What's coming in 2011?
You ready for a 2011 full of tabloid excess and nastiness? We're off to a good start, with all the papers hammering Chris Jeffries for having blue hair, reading poetry that mentions death and maybe even being gay. Imagine that.
I mean, if you knew these things about a person who'd been arrested and questioned over a murder, you'd probably not give a shit about prejudicing trials or contempt of court or possibly condemning an innocent man to a hellish life being ostracised for a murder he didn't commit or anything like that either. He can't be innocent. He's had blue hair before. He might be gay.*
We've also had the disappearance of a mixed race girl get a fraction of the coverage of the disappearance of the victim in the above case (white and blonde - natch), a Mail hack being told while he was writing a piece that he was wrong finishing and publishing anyway, and the tory papers blocking advertising that was going to point out George Osborne's tax avoidance. Mmmm. Lovely.
This year, I'll be trying out some new stuff to keep things fresh and to keep me interested. I've already kicked off the 5cc tabloid bullshit of the month award, which has proved pretty popular. That'll be carrying on on, so check back on the last Saturday of every month. We might even get a response sooner or later.
I'll also be introducing a monthly in depth look at things, where I'll choose either a common right-wing meme or writings of a popular newspaper columnist/writer to examine to see what's behind it and what makes it tick, and try to make sense of it myself. I might look at Islamification one month and Melanie Phillips the next - although to be honest, they'll probably be the same post. I might even end up reading some Ayn Rand, you never know.
Since my most popular posts by far last year were my review of Richard Littlejohn's 'To Hell In a Handcart' (which makes me wish I'd bloody edited them better), the first one of these will be a look into the columns of the smellyfaced one to see if there's a unifying thread and how much his views have changed over the years. I'll be doing this by reading his three collections of rewritten columns - 'You Couldn't Make it Up', 'Littlejohn's Britain' and 'Littlejohn's House of Fun'. I'll be honest, I might skip some of the songs and shit Only Fools and Horses scenes. Reading the bits where he imagines what coversations might have gone like is also about as comfortable as passing a kidney stone. I can't promise to read all of those either.
So far, I've made it through 'Littlejohn's House of Fun' and found out there is a unifying thread to his newer stuff, it's a bit far fetched and silly, he is fond of repeating himself and - most surprisingly - he does occasionally say something sensible. He just usually ruins it within a matter of pages by saying something else that is either stupid or suggests a spectacular capacity for doublethink. I resisted the urge to Google things to check facts while I was reading the book, but I caved in once. The thing I checked wasn't true. And it was based on something from 2005, two years before the publication of his previous book.
So, that's what's coming. I hope you like it. I'll have learned stuff by the end of the year so it's all in the spirit of self improvement and that. It's not about pointing and laughing at all. Honest.
If you have any suggestions for what writers and memes I should look at, feel free to let me know in the comments. I might draw the bloody line before Delingpole though, so don't push your luck.
*Note to any lawyers. This is irony. I have no idea whether he's guilty or not, and neither do any of the papers that are popping veins straining to lead us to the conclusion that he probably is.