An interesting article on BBC-I about the easy target of violent video games and how they are too often used by the simple-minded as the reason for the collapse of western civilisation… When I was younger it was ‘video nasties’ and that lead to wholesale censorship which had a lot of repercussions for the freedom of expression, art and the ability of those in power and certain sections of society (usually religious types) to blind themselves to the real failings in our culture in favour of blaming an easy target. Certainly easier than admitting that poverty and a lack of purpose or future prospects cause cosial problems, because then you’d need to look at why. Then you’d have to start questioning the whole basis of our system which, like any other capitalist syste, necessitates a divisive society with a few lording it over the many. Then you’d have to think on ways to create greater equality amongst everyone instead of blaming games (the 2000s) or videos (the 80s) or Rap (the 90s – before that it was heavy rock and Punk) or comics (those EC comics burnings of the 50s and 60s) or… Well, take your pick. All much simpler than admitting our entire system of society is based on a pyramid structure with a whole lot of people at the bottom. Blame the games…
I find it amusing when the Older Generation talks of the modern generations being far more violent. This from the very people who brought us World War Two and not only created atomic wepons but used them – twice – on civilians. And those in authority railing against video games corrupting youth into easy violence. The same authorities who bombed the hell out of another nation after lying to their people. So little Johnny got violent because he played Grand Theft Auto. What was George or Tony’s excuse for their extreme violence?
I thought this was wonderful this week when protestors dressed as High Court Justics literally whitewashed the gates of Downing Street. Even funnier was the fact the police protecting the Prime Minister’s residence stood and watched for a good while, allowing the protestors to daub a fair bit of the iron gates before they actually stopped them.
On an interesting sidebar, when I was a boy those gates didn’t exist. You could walk into Downing Street and walk right up to the door of Number 10. Getting your picture taken standing next to a friendly London copper – unarmed of course – in front of the Prime Minsiter’s home was as common as getting your pic taken with a Beefeater at the Tower of London. Even as a kid I thought that this was such a fantastically British instititution – being able to walk right up to the front door of the Prime Minister. All changed during the vicious days of Thatcher of course and nowadays even Westminister has big concrete blocks around it for security.. Changed days, but at least the spirit of humorous protest is still alive and well in our eccentirc isles adn I salute it.