Wednesday, 20 August 2008

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

image credit - BBC

For Britons, the release of Gary Glitter from a Vietnamese jail makes it clear that all that glitters is not always gold. On the one hand we have Olympic Team GB is glittering in gold, earned through commitment, hard work and talent and on the other hand we also have the news that fallen British pop idol Gary Glitter a convicted paedophile is ducking and diving in an attempt to avoid the restrictions that will be placed on him should he return to Britain.

It seems the psychology of Glitter is characterised by the avoidance of responsibility and in terms of social psychology he has shown a total disregard for the consequences of his behaviour on young and vulnerable people he comes into contact with. Taking advantage of innocence and vunerability is simply manipulation.

Fortunately his powers of persuasion are radically diminished since his time as an influential 70's pop star urging youngsters to 'be in his gang'. The money and social power that his musical success gave him clearly corrupted his judgement and his psychology and he has used his persuasive techniques in a very dark way.

It is puzzling why he couldn't have used his talent to more positive ends. He clearly consciously made a choice. Why couldn't he have made the positive choice that Britain's sports people have done? There is obviously something deficient in his attitude to people, values and norms. How Glitter's mental map of the world is made up is any one's guess, and I'm sure if we examined the 'attitude objects' in his world their elements would differ significantly from the majority.

That is why he needs restraining. He is 'boundary less' in his behaviour and clearly thinks that conventional social rules don't apply. Paedophiles need both their physical location controlling and their mind controlling because it is their take on the world that determines how they act.

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