Every time…

I try to take The Indie seriously, and every time it throws a pop-up at me enjoining me to sign up for a VIP membership, this sort of thing brings me down to earth, and closes my wallet: Why speculation over Shawn Mendes’s sexuality must stop right now: ‘Celebrity fauxmances’ have been a running joke since the days of Rock Hudson, but Adam White asks whether it’s time we do better

I don’t know what a ‘fauxmance’ is and I don’t want to know.

Is this a news outlet or something just clambering on to the next trending memetic rubbish for idiots?

Even the most intelligently bereft must know about the huge issues facing us at the moment, from climate change, to Russian interference in Western elections, to Donald Trump and his UK doppelgänger, Boris Johnson.

But certain news outlets don’t care about this; they want us to leave comments on social media about celebs…

Were I not an atheist, I’d be shouting ‘ God help us all!’ into an empty sky.

p.s. I don’t know who Shawn Mendes is either…

Missing the point…

People seem to be leaping to the defense of Marie Kondo, saying that her comments on books were misunderstood or misinterpreted as in: Keep your tidy, spark-joy hands off my book piles, Marie Kondo.

I think they’ve all missed the obvious problem with her fame and reputation though: the fact that she’s making a substantial living at telling adults how to tidy up after themselves.

I don’t care whether its books, coffee cups or lego bricks. When did swathes of adults become so infantilised that they need to follow a Netflix show to understand how to tidy up after themselves and de-clutter their lives?

The ‘system’ has conditioned people into mindless acquisition, and now the system will tell them how to fix the situation (presumably with the aim of getting them to acquire more and then purge – ad infinitum!).

Don’t defend Marie, just ignore her and she’ll go away!

I shouldn’t be surprised…

mariekondox…but you can become famous now for telling people how to tidy up, and Marie Kondo has her own show on Netflix on this very subject. I only became aware of her after Lifehacker posted something about her advice on getting rid of books.

It’s bad enough that people feel the need to watch this sort of thing (and that she probably makes a living at it), but to compound it by telling people to cut down to no more than an arbitrary number of books in their house is puzzling. Perhaps if people had more books, they would be better educated and there would be less call for these sorts of lifestyle gurus to peddle their vacuous nonsense.

 

Monkeyism…

Is there such a thing? In this age where swathes of people seem to take offense at almost anything, I’ve decided to rouse the bee in my own bonnet and talk about the exploitation of primates in advertising

When I was young, we had hugely popular TV ads with chimpanzees advertising a popular brand of tea. They were voiced by actors and were shown in a variety of comical situations – the most popular of which was probably the one in which they are removal men (removal monkeys), trying to get a piano down some stairs.

We now know that training the chimps for their roles took a huge toll on them and ruined their ability to interact properly with their own kind. So, we don’t use chimps in ads anymore, and that’s a jolly good thing. But, our simian cousins are still the lazy ‘go to’ for unimaginative advertisers. I saw this ad on the train the other evening – an orangutan selling audio books.

oznor

I’m not suggesting that any orangs were harmed in the making of the ad – it’s probably just a photoshopped or computer generated. But I’ve chosen to take offense at the exploitation of monkeys (or are they apes?) and to make a plea that we don’t go back to the 1970s and those awful days of exploitative monkeyism?

Anyone for a #MonkeyToo movement?

Flakensteins…

That bastion of progressive and informed thought, The Sun, has shot itself in the foot in its pursuit of ‘snowflake’ students: Snowflake students claim Frankenstein’s monster was ‘misunderstood’ — and is in fact a VICTIM.

Frankenstein1931Karloff

The NewStatesman picked up on the story today, but The Times had made the same error a few days ago (it’s behind a paywall but you get the sense of the article).

Admittedly, I’ve read Frankenstein more times than I can remember, but even on the first reading, your sympathy is with the creature and you soon realise that Victor Frankenstein is indeed the real monster of the story. It’s one of the perverse pleasures of the book – especially if you come to it from having watched the Universal and Hammer movie monsters stomping around and smashing everything. The creature is scorned, misunderstood and tortured, but he learns to read and becomes more articulate, even poetic, in describing his dreadful plight.

Was there ever a gold age when journalists were well-read and educated? It seems now that whatever suits the editorial agenda will do – and I don’t suppose too many Sun readers will bother checking the facts for themselves. If they were concerned with such things, they would read The Sun