many things in the history of the RC church, including well back into the pre-modern era.

It means that the core of intellectual Reactionaries in the West, who are mostly traditionalist Roman Catholics, are revealed to be in an extremely difficult position.

Are they in any more difficult a position than following an institution which has put at least some pretty terrible people on the throne of Peter?

This behaviour of the RC Church thus resembles the way that the Glasgow University Student's elected Winnie Mandela as their Rector while I was teaching there.

Again, some pretty terrible people were elected as pope. People with well known character defects.

------------------

Keep in mind that I'm not arguing that either the election of bad popes or the honouring of Mr. Savile discredits the Catholic church's claims about itself. Just that it isn't clear that this is a particularly bad thing that the church has done considering all the bad things she has done in her history.

PatrickH said...

"Clearly in future I will have to get used to the idea that being honoured by the Pope means precisely nothing in terms of a person being in good, or even adequate, standing."

The knighthoods do require that the individual be in good standing and continue to be a good example. I was simply pointing out that the awarding of a knighthood of Savile's type (which are given to diplomats for example) simply do not merit the kind of investigation given to someone in the process of canonization. There is no reason to think that Bob Hope's knighthood, or Murdoch's, were granted on the assumption that either man was any kind of moral paragon. The complicity of the British establishment is far more shocking than the naivete of the Holy See. Since the Vatican is likely to strip him of his honour before his other British honours are removed, it seems odd to focus so much shock and dismay on the Vatican for being suckered instead of on the British establishment for being actively dishonest. To say that "being honoured...means precisely nothing..." is more accurately ascribed to Britain, not Rome.

bgc said...

wrt the British Establishment I am shocked about the Queen and her Consort, specifically (not the rest of the Royal Family, for whom I have little respect); but obviously I am unsurprised by the BBC and the mass media since I regard them as the focus of purposive evil in modern Britain.

bgc said...

Note - I'm not wishing to post topical links to specific coverage of this news story - I want to focus on the principles and lessons.