Monday, 8 June 2015

A Decent Life: The Dissenting Narrative of Tom O'Carroll


David Kennerly @DavidKennerly

Allan Marshall


Friday, 5 June, 2015


"There’s a fantastic new film out today but I have a bit of a problem if I try to big it up too much. It’s the greatest thing you’ll ever see but I can’t say so on account of an embarrassing personal detail, namely that I have an – ahem, excuse me – starring role! So that’s why I am mentioning it only down-page rather than giving it top billing. On this occasion I am quite happy to play second fiddle even to Stinson Hunter!

The real star of A Decent Life: The Dissenting Narrative of Tom O’Carroll, is the director, David Kennerly, who has miraculously managed to turn the pig’s ear of my discarded interview last year for Testimony Films into the silk purse of a 11-part, all-singing, all-dancing (well, not by me!) epic, which is launched today and can be seen on YouTube. The segments are each just a few minutes long, hence easily viewed at separate sittings, while the complete work is a little over 68 minutes.

David, as those who have been around at Heretic TOC since the inception will know, has been a guest blogger here a couple of times, debuting in 2013 with a piece about his childhood in the American Midwest and returning last year to warn about the menacing advance of securocratic government.

He studied at film school and has been involved professionally in film production. I didn’t know this background, but when he was liaising with me to make A Decent Life (his title not mine, in case you’re wondering, and I like it) it became obvious to me he has the relevant skills.

David first went to work on the audio of the Testimony Films interview last year, producing Stitching Up Steve Humphries, Humphries being the guy who conducted an interview on behalf of Testimony, which, in the light of what happened later, appears to have been designed to stitch me up as the interviewee. In making his pitch to me, Humphries had come across as a very sympathetic figure, emphasising his background as a social historian, and his interest in hearing a diverse range of views on sexuality, including mine.

The interview was to be part of a documentary on paedophilia he was making for Channel 4 called The Paedophile New Door. When this was aired, however – without any footage from his interview with me – it became overwhelmingly clear his position had all along been fundamentally hostile to mine. It looks as though he ditched my contribution because he had failed to trick me into saying anything that would discredit me: his would-be stitch-up had unravelled.

What David did was to turn the tables on Humphries, stringing together the audio of all his questions but without giving a word of my responses. This cleverly exposed his stitch-up tactics for what they were.

In A Decent Life, by contrast, he has done the exact opposite. This time we hear not a peep from Humphries. Instead, he has given full rein to my responses without them being butchered to quote me out of context or otherwise discredit my contribution.

I like the result and I hope you will. If you agree A Decent Life is a good film, please Tweet about it or give it a plug wherever you can, online via the social media or elsewhere. Thanks!"

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