Jul

13

By nightowl

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Categories: The DM Strikes Again

One little word makes all the difference

Newsflash: according to the Daily Mail, Serena Williams is a zombie.

No, really – I did a screen capture in case they correct their headline:

Oh, she nearly died then. I did think it might be a bit tricky to play tennis after you’re dead, but what do I know?

Jan

9

By nightowl

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Categories: The DM Strikes Again

Am I asking for the moon on a stick?

Jennifer Lawrence does something silly for attention. OK, must be Tuesday.

The DM then feels the need to refer to the Oscar-winning Lawrence – one of the highest-paid actresses in the world – as “the 27-year-old starlet”.

From the Collins dictionary:

A starlet is a young actress who is expected to become a film star in the future.

What the hell does it take?

This one just graduated to “serious actress”. Keep up the good work!

May

24

By nightowl

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Categories: The DM Strikes Again

Gypsies vs. Gays: a very DM dilemma

Oh dear, poor DM. What can you do when you have to report on a story where both parties are people you loathe?

Unfit biological parents have the sheer nerve to complain about adoptive family

Out of curiosity, I typed “gypsies” into the DM search engine and got 134 results; they’re obviously not afraid of using the word. And yet this particular gypsy family is only described as “Catholic”; you will notice that nowhere in this article are they referred to as gypsies, only Roma. How unusually respectful for the DM; I wonder why…

Oh wait. Could it be that the gypsies are up against a gay couple, the DM’s other bête noire? So the gypsies get given a varnish of Christian respectability (or so the DM thinks) because hey, they may be terrible parents and probably thieves, but at least they’re not filthy sodomites!

Thank the Lord for small mercies and all that.

Aug

23

By nightowl

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Categories: The DM Strikes Again

Three of the stupidest words in the English language

“Promoting gay lifestyles”

Why am I still reading this sad, miserable, squashed rag?

*sigh* here we go again. Point-by-point rebuttal alert! This is your last chance to turn around and run for the hills!

“But some gays, it seems, still feel they are the victims of discrimination.”

Oh, they feel that, do they? What an unfortunate statement to make today, of all days. And that’s only a very mild discrimination story, I could find much worse ones without looking too hard.

“Meanwhile Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, has circulated an email in which he announces a new series of training events for staff in primary and secondary schools this autumn ‘to equip teachers with the tools and confidence to tackle homosexual bullying’.

In fact, there’s no evidence of any homosexuals being bullied at any of these schools.”

You poor, naive man. Most bullying is invisible and/or ignored, even when the school has a self-proclaimed “anti-bullying policy”. There have been many cases of parents having to take their bullied child (for whatever reason) out of school, either because no one cared or because addressing the problem would have made the school look bad. The last thing an anti-bullying policy is supposed to do is unearth some bullying, because that would be awkward.

So please don’t say smugly “there’s no evidence, therefore it’s not happening” as this statement is truly laughable. An ostrich would be proud.

“None of these schools appears to be demonising homosexuals. Grace Academy, which runs schools with a Christian ethos in Coventry, Solihull and Darlaston in the West Midlands, is quoted by The Independent newspaper as saying: ‘The governing body will not permit the promotion of homosexuality.’”

Has anyone noticed that none of those people who go on about ‘promoting homosexuality’ ever explain what the hell that means? Because I for one would love to know.

Is it acknowledging that there are gay people in the world?

Is it mentioning homosexuality, in so many words, in public places?

Is it telling young people that no, they won’t go to hell for being gay, don’t be silly?

Is it allowing gay people to do, y’know, gay things, without putting them in jail?

What?

Because all these things seem pretty normal to me. Replace the word ‘gay’ with ‘straight’ and ‘homosexuality’ with ‘heterosexuality’ in the above sentences and tell me, who would bat an eyelid?

This man destroyed a generation.

This man destroyed a generation. Apparently.

“Not one school cited by campaigners denounces homosexuality, or suggests that gays are in any way reprehensible. They simply do not want to promote it on an equal basis with heterosexuality.”

Right. And yet he says…

“Most of us, I think, would abhor any educational establishment that encouraged its pupils to discriminate against homosexuals, or any other social group. Apart from being morally objectionable, such an approach would break a number of laws.”

So the overall message, I think, is “Listen, gay people: there’s nothing wrong with being gay – nothing whatsoever – but it’s still not as good as being straight.”

I am distinctly unimpressed. That’s what happens when you try to make an illogical argument sound logical: a severe case of cognitive dissonance.

“But shouldn’t parents who have reservations about the promotion of homosexuality on equal terms with heterosexuality be free to send their children to schools where their views are reflected, as well as respected?”

Is this a genuine question? Because my answer is a resounding NO. Parents should be prevented from filling their children’s heads with bullshit as much as possible. At worst it might stop the child from growing into an balanced, open-minded adult and at best, for all the unpleasantness it causes, it’s often a total waste of time and energy.

Case in point: I had a Catholic upbringing and a strongly homophobic father.

I know, right? I’m still wiping tears of laughter myself.

“Nonetheless, all things being equal, they would probably be happier if their children turned to be straight rather than gay.”

Then they are morons who don’t deserve their children. It’s that simple. Of course there are people out there who openly say “I hope my unborn kid isn’t ginger”, so never underestimate just how stupid mankind can be.

Out of interest, what is the point of starting this sentence with “All things being equal” when, according to you, they patently are not? Might as well have started with “I’m not a bigot, but…”

“Don’t such people have a right to influence their children’s values according to their own beliefs and consciences (…)?”

No! Absolutely not! I vomit on people who think it’s their right to indoctrinate their children!

Look, it’s very simple: either a kid turns out to be straight, or they turns out to be gay. There is nothing parents can do about it. There is nothing to promote.

If your kid is straight, gay people and things have no relevance whatsoever to their life, so why bother teach them to hate those people and things? You might as well teach them to hate Uzbek underwater basket-weaving.

If your kid is gay, you’ve just taught them to hate themselves. And you’ve also taught them that you hate them. Result. Be proud. One family ruined. Check!

“Gays should be free to live and work and play just as non-gays are (…)”

Why thank you, kind sir. You’re too good, you really are. I’m sure ‘gays’ (nobody says ‘straights’, do they?) are queueing up to kiss your feet as I speak, just look out of the window and see if I’m wrong.

“(…) and it is a credit to our society that at last they are able to do so.”

That’s no thanks to you though, is it? Please don’t take credit for what was achieved by people you despise and almost certainly opposed at every turn. It makes you look pathetic.

“They have been abominably treated in the past, and perhaps a few of them still are.”

I bet typing this was a real struggle. Did you have to go and lie down afterwards?

“But those gays and non-gays who believe in freedom of conscience should defend the rights of their fellow citizens so long as their own rights are not threatened.”

# Aux aaaarmes, citoyens! #

# Aux aaaarmes, citoyens! #

Oh wait, wrong country.

“But prejudice and intolerance live on. And they have a strange propensity to flourish among the people who were once their victims.”

Hello kettle, my name is pot. My, how black you are!

Aug

21

By nightowl

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Categories: The DM Strikes Again

Bankrupt celebrities, or First World Problems

Some boyband member is bankrupt. Let’s discover what this means to him.

“Shane, 34, recalled the heart-breaking moment when his son Patrick saw a Spiderman toy in a shop window and told him it was too expensive and he couldn’t have it.

‘I remember my little fella Patrick looking in a shop window and going: ‘Daddy, look at that Spider-Man toy! Can I get that?’

I looked and it was £29.99. I was like: ‘That’s really expensive. We can’t get that now.”

Wrong answer Shane. The correct answer was “It’s not your birthday or Christmas, so NO. And next time, try saying please.”

It’s suddenly very clear why he’s bankrupt, isn’t it?

Oct

17

By nightowl

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Categories: The DM Strikes Again

It’s now official

Daily Mail articles are written by teenage boys

Cleavage… plunging… cleavage… curvy… dangerous decolletage (!)… cleavage… pizza.

Yup, I rest my case.

Sep

3

By nightowl

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Categories: The DM Strikes Again

Who is whatting the how?

Article about the new Doctor Who companion

The pic captions are often a riot in the DM but I think we have a winner…

“The old team: The Doctor, played by Matt Smith, with his former assistant Karen Gillan, played by Amy Pond”

Now that’s research.

Jul

30

By nightowl

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Categories: The DM Strikes Again

Fair play, Daily Mail-style

Viper-tongued Jan Moir on the London Olympics

“We got our first medal, courtesy of cyclist Lizzie Armitstead. What an utter darling. According to commentators, she had ‘fresh legs in good shape’, which she used to batter heroically through a torrential rainstorm, only to come second to some bitch from Holland.”

Yes, “some bitch from Holland” is how she chooses to refer to the winner of a race where the Brit happened to come second. Isn’t sportsmanship a beautiful thing?

Jul

28

By nightowl

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Categories: The DM Strikes Again

If this is wrong I don’t want to be right

Dammit, I fell for it again! I just had to leave a comment under an article that was written especially to infuriate pet owners. Ah well, they probably won’t validate it so here it is:

What a rude article. Alexander McQueen left this money to his dogs to make sure they would be well looked after for the rest of their lives. I would do exactly the same thing; nothing to do with treating animals like people, it’s about acting responsibly towards helpless creatures that depend entirely on you. So it’s a large sum by the average person’s standards, big deal. He was a multi-millionaire, it’s peanuts to him! You even mention he left the bulk of his huge fortune to charity, the BULK, but it’s still not good enough, is it? You just can’t please some people. As for the famine in Somalia, when is there not a famine/drought/civil war/genocide somewhere in Africa? The continent is a bottomless pit that has already absorbed billions in aid, and still they’re dying! It is ridiculous to blame pet owners for this, and beyond insulting to call them inhuman. What about parents who buy their kids tons of overpriced plastic every Christmas? Are they human?

Mar

13

By nightowl

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Categories: The DM Strikes Again

Not so foreign muck

Burger King boss slags off British food – Marcus Wareing chokes on his organic Dorset crab

I won’t comment on the women thing (mostly because I don’t care) but, having eaten more than my fair share of freshly-defrosted pub meals, I really can’t blame him for saying British food is mediocre. Frankly, a Whopper is much tastier than some of the stuff I’ve had in ‘proper’ restaurants! And it’s made on site unlike, say, pub lasagne…

A delicacy from Cornwall - not a hoax

I do wish journalists would stop running to Michelin-starred chefs in order to get a tediously predictable reaction every time someone points out the bleeding obvious; what does Marcus Wareing know about ordinary food anyway? He makes elitist food for the rich! Does he ever set foot in the average greasy spoon or pub (not the gastro variety) where most people eat? Has he ever been told, upon asking for mash with his gammon, “Sorry, we’re out of mash but we do have baked potatoes”? Yup, true story.

Maybe he should eat at Aberdeen Angus Steakhouse and Harvester every day for a month, and then I’ll be prepared to listen to his opinion. “An insult to British gastronomy”, he calls it. If you stopped a random Brit in the street and asked them what gastronomy was, they’d probably say they got it right after Christmas and didn’t get off the loo for 12 hours.

Your guess is as good as mine

The truth is, what is on offer to tourists, foreigners (and British people) who aren’t lucky enough to experience good family cooking or expensive restaurants tends to be pretty rubbish. And that’s a shame because these people then go home believing ALL British food is rubbish – which isn’t far off the truth but is still a tad unfair I suppose.

I do like mince pies, after all.

Mar

6

By nightowl

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Categories: The DM Strikes Again

Are you blonde but bookish?

Congratulations, have a biscuit.

*sigh* here we go again: Wah wah I’m not a vacuous blonde wah wah

Mariella Frostrup has managed to build a whole career on first dyeing her hair blonde and then complaining incessantly about what a sexist nightmare life as a blonde is. Every single interview I’ve had the misfortune to come across contains a new blonde-related whinge. Enough!

I’m a natural blonde, I read books (fancy that), I have a modicum of culture and am not afraid to show it when necessary (oooh), and yet I can’t say I’ve ever knowingly been discriminated against, mocked or singled out in a negative way for my hair colour. Nobody has ever so much as told a blonde joke in front of me. I can’t recall any other blonde celebrities going on about it either, certainly not to that extent anyway.

Just bottle it already

So what on earth is the woman doing wrong? Perhaps it has nothing to do with being blonde and everything to do with being smug and irritating? Perhaps she could refrain from mentioning having met George Clooney in every interview (only to go all coy when asked if she slept with him)? Perhaps she could stop saying things like “I never cease to be astonished that people are still stereotyped according to their hair colour” to make herself sound like some fearless campaigner for hair-related human rights?

The problem is, she doesn’t actually care about other people. For instance, never does she mention the much more real hostility redheads face, especially in this country. Never does she point out a blatant example of discrimination that happened to another blonde.

Nope, it’s All. About. Mazza.

She’s also guilty of doing this bloody annoying parent thing of believing the world is only worth saving because her precious kids will be living in it:

“This is the first time sexism has been on the news agenda in 20 years, and about time too. I’ve got a daughter and I want her to grow up in a different environment to the one I’ve slogged my way through; equal opportunity is a human right.”

1. Oh please. People like her are the ones who automatically call you selfish if you have no children because you can’t possibly care about anything, since you have no flesh and blood to hand over the world to. Because that’s the only reason one might care about the environment we live in, obviously.

2. “Slogged her way through” an unforgiving, blonde-hating, sexist world, has she? She’s only 6 years older than me and I call bullshit. I also can’t help but notice all that hatred wasn’t enough to stop her running to the hairdresser’s every six weeks to get her roots done. Draw your own conclusions.

Feb

11

By nightowl

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Categories: The DM Strikes Again

Entitled Teenager vs. Real World

Teenage boy is turned away from Girl Guide meeting and predictably cries sex discrimination

He “assumed” he would be welcome, did he? Well he obviously assumed wrong! I used to be a Girl Guide (albeit in France, in a very conservative Catholic movement with strict no-boys rules) and I would have resented it greatly if a fellow member’s friend had been allowed to crash a meeting. The key word here is ‘member’. You don’t just wander in, it’s not the local library! The only non-members who were allowed to take part in meetings were people who were considering joining and wanted to see what it was like. This obviously cannot apply to him; what part of ‘girl guide’ does he not understand? What on earth possessed his friends to invite him without checking it was all right anyway? They at least should have known better. Oh wait, I know, they must have “assumed” it would be fine. Silly me.

Plus, that boy is an idiot; if he wanted to visit a convent and the nuns didn’t let him in, would he be making such a fuss? Actually, he probably would… In this world of rights without responsibilities, God forbid that anyone should be barred from doing exactly what they want.

“Guiding bosses have fiercely defended their stance, saying it was ‘vital’ in today’s society for a girls-only group to be available.”

Couldn’t agree more. I asked to go to an all-girls school at the age of 12 after being badly bullied by boys at my previous school, and it was like a breath of fresh air. I loved the Guides but would never have joined in the first place if boys had been allowed, which would have been such a shame as I would have missed out on a wonderful experience. OK, I’m an extreme case as I totally hated boys as a teenager and never wanted to come into contact with one ever again (I got better) but I do think it’s healthy for boys and girls to do some activities separately.

My old school started accepting boys the year I left, which made me feel sad and was against their principles (the school was originally founded by nuns and there were still a few teaching there), but they were probably not getting enough girl pupils and losing too much money. Nowadays boys and girls are used to being together all the time and probably see it as cruel and unfair to be separated, but that’s because they can’t see past their hormones.

Apparently boys do better at co-ed schools (probably due to the girls’ ‘civilising’ influence, ha ha) but girls do better at single-sex schools, and I can see why. Girls behave very differently when boys are around. They’re suddenly in competition with each other for the boys’ attention, which is not conducive to a good atmosphere; I saw it with my own eyes in my last year at school, when the new boy in my class acquired a groupie following on the first day! Before the male invasion, no one cared what you looked like and there was no stigma against being academic. A breath of fresh air, I tell you. And contrary to the stereotype, the girls were not bitchy at all.

Same thing with the Guides. The uniform may have been just a little bit on the unflattering side but there was no one to laugh at us, make us feel self-conscious or label us “fit” or “minging” (see below – pic from the web, don’t try looking for me!).

Ahhh, bliss.

Now imagine wearing this in front of boys

Jan

30

By nightowl

1 Comment

Categories: The DM Strikes Again

Give them 2.5 centimetres…

I just felt like wasting some of my time on this little tantrum by Peter “I hate metric” Hitchens.

I am shocked when I hear people of my generation, raised to speak English and the direct inheritors of 20 generations of free men and women, thoughtlessly giving measurements in totalitarian metres and litres.

Well, let’s not get too carried away there Peter. Just because you happen to be used to a particular system doesn’t make it any more natural or intuitive or less totalitarian than another. It just makes it something you’re used to. As for it being totalitarian, it’s a legacy of the French Revolution! I’d love to hear your definition of ‘totalitarian’.

Would you still hate it so much if it wasn’t a French invention? Hmm? Be honest.

Recipe books and celebrity chefs likewise drivel about grams of butter and flour.

That’s because metric is much more precise and universally understood, especially when baking. Americans (who don’t like metric either) use cups, good luck cooking with those instead.

The fanatically metric BBC is dedicated to giving rainfall and snowfall in centimetres and millimetres

They’re not so fanatical when it comes to giving high temperatures in Fahrenheit for that extra heat factor!

Though it is always noticeable that the weights of newborn babies are invariably given in pounds and ounces. As Steve Thoburn’s friend Neil Herron remarked, if babies’ weights were given in kilos, most people would not know if the child involved was the size of a baby elephant or a small tomato.

If babies’ weights were given in kilos, “most people” would soon learn! Try telling a French mother her baby weighs 7 pounds and 3 ounces and watch her panic. Not so intuitive now, huh?

Kilos, metres and litres sound – and always will sound – cold, ugly, alien and oppressive to me

And imperial measures sound archaic, unnecessarily complicated and just plain bizarre to me. Tit for tat.

No wonder the metric system appeals to communists and similar fanatics. It satisfies their craving for neatness and regularity

Yes, God forbid that measurements should be regular! It makes so much more sense to have UK and US gallons, doesn’t it?

Mind you, in France I have bought butter from farmers by the ‘livre’ (pound) and eggs by the ‘douzaine’ (dozen), two centuries after revolutionary law abolished such things.

Actually, a French livre is exactly half a kilo. It’s a metric measure that still uses an old, pre-metric name. Sorry to disappoint. As for the eggs, this is true but there is obviously a demand for other quantities as you can now buy boxes of ten eggs in British supermarkets. Condolences.

Hell according to Peter Hitchens

I cannot imagine a kilogram, let alone a gram, or a metre or a litre or a hectare. I work out what they mean by converting them into the proper measures that have their roots and origins in the land, as I do – an acre is a day’s work at the plough, a fathom the width of a man’s outstretched arms.

When was the last time you ploughed a field then, Peter? As for metric measures being unnatural, they only are if you want them to be: 10cm is the length of the palm of my hand. One metre is the longest step I can take without falling over. One kilo is four butter sticks or one litre of water. One litre is a juice carton. One kilometre is the distance I can walk in 15 minutes. And so on and so forth.

Meanwhile, the mere mention of a ‘fl oz’ has me running for the hills!

These measures are rooted in daily life, are human, and honest, because they are polished in use, sound like what they are (can’t you hear a gallon sloshing in its bucket?)…

The metric system is rooted in daily life in every country that uses it every day. As for “human” and “honest”, these are totally subjective assessments based on familiarity. You can hear a gallon sloshing in its bucket? Good for you, so can I; I’m just not too sure about the size of the bucket… is it a British bucket or an American bucket?

… and because you can use them in poetry.

Do farmers care about poetry that much? I obviously go to the wrong markets.

There are miles, inches and fathoms in the Bible and Shakespeare, and if you converted them it would sound ludicrous.

This is from the “If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it’s good enough for me” school of thought. Why not take back one kadam to honour the Hebrew God while we’re at it?

Indy doing his bit against metric

And how about Shylock demanding his half-kilogram (or 454 grams, given his precise inflexibility) of flesh? Or let us see what the BBC would make of Robert Frost’s beautiful poem Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening.

‘The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

But I have promises to keep And kilometres to go before I sleep.’

Now you’re just being silly.

The metric system officially doesn’t have such a thing as a foot. It scorns this useful measure, going straight from the metre down to the centimetre.

Oops, the Daily Mail’s chronic lack of research rears its ugly head again. It actually goes metre -> decimetre -> centimetre, adding a zero each time. And a foot is only a “useful measure” within an imperial context. In metric, you just measure 30cm and Bob’s your uncle. Need a bit more? No probs, here’s 35.8cm for you. What’s that in imperial? One foot, one inch and, er… some bits. Thanks but no thanks.

See, that’s the beauty of the metric system: it’s easy. All you have to do is add or remove a zero here and there. No multiplying by 3 or 4, no dividing by 12. No need to learn your 11 or 12 times tables (eek). For those of us who are mathematically impaired, it’s a total gift!

Interestingly, Peter Hitchens doesn’t feel the need to complain about the decimalisation of the pound sterling. Could it be because – gasp! – he’s used to it? Does it ruin his enjoyment of Dickens to read about David Copperfield receiving two half-crowns from his mother before being sent off to boarding school?

Mum gave me two half-crowns! That's like one Galleon, seven Sickles and four Knuts! Yay!

Dec

23

By nightowl

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Categories: The DM Strikes Again

Pregnant nudity fatigue

Gratuitous pic of a bunch of semi-naked, heavily pregnant women to illustrate an article on conceiving against the odds – not work safe!

What on earth is the point of this picture? We’re told these women are pregnant, OK. I’ll happily take their word for it. I don’t need to see every square inch of their naked bodies, just to be sure!

What is this wave of exhibitionism that’s sweeping the nation? Whatever happened to some things being private? I’m already barely coping with the endless nude calendars everyone and his dog has done, is doing or is planning to do for some good cause or other – AKA vanity charity – not to mention the Daily Mail’s obsession with “bikini bodies” and “baby bumps” (extra points if both can be found on the same female celebrity at the same time), and now every pregnant woman wants to be Demi Moore.

These visual assaults have to stop!

By the way, the original magazine headline is “PREGNANT, PROUD AND NAKED!” I’m glad they’re promoting this story in a mature and tasteful way, without relying on lurid titles which might attract the wrong kind of sicko fetishist reader.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with this wonderful little ditty which says it all so well:

Pregnant Women Are Smug

Nov

28

By nightowl

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Categories: The DM Strikes Again

It’sy Bit’sy?

This morning I saw in the Daily Mail yet another misuse of ‘it’s’. Here is the gem:

“Classic scene: The Sir Nigel Gresley steam engine makes it’s way through a snow covered tracks in York today”

‘A snow covered tracks’, huh? But never mind, today’s rant is about ‘it’s’. So, I post a comment saying “ITS, not it’s”.

Then some nincompoop feels the need to prove me wrong with gem #2:

“I’d argue that the original statement was a correct usage of the possessive apostrophe – as the train was making it’s way, because the way it was making belonged to the train.”

Oh dear. Head, meet desk.

The battle is well and truly lost. To add insult to injury, I’m now getting red-arrowed for putting him right!