gainsbourgFiction is tailor-made for immediate post-watershed Sunday evenings; it draws in the audiences as mainstream television has a welcome armistice from endless talent contests of both the celebrity and non-celebrity varieties, providing viewers with one final distraction from imminent Monday morning blues as the weekend grinds to a halt. Period dramas appear especially suited to the Sunday evening environment, offering an additionally exotic slice of escapism from the humdrum; and running against one another at the moment are two classic examples, BBC1’s remake of ‘Poldark’ and ITV’s ‘Victoria’ (which primarily focuses on the early life of the spirited young queen).

Let’s face it – few eras of British history are as gloriously detached from contemporary reality as the Regency. This was a time when men were men – or men that were dashing, duelling bastard bucks in tricorn hats, capes and knee-breeches; and women were damsels in distress, heaving bosoms encased by bodices and all. Try to apply killjoy modern mores to the era and you can understand why it’s more alluring and attractive than ever in such a restrictive, litigious Dark Age of thought-crime.

It is a familiar pattern than an eruption of licentious free-for-all hedonism follows each era of repressive Puritanism; that a Twitter account celebrating the historic whores of Olde England should be temporarily suspended due to its profile picture depicting Charles II’s most famous mistress Nell Gwyn with exposed nipples suggests we are back in the latter era. Now restored due to some delicate airbrushing around Nell’s nipples, the fact that said picture hangs in the National Portrait Gallery for all to see without any age restrictions emphasises the ludicrous nature of online censorship. I have accidentally come across images of severed heads courtesy of your friendly neighbourhood ISIS decapitator, butchered victims of Charles Manson’s murderous cult, and shots of Pol Pot’s torture chambers when still fully functioning – none of which I sought out; I would hazard a guess most would rather look at the nipples of a woman who died over 300 years ago, but one is obviously more offensive than the other.

Yet, if the evidence points to us all residing in a century of puritanical censorship that would have Cromwell giving the thumbs up from six feet under, how does that explain the gross-out vulgarity of the likes of ‘Geordie Shore’ or naked dating programmes or endless ‘Lads and lasses on the pull in Ibiza’ shows spread across the digital TV network like a particularly pungent STD? How does it explain magazines aimed at teenage girls with info on their front covers offering them advice on how to give the perfect blowjob? How does it explain the sensationalistic and sordid sexual voyeurism screaming from the ‘Take a Break’-type rags? How does it explain the soft-porn soft-sell of female pop stars promoting their wares on MTV? How does it explain ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’?

And, all the while, our prisons are increasingly overcrowded due to an influx of inmates found guilty of the same such acts that are today promoted as a design for life, reclassified as ‘historic sex crimes’ on the basis of several mentally-disturbed individuals’ hazy allegations and a corrupt justice system polluted by a political (not say financial) agenda. Ah, but that was then.

Just as the thought of their parents having sex induces a bout of vomiting in teenagers, the notion that past generations had any sort of consensual intimacy in their youth cannot be tolerated; take that onto the next level and it’s possible to punish them for their distant salacious indulgences – whether or not these indulgences took place in the real world or in the post-therapy imagination. In television terms, this is where Sunday evening’s predilection for fiction and modern-day Puritanism meet, as the two mainstream BBC TV channels will compete for our attention tonight by offering up a documentary on the lives of the Cornish gentry during the Napoleonic Wars and an utterly fictitious drama about a dead man posthumously painted as the greatest sexual predator of all time. Sorry, have I got that right?

A couple of years ago, I met some members of the Savile family; at the time, they remained hopeful their side of the story would receive some balanced media coverage. They mentioned the name of Louis Theroux, as the geeky specky had famously spent time on camera with the dead DJ and charity fundraiser during the back-end of his life. He had apparently expressed an interest in following up this documentary and had been in touch with the family. The end result of his endeavours, however, is not being promoted as an alternative point of view; instead it has been marketed as a more sophisticated version of your average Mark Williams Thomas exercise in crass sensationalism. It will clearly not question the consensus; it will toe the narrative line. Did anyone really expect a programme on this subject produced by the BBC to do otherwise?

If BBC DG Tony Hall bends over backwards any further to appease the knockers then he will be forced to talk out of his arse – whoops, it would seem he’s been doing that ever since he got the job. On the day Louis Theroux reaffirms every belief on that cadaverous Paedo that has been set in stone for the last four years, Hall’s Corporation sacks a regular on Radio 4’s ‘Now Show’ because he’s not a non-binary, transgender disabled Asian lesbian – or something equally ‘diverse’.

Personally, I found Jon Holmes annoying, unfunny and characteristic of the kind of lame, faux-satirical excuse for comedy that Radio 4 periodically pedals, another product of the bleedin’ obvious gag factory; but that’s beside the point. He’s evidently been fired because he doesn’t fit the Affirmative Action imposed on the BBC by the same class of metropolitan suit that routinely sneers at the common people who voted Leave.

So, the BBC embarks upon another bout of self-flagellation over a deceased ex-employee and hopes the Daily Mail will go easy on it. The door remains open for a brave soul to discard the narrative and present the facts; step forward, seekers of the truth. Oops, it would seem no mainstream TV channel wants you. Why broadcast an exhaustively-researched viewpoint that contradicts the narrative? Imagine the masses having to consider such a contradiction when the story is now so engrained in the collective (false) memory. No, too much to think about when it’s Monday in the morning. Confirm your prejudices with Louis and go to bed content. I’ll be watching ‘Poldark’. Evenin’ all.

© The Editor

13 thoughts on “A CHOICE OF VIEWING

      1. Whether it’s capable or not is by the by, it’s not motivated to provide a balanced view as that may result in a lower yield for the Murdoch types in this world

        I don’t think that Savile is innocent, celebrities are narcissists and grow desensitised to “normal” pleasures, so it seems entirely plausible that he did all that he was said to do. I don’t think it’s possible that he was the only one, and I don’t think that the BBC / British media were unaware. He made a lot of money for them, one way or another, and so blind eyes were turned.

        Savile also seemed like a dangerous man, people of power and influence did well to harbour him and monetise this dangerous dog, as I couldn’t imagine that his fury and retribution could have been contained during his lifetime. Had he been put in the dock for his actions to be judged, he’d have tried to take the Establishment with him. Too dangerous, sit it out. It’ll be worth it in the end, boy.

        With Savile dead, a final bigger payday loomed and so he and other, tamer, contemporary perp’s have been finally pushed into the tabloid abattoir to be boiled up for glue. The likes of DLT and Blackburn are hapless, Harris is perplexing and Jim Davidson / Freddy Starr should have been hung regardless, in a twin noose for crimes of smugness and Thatcher advocacy. I’d have strung up Bobby Davro too, just for giggles. I never liked his face.

        None of these playboy entertainers, these “celebrities” and greasy hangers-on, would have risen to prominence without a self-adoring ruthless streak. If they were single-minded enough to chase fame then sexual entitlement would never have seemed more than a birthright… in modern parlance, we mere “muggles” are only there to ejaculate money into the corporate purse and to fawn star-eyed at their wonder.

        TV gods, radio idols… pap. These are clowns, and clowns are creepy. Mr Jelly types, Papa Lazarou with a smoother style and marginally less horrifying smile (although in the case of Savile…).

        I always know an idiot, they watch telly… they believe the news… they don’t see the carefully chosen selection of stories, the native advertising and the subliminal messaging. They say “ah, but I don’t watch telly… I watch box sets or download it”. Their smug smiles are tight and ignorant, squeezing beads of saliva and hints of froth from the corners of their mouths. Advocating for celebrities, advocating for famous puppets of the mass media… a waste of time. Starve the lot of ’em, deny them attention and let the whole sorry circus wither.

        And don’t get me started on mobile phones, social media and the e-revolution that the Internet sparked. It’s all hateful, humans are wasteful.


  1. “A couple of years ago, I met some members of the Savile family; at the time, they remained hopeful their side of the story would receive some balanced media coverage”

    I will ask the obvious questions.

    Did these members of the Savile family that you met include the brother of Savile who is a convicted nonce?

    Did the members include the nephew of Savile who, it was alleged in the media, had as a child been taken to ‘abuse parties’ in London by Savile, and was planning to write a ‘tell-all’ book about his experiences?

    If you don’t wish to answer, that’s cool, obviously.


  2. ^ In the interests of full accuracy and fairness, I must correct and amend my above post.

    Savile’s brother Johnny was not in fact a ‘convicted nonce’ as I mis-stated above.

    According to the Independent, he was however dismissed from his position as recreation officer of the Springfield Hospital in Southwest London for ‘gross misconduct’ in 1980, and subsequently allegations that he abused women patients in the hospital were made.



  3. Your third and fourth paragraphs – the apparent contradiction between our Puritanism and our prurience – are what really interest me. Is it just some kind of social equivalent of Newtonian equal and opposite reactions? How else can we account for this contradiction? We seem to believe that dirty jokes are news; much of what we as a nation now seem to believe might not long ago have been described as unimaginable, unthinkable, and unbelievable. If we’ve made the unimaginable imaginable, we’re going to have one messed up generation coming of age. Heaven help us.

    Can anyone explain how it is that we can read about horrible men who may (or may not) have slept with a fifteen year old 30 years ago and then happily read about another teenager turning all the fella’s heads, in whatever skimpy outfit, with full colour pictures, and being lauded for it?

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    1. Do you not understand? It’s about money and fear… If the media makes us fearful then we will spend money. It’s that simple.

      The “monsters” are described in lurid detail, we cannot help but click and watch and toss coins to buy the papers to hear the story of the “monster”. When we’re in there and quivering they deal us a two-hander with a paparazzi shot, Lolita style… “are we ourselves monsters, to covet the easy elegance of the half-starved, over-sexualised nymph?” Men want to remove those final fabric tendrils from her sun kissed skin, women to feel so carefree and whole, without cellulite to worry about or shoe-gazing bosoms to mitigate. But don’t fear! Turn the page and there she is, she *WAS THIN* and *NOW SHE IS FAT*! Thank goodness, at least *I* am not that FAT… of all the things you could be, FAT, LAZY, STUPID, BAD, BAD… thank *Heaven* it’s not me… let them berate the fatter girl for her failings, the formerly hirsute leading-man for his APPALLING baldness and paunch…


      I’m so relieved it’s not me… I’m OK, aren’t I?

      So buy the paper, watch the programme, visit the website… buy the products the advertisers tell you will make you less open to attack, more secure and happier. Pay the money, quell the fear.

      Misa, is that what you needed to hear?

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  4. Surely the answer to all the questions posed lies in the most British of traits – the one that all immigrants should display before being allowed entrance to this Sceptered Isle – rank hypocrisy.

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      1. Fantastic – if you ever get the chance to visit Porto, GO! Cheap and fun and friendly and beautiful, modern and old beautifully combined, parks and gardens and history and art and the Atlantic a tram ride away.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Worry not, I’m alive – but my IT has collapsed due to advanced age. I’m in the process of ‘refreshing’ it all but it may take some time.
        Thanks for your concern – I’ll be back in a while.

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  5. Those that subscribe to this mythical past also live in a mythical present – when all this nonsense was hatching I was having to work 5 days a week with the generation(s) raised in “New Britain” – where relentless hedonism and vacuous stupidity is ‘normal’, musical chord changes are “depressing” and thinking laterally is no more. Those who are helping spread the moral panic have their heads up their self-satisfied middle-class arses.
    Twas a good experience though, in terms of giving me my panoramic perspective. We might be living in desperate and depressing times, but I sleep well. Life’s too short to be a hypocrite.

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