Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Male arsepigeons - do it all you like but don't joke about it...

Seems to me that's what we're being told here. Think about it: Matthew Wood, a clearly rather knobbish teenager, makes some jokes on Facebook and gets sent to prison for three months. Justin Lee Collins, a clearly rather knobbish television presenter of some description, abuses, terrorizes and attacks his girlfriend. And gets 140 hours community service.

(pic cribbed from the BBC news website, because it let me without blowing up my laptop...)

No, those of you who haven't been keeping up with the news, I haven't got those sentences the wrong way round. Crap jokes = into the nick with you. Sustained bullying of a woman = less than a month picking up litter or painting over graffiti.

I suppose some might say that this sort of thing is down to the judiciary's cluelessness about social media (remember Paul Chambers, who tweeted an obvious-to-anyone-with-any-sense joke about blowing up an airport, and whose initial conviction was eventually overturned) but I think it's something more depressing than that. I think it's another manifestation of the sort of fuckwitted, malevolent sentimentality that Rupert Murdoch was always so keen to foster, as if you can get people to use their emotions as a guide rather than their intelligence, you can make them do whatever you want. Matthew Wood was arrested for his own safety, apparently. His 'crime' has been described as 'abhorrent'. 

He made some tasteless jokes about missing children. There is no suggestion whatsoever that he had anything to do with the disappearance of April Jones - or of Madeleine McCann, and no mention of him having committed any other crimes of any kind, yet he's been sent to prison and it's been implied that had any Right Thinking People given him a kicking, it would have been understandable. 
Funnily enough, the sort of men that are the most likely to get both teary-eyed and violent over 'offensive' jokes about dead kiddies are often the type who are quite happy to give their own wives - and kiddies - a slap now and again. Coverage of the Collins case featured plenty of handy hints that Anna Larke had some mental health problems, drank too much, self harmed... That she was a bit of a handful, a bit of a mad cow, and that a slap or two was probably no more than she deserved. It very often seems that victims of abuse or violence are more likely to get justice if they can be portrayed as innocent or at least lovable to the general public.

Perhaps the best thing to hope for is that the smug, arrogant Collins is cocky enough to post a few 'amusing' tweets about the whole endlessly hilarious business of controlling women by humiliating and scaring them. eh?

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