Call me a fruitcake, but I am all for Islamic censorship when it comes to Katy Perry. In the last few days, there's been a terrible fuss about Perry's latest song, 'Dark Horse', because the video for it features an Arabic man wearing an 'Allah' pendant, who is burned alive. A bunch of angry Muslims, led by someone called Shazad Iqbal from Bradford, have campaigned against the video on the grounds that it was blasphemous. They launched a petition calling for the video to be removed from YouTube, and got more than 60,000 signatures. The video has now been edited to remove the offensive pendant, and Shazad has declared a victory on behalf of the prophet. Sure enough, a secularist backlash is underway, and lots of people on Twitter are protesting about free expression and the dangers of giving in to mad Mullahs.
It may or may not be a disgusting PR stunt — I'm guessing it probably is. But have any of the people now standing up for Perry's right to free expression actually listened to her songs? I have, and in my opinion, Shazad did not go far enough. I'd like an outright ban on Katy Perry. Sod free speech, and never mind religion; Perry is profoundly offensive to everyone. I like rubbish pop more than the next man, but Perry's songs are almost diabolically bad. 'Dark Horse', in particular, sounds like some sort of vile pastiche. I sometimes think that her producers are engaging in a smug joke, in which they produce ever more terrible music and see if they can get it to number one. Consider the lyrics. There's 'Firework' (Opening line: 'Have you ever felt like a plastic bag?'). There's 'California Girls' ('I know a place where the grass is always greener'). Anyone who has ever been to a children's birthday party and seen their progeny gyrating to the brain-sucking lilt of 'Roar' (see video above), as I have, should know what I mean.