Every social group, belief system, political organisation, or army goes through a process of making sure that new members are thoroughly converted to the ‘new’ message. They do this by some form of ritual humiliation; forcing them to execute a humiliating, public act. It pulls the older members into a cohesive group, giving them a legitimate focus to abuse the ‘outsider’.
It appears bizarre at times, to witness a generation which has never been more sexualised, which calmly accepts the delights of dogging, which upholds sodomy as a legitimate expression of love, which reacts with outrage at the notion that any sexual behaviour should be considered outré, but which is also devouring the spectacle of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons forced to defend himself against claims that he touched another gay man over his clothing and breathlessly reports every last detail of Max Clifford’s penis size to an avid readership.
It can hardly have gone unnoticed that you will not find an example of an intelligent, responsible, middle class white male in any advertising programme – they are flummoxed by their broad-band, unable to figure out that they need a plane to get from Hong Kong to London, and completely adrift when it comes to feeding the kids and answering the telephone at the same time. The only advertisement which features an intelligent middle class male lauded for his rapport with children and his all round incredible accomplishments is a young male of African descent who ‘deserves’ to be rewarded with an outsize mortgage loan. It has been a standing joke for years that in any given American mini-series, it will be the Afro-american or the woman who ultimately gets to save the world – white males bumble their way from disaster to disaster, invariably proving to be the cause of the disaster in the first place.
Clifford may have thought he was on the ‘side of the angels’ in that ostensibly he was the champion of the emerging victorious group – women. He invented the ‘kiss and tell’ genre that allowed them to ritually humiliate discarded males in their life. There are many who have every reason to cheer from the sidelines as he is treated to the ultimate state sponsored ‘kiss and tell’; women of varying senility claim that when they were 15 they were such an expert on the varying degrees of ‘penility’ that they could confidently state that the ‘Mini’ Clifford was of less than standard issue – but laugh at your peril.