Let me kick off with this. If you're a journalist and you think it's in any way (a) bright (b) funny (c) original (d) clever or (e) in any way fucking amusing to use your privileged position with a national newspaper to write tired, cliched bollocks from about nineteeneightyfuckingthree about "Ooh, aren't men terrible? Pffft it'd be a better world without them, innit?" then the world would undoubtedly be a better place if you just threw yourself down the fire escape now. Go and kill yourself. Actually wait. Give back the money from that article you wrote about "Ooh, men are rubbish aren't they, but pffft they're still useful for mending the shed or something innit?!?!" and then throw yourself down the fire escape. Just die. You don't deserve to live, let alone to work for a shit parish-pump local newspaper, let alone work for the kind of newspaper that should be reporting really important things about real life and real people rather than tedious re-hashed lifestyle wank. Just kill yourself, you should be ashamed to be still around walking the streets, let alone being paid for churning out tedious unfunny guff like that.
Yes, I'm talking to you, whichever brainless shithouse wrote this laugh-free collection of excrement in The Times:
23 Using the last drop of milk before, very helpfully, putting the empty carton back in the fridge.
Eh? Do you see? Do you see? Ho ho.
Also, I'm talking to you, Tanya Gold in the Guardian.
I awoke yesterday in Ira Levin's brain. Scientists have used embryonic stem cells to make synthetic sperm. My first thought is - does it come in pink? But the possibility grows (and I'm wilfully hopping and skipping and bouncing over the science bit here) that we will at some vague point in the future be able to breed without men.
Yeah, magic Tanya, keep it up. Jesus wept. You'd like to hope, deep down, that she's being wonderfully clever and actually parodying the kind of bollocks that women lifestyle writers put into broadsheet newspapers like the Guardian, making fun of the kind of shit they churn out about how men are ghastly and women are all clever and brilliant, and how she's taking us all for a knowing ride. But no. It is just unironic shit. This on a day when the Guardian was making the headlines for the right reasons. The Graun and the Observer always have to piss me off at the same time as delighting me - they can't just run good investigative journalism; they've always got to put some pointless posturing shite in their pages at the same time to balance it out and remind me just how squealingly dreadful they can be. This week we've already seen the return of 'leggy lovely' in a national newspaper; now the return of Polly Filla (as if they ever went away). Hey ho.
Anyway, on the subject of real news about real things and journalists getting money for actually being quite good instead of mindlessly inane, the Guardian reports how, despite the lack of a fresh police inquiry into phonetapping (as if the cops would wilfully come out and say "Oh yeah, we didn't investigate that very well first time around! Doh!") there's still a good chance that Andy Coulson and chums won't be allowed to get off the hook:
[Max] Clifford said yesterday: "If all the allegations are true, then it is tremendously serious, because all of us were convinced by the police, by everybody, that this was just two people, a rogue journalist and a private investigator, and it was a one-off.
"But what is now coming out is an awful lot more damaging, not just for the News of the World, but also for the Metropolitan police, the Press Complaints Commission and, of course, for Andy Coulson. Am I taking legal advice? Yes. Have I decided what I am going to do? No."
The more cynical among you might imagine that's just a public negotiating position for Clifford in order to sign up a few tasty deals with Murdoch's red-tops, but there are other celebs who've been targeted by the phone-tapping scandal who may well launch the kind of class action that could seriously embarrass overpromoted shit showbiz writer Andy Coulson et al. We'll see. Meanwhile, those leading Tory and 'Libertarian' blogs who couldn't wait to condemn everyone who'd ever brushed past Damian McBride as being obviously complicit and guilty in his stinking actions are, rather unsurprisingly, less willing to believe that the editor of a national newspaper would ever possibly know what his reporters were up to, despite signing off their expenses. Isn't that interesting?
Septicisle has an excellent piece about the scandal, and concludes:
...if we were being fair this wouldn't be about the News of the World, Murdoch or Coulson at all. This would about a press that is getting ever more desperate as its condition weakens. Perhaps the excesses which it once resorted to, especially during the 80s, are not quite being plumbed, although the Alfie Patten case, the Sunday Express's Dunblane story and now this all certainly come close. The one thing that is now needed is confirmation that these practices, except in cases of the utmost public interest, have ceased. The PCC has shown itself to be woefully inadequate to confirm just that. Self-regulation, at least in its current toothless form, has failed. If Coulson wants to save his job, he perhaps ought to be telling his boss that those hated privacy laws might now be needed after all.
While the Daily Mash reports:
As the tabloid faced legal action from celebrities whose phones were tapped and Tory leader David Cameron stood by his beleaguered spin doctor, the paper's readership said its priority would continue to be all the stories about fucking.
Tom Logan, a reader from Grantham, said: "I think I would have been disappointed, perhaps even a little bit hurt, if they had not been tapping Gwyneth Paltrow's phone on my behalf.
The Independent, meanwhile, has managed to break free from the gushing tsunami of glurge that accompanied Michael Jackson's death and appallingly kitschy memorial service, and is pointing out some uncomfortable home truths:
Ultimately one is faced with two options. Either Jackson really was an innocent, a childlike man-boy who simply enjoyed hanging out with young boys, up to and including having them sleep in his bed ("There's nothing more loving you can do," he told Martin Bashir in the infamous 2003 documentary, while Arviso cuddled him adoringly), and that some of these children decided – in collusion with their money-grabbing parents – to take Jackson to the cleaners. Or Jackson was an active, predatory child molester.
One of those options has been utterly dismissed by almost the entire media in the past few days. I don't know why, because it's still just as valid as it always was. We can't just ignore it because he's dead.
Sim-O points out that it's pretty simplistic to compare Michael Jackson's funeral with repatriation of the war dead in Wiltshire. It is, of course, and you wouldn't think it needed pointing out, but then of course some newspaper numpty's gone and imagined it's quite a startling revelation.
Michael Nugent in the Irish Times talks about the national shame of the blasphemy law that was passed this week:
The problematic behaviour here is the outrage, not the expression of different beliefs. Instead of incentivising outrage, we should be educating people to respond in a more healthy manner than outrage when somebody expresses a belief that they find insulting.
Ministry of Truth has an excellent demolition of Michael Gove's support for Steiner schools. The Tories naturally seem to gravitate towards anything that isn't the public sector (Gove calling it 'diversity', using a word that's usually kryptonite to Tories); but in the case of Steiner schools, that's just plain wrong. Read more to find out why.
Between The Hammer and the Anvil has a marvellous article, entitled "Politics is simple when you're as cuntish as possible about absolutely everything":
There was a time when the nightly news used to frighten and intimidate me. Every day, I'd sit down in my favourite chair to catch up with domestic and world affairs, only to be presented with an incomprehensible babble of impenetrable jargon, rampant criminality and bloodcurdling atrocity.
None of it made sense - wars, famine, death, plague... It felt like the world was a terrifying vortex of unaccountable power, random chance and purposeless violence. It's only been since I started being as cuntish as possible about absolutely everything that I've realised how simple politics really is.
Absolutely magical, that.
- Friday links 20/3/9
- Friday links 29/5/09 – get it right
- Friday links 24/7/09
- Friday links 25/9/09
- Friday links 12/3/10