Saturday, November 01, 2008

The age of infantilism?

Like its Sun cousin, for decades the Daily Mail has been an integral part of the problem, scoffing indignation while preying on the weak and thriving in a sea of triviality and populism. Its hypocrisy is sickening.

Picture the scene. The guy sitting next to you at school is rambling on against the bullies' unacceptable behaviour. "Something needs to be done", you hear him saying. Then in comes this gangly lad, looking all nerdy and fearful. The guy sitting next to you gets up on his feet and throws a pencil sharpener at him: "Oi! Lanky! Gimme a coupla quid!"

The Daily Mail reminds me exactly of that. Their hypocrisy is unbelievable and it would be a laugh if it wasn't for the influence the tabloid exerts on British public opinion. For days they've been cashing in on risque' images of Andrew Sachs' grandaughter. They were the first paper in the country happy to publish a bunch of rauchy photos as visual evidence of the young woman's parallel career as a burlesque dancer. Today, instead, they're picking on her. Amanda Platell is hurling all the spite she's got, writing that [Georgina] "typifies the new female vulgarians", and adding that: "'Mistress Voluptua' is symptomatic of the degradation of standards in society".

If that wasn't enough, today in the Mail there's also the article by Allison Pearson: "[O]n the age of infantilism: Why the BBC has been too scared to pull the plug on Jonathan Ross's 'edgy comedy'". The writer makes a couple of good points, comparing Ross and Brand's behaviour to that of overgrown lads indulging in sexist banter safe in the knowledge the BBC would forever pamper them. It's also good to read -at last- about the BBC's cringeworthy obsession with appearing "young'n'urban", often resembling a midlife crisis dad asking his son and his mates: "High five guys, which choones do you dig these days, eh?"

However, when the Daily Mail lectures us about infantilism you can't help but retch. If you get Pearson's article online and look on the right hand side of the screen, you get, in succession: "Healthy Amy piles on the pounds", about Amy Winehouse looking fatter; "The Woossy Horror Show" about the devil himself, Jonathan Ross and his Halloween party with fellow celebrities; and then more pap about "plain" and "blotchy" Kate Moss getting the Vogue airbrush treatment, "the return of Pinkie 'n' Perkie" and so forth... What was it about the decline of Britain's moral fabric and its increasing infantilisation?

In short, like its mates at the Sun, for decades the Daily Mail has been an integral part of the problem, scoffing indignation while thriving in a sea of triviality and populism. And, lest we forget, for years they made a fortune out of preying on the weak - their anti-gay tirades (culminating with their relentless backing of homophobic Section 28) a mere example.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

BUt you see,
if there's one thing Russell Brand got right, it was his reference to the Daily Mail siding for the Nazis in the 1930s.

Today's Mail is obviously not Nazi, but it's as right wing as the British mainstream can allow. Very right wing.
Bigoted and wrong

Tessa

Hilary said...

If you wish to resort to painfully tedious commentary on contemporary media, try presenting a eulogy to the works of Studs Terkel, an interesting documentarian of working-class life, rather than this trite, prosaic, half-arsed ball-baggery.

Johnny Taronja said...

Studs Terkel is virtually unknown to people this side of the Atlantic. It's like asking you Yanks to read and write about Arthur Scargill...you wouldn't know where to begin.

Painfully tedious? Do you go round other people's houses saying that the furniture looks naff? Do you then diss the food you're offered? Manners, my nan taught me, Manners...my dear Hil(l)ary

Prestonshire said...

Johnny,
don't worry.
So many people talk right out of their backside, especially online.