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Those of you who know me or have read my interviews of the past, will understand that, although I am hoping to draw attention to our Go!Go!Go! Show in The Leicester Square Theatre, London, I really do passionately believe in the views I have recently expressed and which been exposed widely in the media. The thing that has spurred me of late is the support of mothers groups and others, who are telling me loud and clear that I am right.  I wouldn’t have gone public in this way and made myself look so uncool and old fashioned if it were not for their pressing and encouragement, and for the very important consequences for young kids at stake.

I am also criticising record companies, broadcasters, video makers and the fashion industry alike, all in one go.  Commercial suicide, or what? Actually, my belief is quite simply that all those industries would actually benefit from a closer look at the ethos in their businesses and then take notice of wider public opinion.  If they were to stop this over sexualising and explicitness, perhaps something amazing would happen.  Maybe the mass market would support them.  They are stuck in a very nineties mode.  Someone uttered the mantra ‘Sex sells’ and they’ve all been living by it ever since. Now they’ve gone too far.  I’m not bothered myself if Lady Ga Ga wants to take all her clothes off and lap dance for me.  Neither am I talking about the more general lapse in moral standards.  As a sinner myself, I can’t really talk.  What gets me upset is when young minds get swamped with images sold to them in vivid ways by middle aged record executives, fashion designers, video directors and broadcasters who should know better.  I am at war with those who take no responsibility for either their output or the welfare of their audience.  Very often an extremely young audience.  YouTube needs to have regard to their rather weak excuse that they don’t control what people upload to their site as a matter of principle.  It’s all about freedom.  But you can’t invent the biggest cultural bomb the world has ever known, allow anybody access to press the button, and then claim it’s got nothing to do with you.  That, in my view, is unprincipled.

We’re all of us picking up the pieces of this explosion. Some stuff on Youtube is, quite frankly, inexcusable.  Some young kids can work a mouse and click onto the site with ease.  You cannot be policing your kids 100% of the time.  Before a child gets into the school playground, millions of images to do with fashion, music, TV, video games etc have passed before their little eyes.  Don’t try running the idea that if a child is too young to fully understand the language or image, then no harm has been done.  That argument does not work anymore, and it is always deployed by the purveyors of the guilty subject matter.  The images go into the head and stay there.  Mothers are saying that kids are being forced to grow up too soon.  Boob tubes, bikinis, sling backs, hair extensions and make-up for 5 year olds.  What are we doing?  Why don’t we all just hold our hands up and admit it? It’s not just the music industry and broadcasters; we all have a part in this.  We may have lost the Youtube generation, but I am asking everyone to consider, without thought of personal loss of standing or whether you are considered ‘uncool’ or not, to put up a fight against this sea of troubles and at least help stem the tide.  Perhaps a new generation can be allowed to grow up with some innocence intact.  Please don’t make the mistake that because you can only do a little, you do nothing at all.

(c)2010 M Stock 

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© 2008 Mike Stock