Episode 41: Video Nasties

Veröffentlicht am von Christopher Tauber am 27. Oktober, 2014

You could also say, they were „amusing themselves to death„…. of course, growing up in the 80ies, this book was lying around somewhere at my parent’s house and despite of having no clue what it was about, the title alone left it’s impression. But is it still a relevant book? Or have the issues the book was discussing since moved on and got even worse, so that reading it now is more like looking into the past and how television was received by critical intellectuals? Probably so…

The reception of and commentary on entertainment media has changed so much over the last few decades, that it almost has a cute, nostalgic momentum for me when looking into that from the here and now point of view. Take Wertham’s Seduction of the innocent for example. You can’t take it seriously at all, reading it now, but consider that when it got published, most of the people did and it changed a lot for comic publishers and artists. In the early 80ies, when vhs rentals were the thing that changed the habits of consumers and publishers alike, british censors build a list of movies, that weren’t suitable to watch for ANYBODY… so that list of the notorious Video Nasties is stuff for legends and a great documentary called Moral Panic – Censorship and Videotapes, that I urge you to see. It’s a lesson in history and nostalgic fun at the same point, back when the covers of video cassettes still were more important than what was actually recorded on that tape…

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