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I am old enough to remember the JF Kennedy assassination. In the UK people were shocked, felt empathy toward the mythical Jacqui, and a little afraid of potential world political instability.

Later TS Eliot and Winston Churchill died, and the nation mourned their loss as distant and respected examples of ‘people better than us’ (that concept of an elite still existed in 1965 Britain). The killing of John Lennon, who had been idolised and mythologised in his life, was a shock too, and people began to express a kind of personal grief, based upon the notion that Lennon was ‘like one of us’. I felt that there was a certain amount of self-aggrandisement going on here, and the media offered five minutes’ fame to anyone who could wax lyrical over ‘what John Lennon meant to me’.

Then, sometime around the end of the eighties, it became fashionable – possibly prompted by the American Psychoanalysis movement – to ‘get in touch with your emotions’. Jerry Springer, Oprah Winfrey and others then decided to invite disenfranchised rural Americans onto TV to bare their souls for the entertainment of Middle America, who probably felt markedly superior, but nonetheless joined the competition to express their emotions, based on the criteria of having ‘better and more’ emotions than everybody else.

Then Princess Diana got killed, and Saint Blair in a spectacular display of fake sincerity described her, through his crocodile tears, as; ‘The People’s Princess’, and a wave of mass hysteria swept the UK. Because the elite in British society had been careful to cultivate the appearance of being ordinary people, when the gap between the rich and privileged in the UK and the ordinary electorate had become immensely wider than ever before, sobbing and impoverished citizens mourned her as if she had been their sister, and had had a personal relationship with each and every one of them.

The people who enjoy indulging themselves in ostentatious displays of extreme emotion are often, in ‘reality’, numb to the core, and do not give a flying fig for anyone else, but vigorously assert their own importance as deeply wounded individuals.

There is every indication that this is getting worse, as the Brits recently got all worked up over the deaths of fictional characters in TV and even Radio soap-operas. Weeping idiots wail publicly about their personal sense of bereavement, and other idiots comfort them, assuring them that they share their grief.

Does nobody understand ‘catharsis’?

People are beginning to suggest that they are suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of misfortunes suffered by their ‘Second-Life’ personas. I’m waiting for the first major lawsuit in the ‘real world’ for compensation for ‘virtual’ injury which was confined to someone’s ‘second life’ in the cyberworld.

Human kind cannot bear very much reality? They are successfully annihilating it.

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