Remember when people used to enjoy comedy, music, films, TV show – anything great in life, really – without pointing out how morally reprehensible/offensive it is?
Nope, me neither!
I don’t honestly understand how a generation that grew up on South Park, Quentin Tarantino films and Grand Theft Auto can be so sensitive to things nowadays. I genuinely wonder whether any of those three would be allowed if they suddenly came out now.
I can’t stand the word ‘toxic’ these days either…
Sorry for the rant but it’s because someone’s had a go at Peaky Blinders for glorifying violence, nationalist ideologies and toxic masculinity.
The Journal of Popular Television have just published a paper called “The King’s shilling”: How Peaky Blinders uses the experience of war to justify and celebrate toxic masculinity” which goes on at length about why the show’s so evil.
“It utilises nostalgia for nationalism, enacted within displays of extreme aggression as well as promoting regressive masculine ideals, specifically British ‘lad culture’,” said George S Larke-Walsh, of the University of North Texas.
“In the current sociopolitical environment, and associated concerns about the prevalence of toxic masculinity, such presentations no longer feel safely confined to fantasy.”
While academic Larke-Walsh told The Times he was a fan of the show (you wouldn’t know), he said it used “a mask of ethnicity” with the family’s Gypsy origins to disguise their behaviour, and that images of attractive men at work are used adversely because it is “a feature of regressive masculinity that homosexuality must be denied.”
However, Peaky Blinders’ creators defended the show, saying:
“The story of Peaky Blinders invites viewers to consider the effect of violence on men, and the terrible and long-lasting consequences — on both men and women — of gang violence, poverty, and most of all armed conflict,” a spokesperson said.
“The series also discusses the role played by the Establishment in relation to the above.”
It’s going to get to the point where fiction won’t exist anymore – we’re literally getting offended by a make-believe show.
Let’s all just watch children’s TV and act like everything’s rainbows and kisses.
What a world!
Images via BBC