Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Common Censor, Simple Common Censor

Well, let nobody say David Cameron hasn't got cojones. He must be a brave, brave man, because he has attacked rap music as promoting violence, seemingly without any concern for his own health. After all, presumably these tooled up rappers are going to take a piece round his place an' pop a clip in his ass. Or something.

Melonfarmers: 'Cameron Sticks The Knife Into Radio 1'

'I would say to Radio 1, do you realise that some of the stuff you play on Saturday nights encourages people to carry guns and knives?' he told the British Society of Magazine Editors. Cameron said his remarks were an example of having the courage to speak up when you see something that is wrong 'despite the fact that you will get a lot of bricks thrown at you.'

Brave, brave man. I sure wouldn't want rappers to throw bricks at me. In fact, by daring to tackle this vile and pernicious problem amongst us, I feel that David Cameron is much like St George facing up to the dragon, or St Patrick chasing every single snake out of Ireland (yes, he chased all of them, all by himself). Where would we be without this courage?

Sam Leith: 'Notebook' (12/6/06)

''I wil b cocking back my steel strait, bullets bullets, run run, fire fire, bun bun, if u don't like killa killa. " So says Lethal Bizzle. And who, you might think, are we to disagree? The man seems to have some sort of weapon that fires buns, and he's not afraid to use it.'

'So we must applaud David Cameron for his courage in tackling Mr Bizzle - and his elliptical, but possibly threatening, pronouncements - head-on. Rapper Mr Bizzle has become the latest target in New Conservatism's culture wars, you see. Mr Cameron has criticised Mr Bizzle after Mr Bizzle criticised Mr Cameron for criticising a rap programme Mr Bizzle likes. It has, truly, kicked off.'

'"You're talking rubbish, Lethal Bizzle," Mr Cameron contended, unexceptionably, in a newspaper yesterday. Then he added: "Lyrics about guns and knives do destroy lives." If only Mr Cameron had been around back in the day, as rappers say, and if only people had listened to him, society might never have been scarred as it has been by, for example, Beowulf, the Iliad or Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.'

So the argument between Mr Cameron and Mr Bizzle was the real deal. Or real dizzle, perhaps I should say. Then it turns out that Cameron doesn't actually want to ban the lyrics, or the song, or Mr Bizzle, or rap music generally, or hold a moratorium on fun, but instead have 'a sensible debate' about the effects of lyrics that discuss steel straight backs (a great cure for sciatica!) and bun chucking. Ho hum. Well, all rather pointless, but then we get this:

Sam Leith: 'Notebook' (19/6/06)

'When first Mr Cameron fished this old chestnut from the brazier, Mr Bizzle wrote him an e-mail warning him that he was being a "donut" about the issue, and encouraging him to look at the positive side of rap music. He mentioned, for example, that he had signed 14 kids from East London to his record label.'

. . .

'What I didn't know - and nor, obviously, did Mr Cameron - was that the lyric he quoted isn't even by Lethal Bizzle. "Donut" indeed. If the man can't even be trusted to use Google, God help us when he gets his hands on something complicated, like the economy.'

The most hilarious thing about all this isn't that Lethal Bizzle, whoever he is, used the word 'donut' as an insult - though frankly that's rib-splitting, and I view the fellow as a latter-day Byron - but that Cameron can't even be arsed to perform a simple fact-check on an article concerning an issue about which he is supposedly passionate.

Welcome to the world of postmodern censorship, where morality has nothing to do with censorship, but getting a headline in the newspaper has. Hardly surprising from the man who raged against a clothes range that was withdrawn three years ago.

You donut!

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