The Loneliest Jukebox

Graham Barnfield's weblog, being gradually replaced by his Twitter feed -

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

ASBO-mania continues

From time to time friends threaten to impose an Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) on me for my various indiscretions. (Fortunately there are not many links to back this assertion up.) I'm also extremely critical of the procedure itself: I can be found criticising ASBOs online or in my episodic happy slapping-related media appearances (i.e. the ones where journalists actually contact me rather than rely on internet search engines. So thanks to Süddeutsche Zeitung and Le Journal du Dimanche, among others, for having a more serious approach to the issues. I'll post the actual links if and when they appear.) The bottom line is that ASBOs draw people, primarily working class youth, into the criminal justice system for acts which aren't technically illegal. They are also one symptom of the exhaustion of political life in the UK, so let's hope there are some successful challenges to ASBOs soon. (Go here for more info.)

Happy slapping is now moving into the phase of the panic where most teenagers know about it and might now be tempted to stage their own. Right now an exact phrase search on Google picks up some 132,000 as opposed to the measily 541 in the days before the Tonight Special. Interestingly only 16 images register in the same search, and half of these are page furniture and graphics. So if it is an epidemic as reported, there's not much posting straight to the web going on. Meanwhile wise heads remember the Tango man of long ago, and the corresponding scare, while the relationship between mobile phones and privacy is also open to debate. Looks like my role as 'expert by echo chamber' is set to run and run. Maybe a guest appearance on Jackass is in order.


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