Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Krays, George Davis, Harry Starks & Me

Lenny McLean - The Gov'norSo I’m goin’ abaht me business, right? Nuffink too moody, just a bit of wheeling ‘n’ dealin’, nuffink to put the wind up the rozzers, like, but this geezer suddenly appears aht of the blue and ‘as a right go at me. Starts mouthin’ off abaht disrespect and how I’m gonna get me ‘ead blown off if I’m not careful, French kissin’ a sawn-off if you get my meanin’ and I’m like, simmer dahn wide boy, I ain’t done nuffink...

Or at least I don’t think I have.

It all began back in January. It was one of those weeks when I was scratching around for something to write about and, one morning on my way to work, my eyes happened to alight on a piece of graffito that adorned the walls of a boarded-up pub. “George Davis Is Innocent”.

Who the hell is George Davis, I thought? I’d never heard of him. Was he a local lad fallen foul of the law? I confess I Googled him and thus discovered that he was an East End dude who was banged up for an armed robbery which he did not commit. A big campaign ensued to get him released with the likes of Roger Daltry getting on board sporting a “George Davis Is Innocent” T-shirt.

Now whether it was a fit-up or not is not for me to discern. All I do know is the accepted facts of the matter are that he was later proven guilty of another armed robbery and got banged up a second time. You can read my original post here: George Davis Is Innocent.

Now my main impetus for writing the post was just a curious why did some 2010 graffiti artist drag this piece of retro graffiti out of the annals of 60’s gangland lore and splash it over a derelict pub in Leamington Spa? I thought no more of it than that. It seemed quite a safe topic to pursue. 40 odd years old. Ancient history. Pastimes’ graffiti.

Not so. Earlier this week I received quite a nasty comment in response to this post (only 5 month’s late but there we are) basically accusing me of not knowing what I was writing about and disparaging the fact I’d had to get my information from Wikipedia. It seems not being born in 1960’s gangland London and getting my information first-hand is something of an academic crime to the mysterious commenter (naturally he chose to remain anonymous). You can read his comments and my response at the bottom of the post.

Now I must admit here that, rather foolishly – and I do this every time – I stupidly had a go back. It’s so silly. And I slap my own wrist afterwards: don’t rise to the bait, Stephen, let it go! But no. It’s my blog and nobody is having a go at me on my own blog so I hit back with a crudely acidic comment. I was quite rude actually and used a word I don’t very often use. Now that I’ve calmed down I’ve thought better of it and deleted it.

Of course this was a red rag to a bull and Mr A. Nonymous came back. He accused me of all kinds of things. Of being a “green horne”. Of still wearing nappies – or rather napkins. Of being a paedo. And basically suggesting that if I’d’ve been around at the time of George Davis I’d’ve got my head blown off.

Hmm.

I naturally refuted those claims. I’ve been out of nappies for 41 years. I’ve paid for my own education and been around a bit (enough to know how to spell greenhorn correctly). I also doubted I would have got my head blown off. I think – and I stand by this – I’d’ve merely got a slap for being a bit gobby and then Ron and Reggie would have got on with the real business of turning Jack The Hat into a net curtain. I’d’ve been small fry.

Which all leads me to believe that Mr Anon E Mouse is either a small time face from 1960’s gangland London wistfully keeping his memories of the good old days alive or is, as I really suspect, some modern day barrow-boy sucking up the stories of his elders from pub talk and true crime books and has idealized the g[l]ory days of the East End into some kind of “ow’s yer father” make-believe heaven. The paedo jibe gives it away, I think. That’s very much a modern immature person’s insult. Though, of course, I could be wrong.

And that’s the worrying thing. Maybe this person really is a mobster? Maybe Harry Starks has stepped right out of one of Jake Arnott’s fine novels and into reality and is even now preparing a hot poker ready for our “little chat”?

I hope not. I find it bizarre that someone could have been so incensed by that one particular post as to have wasted time and energy insulting me and threatening me over it. What a strange world we live in. I do after all have a disclaimer at the bottom of my blog (if anyone ever bothers to read that far down) stating that the views here are purely mine and are not meant to be authoritative.

It makes you realize that Blogging – for all it is largely fun, light-hearted, personal, cathartic, etc – also has a much darker side. The bits of ourselves that we publish online are accessible to everyone. By the mentally imbalanced as well as the sane and well-adjusted. We are wide open to praise, criticism and threats. All because of what we write.

Does this mean I am going to be more careful in future? Avoid potentially dangerous subjects? Be more circumspect in my views?

What? Are you ‘avin’ a larf? Don’t get tasty wiv me, old son, this is my manna, right? My manna! Now sling yer ‘ook!


27 comments:

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Oh dear! Not a nice geeser, eh! I think it's our prerogative to write what we like on our own blog. If someone doesn't like it they should have the decency to skip over it and not bother leaving a comment. I've had one or two nasties which I've deleted. I like my blog to be a nicey nice blog, with a little bit of contraversy thrown in occasionally.

CJ xx

Anonymous said...

You might just find that the gentleman that commented on your posting was actually just a 'Guy Ritchie Film' fan!

Brick Top: Do you know what "nemesis" means? A righteous infliction of retribution manifested by an appropriate agent. Personified in this case by an 'orrible _unt...... me!
Though I think I prefer Bricktop as the Bar man in 'Lock Stock'.

Ally

Steve said...

CJ: I don't mind a bit of heated debate... someone telling me why they object to something I've written... but just hurling insults isn't going to garner the best response from me, I'm afraid! As you say, if someone doesn't like something they should just skip onto something else.

Ally: 'Guy Ritchie Film' fan - does such a creature exist? Oh hold on... I really loved Sherlock Holmes. Ulp! ;-)

the fly in the web said...

I do know a gentleman who skipped away from the U.K. together with his family, having not known who the Krays were when he refused them use of his garage premises!
He is not at all sentimental about them or their kind.

As to comments, I finally went to moderation when I had someone who went beyond disagreement - which is fine - into unpleasant abuse - which isn't.

Steve said...

The Fly In The Web: I employ comment moderation too but rarely refuse to publish a comment unless it is totally and pointlessly offensive. It's still a nasty shock when a horrible comment gets emailed to you though. As for the Krays and their ilk... I really can't understand the hero worship thing at all, apart from standing up to the police who were pretty bent at the time I suppose. But at the end of the day, two wrongs and all that...

Rol said...

You need to be careful. There are some SCARY people in the land of the internet.

Steve said...

Rol: I know. If I ever get approached by an online protection racket I might be tempted to cough up the reddies...

Alienne said...

My view too is that if you don't like what your read, don't come back. Leaving pathetic and offensive comments like that demonstrates all that is wrong with our 'tolerant' society.

Steve said...

Alienne: I think what is most wrong about our society is that we tolerate intolerance far too much! ;-)

The Sagittarian said...

Steve - I think it speaks volumes that the person concerned has remained "Anonymous"....

missbehaving said...

I agree with Alienne, if you don't lke it, don't read it, there are a gamillion other things to read out there after all. I'm constantly surprised be the sheer nastiness out there, the time and effort spent on being rude, surely they could be better employed?

the fly in the web said...

This hero worship of scum seems to me to be part of the 'cheap thrills for the upper middle class' scene which is purveyed by the media.
We can't judge an artist or writer unless we are told of their hideously scarred childhood...I begin to believe that no one without said credentials can even be presented at all.
Having dipped into the horror, having had the thrill, these people can then retreat into their well protected world where the worst thing that can happen is that the nanny has found a better paying job.

Steve said...

Amanda: yes, I am always "amazed" when these enraged individuals with so much to say and so much to say so passionately can't quite bring themselves to put their own name to their beliefs...

MissBehaving: I agree. At a call centre perhaps. Or The Samaritans. I'm not being [entirely] glib; it might help them put things into better perspective.

The Fly In The Web: very eloquently put. A safe, sanitized fix of someone else's horror to make the reader feel much better about justifying their cotton wool existence.

femminismo said...

I saw a used book the other day on translating English to American, and I can see I so, so very much, need it. Your post gave me a bit of a larf. Thanks. (did I say that right?)

Steve said...

Femminismo: you did indeed, darlin', bang on the nail, on the 'orses nose, comin' 'ome at 10-1.

Just so you know (for future reference): this is mockney as opposed to cockney! ;-)

Joe Bloggs said...

Durh makearse of jbloogs TM C R etzooterah, have notearsed, and/nor rehearsed, that curtain pipple art tryna doim dafter - so ears wheramat now; off tomaker a cuppa chai coz dis wide whine smacheink me dheezeelike

----------------------------------

Commentator number two seems like a likely lad to me.

Anyway...

One of the usual suspects interjects (conkerseriously standindoubt like saw thump):

Hrrhmm, now itch not wot it zounds like but i woz finkinlike...scribofrenzically squeakink thatiz - it might well, well ya never know, be yourself 'tending to be your own antagonist in order to fluff up the blog and have innosense innocecent byebyestanders like meself roll up roll up

Cycleoldist nodes in churnall:

Blogsey's stirring it up as per usual; memo to staff: Wheel half to increase hiss dosage, b4heehaha (note to self, stop abusing the NO2, nox, nox - ooze dare? fresh air, fresh air who? under freshair) starts talking hostages or winking at hostesses/tewards

Prismer sees what a bowies just tied imself up in; panix...

OK! Humming clean as a whistle, guv ♪♫, I dumbo nuffink aboutit, but I gotta get it of me chest and make a clean breast of it anyroad...

Disclamber (scrambled)

Eye wash juiced droopink by for a goof 'aight? And then I guts all caught (cough,coughed) in me own foughts and

Seconds away, this is a think betwixt Joe antis Goohroot (U$ally these finks cost nuffin, and we can't even bloomin'giv'em away at a loss or less!)

Goohey: Itch all god swill, Chowe - don't worry about the curry and stay happy

Joe: Yerh, BEEP that - anywaste I wrote a sunk abootitanall today

I 8 the world and the whirl 8's me
But I don't give a BEEP cos I'm staying high in the face of gravity

Thassaul I whoonted to say, but me finks I profess too must shut up shop and shhhhh now

Gappy said...

Oh dear. Just read the original post and comments too.

What on earth is a greenhorn?

Reading his comments I just kept imagining his mother calling up the stairs, 'Come on love, time for tea. I've made you your favourite, chucky egg and soldiers...'

Löst Jimmy said...

Who's Harry Starks?

Owen said...

Stay safe Steve, some battles aren't worth the bother. See you in Somalia ?

French Fancy said...

You haven't made it in the world of blogging until some tosser writes crap on one's wall.

signed

a tosser

(must catch up on all the posts of yours I've missed. You're one of my top three favourites)

Steve said...

Joe: if it comes to the law... would you mind being my brief?

Gappy: a greenhorn is a young, inexperienced, ignorant person. As for chucky eggs... I think this poor fella just didn't have enough TLC from his dear old mam when he were a nipper.

Löst Jimmy: Harry Starks is a wonderful fictional East End gangster created by the writer, Jake Arnott. Definitely worth checking out.

Owen: I might have to find a safe house there...!

FF: do hope you weren't referring to yourself as a tosser - you're anything but!

French Fancy said...

Nah, I was just being silly

Have a lovely weekend

Steve said...

FF: you too! ;-)

Joe Bloggs said...

LOL - Nice one, Steve.

Sorry to drone on like that/this

Uh-oh...ear weak go again...

Brief? Sure thing, mate. I'll try and make this sorta short without tryna sound shirty - It might take a while but Ale probably be able to talk 'em to deaf eventually

Alternatively, if we bar the court and take 'em to the ring I'll bring me boxers and string 'em up in their Y-fronts

Steve said...

Joe: wasn't at all meant to be cutting 'cos in truth if you can commute my sentence to an open prison or community work with or without a tagging device then you're hired! ;-)

Being Me said...

Ah, Steve. The dark side of blogging. So true. Anonymous sure is busy on the internet, isn't he/she?

Steve said...

Being Me: Anonymous is legion in more ways than one, I fear.