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a time for fear
 
Saturday, July 05, 2003  
Complexities of art, morality, amorality, immorality, cultural complicity, desire, and guilt:

We were eaten up by repressed violence and we were soured by the constant terror of the inconceivable violence being committed on ourselves and the rest of man. From this we had strugglingly produced a culture. It's possible to get hysterical over the obvious connection between that culture, as it stood in 1965, and the Moors Murders. I did. It's possible to get carping about it. Pamela Hansford Johnson did. It's possible to pretend there isn't a connection. That's rubbish.

Romantics, Symbolists, Dada, Surrealists, Existentialists, Action painters, Beat poets and the Royal Shakespeare Companyhad all applauded de Sade from some aspect or other. To Ian Brady de Sade was a licence to kill children. We had all at some time cried 'Yes yes' to Blake's 'sooner murder an infant in his cradle than nurse an unacted desire'. Brady did it.

...Moral shame, moral absurdity, moral abuse, moral outrage had frozen us at a point of almost total negativity. The way out was numbing the moral sense and the use of sensation, the pain and the anger as propulsion. In the perilous adventure towards movement and construction there was the possibility of terrible catastrophe. The catastrophe fell on the heads of Brady and Hindley, who were less sophisticated and less prepared, who did not know yet how vicously ill they were...

A poet, when told of the first rumours of the Moors Murders, nodded and said 'Ah, it's started.'


From Jeff Nuttall, Bomb Culture, 1968

5:29 PM

 
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