Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Come back, @stephenfry! We can be the antichrist together

The Twitter world is buzzing. Literally. If there were a bright blue, scarily interactive planet gracing our solar system, it would have gone from a steady spin with a few minor bumps (Trafigura, Cheryl Cole, election debates, etc.) to a full-blown, gravity defying bounce that hasn't stopped for days.

Why? The king is dead. Well, maybe not dead, just 'no longer active'. Twitter is braced for a coup, but what was it that prompted Stephen Fry's sudden abandonment of his favourite form of mass communication?

Well tweetie pies, we did it. Yes, you and I, through our constant following, our shameless @replies and our traitorous re-tweets of a certain broadsheet which in a surprising Sun-like manner has taken immense pleasure in slating the reputation of the man it once heralded as our very own “national treasure”.

The backlash follows an article by the Guardian focussing on a couple of quotes lifted from an interview Fry gave Attitude magazine. Not only were they evidently taken completely out of context, but the headline was cleverly phrased to create this social media frenzy. In an effort to justify its allegation that Fry had “shocked feminists”, the Guardian quoted two women, whose condemnation of the comments was lukewarm at best.

Fry's penultimate tweet “So some fucking paper misquotes a humorous interview I gave, which itself misquoted me and now I'm the Antichrist. I give up”, is a clear indication of how frustrating these situations can be.

I recently wrote a comment piece, clearly marked as comment by a giant title on the top of the page, a cartoon byline and a first-person narrative that reads like an unsubbed diary entry. It is perhaps unfortunate that my view on what constitutes “writing to be proud of” differs drastically from that of the editor-in-chief of this minor publication. However, I complied and wrote a lovely little tongue-in-cheek rant entitled “Why I hate blondes” (please find full piece copied below).

I have now uninstalled the Facebook app on my phone because the endless flashing of messages from people telling me what a terrible person I am was overwhelming. My personal favourite has to be: “vrey professional!! well done!!! im not surprised that all your boyfrends ran away from you, smart ass, to stupid blondes! Hahahahaha)))))” [sic], followed up that evening by: “have nothing to answer? u re a shit journalist then!”.

I thought my article was pointless and silly, but this young lady just proved me wrong. The editor had clearly pinpointed our readers to perfection.

I think a thick skin is the first requirement for a career in journalism. Offending people and receiving copious insults in every form of communication possible has to be completely irrelevant to your work. Stephen Fry has been doing this for a lot longer than I have though, and it looks like he's had enough.

His final “bye, bye” tweet has caused the mourning of millions, but he cannot stay away for long. Just as I will continue to write articles madmouthing any section of society I deem deserving of my scathing words, Stephen Fry will be tweeting again by Friday. I guarantee it.

[as published in the River, 30th Obctober 2010]

I hate blonde girls. Generally, I hate them in all shapes and sizes. Tall, short, fat, thin, mediumly chubby. Dirty blonde, platinum blonde, strawberry blonde, or my personal favourite hate toy: the natural blonde.

There are studies suggesting that blondes are a mutation, and men find them attractive because they are less common than brunettes (whoever came up with that had obviously never been to Oceana on a Wednesday night). Other, more Freudian theories conclude that men are born natural paedophiles and get turned on by traits which remind them of small children.

Either way, they piss me off. Especially the self-righteous ones. You know what I’m talking about, the ones that drown their brain cells in peroxide and then bang on about “stereotyping”. The best laugh I’ve had all week was when a facebook friend posted a status update about the woes of the blonde. And mis-spelled “cliché”.

I could go into long and personal detail about my experiences with blondes. There were the ones that the teachers always liked better in primary school, the popular ones who laughed at my outfits in college, the blue-eyed skinny ones that stole my boyfriends repeatedly... the list goes on.

But the most questionable I think is the “I’m-blonde-and-gorgeous-and-I-want-everyone-to-see-me-naked-but-don’t-judge-me” ones. Lingerie model Rachel Rigby-Jones proudly told the River that she is happy to have sugar daddies who will provide her with the princess lifestyle she has always wanted. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry,

A degree in Business, a pilot’s licence and another degree on the way and her best shot at a career is posing naked on the cover of one of the least classy of lads’ mags. It almost makes me want to burn my bras and worship the ground Germaine Greer walks on. Almost.

I am not a feminist. I’ll prove that by not even mentioning the women’s rights movement, the right to vote, the media sexualisation of women, or the rising numbers of female eating disorders in the UK. But if the best we can do for male attention is dye ourselves into some resemblance of either a pre-historic mutation or a snotty toddler, perhaps it’s the boys that need to re-think their priorities.

You know what? I don’t even think I want to justify it further. I just hate blondes – no explanation needed. Burn them at the stake, I say. Who’s with me?