The article in question: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1250092/Save-Dennis-menace-PC-softies.html
First off, in response to this quote:
You may think me mad to imagine there was a risk of being influenced by the heroes of my childhood comics — and you’d be right. But that’s the literal-minded logic behind the decision of DC Thomson comics — who publish The Beano and Dandy — to turn Dennis the Menace into Dennis the Softy
This statement can and will be proven wrong by the show itself having enough evidence for it's own rebuttal that I made a short while ago: http://theblogofalecd.blogspot.com/2013/04/dennis-and-gnasher-rebuttal-on-why.html
The idea of using the same sin as The Sun had done (essentially only using an image of the new Dennis without the weapons (that he uses later or even before this article was made) feels like it's generalizing the idea that he doesn't use weapons in the relaunch (which the idea is very false indeed).
He does use weapons (slingshot, catapult and peashooter) in the comic. For example:
But that's only a small sample of the giant collection of Beano material from both these sites proving my point against the 'politically correct' argument:
Also, this quote:
In their letter of reply, DC Thomson acknowledged that the character, first published in 1951, has indeed been disarmed by the PC brigade to match Dennis in the supposedly child-friendly, BBC TV cartoon version that was launched last September.
The show is made for families, not just for kids and with the evidence on both this rebuttal and the earlier one, it is clear they're doing this "news" material only for the money and not for telling the truth. No wonder The Daily Mail is considered a joke.
Continuing on with this rebuttal, the writer of the article babbles on about false rumors such as:
Poor Dennis can no longer use his catapult or peashooter in a destructive way. Gone is his aggressive scowl — replaced by a bland, Disneyesque grin.
Nor is he allowed to continue his bullying of his dreary old enemy, Walter the Softy, who has been given a girlfriend to discourage gay-bashing.
First of all, in the comic, most people would say Walter's just very flamboyant. Assuming he's gay just because he's less "manly" comes off as homophobic (even if Walter does come off at times as unlikeable). Second, even though I've already debunked quite a few rumors in this and the other rebuttal, there are other examples I can use to debunk the arguments further:
I think I've made my point.
And in a final insult, Dennis’s wonderfully malevolent dog, Gnasher, has been defanged; he’s no longer allowed to bite his enemies.
I've also got backed up evidence of Gnasher biting people in the show, 'Dennis and Gnasher' on the previous rebuttal but showing it here would be redundant. Also, you were saying?
If they're always destructive and full of chaos and anarchy but never showing any semblance of a personality or any traits of believable or relatable characters that are even likable, the characters themselves (even with weapons) would become hated because of mean spirited actions and just being very awful people. Believe me, they are more funny than a modern Simpsons episode (though even they're hit-or-miss). The writers and cartoonists have proven to us they can still use weapons and even keep their personalities even with the new art style. Also, I've seen Asterix and the characters from The Beano and they're nothing like what you just said.
Believe me, I've at least done my research and I know for certain that they're still troublemakers just from doing a web search on the 'Dennis and Gnasher' series and comics. They're still funny and still have a lot of charm to them.
Also this quote:
The best comics come with a dose of mischief and fear
Mischief, it depends on the comic, but even "mischief" can go too far but fear? Why should we fear the characters in the comic? If anything we should at least be able to like the characters, not be outright terrified by them and Harry Potter was never addictive because of his parents' death. It was addictive because of the brilliant writing, characters and overall story that made people crave for more. What the hell is wrong with you? The parents' death was tragic and horrifying. It makes it sound like people ENJOYED seeing fan favorites die (because I sure as hell didn't) and saying that children thrive on evil and violence implies that children that they want to see people die in horrific ways (in real life, mind you) and worship the DEVIL! That just sounds so screwed up in so many ways! How DARE you accuse children of being easily manipulated and thinking that they're stupid?!
Struwwelpeter, the classic 1845 German children’s book, is full of stories of girls who burn to death after playing with matches and boys who have their thumbs cut off for sucking them and children who waste away and die because they don’t eat their dinner.
No comment. Also, the statement from before implies that kids think Dennis and Gnasher are pure evil which to me, sounds ridiculous because Dennis has been shown to have some level of standards (even LONG before the relaunch) and has never ONCE abused Gnasher by torturing him in horrific ways too violent for The Beano to show (the writers themselves, have shown that they respect the anthro and non-anthro animal characters), Gnasher's never killed anyone and Roald Dahl was a great author who didn't resort to killing off child characters like a sadistic monster and he even had his own standards.
Being that they're "just stories" doesn't stop kids from being scarred for life. Of course it's fiction but then again, there have been non-fiction stories where they're screwed up and flat out too HORRIFYING for even an adult to hear about but even then, a lot of the blame is to go to the news for spreading fear all over the planet and there are kids and even adults who love to break the rules because to them, it's a lot more fun but even that fun can go too far.
It depends on the comics how stylised the violence will look. There are plenty of instances in The Beano (from what I've read) that look very visually painful and disturbing for even the common reader and even then, a lot of superhero comics (and other more realistic looking comics) have violence so graphic, it would horrify anyone and become nightmare fuel.
They can be a form of escapism. But it doesn't help that comics like 'One More Day' goes out of it's way to insult people who do legitimately like escapist fiction and just make you want to put the comic in a shredder but there are many great comics out there that don't insult you and are genuinely good and they can also be an escapism to a modern world that is better than this one.
Comics like the Beano have been either questionable or pretty damn good. For example, this video will show you (a bit) that comics were never always innocent...
...and that sometimes, they went WAY too far:
Society's never lost it's sense of humor, that's why the internet was created and why the Eiffel Tower is never thought of the same way again. They've also never lost their innocence...wait, they never had it to begin with and the mischief aspect is why 4chan and the Brony fanbase was created. Then again, even THEY have their upsides, whichever they are has been proven by the internet.
I think that sums up my rebuttal against the Daily Mails accusations on Dennis and Gnasher being "politically correct". The person who made the article should be ashamed of themselves for embarrassing themselves in front of thousands of web users. It was very awful and I can only imagine someone got paid to write this regurgitated shit I had already heard from The Sun. Bloody terrible.
The article has also been talked about by Lew Stringer: http://lewstringer.blogspot.com.au/2010/02/blah-blah-blah-pc-gone-mad-blah-blah.html
but even though he did a great job calling about their bullshit, I felt like he didn't fully tear into them like he did before (still, a great job) so I decided to tear into them and rip them apart because the article was just THAT bad and now, as I've said before, will be the last time I'll make a blog post about this issue because I felt like I've done at least to defend what I consider great comics/series.
So, yeah. Thanks for reading and series 2 of 'Dennis and Gnasher' is coming out soon so stay tuned.
Copyright ©2013 D C Thomson & Co Ltd.
UPDATE: Also, the stuff the writer says about his early life, I have some things to say about it. If anybody doesn't at least be a bit daring in their lives, always plays by the rules and comes off as a goody two-shoes, they'll never achieve anything in life and be stuck in the same boring routine. People need to take chances and have some fun in their lives (the kind that won't get people in jail, I mean) so when they leave school, they can achieve something in life they worked hard for.