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Feb. 15th, 2006

If, like me, you are fuming at the very existence of the Daily Oirish Mail, then this* should amuse you.

The DM is bad enough, but the fact that a paper which has devoted miles of column inches to appalling anti-Irish bigotry over the years has the sheer cheek to try and get money out of us for their repugnant rag is even worse. It's as bad as that telly ad for the Daily Express which features a just-married couple saying "we stand for traditional values" and a 2.4 kids perfect family declaring that they stand for "good clean fun" and other squeaky-clean people announcing all their allegiance to some sort of repugnant, sexless, witless, charmless middle England. They even have a token black bloke so they can say "look, we're not REALLY revoltingly racist! See, we allowed this coloured chap in our ad! And isn't he dignified, and doesn't he speak nicely?" Fuckers.

*From here


Feb. 16th, 2006 01:02 pm (UTC)
Oh God yes, I agree that the Dignified thing is a huge trope in discussions of black public figures. I just don't think that's part of the message here. The Dignified thing is all about someone being a leader of some sort, exceptional and admirable, whereas I think in this advert it's just a "look, even a black guy can be an ordinary suburban bloke, just like you" thing. Unless I'm thinking of a totally different advert, but from what I remember, there wasn't any emphasis on dignity, just ordinariness.

Ha, I love the idea that you can emphasise ordinariness.

Richard Littlejohn's an interesting one - I mean, on the one hand, of course the Mail publishes him and he's one of their figurehead columnists. On the other hand, isn't the very nature of a columnist the fact that their views are at a slight distance from the paper's editorial policy? The Guardian, after all, isn't quite Polly Toynbee or Zoe Williams or Timothy Garton Ash: it's somewhere between the three. So by publishing Richard Littlejohn, the Mail gets the dual thing of the credit of publishing such admirably "outspoken" views in the teeth of the Guardian's disapproval, but doesn't actually have to own his politics.

And yes, I was oversimpliflying the acceptability of local councils celebrating non-Christian festivals. Complete non-issue in some parts of the country, hugely controversial in others. So again, a tricky line for the Mail because they have to attract readers from both.


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