A full-page advert carried in the Washington Post criticises the singer Lorde for cancelling a gig in Tel Aviv. While always ready to sympathise with disappointed fans – anywhere – this seems a bit of an overreaction.
Of course, the ad was not in fact sponsored by an overwrought fanclub. Nor is it just about the singer. Its headline announces ‘Lord and New Zealand Ignore Syria to Attack Israel’.
An act of national aggression against a state is alleged!
Advertisements, we know, are always full of silly propositions, but calling out an entire national government in this way takes idiocy to a whole new level.
Yet I fear it is symptomatic of a tendency that is becoming increasingly familiar across a variety of communications platforms.
And while New Zealand is criticised for its aggression, Lorde herself is criticised for succumbing to pressure.
The pressure, as it appears to me, is that of reasoned moral persuasion. The singer will have made a pecuniary loss and incurred a lot of grief, in virtue of her decision. So it does not show some sort of weakness or venality on her part.
Personally, I wish more of us would succumb more of the time to reasoned moral persuasion.
Happily, as this is my first post of 2018, it is pleasing to find that even in the advertisement we find some words in conclusion that are good to share:
‘It’s time that we send a clear message that there will be no tolerance for intolerance.’ Hatred or descrimination against any people on the basis of their ethnicity, race or religion should never be accepted.
I’ll settle for that as a New Year’s Resolution.