The charming Yorkshire playwright Alan Bennett failed the entrance exam to the school I would end up attending. As it happens, I think he had a lucky escape. But at least someone had a sense of humour when, many years later, he was invited to open the school’s new theatre. That event also took place a couple of years before I arrived, but a form tutor and French teacher of mine, whom I admired, related the following anecdote.
As often happens at big events, something went wrong at the big theatre opening and proceedings were delayed (or something). As Eris reigned, Mr Bennett turned to my future tutor and said:
I like it best when things go wrong
It has to be imagined in his distinctive soft Yorkshire chip-in-the-sugar drawl. The quote stayed with my tutor as it has with me. There is something slightly delightful in watching it all go to shit. As long as it’s not too tragic.
And that’s how I feel as I watch the empire of Rupert Murdoch crumble. There are sad aspects to the story. I feel for the family of Milly Dowler, and for the innocent News of the World staffers out on their arse because of the scummy behaviour of a tumorous clump of twattish rogues.
But damn it feels good to watch Murdoch get his comeuppance. I didn’t think he would live long enough. And it’s great to see both Murdoch and British politicians realise that no-one is too powerful to face justice. Can Joseph Ratzinger be next, please?
Every day adds more lulz. But the highlight for me was when the Murdoch-tainted Sky News tried to cover the hacking of Murdoch’s Sun website by the gentlemen from Lulz Security.
The sky is failing!
Clueless Sky Papers Pundit 1: Europe’s imploding and he’s still banging on about this.
Clueless Sky News Anchor: I hate to continue about hacking though, but the latest victim to be hacked apparently is the Sun newspaper. Its website has been targeted by Anonymous, which you might remember had links with WikiLeaks, umm…
Clueless Sky News Anchor: That was before and…
Clueless Sky News Anchor: That’s what happens when you log in to it now. The Luiz Boat, it says. So you… I don’t know if it’s still like that.
Clueless Sky Papers Pundit 1: Who’s the Louise Boat?
Clueless Sky News Anchor: That’s what it’s like now if you click on now. It’s been tampered with.
Clueless Sky Papers Pundit 2: Some ‘hacking thing‘…
Clueless Sky Papers Pundit 1: Who is Louise Boat?
Clueless Sky News Anchor: I don’t know who Luiz Boat is, but the group is called Anonymous and they hacked into various credit card companies.
Clueless Sky Papers Pundit 2: I mean it’s wrong. You shouldn’t go wrecking websites like that. It’s not funny; it’s not clever. He says! Wait till I’m done tomorrow for saying that. You know, and I hope the Sun get control of it back and get their own stuff up.
With Sky News’s fingers so resolutely far from the pulse of the news, what the hell are we watching? This is at best televised reading aloud, and at worst an ignorance competition. It’s an amazing day when one can say that Fox News understands teh Internets better than someone! Perhaps the Sky larks should be briefed by their Stateside stablemates:
The ethical conundra
I am happy the Sun’s website was taken down for the Louise. It was very funny. It planted one on the nose of Rupert Murdoch, and that’s always good. Other than a few thousand quids’ worth of ad revenue, did the loss of the Sun’s website for a day actually do any harm?
Do you agree with me so far? If so didn’t Jonnie Marbles also pwn Rupert Murdoch relatively harmlessly? And he’s obviously a twat for ruining the chance of having James Murdoch saying ‘my advisers have said I’m supposed to tell the truth, apparently’ as the lead on the evening news. And Rupert Murdoch’s ‘I can be humble too’, gag. So I have a bunch of questions I want to unpack, and I’m going to ask another lulz expert to help me the next time we record In Vino Veritas, the funny skeptical podcast.
- Hacking’s bad, right? ‘Cos that’s what the News of the World did. Except they did it to innocent people.
- But LulzSec hacked the Sun’s website and Rupert Murdoch got pwned and it was hilarious and awesome.
- But Jonnie Divkid pwned Rupert Murdoch and it wasn’t hilarious and he’s a prick.
- Hacking is undoubtedly illegal and if LulzSec get caught, they’ll go to jail, and the FBI clearly think it’s srsbsns. (Here’s the FBI: ಠ_ಠ)
- Jonnie Arsehat probably won’t go to jail. This, and the previous bullet point, aren’t actually questions.
- What is the ethical difference between enjoying the hacking of the Sun and being a Terrorist Sympathiser of Doom?
- Am I actually like the mole in CTU?
- Who the fuck is Louise Boat?
So far, the only conclusion I can draw is that the Sun hacking was done for the lulz and pwned the bad guys, and is therefore a Good Thing. This corresponds to my intuition very well. But am I wrong? Let me know what you think of all this in the comments, and subscribe to In Vino Veritas to get the show when it goes out!
And if Clueless Sky Papers Pundit 2 is really worried about Anon, maybe he should buy a dog.
UPDATE: Jason has chipped in with this. A good gag, bearing an eery resemblance to one I told him on Tuesday night…