Friday, November 02, 2007

Hurting Women is Fun

Every time I see the BBC spy show Spooks - not often, I admit - I see a woman being tortured. I guess this is more box office than a tortured man. I have also seen Heather Mills going weepy and crazy about her treatment in the tabloids. The tabloids - shorthand for all pop media - say she had it coming because she courted publicity, she had some kind of form and so on. I have no view of Mills's moral status, primarily because I don't care but also because I know perfectly well it is irrelevant. By marrying McCartney, she automatically turned herself into a standard blonde bitch for the tabloids. Blonde bitches make particularly juicy torture victims. Finally, we have the stout-hearted yeoman of Edenbridge burning an effigy of Cherie Blair. They had, of course, considered Heather Mills. The charge is that Blair is making money from a book. Burn the witch, sorry, bitch! Sexual sadism - there's a lot of it about.


  1. Casual torture has become oddly pervasive. The 'Hostel' films are lessons in how to inflict pain and people seem to enjoy them. YouTube stockpiles people's agony: cycling accidents, pensioners being hit by footballs, tractor/groin combinations. Newspapers love to cover shark attacks and Sky News only films an event if there’s chance of something live and brutal. I think they call it catering to the mob.

    I also hear that Cliff Richard is bringing out a new album.

  2. So what's new? It was ever thus.

  3. Like that chav from Sunderland who was locked up for pissing on a dying women for the glory of youtube.

    Youtube - for all its uses - encapsulates the problem of democracy, that it's always easier to appeal to stupidity, hatred, fear, cruelty, pettiness, than to reason or compassion.

    Youtube, like reality TV shows, offers a spurious halo to the banal and ugly, suggesting that the meanest & foulest dregs of humanity are on a par with, say, Brando in Apocalypse Now, because they're both on screen.

    Perhaps the difference between our culture and, say, the 50s, is that there's so little resistance to the elevation of the ugly and the base. Of course the usual voices say 'off with their heads!' (and rightly so) but the 'man on the street', who after all is what counts in democracy, the drunken, bellowing mob, Joe Bloggs loves to see dying people get pissed on, he loved watching Saddam being hanged, he hunts for pics of Britney flashing her groin, he wants to see it all, and he's enraged if anyone suggests this is indecent.

    My guess is that a generation or two ago the resistance to death and torture porn wouldn't have been so sporadic & isolated, would have been more the norm. And not just because people were more easily shocked but because they still had some sense of humanity, of decency.

    A culture in which random passers-by will watch a chav piss on a dying woman and stand there laughing is a culture ready for the wolves, for the long hard winter with no end. i'm not normally an angry man, except when people annoy me or get in my way, or when it's a weekday, but the kind of cold anger of Bryan's recentish piece on reality TV should be the norm, should be what most people feel, not just educated men & women.

  4. Very true. You forgot Hillary Clinton, who is the QED for your argument. (Remember Geraldine someone, who ran for VP and got slaughtered similarly?)
    There is a lot of it about, unfortunately.

  5. On the subject:

    a video of an Italian musician running sunbathing women over in his tractor. In Italy this is okay, Italians would merely nod, "yes, this is a man."

  6. I haven't forgotten the episode of Spooks in which an unfortunate female was deep fat fried. That scene has haunted me.

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