The Loneliest Jukebox

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Evenin' all/A cop out

This morning I was on BBC Radio Devon, discussing happy slapping. It seemed that a fairly extensive compilation of such incidents had been filmed in Torbay and posted online. As usual, the link is not available and I'm reluctant to comment on an open prosecution. I was a bit suprised at comments from the local cop who was on the show before me. As is customary, the point was made that some kind of action was needed even though much of the footage being discussed did not involve actual crimes, except crimes against common sense. (For an example of this kind of commentary click here: "These youths are not doing anything wrong, but to the elderly and vulnerable, having to pass a crowd of even the most harmless youths is intimidating", says a reporter discussing youth in Northampton [Finlo Rohrer, "The nothing to do generation" BBC News, in Northampton, posted Thursday, 9 February 2006, 01:30 GMT]).

The Devon plod then went on to praise the production values involved in the video. The empire of media studies continues to expand in unexpected directions. Perhaps she had been watching a preview tape of Kidulthood, the forthcoming happy slap movie condemned in the Sun newspaper and featuring the excellent Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith from Doctor Who). She should certainly advise her Norfolk colleagues on production values, as their e-fit artwork is clearly godawful. Meanwhile in Boscombe, Dorset, police have advised local shopkeepers that they are too busy to investigate shoplifting complaints where the property nicked is worth less than £75. Maybe the cops are all off on film studies courses discussing production values instead...

Silly officers. Don't they realise that UK graduates are acquiring a reputation for uselessness among employers? (On a more serious note, the media studies idea that words and images translate into material power seems to have taken hold in recent prosecutions involving Islam, cartoons and placards...)

* My book on the bus? Mick Foley, Tietam Brown (London: Jonathan Cape 2003). Buy it here.


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