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Recreational Grief!

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by The Scarlet Pimp, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. The Scarlet Pimp

    The Scarlet Pimp Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Chair moistener.
    Grief Lite, Recreational Grief, Mourning Sickness,
    Conspicuous Compassion, Tragedy Tourism, Guilt Tripping.

    Most of these terms were evolved by a British civil society think-tank
    called, "Civitas". They describe the spin-doctoring that surrounds a
    government's strategy to attenuate the emotional critical mass of the
    citizenry and thereby render them placid and manageable.

    Joe Q. Public feels that he has done something from the comfort of his
    living room and does not therefore have to engage in further decisive or
    effective action.


    "Mourning Sickness" is a religion:

    Britons are feeding their own egos by indulging in "Recreational Grief"
    for murdered children and dead celebrities they have never met, claims a

    Think-tank Civitas said wearing charity ribbons, holding silences and
    joining protest marches all indicated the country was in emotional

    The author said "Mourning Sickness" was a substitute for religion.
    Rather than "piling up damp teddies and rotting flowers" people should
    go out and do some real good, he urged.

    In his report, "Conspicuous Compassion", author Patrick West said people
    were trying to feel better about themselves by taking part in
    "manufactured emotion".

    Describing extravagant public displays of grief for strangers as
    'Grief-Lite' Mr. West said these activities were, "undertaken as an
    enjoyable event, much like going to a football match or the last night
    of the proms".

    "Mourning Sickness is a religion for the lonely crowd that no longer
    subscribes to orthodox churches. Its flowers and teddies are its rites,
    its collective minutes' silences its liturgy and mass."

    "But these new bonds are phony, ephemeral and cynical", he said. "We
    saw this at its most ghoulish after the demise of Diana. In truth,
    mourners were not crying for her, but for themselves", he wrote.

    Years later, he claimed, "Diana had served her purpose. The public had
    moved on. These recreational grievers were now emoting about Jill Dando,
    Linda McCartney or the Soham girls."

    His 80-page pamphlet said that while the Soham murders were
    "unquestionably tragic", it was "almost as distressing to see sections
    of the public jumping on the grief bandwagon".

    He said the traditional minute's silence has suffered "compassion
    inflation" and become meaningless. "They are getting longer and we are
    having more of them, because we want to be seen to care."

    "When a group called Hedgeline calls for a two-minute silence to
    remember all the 'victims' whose neighbors have grown towering hedges,
    we truly have reached the stage where this gesture has been emptied of
    meaning", he added.

    Moving on to the wearing of charity ribbons, the report said the act
    served to "celebrate the culture of victimhood" and was an egotistical
    gesture to announce "I care".

    The trend had not been accompanied by a tangible increase in charity
    donations, it added, and there was now an "unspoken competition" to see
    who could wear their Remembrance Day poppy earliest, "particularly among

    And on going on demonstrations, the report said it was, "too often an
    exercise in attention-seeking".

    "Next time you profess that you 'care' about something, consider your
    motives and the consequences of your words and actions. Sometimes, the
    only person you really care about is yourself", said the report.

    Civitas, also known as the Institute for the Study of Civil Society, was
    launched in 2000 as an independent registered charity.

    Story from BBC NEWS:

    Published: Feb. 23, 2004

    © BBC 2006


    World AIDS day statement by Mrs. Jo-Ann Downs,
    Deputy President of the ACDP

    As we mark yet another World AIDS day it is time for South Africa to
    face reality. The recent release of statistics show that the pandemic is
    neither declining nor are treatment figures anywhere near optimum, yet
    every year we have candle-lighting ceremonies, expensive lunches and
    other high finance awareness programs.

    These events are known to have little effect on the actual plight of the
    sufferers as they represent an aspect of spin-doctoring recently
    identified by British think tank "Civitas" as "conspicuous compassion"
    or "grief lite" that lulls many public office bearers into inaction.

    Grief Lite is about feeling good but not about doing good. We must stop
    using red ribbons as a campaign rosette.

    It's time the government realized that it's utterly ridiculous to
    continue to do the same things and expect to get a different result. The
    current publicity orientated prevention and education campaigns have
    made absolutely no difference. Anti-retroviral rollout is pathetic when
    considering the number of people who need to be treated.

    This can all be personified in one little 4 year old girl whose CD4
    count is less than 100. I met her at the free clinic where we noted that
    she was extremely ill, running a high temperature and in pain. The local
    clinic declined to treat her with antibiotics, which she desperately

    She was sent home with nothing more than a dose of Paracetamol. History
    will judge the government harshly for its lack of foresight in dealing
    with the worst health crisis we have ever faced in our country.

    It's the plight of this small child that represents AIDS awareness to
    me, not the big public "mourning sickness" campaigns. I am so angry on
    behalf of this small child, she deserves much better. If you would like
    to help her, she lives within 10 km of your home, wherever you are in
    South Africa.

    A visit to her would be more productive than listening to a band in the