Skip to main content

Jake the peg diddle diddle

The Rolf Harris conviction for sexual abuse leads me to ask a question. Does 'evil' or wrong-doing wipe out any 'goodness' we have once seen in an individual? I ask this not to 'forgive' Harris but to address a significant ethical question. Do we like or enjoy Rolf Harris's songs any the less because of his conviction? Are they indeed different when we listen to them.

I have had Jake the Peg buzzing round in my head for days now. It won't go away, and as I conjure up the image of Harris performing it I still smile - perhaps now a kind of guilty smile. We are told there are two sides to Rolf Harris - one being the dark side. But does the dark side really diminish the joy of the light side?

Cilla Black I think summed it all up when asked to comment on the news of Harris's conviction. "I'm disappointed." Yes and I am disappointed too. We have been let down by another 'hero'. We build people up and put them on a pedestal and expect the epitome of goodness. Yet, the truth is they are human with human frailties. Nothing excuses what he did, but does it really diminish his art? I understand the portrait he painted of the Queen has gone missing - nobody seems to know its location. All that is very odd and frankly hypocritical if they have hidden it away because of the conviction. If it was good enough to display before the conviction then it must surely be good enough after.

Rolf Harris is not the only artist to have had a hidden murky side. There has been speculation that Lewis Carroll was a paedophile. It is of course difficult to answer such speculation. But does the possibility render his work unreadable?

It might be said, indeed it has been said, that what makes Rolf Harris' crime worse is that he abused his position. Well all paedophiles do that. It was opportunistic - so too is much sexual abuse.

Now I want to be clear I am not asking for us to render Harris' crime to be less than it was. It was appalling. I am just wanting to know if it really renders everything he did 'bad'. I am still thinking about the answer.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Palm Oil production killing the planet

Bad trade and bad products are killing our planet. We have said this before on The Thin End. There is no better example than that of palm oil. It is used ubiquitously in so many products, and its production is a major factor destroying rainforests and threatening precious species.

Demand for palm oil is 'skyrocketing worldwide'. It is used in packaging and in so much of our snack foods, cookies, crackers, chocolate products, instant noodles, cereals, and doughnuts, and the list goes on.
Bad for the planet So, why is this so bad for the planet?

The oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil palms native to Africa. It is now grown primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia, but is also expanding across Central and West Africa and Latin America.

Palm oil production is now one of the world's leading causes of rainforest destruction, and this is impacting adversely some of the world's most culturally and biologically diverse ecosystems. Irreplaceable wildlife species like t…

Nicotine exposure in pregnancy linked to cot death

Nicotine exposure during pregnancy, whether from smoking cigarettes, or nicotine patches and e-cigarettes, increases risk of sudden infant death syndrome – sometimes known as “cot death” – according to new research published in The Journal of Physiology.

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the sudden and unexpected death of an infant under 12 months of age occuring typically while sleeping. Failure of auto resuscitation, the ability to recover normal heart rate and breathing following gasping caused by lack of oxygen in the brain, has been recorded in human SIDS cases.



Smoking increases risk for SIDS Over the last decade, use of cigarettes has declined significantly, however, over 10% of pregnant women still smoke during pregnancy. Over recent years nicotine replacement therapies, such as nicotine patches or e-cigarettes, have been prescribed to women who wish to quit smoking during their pregnancy. However, nicotine replacement therapies may not protect infants from SIDS. 
With inc…

Maternal depression can impact child mental and physical health

Maternal depression has been repeatedly linked with negative childhood outcomes, including increased psychopathology.  Now, a new study shows that depression in mothers may impact on their children's stress levels,  as well as their physical and mental well-being throughout life.

In the study, published in the journal  Depression & Anxiety,  the researchers followed 125 children from birth to 10 years.

At 10 years old, the mothers’ and children’s cortisol (CT) and secretory immunoglobulin (s-IgA)—markers of stress and the immune system (see below)—were measured, and mother-child interaction were observed.
Psychiatric assessment  The mothers and children also had psychiatric diagnoses, and the children's externalising and internalising symptoms were reported.



Internalising disorders include depression, withdrawal, anxiety, and loneliness. They are often how we 'feel inside', such as  anger, pain, fear or hurt, but may not show it.  In contrast, externalising symptom…