Sunday, 5 June 2016

Capital Style Police

Girls Aloud

What if...bad taste were properly punished?

By Stuart McGurk, The London Paper, 13 September 2006, p.22.

There are many ways that you can be punished for doing bad things. There are fines, community service, jails, nipple-tweaks – everything.

But what about having bad taste? It’s all very well punishing muggers, murderers, rapists and people who commit ungoldly sins against rabbits – but what about those who go to see Big Momma’s House 2? Sure, there are twisted psycho killers who would think nothing of garrotting an innocent old lady, stuffing her, installing supports and using her as a coffee table – but what about the substantial queues outside The Lion King? And, yes, there are demented, perverted, sick, twisted fiends prowling the streets at night, looking for their next innocent victim – but have you seen the numbers shuffling into Sandi Thom gigs? So which is worse, really?

But we can’t blame those producing this cultural shod. They’re simply supplying a demand. No, it’s the audience we must punish.

Like any justice system, the severity of punishment would depend on the severity of the crime. Anyone wanting to see Girls Aloud at GAY, for instance, would receive a swift glove-slap to the face on entry. It would work like any first offence – the punishment would get worse with each infringement. Return again and someone smashes you in the face with a boxing glove. A third time? A wrench. The fan club would truly be for dedicated followers only.

Other punishments would be more instantaneous. Anyone attending a West End collaboration between Ben Elton and Andrew Lloyd Webber, for example, would face the lottery of every one in four interval drinks containing strychnine. Not only would audience numbers thin dramatically, but the resulting experience would be 10,000 times more exciting for the survivors.

You would not even have to punish people directly (apart from an ice pick to the head for people attending stand-up by Jim Davidson, of course) because you could just guard against the next generation instead. Dishing out special ‘neutering popcorn’ to anyone seeing an Adam Sandler comedy, for instance, should do the trick.

This wouldn’t put all bad culture out of business, mind, so you could use the surplus tosh to deal with overcrowded prisons – simply send the worst, hard-as-nails, career criminals to Roy Chubby Brown [English stand-up comedian] gigs for the rest of their sentence.

And just watch the crime levels drop once we get Gareth Gates [runner-up in the first series of the ITV 'talent show' Pop Idol] on the case.

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