This is just a fragment from an extraordinary blog yesterday by the film-maker Adam Curtis, which links the obsession with celebrity sleaze and the phone hacking scandal with much wider issues of trust busting, monopoly power, and the privacy intrusions by private companies. Read and ponder.
I think it is a very interesting question why the tabloids became so nasty.
In the wake of the phone-hacking scandal – it\’s possible to look back and see how an obsession with exposing hidden lives – especially the sexual aspects – grew and grew from 1960 onwards. It happened during a period of growing openness about sex in society as a whole, but rather than reflecting that openness it manifested itself instead as a weird, vicious prurience.
It may be that we will look back and see it as the reaction of an older generation – both newspapermen and their readers – who found that when the lid was finally taken off talking about sex they didn’t know how to deal properly with it. Instead they created a strange and pervy world that finally ran out of control as it became more and more desperate to pry into peoples lives.