Monday, 14 January 2013

The Agenda Behind The Agenda

Appeal to the social chorus:
The clich̩ is that female anger is always turned inwards rather than outwards into despair. We are angry with ourselves for not being happier, not being loved properly and not having the ideal body shape Рthat of a Brazilian transsexual. We are angry that men do not do enough. We are angry at work where we are underpaid and overlooked. This anger can be neatly channelled and outsourced to make someone a fat profit. Are your hormones okay? Do you need a nice bath? Some sex tips and an internet date? What if, contrary to Sex and the City, new shoes do not fill the hole in your soul? What if you aspire to another model of womanhood than the mute but beautifully groomed Kate Middleton? What if your anguish is not illogical but actually bloody spot on?

- Suzanne Moore, New Statesman
Moral entrepreneurialism:
Was loving this piece by Suzanne Moore on women's anger, then wham, SURPRISE TRANSPHOBIA

- Jo, Twitter
Witchcraft accusation:
I use the word transexual. I use lots of 'offensive' words. If you want to be offended it your prerogative.

- Suzanne Moore, Twitter
Misjudged witchcraft accusation, enacted as social suicide:
A gaggle of transsexuals telling Suzanne Moore how to write looks a lot like how I’d imagine the Black and White Minstrels telling Usain Bolt how to run would look.

- Julie Burchill, The Observer
Moral entrepreneurialism:
Vile piece of transphobic hatred from Julie Burchill that should never have been published

- Owen Jones, Twitter
Julie Birchill rant against transgender community is absolutely disgusting - a bigoted vomit for which the Observer should sack her.

- Lynne Featherstone, Twitter
The tribal elder claps his weary hands:
We have decided to withdraw from publication the Julie Burchill comment piece 'Transsexuals should cut it out'. The piece was an attempt to explore contentious issues within what had become a highly-charged debate. The Observer is a paper which prides itself on ventilating difficult debates and airing challenging views. On this occasion we got it wrong and in light of the hurt and offence caused I apologise and have made the decision to withdraw the piece. The Observer Readers' Editor will report on these issues at greater length.

- John Mulholland, The Observer


David Kasper said...

Nicely condensed!

Paul Hebron said...

"an attempt to explore contentious issues within what had become a highly-charged debate" is a wormy way of saying "we wanted page clicks=we got em", right?

Phil Knight said...

To an extent, yes. The commentariat is a division of the entertainment industry, after all.

David Kasper said...

The commentariat is a division of the entertainment industry

Look at most columnists under 40, and they have the same 'quirky and quizzical' expression as comedians do on flyers (Caitlin Moran gurns like one in nearly every photo). More often than not, their ultimate aim is to appear on TV panel shows, or indeed present them. Their 'role models' aren't George Orwell or Christopher Hitchens, but David Mitchell or Charlie Brooker.

The British middle-class 'cult of comedy' has permeated everything since the 80s/90s. Part of the reason for Boris Johnson's popularity, and why the post-New Labour 'soft left' has withdrew into a smug, but self-effacing, shrug.

Interestingly, this cult gets ever more influential the less funny it gets.

Phil Knight said...

There was a bloke in the New Statesman t'other day writing a column about the sheer necessity and joy of wanking.

And I thought, you know, this is the journal that Orwell once wrote for.

Phil Knight said...

"George, old boy, loved you last piece on the Decline Of The English Ripple-ride."

David Kasper said...

Well, one of the most popular columnists in the UK now is Frankie Boyle. The 'older guard' like Suzanne Moore are in very public meltdown, probably painfully aware of how 'out of touch' they've become.

If we want light entertainers in our newspapers, we might as well have the real thing.