For the first time in the GTA series' history, commentators are falling over each other to lavish praise on the game. This has completely eclipsed the naysayers and detractors. The moral outcry has simply failed to materialise. But why?
If the Devil had his own bible, it would probably take the form of a computer game. It would be sly and witty, enjoyable and slick. It would start with small, almost funny misdeeds.
It would offer the player the joys of money, successful violence and easy, responsibility-free sex. There would be drugs which didn't fry your brain or burn holes in your nose.
You would be made to feel brave, while not actually needing to be. None of your pleasures would be paid for in coin, pain or grief. Hell hound: An image from the heavily hyped and violence-filled new computer game Grand Theft Auto V
Everyone else in the game would be disposable and forgettable. And it would contain one big lie. You would come out at the end happy and unharmed, and wanting more.
As I understand it, this is roughly what happens in the new, much-praised Grand Theft Auto V.
The Daily Mirror has a bit of fun with the new Grand Theft Auto V and spouts:
In the 18-rated violent crime game's most shocking scene yet, the player is instructed to pull out his victim's teeth with a pair of pliers
A brutal scene in a new computer game where players carry out gruesome torture techniques has been condemned by teachers.
Today sees the official release of Grand Theft Auto 5, one of the most highly-anticipated games of all time.
In a torture scene in the PEGI 18-rated crime game, the player is instructed to pull out a victim's teeth with a pair of pliers. Gamers then pour a flammable liquid over a victim tied to a chair. Players then smash the victim's kneecap with a
monkey wrench and give him electric shocks using spark plugs as he pleads for mercy.
Alison Sherratt, president of the Lecturers and Teachers Association was suitable 'outraged':
Up until now we've been warning of the dangers of children seeing these games but saying it's the parents responsibility to keep children away from these video games. But this scene takes things a step too far and the games makers need to
consider what they are producing.
Children in our playgrounds are displaying more violence and we have conducted polls and found they are viewing games like GTA. My concern is that little brother or sister walk in to the room and start watching something like this because an
older brother is playing it. They don't understand the difference between reality and fiction because it's so awfully graphic and real. and they do copy it. They imitate what they see and this scene is taking it way too far.
Labour MP Keith Vaz says he is astonished by the torture scene in GTA 5 and contributed a sound bite:.
I am astonished at the level of violence depicted in this game.
It is worrying that this type of content could be accessed by young people, particularly considering the previous links to real-life violence. It is important that the video game industry takes steps to fully inform the public about the level of
extreme content. Responsibility also lies with parents to ensure that their children do not access these types of games until it is appropriate.
I am worried about this overall message that demonises the female body and buys into the tradition that female flesh is sinful and corrupting. It is this mentality that spurred the Witch Trials of the 16th Century.
A letter from Edie Lamort, feminist and sexual freedom activist, to the Co-operative Group about their latest censorship decision:
...As a woman I find the current trend towards more puritan values very disturbing. Lobby groups such as UK Feminista and Object represent the more extreme and fanatical end of this trend and I am very disappointed that the Co-op has buckled
under pressure from them. With the proposed censoring of the Internet last week and the general moral panic at the moment about sexualisation this is another retrograde step. It is almost like we are experiencing a sexual
I am worried about this overall message that demonises the female body and buys into centuries old patriarchal tradition that female flesh is sinful and corrupting. It is this mentality that spurred the Witch Trials of the 16th Century and in
more recent times has cast a veil of silence over sexual abuse. It leads to an environment where people are made to feel shame about a perfectly natural urge leading to anger and frustration rather than self-awareness and understanding.
A new muesli called Sexcereal is about to be unleashed on Britain. The maker claims that Just three tablespoonfuls will increase your libido.
Ann Widdecome writes:
It is almost certainly nonsense as in the words of one nutritionist: There is no scientific evidence that any food or nutritional substance can have an impact on your sex drive. But that is not the issue. It is yet another example of the
sexualisation of even the most innocent aspect of our lives
Whether this cereal lives up to its claims or not, it is yet another example of the sexualisation of even the most innocent aspect of our lives, of the use of sex in advertising even the most basic products and of the underlying assumption that
sex is everybody's preoccupation every minute of the day even when flying out of the door to catch the bus for work or dropping the children off at the school gates.
Let it languish on the shelves. It is reported to have been a big hit in the United States so let Brits smile incredulously and pityingly and reach for the Weetabix.
Cleft palate support groups have hit out at Disney's new summer film The Lone Ranger , amid accusations that the villain was given a birth defect to make him look more evil .
Disney's promotional material for the film said of William Fichtner's character Butch Cavendish: Cavendish is a ruthless outlaw whose terribly scarred face is a perfect reflection of the bottomless pit that passes for his soul. Fichtner
told entertainment reporters that his broken nose and cleft lip made it easier to slip into his role, and meant he didn't need to act any more evil because it was obvious from his face.
The Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) issued a statement saying Disney was cashing in on prejudice , and urged its members to lodge complaints with the film's producers.
Even the official set of The Lone Ranger Lego toys features a small Butch Cavendish with a very prominent cleft lip. In an open letter to executives at Lego, a member of the US community website babycenter wrote: You make toys for
children and these toys (often wonderfully) impact how they perceive or create the world.
CLAPA said Disney was sending out:
A deeply harmful message that will impact the 90,000 people that were born with a cleft in the UK as well as others worldwide. What message does this send to movie-goers about people with a cleft or anyone with a visible difference? What message
does it send to those who have a cleft themselves about how they are seen by society?
Across the Atlantic, the Toronto Star reported Rachel Mancuso, who runs the website cleftsmile.org, as saying she had received around 1,000 emails a day from people complaining about the film. She told the Star: As a parent and educator, I'm
having a hard time understanding why they had to create a bad guy and slap on the number one birth defect.
The Guardian introduces an article from Zoe Williams:
The pornification of Britain's high streets: why enough is enough
Magazines with naked women on the cover sit next to kids' comics in newsagents. Scantily clad models are draped across the nation's billboards. We asked readers to send photos showing how sexual images have invaded the high street
Of course the reality is that the advert censor has been banning anything remotely sexy on billboards and the Guardian gender extremists have scoured the country for probably one example that has escaped the clutches of the censors is in a shop
window rather than a billboard anyway.
And then of course there is the fundamental issue that society seems to be surviving pretty well with crime generally on the decrease. Definitely infinitely better than any society that lets bullies and moralists censor the very existence of
sexuality from society.
Comment: When Right-Wing Conservatives Approve Of Something In The Guardian You Know There's Something Wrong
This is yet more evidence of how The Guardian is turning into the Daily Mail when it comes to sexual imagery. This type of moral panic about porn being everywhere on our high street is the type of thing regularly seen in the Mail yet it's
in a liberal newspaper.