Rip Up The Sun, Our Kid…
My dad swears blind that about twenty years ago he heard someone calling their young daughter “Lasagne” in Wythenshawe precinct. In the years since I am yet to disprove what he says or find evidence that such a girl exists. It may have been Samantha or Cassandra. True or not, every time I hear the name Tulisa, I imagine that she could be Lasagne’s younger sister and that they spent the weekends growing up playing with their cousin, Carbonara, who also lives on the estate.
That’s me there, being a right snob and sneering at “chav” folk and their “chavvy” ways with their daft in and out of fashion named kids. I’m subscribing, in my own little way, to the increasingly popular belief that some people – mainly those from our middle class reality TV script writers’ wank material “sink estates” like Wythenshawe, or West Gorton or Harpurhey – are just a bit divvy and beneath us. To Lasagne and all the daft named kids out there whose mam’s and dad’s never thought ahead to what your daft name would look like on your business card or listed in the Yellow Pages under “Law Practice”, I’m sorry.
So Tulisa, allegedly, told someone who was asking, where they could buy some recreational drugs and now it’s over for her. Decades of presenting shows, like national treasure, Bruce Forsythe – gone. Those future endorsements for wholesome, kid-friendly stuff like Coke – gone. A state funeral in all but name, like Princess Di – unlikely. It’s a cruel and cynically orchestrated (apparent) end to the career of someone we were all hoping would guide our offspring to the Promised Land. Mind you, you should have known that she’d let you down, with her daft name and her council estate background. It was nailed on and you were foolish for investing so much hope in her.
Personally, I’m glad we have newspapers like The Sun alerting us to the Tulisa’s of this world. Good, people-focussed, public service pamphlets like The Sun, parting a sea of filth and depravation and allowing us passage to a cleaner, more honest world. I feel safe in the knowledge that of all the things they could have set out to tackle, it was that mouthy 24 year-old threat to all that is good in the world that they took head on and dismantled. Forget for a minute all of the evil being inflicted by the Tory-led coalition, which The Sun conveniently overlooks daily. No, I sleep well at night knowing that journalists from bastions or morality like The Sun sit and work out how to eradicate social ills like Tulisa from NDubz and X Factor. Yeah, like fuck I do.
In FC United’s ‘Course You Can Malcolm’ left wing loony asylum a few weeks back I heard a rap duo sing, or rather shout the words to their as-featured-on-Youtube number, “Rip Up The Sun”. No offence to the two lads in question, but it was possibly the longest 3 minutes of my life. It was harrowing, like a musical plague set free to invade my ears and hack away at my brain for all eternity. “Rip up The Sun, rip up The Sun, gotta do your duty, just rip up The Sun”. Painful though it was, their message is one worth enduring, you see because when it comes to that horrid newspaper “nothings off bounds for dollars and pounds… they claim tappin’ Milly Dowler’s sound”, the Tory-backing, Tulisa-targetting, sneer at working class folk and turn them against each other twats. I’m not buying their LP’s but carry on doing what you’re doing, lads.
The Sun – in my eyes the print wing of LATCTV. No, not a member of a notorious Manchester crime family but ‘Look At Those Cunts’ Television. LATCTV is that genre of telly where they show you people from council estates doing council estate dweller things, like struggling with mental illness without the necessary care and acting up on camera a bit for your entertainment. It’s where they profile young people wondering what it is they’re going to do with their lives because opportunities are few and aspiration is something they’ve had kicked out of them by arsehole journalists at tabloid newspapers and reality TV Tarquins who came from somewhere leafy and never left because Manchester has an edge. And Media City. But youngster, there’s a good chance you’ll end up nicking a moped whilst the film crew are nearby so let’s deal with you being a horrible, anti-social little fucker instead of asking how it is we can inspire you to go out into the world and so some good with your life. “And Action…”.
LATCTV, for the uninitiated, is where they show a couple paying £2500 on tick for a 46 inch telly from Brighthouse and have hundreds of thousands, if not millions of you watching and saying “look at those cunts”. It’s telly which has people going “fuck me, Harpurhey’s rough, is that where my tax money goes, supporting those lot pissing about all day?” It seems that our telly is being taken over by all these point-and-laugh fly-on-the-wall shows which are cheap to make and easy to sell. A bit like parting with a few grand to catch a young pop star offering to get you cocaine so you can then sell hundreds of thousands of newspapers. Cunty, really.
I hate these programmes. They’re subtly dangerous and socially divisive. I hate Skint and the way it panders to scared middle Englanders aghast at the jobless, drug-addicted, state-dependent “cast”. I hated that thing they put on about Harpurhey a couple of months back. But most of all I hate Shameless. I hate Shameless for a number of reasons. I hate that the writer wrote about fictitious Manchester instead of his native Burnley – City supporting Frank Gallagher instead of a BNP voting yokel. Of course it’s his prerogative to write about wherever he wants to write about but I don’t think he’s qualified to depict West Gorton or anywhere else in Manchester in such a belittling way, for the sake of entertainment or not. He’s done well out of basically saying “look at those cunts”, as far as I can tell, and I resent him for it.
Of course, its drama and “entertainment” and you could argue that I’m being a bit mard. I’m not, I just wish that the prevailing attitude of those who make telly programmes was to inspire rather than belittle. And I wish The Sun would do something more productive with their resources than showing us what Tulisa allegedly gets up to. More than both of those things though, I wish that we didn’t lap this shit up in as huge quantities as we do – it reflects badly on our species. There’s crackpot behaviour going on in all walks of life, whether that’s New Moston or Alderley Edge, so stop portraying our inner city areas as villages full of idiots and stop funding these sneering pricks, you Sun buying, “let’s have a parteh” bellends.