Ban This Filth! by Ben Thompson

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews

Far more revealing are the mandarin replies from BBC high-ups and politicians, which often betray a disagreeable mixture of managerial anxiety and patrician disdain.
-Guardian

Synopsis

In 1964, Mary Whitehouse launched a campaign to fight what she called the 'propaganda of disbelief, doubt and dirt' being poured into homes through the nation's radio and television sets. Whitehouse, senior mistress at a Shropshire secondary school, became the unlikely figurehead of a mass movement for censorship: the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association, now Mediawatch-uk.

For almost forty years, she kept up the fight against the programme makers, politicians, pop stars and playwrights who she felt were dragging British culture into a sewer of blasphemy and obscenity. From Doctor Who ('Teatime brutality for tots') to Dennis Potter (whose mother sued her for libel and won) to the Beatles - whose Magical Mystery Tour escaped her intervention by the skin of its psychedelic teeth - the list of Mary Whitehouse's targets will read to some like a nostalgic roll of honour.

Caricatured while she lived as a figure of middle-brow reaction, Mary Whitehouse was held in contempt by the country's intellectual elite. But were some of the dangers she warned of more real than they imagined?

Ben Thompson's selection of material from her extraordinary archive shows Mary Whitehouse's legacy in a startling new light. From her exquisitely testy exchanges with successive BBC Directors General, to the anguished screeds penned by her television and radio vigilantes, these letters reveal a complex and combative individual, whose anxieties about culture and morality are often eerily relevant to the age of the internet.

'A fantastic read . . . I can't recommend it highly enough.' Lauren Laverne, BBC Radio 6 Music

 

About Ben Thompson

See more books from this Author
Ben Thompson has run the warhammer of a website badassoftheweek.com since 2004, and has written humorous history-related columns for outlets such as Cracked, Fangoria, Penthouse, and the American Mustache Institute. Even though he's never flown a jetpack over the Atlantic Ocean or punched someone so hard that his head exploded, he is considered by many to be the world's foremost expert on badassitude. He is the author of Badass and Badass: The Birth of a Legend.
 
Published October 31, 2012 by Faber & Faber. 416 pages
Genres: History, Humor & Entertainment, Travel, Political & Social Sciences, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Ban This Filth!
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Andrew Anthony on Nov 10 2012

Far more revealing are the mandarin replies from BBC high-ups and politicians, which often betray a disagreeable mixture of managerial anxiety and patrician disdain.

Read Full Review of Ban This Filth! | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Below average
Reviewed by Stuart Jeffries on Oct 26 2012

Unfortunately for Thompson and this book, that freighted ideological battle was never to be joined in letters. Greene devolved replies to her correspondence to his minions.

Read Full Review of Ban This Filth! | See more reviews from Guardian

Rate this book!

Add Review
×