Thursday, 28 January 2010

Melanie McDonagh: Jan Moir is a model of liberalism

Indubitably, a whiff of self-confabulation wafted through the avenues of punditry this week. As the Social Attitudes Survey painted a picture of modern, wanton Britain clasped by the claws of the preening librelligentsia, the gays fiddled and the Guardian danced a merry jig to its folky squim.*

Even grumpy Mr. Humphreys found it chortleworthy that ever swelling numbers of our sons and daughters - or, more often than not, sons and sons - live in sin, while good Sir Kelvin MacKenzie, old knight of The Sun, squirmed, pinned and wriggling on The Today Show as answers were demanded of why his newspaper so derided the pooves in those glory days of fearless reporting and unfettered intolerance.

To some extent the findings of the survey and the trends it reflects must be welcomed. At least we must pretend to welcome them, and must feign enjoyment at the spectacle of the old newspaper man pilloried for his outmoded views. Indeed, I must sit here and write that I welcome the change and enjoy the thought of gay men doing what they do. You know, in the bedroom. That's fine with me, so long as they don't shove it down my throat, if you excuse the expression.

I suppose, technically, a world in which They do not lay sleepless at night fearful of beatings and bullying is better than one in which we are all allowed to point and laugh at them like we used to. But I belong to that small minority of writers who start their sentences with the word 'but'. I'm also one of those 27% of people who quite rightly believe that married couples produce healthier, more beautiful children than poverty stricken, drink soaked cohabitees, clutching their benefits in one hand and a half-smoked Mayfair in the other. I may not have evidence to strengthen my case but we all know deep down that it's the truth. And how do the gays figure in all this? Well, they just do.

But sadly, my so-called 'reactionary' views and distasteful opinions are fast becoming the new queer: pilloried, scorned, not entirely coherent but definitely fabulous. I worry that we've replaced good old fashioned hatred and intolerance with permissive acceptance - and where's the sense in that? 100 years ago would we not have laughed off the suggestion that soon the lawmakers of this country would see fit to outlaw the smoking of opium outside of strictly regulated Chinese smokeries and Indian smack-dens? Wouldn't you dismiss as absurd the possibility of banning fans of the poppy from enjoying their vice in public places, lest the grey teetolars get a waft of that delicious dusky scent?

And anyone who doesn't subscribe to the state prescribed view that homosexuals are not only similar but equal in every way to humans is sneered at and scowled upon by the same right-minded scarf-wearers.

Not so long ago, celebrated columnist and ayatollah of intolerance Jan 'Nothing natural' Moir was victimised by an horrific pack of screeching web devils simply for writing horrible, horrible words about dead gay man Stephen Gately. Is it now a crime to write ghastly, factually inaccurate venom at a time when homophobic violence is increasing and encourage morbid intrusion into the grieving privacy of the family of the recently deceased? Can somebody out there explain to me why intolerance of depravity and gayness is so terrible but valid criticism of poor journalism is fine?

Liberal? Tolerant? That's reserved for journalists, folks. We're allowed to be liberal with the truth and tolerant of inaccuracy day in, day out. Don't try it at home.

* What the FUCK did all that mean? - ed.

Monday, 11 January 2010

The Daily Mail: like a drunk, leering step-uncle, only less tasteful

15 year old tennis pre-strumpet Laura Robson is almost certainly having an affair with Andy 'I'm Andy Murray' Murray, the smoulderingly anonymous Daily Mail Reporter has revealed.

'I've got an eye for this sort of thing', the mysterious hack wheezed last night after studying almost two photographs that explicitly - and conclusively - show the jailbait star pointing her face at the 22 year old UK ace and exposing her teeth in a look that experts have described as 'not in the least bit suggestive'.

Robson has been known to wear short skirts on court and is thus quite probably 'well up for it', say insiders.

The scintillating news comes only days either before or after (we didn't check) raven haired but disappointingly elderly filmvixen Megan Fox didn't get up close and steamy with Hollywood centenarian Mickey Rourke in a series of revealing photographs snapped by the very same Daily Mail Reporter.

Speaking from his tree-top spy house, the sweaty Reporteur told us: 'Clearly they're just filming a movie in which they kiss and stuff and only a simpleton would consider that even remotely newsworthy but you have to suspend your disbelief with this sort of thing. I mean, she's 23 and he's 57. See what I mean? Yeah. I've got an eye for it.'

However, Daily Mail Reporter's estranged wife Liz Jones warned that huge age differences are not always a sign of true lust and legally questionable sexual intrigue, reminding readers that it's only cool for old men to romance much, much younger ladies, not the other way round.

In an excruciating 834 words on the subject that amusingly contained the phrases 'cavernous depths' and 'cougarous prediliction'*, Jones said that although she once married a man 15 years her junior, other women who take younger men for lovers, like Iris Robinson, are depraved cradle snatchers who probably deserve their mental breakdown and subsequent suicide attempts.

To research her stunning thesis on cognitive dissonances in age disparity and gender, Jones watched the 2009 film 'It's Complicated', starring Meryl Streep, and also read at least half a book about a female teacher who embarks on an affair with a 15-year-old pupil, which, she says, 'gets perilously close** to the crux of the matter.'

A local man said: 'Reading the Daily Mail makes me feel all dirty, and not in a good way.'

* Liz Jones is an actual journalist who gets paid to write words.

** Seriously. 'Perilously close'? Remember, she probably got paid more for those two nonsensical words than you'll earn today.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

My Top Ten Adverts For My Own Affiliate Store

When it comes to writing blog posts I always enjoy churning out lists. They take seconds to write and yet readers still lap them up like kittens at a saucer of milk. Little do they know that the milk is way past its sell by date and has started to curdle - Ha! silly kittens.

I've recently discovered something even better than plain old lists though: lists containing nothing but links to my Amazon store. They're just fab. See, it looks like I'm just doing another innocent list post but really I'm selling you stuff on which I get paid commission. And you probably didn't even realise! Isn't that fun?

[insert a bit of conversational padding here]

So without further ado, here's my Top Ten Super Brilliant Books to BUY RIGHT NOW FROM MY STORE:

1. Flat Earth News by Nick Davies
A ripping yarn about a journal-jism. I got this book for Winterval even though I usually ask for
picture books. It has quite a lot of words, but it's still good. BUY BUY BUY

2. Bad Science by Ben Goldacre
A clever person book by scientician Ben Goldacre. Centres around brilliance of science reporting in the media. Absolutely stat-tastic. PLEASE BUY IT FROM MY STORE

3. In the Loop by Armando Iannucci
Left wing s
houtmonger Malcolm Tucker goes to Washinton but doesn't reckon on the opposition of the yanks. Spin off off of the brilliant BBC1 comedy 'The Thick of It'. YOU CAN BUY THIS HERE TO GIVE ME MONEY

4. Dawn of the Dumb by Charlie Brooker
I can't be bothered to even pretend that I'm doing this for any other reason than to make some post-Xmas money, so here's the blurb from Amazon: 'Polite, pensive, mature, reserved ...Charlie Brooker is none of these things and less. Rude, unhinged, outrageous, and above all funny, "Dawn of the Dumb" is essential reading for anyone with a brain and a spinal cord. And hands for turning the pages.' GO TO MY AMAZON SHOP AND BUY THIS FROM THERE, NOT THE MAIN SITE, PLEASE

5. Media Control by Noam Chomsky
I haven't actually read this but it's probably quite good. Media studies students are told to read Noam Chomsky and they know where it's at. This book is only 50 pages long which is nice. It's seeringly honest. BUY IT NOW PLEASE, MAKE SURE YOU CLICK THIS LINK TO BUY IT, DON'T SEARCH FOR IT OR BUY IT FROM WATERSTONES OR I WON'T GET ANY MONEY OK, SO CLICK HERE WHERE THE BLUE UNDERLINED WORDS ARE, THANKS

Ok, I know I said it was a top ten list but I got so bored writing this that my face started to melt.

So, er, now I need to pretend that this is an actual blog post about something and not just an excuse to print loads of adverts...ooh, this is a bit awkward, um...ah! yes, of course -

So what are your favourite books about journalism and media and things? Do tell me in the comments; I'm not just here to sell you stuff you know!

P.S.Do you know anyone who needs an internet pundit to speak at a function? I'm always available at a low, low price. Also do birthdays, weddings and Bar Mitzvahs.