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Tony Grist

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Rolf [May. 10th, 2014|09:26 am]
Tony Grist
No-one hates Rolf Harris. At least they never used to; I suppose they may do now.

He wasn't another Jimmy Savile- about whom there was always a bit of a mephitic haze. Harris was wholesome.  When he sang that lewd old army song, Jake the Peg, one doubted that he grasped the double-entendres. Extra leg? Shame on you for having those evil thoughts. It's a kiddies' song. OK? And it's Rolf singing it and his mind is pure.

Half the joke of his surprisingly effective cover version of Stairway to Heaven- with its wobbleboard accompaniment- was that this was Rolf. No-one could be less rock and roll.

He was loved, trusted. His programmes about art were a delight. I imagine a whole lot of people first discovered Monet, Turner, Van Gogh- through him. He happened to be a decent amateur painter himself.  He knew the tricks of the trade and approached the "greats" as a fellow artisan.

His music has lasted- though I guess it's being stripped out of the play lists now. Sun Arise, Tie Me Kangeroo Down jostled Waltzing Matilda as unofficial anthems of Oz. He was the king of the novelty song.

I'm a little too old to have had him as a formative influence, but he was there for generation after generation of kids. And now that entirely innocent sentence has gone all slimy and rotten.

Ah well...
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Comments:
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-05-10 09:07 am (UTC)

Re: Implied consent.

Even if you accept Rolf's own account of the affair this was a married man in late middle-age having sex with a teenager behind the backs of her parents.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-05-10 10:12 am (UTC)

Re: Implied consent.

All the other people swept up by Yewtree- including those who have since been cleared- were people you could believe in as abusers. Rolf was different.
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[User Picture]From: splodgenoodles
2014-05-10 09:19 am (UTC)
I feel terribly sad about Rolf Harris.

(And just by the by, I don't believe there was ever anything risque about Jake the Peg, shame on you.)
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[User Picture]From: splodgenoodles
2014-05-10 09:28 am (UTC)
I find it hard to like myself in any way, shape or form. And as I do these Animal programmes, I see the unconditional love that dogs give to their owners and I wish I could start to love myself again.

For me this is the kicker: he seems so upset by not being able to love himself. To even think this was worth including in his letter strikes me as extremely narcissistic. To me this confirms that he really *was* capable of hurting people as his prime concern was himself.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-05-10 10:05 am (UTC)
The self-pity is sick-making.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-05-10 10:04 am (UTC)
I found it hard to believe when the news of his arrest came through.
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2014-05-10 10:04 am (UTC)
Don't forget 'Two Little Boys' - a manipulative song if you like, but very effectively so.

I used to take the Rolf Harris comic as a very young child. In it, his mascot/friend was (as I remember it, but memory is fallible) some kind of animate koala-cum-hot-water-bottle. Hadn't thought about that in four decades!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-05-10 10:08 am (UTC)
I'm trying very hard to forget Two Little Boys for fear it'll turn into an ear-worm.

An animate koala-cum-hot-water-bottle? Now that is creepy!
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2014-05-10 10:17 am (UTC)
I guess it was some incarnation of this traumatized little fellow.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-05-10 10:23 am (UTC)
Oh gosh!
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2014-05-10 10:25 am (UTC)
The signs were there for those with eyes to see!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-05-10 10:26 am (UTC)
Indeed!

It's as if he were hiding a confession in plain sight.

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[User Picture]From: ingenious76
2014-05-10 07:39 pm (UTC)
In all fairness, the majority of those under 28 have likely never heard of him except through this scandal. His type of "family entertainment" was dying out by the early 90s.

I saw an explosive twitter argument erupt last week over whether these "elderly men" should be prosecuted. Yes, they should. Last time I checked, statutory rape, rape, molestation and abuse were crimes. If a serial killer was found after a 20 year search, would people go "aw, he's old" and let him off? I doubt it.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2014-05-11 07:22 am (UTC)
Well, he's never stopped working. He made a TV series called Rolf's Animal Clinic in 2012. And he was appearing on stage- at festivals- until very recently.

I agree with your second point. There should be no statute of limitations on these crimes.
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