Sunday, July 15, 2007
Prince's new album, Planet Earth is out today! And not only does it come in a crappy card sleeve which doesn't even have a tracklisting on it, but buying it also means you have to take home the embarrassing free gift of a copy of the Mail on Sunday. We haven't been this ashamed buying a CD since that time we bought a Shed Seven live album. Anyway, most of you who've taken advantage of the unexpected generosity of Associated Newspapers - and who'dve thought they'd be excited about the latest release of a black artist? Normally they call for them to be locked up - will now doubt have instantly thrown the newspaper which came attached to the CD into the bin for fear of being poisoned by the depressingly bigoted and regressive views contained therein. But fear not! We've braved what lies inside, risked the very foundations of our moral code and and snuck a look inside the pages. Here's what you're missing out on:-
- The front page headline is "'Gonzo' BBC Hits Brown" which doesn't make any sense whatsoever and refers to the BBC doing some creative editing of some footage to show Gordon Brown in a less than favourable light. As the Mail hates both the BBC and Gordon Brown it seems unsure of what to do with this story, although it does inform its readers that Gonzo journalism was invented by Hunter S Thompson, presumably in case they thought it was something to do with Kermit T Frog.
- A story about the phoneline scams that have recently been dogging various TV production companies. On page 73 of their 'You' magazine, their readership is encouraged to phone up premium rate phonelines to hear their horoscope, which we mention apropos of nothing.
- Carole Caplin, the dead eyed new age guru who helped Cheri Blair become a laughing stock - Well, more of a laughing stock - gets three pages to write a rebuttal of Alastair Campbell's portrayal of her in his diaries. It serves mainly to prove that she's an even worse writer than Alastair, which is, in many ways, an impressive feat. The Mail describes this as a devastating portrait, which it is, although mainly for Carole's hope of getting a columnist's job.
- A 'Shock Horror' expose of Afghan refugees being paid £200 to pretend to be the Taliban for Ministry of Defence training exercises, the Mail there confusing 'pretending to be' with 'actually being'.
- Another 'Shock Horror' story, this time about a convicted drug dealer getting a job in a health club. Presumably they would prefer it if she didn't re-enter the world of regular employment and returned to earning pennies from the narcotic industry.
- A piece about Lord Montagu, who was charged in 1954 under the laws prohibiting homosexuality but whose case helped paved the way for widespread acceptance of other people's sexuality is interviewed. Which would be quite impressively tolerant and forward thinking for the Mail if it wasn't for the fact that they've stuck this piece in their Femail section.
- TV reviews: Indian Food Made Easy receives only one star. What a surprise, etc. They're also not especially enthusiastic about the Gogol Bordello album, but they never were a paper that was fond of gypsies.
- Highlights from the letters page: "Thousands more immigrants coming in through our borders to claim all the benefits", "I wrote to my MP asking for the return of the death penalty", "I discovered half a dead frog in my salad". Some things are beyond parody.
- And you don't just get the paper, they also throw in Live magazine, which has a cover feature on Keane - "Pop's favourite public schoolboys", or so it says here - and a column by Piers Morgan, presumably to help the readership feel that they're not the most obnoxious and hateful people in the country after all. And, for the ladies, there's You magazine, including "A Change for the Better: Why the menopause means a new lease of life". Bless them for thinking that there's any woman who buys the paper who isn't already long past that stage in their life.