by Daniel Miller
Tuesday, 16
March 2021
Debate
18:30

Is Patsy Stevenson a crisis actor?

Accusations of whether an event is staged miss the point
by Daniel Miller

Is Patsy Stevenson a crisis actor? The claim began circulating on social media following the discovery that the flame-haired protester, whose arrest in Clapham Common on Saturday evening was printed the next morning on the cover of every Sunday newspaper, retains a profile at acting website Casting Now. 

Further evidence is compelling. Hours after her arrest, looking unaffected by her experience, Stevenson gave a statement to the Leftist activist organisation Counterfire which sounded like a workshopped script. “I came here to support any woman: whether it be cis woman or trans woman… who cannot walk down the street by themselves because of the fear of men. And it’s not all men, we know this, that’s not what we’re saying…” 

Invited by her Counterfire interviewer to propose what she’d like to do next, Stevenson calls for larger protests as a crowd cheers off-camera. “We need to rally the troops…. It needs to go worldwide. It should be a global… same as Black Lives Matter, same as everything that matters.” This campaign coincidentally appears to clash with protests against lockdowns, scheduled for 20 March, just as BLM protests last year interrupted the momentum of growing opposition to the policy. 

Though her motives cannot be proven, that this question has already been posed is interesting.

The point is not that any element as such is “fake” but that reality does not exist in any raw, unmediated form. What exists instead is a kind of wasteland of half-unconscious motivations, projects and obsessions from which a symbol is extracted in order to augment an existing agenda.

With the theory of the crisis actor, a further twist is then suggested. Given the existence of agendas, it is possible that certain stories may have no connection to any real event at all, but are completely staged. This proposition poses complex questions regarding crisis theatre, but the allegation tends to be unprovable in practice.

In the end, the notion of the entirely fake is just as hard to prove as the entirely real.

Arresting images and stories circulate, not because they are invented, but because they deploy symbols or images which are instinctively gripping and create pathways to spread, not unlike a virus, or what Dawkins once called memes. So even if they are partially “fake”, they touch on something “true”.

Because this element lies in spontaneous human psychology, the process can operate without direct coordination, but simply through incentive structures, so that individuals act spontaneously, yet all move the same way.

The most striking antecedent of the picture of Stevenson was State of Emergency, an Italian Vogue photoshoot by Steven Meisl from September 2006 featuring models being elegantly brutalised by anti-terror police.

Vogue Italia September 2006. Photographer: Steven Meisel

Defending the series from more sceptical takes at the time, the writer Mark Fisher argued the images proposed an eroticised sublimation of humiliation and violence:

Meisel’s photographs — which, we should remember, appear in a magazine the vast majority of whose readership is not ‘adolescent males’ but women — are ‘fantasy kits’ which offer just such sublimations, providing scenarios, role-play cues and potential fantasmatic identifications.
- Mark Fisher, Ballardian

Few would dare to make this same argument about Stevenson, but the hunger to circulate her image speaks for itself. Stevenson is on the front of every newspaper, and transmitted across social media because of the eroticised humiliation her photo shows, a state of mind which Britain under endless lockdown shares. Irrespective of her intentions, her own statements, or even the putative existence of her handlers, the impact of the photograph is provably real.

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LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
1 year ago

I followed most of the article but ‘eroticised humiliation’? Is the photo staged, I’ve no idea.

They do appear to be cosplaying the civil rights movement, they want to make themselves look good and feel good.

It’s amazing that they manage to turn up at the ‘right’ occasion, when supported by the powerful media and the elect. 3 men horrifically murdered for being gay last summer, largely ignore it, forget it, it’s too awkward – this is hardly a one off either. The media might as well explicitly broadcast: due to victim/perpetrator race/gender/religion/sexuality/class hierarchy this is something to be angry/riot about for months and demand wholesale change or …. hold a quiet vigil and forget about it

I’m more than ever wondering if these people genuinely want their left wing revolution, or if it’s just a ruling class wheeze to keep all the plebs fighting amongst themselves.

Last edited 1 year ago by LUKE LOZE
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
1 year ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

You wondered correctly, it is Soros, Bezos, Gates, Schwab, Dorsy, Biden, Zukerberg, and The Great Reset. The Western young are fallowing the Pied Piper like the children of Hamelin, to their destruction.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
1 year ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Antifa is an example. However, it is nonetheless run by serious revolutionists who’ll stop at nothing.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
1 year ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Both.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
1 year ago

She travelled to the demo from her home in Southend, with her own professional photographer.

Gray Rayner
Gray Rayner
1 year ago

She has a history of being banned by many licensed premises in the Southend area due to her behavior, according to a friend in the local police.

Robert Malcolm
Robert Malcolm
1 year ago
Reply to  Gray Rayner

So have many students,but as there is no due process or right of appeal, this is mere tittle tattle.
And the local police have no right to pass on privileged information to a member of the public, merely to smear her, either.

Last edited 1 year ago by Robert Malcolm
Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Malcolm

What’s your opinion should these assertions be true ?

Denis Quilligan
Denis Quilligan
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

What’s your opinion should these assertions be
untrue ? Is it not a better way of getting truth by assuming innocence to start with? Otherwise we get stuck in a mud bath of our own creation

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago
Reply to  Robert Malcolm

It takes a lot to get barred let alone banned from several.
It very reasonable indicator

Denis Quilligan
Denis Quilligan
1 year ago

own photographer? Is there proof? Why post otherwise?

Pete Pritchard
Pete Pritchard
1 year ago

From 20 meters away nothing much seemed to be going on but a high pitched chant I couldn’t understand and some bloke orchestrating the chant. Apart from that everybody else was respectfully there for the vigil. A small number of people got what they went there for. A large number of people went in respect.

Last edited 1 year ago by Pete Pritchard
Andrew Denny
Andrew Denny
1 year ago
Reply to  Pete Pritchard

“Mostly peaceful”

Mark Knight
Mark Knight
1 year ago

The irony of protesting violence against women by staging an “eroticised humiliation” photo.

Jonathan West
Jonathan West
1 year ago

Orchestrated & fatuous nonsense from the “intersectional” brigade. Memo to all ppl: don’t walk at home at night on your own through one of the worlds mega cities and presume you’ll be fine. Not nice to think but since when has it ever not been this?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan West

The ‘Pax Romana’
The deterrence being Crucifixion, Not the feeble three hours JC spent on the cross, but at least three agonising days, with Corvids feeding on your extremities, and other choice morsels.

.

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Mike Buttolph
Mike Buttolph
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonathan West

I lived in a student residence a few hundred yards from Euston Station with some 200 others for 2 years in the early 1960s. We could walk anywhere in London, day or night. When one of our number came in one night having been punched in the nose by a drunk nearby, everyone was amazed.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago

The concept of “memes” is much more significant than so lightly referenced here. They are a highly powerful component of social belief systems – and exploited ruthlessly by many who understand the concept well.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Barton
Alison Houston
Alison Houston
1 year ago

I told you last year, both here and in the Spectator, that the Intelligence Agencies employ actors. These campaigns, XR, BLM, Antifa etc are the establishment setting its agenda. They use actors to draw in naive members of the public. You can spot the phoniness of the actors a mile away if you trust your instincts.

The establishment wants greater power to clamp down on protest and to brutalise, imprison and massively fine anyone who challenges its authority. So they whip up these crazy extreme movements. The police allow and encourage them to go ahead, because they work hand in hand with the intelligence services. Idiotic teenagers and others then get drawn in and believe they are protesting (mostly by sharing idiotic slogans on social media) and until he had served his purpose Piers Morgan interviewed a whole load of Guardian activist journalists, giving them a platform to voice their mindless, environmental or race baiting diatribes. Thus they were allowed to set the agenda, the conversation of the nation for weeks or months, seemingly in opposition to the state, when actually pushing at the door the state is holding wide open for them.

The result of the false operations over the last year or two was to allow the new, authoritarian measures to be put in place, under the leadership of that ‘Liberty Lovin’ Kinda Guy’ Boris Johnson.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
1 year ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

However, Antifa are serious, violent and intractable.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
1 year ago
Reply to  Alison Houston

From whom,where &for what reason is this authoritarianism on it’s way?

Arnold Grutt
Arnold Grutt
1 year ago
Reply to  Peter Dunn

Religion. Specifically a resurgence of late-medieval Catholicism in secularised form, whose modern expression is ‘woke’. Wonder why ‘the West’ has allegedly turned ‘anti-clerical’, yet faifthfully comes up politically with ‘moral’ schemas which resemble the behaviour of the Catholic Churcn of that period in almost all respects? Excommunication (‘cancel cuture’ with the same ‘socially’ damaging effects, a form of ‘internal exile’), Inquisition (police, like priests, visiting to ‘check your thinking’; ‘thought’ or ‘hate’ crime’ laws: effectively laws of blasphemy) and Imprimatur (‘official’ censorship of books, plays and films and their replacement with supposedly ‘political’, activist documents (i.e. in reality, tendentious, morally-loaded tracts).
And as in the medieval era ‘the individual’ (and his or her right to dissent from the pronouncements of ‘the State’, which then effectively was ‘the Church’) is now a hated concept. Of course the rich, as ever, can exclude themselves largely from this ‘societal’ process, but in practice most pay lip-service to it.

Last edited 1 year ago by Arnold Grutt
Richard E
Richard E
1 year ago

They played the police.
And the police were fools to allow themselves to be played.
But, the police are fools. So no surprise there.

Russ Littler
Russ Littler
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard E

The police are just another arm of Soro’s globalist army.They do his bidding.

Peter Dunn
Peter Dunn
1 year ago
Reply to  Russ Littler

What’s in it..REALLY in it,for Soros?

Drahcir Nevarc
Drahcir Nevarc
1 year ago

I didn’t understand a word of that.

Joe Blow
Joe Blow
1 year ago

“eroticised humiliation”?
Dude. If that image turns you on, you might want to consider spending less time on pornhub. Just sayin’…

Last edited 1 year ago by Joe Blow
Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

That isn’t what he said.

Bits Nibbles
Bits Nibbles
1 year ago
Reply to  Joe Blow

The sad (I guess?) thing is, every single girlfriend I’ve had wanted to be choked and smacked during sex. I have a feeling many women enjoyed that Vogue shoot.

Scott Norman Rosenthal
Scott Norman Rosenthal
1 year ago

Well reasoned.

Roger Inkpen
Roger Inkpen
1 year ago

Firstly I must say the police handed this protest very badly. Yes, there are rules about protests during the pandemic. But they allowed those to be flouted throughout the country during the BLM protests last year.
But when I saw this – and the other photo of this woman sitting down, face into camera – I thought it looked staged. What I don’t understand is – in some pictures she is wearing a mask, others not. If she was being so aggressively manhandled, how did she have time to out her mask on?

Denis Quilligan
Denis Quilligan
1 year ago
Reply to  Roger Inkpen

Yes. I was puzzled too re mask – then no mask