DVDs and the erosion of public morals

The risk of going on holiday with friends is that you inadvertently expose the vagaries of your child-rearing methods to the scrutiny of others. Some parents seem to be breast-feeding lusty six-year-olds. Some of them have strange systems of potty training. And I am now accused by my fellow parents of being eccentrically liberal in what I consider suitable for the kiddies to watch on television.

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It happened like this. We were all chuckling at a DVD of For Your Eyes Only, a superbly bad 1981 Bond film starring Roger Moore, and I was just thinking what wholesome family viewing it was.

For those of us in the throes of middle age it was cheering to watch the elderly Roger Moore as he creaked around the set while younger, fitter women flung themselves at his wobbly jowls. It is not so much an action movie as an anti-ageism tract.

So there we were giggling away, when another friend and mother came in and said – very nicely – would we mind pressing the pause button, because she didn’t want her 11-year-old exposed to the sex’n’violence of James Bond; and of course we immediately complied, though I was puzzled. There was no swearing; the violence was so parodic as to be completely undisturbing. As for sex, the only racy scene involved Bond and the girl taking off their dressing gowns, so that you saw their undraped knees – in the case of Roger Moore, a reassuringly wrinkly knee.

What was wrong with that, I wondered; and then another parent piped up and observed that we let our children watch a film called Hot Fuzz – an acutely observed satire of rural policing – even though it carried a 15 certificate, and most of our children were not yet 15. Yes, said someone else, and what about this DVD of Shaun of the Dead? Don’t tell me you let your children watch Shaun of the Dead? Er, yes, I said.

Like families across Britain, our family has been richly entertained by the bit where they bludgeon the zombies with cricket bats, and the bit in Hot Fuzz where the spire falls from the church and skewers someone.

But I have to admit that under the interrogation of my friends I felt a spasm of guilt. Am I contributing to the erosion of public morals? Am I failing to set the right boundaries? Am I partly responsible for Broken Britain?

Well, yes, you are, said one friend and mother. These James Bond films glamorised violence, she argued. They carried the implication that chaps with guns were successful with women, and she didn’t like the way her three-year-old rushed around pointing his finger and going bang.

And what’s this, said someone else, riffling through the pile of DVDs: not Desperate Housewives! Not Sex and the City! Did we really let our children watch these shows? I don’t think I am grown-up enough to cope with a full episode of Sex and the City, since it is Aristophanic in its vulgarity, but I had to admit that some of our children might have seen some of it, and they might have seen some of Desperate Housewives; and by this time I realised that I stood convicted in the eyes of my peers.

We have been so lax as to allow our nation’s future – at their most impressionable age – to be exposed to shattering images of New York harlots, exsanguinating zombies and Roger Moore’s knees.

I have been racking my brains for a defence, and the first point to make is that we are always slightly stunned to discover what the younger generation is reading or watching. I remember my grandmother being amazed that I was reading David Niven’s risqué memoir, The Moon’s a Balloon; and no one stopped me picking up Flashman, at the age of 11, and discovering that the hero gets off to a cracking start in life by being expelled from school and raping his father’s mistress.

I speak for most of my generation when I say that in every group of 13-year-old boys there was always a porn merchant who did a lively trade in Knave or Fiesta before going on to hone his skills at Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs, of course porn is more popular now a days, and you can find even sites online as spankbang which offer good quality adult content for the adult public.

Did these literary or visual stimuli corrupt us, or make us any more dysfunctional than we would otherwise have been? I doubt it, any more than children in fifth-century Athens would have been corrupted by sneaking a look at the images on their parents’ red‑figure calyx-craters.

Every generation is phobic about the effect of new technology on the morals of the next, and the truth is, I don’t like the idea of kids spending hours on the web, probably being groomed by paedophiles from Liège; and yet all the kids I know – whatever they have been goggling at – seem remarkably unruffled, and surprisingly moralistic. No matter how sordid the programmes, they disapprove vehemently of swearing. Anything remotely racist or homophobic sounds much more profane, to their ears, than it did to children 30 years ago. I could direct you to an 11-year‑old who certainly likes Desperate Housewives, but the show she really loves is called High School Musical and is so clean as to be positively emetic.

Sometimes I think our censoriousness is not so much about protecting children as it is about preventing them from seeing the embarrassing silliness of adult behaviour. Of course there must be limits. It’s just that I am not sure we always put them in the right place. The satirical schlock of Hot Fuzz is apparently only suitable for those of 15 and above, while the much nastier and more violent Batman yarn, The Dark Knight, rates only a 12A. What’s that about? In so far as there is any potential for corruption in these films, it depends, I suppose, on what else is going on in the lives of our kids and what else they do with their time.

The real trouble is that they watch too much blasted electronic media altogether, and for a treatment of this painful issue I direct you to the micro-selling volume, The Perils of the Pushy Parents, by me, published by HarperCollins, and still available at the local Oxfam.

[First published in the Daily Telegraph on 24 Februrary 2009 under the heading, “How, exactly, will Roger Moore’s knees corrupt my children?”]

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71 thoughts on “DVDs and the erosion of public morals”

  1. DVDs do not only erode public morals sexually, they also erode public standards of honesty. Stealing is presented as hip and clever… the OCEANS series for example, in which a group of card sharps steal millions from casinoes and are are applauded for their cleverness. Brad Pitt and George Clooney continually scheme to defraud gambling establishments, merely because they have quarrelled with or dislike the owners.


    How many “heist” movies are there now? “ENTRAPMENT” “THE ITALIAN JOB” (the remake), HOW TO STEAL A MILLION, INSIDE JOB, the list goes on and the theme of all of them is that crime pays, they all glamorise stealing.

    The Mayor is definitely not ready for the full series of SEX AND THE CITY. The four chums get through so many men appiece at the rate of one each per episode, in my view they qualify as total sluts. Their conquests run into hundreds. If any of the quartet owns to “feelings” she is immediately riduculed by the other three. Even when several of them finally settle down and marry, their relationships take second place to consumerism. (Carrie puts her desire for an hugely expensive designer wedding with hundreds of people,before her consideration for her future husband. He has already been married twice before, and is uncomfortable with a big “do”. But when he backs out, he is the villain, and is viciously castigated by Carrie and her friends.

    In spite of their own loose sexual behaviour, funnily enough, they have no compassion for the transgressions of others. When Miranda’s husband makes one slip, she throws him out, in spite of the fact she has denied him loving relations for SIX MONTHS and made a very unkind remark when he attempted to remedy matters.

    THE DARK KNIGHT, in my opinion, is a really great film and a fantastic comment on society today, but it is far too violent for children. It should only be viewed by over 18’s, or even over 21’s. The themes are far too disturbing, deep and serious to be understand by anyone of a younger age.

    So many violent, sexual, morally dishonest DVD’s are now available, they are washing over our society like a tidal wave, pouring out of SKY tv, belching out of FREEVIEW, and erupting out of DVD shops. There is no possible way of stopping this now, and the result is the society we have now, sexually rampant, with little mention of emotions, horribly violent, blatantly dishonest…. THE EVIL GENIE HAS BEEN LET OUT OF THE BOTTLE.

  2. I think you were very kind to indulge your friend and press the pause button on the movie, but I confess that I might have sat there too stunned to even move had some Argus-eyed parent request that I stop a James Bond film.

    James Bond films are fun! They are such innocent movies when you compare them with films of today and the acting is so camped up that I can’t imagine how anyone could possibly find fault with them. I absolutely adore Live and Let Die with its voodoo undercurrents and the stunning young Jane Seymour, who I might add is the best of all the Bond girls and my ideal when it comes to women. But I digress.

    Why is it that some parents run screaming for the hills when a little bit of flesh is shown on the television screen, but have no problem with gratuitous violence? I wouldn’t hesitate to let my child watch any of the older James Bond films, but then I’ve probably already warped my child for life as I had Fellini’s 8 1/2 playing on a constant loop when he was an infant. He’s also had to bear witness to William Shatner in Incubus — a highly imaginative script spoken entirely in Esperanto.

    My own personal opinion is that children should be free to watch and read whatever they like, and that parents should be there to guide them and teach them to be media savvy.

    I still managed to retain my innocence as a child despite listening to Prince’s Purple Rain quite heavily and despite also reading the odious V.C. Andrews book Flowers In The Attic, which was snatched ceremoniously out of my hand one day by a nun at the Catholic school I attended. I’ll never forget the grimace on her face as the poor woman stood staring at the book like some ancient haruspex, trying to divine my sordid future from the contents of the book. Looking back, I suppose it wasn’t the best choice of book to bring in for Reading Hour. Ho hum.

    Speaking of books, it’s funny you mention The Perils of the Pushy Parents as I actually bought and read it just a week and a half ago and throughly enjoyed its humor and message. Everyone reading this really should go out and buy it.

  3. I am not a mother, but do not believe that rigid censorship will now serve any purpose, the world being as it is.

    Since the Evil Genie is out of the bottle, censoring your childrens’ viewing is no longer an option.
    Restricting their viewing to old episodes of THE WALTONS and BONANZA will only mean they are sent out totally unprepared into a violent and immoral world.

    The Mayor describes THE DARK KNIGHT as nasty. Yes, but a lot of things in life are nasty now. THE DARK KNIGHT is actually an extremely moral film. Maybe you could explain and highlight that aspect.

    Start checking out heist movies and get a bargain set of SEX AND THE CITY from Amazon immediately. (Anyone on this website will explain the difficult and very bad bits to you). (JOKE) The Mayor better start preparing his children now for the Sodom and Gormorrah that awaits them.

  4. If Mayor Johnson thinks my knees are wrinkly, he ought to see a bit higher on my body. Still I’m glad he had a laugh … I personally laughed all the way to the bank.

  5. This is a great blog. Do you write it yourself?

    ps my 9 year old agrees with me that Sean Connery was a much better Bond than Roger and that gold Astin Martin from Goldfinger is still a highly desirable kid’s toy 40 years on.

  6. What, no spoiler alert? Jeebus, now I can just throw away this copy of Hot Fuzz I got.

    Obviously the real problem here is Tories attempting to live as Socialists, presumably to conserve cash since the Significant Other got laid off of Citibank or whatever. If you’d just stick your kids with a nanny and go on your own damn holidays like a proper Tory none of this would have happened, now would it?

  7. Sir Roger Moore, no-one can raise an eyebrow like you! Your dry humour brought a new dimension to the part.

  8. HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL is called cocaine for kids, because of the effect it has on adolescents. When I accompanied a group of 11 years to this film, they all launched themselves at the screen emitting high pitched squeaks when a certain Zac Efron made his appearance, it was so funny.

  9. All day I have gone from mild annoyance to really building up a head of steam…. how can the Mayor compare a dreadful film like HoT FUZZ to a brilliant film like THE DARK KNIGHT? How could he even have HOT FUZZ in the house, it is trash?

    The person who is picking the Mayoral videos is not doing a very good job of it, they could pick MOLIERE which is so beautiful, fantastic story, beautifully acted, and would improve the childrens’ French! They could pick ARSENE LUPIN, the story of the famous French jewel thief, also starring Romain Duris, exquisitely photographed! (Get both from Amazon, as they are foreign) Even the COLOMBO series would be better than HOT FUZZ!

  10. THE DARK KNIGHT is a work of art, not to be mentioned in the same breath as a trashy movie like HOT FUZZ.

    The technical effects alone are outstanding. Has the Mayor thought of the design challenge posed when creating the Bat-pod, the reams of conceptual drawings necessary, the experimentation, before the Bat-Pod came into being, emerging from the incapacitated Batmobile like a motorcycle bat out of hell?

    Didn’t the Mayor appreciate the creative genius of the appearance of the Joker, is he aware that many makeups were tried until the ultimate result was chosen, just as a number of costume designs were considered, ranging from traditional to anarchic, until world renowned film designer Lindy Hemming settled on the Joker’s final look? (She introduced an element of Vivienne Westwood and chose footwear from Milan. The Joker’s hair was deliberately dyed to look green/gold.)

    Fifty different clown masks were specifically designed for the film and Lindy Hemming also totally redesigned Batman’s costume.

    The gruesome visage Harvey Dent was created first in sketches, then in clay sculpture and finally through visual effects.

    Hans Zimmer worked for over a year on the score of the film, to create music that would convey the sociopathic, criminal element of the plot, interspersed with melodic, tragic themes.

    Admittedly there is a lot of violence, but there is equally shocking violence in KING LEAR and nobody moans about that.

    The theme of the film is so relevant to our age….. justice has failed society and so ordinary people turn to a hero vigilante. How more appropriate and relevant could that BE? Heath Ledger is such a brilliant actor, how could the Mayor not be moved by such an anarchic, destructive performance? Heath Ledger locked himself up in a hotel room alone for a whole month, so he could develop his performance and get right inside the character? (He won an Oscar, although he was even better in Brokeback Mountain.)

    How could BJ not be touched by the suffering of Harvey Two Face, a man who gave everything he had as an instrument of justice for Gotham City, who was so shattered at the loss of the person he loved the most.. it broke him and he lost his faith in love and in everything that had meant anything to him before. He was destroyed by the pain of losing someone in such a terrible way.

    But Batman as the Dark Knight, sacrificed himself so that the people of Gotham City could still have something good to believe in, because

    “Sometimes the truth isn’t good enough. Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.”

    Mr. Mayor this is a film that has powerfully resonated with the youth of today. The sales are so massive that already it is the fourth most popular film of all time. (not that that necessarily means it is any good, because the most popular film of all time is TITANIC, and that totally sucked”.

    You need, as Mayor of London, to understand this film, and it is not a film that can be fully comprehended in one viewing. You should watch it at least three times more to fully comprehend the power and the message. Won’t you give it another chance, and watch it again? But please, please, if you want the massive support you enjoy to last, never, ever mention this film again in the same breath as HOT FUZZ.

  11. I’ll preface this comment by saying that I’m totally ignorant of Hot Fuzz and have no idea what it’s about, although it does have a rather titillating title.

    The greatest (and only) crime in this column that I can find is that collections of Sex and the City and Desperate Housewives reside in the home of the lovely Boris Johnson. But I can’t fault Boris for this as the DVDs are obviously not his.

    So with my confession of ignorance regarding all things Hot Fuzz, I would just like to state right here and now for the record that I would much rather watch the aforementioned movie no matter how painful it may be rather than submit myself to the visual equivalent of gouging hot skewers deep into my eyeballs. Come to think of it, hot skewers would probably be infinitely less painful than watching even 5 minutes of Sex and the City.

    I’m deeply ashamed to be an American when I think of shows like these, and yet I realize that there is a market out there for the single women of the world who really just like to talk about sex rather than have it, and who will never understand the world of men. This is all well and good if it makes these women happy and if sales of these soulless DVDs manage to stimulate the economy I begrudgingly give them my blessings, but I would still reach for the skewers should I ever come face to face with one of these shows.

    Kristine ~x~

  12. Kristine, I totally sympathise with your feelings. I would never go NEAR DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES, it sounded appalling and the women in SEX AND THE CITY are a disgrace to their sex. You make an important point… maybe the series is for women who don’t have sex, but enjoy hearing others talking about it, in which case, there is some useful psychological benefit.

    There are a few funny jokes in SEX AND THE CITY and in the film, when Samantha lay nude on a table and covered herself with sushi, to please her boyfriend, that was funny, the rest I could do without. Samantha’s dog (it couldn’t stop humping) also made me laugh.

    ps. hope I haven’t offended anyone.

  13. “The truth is, I don’t like the idea of kids spending hours on the web, probably being groomed by paedophiles from Liège;”

    Sweet thought.

  14. Never mind movies, I wonder what the kids are learning from our captains of industry and political leaders through the news at the moment?

  15. If kids are watching endless heist movies, the message is that if Brad Pitt and George Clooney can get away with stealing millions of other peoples’ money, that’s the smart thing to do and OK, so why should we blame the head of RBS?

  16. Erm … speaking of robbers … Robin Hood ? Leslie Charteris’ Saint (books and Roger Moore on TV) ? etc.

    And, potentially far more damaging, as a wee lad, I picked up Kafka and Proust from a circulating library. Fortunately, after a few pages, I had the good sense to postpone reading any Proust until my retirement years (still a bit far off these days). Kafka, we nowadays get in the front pages. Good thing I was inoculated.

  17. Aristophanic vulgarity in Sex and the City? I don’t understand the allusion. Aristophanes certainly employed vulgarity in his plays but it was couched in wit, invention and satire – qualities notably absent from Sex and the City (yes I have watched it, albeit with a sinking heart).

  18. Roger Moore is a legend…a working class hero/film star/charity worker…have you seen yourself Boris??Honestly [Ed: inappropriate]

  19. Suzanne popular culture is hugely influential in shaping our society today. Trends in cinema and DVDs have a knock on effect that can be good or bad.

  20. Ah, Paul: when was there last a decent performance of Wasps/Lysistrata to just enjoy rather than be ‘educated by’? SATC is best in ten minute chunks – the ten where the real fans share the biccies (US = cookies) and a good giggle is possible. Keep watching. Oops, we can’t – except repeats. A bit like Aristophanes, really? (Though, somehow, I can’t see them doing SATC reruns 2000 years from now).

  21. “Morals” and “morality” are not the subject opinion. Opinions are irrelevant – even all of mine. “Morals” and “morality” are not the same things as “values” and “ethics”, which move around like stock prices.

    Discussion on this topic ought NOT to concern itself with the many ageist offences taken at James Bond’s wrinkly knee caps or with utterly useless comparisons about how far the Jones’ go with their children’s viewing.

    This is a serious topic and it’s about objective realities – it’s about what constitutes a morally sound environment against the complete slavery we almost all suffer today of running after every whim. It’s about the formation of happy homes and the education of our children. They are tomorrow’s whole society. The ancient Greeks’ definition of an ‘educated man’ could be summarised by saying “one who knows HOW to spend his free time”.

    This, his search for truth, will “set him free”. Free from what? you may ask, well, to begin with, free from himself and his feverish search for short-term gains (be they simple pleasures or profits). The “fever” keeps him from employing his time ‘cultivating’, as it were, himself.

    How much time and effort, (money also) is spent on managing the ‘effects’ of our collective laziness. We place more weapons in the hands of our forces without ever coming to an agreement on what how and when to fight, we place more policemen on our streets and want more room in our jails and yet we deliver an educational to our children which has become so politically correct ad so multi-ethically tolerant we no longer can define who we ourselves are! Where is our Tradition? – which is Christian. Where is our England? Where is that place to which so many aspire to reside yet no one can say what it is! ….. because it is lost…let’s hope not forever.

    We need more liberal education (pre-“Enlightenment” liberal education)

  22. As an avid film fan, I have to say, there are some absolutely beautiful films out on DVD… IL Y A LONGTEMPS QUE JE T’AIME is just out, with Kristen Scott Thomas….. sublime.

    MOLIERE is still available on DVD, absolutely first class, funny, emotional, moving, everything you would wish for from a French film.

    CYRANO DE BERGERAC is a masterpiece and one of Gerard Depardieu’s best parts, such a beautiful story. He is also brilliant in Dumas, THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO.

    THE CLOSET, another French film which is hilarious; Daniel Auteuil is about to lose his job, so takes advantage of political correctness and claims he is gay, figuring correctly that HR will be too scared of breaching political correctness to go through with it. Gerard Depardieu plays a macho rugby player and his team mates tease him that Daniel Auteuil is attracted to him. This brings out Depardieu’s latent feminine side and he actually falls for Auteuil! Oh it is very very funny.

    I could talk about films all night, but will stop in case I am boring you all.

    French films are so much more beautiful and subtle and deal with the emotions so much better than English films.

  23. RIDICULE is another amazing French film. I must not forget ARSENE LUPIN.

    Then there is the fabulous TROP BELLE POUR TOI when Gerard Depardieu has the most beautiful wife imaginable (Carole Bouquet) but he falls in love with his dumpy, plain secretary and nobody understands why…. the wife is just too beautiful to be true, too beautiful for him, “trop belle pour toi!”

  24. ps. My guilty secret…. I saw MOLIERE nine times in the cinema.

    When I was little, I was a good little girl except for the fact that I would bunk off school and go to the cinema and sit there daydreaming for hours and hours…..NO-ONE EVER FOUND OUT.

    I better stop now.

  25. pps. the film I have seen most in the cinema is THE DEER HUNTER and I went to see that thirteen times in all.

  26. I think it is the same thing as Andy Warhol said. He would play the most stupid pop song over and over and over again and he said it was so he could REALLY UNDERSTAND IT.

  27. Since everyone seems to be talking about French films here, Jean-Luc Godard’s Contempt is spectacular, particularly the Criterion Collection DVD of it. Brigitte Bardot is fabulous and Jack Palance is a scream, as usual. The film’s themes tie in very nicely with The Odyssey.

  28. Kristine, Thank you for that! I will make sure to see it.

    MOLIERE is spectacular – the theme is that at first Moliere wrote and acted in tragedies, but without much success. The story of how he came to write inspirational comedy is the theme of the film and Romain Duris gives full rein to his comedic talents, particularly when he is imitating a steed from the Carmargue! HILARIOUS. The French aristocracy is mercilessly ridiculed.

    In ARSENE LUPIN, the same actor excels as the suave French pickpocket, who follows his dead father in becoming a thief, but is more moral than his father. Duris is led astray by the beautiful but wicked Countess (Kristin Scott Thomas, French impeccable), whose jealousy is his undoing. Stunning, meticulously researched period detail, and in the end a lupin (one of my favourite flowers) lies on the ground as the camera pans in for a closeup.

  29. Thing is, where do you draw the line?

    Some years ago I was undergoing an inspection of my home with a view to child-minding. My son was sitting quietly watching an archaeology programme and the Ofstead inspector took me to task for allowing him access to unsuitable material.

    Apparently, as she entered the room they were in the process of cleaning up a human skull which she assured me was likely to be highly disturbing to my precious little lamb and could cause long term damage.

    My son, never one to mince his words although he was only 7 at the time, pointed out that she was very being silly, and that a dead body without a skull would be much scarier. He then suggested she watch the rest of the programme just in case one came up (I strongly suspect he was hoping to frighten her).

    Having also been taken to task for allowing my kids to watch natural history programmes with mating and hunting scenes, I have decided I have much more faith in my children’s judgement than I do in the ‘expert’ opinions on what is suitable for a particular age group.

  30. Kat H, the Ofsted inspector sounds like an idiot, and your son sounds like an extremely intelligent, sensible little boy.

  31. Two beautiful French films…. Jean de Florette and Manon des sources. Once again, Gerard Depardieu triumphs, and Daniel Auteuil and Yves Montand are brilliant as the two wily, ruthless peasants who scheme to rob Depardieu, and succeed until fate turns the tables.

    Brilliant photography, stunning views of Provence.

  32. MAN ON WIRE won an Oscar for best documentary, another stunning British triumph. The theme is an act of artistic and acrobatic insurrection, Philip Pettit walks on a tightrope between two N.Y. skyscrapers without a net.

    At the Oscar ceremony, when juggler, acrobat and pick pocket Philip Pettit received the Oscar, he balanced it perfectly ON HIS NOSE! AN AMAZING MAN.

    The film is out on DVD, don’t miss it.

  33. I am quite surprised to see so many people writing about the stupid movies themselves instead of about the subject of the column : “can you let your children watch this movie?”. It seems to me that some people are missing the point?

    Anyway : Mr. Johnson : you frequently make me smile when I read these columns of yours.

    “How, exactly, will Roger Moore’s knees corrupt my children?” Excellent!

    Please keep the stories coming. 😉

  34. Rob, I’m recommending DVDs for the Mayor’s kids that are better than the ones they have been watching. Relevant surely?

  35. Rob, I’m still wondering what school that 11 year-old goes to. Each parent to their own set of values but wrinkly knees is decidedly mild. Some eleven year olds (and far older people, too) cannot cope with too much red cinematic gloop masquerading as blood and get nightmares, some get affected by well-written scarey music. Both of those reasons seem quite sensible to me – but a family holiday with presumably several adults and children and lots of knees doing the usual trips to bathroom, pool, clothes locker? Young children take that for granted. Older children know where bare knees are acceptable in public. The transition from one set of perception of knees to the other happens mostly imperceptibly in psychologically well-adjusted houses and if it so happens that the child is on holiday with a mixed group of adults and children having a chuckle at an ancient movie well, better that than some of the options.

  36. ‘ Some parents seem to be breast-feeding lusty six-year-olds ‘ ( Boris )
    And lusty Mr.J was watching from his deck-chair…

  37. I agree with Mr. Johnson. A lots of DVD films out there are so corruptive. Example:
    – Dante’s Cove; a new Hollywood gay vampires film where they will suck anything except blood.
    – BrokenBack Mountain; a new Hollywood trendy cowboys film where the cowboys will pitch their tent poles anywhere except the ground. No wonder they break their backs.
    – 9 1/2 Weeks; where they will do aything with a banana except eating it.
    – 9 Songs; ooh, I can’t even bring myself to describe its deprave story to you all… sorry.

    It’s amazing what people can get up to with just a bit of imagination, really.

    It looks like just because we have stopped complaining, people are getting out of control. Bring back Mary Whitehouse, I say.

    Talking about breast-feeding; I wonder if Mr. Johnson would complain if it was Pamela Anderson who was breast-feeding her little boy in front of him?

  38. A discussion of French cinema would not be complete without Jeremy Clarkson’s sensitive take on the subject, (from today’s SUN.)

    “…when it comes to making films, we British are usually very rubbish. We’re even worse than the French. At least with French cinema, the girls eventually get their kit of and end up doing lesbionics.”

  39. Oh, remember that film with Marlon Brando? ‘The Last Tango In Paris’, innit? Waaaarhey! And I thought butter was only for cooking and breakfast toasts.

    The only reason I decided to overlook this really pervasive film when it first came out was because Brando’s in it and I thought if he wanted to try it on with me, I might as well throw all my cautions to the wind and to Hell with it.

    But now, being older and wiser, and because Mr. Johnson is complaining about these perversive DVD films, I thought The Last Tango In Paris should be classified as CORRUPTIVE, too.

    Yours sincerely,

  40. Angela, have you seen that French DVD film ‘Anatomy of Hell’? And ‘Cockles and Muscles’, another French flick on DVD? Oh, my sweet Lord Truscott! Frightfully perversive! You just can’t trust the French to make a film unless they’re six feet under, really. And these DVD films are on sale in High Street HMVs!

    I only bought Dante’s Cove, Brokenback Mountain, Cockles and Muscles by mistake- I thought they were horror, cowboys and seafood cooking films. I’m sure Mr.Johnson made the same mistakes when he bought those corruptive DVDs with such misleading titles. And when you watch them at home, you feel angry because they were not what you had in mind when you bought them.

    I hope Mr.Johnson will use his powers to stop these corruptive DVDs get into the main streams.
    Yours sincerely,

  41. ‘ The spectacular collapse of some of the post-communist tiger economies has lead to a demand for a rescue fund of £170 BILLION (!!!) to stop social collapse in the Eastern nations spilling over into the rest of EUROPE ! ‘


    It looks like now the West has to mop up the mess left behind by the Russian ruthless communists !!!

    Sunday Express, 1/3/2009, ‘ Maybe EU elite will listen now’, by Jason Grows:

    ‘Meanwhile, Czech President Vaclav Klaus likened the EU to ‘ A ONE-PARTY STATE ‘ which ‘ is out of touch with the people of Europe ‘

    ‘Klause, whose upbringing under communism leaves him well placed to recognise the ‘ SIGNS of a one-party state’ (!!!), did not pull no punch. He was rewared with an extra-ordinary display of petulance by MEP Parliamentarians.’ They are MEPs or you can call them ‘Left-wing, socialist, Russian communists’ cronies !!! Hahahaha !!!!

  42. A DVD I would absolutely recomment any parent to show young teenage children is THE TIMES OF HARVEY MILK. This is not the Oscar winning movie MILK, but a documentary of the same subject, that also won an Oscar in 1984, the story of how Harvey Milk became the first openly gay person to hold office in the US.

    It is a lesson to us all just what gay people until quite recently have had to suffer, and we should all know what courage it took for Harvey Milk to campaign outright for human rights for gay people, even though he was aware the whole time that he might be assassinated. (There were a lot of nutcases and bigots around at that time. )

    If Sean Penn is charming and endearing in the role of Harvey Milk, the real Harvey Milk as shown in this documentary, is ten times as captivating. He was an eloquent, delightful man, with a wry, puckish humour and outstanding charisma. Deeply kind and compassionate,and a skilled speaker and politician, he fought not only for the rights of all gay people, but for other minorities in the US, the Chinese, senior citizens, Jews, (he was Jewish himself)anyone who suffered oppression.

    Because he had such a winning personality, he made huge headway in getting gays accepted. Nobody who knew him could fail to be won over. The thing I found most appealing, was the way he would react when faced with slurs against gays, accusations of bestiality, being paedophiles, etcs. At times he would respond with the most natural gales of laughter, showing the absurdity of the insults. He always had a smile on his face, and his joking and fun were extremely attractive. In spite of his light touch, he showed the most tremendous courage in the way he fought for oppressed minorities, at a time when Jimmy Carter was still worried about being photographed with a gay person. He urged every gay person to find the courage to come out and be open about who they truly were, and inspired by Harvey’s example, thousands did just that.

    This film is an impassioned and profoundly moving portrait of a community in conflict, and an inspiring and unmissable experience.

  43. Most people don’t have the time to go shopping for DVDs that aren’t mainstream. Let me introduce you to the delights of Amazon. All you do is register online, and at the click of a button, you can buy all the French, US movies not available over here, art movies, ANYTHING with the minimum of fuss. You can do the same on E-bay.

    At these places, you can also buy most DVDs second hand, and since they are good as new, what does it matter if they are not totally new and they are much cheaper? Oh yes, staying in is the new going out, prawn pancakes with white wine sauce, a glass of wine and a great film, what could be better?

    Three or four days later after you have paid, the package pops through your letter box…..

  44. My neighbours little boys (5 and 6) love DVDs and films and she supervises their viewing very well – she looks for good films for them to watch, but is very careful about the content.

    Over the weekend, they informed us they had decided to make a film themselves. “What are you going to call it?” we asked. Came the reply “INDECENT EXPOSURE”. Unusual title, said their mum, what’s that about? “Two photographers” came the innocent reply.

  45. Have you watched that film ‘The Line Of Beauty’ made by…. (drum call).. THE BBC ?!! I bought its DVD by mistake- I thought it was about male fashion contest or something. Well, it’s not. Five minutes into the film and the hunky , handsome men are already taking them out and putting about like rabbits. I was sooooo annoyed I had to watch it right to the end to find out for myself how deprave it was.

  46. Here’s a must see Subversive playlist from youtube, you’d be far better off letting your kids be educated by watching what the establishment is doing to their impressionable minds in order to shape how they Wants society to turn out.


    Must see Playlist

  47. Bee it’s OK to watch these movies by accident, but when you find you are starring in them,you have to worry.

  48. Video games are also a huge area of concern because of the effect they have on the young. Keith Vaz raised a question in the House yesterday. HH said the government was aware and advised parents to always check the ratings of these games. there was mention of the Byron report, which contains useful help for parents.


  49. As a parent, I am very concerned about video games. Some of them are appallingly violent.

  50. Also, in defence of Roger Moore, I have to say, he was convincing as an ex. Old Etonian, which is more than Sean Connery, Daniel Craig and George Lazenby are. Sean Connery wasn’t even convincingly English! Can;t he ever play a part without that Scots accent! i’m not a fan, actually.

    Timothy Dalton was also convincing as an ex. public school boy. I like him and think he was much maligned as Bond. His portrayal was quite complex.

  51. DVDs not to watch. Anything starring Vin Diesel. Vin Diesel makes Arnie Schwartzenegger look like Einstein. Anything starring Renee Zellwigger! EEEUUUGGGHHHH.

  52. Boris, you’re not contributing to Britain’s moral downfall, you’ve introduced your children to the wonders of British comedy, which despite the dominance of American cinema is still the finest in the world. Tell these silly women to get a grip. Did James Bond want to make me get a gun and kill people, no! (Well maybe the occasional super-villain; Mugabe beware!) He did make realise that there was a point to girls though (Even if that point was to run around in a bikini and melt in the presence of my manliness!). Keep introducing your children to these great movies our country has produced, I used to love watching a good comedy with my dad. When they’re a little older I would introduce them to maybe the finest comedy and satire of all time, Life of Brian. Sure, it’ll take a few watches over the years to fully understand all the jokes, but that’s the fun in it.

    Comedy…it truly puts the Great into Great Britain!

  53. Saw the trailer of a film last week that seems to embody everything that is morally wrong with British cinema. It is called DUPLICITY. Two business colleagues and ex-lovers (Julia Roberts and Clive Owen) don’t like their bosses, so that jusifies them in pulling a heist to steal £40 million from their employers.

    What makes the film even more cool, admirable, and laudable is…. THEY DON’T EVEN TRUST EACH OTHER! Because trust is for losers, right? Cynicism is cool. Especially in relationships. If you trust someone, let alone love them with all your heart and soul, you are immediately marked out as an absolute DORK.

    What super peachy fun this movie must be! Theft, and the two main protagonists, apparently in a relationship, are lying to each other as well!!! ROLE MODELS FOR THE NEW MILLENIUM.

  54. Rob: enjoy those movies and may your kids and your friends’ kids laugh with you.

  55. The earlier James Bond movies are so harmless. How can anyone disapprove of these, ridiculous.

  56. You actually allowed someone to come into your home a tell you what to do. My home, my rules, if you don’t like it then LEAVE!
    When my son was about three, I used to be woken up at ungodly hours of the morning because he had got up and put the uncut version of Robocop on. A film that would have most of the people who have left comments here running for the bathroom, if they hadn’t already fainted dead away. He used to howl with laughter. He hasn’t grown up to be some deranged, psychotic serial killer. Didn’t any of you pay cowboys and Indians when you were kids.
    When he was old enough I sat him down and explained that none of it was real. My dad did the same with me after watching The Wild Bunch. A particularly violent western from 1969.
    I have always been interested in movie special effects, so I made a bottle of fake blood. Then, using a particular make of rubber based glue I turned him into a little zombie and he loved it. He also got the message. Your friends should give their kids some credit, they can think for themselves.
    As for heist movies, they are great. The Ocean movies show that to get what you want, you need to plan, and think it through. For that you need an education. The characters don’t run into a bank waving shotguns around threatening to blow peoples heads off. Again, this shows you can get what you want without hurting others.
    The real bank robbers are people like Sir Fred Goodwin and other bank bosses. £703,000 a year for running a major bank into the ground, destroying peoples lives and getting away with it. The head of RBS in the States, Larry Fish has just retired, his pension works out at £1.6million a year. If that isn’t daylight robbery I don’t know what is.
    MP’s are just as bad, claiming thousands of pounds in allowances for secretaries who turn out to be nannies, or assistants that turn out to be their sons and haven’t done a jot of work in their lives.
    If your idiot friends are going to get angry it should be about something that matters, not sitting around their dinner tables, whinging a’la Rory Bremner and Co.
    Massive frauds are being committed by major public figures and MP’s every day. BE ANGRY AT THAT!

  57. Brian, doesn’t taking millions of pounds of other peoples’ money hurt them? Just because the Ocean movies show stealing without violence, it is still stealing.

    This new film, DUPLICITY for example, shows two friends using their brains…. TO STEAL FORTY MILLION POUNDS. The film is glorifying stealing.

    Many people admired the film PRETTY WOMAN. Woman sells sex for money. The fact that she was pretty was nothing to do with the fact that what she was doing was morally reprehensible, or would you let your daughter play at being a hooker and get her a cute little hooker outfit? I’m sure you wouldn’t.

  58. You’re right Angela, it was the middle of the night when I was having my little ramble.
    Again I come back to the point about sitting your children down and explaining the difference between the fantasy that tv/movies present us, and real life.
    As for Pretty Woman,it’s an awful film. In my opinion Julia Roberts is one of the most over rated actresses ever, and ugly as sin to boot.
    Seriously though, you have got on to a subject that does make me particularly angry, because there are parents who do let their 13 and 14 year old daughters out looking like hookers. Fortunately I’ve not heard of any being attacked or abducted locally, but unfortunately it is probably going to happen, and when it does these parents are going to have to take some of the responsibility. I’m going to stop here as I feel a rather lengthy rant coming on, and it wouldn’t to disagree with you Angela!!!!

  59. Brian, I so agree with you. To see kids even younger than 12 in nail varnish, cropped tops and mini heels, aping Britney is dreadfully sad. Don’t worry about disagreeing with me, because actually I am behind you on this 100%.

    ps. My only concern is that although you are great in the way you sit your kids down and carefully explain, so many parents do not. Youngsters therefore begin to think it is clever to plan heists and rob casinos, banks or whatever.

    I also agree about being angry with all the banks and the people there that have ripped off the public without a qualm. Terrible.

  60. Angela, I’ve been reading through some of the earlier posts. You seem to have a lot to say on this subject. Your posts have made me laugh(in a good way), but ii have come to a conclusion . . . it’s you who are responsible for the walls of civilization crashing around our ears. skipping school to go to the movies, being able to quote Jeremy Clarkson, and reading the Sun. Shameful 🙂
    PS. I could never watch an episode of Sex in the City without throwing something at the tv!

  61. Brian, you could be right! Seriously, when I worked in fashion I read the tabloids as well as serios newspapers and found them invaluable because part of my job, was following and hopefully setting trends. I still read the tabloids as well as serious papers, because I still like to follow trends. I have watched Sex and the City, in fact I was given the complete set, but I do not approve of these women!

    I made you laugh. That is the main thing.

  62. Angela, you should have your own website. Seriously. :o)

    I was baffled that The Dark Knight only received a 12A rating. Obviously Warner Bros knew that children would want to see a Batman film and that the studio would lose out on a lot of money if the film were to receive a rating that would restrict younger viewers from seeing it. I can’t help but think that the people who decided which rating the movie deserved were “financially encouraged” to settle on a 12A rating, but that’s getting into conspiracy theory territory.

    I thought The Dark Knight was great for all the reasons Angela’s already mentioned.

    Has anyone noticed that when it comes to movie ratings, movies with sex scenes are considered far more taboo than movies with extreme violence? It’s ok for fifteen year olds to see gun toting sociopaths blow holes through each other but heaven forbid they see a man and woman together in a bed.

    Which is the scarier thought? A fifteen year old with sex on the brain or a fifteen year old with extreme violence and homicide on the brain? You decide.

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