This month’s entry in the VS Chair readings series is the essay “Light Entertainment: Our Paedophile Culture” by Andrew O’Hagan, from the November 8, 2012 issue of the London Review of Books. Here’s what VCS Department Chair has to say about this selection:
The premise of Andrew O’Hagan’s article on the child abuse scandal at the BBC seems at first preposterous: how could so-called light entertainment facilitate pedophilia? It must be that O’Hagan is greatly overreaching; he is trying to connect child abuse to a culture industry’s preference for entertainments only because such entertainment takes aim at children while promulgating a certain kind of childishness. One suspects that O’Hagan is conflating the office culture at the BBC headquarters with popular culture in general. Indeed he is. And this is just what makes his article so interesting, for he succeeds in showing how the very context and milieu of a culture promoting light entertainment instigates a contradictory relation to children: on the one hand an embrace of a patronizing infantilization while the other hand engages in a more sinister groping and abuse. After reading O’Hagan’s article, the dark side of such fluff as the Teletubbies becomes illuminated.
You can read the article online at the link embedded above, or download it in PDF format at this link.