Anything Goes. Again.

An imbecile has suggested the violence in movies might have contributed to the motivations of Jo Cox’s killer.

I have a question. Why does nobody ever question the violence and rape and horror which is found in poetry, drama, opera, sculpture and painting – yet the violence in popular fiction, is deemed to be morally dangerous?


Every decade has its cultural moral panic, because every decade another bunch of unintelligent, unthinking cretins become adults and begin spouting off about the latest ‘dangerous’ cultural phenomenon.

When I was late teenager / young adult in the 90s – we had the Eminem moral horror; in the 80s it was the Beastie Boys and ‘video nasties’moral horror; in the 70s it was Led Zep and Black Sabbath moral horror (You might remember they tried to turn the world’s teenagers into devil-worshippers); in the 60s The Rolling Stones were destroying the moral fabric of society; in the 50s Elvis tried to do this by swinging his hips; in the 40s Hitchcock had to have Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman kiss multiple times in one scene in ‘Notorious’ because one long snog on screen would destroy the moral fabric of society; it got so bad back then, Cole Porter had to write ‘Anything Goes’ – a revolutionary protest song against moral collapse; and back and back we go……

…In 1863 Edouard Manet painted ‘Olympia’ and this painting was shown in 1865. It caused moral outrage and panic. Olympia, bless her, was a prostitute, but that wasn’t the problem. The problem was the painting’s gaze. She looks directly at the viewer, making the viewer a customer. This painting almost destroyed the moral fabric of society.

It’s a miracle we’re all still here.

Edouard Manet - Olympia - Google Art Project.jpg


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