Selective Morality by Mark Ulyseas
Ulyseas has served time in advertising as copywriter and creative director selling people things they didn’t need, a ghost writer for some years, columnist of a newspaper, a freelance journalist and photographer. In 2009 he created Live Encounters Magazine, in Bali, Indonesia. It is a not for profit (adfree) free online magazine featuring leading academics, writers, poets, activists of all hues etc. from around the world. March 2016 saw the launch of its sister publication Live Encounters Poetry, which was relaunched as Live Encounters Poetry & Writing in March 2017. He has edited, designed and produced all of Live Encounters’ 120 publications till date. Mark’s philosophy is that knowledge must be free and shared freely (without charge) to empower all towards enlightenment. He is the author of three books: RAINY – My friend & Philosopher, Seductive Avatars of Maya – Anthology of Dystopian Lives and In Gethsemane: Transcripts of a Journey. www.amazon.com
Not too long ago one witnessed Meryl Streep speak eloquently about wicked Weinstein and her country’s President, Trump. Prior to these sterling performances, this celebrated actress gave a standing ovation to a convicted child rapist, Roman Polanski, at the Academy Awards. Of course, he was not present. This selective moral approach appears to be growing amidst self-appointed gendarmes who have two sets of morals – one reserved for themselves and the other, a platform to express their righteous indignation (read as self-promotion). Now with the new mantra being #metoo we are spectators to a stream of the bold and the beautiful coming out of the woodwork with colourful narrations of how they were violated on their way to stardom. Perhaps it never occurred to them to raise their voice at the time when the incidents happened. Could it be that crying wolf would have jeopardised their chances to stardom and hence they suffered in silence…only to speak up when stardom was achieved and there was enough money in the bank? Was this a silence of convenience?
The glitterati from around the world has predictably chimed in with their own revelations. Not to be outdone by the righteous indignation of a section of women in the USA, TIME magazine quickly nominated #metoo as the ‘person of the year’ 2017.
Any actor who has spoken out against this rising selective morality has been shouted own. Suddenly anyone who has balls and wears pants is a sexual deviant.
Perhaps if the women in question have a quiet chat with the Kurdish women fighters they would get another perspective on how to handle those that infringe on their sexuality, among other things.
French actress, Catherine Deneuve, is one of the 100 French women who has defended men’s ‘right to hit on’ women in an open letter that speaks of a new ‘puritanism’. Sane voices amidst the chanting of Hollywood homilies.
One is not condoning sexual harassment per se. But it is apparent that individual thinking on the matter of what constitutes sexual harassment is fast losing its sense of proportion. It is a known fact that such harassment is, usually, perpetrated by people known to the women. Is this reflective of the societies we have created where socio-religious-economic issues collide with one another, thus making morals elastic; Hence, the rise of selective morality?
Society is what we make of it, the order we create. It cannot exist without our regular individual inputs both moral and economic. But it can get easily warped when selective morality becomes a populist chant led by glitterati with a penchant for self-promotion.
If women face various forms of sexual harassment/abuse so do men, boys, girls, homosexuals, lesbians et al. Unfortunately sexual harassment of men is rarely heard of because ‘men don’t cry’ nor do boys.
The insidious sexual discrimination of the LGBT community continues on the hour, every hour. But then, who bothers about these ‘sexes’? They are often viewed condescendingly as fringe folk of society.
Selective morality is not a new phenomenon. There is another more insidious form that has been around for a very long time and it emanates from former colonial countries, all surprisingly situated in Europe.
What happens in Europe has become the yardstick for the rest of the world. After a number of Parisians were gunned down by terrorists the chant was ‘pray for Paris’. And so on.
And prior to this, in the aftermath of the fall of Nazi Germany, the term Nazi is used liberally for anyone or anything that slightly resembles that of non-political correctness. Even words like holocaust are reserved exclusively for Europeans.
The sacred Hindu swastika is deliberately confused with the Nazi Hakenkreuz. People of a certain religion in India have of late been ‘associating’ the Hindu swastika with the Nazi Hakenkreuz, implying that some Hindus are Nazis. The ‘European,’ effect is clearly visible in this ex-colony.
The Europeans consider themselves the civilised world. And this is odd because it was they who colonised large swathes of the world, raping, looting and enslaving the colonised. Holocausts were a dime a dozen, like the deliberate extermination of ancient societies and occupation of their lands.
But this is acceptable. The massacre of Africans, Asians, Aborigines (Australia), the destruction of civilisations in the Americas etc., because it was carried out by those whose morals were, in their own eyes, unimpeachable. Many thought they were doing their God’s work by civilising the great unwashed. They had/have two sets of morals – one for their societies and one for the rest of the world. It matters little if Europe has systematically produced many Hitlers that vied with one another to rule the world. European selective morality has stood the test of time.
The perceived big bad boys of today are Russia and China. Over 30 million Russians were killed in both world wars, millions injured or taken prisoner. Many millions more were killed by Stalin. Whilst the Chinese had faced the full wrath of the Japanese Imperial Army and later by its own bloody cultural revolution when millions were killed. Now that they (Russia and China) have become world powers the former colonials find it an indigestible development and have continued to undermine their power.
The developments in the Middle East and the devastating effect and aftermath of the illegal invasion of Iraq by USA and UK is reflective of dual morality. No sanctions were imposed on these two countries. No legal action in the World Court. The UN looked on… like how a castrated dog would look at a bitch in heat. There were no celebrities shouting from the lectern to ‘pray for Iraq’. Curiously, it was the Russian intervention in the Middle East that destroyed ISIS.
The mantra of civil rights has been abused so often that no one in their right mind believes the rubbish churned out by western capitals. The propaganda aimed at countries like India, Russia and China is fine tuned to give one the impression that only western nations are truly free whilst the rest of the world wallows in civil rights violations that go beyond the pale.
Social media is overrun with millions of ill-informed folk with click happy fingers who share links to dubious news reports and are ever ready to ‘bash’ any image that does not conform to their selective morality. The spewing of hatred and abuse has turned social media into one global garbage dump of misinformation and disinformation.
Selective morality is best reflected in the image of Meryl Streep applauding a child rapist. And Tony Blair justifying the invasion of Iraq. Goebbels would have been proud of these folk. He knew the power of word and image.
© Mark Ulyseas