Saturday, 28 November 2009

Camilla vs Beyonce

After years spent avoiding the limelight (rather wise, all things considered), Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall has been out and about, meeting her public and getting involved in social 'issues'.

This week involved a trip to the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre in Croydon, where she took part in a discussion with some victims of sexual abuse. Making her best empathy face (which, like every other expression in her repertoire, looks like she just gulped down the lemon slice in her gin) Camilla listened in as the women talked about their traumatic experiences.

Popular culture soon found its way into the dialogue, with conversation turning to the depiction of sex and violence in music videos. It didn't take long for Camilla to get her old-lady M&S knickers in a twist about modern pop music, in the process condemning Beyonce as part of the problem.

Having accidentally stumbled upon the new video for Lady Gaga's 'Telephone', the bark-faced blue blood weighed in with her informed opinion, commenting "a lot of these videos are terrifying..." Although they're not nearly as eye-wateringly horrific as they would be if it was Camilla herself depicted in a see-through plastic corset.

"It has happened too quickly, values have changed so much..." the Duchess (and notorious home-wrecker) claimed. Apparently, she's concerned that today's videos offer up too much inappropriate content and contribute to the problem of sexual violence.

It doesn't exactly help her argument that one of the women she spoke to has spent the last 30 years attempting to confront the demons triggered by her rape at the age of 17. Given that pop videos didn't really exist in the late seventies, one can hardly blame the format for situation.

Unsurprisingly, the Daily Mail is slavishly following in Camilla's lavender-scented wake, implying that Beyonce's eroticised video appearances are, in some way, responsible for the number of sexual attacks taking place. In their world, such logic is easy to swallow - why address the issues in society when we can blame the popstars instead? Their hair is too shiny, their legs are too long and they all make far too much money. It's all their fault.

Ultimately, it's hard not to feel sorry for the Daily Mail, with its hopeless coverage of this story which they've even illustrated with screen-grabs from the wrong video. In the article, they keep referencing Beyonce's 'Video Phone', but the images they reproduce are from Lady Gaga (featuring Beyonce)'s 'Telephone'. Not that any of the Mail's readers would be expected to know the difference. For most of them, it's enough to have someone to blame.

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