FreudHow 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.

Jo CoxAnd 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

5 thoughts on “FAME FATALE

  1. Ah, the Mail! I have a friend with a DM-blocking browser-extension (or summat) installed, preventing temptation. I’m made of weaker stuff…

    A weird experience the other week reading about Patrick Rock (former No.10 advisor) and his conviction for having what some term ‘indecent images’. I’d watched & groaned as the nutters furiously tweeted about the pictures of “child rape” they imagined he had been downloading when the reality was somewhat different: photos that in another context would not be considered indecent at all (and the country where the downloading took place – the USA – did not consider them to be so).

    This is the story I was reading:

    I was genuinely scratching my head at the descriptions when the sidebar of shame caught my eye with a pic I thought might well BE one of them – the first photo in the following article:

    Given that the image is of what appear to be pre-pubescent girls wearing crop-tops, hot-pants & knee-length black leather/PVC boots (posing in make-up), I wondered if Rock wouldn’t have been prosecuted for ‘making’ it if it’d been found in his computer’s cache. Er, or anyone else for that matter. Maybe time to try that browser-extension before the plod come a knockin’!

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  2. And yet, according to Wiki, in 2014 the most visited english-language newspaper web-site in the world was …… the Daily Mail. That hyped hipocrisy combo of dumbed-further-down-than-thought-possible Kardashian side-bar, accompanied by all the house-price, immigrant and diet scare-stories in the body of it, seems to play to the wishes of a huge number of clickers. They can’t all be looking just to be appalled at how bad it is. In the modern media world, it is the lowest common denominator that delivers the clicks that pay the bills.
    We must be in a minority: in fact we certainly are, because we are part of a relatively small group of folk who question what is fed to them, who analyse what they are expected to consume, who wonder what motivation or agenda lies behind every headline or every ‘scandal’.
    We may rant, we may rave, we may rail, but the profile of change I have seen in just one incomplete lifetime suggests that the mass-media’s clear trend away from quality and towards inanity will continue unabated, indeed further accelerated, as the hungry masses apparently have insatiable appetites for what they are about to receive, and that’s what pays the bills.
    As for Cliff and Jo and Clement et al: they’re just passing collateral damage in this indecent descent, where mere mediocrity has already become an unreasonable aspiration.

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    1. The minute it was announced the Independent was going to be online only – and while it may be the first, we all know it won’t be the last – I knew the game was up for smart, clever, gifted writers who have something to say within the newspaper medium. Fleet St seems to be replicating the virus that has afflicted television for the past 20 years, the desperate clamour for viewing figures above any aesthetic aspirations because it’s the only viable way of postponing the inevitable for as long as possible. To be fair, though, Murdoch pioneered that in both mediums at a time when the present was merely a worse case scenario for the future.


      1. Print newspapers are all struggling. It took the ill-timed The New Day just 10 weeks to learn this. The cause has long been obvious: people prefer the ease of ‘Net access. Advertisers have noted this trend, and the online versions of news publications increasingly rely on ad. revenues. Some titles have resorted to online paywalls. The downside of the latter is that readership — and thus the title’s influence — is reduced. The Sun dropped its paywall for exactly that reason. However, as print sales slump, neither ad. revenues nor paywalls are filling the hole in papers’ balance sheets. Hence all the cost-cutting (e.g. no sub-editors; PR copy regurgitated as ‘news’) and click-bait junk.

        Furthermore, online advertising is a known conduit for malware. The sites themselves do not produce/vet the adverts, which are provided by third parties. For this reason, savvy users block adverts. In turn, some sites now refuse to show content if adblockers are detected. Forbes got badly stung by that policy earlier this year. After demanding that ad-blockers be turned off to access its content, it promptly served up ad-hosted malware.

        Whichever way you look at it, it seems that quality journalism from the traditional newspaper titles is a lost cause. Some of us will search out alternative sources but, alas, the majority will not. And the Daily Mail will continue to thrive!

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