Tuesday, July 26, 2011

hmm.., lemme see..., uh, phukkem!!!

NYTimes | The Murdoch drama is now entering its fifth act, the part when the bodies start to pile up. At the hearing before a parliamentary committee, Mr. Murdoch interrupted his son near the beginning of the proceedings to say: “This is the most humble day of my life.”

His native Australian optimism may be misleading him, however. The mood in Britain seems to desire nothing less than his complete destruction. Everything he cherishes must be sacrificed. The paper. The BSkyB deal. Rebekah Brooks. Possibly his son’s takeover of the company.

We go to tragedy to watch a man be destroyed. Macbeth must be destroyed for his lust for power, Othello for his jealousy, Antony for his passion, Lear for the incompleteness of his renunciation.

They are tragic precisely because their flaws are all too human. We do not yet know how far Mr. Murdoch is implicated in the crimes of his company, so we do not know which of Shakespeare’s tragic heroes he resembles most. If he didn’t know the extent of the phone hacking, then he’s most like the bungling Richard II, who fails to spot the decay within his kingdom. If he did know, then he’s more like the conniving Richard III, whose love of the machinations of power eventually grinds him into the machinery he’s created.

Regardless, Mr. Murdoch’s distinguishing flaw is common ambition — an outsider’s desire to force his way into the establishment. He has been singled out because his flaw is so ordinary, so widespread. Putting aside for a moment the complicity of every single reader of The News of the World, nearly all journalists and politicians played the same game, only Mr. Murdoch played it better.

One of the most profound feelings that follows watching a Shakespearean tragedy, once we have witnessed the destruction we crave, is how empty the world seems. The tension of tragedy lays bare a part of our hypocrisy that we should at least recognize in the case of Rupert Murdoch: Maybe he is a monster. Maybe he needs to be punished. But he is being destroyed because we cannot stand seeing ourselves, whether on stage or before Parliament.


Tom said...

I come to bury Rupert not to praise him.  

nanakwame said...

This is interesting as Doc as raised here - how men like this weld power


So for eons it has been easy given the lack of education for millions of  individuals.

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