Saturday, September 16, 2006

Glitter kicked out of NFL

Considering his tendency to fiddle over pictures of naked children came to light back in 1999, it's perhaps a little surprising that the it's only this year that the NFL has advised American Football franchises to drop Rock N Roll Part 2 from the pregame ritual.

Yahoo Music is outraged - so outraged, it's actually printed an editorial, which they tend not to do very often:

Still, if the league ever wonders why some people think NFL stands for the "No Fun League," this is a good example. What Glitter did was reprehensible, no doubt about it. No one ever should think of inviting him to perform at a game, and it's probably best to stay away from that song when picking theme music for commercials.

But few fans know Glitter co-wrote and performed "Rock and Roll, Part II." Most don't even know that's the actual name. It isn't until you say the "Hey" song or sing, "Dah dah dah dah dah dah, HEY!" that the lightbulb goes on.

Now, they could have a point - to a certain extent, the question of if its okay to play Gary Glitter at a football game echoes the tiresome and empty debates over if its okay to like Eric Gill's fonts or whether buying a copy of Alice In Wonderland makes you the sort of person News of the World readers should be throwing rocks at.

But there is a key difference with Glitter - after his child porn conviction, he skipped the country without signing the child protection register, which technically makes him (in American terms) a fugitive from justice. Secondly, he's since been convicted of child molestation in Vietnam - and, it's pretty clear, he would have faced much more serious charges had he not bought off the witnesses and victims. And how did he manage to buy them off? In part, from the royalties he's been making on music being played halfway across the world.

The reason the NFL is right to discourage its teams from playing the works of Glitter is not because there's anything immoral in his music, or because playing it at the Mile High Stadium will make people go home and sleep with their nephews.

The reason is because nobody wants to be subsidising a paedophile's tours round the Far East.

It's surprising Yahoo thinks they should.

On the other hand, George Bush was happy to resurrect the theme for his re-election tour last time round, despite having it explained to him exactly what that meant.

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