How is one to know which way to go? The Daily Mail is expressing shock and outrage where some dead celebrity’s past private life is concerned again, but as I share that shock and outrage – as I surely must – its online sidebar of shame is titillating me with words and pictures that contradict this shock and outrage. Apparently famous names I’m supposed to be interested in are being lionised as role models, yet are living lives that would appear to echo ‘the dissolute, libidinous path’ that the Freud family allegedly followed. I don’t know the right way to react. Condemn the past and condone the present when both are presented as morally-dubious, yet one is bad and one is good? Is that what I’m supposed to do? Please, Mr Dacre, tell me!
Sexy mini-dresses – eye-popping, braless and cleavage-baring; thigh-high boots and endless legs; slender frames, low-cut dresses, see-through dresses, gym-toned bodies, busty bodies. What is a man to do when confronted by these words over and over again? Perhaps take the Lucien Freud route? He ‘womanised on an industrial scale’ and it was ‘rumoured he had up to 40 children’; but that was wrong, wasn’t it? Or was it? If one of these sidebar heroes or heroines did so, would that constitute ‘a depraved scene’, which we must now refer to the late Clement Freud’s open marriage as? Mrs Freud supposedly seduced the brother of Will Self, the ‘oh-so opinionated fashionable writer and commentator’ as the Mail describes him without the hint of a sneer. That’s wrong, isn’t it? Or doesn’t that count if, say, the seducer was Kim Kardashian and the seduced was a star of ‘Geordie Shore’? The article about the Freud family is telling me one thing and the sidebar of shame is telling me something else.
Maybe if people who are dead and/or Jewish, who were intelligent, literate, witty and multi-talented and sired a successful (not to say envied) media dynasty enjoyed an unconventional sex life, that’s wrong; but if they’re thick, witless, narcissistic, Synth-faced twenty-first century sluts who measure their worth by the amount of ‘likes’ and re-tweets their selfies attract, it’s permissible. Have I got that right? It’s so hard to know when to unleash the outrage and when to conserve it.
Thanks to the Mail, however, I now know with absolute certainty that a man who was ‘larger than life’ and ‘one of the most popular and enduring figures in broadcasting and public life’ who wasn’t Jimmy Savile (despite Sir Jim receiving two honourable mentions in the hatchet job on Clement Freud, just so we know which ballpark we’re in) was actually someone who ‘groomed and abused’ one particular underage victim of his insatiable sexual appetite and ‘there could be thousands more’. Cooking, writing, gambling, ‘Just a Minute’, dog food commercials and being a Member of Parliament wouldn’t, one imagines, leave much time for sexually abusing thousands. The work-rate of past Paedos astounds me. Even current ones must cram a hell of a lot into a day – Get up, abuse a minor, wash & shave, abuse a minor, breakfast, abuse a minor, go to work, abuse a minor, get home, abuse a minor, dine, abuse a minor, go to bed, abuse a minor. Is that how it works? If one’s abuse list constitutes thousands, I guess so.
Of course, Sir Cliff Richard didn’t do that; thanks to that mighty bastion of financial thrift and cautious custodian of public funds the CPS, we have finally received confirmation he’s most definitely a non-Paedo, so we can’t add him to the list – probably because he’s still alive. Mind you, what with the stress and strain of living under a cloud of suspicion for a year or so, his health has probably suffered to the point whereby we won’t have too long to wait before the bachelor boy snuffs it and all the thousands he didn’t abuse can safely come forward and make appearances on what pass for documentaries on ITV. I’m so grateful the Daily Mail is there to guide me through the bewildering moral maze of the modern world. Without it, making moral judgements would be so much more of a minefield than the sidebar of shame already paints it as. God forbid that I might get mixed-up and inadvertently praise a deceased polymath and accidentally criticise a rash of illiterate hideous whores and freak-show afterbirths I’m meant to be fascinated by.
And then there’s the Daily Star; never masquerading as smart, proud to be dumb, and happy with its place as the idiot offspring of Fleet Street. Its headline today included the words ‘Brexit Gunman’ when describing the killer of MP Jo Cox. A bit like the Mail delivering its in-house judge, jury and executioner verdict on Clement Freud, the Star decided an unconfirmed cry in support of the far-right thug collective Britain First on the part of the 41-year-old MP’s murderer was enough to summarise his political stance on the EU Referendum, as though that has any remote relevance.
The precise facts surrounding the events that left two young children without a mother have not yet been compiled, so speculation and rumour currently occupy the void. I suspect the casualty of Care in the Community who shot and stabbed a well-liked Westminster newcomer in her constituency probably didn’t even know who she was. If he did, however, his actions were the most extreme example of the chic hatred of politicians that has recently received TV exposure via the constant emphasis of letting the public have its say on Referendum debates, shouting over the replies to their questions and earning themselves their fifteen minutes of Twittersphere fame.
Let’s be frank – Geldof and Farage’s hi-jinks on the Thames not withstanding, it’s been a pretty bloody grim week all round. We could do with a laugh, whether or not we’re allowed to laugh anymore…
© The Editor