Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Heavy Metal Thunder

Quite rightly, the identity of the child accused of the horrible murder at a Leeds school yesterday isn't being made public. Not that that has stopped the Daily Mail trawling up enough information to take breaching the spirit of the law up to the very boundary of breaching the letter of it.

And it's here that we see the resurrection of one of the tabloid press favourite tropes: It was heavy metal's fault:

On his Facebook page, along with the Grim Reaper drawing and links to British heavy metal bands Enter Shakari and Bring Me The Horizon, he had posted a picture of himself dressed in black with long hair.
Links? To Enter Shikari? Wearing black with long hair? Clearly, we're dealing with the devil's music here.

It's obviously metal's fault, right?

Except the Mail doesn't even seem certain he is a metalhead:
Another ex-pupil said the 15-year-old often went into school carrying Jack Daniels and beer and that he was a ‘goth’ who drew circles on the floor, claiming to worship the devil.
In subsequent coverage, we're expecting the Mail to also discover he was bobbysoxer, a mod AND a rocker, and a hepcat of dubious renown.

Still, goths and metalheads are at least united by the long hair thing, right? That's something the Mail can cling to.
But neighbours [...] said he had recently cut his hair very short.
Oddly, the Mail neglects to seize on this detail, misunderstand it and over-inflate it into somehow lumping him into the violent cult of skinheaded thugs.

I can understand the Mail's problem here - there's a question 'how could this happen? who could do this?' hanging over everyone's heads this morning, and there are no answers. For a paper which lacks morals and ethics, and apparently believes the world functions on a level of the simplicity of a Fred Basset cartoon, looking at a couple of things the boy liked and deciding they're somehow relevant is the obvious thing to do. It's probably because Viscount Rothermere and Paul Dacre listen to a lot of Wagner.

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