Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The End of Civilisation..........

............Starts With Children Putting Pants On Their Heads

Yesterday in the House of Commons, Tory MP Peter Luff complained to Tessa Jowell, the Culture Secretary, about the BBC children's programme Dick and Dom In Da Bungalow. (It's almost worth listening to the BBC soundfile just to hear him pronounce that title). This hugely popular programme for the under-12s seems to have upset Mr Luff even more than Jerry Springer - The Opera. He invited Ms Jowell to accompany him to his office to view the programme's disgusting website, which features Make Dick Sick - a game, said Mr Luff, "which speaks for itself" - and How Low Can You Bungalow? He'd better be careful he doesn't get the nickname 'Bungalow' himself, like Bill Wiggins, on the grounds that he has nothing upstairs.

The Dick and Dom show relies heavily on lavatorial humour and jokes about eating bogies. It's a form of humour that I've never liked, even as a child, but many young children do. On the other hand, I quite enjoyed my brief visit to the website where I was able to discover how minging I was (very, since you ask) and there was a really fab interactive graphic where you press your spacebar and a turtle emerges from the toilet. (You see how thoroughly this blog is researched).

Dick, OOPS, Peter Luff MPThe voters of Worcester might wonder why their MP is getting his own pants in such a terrible twist over a kids' TV programme to the extent that he seems to think that a picture of ten year olds with their pants on their heads is reason not to renew the BBC's Charter. He was, I discover, all in favour of murdering thousands of Iraqui children in an illegal war and thinks dressing up in funny costumes and chasing foxes across the countryside is absolutely splendid fun. But put your underpants on your head or say 'bogie' to him and you're corrupting the nation's youth and threatening the very fabric of this great nation of ours.

I hereby promise to donate £5 to the campaign fund of anyone prepared to stand in Worcester as the Pants Candidate and pursue Mr Luff round his constituency with supporters dressed as bogies and toilet turtles.


While we're talking about the idiocies of censorship can anyone explain to me why all hell breaks loose over Jerry Springer - The Opera, while Humphrey Lyttleton's script on I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue on Radio 4 (middle class England's favourite channel) contains the most obscene material in British broadcasting?
I'm not complaining. I've been a fan of the programme for 30 years. But, for those who don't know it, last night's programme began with a joke about an implied spoonerism involving the C word. Later there was a joke involving Lionel Blair and Ant and Dec: "Ant watched in horror as Lionel went down with both hands on deck (Dec)." There has been a long-running series of gags about Lionel Blair's appearances in the old TV game show 'Give Us A Clue', including this one about guessing the book title A Town Like Alice: "Who can forget Una Stubbs' delight when she saw Neville Shute in Lionel's face."

Perhaps I nodded off but I don't recall any jokes about ejaculation in Jerry Springer. Ah, but these are in the great British tradition of double entendre, people might say. Well yes, there's a literal meaning that isn't remotely funny and a sexual meaning that usually stops the show with prolonged laughter. Why is something less 'obscene' because it's a play on words?
If anyone's ever complained about this programme, I've never heard about it. Yet it's broadcast at midday and 6pm, well before any watershed and I've met devoutly religious people who adore it.
For all I know, Peter Luff MP may listen to it. But then, I can't recall it including any jokes about bogies


At 10:19 PM, Blogger Steve said...

I think you're forgetting that the middle classes can never be corrupted. The ones that get offended, get offended on behalf of the 'lower orders'.

I'd rather have kids joking about bogies than slugging WKD on street corners - or have I missed something?

At 8:35 AM, Blogger Willie Lupin said...

Absolutely. It's like the old conundrum that the censors can watch 'obscene' material every day of their lives without being 'corrupted' or rushing out and raping someone.


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