Just when you think the world can’t get any more crazy, it pulls over to a siding and hooks another car on the Crazy Train. This past Sunday, police in Britain actually arrested a keytarist named Simon Ledger for singing Carl Douglas’ “Kung Fu Fighting”.
Now, I know what you may be thinking. If you put together a list of songs that, in a perfect world, could get a person arrested, that one would be right up there, along with Rupert Holmes’ “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”. Surely in such a beautiful utopia, the use of a keytar in performance of that tune would be the aggravating circumstances punishable by 40 hours of “Roseanne Barr and Barney the Dinosaur — Together At Last”. I’m right there with you.
However, that’s not why Ledger ran afoul of British law. His offense was far more 21st Century. He went to jail because someone thought he was making fun of Chinese people.
The song, performed by Simon Ledger, 34, is said to have offended two Chinese people as they walked past the bar where he was singing.
The entertainer regularly performs the 1974 number one hit, originally by disco star Carl Douglas, at the Driftwood Beach Bar in Sandown, on the Isle of Wight.
But after one of the passers-by reported his routine on Sunday afternoon, Mr Ledger was arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated harassment.
According to Ledger and the owner of the pub, the man who made the complain wasn’t even inside the pub when he began the song. When he heard it, according to the witnesses, he began cursing and making obscene gestures at Ledger then found a police officer and pressed his complaint. The police contacted the keytarist after his show, when he was having dinner in, of all places, a nearby Chinese restaurant. I suppose the tales of his wicked musical insensitivity had not yet spread across the neighborhood.
The local police say they must treat the allegation of a “racially aggravated” crime seriously, and in Britain these days, merely singing a song about King Fu is enough to qualify as racial harassment. I suppose the British government has handled all its other problems (its barely-breathing economy comes to mind here) and can turn its full attention to stamping out the Racist Disco Menace.