Monday, June 02, 2008

Why no child is safe from the sinister cult of the Daily Mail

When you think of all the people that the Daily Mail has pissed off – make that anyone with any shred of decency in their souls, and many more besides – it's amazing that it's taken so long for protesters to gather outside the newspaper's offices to protest at its journalism.

This weekend, however, a group of Emo kids - fans of My Chemcial Romance, mainly – took umbrage at the paper's recent coverage of the "suicide cult" of Emo and protested outside the newspaper's offices. (Update: pics of this very unsinister bunch from the Guardian)

In a shameful development that will shock anyone who cares about standards in British journalism (sorry, I just lapsed into Mail-speak there) it seems the offending article did not give an entirely accurate representation of the facts, which were instead somewhat distorted to suit the newspaper's prejudices. As one of the protesters said:

"I've read a couple of the [Mail] articles and they've actually misquoted lyrics and the research was so badly done, it was unbelievable."

Perhaps inevitably for a youth culture based on self-pity for nice middle class kids, the protest seems to have been a rather feeble affair (most of the protesters stayed at Marble Arch to ensure that the protest didn't look like too much of a protest). The fact Saturday is the one day of the week no one from the daily paper will be in the offices didn't help, however. As one security guard told the Guardian: "It's a waste of time, there's no one here today. Look at them - they're eating their lunch and their mums are off shopping."

It would doubtless be very wrong of me to speculate about what a half-decent protest outside the Mail's offices would look like – perhaps a baying mob armed with flaming torches and pitchforks and scythes sealing the place off before storming the reception and dragging out several of the paper's senior editors, stringing them up by the heels and burning down the building before Paul Dacre is flayed alive on Kensington High Street - so I'll confine myself instead to the observation that the Mail deserves an infestation of Emos. The whining defensiveness, the boo-hooing at a big nasty, scary world which is unmoved by their anguish and the constant sense that things simply aren't fair characteries both the youth cult and the newspaper.

One shouldn't get too irate at the Mail, however. The most infuriating thing about it is that people buy it – oh and the fact that this success has driven most of the broadsheets to adopt some of their methods (without actually persuading people to buy their papers; I wonder how long it'll be before they twig that people who want to buy the Mail buy the Mail?). However, complaining about it seems pretty futile so long as people are willing to read it.

For the thing about the Mail is, no one likes it: not its hacks (many suffer twinges of conscience, poor loves) and certainly not its readers – it's the first choice for women who like nothing better than its general air of malovolence towards all women, the ideal read for people who affect morality but who enjoy victimising the weak and vulnerable and the very thing for nationalists who hate their country and their fellow citizens. This self-hatred is what drives it – remember hatred is stronger than love, combine that with narcissism and you've really got something there – but it is, as I said, rather Emo-ish.

Their twin misfortune is that their attention-seeking behaviour attracts ridicule, rather than pity.

If they'd asked me for my advice, the Emo kids would have been better off persuading their favourite band to cover that old Irish rebel song: The Man from the Daily Mail.*

* Just to remind us that belligerent stupidity is not just combined to little Englanders, here's a Provo version of the song (and others) from the an armalite in one hand, and an armalite in the other, wing of the republican movement.

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Blogger dominic said...

When you say "most of the broadsheets", you actually mean "The Telegraph", don't you?

4:01 pm  
Blogger bill said...

I actually mean the Telegraph, the Independent and, too a lesser extent, the Guardian.

(I suppose the Times beefing up the content with features and more news is also following the Mail - but that's taking on its better qualities).

4:32 pm  

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