A discussion was had today about what 2012 will be remembered for. As the Year of the Unmasked Paedo. That was my thinking. A colleague did suggest that perhaps, actually, it'll be the Olympics, which I had already forgotten about.
I kind of hope he's right. I mean, what are people of the future going to think? What the hell are we supposed to think?
This was, of course, after today's tasteful revelation featuring Ian Watkins, singer of Lostprophets, ex of Fern Cotton and Alexa Chung, emo-rawk pin up for many a Welsh teenager.
And he didn't even work for the BBC.
Immediate confused speculations regarding potential groupies who may have seemed of age were dispelled following the news this afternoon that he's apparently been accused of plotting, along with a female fan, to rape a baby. Yes. That's PLOTTING TO RAPE A BABY.
All in all he was charged with six child sex offences, as well as three separate charges of possession, making and distributing indecent images of children and of possessing extreme porn, some involving animals.
I first saw the headline this morning, and thought they meant H from Steps. Which would have been shocking enough. But the Lostprophets Ian Watkins? What? He's my age, for Christ's sake. Actually, he's younger than me. For some reason, perhaps media exposure, part of my brain is convinced that those who abuse children are old and probably some kind of DJ.
Since Saville was unmasked for the absolute brutal monster he appears to have been, I heard many people say things along the lines of: "Ooooh, he had a look about him." and "I always thought he looked dodgy." which he kind of did. I grew up with him on TV on Jim'll Fix It and, at the very least, he looked like someone you didn't really want to meet in the flesh. After the fact it's easy to see.
I doubt that anyone will be making such claims about Ian Watkins. We like to think we can spot signs of depravity and threat to us or our children, but obviously we can't. At all. History shows this over and over again. You can't trust a priest, someone in the public eye, a doctor, a rock star, a stranger on the street. You can't actually trust anyone, it seems.
It's almost too difficult to comprehend in any real sense. Hence the inevitable jokes and flippant comments that circulated quickly after Saville and will do after this and have done after every kind of horror imaginable. It's human nature, and a defence mechanism.
This continues to confuse me. Does it mean that for some reason, paedophilia is on the rise? Or is it just that modern technology exposes it more easily? How do you get that twisted? What would have to happen to turn that switch in your brain? How do people actually go through with such things? How can people be so inhuman? How do they sleep at night? How to they maintain the skein of normality? How do they reconcile it? Are they insane? Or broken? Are they victims somehow (I really don't know how, but is it a chain of damage from generation to generation)? Or evil?
Let's hope, at least, that Ian Watkins is the last to be discovered, at least in 2012. There's still 11 days left though, so perhaps that's hoping too much.
And, as for what 2012 will be remembered for, I'll try to sieve out the horror, the killings, Syria, Connecticut, the floods, the uncovering of paedophiles and the many, many other horrific things that have happened and focus on the Olympics and that but it's kind of an uphill battle.
Hopefully the Mayans were right and we won't even have to deal with it after Friday or, failing that, may 2013 bring more hope to the world.