Mark Dolan: The woke Taliban are attacking and eroding our culture

Mark Dolan
Mark Dolan

These people want to censor great treasures

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Jacinda Arden Cancels New Zealand Free Press

One of the themes of the pandemic has been shutting down all dissenting voices. We know plenty of high profile figures and organisations that have been deplatformed by Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. However, in Britain we mercifully have a free press. Networks like GB News and brilliant newspapers like the Mail and The telegraph in particular, have called out much of the Covid madness over the last year and a half.

I salute them.

No such luck in New Zealand where Saint Jacinda Arden, their holier than thou Prime Minister has hosted a press conference, which was about as conducive to open debate as an audience with Kim Jong Un.

There shall be no dissent. Accredited press only, asking accredited questions for which the public will receive accredited answers. I’m horrified by what has happened to this once freedom-loving and truly great nation.

Saint Jacinda, the smiling fascist. Covid has turned so many supposedly democratic leaders into out of control dictators, whose power base is driven by the hellish ideology of zero Covid. But you wait, because the pursuit of net zero, will further embolden those who rule over us, to control our lives. Net zero will make the pandemic, look like the Queens garden party. You have been warned.

William Hogarth Faces Woke Assault

Another day, another great artist is attacked by a woke institution. William Hogarth is one of our greatest 18th-century artists, famous for his satirical portraits of drunken Londoners and a permissive, indulgent society. Part cartoon, part social commentary, part artistic genius. Students and art lovers alike have for decades drawn upon these images for entertainment, amusement and an authentic, compelling portrait of a moment in our past.

But now the art gallery that houses this amazing work has decided is that it's got to be criticised, demonised and apologised for.

A new exhibition has suggested that his pictures - far from being satirical genius - are in fact no laughing matter, because their subjects are drunk on the spoils of slavery. God forbid that these joyless censors should have a sense of humour. There will be no levity, no wit, no smiling or laughter in the new republic of woke. These people want to censor great treasures, because they think you cannot be trusted with this dangerous material. Material which has inspired and enthused generation after generation, which now too hot to handle for the thick and intolerant common man, the easily influenced, intellectual proletariat. You need to be taught, lectured and you will learn.

For god's sake, it's an art gallery, not a bloody primary school.

That's the point.

These academics and these censorious institutions are signed up to an extremist politically correct ideology and are essentially out to destroy these great artists and their great works. There's no way that Hogarth would get a gig as an artist in 2021 with these bullies around. The only thing that stops this man being cancelled altogether is history.

The likes of J. K. Rowling and Ricky Gervais and comedian Dave Chappelle are too rich and powerful to be cancelled. Hogarth is too old, too suffused in our culture to be cancelled. Thank god. But it doesn't stop these thugs diluting the legacy of so many of our great artists. Don't forget the Globe Theatre which was lovingly built to celebrate the work of Shakespeare, the greatest writer of plays in all human history.

The Globe have set about the task of decolonising Shakespeare, weeding out passages from King Lear, Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet which are problematic. Decolonising Shakespeare is going to be very difficult for them, given that Shakespeare existed before the colonial era began. But there is no logic to this frothing, swivel-eyed fundamentalism.

What right does this generation have to touch any of artistic works of the past. I think the Globe Theatre should be ashamed of themselves for daring to touch a syllable of Shakespeare. Frankly they should house Shakespeare at a venue where his work is appreciated, and tear down the Globe Theatre and replace it with a Tesco. One of those nice big ones

You know – one that sells socks, kettles and potted plants.

I could spend hours in one of those places. Paperback books, frying pans, underwear – heaven. So how dare these people impose their narrow, politicised, moralising judgement on Shakespeare, Hogarth or even the Rolling Stones for that matter. The Stones have had to take Brown Sugar off their playlist and will never sing it again live. Music enjoyed by every race creed and colour on this planet for decades is being cancelled now – how is that progress? And there are libraries in America removing problematic books. What the hell is a problematic books? Any book worth its weight IS problematic, sparking a debate, stimulating the reader and furthering human knowledge.

Here’s the point, history decides what we look at, what we exhibit and what we learn from it. William Hogarth is long dead and not in a position to protect his work and decide how it is presented. If he were alive, he would understandably withdraw his work from this particular gallery.

Do you think Damien Hirst would put up with some stupid disclaimer about animal rights next to his pickled shark? I don't think so. He would take his famous stuffed sheep and tell them to get stuffed too.

It's profoundly wrong and damaging to politicise the way that any artwork is presented. Art doesn't need a disclaimer, an apology or an explanation. Charlie Chaplin hated doing interviews. He said “if you want to understand me, watch my movies”. That's the same for all great artists.

All you need for Hogarth, van Gogh, Constable, Tracy Emin and Damien Hirst is the title of the piece and the year it was created. The rest is up to the viewer.

The relationship between the artist and the person beholding their work is a sacred one. It doesn’t require a middle man to help you interpret it.

What we are dealing with here, and it’s a problem in universities and other public institutions like the National Trust, is a privileged cadre of Britain hating elitists. And frankly it’s the woke Taliban, who are attacking and eroding our culture, that should be in a museum.