Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

If a cat falls in an empty forest does it make a noise?

If you are embarking on a PhD thesis (or a facetious “blog” post) on the issue of How Journalism Works you could do worse than begin with the story of the cat and the wheelie bin. Those of you with …

Fri, Aug 27, 2010, 22:59

   
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If you are embarking on a PhD thesis (or a facetious “blog” post) on the issue of How Journalism Works you could do worse than begin with the story of the cat and the wheelie bin. Those of you with properly-arranged priorities may not know that, earlier this week, an English lady was filmed stroking a cat and then, after checking the coast was clear, dumping the unfortunate creature in an adjacent wheelie bin. The woman in question, a bank employee named Mary Bale, has been pilloried in every media outlet this side of the Pyongyang Sentinel. The Sun even went so far as to identify her as “a spinster” — tabloid speak for a sexually frustrated old witch. The cat has been named as Lola.

Now, it hardly needs to be said — I write as a saddo cat person — that Ms Bale’s action’s were indefensible. But we all know that, in the grand scheme of things, the moggie’s sufferings were relatively mild. True, Lola was stuck in a bin for 15 hours, but, heck, in my experience cats quite like bins. Wander down to your local animal shelter and you will get some understanding of what serious animal cruelty looks like. More to the point, ponder what happens to too many children in this country and a real sense of perspective should settle on your shoulders.

Why is Lola’s story important? Because it’s on YouTube. If someone discharged a nuclear weapon in Cardiff and — impossible, I know — there was nobody around with a camera, the incident would probably get bumped down the news schedules by a hamster falling into a jacuzzi.

Oh, and before you say it, I know that, by writing this “blog” post, I am contributing to the problem. Sorry and so on.

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