I love the Daily Mail. There, I said it. Not since my famous Blue Rasberry Panda Pop addiction of ’95 have I loved and loathed something so entirely. Except Panda Pops didn’t really hurt anyone. They didn’t exactly help anyone, as my permanently blue stained tongue will testify, but neither were they overtly a force for evil. The Daily Mail is different and to understand it fully we must delve deep back into the murky waters of my past…
Eighteen Months Earlier
Some of you (none of you) may have wondered where I’ve been lately. I don’t refer to my literal self, who you can often find sitting at your nearest bus stop weeping (look outside, I’m probably there right now!), but to this, my wise cracking, thought provoking, all around entertaining cyberspace persona. “Oh yeah, where’d she go?” you may have (hadn’t) been thinking. “I was highly amused by her mad cap adventures!”
Why first of all, my friend, I say thank you, and more importantly, I say unto you that the Daily Mail website is solely responsible for my sudden cyberspace absence. You see I was once more than this decaying, withered old hag you see before you. I was once filled with hope, joy…umm…optimism (I’m aware that hope and optimism mean the same thing, give me a break here, I haven’t written anything beyond my name in crayon for eighteen months). The Daily Mail took it all from me.
You may recall around this time a bright eyed, bushy tailed, wannabe journalist. That journalist my friend, was me. I had just completed another one of my PHENOMENALLY SUCCESSFUL articles when, perusing my emails, I came across a link to a Daily Mail article that a so called “friend” had sent me. What happened when I opened the link can only be likened to that of the scene from A Clockwork Orange when Alex undergoes the Ludovico technique. You know the one, where he’s strapped to the chair and they’re putting drops in his eyes to keep them constantly absorbing the pure onslaught of images he’s subjected to? Yeah, that one.
I was appalled. Not only was this “news” site mainly images, but it’s showbiz column in particular was full of degrading, objectifying images of women enough to rival any lad’s magazine or porn site. It was racist, it was sexist, it demonised the working class and it was shameless in its pursuit of all these titles. In short, I loved it. It was simple, it was fast, I loved the thrill of feeling like I was being shouted at, not just from the headline but the image captions too.
I got such pleasure from the outrage I felt each time I visited the website that soon the former overtook the latter and nothing came close to sense of relief I gained from its warm embrace. You see in Daily Mail land, you are either good, or you are evil and must be destroyed. In a world of uncertainties and grey areas, is it not one of the greatest comforts you can have to sink into a fantasy world of black and white, heroes and villains, witches and princesses? The answer is no. But I don’t know why. Like a snake, to view this website is to become blinded by the venom it spits in your eyes. I could practically hear the shrieks of yet another dying brain cell each time I stared at the bombardment of information before me.
You see navigating the Daily Mail website is an art. First, one must calmly drag down the never ending showbiz column on the right hand side, making a mental note to go back and click on stories of interest once you have reached the bottom. Once you have clicked on and read (looked) at each story, you must go to the comments section and calmly scan through the best rated and worst rated comments. If the story is of particular interest to you, you might even inspect the “newest” and “oldest” section of the comments. Finally, you are then free to click back onto the homepage and follow the same steps with the news features. Upon completing this, around an hour and a half of your life should be gone and you should be left with no memory of what you have just read as this process has completely destroyed your attention span and ability to retain…something.
Even now as I attempt to break free from its grips I cannot tell you how many times I have visited the website whilst writing this, but if I had to guess I’d say pretty much every time I completed a sentence. I know I am not the only one suffering from this torment and, in this attempt to steal my voice back, I hope you too can be freed from the strangle hold the Daily Mail has on your own life. I’m not stupid enough to go cold turkey. Believe me, I’ve tried that route before. But if you’ll join me, I propose a five minute reduction in your Daily Mail time each day until, gradually, you don’t even miss it anymore. Join me, my friend, and let us- shit! Miranda Kerr took a stroll in the park?? And she’s embracing her feminine curves?? And she’s wearing a hat???????????????????????? OK G2G EVERYONE.