PRINT October 1986


Oedipus in reverse.

RECENTLY, A CARTOON OF THE editorial pages of the English paper The Mirror showed a darkened room in which, in a high-backed chair, like Dorian Gray, sat the Culture Club singer Boy George, hunched cruelly into the configuration of an old man. His brother Kevin O’Dowd, recognizable through his trademark spectacles, was opening the front door to the Grim Reaper, handy with scythe and syringe. From behind his own dark glasses, George uttered, as if talking about the milkman or a foot-in-the-door reporter, “Just tell him, not today, thank you, Kevin.”

This explicit image is a blatant example of the icy dynamic implicit in the relationship of the mass media to youth culture. Beneath the glare of attention a new form of iconoclasm reigns. The image of the fallen idol, the pop star who expresses the collective being, is the medium of the message. The pathetic story of Boy George and drugs, of a

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