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Football and child molesters

Last week, the NFL asked its teams to no longer play convicted pedophile Gary Glitter's "Rock And Roll Part II" at its games. This has prompted a lot of great debates, and it's an issue I find myself a bit torn on.

On the one hand, I believe in separating the artist from the art. The ugliest souls can produce the most beautiful works. Richard Wagner was, by some reports, a virulent anti-Semite. Picasso had some extremely unsavory personal habits. Hunter S. Thompson had some astonishingly anti-social habits. Yet all three produced some remarkable works.

On the other hand, Gary Glitter is still alive, still around, and will forever be associated with that single remarkable piece of music. It's become an anthem for many sporting events, and justifiably so. It has a driving beat, an instantly-recognizable theme, and no real lyrics (I don't count the oft-repeated "Hey!" shouts as lyrics) that could get in the way of its use. Pretty much once someone hears it, they'll always recognize it. It's just that good. And it was created by a guy who was convicted of kiddie porn in England and fled to Viet Nam, where he's now in jail for molesting two girls, ages 12 and 14.

I've given this a lot of thought, and I think I can safely pull a John Kerry and have it both ways. We should separate the art from the artist whenever possible, and judge the work solely on its own merits. But when the artist is such a vile and despicable human being, we should shun the artwork for as long as the artist can still directly benefit from the artwork.

Once Gary Glitter dies, or sells off the rights to "Rock And Roll Part II," then we should once again accept the song on its own without the baggage of his misdeeds. But as long as he gets one penny of royalties from its use, let it stay cast aside.

Gary Glitter could do the world a huge favor and hasten that day, but I doubt he will. One of the key elements of pedophilia, as I understand it, is intense narcissism, and those people tend not to think of anyone but themselves.

(Update: some have asked for a link to the song. Trust me, it's one of those songs that the instant you hear it, you know it. Amazon has a sample of it.)

Comments (12)

People who do such things w... (Below threshold)

People who do such things with kids do not needed to be understood. We need to hang them in public so that nobody ever dares to do anything to innocent and nice children.Let us all do something and wipe these peopel out instead of thinking why these sick dogs do such things.

"Hunter S. Thompson had som... (Below threshold)
Starboard Attitude:

"Hunter S. Thompson had some astonishingly anti-social habits."

Hey! Watch what you say about my maaan! His politics got goofy at times, but HST was my hero! RIP, Hunter.

Wasn't Ayesha, one of the p... (Below threshold)

Wasn't Ayesha, one of the prophet Mohammed's wives, all of 9?
I recall it being legal for a girl of this age to be wed in Iran, as well.

Why not just remake "Rock a... (Below threshold)

Why not just remake "Rock and Roll Part II"? Hasn't just about every other song from the 60s and 70s been remade already? All you need is the driving guitar riff and an occasional "Hey". Sounds like a good song for Britney, Ashley, Lindsay, Jessica, or who-ever is the flavor of the month pop star. Gary Glitter association removed. Problem solved.

Could you by any chance pos... (Below threshold)

Could you by any chance post a link to the song. I think I know which one you're talking about but I'm not sure

No, it is not problem solve... (Below threshold)

No, it is not problem solved. He will still receive royalties that will fuel his abberant lifestyle. Dump the song in the trash where it belongs. It is in no way, shape, or form "remarkable". It sucked when it was initially released and it sucks even more now.

i remember playing that son... (Below threshold)

i remember playing that song at high school basketball games. we always called it the "hey!" song.

Richard has it right. The... (Below threshold)
B's Freak:

Richard has it right. The fact that Glitter still profits from the song makes a difference.IF the royalties went to the victims it would be different, but it took a major outcry from the Britsh tabloid press to get the sentence he has now.

How dare you mention Hunter... (Below threshold)

How dare you mention Hunter S. Thompson in the same context as Gary Glitter?

God, guns, and drugs made America great. Let's keep all three!

Banning the song from sport... (Below threshold)

Banning the song from sports events is the right choice for the leauges (not goverments). Every time a stadium or arena plays the song, scumbag makes some money. Money that funds his child porn habbits.

Consider, he fled the UK for Thailand (lax sex with children laws) managed to get booted for pedophila and moved to Viet Nam (he is accused of buying childrend in V.N) and has tried to go to Cambodia.

He will no doubt try to find another country where you can buy an 8 year old for sex once the Vietnamese boot him.

Real pity he didn't draw the death sentance.

Same thing happened to Cat ... (Below threshold)

Same thing happened to Cat Stevens. That guy performed some great songs but they weren't played much after he converted to Islam and supported the vile fatwah against Salman Rushdie.

I agree with Richard, and J... (Below threshold)

I agree with Richard, and Jay missed the point. We ARE separating the art from the artist. It IS an awesome song, and I don't care who wrote it. Giving money to scum is another issue, and in this case, is the only issue.






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