Our world is becoming less joyful, less spontaneous, less fun, because of the moral police, says Mark Dolan

'Welcome to bonkers 2022, where the woke mob will stop at nothing to cancel art and to police our language'
'Welcome to bonkers 2022, where the woke mob will stop at nothing to cancel art and to police our language'

The rock band Slaves have had to change their name, for fear of offending people

Published

The rock band Slaves have had to change their name, for fear of offending people.

Welcome to bonkers 2022, where the woke mob will stop at nothing to cancel art and to police our language, rendering much of it off-limits, and sucking any remaining joy, out of our lives. Of course, these people don't understand context.

This talented young group of musicians came up with their name, because they had stumbled from one low paid, unfulfilling job to another.

After all, the word slave has multiple meanings, or it did, before it became highly politicised – like so many words - by groups seeking to leverage language for their own ends. Being terrified of what you're going to say next, and what the consequences might be - plays straight into the hands of these intolerant bullies.

They’ve got all of us running scared. Even the wrong joke will get you cancelled now, as hard left woke progressives are not just ruthless, unthinking and cruel, but famously witless and humourless too.

The great joy of the English language is just how layered it is, and the word slave can refer to the literal meaning – the horrific sale and purchase of human beings – one of the worst crimes in history, or being somebody that is subservient to a senior - an authoritative figure - a boss perhaps, or a controlling friend or spouse.

That's right, slave is a flexible and complex word – the best words are. It's a crying shame that the band felt the need to rename themselves, and as show business is about branding, I fear it's unlikely they will gain the same traction under their new title of Soft Play.

Slaves have changed their name to 'Soft Play'.
Slaves have changed their name to 'Soft Play'.

They've been robbed of a perfectly sensible, and reasonable name, and one that relates to their own, humble story and personal struggles, but none of that is allowed in the church of woke.

Just like the incredible Christmas song, Fairytale of New York, which involves an imagined conversation between two absolute scumbags in which the slang word used to refer to a gay person, which rhymes with maggot, is yelled.

It's in character, it has context. This is how art works. And all of us of enjoying that song for the last 30 years – gay people, straight people, bisexual people - there isn't anyone around Christmas time, especially after a few drinks, that won't be singing along to the chorus. Except that chorus has now been edited for radio, play and Christmas parties, so it aligns with politically correct scripture.

It reminds me of a classic episode of Fawlty Towers, in which basil is uncomfortable in the company of a black doctor.

The channel carrying the episode pulled it from their platform because it was offensive. Except the whole message was an anti-racist one – the storyline was mocking Basil Fawlty’s innate xenophobia.

I've had enough of this censorship, this extreme political correctness and this assault on our great art. We now live in an era where 1984 comes with a trigger warning, and yet no one can see the irony.

Our great authors, comedians and musicians are self censoring, writing with one hand tied behind their back, for fear that they could feel the wrath of the woke Warriors next.

We live in an era, where incredible songs like brown Sugar, by The Rolling Stones has effectively been banned, because of allusions to slaver, and the stones have vowed never to play that song live again.

That's progress is it? All of this cancellation of art would make Chairman Mao proud.

Our world is becoming less joyful, less spontaneous, less fun, because of the moral police.

Or the new puritans you could call them.

As pointed out by the excellent Andrew Doyle in his new book of the same name.

Perfect xmas gift that book. I've had enough of seeing creative people, crushed like this and I think we should push back.

I think 2023, should be the year, of wild political incorrectness, and we should be as outrageous, as we possibly CAN be.

It's time to overcorrect, the other way, and once again enjoy the full freedom, of our great language, and let artist express themselves again, without fear of the consequences. If we don't push back against these bullies, we will be THEIR slaves forever.

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