Enough preamble. The conversation in question started innocently enough - the subject for banter over Latte and Danishes was Child Pornography. (Imagine a scary orchestral jingle here)
The sub-issue was the prosecution and persecution of various persons who have been found or caught indulging in the consumption of the afore-mentioned insidious matter - the common grounds for which seem to be that their interest creates a market, under which abuse will occur; and therefore the end consumer is guilty of heinous crimes via the direct association through the demand and supply of those same crimes.
As an interesting thought exercise, those present who most vehemently expressed disgust and righteousness at this associative guilt were quizzed as to how many purchases they themselves have made of the trashy gossip mags, the likes of Hello, Ok etc. etc. It was then pointed out that the purchase of such abominations creates a market for the gossip-chasers and paparazzi, whose very livelihoods revolve around hounding those people who have somehow become the objects of the hysterical fascination of this select audience. In turn, this directly leads to the many complaints of invasion of privacy, and in some cases to angst and depression, suicide, etc. In fact, a case study was raised in which the poor objects of rabid paparazzic attention were pursued to their untimely deaths in mangled limousine wreckage in an otherwise unremarkable Paris underpass.
Therefore, could not the same logic that made those who sit at the end of the supply/demand chain complicit in the heinous crimes and misery that occur at the opposite pole be applied to the second situation? Would this not imply the sharing of responsibility for misery, sorrow, depression and death at the far end of the gossip-mongering chain rest squarely and surely on those slack-headed consumers whose lack of fulfillment in their own miserable existences creates the very market for the system that chews up those at the other end caught in its machinations? That despicable twentieth/twenty-first century social blight we know as celebrity?
But that's different.
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