plug & play
The more all of this goes on, the more you recognise a vocabulary of reusable rhetorical structures, some new, some achingly traditional. Following the latest skirmish becomes like consuming TV bolted together from tropes: by the end of ep one you’re following the structures but ignoring their apparent “content” (as you would with, say, Keeping Faith, The OA, or Cardinal); by ep two, of course, you’ve started watching something else. One of the recent additions to the rhetorical vocabulary is, “No, I must do [insert clearly immoral act] because it is in fact right & I would be irresponsible NOT to.” This to be delivered, obviously, in conjunction with either a po-faced passive aggressive expression indicating middle class woundedness; or with the appended Putinesque metatext for “Fuck lads, look, they can’t even stop me saying this crap”. But its USP is its utility: like the best of these proven tropes it’s fully pret a porter, quick to deploy in symmetrical or asymmetrical arenas & can be used by anyone in defence of either side of any argument, especially in conjunction with popular “pushing the boundaries of The New in tech, politics or media” formulations. A good solid buy for your culture war. The only risk in use is that your audience will become exhausted, complain puzzledly, “Haven’t I heard all this before,” and change channels. But we can sell you one of several specialised plug-&-plays to control that response.