Pointing pitchforks at folk devils make us forget our moral compasses

Writer says he cringed watching Erin Bates don a bridal gown as she reported on the Guptas' double wedding set to be a week-long multi-million rand affair. /Supplied
Writer says he cringed watching Erin Bates don a bridal gown as she reported on the Guptas' double wedding set to be a week-long multi-million rand affair. /Supplied

Modernisation and the love of an ever-evolving society are extremely exciting.

Our globalised lives have all become tethered to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and are no longer out of touch.

With rapid access to information, entertainment and experiences, we become connoisseurs of mass consumption, buying our way into the finest forms of photographable leisure.

It is no wonder that in our pursuit of material happiness we cling on to the seductive image of wealth.

Wealth reminds us that we have achieved great things or that we have the potential to become people who have.

On the other hand, we enjoy pointing a scornful finger at those who do.

Sometimes these people are often folk devils, a person or group of people who are perceived as a toxic influence on society.

While often peddled by different media, it allows society to identify someone as a problem although it escapes cognisance of actual societal ills.

We can have complete outrage over Helen Zille's tweets, but ignore the societal ills that birth her audience.

In the case of monetary evils, the Guptas have become one of the biggest bulls eye.

With their upcoming double wedding set to be a week-long multi-million rand affair, eNCA has not held back in making sure we are informed on this deplorable issue.

Am I the only one who cringed watching Erin Bates don a bridal gown as she reported on the issue, while throwing tinsel and a bouquet about?

While moral panic also often births folk devils, it would seem eNCA has comfortably asserted itself as the stereotype that it is a biased station. Its news reporting plays out as if it is a moral entrepreneur.

Moral entrepreneurs can often be defined as groups or organisations that start a moral panic in reaction to perceived threats to social or cultural values.

While eNCA tends to make a spectacle of the latest news, our lineage to moral codes has changed.

The Guptas are not a family that would be considered idols, however, some definitely aspire to their wealth.

Flashing excessive wealth has equipped the have nots with the power to be perceived as part of the elite. Attaining this image becomes vital, no matter what the cost may be.

Take Rutendo Tichiwangani and Anna Sorokin, two young influencers who are always seen with the latest must-have items and jet-setting to the most lavish hotels on
social media.

Yet, their performed wealth was all a front that they could not actually afford.

Virtual society is becoming more globalised, yet all the while becoming less human.

Whether we are demonising identifiable social pariahs like the Guptas or belittling wannabe stars like the tweleb who hates Mr Price, we often waste time fussing about who is bad rather than actually focusing on what are the social ills.

Pointing our pitchforks at folk devils has made us forget our moral compasses.

In the ever-materialistic world we are living in, unethical social mores make it easy for folk devils to be extremely relatable folk martyrs.

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