Louis Tomlinson and the Baby Drama

I don’t like the term “guilty pleasure”, it often seems to be a cop out for people who don’t want to admit liking something which is considered to be naff (a cheesy movie or uncool band). The closest I have to one is reading the tweets of One Direction fans on Twitter.

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Whenever there is a One Direction related news story I always check Twitter because it’s guaranteed to be trending as the Directioners are legion and tweet happy. Seriously, all the criticisms of social media of making it too easy and immediate to put your foot in your mouth are proven with Directioners who tweet with a visceral, purely emotional style.

It’s fascinating to read because it’s so gloriously raw and unfiltered. When you’re a teenager, as most 1D fans are, everything takes on more resonance and your emotions are far more intense and varying. I blame the hormones. And the result is manic tweets which can express hatred, love and seeming madness. A lot of fans are normal, even witty, but it’s the nutbars who are so fascinating.

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A shrine where Harry threw up. What the hell?

It can get ugly and the Directioners issue death threats with the frequency of a comic book villain. But of late it’s taken a weird, surreal turn.

This is because there is a One Direction conspiracy theory. And it is utterly crazy.

The theory seems to be the work of the “Larry Shippers” a subgroup of Direction fans who “ship” (mentally pairing two people together romantically, can be fictional or real people) two of the band members together, Harry and Louis, hence “Larry”.

This is despite both men having had relationships with women and commented that it’s weird and not true, there is still a branch of the One Direction fandom which believes it is a thing and that the boys are being forced to hide their love.

Firstly, I just want to say, and I know I sound old here, but this shipping two boy band members together seems a new thing. I can’t remember girls at school discussing whether Ronan and Keith were secretly dating or fantasising over them together. Maybe they did, but the  fledgling internet didn’t give them an outlet yet.

It seems odd, but allow me to play amateur psychiatrist for a moment.

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While they may be daydreaming of being with one of the band on some level the fan has realised this is unlikely. However, they want their idol to be happy. But the idea of them with another woman is hard to deal with.

By pairing them together they can have their idols be happy but there’s no woman to be jealous of. It’s a sort of coping mechanism.

Anyway, last year Louis got a girl pregnant and Twitter was awash with Directioners losing it. There was anger and disbelief, and the woman involved, Brianna Jungwirth, got a lot of flak, which wasn’t cool.

The conspiracy theory was that the pregnancy was bogus. Then the baby was born. Then they changed it to that the baby was a fake. And now it’s that Louis isn’t the father of the baby.

The idea is that the band’s management has orchestrated a fake pregnancy in order to cover up the fact that Larry is real. Brianna is, I guess, an actress? And the baby is someone else’s, and all of this is done to cover up the homosexual relationship.

Now, most conspiracy theories are a little nuts, but this one falls down early on because it just doesn’t make sense. Think of all the effort this would take to set up and all the people who might blab. And the reason for it doesn’t work either.

It’s 2016, and 1D are making serious bank. I doubt that if two came out as gay it would hurt their rep that much. Sure, they might take a hit as the anto-gay parents stop their kids listening, and maybe a few fans themselves would bail, but One Direction’s core audience is younger and you’d expect them to be more accepting. Hell, it might even win them a bigger gay audience.

The risk to gain ratio is all off. Faking a pregnancy is tough, and the potential gain from it doesn’t justify it.

The theory has apparently been bubbling away online for a while but it’s blown up recently with Brianna herself commenting on how upsetting reading all the analysis and accusations is (here’s a more detailed look at the theory). I can only imagine how awful it must be to know people are scrutinising your uploads and accusing you of lying.

It even made the front page of a national paper, admittedly The Star but still, it’s bizarre that it got this far.

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Like all conspiracy theories it holds an odd fascination for me as I can’t quite get my head around why people feel like this and am unconvinced by their “evidence”. Like UFO nuts or flat earthers it’s a glimpse into a subsection of society who have some out there ideas.

But it’s important to remember the real people involved, and this might be hurtful for them. Also, I don’t envy Louis having to sit his son down at some point and explain all this.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


In memory of Alan Rickman. In defence of Emma Watson

This week saw the passing of Alan Rickman, a truly great actor who appeared in many great movies like Die Hard, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Love Actually, Galaxy Quest, Dogma and Sense & Sensibility, where he oozed dignity and decency as Brandon.

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To a younger generation he will always be known as Professor Snape in the Harry Potter series. Leading the tributes were his former costars, including the former child stars of those films.

Emma Watson tweeted several times, one of which included this image and quote.

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It made sense for Watson, a vocal campaigner for women’s rights to post this but she was soon under attack from various tweeters who felt she was out of line for “pushing her own agenda” and exploiting Rickman’s death.

Frankly these comments are utterly daft and disrespectful. These strangers are attacking someone who actually knew Rickman for years for how they grieve and remember him. As fans it hurt us, but for those who knew him it must have been far worse.

Also, why shouldn’t she post this?

All of us can comment on his acting abilities, and I’m sure Watson will praise his skills as a performer. What she’s doing with this quote is showing that as well as being a marvellous talent he was a decent bloke with sensible views.

The quote shows him in a good light, it shows a man who believed in a equality and unlike many online knew what feminism is about.

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Watson probably chose this message because it echoed her views and also because it’s statements like this that are part of the reason she admired and now mourns Alan Rickman.

Exploiting his death? No, just showing why she respected him.

The sad thing is that people felt the need to attack someone and  object to an “agenda” which is about equality and fairness. Read the above definition, that’s what Watson and Rickman support, equal opportunities and rights for everyone.

If you attack that you’re basically coming out in favour of a system which places some above others just because of their gender, and that’s a crap thing to defend.

So, I think Watson did nothing wrong and those objecting come from a position of ignorance or hostility.

In closing, I just want to say Rest in Peace, Alan Rickman, you were a great actor, I never tired of watching you and thanks for all the great work you left us.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Bulletproof Monk?: The Dalai Lama slips up

Very few famous people enjoy a position free from criticism, which is good in many ways, the public can criticise their leaders in a way that previously they couldn’t. And leaves them accountable for what they say and do. The days of Teflon figures are gone, with even Big Liz catching flak on occasion.
One of the few folks to avoid getting pulled up for his mistakes is His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
This is understandable as we’re talking about a dude who had to flee his homeland after the Chinese invaded and who preaches love, compassion and peace. It’s hard to hate on a guy saying all that, regardless of your beliefs.

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So it’s surprising to see him get called up for recent comments.
Surprising but deserved as it turns out.
Discussing the possibility that his successor might be female HHDL dropped two clangers. The first was a bit of classic sexist stereotyping as he stated that women are “biologically has more potential to show affection and compassion”.
Really? Is that actually true? Does femininity really bring compassion? Isn’t that a universal quality that both genders can possess?
Some women are more compassionate, but others won’t be. Attributing qualities to an entire gender is sexist, but pales next to what he went on to say. He stated that back in an old interview he was asked the same question and answered that if it was a woman “her face should be very attractive, otherwise not much use”.
Because HHDL is such an Adonis.

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Dalai Lama, what a looker

It’s a terrible thing to say, that a woman’s value is determined by her looks even in the context of a religious. It’s also sad to see someone like HHDL say it. All that talk of equality and love, and then he spills something you could imagine someone like Jim Davidson coming out with.
Also, what does it matter to a monk?! Should he even be judging on appearance?
The interviewer thought he was joking and laughed awkwardly, probably not sure what the form is for calling out a major religious figure on being out of line.
Will this hurt HHDL? Probably not, I mean, I can’t think of another time he’s slipped up and I’ve heard worse. Still it’s disappointing. (Story)
It must be worse for those who really revere him, to find his feet of clay under those robes. But it does prove that despite our holiness score we’re all still human and capable of being wrong and that we all have flaws.
Personally I kind of knew he had a flaw having briefly following him on Twitter. That flaw being repetitive and a bit boring.
He’d tweet these little messages about compassion and kindness which were nice, but rather dull after a while. I know he’s got an image to stick to but still, he could join in the joke hashtags or something. Or live tweet as he watched The Great British Bake Off.
What made it worse is that every tweet seemed to be a retread of what Bill and Ted had managed to convey a lot more concisely and memorably;

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Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


To Live is to War with Trolls: Josie Cunningham Part 9

When I first wrote about Josie Cunningham I thought that would be it, that the “NHS boob girl” would quickly fall from the public eye and the tabloids would move on to the next thing they could whip up outrage about and distract the public with. However, for tabloid editors Josie turned out to be the gift that kept on giving, providing them with further stories and controversy, and as they sensationalized her life and got their readers to rant and rave at her I kept writing about her.

 

I’ve not agreed with everything she’s said or done, but I’ve always tried to figure out why she might be doing them and remain sympathetic. Of course, when she’s sniping at other celebrities it’s hard to have her back as it does look like attention seeking, but I do believe that Josie has gotten more flak than this than many others, as it seems this is standard practice in the lower levels of celebrity.

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But for the most part I try and remain neutral and give her the benefit of the doubt. I think a lot of her comments and decisions stem from personal insecurity and a lust for fame which is something that is not Josie’s flaw alone. Our whole society leans towards celebrity worship, with the reasons for that fame varying from talent to beauty to just being in the right place at the right time. Of course, celebrity is going to seem appealing to someone like Josie, it offers an escape to a better life and praise. It’s why we have people lining up for the X Factor and why Big Brother still manages to fill a house every year.

Hating Josie for wanting this is ridiculous. Who doesn’t want a better life for their families? Who hasn’t daydreamed about being rich and famous at some point?

But people do hate her, and following Josie on Twitter (over time I’ve developed something of an interest and concern in what happens to her) reveals this hatred. She can’t send a single tweet without receiving a deluge of offensive, aggressive comments in reply. Some tweeters seem to spend hours firing 140 character bursts of loathing her way, with a determination that is both shocking and depressing.

On Tuesday, however I witnessed a new low in the trolls who attack her.

Over a series of tweets it became clear that Josie was having a hard time, sending the following messages:

11:38 AM- Absolutely heartbroken/devastated/fuming!!!

11:39 AM- Don’t know what to do!!!!! Don’t even have many options left!!!

11:41 AM- Never make life changing decisions based on advise from someone claiming they have psychic abilities!! So angry!!!!

12:15 PM- Can’t stop crying. 23 weeks pregnant as well! Lots to think about. I’ve been so stupid. 😦

Now, aside from the third one, which just sounds like decent advice, it’s clear that something was wrong with Josie and she was extremely upset. This is a young lady who is pregnant and recently at the centre of a whirlwind of abuse, whatever the latest development in her personal life has been, it’s evident that it’s shaken her up.

I get that folks don’t like her, I get that she’s rubbed people up the wrong way and that there are those who are irritated by her whole story, but at the end of the day this is a young person going through a hard time and clearly upset. Why would you decide to fire off hate at her? I’m guessing it’s because if you did you’re a massive dick.

The worst comment I saw came from some pillock who in response to the 11:39 tweet sent a silhouette of a man blowing his brains out. Real classy, mate, sending a picture of suicide to someone who’s clearly distressed.

The guy caught some grief for it but maintained this moronic “it was just a laugh” defence. I don’t think he honestly wanted Josie to top herself, but the fact of the matter is it’s not a very funny joke is it. You’ve got somebody who’s properly upset and might not be thinking clearly and you chuck that into the mix, intentions or not you’re still messing with someone who’s in an emotional state, and that’s not funny.

Worst of all were the people piling on to agree with this cretin, I think sometimes people forget that the person behind the messages on their screen is a real person, but that’s no excuse. Twitter can show the best in people, when you see it used to raise money or awareness, but then you get incidents like this where you see the ugly side of people. I mean, seriously, have some decency folks and think before you tweet something like this. You don’t know where somebody’s head is at and there’s no need to be a dick.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


One hundred and eighty!: The Josie Cunningham saga continues

This blog is being written several days after Josie Cunninham, the “NHS boob job girl” announced that she was not going to have an abortion in order to secure her place in the Celebrity Big Brother house and was keeping the baby. This came a week after her initial announcement and a spike in her notoriety, as she trended on Twitter and received a lot of coverage in the media.

Josie recently, showing off her bump

Josie recently, showing off her bump

Following Josie’s tweets and the conversation online made for a week of tough reading, with a deluge of abuse and hate flying her way. While there were a few voices calling for calm or criticizing the frenzy she’d sparked the vast majority were vile, cruel jibes and I can only imagine how hard it must have been for Josie and her loved ones to hear some of it.

The trolls were out in force and one in particular stuck out. I won’t link to them or name them, but it was a dude who’s display picture suggested he was an older man in his 40s or 50s. This odious little man fired tweet after tweet at Josie, all laced with insults and profanity. He’d chip in on other people’s comments, and seemed to respond to every one of Josie’s comments with 140 characters of hate. They were witless and aggressive and underneath the swear words and criticism they actually said more about him than Josie. I mean, seriously, if you can sit there with your phone or your laptop firing hatred at someone you’ve never met for hours you need to take a long hard look at your life and your choices.

Or a therapist

Or a therapist

Other trolls circled and fired off messages, and I was still baffled by what drives someone to give a stranger such grief. I’ve tweeted stupidly in the past, but I don’t think I could write a message with that level of bile and then be comfortable hitting “send”. I’d just wonder if it was worth it, and realize how much of a dick I’d be for sending it. I think everyone should think before they tweet, maybe take a few seconds after they write a message like the one’s I’ve seen Josie get and just think “What is this going to achieve? Would I say this to someone in person? Would I like it if someone said this to me or a loved one?” that brief reflection might make everyone realize that there’s no need to be so abusive and make Twitter a better place.

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Personally, I didn’t think it was my place to judge Josie’s decision and her motivations for seeking an abortion. I’m pro choice, so sitting here making moral judgments on a woman’s choice isn’t really respecting a woman’s right to choose. Josie had made her choice, which is her right, and would in most occasions have done so privately. I could see why Josie had made the decision, and I can see why she changed her mind.

Josie’s U-turn has seen her get a fair amount of praise on twitter and some cats have definitely mellowed towards her, but there are still trolls out there. Apparently the decision was made after feeling the baby kick and so her BB plans have been put on hold and she’s pursuing other projects.

I personally think this is a good thing. For me, entering the BB house would have been a mistake. It’s constant scrutiny for 24 hours and we’ve seen far more experienced and media-savvy celebs come unstuck, so Josie, relatively new to the fame game, would be on shaky ground, also going in with the vitriol of the public hanging over her would make her an easy target for anyone in the house seeking a popularity boost, and she’d have got abuse in house as well as out.

Of course, I could be wrong, she may have impressed in the house and won some affection from the public, maybe even changed perception. Stranger things have happened.

So, yeah, I’m glad Josie kept the baby. It’ll pull her out of the firing line a bit hopefully, and I hope these new project’s she’s mentioned pay off for her and her family. I hope that she makes enough money to support herself and comes to realize that the fame game isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and disappears to a more quiet life.

I trot this out every post about Josie, and I worry it sounds patronizing, but I don’t think she’s suited to life in the spotlight. Her tweets show that she’s more than willing to fight her corner, which is a good thing given the abuse she gets, but at the same time her quick fingers may one day get her in trouble. And also, given that this is someone who had the boob job because of body image issues and bullying, I worry that the cruel barbs about her looks may mess with her head.

Despite her defiant stance the response in the last week must surely have had some effect on her, and maybe show her that being in the limelight is not always a good thing. I’d love Josie to be famous and happy, but I can’t see it happening, she’s starting deep in the red of the public’s dislike and it’d be a mountain to climb for her to be really, truly famous and popular. I’d rather she disappear out of the public eye to pursue happiness in private, never gracing a tabloid again.

Unfortunately I doubt this will happen. There are still two stories that the tabloids can get from Josie- the identity of the baby’s father (as long as Josie keeps her word about not going on Jeremy Kyle, which I hope she does) and possibly the name of the mysterious footballer who’s one of the potential fathers. And there’s always other stories that might crop up.

So, basically what I want to say is- don’t give someone shit about a life choice they’ve made, especially a serious one. It’s their choice, and I doubt it’s ever an easy decision. And, of course, don’t be a dick. Just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean you have to tell them, and definitely doesn’t mean you should give them abuse and call them names.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Misdirection

There’s an old saying that states that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. In the early 21st century you can probably add “and One Direction fans will behave like complete idiots”.

I got no beef with the group, they do perfectly fine catchy pop music, although their cover of Blondie is an abomination of which we shall not speak. But their fans?

Seriously, as a group these teenage girls are capable of some massive lapses in judgement, sanity and basic decency online.

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Exhibit A

Researching this post (yeah, I do research, unbelievable, right?) I watched some of the Channel 4 documentary Crazy About One Direction, which featured a group of teenage girls spewing out their love for the group, creeping around hotels trying to find the boys and making statements that you know their future selves are going to cringe at.

It was loco. I get being a fan of stuff. I get going to gigs. I can just about see waiting outside to get a picture/autograph/glimpse of someone I admire. But some of the stuff these girls did was hella weird. Going to their old schools, threatening Taylor Swift (the malicious glee of some of the fans based on tabloid rumour and speculation was ridiculous), there was all sorts. Worst were the girls who acknowledged that sometimes they crossed boundaries.

Anyway, the reason I’m writing about the band and their followers today is because Directioner(the name for the band’s fans) Disorder struck again this week. The target was pop star Tulisa, formerly of N-Dubz and judge on previous X Factor series. Tulisa was attending a party and went dressed as a Disney princess, and took a snap with Niall, one of the 1D boys. The picture was put online and was rather cute:

Tulisa with Niall

Tulisa with Niall

Adorable.

But, just this was enough to get the online hate flowing. The Directioners seem to be glued to their smartphones and waiting for news of the boys to pop up. When it does they are ready to go in two directions (no pun intended)- manic joy or complete, disgusting vitriol.

Now, I’m gonna cover my ass here. I’m not saying all One Direction fans are hormonal tweeting berserkers, I’m sure some are lovely young ladies who just like the music and the boys looks, but there’s are a high proportion of dicks out there, and they were quick to charge Tulisa.

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Bearing in mind, this is not a romantic picture, it’s a picture of two friends larking about at a party.

But, this doesn’t matter to the fans and they pile on, with insults and threats flying through the twittersphere (urgh, I feel like a douche just writing that word). Directioners issue more threats than the villain in an 80s action movie.

Tulisa handled it pretty well, and told them to “pipe down, kids”.

I imagine that being threatened by a teenage girl online isn’t that intimidating. But a deluge of them? Coupled with a stream of abuse, must be disconcerting to say the least. I feel bad for Pixie Geldof who got this torrent of abuse, just from one Directioner.

Pixie Geldof catching heat from the Directioners

Pixie Geldof catching heat from a Directioner

I just can’t understand this behaviour, at all. I know what it’s like to be a fan, and a teenager, but I would never have thought it acceptable to start threatening or insulting someone just because of what I read online.

Do these kids (I assume they’re all in their teens, because anyone over 18 engaging in this sort of thing strikes me as kinda pathetic) not realize how horrible this is? Why send hate to someone  you don’t even know about something you only know little bits of the story about?

Take Taylor Swift, for example, who got a ton of grief of Directioners. We don’t know fully what happened with her and Harry, or how serious it was to begin with. It appears that if you’re seen with Swift it’s assumed you’re dating her, so who knows how far it went. And even if she did dump him, and upset him, so what? That’s what happens. Life sucks, get a helmet!

He’s a big lad, I’m sure he’ll recover.

And what possible outcome are they hoping for? Swift to reconsider and take him back? But they hate that they were dating? Harry to see their tweet and think, wow this teenage girl telling Taylor to go die really cares for me, I’m going to get right round there and ask her to marry me, she’s the only one who cares and understands me?

Come on, ladies. Get a grip on yourselves. If you can’t understand why it’s wrong maybe flip it, maybe imagine that one of your beloved boys dumps some chick. Would you like it if all that girl’s followers started blasting him and telling him they were gonna whack him? No, you’d have another meltdown.

So step away from the laptop, put the smartphone down, take a deep breath and think that maybe, just maybe you can respond to news about one of your idols with a sense of decency and perspective. Does it matter that much? Does it really effect you? Does it warrant being abusive to someone? I’m gonna guess that the answer to those questions is a resounding “no”.

You don’t want to see them sad, I appreciate that. You might be a little jealous seeing them with someone else, I get that too. But that doesn’t give you the right to send hate out into the world, because (a) that’s just not nice (b) you’re ruining someone else’s day and (c) it makes you and the rest of the 1D fans look like bellends.

Ladies, in short, don’t be a dick.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


What Josie did next

Okay, this is the fifth time I’m writing about Josie Cunningham, so here’s a quick recap for the uninitiated-

Josie was a young lady who was bullied and felt terrible about herself as a result of being flat chested. The NHS granted her a free boob job to fix this, which did not go over well with the British tabloid press, who attacked it as a waste of tax payer cash, but I kind of saw it as helping with someone’s emotional health and well being, which is also what the NHS works towards in its holistic approach (1).

Josie playing up to the controversy, which actually makes sense for her career

Josie playing up to the controversy, which actually makes sense for her career

Josie’s plan was to use the new boobs to kick start a glamour modelling career. However, this failed to materialize and Josie felt that the new boobs were ruining her life and getting her negative attention (2) and might get them removed, later on she even planned to sue the NHS for negligence (3). Throughout this I tried to remain sympathetic and to understand what might have caused this series of events, believing that much of it stemmed from insecurity and that people were unduly harsh in their treatment of her.

Then earlier this month I found out that Josie was now working as an escort, with a view of paying off the boob job (4). I don’t know Miss Cunningham, but I felt a bit worried that she might be getting herself into some murky waters and risked being exploited or hurt further.

Having written about her a few times and receiving a tweet from her, I’m kinda invested in what happens to Josie. God that sounded stalkery, didn’t it? Anyway, what I mean is, I’ve been keeping an eye on how she’s doing and hoping that stuff works out for her. She’s recently revealed she’s pregnant with her third child, and I was pleased for her and felt congratulations were in order.

However, I then found out that she doesn’t know the identity of the father and it may be one of her clients. This is hardly ideal and sadly by running the story in Closer it’s put Josie back in the public eye and the firing line.

Frankly, some of the comments I’ve seen thrown her way are disgusting, vile and cruel missives which I can’t fully understand. I get that some people disagree with the NHS footing the bill for her boob job or some of her choices, I’m not on board with some of them, but she’s still a person and there’s no need to send her such hurtful, cruel things. How empty does your life have to be to single out someone you don’t know for such abuse? Come on, guys. don’t be a dick.

In an article I read about the story Josie revealed that she wasn’t entirely sure and had been shocked by the revelation. The two potential fathers are this client, and a friend with benefits. I’m hoping it’s the friends with benefits, just because at least that’s slightly easier to explain to the kid.

There’s gonna have to be a DNA test, which I hope will be performed behind closed doors and kept quiet, but I fear will just become the next installment in Josie’s press story.

I at least hope it’s not done on The Jeremy Kyle Show, because I honestly think Josie would get mauled by Jezza’s juggernaut of self righteousness and just get her even more attention, and she doesn’t need that or the resulting backlash.

The most punchable man in Britain?

Anyway, I hope that Josie’s pregnancy isn’t too hard on her and that she and the baby have a happy future. Again, I have to hope that Josie can slip out of the public eye and thus be away from the scrutiny and criticism she gets online. It can’t be helpful to someone who’s had problems with confidence in the past to be constantly besieged by dickheads throwing insults at you.

Anyway, that’s my two cents.

Here for more.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Too much, Sun

I don’t often by a newspaper. With the net there’s not really any need, I can get the news from the BBC and Huffington Post, but I do occasionally pick up The i, sometimes even the Guardian.

What I will not buy is the Sun. Or the Daily Mail, but let’s focus on the Sun for the time being.

Barring the occasionally amusing headline, it’s a terrible newspaper. It’s crass, xenophobic and doesn’t fit with my view of the world, so I leave it alone.

It’s also one of those papers that is pretty quick to go after people for “disgusting behaviour”. Sometimes these can be genuinely horrible instances, but often they’ll work themselves into a lather over some celeb’s ill advised quip or Twitter gaffe. It only takes some boy band star to tweet rashly and the paper is rallying the troops and calling for justice.

Which means recent events have a generous seasoning of schadenfreude.

One of the paper’s Twitter accounts, which deals with showbiz news was discussing one of this year’s X Factor crop, who’s apparently been caught stealing. They don’t reckon it’ll hurt her chances though and decided to put out this incredibly insensitive tweet:

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Now, I’ve heard worse gags, but still, this is unbelievably daft from the person concerned. Ignoring the obvious bad taste and nastiness of the comment, the startling thing is the stupidity.

It’s all too easy to fire off an ill advised tweet, when you put something up and only afterwards think it may have been a mistake or be taken the wrong way. But that’s personal tweeting, this is someone who’s being paid to tweet. You’re representing a major company and tweeting to around 30k followers.

I appreciate this person isn’t at the forefront of journalism, but they must have had some kind of training in the past about what’s appropriate for publication and what isn’t. The tweet was hastily taken down, but with that many followers it was bound to get captured by someone and they’ve received a bit of a kicking.

It’s easy to see why, they’ve made reference to a missing child, a case which is still in the public forum and used it to make a trivial, and not even particularly funny, gag about a reality TV show contestant. It’s an inconsiderate, dim witted thing to do.

It’s horrible, but it’s hard not to take some malicious glee in the fact that a paper which frequently tries to take the moral high ground, despite it’s own catalogue of errors and sins has come a cropper in such a painful and public manner.

As one comment said on Twitter stated: “Why are you all shocked? Do you expect high standards from them?” (posted by @PhantomGoal)

I don’t expect much from them, but I was surprised by the sheer idiocy of it. If there was any justice they’d get dragged across the coals in the manner they do whenever someone at the Beeb slips up, but I suspect this won’t get the same coverage as those cases.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Oh, come on, ladies, get a grip!

I’m sure that there are lots of One Direction fans, or “Directioners”, who are perfectly nice young ladies, the problem is these voices of sanity, rationality and sense are lost in a tumult of complete and utter dicks. Following threats to random women the boys find attractive, this week they kicked off again on Twitter, not so much tweeting as screeching like demented harpies.

This weekend there was a charity match taking place up in Scotland between a Celtic XI and a team led by Stiliyan Petrov, one of the 1D boys, Louis (the one with brown hair who’s not Harry), was taking part in the Celtic team.

Louis got passed the ball and before he could clear it was tackled by Aston Villa and England player Gabriel Agbonlahor. Louis went down and shortly after limped off.

Now, when someone goes down and looks hurt, you’re always a bit concerned, especially in a friendly match. But, it was just a bit of a knock and I doubt there’s going to be any lasting damage for the pop star.

louis down

And the main thing is, the challenge was quite clean, there was no malice in it and it was a 50-50 ball, it’s not like Agbonlahor hacked him down with a studs up lunge or anything.

louis challenger

Agbonlahor went over and checked he was alright, and a bit of physicality is par for the course in football.

Clearly the section of overlap on the Venn diagram of One Direction fans and football fans is quite a small one, as this seemed lost on several Directioners who took to the web to send vile threats to Agbonlahor, these included:

this guy hurt Louis knee. I shall hurt your face. I better hear that you apologized or I will find you, and I will kill you

I like the Taken vibe at the end there, although a witless teenage girl isn’t as intimidating as Liam Neeson.

i will chop your balls off

Direct.

DON’T EVER TOUCH LOUIS AGAIN WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE

All caps, the song of the angry douche.

My whole timeline is full of pictures of Louis getting hurt. I’m going to kill that guy!!!!!!! HOW DARE YOU HURT LOUIS?!

Excessive exclamation marks are also a douche staple.

@Louis_Tomlinson Are you ok?? If he hurt you I promise that I’ll kill him!!! No one can hurt my baby!!! Grrrr!!

“my baby”, seriously?

Get a grip, ladies! He got dinged on the leg, it’s not like he walked off the pitch like Terry Butcher or something.

That's a sporting injury!

Now, that’s what you call a sporting injury.

Here’s the thing, even if Louis was crocked, and had broken a leg or something, is there any need to send death threats to some bloke who I’m guessing most of them weren’t familiar with a day earlier?

I doubt Agbonlahor was intimidated by the tweets of a gang of idiotic teenage girls, and has probably heard similarly horrible things from opposing fans, but still, it’s a horrible insight into the ridiculous overreaction obsessions can provoke. Take a breath next time, ladies, and think about what you’re actually doing- sending abuse and aggression because someone you’ve never met got hurt while playing a contact sport.

I can’t help but think Louis’ first response after the game would have been to thank his fans for their support and well wishes, but to openly criticize this particular bunch of knobheads.

thinktweet

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.


Taxi! or Why Twitter is a good thing.

With social network sites being the latest moral panic in the press here in the UK, I think a lot of the good work that these sites can do is being forgotten.

Twitter was used for good in the wake of the London riots to organize volunteer clean up crews, it can help find lost people and pets, raise money for charity and spread information to those who need it.

It’s also a great place for jokes, pictures and giving people a place to vent their random thoughts.

But this week I heard of a case of Twitter being used to bring a bigoted douche bag to justice.

On Wednesday night, a gay couple went on a night out to the famous G-A-Y club in London. At the end of the night they rang a taxi from a company called Addison Lee, which is apparently the city’s biggest taxi firm.

The taxi arrived and the couple got in.

Now, before I continue I just want to say that I like cabbies. They’ve got a bad reputation but in my experience 90% of them seem to be alright people. So the dude I’m about to discuss is in no way representative of his peers.

The couple were on their way home and started holding hands in the back seat. The driver objected to this and is alleged to have called them “dirty” and kicked them out of the cab.

I mean, all they were doing was holding hands. That’s not even a sexual act, and I speak from experience as a some time participant and some time third wheel that people regularly go further than just some chaste hand holding.

This is a blatantly homophobic response from the driver, and should not be allowed to stand. The couple weren’t being inappropriate, they were merely expressing their affection in a rather innocent way, and one can’t help but feel that had a straight couple been holding hands nothing would have come of it.

The couple were turfed out and had to find another way home, and this is when Twitter comes into its own.

Years ago the couple would have had no option other than maybe phoning the company to complain, and the matter may well have been hushed up, but what Twitter gives you is access to people power, which when channeled correctly can be a wonderful thing.

One of the couple tweeted about their experience and as a result the story was spread, more people expressed their anger at the driver’s actions and there were threats of a boycott.

Addison Lee, who have a twitter account would’ve been aware of this occurring and would know they were in the limelight and so have been forced to act on the complaints. They’ve suspended the driver and launched an investigation. Now, hopefully the company would have done this anyway, but the Twitter campaign will definitely help the situation be resolvd.

Twitter has helped spread the word about the case, which otherwise would’ve been buried in the middle of the newspapers or not covered at all, and the public support for the couple and condemnation for the driver has ensured that steps are being taken, because this kind of prejudice should not be tolerated.

Well done, Twitter and I hope this wanker loses his license for his shocking behaviour.

Story.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.