Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Is Ian Brady right?

The serial child murderer Ian Brady, has made his first public appearance in decades at a mental health tribunal. On hunger strike and kept alive via a feeding tube, his declared intention is to be transferred to a regular prison rather than a secure psychiatrist unit to be able to starve himself to death more easily. 

Brady is undoubtedly an extremely evil individual. But he is also clearly someone of distinct intellect. It is this intelligence that assured his ease in manipulating his accomplice in the murder of five children, a child abuse victim herself, Myra Hindely.

Brady made a particular point regarding the Moors murders the they were "petty compared to politicians and soldiers in relation to war."

Frankly, I find it hard to argue with Brady's moral point. But the distinction I want to make clear is that Brady probably makes such statements under the rationale of them making his unspeakable crimes supposedly more palatable to the outside. Rather, it emphasises the argument that the political acts by those in power are equally as morally depraved Brady and Hindley's horrendous crimes.

The American solider Robert Bales is facing life imprisonment for indiscriminately murdering sixteen Afghan civilians, including children. Though he is correctly facing punishment for this terrible crime, I do not sense that they are met with the same level of moral indignation, disgust or sorrow that the Moors murders are thought of with.

Over a hundred Pakistani and Yemeni children, classified as "collateral damage" have been killed in drone strikes ordered by Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.

Brady's remarks should not make us think of his murder and rape of young children being any less nefarious. But they should make us reflect on our hypocritical cognitive dissonance in regards to violence against the innocent. After-all, shouldn't the latter justify Brady's logic, given the thousands of foreign civilian victims being politically and culturally dehumanised as much as Pauline Reade, John Kilbride, Keith Bennett, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans were in the eyes of Brady and Hindley?

Thursday, 20 June 2013

A hidden Clockwork Orange reference in The Shining?

One of the theories posited in Rodney Ascher's documentary on supposed subliminal messages and hidden parables in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, Room 237, relates to the film being played in regular sequence, and reversed, and the two then overlapped. A striking result from this overlap experiment is the result of the character Danny's famous tricycle scene in which he encounters the twins murdered by caretaker Herbert Grady, and the scene in which his father Jack Torrence a dead woman in a bathtub in the Overlook Hotel's Room 327. An image in which the blood of Danny's "shining" vision appears to serve as macabre clown makeup on Jack's face:

What immediately struck me about this image is that the overlapped blood effect on Jack's left eye bears a remarkable similarity to that of Alex DeLarge in Kubrick's adaption of A Clockwork Orange, released nine years earlier.

It is well documented that Kubrick painstakingly warped the perception of his viewers for purposes of artistic metaphor and/or simple accentuation of atmosphere.

Perhaps the theory that this was a deliberate hidden paralleling by Kubrick of the murderous Jack Torrance and the murderous Alex DeLarge could be less outlandish than other Shining-related conspiracy theories? Or perhaps all of this is far too over-excited over-analysis?