(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘Jack the Ripper

“Warning: this guide contains highly offensive language and discussion of content which may cause offence”*…

Salty language, systematically sorted…

Ofcom [the UK’s communications regulator— essentially their FCC] commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct research to help them understand public attitudes towards offensive language on TV and radio. This document serves as a Quick Reference Guide summarising views towards the acceptability of individual words on TV and radio…

For example…

And there’s more: other sections unpack the relative offensiveness of “references to body parts,” “sexual references,” “political references,” “references to race, nationality, and ethnicity,” “references to sexual orientation and gender identity,” “religious references,” and “Non-English words” [mostly South Asian].

Public Attitudes to Offensive Language on TV and Radio: a Quick Reference Guide… a report that doubles as a remarkable lexicon.

See also: “Cursing and the Bloody Class Struggle.”

* from the title page of this report

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As we curse carefully, we might recall that it was on this date in 1888 that The “From Hell” letter was postmarked. Received the next day by George Lusk, head of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, it purported to be from the serial killer we know as Jack the Ripper, who enclosed half a preserved human kidney. The police and Lusk’s group received hundreds of letters pertaining to the Ripper case, many dozen supposedly from the killer himself. The “From Hell” letter is one of the few that has been seriously considered to be genuine.

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“One day, men will look back and say that I gave birth to the 20th Century”*…

 

This fall marks the 128th anniversary of a series of murders in London’s Whitechapel district — at least five, for sure — that have long transformed from an investigation to a vague romantic aura that haunts the more macabre corners of pop culture. The case is more frostbitten than cold: due to a combination of muddled evidence and the deteriorating effects of time, the case will never be solved. Yet despite the lack of leads — in fact, because of them — the content business of Jack the Ripper is still booming.

An Amazon search spits back nearly 4,500 items, IMDb returns 119 TV episodes or movies, but even those numbers don’t account for the subtly titled video games, websites, stage plays, operas, paintings, radio dramas, songs, costumes, or various Etsy crafts that seek to capture that “Jack the Ripper aesthetic.” You know it: that sinister silhouette with top hat and cane, sounds of raindrops and horse hooves echoing on candlelit cobblestones, frantic police whistles in the dark followed by cries that they found another. Jack the Ripper is a perpetual content machine from beyond the grave…

More at “The Jack the Ripper Content Economy.”

* “Jack the Ripper” (in the film From Hell)

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As we avoid dark alleys, we might recall that it was on this date in 1993 that the Senate passed what became The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, at nearly $30 Billion the largest crime bill in U.S. history.  While the bill created the federal assault weapons ban, it also criminalized a number of new offenses and brought “three strikes” sentencing (already in place in some states) to federal trials.  The increased case load caused the legal system to rely much more heavily on plea bargains; the increase in incarceration led to prison overcrowding.

President Bill Clinton signing the bill

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Written by (Roughly) Daily

November 19, 2016 at 1:01 am

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