I would like to apologise. On Tuesday, I let my contempt for a story, a trivial but unfortunately newsworthy one about Rihanna appearing at Roskilde, get the better of me. I wanted to convey my contempt for the whole media circus that surrounds celebrity. It’s obvious from the reaction of many commenters on our website that I failed. The comment has been removed from the print edition.
I don’t really know much about Rihanna – in fact, I don’t regard her as a real person, rather a construct invented by music producers whose press releases are gleefully copy and pasted for all to see. I think it’s a shame this type of story has brainwashed many into thinking this is the way a trivial news story should be written: without reading between the lines or irony – just lapping it up, grateful that their parent company are advertisers or even owners.
And when they’re not, and they’re gossiping, the critical question becomes what paragraph they can subtly squeeze in the obligatory domestic violence reference – to fill you in on all the grisly details just in case you missed it the first 15,000 times.
So I just cut to the chase. I didn’t know it at the time, but if you put what I wrote into Google Images, you’ll actually find a punchbag with her face on it. Download it and swap her face for mine if it makes you feel better. And it’s fair to say I would deserve it.
The episode has of course made me doubt my limits. For example, last night I deleted a paragraph from my TV preview in which I berated the way we consume “crap about celebs”, which included the line: “Parasitical leaches email me every day offering banal rubbish about celebs, and I turn them down because I hate our readers.” But now I’m not so sure I can trust you to realise that I’m deadly serious.
Elsewhere this week, beyond Burns Night, there’s not much on. The scourge of January! February used to have the same problem, but then along came Wondercool (an advertiser – can’t you tell?), a month-long festival to drag us away from our warm apartments out into the cold (err, you’re supposed to be selling it!). Check out our February issues for more details.