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Sunday, 10 February 2013

Cannibalism in pop: the next witch-hunt

In the last few months, we’ve been made aware of a series of sordid revelations about Jimmy Saville and some of his sleazy chums from the worlds of broadcasting and pop music. So damning are these revelations that it seems that the history books will have to be re-written in order to airbrush certain unsavoury characters out of the picture.  That process is already well underway; when was the last time that you heard, for instance, a song by Gary Glitter or Jonathon King on the radio? 

Some folk are glad to see pop music trying to clean up its act.  Any civilised society, they would argue, should make a point of hunting down and condemning all sex offenders. Thank goodness we have a legal system that allows offenders to be retrospectively identified, vilified, condemned and crucified by properly-qualified folk, i.e. those who phone-in to talk radio shows and /or tweet regularly and /or have heard a rumour about so-and-so who "always looked kind of dodgy, didn’t he"?
Yet in spite of all this righteous vigilance, some offenders remain under the radar and unpunished.  One act in particular seems to have escaped the notice of our PC police. 

As recently as 1982, the pop group Toto Coelo got into the top ten with their disgusting anthem "I Eat Cannibals".  As far as one can make out from the lyric, it was little more than a sordid glorification of a vile practice that should have died out years ago.  So why on earth did the authorities allow this sinister cult to peddle their foul omnivorous propaganda? Isn’t it time that this hideous act was brought to the attention of those wishing to clean up pop’s sordid history? Isn’t it time that the media spotlight focused on Toto Coelo and all that they stood for?  Or is there one taboo that even the PC police dare not touch? 

Cannibalism was once all the rage among the ruling classes, but it fell out of fashion during the Edwardian era and became more or less illegal in the UK in 1909, when parliament passed the ‘Foodstuffs, Comestibles and Victuals’ act.  The practice gradually died out and the last recorded incidence of cannibalism in the UK is said to have taken place at the Scarborough Cricket Festival in 1973, when, during a rain-delayed match against Fraisthorpe Colliery Colts, a visiting team from Sutton-under-Whitestonecliff is believed to have kidnapped and eaten the substitute fielder E.P. Dunstable.   

And yet, incredibly, less than a decade after that notorious incident, Toto Coelo managed to storm the charts with the clear intention of restoring cannibalism to respectability.  It is surely only a matter of time before our ever-vigilant press delivers a retrospective judgement on this sinister cult.      

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