While the tentacles of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire stretches well beyond Britain, the phone hacking and intrusion of ‘privacy’ seems to be mainly concentrated in the Anglo world. Why, one could reasonably ask?
Well, one answer might well be our obsession with deliberately living lives that are hidden. This wanting to be hidden dates back hundreds if not thousands of years. Perhaps the pillaging, raping and burning by the Vikings on our soil left its inedible mark on our proud British heritage. Our home is our castle and if it wasn’t for lack of money, everyone of us would want to be surrounded by moats and drawbridges. We compromise and have blinds, thick curtains and 6 feet high fencing instead.
We like our privacy. It is the first word of preference when asked how we would like to live. Where is my privacy? This is often the primary requirement when moving into a new home. When neighbours apply permission to extend or build something next door, the possible invasion of privacy is often the reason for councils objecting to the development application. I sometimes wonder why we build houses with windows.
We like our gardens but don’t want to be seen in them. When do the Anglos do their gardening, at night perhaps? We put in outside furniture and giant turbo driven 8 burner stainless steel gas barbeques but, by and large, we stubbornly want to remain hidden and prefer to have all that in the back yard and not at the front, risking fully exposing snags and ourselves to the dangers of the outside world.
Now, with this almost universally well known need for the Anglos wanting to remain hidden, unknown, unseen and ‘private’ till the grave, it is baffling what we are so keen about in wanting to remain hidden. What goes on behind those curtains of privacy? What lurks behind that wall or fence? Are dastardly acts of the most hideous and perverted nature happening? Are the Anglos whipping themselves into a frenzy of orgiastic delights unknown to the rest of us?
Phone hacking outside the British Empire would never have that attraction to readers because everyone knows that the French Prime Minister has affairs or that the Italian President has a penchant for rubbing coconut oil on nubile young girls. Continentals live their lives in the open and rely on openness and community values in keeping an eye out over each other. In fact, the scandals that the Brits so delight in would at best elicit a yawn amongst most of the rest of the world.
Of course, the neuroses to remain hidden don’t mean that we are not curious in finding out what others are doing. It is a double edged sword. Make something hidden and we will inevitably want to snoop around, if only to find out if others are like us as well. This is why people were paid to do all this phone hacking.
Finally it becomes an addiction, hence those awful Anglo Sunday papers revealing who is doing the latest stint in a re-hab., or who is looking suspiciously pregnant and not even married to boot. That close up, is it proof of a Brazilian wax, surely not? Gee, doesn’t Andrew Beiber look a bit pale; I am sure he is back on the crack-ice again, is he?
For the Murdoch Empire it was a colossal and monumental opportunity of money making. It worked while it was going on. And now, the spectacle of Rebekah Brooks in Court with her lovely tousled red hair will be another one of those continuing sagas, raking in even more money. Go for it boys.