Monday, May 11, 2009

Paul Sheehan, and a pox on young women, gossips, young people, cyber bullies, queens, Hilton Perez and the intertubes, but not sweet Carrie Prejean

(Above: the road is paved, but not with good intentions, so much as gossip, young women, wives who are Ascham bullies, mincing queens, and young people on the evil intertubes).

Why am I always reminded of the pot and the kettle and black when reading the commentariat?

Paul Sheehan manages, in a festering display of loathing, to bash young women in general, young female bullies in particular, young fugly cyberfreaks in general, gossip, his wife, and Hilton Perez, while somehow managing - in a Herculean feat worthy of Pontius Pilate - to wash and cleanse the hands of the traditional media, while railing at the evils of the intertubes.

Because the internet is so unfiltered and so vast, it has become a far more accurate reflection of the human condition than the traditional mass media. The self-portrait that has emerged is not flattering. The explosion in productivity, transparency, community and knowledge has been accompanied by largely unfettered pettiness, vituperation and schadenfreude. This is the encompassing public medium of the young. This is their stage and their minefield.

Wow. Traditional mass media one, filthy vile internet and its young exponents nil. Read the gossipy expose in all its hideous glory in I married an Ascham bully.

Ah, so what's the problem here? Well it seems it's to do with Perez Hilton and the Miss USA Pageant fuss about sweet Miss California Carrie Prejean. But, you say, that was a traditional celebration of cheesecake puffery about young women, done in inimitable bikini style and covered in a traditional mass media way by the closeted world of television in the States. Using favorite devices like evil judges, chosen with an eye for publicity, as shown by mainstream media shows previously worshipped by Sheehan for bringing Susan Boyle to the world's attention. 

How little you know. It's all the fault of the intertubes and foolish women and their addiction to gossip. But Sheehan is down with it. He be the man, he knows how it goes. He has walked amongst women, and he has come back so he can show how unfettered pettiness, vituperation and schadenfreude can work in the traditional mass media. Forget Women's Day, New Idea, Playboy, Penthouse and Zoo magazines (oh sorry, the last three are bitchy men's magazines):

Gossip has become even bigger than porn on the internet. Much bigger. Facebook is largely gossip. So are the other big social networking sites. Millions of eyeballs also go to gossip sites like Go Fug Yourself, devoted to fashion and celebrity putdowns. (The terms "fug" and "fugly" are short for f---ing ugly, though the authors pretend it stands for fantastically ugly). Or, which bills itself as "Hollywood's most hated website", or The Superficial (Because You're Ugly), or Dlisted (Be Very Afraid), or (Careful Who You're Kissing), or Pink is the New Blog (Everybody's Business Is My Business), or Jezebel (Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women, Without Airbrushing). All have large followings among young women.

Yes, I knew it. It's all the fault of young women, with their fugly ways. 

These sites can become infectious, and I am referring to disease, when the directors of the Miss USA Pageant put a vicious misogynist like Perez Hilton on the judging panel. Presumably they were thinking about casting a villain, but in Hilton, real name Mario Lavandeira, they chose the worst kind of high camp queen, a failed actor and failed journalist (in 2007 he announced the death of Fidel Castro) who found fame through unrestrained vicious gossip.

One of his specialities is outing allegedly closeted homosexuals.

Oh goody, that sounds like interesting gossip, which allegedly closeted homosexual has he outed this week? What's that you say, Carrie Prejean, Miss California in the Miss USA pageant? You mean she's a closeted homosexual? Great, wonderful gossip.

Hold on a second. Now I'm really confused. Young women are clearly awful, hideous creatures. But to say that doesn't make you a misogynist. That's reserved for vicious misogynist poofters.

But wait, who chose the vicious poofter misogynist as a judge? Why it's all the fault of the directors of the Miss USA Pageant. So can they be outed and named for their shameful treatment of young women, and in particular their mockery of young women by doing the opposite of fugly - holding up young women in their bikinis for a short celebrity uptake of fifteen minutes of fame?

Certainly not, let's just stick to the easy targets, let's get back to Hilton Perez and poor Carrie Prejean, who it turns out isn't gay at all. Pathetic gossip.

He (Perez) was at his blackmailing best at the Miss USA Pageant when he asked Miss California, Carrie Prejean, about her views on same-sex marriage. She replied that she did not want to offend anyone, but supported "traditional marriage", and did not think this traduced gay rights (I'm paraphrasing). Ever since, Ms Prejean has been subject to a torrent of invective from Hilton and other zealots screaming for tolerance at the same time they were screaming her down. This, in turn, has rippled out through the mainstream media like a very bad advertisement for gay marriage.

Well yes, paraphrase away Paul Sheehan, because an actual examination of what actually happened wouldn't fit the thesis so exactly, and whatever you do, don't mention Carrie's predilection for nude photos, or wonder about why dinosaur competitions like the Miss USA pageant still entrap young star-struck victims or give them boob jobs. Let's just blame the intertubes:

Today, the directors of the Miss California USA pageant have scheduled a press conference to announce whether Ms Prejean will be stripped of her crown for various perceived infractions. Perez Hilton has been busy milking the fight he instigated, claiming credit for Miss California not winning the pageant, and the internet has allowed the infection to spread.

And as faithfully reported, badly and with bias, spleen and unfettered pettiness, by Paul Sheehan in the supposedly traditional, mainstream media. As for the perceived infractions? Well actually it's not for the pageant paid for boob job that Prejean had, though I personally find that the most problematic thing, no it's the nude photo, and the alleged lying about the circumstances of the one photo, and then the nervous pageant organizers discovering that there might be more nude photos in the wings. 

With the nude photo carried faithfully by every mainstream media outfit around the world, where permitted by local laws and customs, from righteous tut-tutting broadsheet to lascivious, lick lipping Murdoch tabloid.

That's right, only in America. A pageant designed to treat young women as eye candy and young heifers ripe for herding up for male eyes and their fifteen minutes of fame, made nervous by the conservative social Christian elite in the States, for being involved with a young girl who had a few nude snaps taken. And why the worry about Christians? 

Well because Carrie was apple pie eye candy to them, and a source of righteous indignation and National Organization for Marriage approval, and a sudden part of an anti-gay marriage crusade right up to the moment the nude photos became part of the row.

What Miss USA pageants say about the male mind, and the vacuous male eye escapes Sheehan as he righteously gives Perez Hilton a poofter bashing (much as Hilton might deserve it), along with blaming the intertubes and young women, while at the same time claiming Carrie Prejean as a victim when she's just a bubble headed booby who got caught up in a firestorm largely of her own making (especially the booby trap of the nude photos, which in reality are so harmless only a Southern Baptist would consign her to hell for them).

That's right, it's actually all about Christian credentials, in a very American way. You couldn't wish for a more woeful mis-reading of these teacup storm events, remembering that Prejean outed herself as a cultural warrior by appearing in a NOM television commercial and saying she was going out to battle for traditional marriage. Yes, it was a very bad advertisement for anti-gay marriage that really got things going.

As for the rest of Sheehan's column, it's about bullying at the elite Sydney girls school Ascham. How a serious issue like teenage and cyber space bullying could end up sharing space with fodder filler like Carrie Prejean and her Christian cavortings will have to remain a mystery in Paul Sheehan's cavernous mind.

It seems that once again he blames everything on the casual cruelty of adolescence and young women and the intertubes. To show how easy it is to be careless and unthinking and vicious and cowardly, Sheehan does over his wife:

I know about bullying at Ascham. I married an Ascham bully. When my wife was 10, she flicked ink on the tunic of another Ascham girl because she was "slow, unattractive and irritating". When pressed to provide other details of her schoolyard thuggery, my wife could not nominate any. She remains haunted by this single ink-flicking incident. Perhaps she has been rehabilitated.

If even this small outburst can still be vividly recalled years later, one can only imagine how long-lasting and deep will be the wounds inflicted in this latest example of the casual cruelty of adolescence.

Err Paul, you just outed your own wife in what can only be described as the casual cruelty of a grumpy old man. And that ink-splashing incident will now whiz about the world and be recorded in tweets on mobile phones, plunked into Facebook and MySpace, along with commentary about how retarded and koala-like Paul Sheehan is towards his wife.

Hang on, got that bit wrong. It seems that cyber insults are the province of young women, not grumpy old men hating young women, especially those who cluster at heavily tracked beauty sites for young women. Just ask an editor of one such site:

"As a blogger, I have been virtually assaulted many times. Women seem to find the anonymity and forums of the internet a thrilling way to be their nastiest, bitchiest, most insincere self, without any form of repercussion or damage to their reputation. It's vicious and disturbing the way they cluster to attack the blogger, or each other."

Well I guess it's only fair then that Paul Sheehan should viciously and disturbingly assault young women. Heck women in general. You bitches. You vicious, insincere bloody bitches.

But who else can we save from those bitchy young gossips? Well how about Gretel Killeen, whose mind numbingly bad performance at the Logies made them virtually unwatchable. It was news in every mainstream media outfit in the land. But somehow the usual way of things - remember poor old Wendy Harmer copping a pounding for also mucking it up - in Sheehan's fevered mind, it somehow becomes an intertubes phenomenon.

The clustering was evident last week when the comedienne Gretel Killeen apparently faltered while hosting the Logie Awards. The scorn was both instantaneous and public. She hadn't even left the stage before the social networking site Twitter was alive with people tweeting about Killeen's flubs. Once her blood was in the water, it became a feeding frenzy. This then became a news story. The speed and intensity of cyber-bashing is becoming breathtaking.

Ah so first the twits twittering and then it became a feeding frenzy and then it became a news story. Poor old mainstream media, just led along and duped by the twits.

Dearie me, the old boy obviously spends way too much online for his peace of mind, his mental health, or his understanding of the world. And no doubt anybody who has a go at his column will be considered part of a speedy, breathtaking and intense bout of cyber-bashing.

What a funny, malign, malignant old gossip he is, bitchy and full of put downs, and a great example to any young person wanting to get out on the intertubes, and bitch and gossip. Just follow Sheehan, he'll show you how to dance in a minefield, you'll do fine.

Meantime, why am I so strangely and forcefully reminded of the opening of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner?

It is an ancient Sheehan,
And he stoppeth one of three.
`By thy long beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me ?

It's the young women and the misogynistic poofters and my bullying wife, croaks this modern mariner Sheehan. Talk about albatrosses around the neck of the intertubes.

Pass on by people, the rest of the tale is too harrowing to hear ... 

So how about a bit of eye candy of a Christian kind? That should stop the gays, might even convert a few of them to healthy heterosexuality, and end this nonsense about gay marriage. What's that you say, it's the third time I've run a Carrie pic? I know, I know, I just love her so, she might even be making me think of turning ...

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