On the internet you can watch a woman copulating with a horse while smoking crack, yet when pop starlet Miley Cyrus sparked up a blunt at the MTV Europe Music Awards on Sunday she still managed to generate headlines containing the word “shock”. (Strictly speaking it was a spliff, but whatevs.)
Twenty years ago someone might have actually been shocked by a pop star half-heartedly grinding on an older man, but Miley, her fans and the journalists who write about her go home and watch videos on Facebook of people getting decapitated.
Over the past few weeks The Kernel has plumbed the internet to bring you stories about gore porn, cock cages, child porn and incest rape porn – and it’s not like we’re out of ideas. That’s what the internet is like.
So how is it in an age where young people are growing up immersed in the web’s vilest waters that headlines such as “Miley Cyrus booze pics spark outrage” can be churned out with a straight face?
Well, the fact is there’s nothing straight-faced about it. Manufactured outrage sells and the press feel they have no choice but to keep peddling the same boilerplate article they’ve been pushing for the past hundred years.
So we’re left with this bizarre charade of people who aren’t outraged about something, pretending to be outraged by it so they can make other people pretend to be outraged about something they don’t find remotely shocking. Before they all go home and watch an elderly Japanese man shit in his “daughter’s” mouth.
Why do we still read this faux-shock drivel? The truth is we want to be shocked: outrage is fun and a decade of watching efukt has ruined us. So please Miley, do something genuinely shocking – dress demurely, or apologise for swearing. You know, something young people would be genuinely scandalised by.