Thursday, 6 March 2008

Sebastian Horsley Belongs In Jail. Let’s Put Him There!

Sebastian Horsley claims that he is a dandy. According to the Oxford Shorter, a dandy is ‘a man whose style of dress is ostentatiously elegant or fashionable; a fop’, and Horsley is certainly ostentatious. As to whether he’s elegant, I’m not so sure, but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. However, without wishing to fall foul of Godwin’s Law, I put it to you that describing Sebastian Horsley as a dandy is akin to describing Adolf Hitler as an animal lover. It may be true, but it’s so far from the point as to be an utter - and rather insulting - irrelevance.

This morning I discovered that Horsley has rather more in common with Hitler than I would have guessed, when I was alerted to a recent blog post about him. The thrust of the post is that Horsley is an anti-Semite. In more than one interview, he has trotted out anti-Semitic remarks, ‘Death to Jews!’ being the ugliest and most obvious. The journalist to whom he said this, the author of this blog, suggests that whether he means this or whether he’s just being outrageous, either way he is an unnecessary distraction from more pressing issues. She didn’t publish the interview.

And that’s that.

And so he gets away with it. And presumably will continue to spout this hateful rubbish for as long as he has a platform.

I don’t know about you, but this gets me really riled.

I started muttering under my breath, ‘There should be a law against people like him’, and then I realised: there is! And then I realised: actually there are a number of laws against people like him.

For example a) he is loud and proudly vocal about s drug-taking, b) he is loud and proudly vocal about his whoring, and c) he is loud and proudly vocal about his wishing death to minority religious groups.

While I’ve got nothing (well, not much) against junkies and whoresmen, I’m definitely not opposed to using the illegality of drugs and drabs to get scum like Horsley off the street.

On the religious hatred score, I realise there’s a thin but very serious line between inciting hatred and freedom of speech. Does Horsley actually mean to threaten anyone? Does he wish to inflame and to spread his hatefulness to others?

Why, of course he does. You’ve only got to look at him.

So, who’s with me?

Oh, and secondly, how do I do it? I’ve not really had anyone arrested before. Do I just call the police and tell them that for the sake of decent society, I want Sebastian Horsley imprisoned at once? Or do I write a letter? Or maybe start an online campaign to have him stamped out?

If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

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Glamourpuss said...

I'm not sure about getting someone arrested, but if you go to certain Hackney pubs and say you need something 'sorted', they are most obliging.


Sue said...

Being loud and proudly vocal doesn't necessarily make him guilty. But if he is, I like Puss' idea!

La Bête said...

You're saying I should have him whacked? Hmmm. I have two problems with that: 1) he might become something of a martyr, and other misanthropic halfwits will use his murder as a reason to canonise him and carry on his odious work, and 2) I really can't afford it.

Michael said...

Forward his comments to Mossad HQ and wait for the magic to happen!

Larry Teabag said...

I'm not sure about this. Firstly I think you're in danger of gift-wrapping the notoriety he so desperately wants, and, as you say, turning him into some kind of twattish martyr.

Secondly, I'm less convinced than you are that he "he means this" rather than is "just being outrageous". This may not matter from the point of view of whether or not he's a hateful arsehole, but from a legal perspective it's clearly important.

Context is key in the question of whether he's really "stirring up hatred" or is just being a cunt, and it's noticeable that he only seems to say these things in front of audiences who are absolutely guaranteed to disapprove. If he was standing on a soap-box shouting "Death to Jews" to an angry mob of skinheads or jihadis, it would be a different matter.

However if you're determined to go ahead with this, all you have to do is walk up to him and say "Mr Horsley I am placing you under citizens' arrest, under the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006", and then you're within you're rights proceed as you wish, e.g by burning him at the stake.

La Bête said...

Cool. I wonder if I can do it in an email. I'll give it a shot. Thanks, Mr Tea!

Anonymous said...

Oh Bete, I do like you, but you can be a silly arse at times. You know, most people do not live in London, do not read Time Out, and have never heard of this deluded old tosser. Please, in the name of all that is holy, do not speak of him, write about him or mention his name ever again. Remember your mother's advice: Ignore him and he'll go away.

This episode reminds me of when that hairy-faced winker who presents the weakest link made a derogatory comment about the Welsh. Suddenly, her profile was raised considerably and she was even discussed on that week's episode of Question Time. I could just imagine her sitting at home, cackling horribly and feeling very pleased with herself. You just know that she phoned her friends, squealing at them to switch on BBC1

Oh no, it hurts me now just to think of it. Now look what you've done, you've made my brain ache. Happy now?

La Bête said...

Anonymous, I like you too, and I envy your work ethic. It seems you’re responsible for almost half the comments round here, and many more elsewhere. You must be run off your feet.

I do see what you're saying, and I agree with you in part. In fact, were it not for one small thing, I would agree with you entirely. That thing is this: if you want to see someone eat some serious porridge, ignoring them is not going to get the job done. Peter Sutcliffe would still be out there, free as a bird, making our streets no-go areas if, instead of busting their balls doing some thoroughly respectable detective work and reportage, the police and the press had just said, ‘He’s a bad egg, that one. Just ignore him and he’ll go away.’

I know it’s giving Horsley publicity, and for one brief moment a feeling of actually being alive, but that’s a small price to pay for his ultimate incarceration. He can have all the publicity he wants, just so long as he ends up doing a ten-stretch. Solitary.

And sadly, my mother never gave me that advice. Friends did though - well, one friend – he gave me that advice about my mother, and it turned out not to be true. I ignored her for 15 years, but it took affirmative action to finally do something about her.

I know what you mean about Anne Robinson though.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2 to Anonymous 1: you said 'most people do not live in London, do not read Time Out, and have never heard of this deluded old tosser.'

Unfortunately that's not true. Sebastian Horsley is getting good press in the U.S. right now, including a 4 March book review in the Village Voice by Michael Musto. He'll be reviewed in a few days in the New York Times, too. Bet my eye teeth they'll be no mention of bigotry in any of the mainstream articles. He now - sickeningly - has the PR machine behind him that he's always dreamed of.

Bete, thanks for spreading the word about what Sebastian Horsley really is. I agree with you, he's not going away unless the public (art buying public? book buying public? anyone who would spend money on his pointlessly mean-spirited crap public... ) knows what he's really about, and votes with its feet.

And it seems the bloggers are the only ones telling the truth, as they haven't been bought off by his publisher.

He IS a racist. Look at this line from his blog:'All these left-wing wankers go on about exploitation and women’s rights and one armed dyke niggers from Walthamstow and yet they exploit their own workforce.'

That's him bitching about having to show up to promote his own work, and not getting paid for the privilege. Wow. Imagine what he might say if he got REALLY upset.

Mr. Fermata said...

I know this might be a tad contentious but I don't really care about the "most people (who) do not live in London, (and) do not read Time Out".

I'd include my parents in that too.

Glamourpuss said...

No, not murdered, just 'sorted' - an ex of mine was being a tosser one night in a pub off Mare St and when I went to the bar, I was asked if I'd like him 'sorted' - there was no fee involved - they're very kind-hearted thugs.


Anonymous said...

...look at this comment someone left on his own blog saying Sebastian Horsley is a child molester.

As a boy close to Sebastian, i remember him and my father being close but i also remember sebastian touching me as a child. It traumatises me every day and the only reason im typing this is cause im drunk.I wouldnt admitt it otherwise as id be utterly humiliated. This man is an animal who slagged his wife off after she died to show class. And refused to speak to my sister when she confronted him to defend his actions what a joke!

Anonymous said...

You're such idiots!
Sebastian isn't actually anti-Semitic, or particularly hateful, he's actually really sweet. You misunderstand him, he is not a bad person. He says things for effect, it's part of the show in which he plays a villain. But don't be so easily outraged.
He's only teasing you.

Anonymous said...

You are such a wanker, you really are!

People like you make me wanna vomit.

My got the world would be such a dull place if you had your way, wouldnt it?

La Bête said...

Yes, Sebastian. Whatever you say, Sebastian.

Anonymous said...

Ah Bete

You would love to think that anyone who disagrees with you on this is either Sebastian himself or someone who works for Sebastian (as I was accused of being on your earlier thread). Nope, I am just someone who believes in free speech.

And frankly, worse than being an anti semite, or a racist, or any of the other stuff you accuse Horlsey of being - in my eyes - is being a rat. And you have just posted a blog saying that you would like to use the pretense of Horlseys past drug use, or his 'hate speech' to turn him in to the pigs. Thats pretty fucking low if you ask me.

The thing is, Bete mate, if you you want to stop Horlsey saying what he is saying, then you are on a slippery slope and you well know it. Why not move to China, where they have all of that tricky "free speech" shit well under control?

Why not save your ire for someone who actually IS racist or anti semetic, and are out there right now recruiting for far right organizations? I suppose you are more scared of jackboots than sequined suits, and I dont blame you. But at least have the courage of your convictions!

At the end of the day Horlsey is someone who gets off on making people squirm by saying 'unacceptable' things. Hardly a capital offense, is it?

La Bête said...

Hello there, Anonymous. Free speech is a wonderful thing, you are so right. It allows fuckwits like Horsley to talk as much crap as he likes, and it allows fine upstanding citizens like me to blog about sending him to jail.

I love the way you’re attempting to take the moral highground here, based on your misguided admiration for this charmless freak.

The thing is, Anonymous mate, none of this is to do with freedom of speech. None of it is to do with saying that which should not be said. You do Horsley an unnecessary justice by suggesting that he is some kind of crusader for freedom. I actually really like people who say unacceptable things – people like DH Lawrence, Lenny Bruce, Chris Morris, people who push boundaries and make change where change needs to be made. But it doesn’t always have to be so noble. Witty will do. Or even just funny. Horsley is none of these things. He’s just a self-serving fuckwit. And he doesn’t make me squirm by saying unacceptable things. He makes me squirm by saying contrived things – he tries too hard. He’s a bore. OK?

And how come all you sudden Horsley fans are anonymous? Come on, don’t be ashamed. Show yourselves!

Anonymous said...

Well if it really matter Bete (and I take it that is your real name? Seems rather strange that someone who blogs under an alias and uses a picture of the elephant man should try to take me to task for remaining anonymous) I remain anonymous for 2 reasons. One is that I frankly cannot be bothered signing up to either gmail or blogger to get a 'name' when i can just tick the anonymous box. And 2, if I were to tell you that my name is Alex Segretto and I an an Englishman who now lives in New York City, would it really make any difference to what we are saying here? Im not a public figure, and I dont see how my just telling you that has strengthened (or weakened) my position. But there you go, I hope it make you feel better.

Well, I actually read the book and disagree with your assertion. It just came out here in the US, and I think that Sebastain is one of the few interesting British artists out there at the moment, one of the few with the courage of his convictions (I mean, would YOU willingly undergo crucifixion in the run up to paint a series of pictures based on the subject? No, I thought not)

However, Im sure that you will be pleased to hear that the US authorities agree with you in regards to the danger Horlsey's thoughts could pose to society, and they denied him entry into the US yesterday. Its here in the Guardian:

Anyway back to the main point. I wasnt bothered that you think he's a fuckwit, or a bore. Plenty of people do. But that you think that these flimsy claims of anti semitism or whatever are grounds for grassing him up to the police and having him locked away shows that you do not value free speech. You might well me a liberal or a this or a that, but when people say stuff you dont like... well, lock 'em up. Nice attitude.

La Bête said...

All you have to do, Alex, is click the Name/Url option and you can write any name you like - or even sign a name at the end of your anonymous comment. It's just way of identifying people. I'm not asking that you bare your soul - just give it a identification tag.

OK, I accept your comments regarding Horsley being interesting. I just don't agree with them. And you really shouldn't assume that people you don't know wouldn't have the courage and/or stupidity to crucify themselves. As it happens, I would love to be crucified, and I may well celebrate my reaching 12 stone with a quick crucifixion.

Regarding Horsley being refused entry into the US, no, it doesn't please me. Mostly it doesn't please me because he will start boasting about it immediately. In fact, he already has: "IT'S OFFICIAL : I AM ILLEGAL"

By banning him, they have played right into his hands. (As in a way I also have by repeatedly blogging about him. I'm playing into his hands now in fact. Damn him!)

But also I'm no fan of American foreign policy, nor of them using the alleged War on Terror to wipe out civil liberties. If on the other hand they had said, 'We're not allowing this fuckwit into our country because a) he is an enormous fuckwit and a bore to boot, and b) he is very vocal in his support of the widespread murder of Jews, and we're not prepared to stand by and gasp and snigger like he's a funny little boy who's pushing back boundaries when in fact he's a repulsive worm, a hateful, murderous misanthrope and above all, simply not funny', I would have given a little cheer, yes.

But besides all that, I'm not really in favour of locking people up and I don't really believe that even Horsley should be locked up. I was kind of trying to be entertaining if you want to know the truth. I was trying to express the fact that I find him a talentless man with an ugly side to him in an amusing and interesting way.

I mean, come on, Alex. When Horsley makes some remark about killing Jews, what do you think? Do you think he's being witty? Does his knee-jerk antagonism please you? If it does, please explain to me why it does. Because for me, he's just like an adolescent shouting 'cunt' in a library. It's not big, it's not clever - it's just very very dull.

Anonymous said...

He gave the journalist just what she wanted. She came to him, prepared to get her knickers in a twist over his "anti semitism", and he said "death to jews"

Do I believe this makes him antisemetic? Nope. That a very literal view of the exchange. i think it shows his contempt for the interviewer certainly. And from reading her blog on the matter, esp. the prissy way she wrote about it i can understand that contempt.

Thats all.

Anonymous said...

How convenient for his publishers. This certainly IS a gold mine for them, maybe they set the whole thing up?

This is for certain. Sebastian Horsley wasn't sent home to London for his "subversive ideas." Foreigners with prior convictions and histories of drug abuse get denied entry into the U.S. all the time. Sad but true. Most people have a much worse time of it, since they don't have a conglomerate behind them to further their cause.

And since it was probably the publisher who tipped off immigration, why do we care about this man or his book?

I smell a rat. This "scandal" was staged.

- Rennie Court, New York

Michael Farrow said...

What a fantastic press coup for Harper Collins!

So, right before Easter they manage to get Sebastian Horsley denied entry into the U.S. for being an admitted and convicted criminal and person of "moral turpitude." A bit ironic for someone who once got crucified on a lark...

Harper Collins and editor Carrie Kania didn't waste a moment to get this story into the press, the widely repeated Reuters piece reads curiously like a press release. Maybe it's because it's based on this PR piece?

So, is this just a ploy for making sure Sebastian Horsley's book is noticed? Pretty desperate I'd say, especially after the spate of fake misery memoirs that have been exposed lately. There's an interesting piece in the New York Times about this event, which also casts doubt on the truth of Mr. Horsley's memoir:

"In interviews, though, he has been repeatedly coy about what is real and what is contrived. 'It’s better to be quotable than honest,' he told Time Out London in February. In an interview with The Independent last September, he said: 'I don’t speak, I quote. I am a fraud. I have cobbled together my personality from hundreds of little bits. I am simultaneously the most genuine and the most artificial person you will ever meet."

During the party last night, the upshot of Sebastian being detained and refused entry for being a sleazeball, wasn't lost on the publishers:

"Of course, the silver lining of the incident did not escape Ms. Kania. A big piece in The New York Times, the kind of Internet buzz money can’t buy …"

Harper Collins PR flacks certainly outdid themselves to promote this miserable dandy and his abhorrent views!