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Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Thick as a Brick


Blogging is, of course, vanity publishing. We toil at our laptops and bash out opinions on whatever takes our fancy. There is no enforced discipline, no editor to please, no deadline. If people like what we write that's great. If not, no matter. We may like to think we're offering insight or whatever, but if we're honest we're probably doing it for ourselves.
Today vanity publishing was taken to a completely new level and the question most of us are asking is Why? 
The 6Music presenter and Twitter queen Lauren Laverne was among the first, with her 7.45am tweet 'Why do people WRITE articles like this? And why am I reading it?'
The link on the tweet took followers to an article on the Daily Mail website that left any sane reader gasping in disbelief. 

There are downsides to looking this pretty: Why people hate me for being beautiful

Samantha Brick's extraordinary catalogue of self-glorification, from airline pilots sending her champagne to strangers buying her rail tickets - all apparently because of her 'pleasing face and pretty smile' -  was accompanied by seven photographs that showed a nice enough looking woman but no Sophia Loren.
The point of the piece was apparently not to tell us how beautiful she was, but to complain that other women couldn't cope with being in the same company as such a goddess. They would put her down, snipe about her, blank her - and all because of the way she looked.
The feature went live at midnight; the first comment, from a reader in America, was posted at 1.49am. By lunchtime she was trending on Twitter, by teatime the Mail website had published more than 4,000 comments.
It is fair to say Ms Brick does not come out of it well. But she predicted that:


If you’re a woman reading this, I’d hazard that you’ve already formed your own opinion about me — and it won’t be very flattering.

Which brings us back to the question: Why? Ms Brick's back catalogue doesn't do her any favours. The headings below are an accurate reflection of the prose that followed:

I use my sex appeal to get ahead at work - and so does ANY woman with any sense
(August 2011)

Catfights over handbags and tears in the toilets. With her women-only TV company this producer thought she'd kissed goodbye to conflict...
(April 2009)

So three years ago, Samantha Brick was writing in the Daily Mail about what a load of bitches other women were. So bitchy and jealous that they destroyed her business.

We know that the Daily Mail likes nothing better than to attack its core readership - women. We know Ms Brick thinks she's pretty (there have been plenty of pieces about her appearance). We know she thinks women are out to get her. She must have realised the response this piece would generate. So why this nauseating drivel today? 
Is she so desperate for the money that she's pitching such features? Or was she asked to write it? And if so, how did that call go? "Oh Sam, you're just so lovely, why don't you do a piece for us on the viperish attitudes of ordinary women are and how difficult it is for glam girls to get on - or in - with the sisterhood?'
I would just love to know how she gets on with whoever was commissioning and editing Femail yesterday.
I think she's been set up.


Thank you for sticking with it to the end. Please do share your thoughts below. And please take a look at the other posts. They are all media related.

Sold down the river the Beeb's flotilla and fireworks fiasco - and a feeble fightback. Why didn't the top man have his hand on the tiller?

Hello and goodbye to Wapping a personal diary of life inside the fortress in the days before the strike that changed newspapers forever

Out of print a love letter to newspapers in this digital age. Why they don't have to die if we have the will to let them live and thrive

Why local newspapers matter Why we should care about the revolution in the regional press

Missing: an opportunity How the hunt for Madeleine McCann could be turned into a force for good instead of just a festival of mawkish sentimentality

Riding for a fall Does buying a ticket for a jolly day out at the races mean you are fair game for the snobs who sneer and snipe?

Just a pretty face Illustrating the business pages isn't the easiest job in the world, but spare us the celebs who aren't even mentioned in the story

Food for thought a case study in why we should take health advice with a pinch of salt (and a glass of red wine and a helping of roast beef) 

The world's gone mad Don Draper returns and  the drooling thirtysomethings go into overdrive But does anybody watch the show? (But there is more Whipple in this post!)







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