The Six O’Clock News: What It Takes to Re-Focus the Media (sort of)

Let’s address the obvious first and foremost and take a moment to appreciate what journalists are doing in certain parts of the world at the moment. While the tabloids are going crazy over Cara Delevigne’s holiday with Selena Gomez, there are people from across the globe who are quite literally the front line of communications in areas where for various reasons events can’t be broadcast to the world as easily as the weather bulletin. Not that the world seems to be listening most days anyway – James Foley is the tenth journalist to be killed in Syria so far this year and the 44th to be killed worldwide, yet the Syrian civil war isn’t even on the main news most days.

So since it’s taken the brutal beheading of a journalist to draw the West’s attention to the shithole that is current middle eastern politics, let’s have a look at how the West’s covered it so far.

Actual Broadcasters

Not long after the news of James Foley’s death broke, James Kirkup over at The Telegraph pointed out that people calling the murder an “execution” are linguistically wrong; execution occurs as a punishment and the only crime that’s been committed has been the murder of a journalist by a group of people who call themselves a state but actually have zero legitimacy. IS isn’t a geographical piece of land with boarders and a government. It does not have the consent of its citizens. It doesn’t actually have any citizens (has anyone actually come across somebody endorsing the things they do? So far every piece of commentary I’ve seen, from all areas of the political and religious spectrum, has condemned IS as a total piece of shit).

The BBC has a nice page dedicated to explaining all that’s going down in Iraq – I had a look at an article about what happened to al-Qaeda (they’re a bit old-fashioned according to modern, hip Islamists) and it has lots of links explaining all the different varieties of ‘violent Islamic extremists’ that are currently besmirching the good people of the Muslim faith.

Shit Broadcasters

The Mail did actually run a story in which there may be some actual reporting, but I couldn’t finish it because I got distracted by the sheer number of scantily dressed women in the sidebar. Well, I know what I’ll add to this site if I ever want to put you off a post…

Conspiracy Theorists

Yep, some people genuinely think the video was faked. The commentators on this mildly depressing Reddit thread cite “zero emotion”, “no blood” and the video’s “fade to black” as reasons why the CIA/IS/US government faked the entire thing. None of those things can have anything to do with the fact that Foley was an experienced journalist who knew he was going to die and had worked in enough war zones to accept the risks… or the probability that the IS guys know their way around iMovie, especially since many of them are from the West.

Social Media

I was quite surprised, both when his name was a trending topic and on a general search just now, that most Twitter commentary has been pretty decent; most people have expressed their disgust at the whole situation. That said, Twitter’s been getting better at preventing total pillocks from airing their ignorance, so maybe we just can’t see the bullshit.

All right, I’ve depressed myself enough for one day. I almost titled this What It Takes for the Media to Give a Shit About Syria but I thought it was a bit too Vice. Any thoughts on the whole rigmarole?

The Eleven O’Clock News: TV Reviews Are Funny (and so is the fact that this took ten hours to make)

This is so not-at-six-o’clock because every time I went near anything Sherlock-based online I either tried to lift everything from Sherlockology for The Webways or sat watching Benedict Cumberbatch interviews.

Hardest name I’ve ever had to type.

Very interesting in interview.

Anyway, I had so much fun reading reviews that I decided to highlight them instead of just a round-up. Television reviews are a weird and wacky type of writing… the hyperbole and metaphors are like how I imagine Fifty Shades to be.

The Guardian

Guardian1

Guardian2

Den of Geek

I had never previously heard of Dan of Geek but I might go back to see if all the language is as… bright.

DanOfGeek1

DanOfGeek2

DanOfGeek3

The Daily Mail

Here we go.

Mail1

Mail2

Mail3

Mail4

You’re welcome. Now I’m completely excited for Sunday night (best man speech!) and dreading Monday (school! With a day spent  not homeworking but on a fansite or watching the shitty Percy Jackson film! Not you, pre-Charlie Logan. The screenplay. If actual Annabeth could see film Annabeth she’d launch into some moves with her knife. Ugh).

I would also like someone to give Mark Gatiss an award for publically complaining about Les Mis. Holy shit I thought I was one of maybe five people who can’t cope with the child death and utter lack of hope. Or not if you’re a theist/character, but whatever. Happy Friday.

The Ten O’Clock News: an Article About Some Articles About a Certain YouTube Video About… oh you get the picture my eyes have gone fuzzy.

I would have talked about Nelson Mandela if I hadn’t been planning this post all week – I might do one next week when the dust has settled a bit and I no longer want to cry when I watch the news.

Anyway.

You guys didn’t just think I’d let a prominent sportsperson come out on YouTube and not take the piss out of get angry at investigate the media’s response, did you?

Bit of back story: I first read the news on the BBC app on Monday morning and kept smiling stupidly whenever I thought of it, because the way the article worded it was all cute… then it hit social media and everyone else started chatting, then it was on the six o’clock news and I was simultaneously delighted and disgusted that someone getting a boyfriend is newsworthy, then I went online and found some good responses.

By ‘good’ I mean ‘contains lots of points for discussion’.

Tom Daley’s ‘brave’ announcement should not matter – but it does

Hole in one, BBC Sport. I knew that being queer in sport simply isn’t done, I guess because most sports are traditionally “masculine” and all that bullshit, but I had no idea that it was such a taboo. Apparently “3%” people are gay (my thinking is that a lot more are queer?), so 120 out of the 4,000 members of the Football Association are. Extrapolate the figures to something like the Olympics and that’s a shitload of people. The article reckons that there were “10 openly gay athletes out of 10,000 at the 2008 Games”, which says a lot about global views. Acceptance and rights have improved in recent years, especially on a local level, but there’s a lot of work to be done before it’s okay for people’s sexuality to be so irrelevant that the world stage – and the inter-state athletics associations – doesn’t care.

Diving puns: 1. I also read “humble tumbler” as some sort of Tumblr icon as a tumbleweed.

Inductive leap from announcement that a guy’s dating another guy to the guy’s being gay: automatic.

Tom Daley is the most significant British sportsman to come out

… ah, but only because he’s so cute. No really, Daily Telegraph, what is up with these assumptions? The “dramatic pause before the big reveal” demonstrating “that Daley is a member of the X Factor generation” might be there because he’d like half a second to contemplate and deal with the huge fucking way his life will change after saying his next sentence. I also take issue with the sweeping statement that I am of a generation defined by a talent(less) ITV show.

The bit about John Amaechi is interesting – what’s up with team sports being homophobic? Is it because in sports like American football, there’s a certain amount of touching involved and some people can’t take it? Don’t flatter yourselves, people.

Diving puns: 0.

Inductive leap from announcement that a guy’s dating another guy to the guy’s being gay: automatic.

While we’re on the subject of The Telegraph, I read this and was going to go on a “oh hey here’s another journalist twisting the story to bemoan their own coming out, this guy doesn’t even know what it’s like being a professional athlete, how tabloid-dramatic,” when the penny dropped that the writer, Gareth Thomas, is a gay man who used to play rugby for Wales. He’s mentioned in the BBC Sport article. Let that be a lesson in context!

We shouldn’t rush to define Tom Daley’s sexuality

I don’t tend to read The Guardian much because it seems quite pretentious quite a lot, especially in some columns (actually most columnists do my head in, but that’s for another day). But this article sums up my feeling about the whole media circus perfectly. A lot of broadcasters have struggled to use the right definition, in part probably through ignorance of the sexuality spectrum, and in part because absolutely nowhere in the video are the words “I’m [insert sexuality definition here].” I interpret “I’m with a guy but I fancy girls” as ‘queer’ – being ‘not straight’ and way easier to understand and spell than a lot of those acronyms floating around, but it looks like there still needs to be a lot of work done in regards to educating people about definitions?

Diving puns: 0.

Inductive leap from announcement that a guy’s dating another guy to the guy’s being gay: nonononono (to be said like in The Vicar of Dibley.)

I know Tom Daley is an admirable chap but I can’t help feeling a little manipulated

Have I ever mentioned that I don’t like the Daily Mail? Well, I found this article and decided a paragraph just… wasn’t enough.

'Mail' Commentary 1

'Mail' Commentary 2

  Let me know if I should prepare for a court case!

 

A Moment of Holden Caulfield-Inspired Newspaper-Founded Moaning

This article is an interesting read, whether you’re a Government and Politics student or not.

Okay, it’s mostly interesting if you’re a Politics student. Especially if, like me, you’ve had a teacher who taught the political parties topic with enough scepticism and class discussion that the students made up their own mind about which party is better.

Or rather, which party was better, since these days they’re all kind of centre-ish and led by middle-aged white men.

Anyway, no offence to the journalist’s peers, but if they let an exam board influence their political views, they are not good politics students people. I’ve not noticed that Edexcel is biased against Tories (and trust me, my class was about 97% Conservative last September, and if anyone’s going to pounce on exam boards’ biases, it’s going to be my Politics class). I’ll keep an eye out if I get back on the course next year though. Maybe write a nice letter to the people at Edexcel, and mention everything else idiotic they’ve done while I’m at it.

I’m getting off-track and angry about the wrong thing for a change. Incidentally, I’ve never met anyone who hasn’t indulged in a bit of break time Gove-bashing, Labour-member or not. Ah ha, concentrate on bashing journalists, Francesca.

Which brings me to this. It’s a Daily effing Mail piece about how Jane Austen doesn’t deserve to be on banknotes because she died a virgin and was obsessed with money or something. Apparently Austen was “boring, nasty and superficial”… sounds like a certain tabloid-based brand of toilet paper.

You know what, if I was going to write fiction for a living, I’d go into journalism. I really would.

10 Years, 10 Days: Warning: Irritant

You can’t be in the most dangerous band in the world and make everybody happy.

My Chem Wants Everyone to Kill Themselves

It’s quite tempting to not even link the offending articles that The Daily Mail had the audacity to call journalism – but unlike the rest of the British press, I have sources to support my argument. The Sarah Sands article in 2006 – before Parade came out – that, I believe, started it all. Then there’s the immensely sad story of a thirteen-year-old girl hanging herself that got blown way out of proportion by The Mail and, possibly, The Sun (I ain’t gracing their website with my presence to find the article, sorry). My heart goes out to the girl’s family – but if she believed killing herself was what the band wanted, she’d been exposed to ignorant teenagers, not a motherfucking suicide cult. Or the actual band. Anyway; an ignorant Mail reader’s reaction that I stumbled upon a few years ago and is good to yell atMy Chem’s reaction. The MCRmy’s reaction.

Glee

Having heard other cover versions, I can honestly say that Glee‘s cover of SING was far better than it could have been (although I have no idea why they were dressed like Scottish farmers). Glenn Beck had something to say. Then Frank and Ray did on Twitter (scroll down their timelines to find the insults if you want, I have school tomorrow). Then I did too. Then Gerard did what he does best by drawing a cartoon and reminding everyone that the point is to piss people off.

Reading and Leeds

One of the best shows ever. The shows that were better than that.

This is what happens when you Google ‘Why do people hate My Chemical Romance’.

There are actually some valid comments, considering the commenters’ ignorance. To the casual listener – and the rest of us, actually – some songs are overplayed. There is a large emphasis on death in the earlier work – just not in a negative way, an observant one. They did used to wear an awful lot of black, and it isn’t the happiest colour around. The guys didn’t set out to be rockstars, but this doesn’t mean they’re ungrateful, it just means they aren’t tabloid whores in it for the money.

This is my favourite part of an answer:

  …and finally they are completely about the look, just think if my chemical romance got a tan, a non emo hair cut, and started wearing a t-shirt and jeans do you think any of their fans would buy one of their cd’s or go see them in concert…

I salute your reasoning and respect your opinion. Your ignorance makes you wrong, and your lack of grammar makes you inarticulate, but I hear you.

Well, This Has Been an Interesting Day Off.

“Don’t let her marry a Greek, will you?”

These are the wise words offered to my dad by my nan, about me, just as Will and Kate got married. At least, I think it was. I did rather have trouble paying attention after a while. Although the Archbishop – NOT THE POPE, ISOBEL, NOT THE POPE – and his crew were quite funny to watch, especially when the Archbishop stuck his hat back on. Harry is also hilarious, don’t you think? I was waiting for him to start pulling the moves ‘he’ did on the T-Mobile advert.

Also, Eugenie looked a bit like a moose in her hat. Sorry, love. Wear a better one at Harry and Pippa’s wedding, yeah?

Anyway, enough with all this wishy-washy wedding lark, on to some serious shit. In fact, it is so serious, I have to capitalise it: Serious Shit. This blog is called Indifferent Ignorance, but unless I’m discussing school, I don’t often get to talk about people with true indifferent ignorance. However, today I have found one. His name is Glenn Beck and I have to say, I agree with Frank. Of course SING is full of propaganda aimed at today’s youth, Mr. Beck. Next time you bash My Chemical Romance, get their fucking lyrics right. The same song hasn’t raised a load of money for the people of Japan, or anything. The band isn’t credited with saving lives or having one of the strongest and most loyal fanbases in the music industry. My Chem, obviously, are trying to form a cult and zap our brains.

Dude, you are four years too late, the Daily Mail got there first (hell yes, today is all about Britain).

Talking of Frank, here is a transcript of a conversation from today:

Me [to Isobel]: How’re Frank and Pansy?

Isobel: They’re good thanks. I need to clean them out.

Elizabeth [to no one in particular]: What?

Frank and Pansy, for those of you who don’t know, are Isobel’s pet fish. Frank, obviously, is named after me. Sadly, whenever I brought this up today, I got threatened with goat testicles.

Yes, you did read that right. My dad and brother went to Greece for ten days this easter, and as well as bringing back to usual olive oil, feta cheese and weird sweets (which I would have been perfectly happy with, efharisto) they also brought home a pair of goat testicles. They are so gross I can’t even bring myself to touch them, so Isobel’s new favourite threat is, “Be nice, Frank, or we’ll get the testicles out.”

The girls played catch with them. Arghhhh.

Mum handing me the testicles and then telling me what they are wasn’t the biggest surprise of the day, however. It turns out that I laugh like Janice in Friends.

Janice.

Oh my God (damn, I’m doing it again). I can never laugh again. Ever.

EVER.

Apparently I do a little dance as well.

EVER.

By the way, I really hope Will and Kate dress any new little royals in this. I mean, I’m tempted to have kids just to dress them in MCR merch, so…

**UPDATE** 01/05/11

It turns out Gerard agrees with Frank and I too.

I Am Productive and Shall Prove It: Part 1

It’s nearly time to return to our separate institutions of hell, in order to gain qualifications that will become irrelevant as soon as a new exam board is introduced, denouncing us all uneducated. However, the Easter holiday (or spring break, as I know some politically correct people like to call it) isn’t over yet. There is still time for me to bore you with a list of ‘top’ things I have encountered over the past fortnight.

Best Headline, courtesy of the Daily Mail

  I can’t actually remember the rest of the headline, and I didn’t read the story since it would contain 0.001% fact, but I’m pretty sure that if Dr. D had killed himself, Steve would have posted it on Twitter.

Most Pain Felt in the Space of Five Minutes

  Me, getting a second ear-piercing. This was the third time I’ve had a needle stuck through my ear lobes, and my palms still sweated. My excuse is my abysmally low pain threshold, but I suspect the slang term is ‘pansy’.

  I swear to you, two weeks ago my ear was this colour.

Most Unfair Easter Present

  Maxim won ten pounds on a lottery ticket my aunt gave him. Easter is supposed to be about Jesus getting killed and then coming back all God-like, not gambling! No surprise my mum started the trend last year, then…

Stupidest Saturday Night Game

  If a My Chem song got in the top three of Kerrang! Rock 100, I got £10. If they didn’t, Maxim did. Black Parade got four and Not Okay two, so we called it quits – but we watched Doctor Who in between songs four and two, when I tried to bet £15 that Not Okay or Na Na would be number one. I must have some good karma hanging around, because Maxim refused.

Best Question Reply: Mikey Way

“I would call us rock and roll. Some people would dispute that, and those people are wrong.”

 Part 2 will be posted just as soon as I’ve worked out how to turn a Twitter conversation the right way up.