Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Indoctrinate the Young Through Dance

Season Three of the ITV program Britain’s Got Talent has received worldwide media attention, largely because of the popularity of singer Susan Boyle. However there are many more acts on the show covering the gamut from amazing to pathetic. One act that made it through to the semi-final rounds was called “MD Showgroup” sponsored by MD Productions. The group is a large dance troupe consisting of kids aged 9-17 from the Liverpool area. Unlike many acts on the show, this group has a “mission” – namely to “show that all the gun/knife crime, abuse, bullying and racism needs to stop and promote peace and equality.” The dancers in this group have graffiti laden signs and t-shirts with a variety of slogans including “get guns off the streets” and “stop knife crime.”

The combination of arts and politics has strengthened over the years, and frequently seems more indulgent than anything else. In this case, the MD Production group has married violent crime committed with weapons to racism, bullying, poverty, and a general “save the world” message. The answer to them, of course, is to get those weapons “off the street”, and they’re recruiting an army of talented youngsters to be their banner bearers. Never mind the fact that since more stringent bans on firearms and knives have passed in Britain, the violent crime rate has skyrocketed – with Liverpool seeing increases on the order of 25% or more.

While I agree that violent crime is a serious problem, and one that must be addressed strongly, why do groups like this feel obligated to continue the lie that gun and weapon “control” laws actually work? The increase in crime they’re currently suffering is due in no small part to the fact that criminals in Britain know that their victims will be unarmed. Why lie to these kids and use them to push a failed agenda? Honestly, it makes me sad for the kids and angry at the production company more than anything else. The kids are talented, but they’re being used in this case. Most likely so they’ll continue to accept the party line as adults.

Until next time!!!

No comments: