I don't remember taking this photo, but it's in amongst a file of photos I took while on vacation in County Donegal, Ireland. (And it's pronounced dun-ee-GAWL, by the way.) It's a place called Mulroy Bay, in the northwest of Ireland. For me, it invokes images of the legends of Arthur and Guinevere (I prefer the Welsh spelling, Gwenhwyvar), Merlin, the lady of the Lake, and all that stuff of fantasy.
Sometimes, I yearn for the days of chivalry, of the court, and the beginnings of manners, and the fabled decency and kindness of the legendary king. Is chivalry dead? Are manners and decency a thing of the past?
This weekend, the British tabloid, The News of the World, was shut down by its owner, Rupert Murdoch. It was revealed that the editor and a private investigator had hacked into the voicemails of murder victims, victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London, and relatives of deceased soldiers to obtain information about them for their stories. They even went so far as to delete messages here and there, giving the relatives of murder victims false hope that perhaps their loved ones were still alive, since they appeared to be taking their own messages. Once these activities were revealed, it was met with severe public outcry, and, eager to keep public opinion towards his media empire on his side, Murdoch closed down the paper. The News of the World published its last paper on Sunday, July 10.
I have to admit, before the paper was shut down, when I first heard of this story, I despaired. I was sure that The News of the World would continue on into perpetuity, publishing more trash and destroying more lives again and again. It's not the first time they had done such activities. When I heard they were shut down, I looked up from my knitting and cheered at the tv. I could not believe that human decency was winning. It seems so long since it did... that the media continues to profit from other people's suffering and embarrassment.
This time, they didn't.
I'd like to believe that the days of Arthur will come back. I can't imagine that I'll see a knight lay down his cloak across a puddle for me anytime soon (but it'd be cool if that happened). Maybe, though... just maybe, people are going to keep standing up against anti-social behaviour, and against the profit from other people's suffering, even the profit gained from mean-spirited talk. We hear it every day. I think it's time to push back the tide.
I feel like giving the Lady of the Lake a high five right now. I wonder if she'd do that...?