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Friday, March 24, 2006

An example of why the tabloids DISGUST me

As regular readers of this blog may be aware, I have a soft spot for Dead or Alive frontman, Pete Burns. If anyone has an issue with this - well tough, I refuse to justify myself on this issue, as no justification is needed. Anyway, with that bit of growling out of the way, let me clarify today's post heading, and what it has to do with Pete Burns.

Yesterday, tales appeared in the tabloids regarding Pete having been evicted from his hotel in his fur coat and knickers. The way this episode was reported, especially by the low-life Sun, I felt it was a deliberate and unfair attempt to humiliate an already much-vilified man. Today, there are reports that he has checked himself into a mental health unit, which, according to some reports, has been officially confirmed by his people. The Sun is treating the whole issue as if it is a joke. If the stories are true, Pete Burns is ill and in distress. He probably needs to feel safe and loved, so what sort of people kick a man when he's so vulnerable? Tabloids hacks, that's who.

The insensitivity and cruelty of the report in today's Sun, is quite astounding. "Potty Pete No.2", they're calling him, the original "Potty Pete" being Pete Doherty, who could also do without their cruelty. Even if I wasn't a Pete Burns fan, I would be grossed out by this cruelty. Is it any wonder people who suffer from mental health problems are so cruelly stigmatised and ostracised by our society, when one of the most widely read national dailies promotes such a negative attitude to mental health issues? The vast majority of people who seek psychiatric help are not "potty", harmful or dangerous in any way. Most of the time, they just need a break from the very ugly, cruel and demanding world we live in. And let's just face it - don't we all need to step off the crazed merry-go-round we call "the World", at least sometime in our lives?

In the case of Pete Burns, the tabloids have chosen to ignore the fact that he's recently gone through the very painful break-up of a marriage which lasted almost twenty five years. He's also undergone two years of agonising reconstructive facial surgery, entailing in excess of 100 operations, after a plastic surgeon messed his face up. Stressed? I bet he is. His people are quoted as saying he just needs a short period of rest - hardly "potty", eh? No doubt the Sun will have him swinging from the chandeliers of the clinic in his monkey coat by tomorrow.

I seem to remember the tabloids behaved really viciously when Frank Bruno had his breakdown. And remember when Sadie Frost was very ill with postnatal depression, at the same time her marriage to Jude Law was falling apart? There should be a law to prevent the tabloids putting the boot in when famous faces suffer mental health crises. In fact, why do we need to know about the private lives of these people, anyway?

We, the not-so-great British public, have a lot to answer for, with our constant demands for celebrity gossip. If the demand wasn't there, the tabloids would have no need to go digging, because their stories wouldn't sell. And let's just face it, that's all they're interested in, selling copy. Who gets hurt as a result, really doesn't concern them, just so long as their crud sells and makes them a profit. They make me sick.

I'm really hoping the stories about Pete Burns aren't true. If they are, I hope he gets the rest he needs, makes a full and speedy recovery, and gets to plant the points of one of his stilettoes right up some tabloid hack's arse, swiftly followed by their camera. As much as I yearn for a full-time writing career, I would sooner scoop my own eyeballs out with a rusty melon-baller, than work for tabloid scum like the Sun or the Mirror.


Jeremy said...

As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety myself, I wholeheartedly agree with you: such things are as real as any other illness (and often are the precipitates of `physical` illness). Best wishes to Pete Burns for a speedy recovery.
I hate to say it, but the question that springs to my mind is: "Why is an intelligent person like yourself reading `The Sun`?" (I know, you found it on the bus; that`s my excuse, too!) You should be reading the Daily Telegraph! (Or the Daily Mail if you must - you seem to like a bit of right-wing raving yourself!)
Best of luck with your writing career! (Have you had anything published? The extent of my writing `career` is an article in `Outdoor Photography` magazine!)

Siani said...

Why am I reading The Sun? I read them all, Jeremy, tabloids and broadsheets. I just find it really interesting to compare not just the differing types of story they handle, but the differences in approach between the tabloid and the broadsheets, to the same stories. I draw the line at the Star and the Sport - I won't read either of them.

Right-wing? Me? Never! :) I'm too red for right-wing raving, although I deplore the current pseudo-Tory Labour party.

Not had anything published yet beyond the occasional letter. Crime fiction is my thing, but it's so hard to break into - although persistence usually pays off. If I can't get a publisher for the novel I'm working on, once it's done, I've half a mind to try to sell it as a download via eBay - we'll see.

thebillies said...

It can be really exhausting living in the headlines of the tabloids. I can only imagine how hard it is for someone in the spotlight. Trouble is, some people ask for the spotlight by going on reality TV shows and so this just feeds the public and their inquisition some more. I don't really think at the time that the celebrities knew how much this would change their lives again. Poor Pete certainly needs to have some quiet time I think and they need to gossip about someone else. I know poor Jennifer Anniston is having a good share of tabloid intrusion also lately. It's not nice being reminded daily about your private lives. So my heart feels sorry for anyone in the light of the tabloids right now as they will stop at nothing for a whole page of reading sadly.

Anonymous said...

New Clip from the Pete Burn's show "Unspun"

Thought you would like this.

Siani said...

Ooh - thank you. Are you a member of The Right Stuff, by any chance?