Thursday, February 11, 2010
Daily Mail advocates violence in comics
Here we go again. This week the British media have gotten their knickers in a twist over comics. This time it's about Dennis the Menace being "toned down" and not being allowed his catapult. The Daily Mail, Metro, The Sun, and tv's The Wright Stuff are marching to the same drum, banging on about how "political correctness" has ruined The Beano.
But hang on, didn't the press cover this exact same story six months ago? And similar ones many times before? Yep, but perhaps they assume their readers are too thick to notice.
The story has some truth to it; violence in comics can be a catharsis for readers, but the anti-PC stance of the press in general is riddled with half-truths and bad research. This isn't even a new story, so why did they regurgitate it? Well, there's an election coming up so perhaps they think any excuse to attack the "loony left" will do, and "political correctness" is seen to be associated with left-wingers. Telling Little Englanders that the loony left is trying to spoil our kids' fun is like watching a kettle boil, except the kettle would produce less steam and doesn't clog up the roads on the school run.
Beyond the political agenda there is no logic behind this Beano-bashing by the right-of-centre press. On the one hand they want Dennis to return to vandalism and bullying, but those are the very things the press rages about on a daily basis. I strongly suspect that if Dennis did become more violent the Daily Mail would be the first paper to condemn it, blowing it out of proportion just as they have this story.
Let us not overlook the fact there is no "PC brigade" softening up comics. Comics were toned down because of newspapers of this ilk blasting horror comics in the 1950s and damning IPC's Action in the 1970s. The media itself created this situation that they're now blaming on some imaginary do-gooders.
Read my exposé of the media's previous Beano-bashing from last August:
Update: Title of this post changed to reflect the sort of melodramatic headline the Mail relishes in. I'm sure they won't mind. ;-)