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I’ve always been a bit of a snob when it came to EastEnders. With little interest in the bleak events of Albert Square, I’d regularly sneer at those who enjoy such nonsense as little more than escapist proles. To my mind, they were too busy worrying about the fictional mishaps of Ian Beale to actually notice that there were a lot of very real problems outside of their television screens.
Now however, I am happy to admit that I was wrong. Following this week’s episode, which included a graphic pre-watershed rape scene, I’ve come to realise that EastEnders isn’t escapism, but rather a detailed moral guide.
This is moral guidance for people who are still trying to work out if rape is a bad thing.
Despite stirring up predictable controversy, the episode has received widespread praise for helping to raise awareness of sexual abuse and acting as a potential “deterrent” in future.
Apparently, prior to this episode, the viewers at home hadn’t quite made their minds up on the role of sexual assault in a civilised society. Now, thanks to EastEnders, we can all rest easy in our beds knowing that rape is firmly in the “bad” category.
This is the beauty of such programs, just like so many religious and philosophical texts, they provide the masses with a moral compass and a sense of altruism that they otherwise would not have had. To quote the Holy Scriptures: “Now that I know what that rape done to Linda and Sharon, I ain’t gonna want it for me and mine”.
This is moral guidance for people who are still trying to work out if rape is a bad thing. God help those individuals and activists that are trying to encourage a change in our entire political system. Those who are working at such an abstract level that even concepts such as “progress” and “growth” have to be called into question.
How on earth will they ever succeed in conveying such ideas to a populace that are only just making their minds up on rape and murder? Even those concepts had to be serialised into a fictitious drama before they had the right level of emotional impact to generate any serious discussion.
It’s so unlikely that it hardly seems worth discussing. There are far better thing in life to worry about.
In fact… I hear that Donnie Mitchell is going to put Nasty Nick Cotton in his place this year. And about bloody time too!