The World: Getting worse or just more visible?

Howdy Toasters

** Warning: this piece is slightly more intelligent than most of my rambles***

Are we (as a world) becoming more fracked up or is the fracked up just more readily visible?

Those of us in Sydney, AUS would probably know that the Vivid Festival is on at the moment. Its a creative, innovative and thought provoking festival of ideas, music, creativity and lights… Among the many pieces of Vivid are the talks held with leaders in their field. I went along to one with Shane Smith, CEO and co-creator of vice media. Vice started as a street mag for youth, arts, pop culture appealing to the “coke whore kids” and grown, mostly maintaining it’s edgey brand.

Enough of the history, this isn’t an ad (though you should check them out)….

During the talk we were shown a news piece from Karachi, Pakistan as part of Vice Travel… this isn’t news 60 minutes, Fairfax, BBC or CNN style…. it’s a raw, unbiased, real, in your face experience…Take 20 minutes and watch the clip here the VICE guide to Karachi (it’s full on but worth the time).

After the piece and during his interview Shane, the co-founder of Vice, talked about the media landscape and it’s changing face due to the constantly and emerging social trends and technology. During which he raised the question (well to him it was a thought) that the world was becoming more dangerous, more conflicted, more perfidicous (my word not his.. see told you, i’m being intellektual in this post), more treacherous and generally a more fracked up place and we need to act now.

I have to question this statement. Ugliness, brutality and extreme fracked upness has always been part of the world.. Genghis Khan conquering the Western Xia and Jin Dynasty’s in 1206 & 1211, The Crusades of 12th Century before that, The British invasion of Zululand in 1879, the World Wars in the early 20th Century, Vietnam in the 1970’s and the wars the go on today are evidence of this.

Of course these are large scale, well publicised (or at least known) events but there are smaller atrocities like King Henry & his unfortunate wives, Ivan Milat and his Belangalo horrors, and a recent story that should have had much greater attention ( i think anyway), the 8 year old girl from an isolated Amazon tribe who was tied to a tree and burned alive by loggers wanting to move these indigenous people off their land.. for reasons they could not possibly understand.

I have to disagree with Shane Smith, heart breaking, fracked up horrors have always happened…. I think we know about more of them, and hear about them more quickly now thanks for the advancements in the media and the interweb. Since reading the story from the Amazon i often wonder if we hear the “right” stories or enough stories that don’t have mainstream “interest”.

I like vice, the role they play in being edgey and off Fairfax (the media version of off Broadway)… let’s just not be naive that it’s new.

I’ll write about all the good things in the world in another post. Links are posted below if you want to read any more of the historical events i’ve mentioned above.

Break out the Butter, i’ll be back real soon (todays toast is served with a pot of russian caravan)

Pieces from history


First Crusade 1096-1099


Genghis Khan -1206 Western Xia Dynasty, 1211 Jin Dynasty and many more

Anglo Zulu Invasion 1879
Anglo Zulu Invasion 1879

1879 – Anglo Zulu War

Hitler WWII
Hitler WWII

1940 – World War II

Kim Phu - vietnam napalm girl
Kim Phu – vietnam napalm girl

1972 – Vietnam


  1. Toates tasty toast there. Bitey and buttery (the bits where you sprouked Vice the butteriest ;-p)!
    I don’t reckon it’s ever possible to be unbiased – its often introduced without awareness…
    I hadn’t heard about that little girl in the Amozon. Crrrrazzzy!
    Gotta agree though, Peep been doin’ crazy shizz to other peeps since peeps could do crazy shizz!
    Is the next slice in the toaster, or still in the loaf?


    1. Funny you should say… After I posted I was thinking about my comment about being unbiased. There is always an opinion or position being reported, just depends how blatant the position is portrayed.

      Toaster is warming for next round


  2. You are so totally right. Atrocities, are I feel, a part of the human condition. An animalistic side. They have always occurred, just not reported. Since the advent of telegraph, radio and television, they have been condensed into consumable chunks and beamed into our living rooms nightly. Now Hourly.
    Today’s access to the internet and instant, observer based news reports via Social Media just brings a rawer, less sensitised version of it to us. Atrocities, are I feel, a part of the human condition. An animalistic side.
    The Fox/Murdoch versions of reporting are so far from impartial, that it’s hard to gauge what is “news”. They provide opinions. Not just theirs, but also what we should think.

    What Vice is providing, is unbiased reporting.
    What is shocking for most is that the FOX world doesn’t exits.


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