this blog is girtby.net

Posted
05 April 2005

Categories
Verisimilitude Personal

Tags

6 Comments

Old Geezer Moment

Out and about on the weekend, and I saw a young kid wearing a ... provocative T-shirt. Select the following paragraph if you want to know what was written on it. Or just think of a phrase that would offend the most people - and you're probably close.

Jesus is a Cunt

(Incidentally I can think of a slightly more offensive phrase than this. By my reckoning this makes me slightly more imaginative than the marketing department for English metal band Cradle of Filth, who produced the T-shirt.)

On seeing it I immediately had an Old Geezer Moment.

"Kids these days! In my day we'd thrash the young whippersnappers! Discipline, I tell you, never did me any harm!" (etc.)

It's a lot easier to be offended on behalf of someone else than for your own sake. So in the grip of the OGM, I was visualising a potential scenario when one of my boys meet their grandparents wearing that T-shirt.

Now I know music and all the Youth Culture that surrounds it is all supposed to be offensive to Squares. But how much more offensive can it get? As far as gratuitous slogans on T-shirts goes, I would say not very much. And what then? Lyrics? Clothing?

From Googling a bit, it seems this bit of clothing-based provocation is the most accomplished output from Cradle of Filth. Maybe now that they are approaching middle age themselves, they'll have an OGM and realise there's nowhere really left to go.

You're on ten here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you're on ten on your guitar. Where can you go from there? Where?

(I'm sure I don't have to source that quote)

6 Comments

Posted by
Alan Green
2005-04-04 23:29:53 -0500
#

Cradle of Filth's output is about on a level with 70's punk bands such as The Sex Pistols and the Ramones, which both set out to bring about the end of pop music by taking it to its logical ends and then pushing it over the edge. The fact that us old timers listen to them for fun highlights how badly the punk experiment failed.


Posted by
alastair
2005-04-04 23:29:53 -0500
#

Damn it's hard to talk about this without lines from Spinal Tap (pardon the lack of umlauts) popping into your head.

I think quite clearly CoF have managed to go further, by making their content more offensive, than the Sex Pistols did back in their day.

Equally clearly they haven't generated the levels of national outrage. There have been a few incidences of kids being fined for wearing the CoF T-shirt but nothing like the hysteria at the peak of the Sex Pistols (not that I remember it all that well!). Then again, it's very unlikely that the marketing genius of Malcom Mclaren will be equalled any time soon.

BTW, there was a Pistols doco film a few years back called The Filth and The Fury - I wonder if this was the ironic inspiration for Cradle of Filth's moniker?


Posted by
foobear
2005-04-04 23:29:53 -0500
#

Would like to reference T Shirts: http://www.threadless.com/product/145/JCwasa_Streaker http://www.thinkgeek.com/tshirts/pennyarcade/6fc1/

At a lot of concerts I've gone to, a lot of people wear a shirt, showing "the finger". It says:

Fuck you Christian.

That kind of makes me cringe a little. Anyway, point is: Being offended is a choice you make. Some things are artful, other things are tacky. If it makes a strong argument, then it's probably worth listening to, if it's taking the piss, it's probably not worth taking seriously. If it's trying to be offensive, you're doing it a favour by being offended.

Also, CoF are a vampire band. If you play something like Vampire: the Masquerade, you'll kind of see where it's coming from.


Posted by
alastair
2005-04-04 23:29:53 -0500
#

"Being offended is a choice you make."

For robots maybe! But for the rest of us taking offense is an emotional reaction. You can no more choose it than you can choose to experience (or not experience) any other emotion.


Posted by
foobear
2005-04-04 23:29:53 -0500
#

Are you trying to offend me by telling me I'm a robot? Because that's pretty clever!

I find I'm less offended by people's opinions (since they are "like arseholes"), and more offended by things they state as fact that are incorrect, and the conclusions they reach "because the earth is flat, we can clearly see that mimes are the most refined form of entertainment available to people". I guess irritated is a better word. It tends to hurt them more than it hurts me, though, so meh.


Posted by
Garth T Kidd
2005-04-04 23:29:53 -0500
#

Yep. As a mate of mine often says to the back of irritating people, "Sucks to be you."