Snowflakes and the Sun

On March 5th 2018 the so-called newspaper called The Sun made a rare foray into the literary world, only to shoot itself in the foot.

Writers Gary O’Shea and Thea Jacobs quoted a couple of academics who’d suggested — unsurprisingly to anybody who’d read Frankenstein — that the Creature was a victim whose actions could be understood even if not condoned.

According to the journalists (is that the correct description?) students who expressed sympathy for the Creature’s plight were to be dubbed ‘snowflakes’; for anyone not au fait with this term of opprobrium it means anyone who is, frankly, not a rabid gun-toting neoliberal who thinks the poor, the disabled, LGBTI campaigners, women and ethnics have only themselves to blame for being victims.

Sadly, it’s not at all obvious that the writers have read either the 1818 text or the 1831 edition, in which it’s abundantly clear that the Creature is the one who’s been wronged.

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31 thoughts on “Snowflakes and the Sun

    1. Not seen today’s Guardian, so thanks for the link, Joseph! The Sun being bamboozled by cliché is one thing, but the Times pandering to anti-intellectualism? I shouldn’t be surprised, they’re both under Murdoch control.

    1. Thea Jacobs is apparently a newly trained journalist, but Gary O’Shea is a hardened hack, unbeloved by Hacked Off for his character assassination of at least oneinnocent suspect, and who seems more comfortable with football stories than with 19th-century literature. But it’s true Sun reporters aren’t as stupid as the the majority of readers they appeal to, but that doesn’t make them less culpable of muck-stirring, to my thinking.

    1. FAKINGNEWS: Sun journalists claim that their toilet paper is really a newspaper, and that Marxist-loving tree-huggers attacking their honest work has made them the true VICTIMS.
      Even so-called academics believe that Sun journalists should be accorded human rights.

      1. inkbiotic

        Yes, it’s easy to dismiss them as a daft newspaper, but they’ve ruined lives. From Hillsborough, to the lies about Elf and Safety (oh what a surprise, a big corporation doesn’t want to be responsible for protecting its workers) to Milly Dowler to countless other people hounded and slandered. They’re a bunch of shits. It won’t change anything when they get made to look stupid (like with that headline), but it does provide a little relief. So thank you for that 🙂

        1. I’ve no illusions about Murdoch journalists. As I mention above Gary O’Shea is a particularly unpleasant individual who, as I understand it, pursued an innocent party in a Bristol murder enquiry, publishing salacious tittle-tattle about him as though this proved the man’s guilt. Hacked Off were understandably ‘hacked off’ with this hack, but it hasn’t stopped him writing stuff that parades innuendo as fact.

        2. The Sun’s reporter Gary O’Shea said he now knows the paper should have been “more neutral and dispassionate” and also apologised to Jefferies. The Sun and the Mirror, among other papers, had to pay substantial damages to Jefferies.

          1. inkbiotic

            Horrible stuff, thanks for the articles. Of course I know you hate the Murdojournos too, I don’t know if it changes anything to rant, but it feels satisfying anyway. Have a lovely day Calmgrove, don’t let the bastards grind you down 🙂

            1. Keeps us alert, Petra, to be reminded of this press empire’s poisonous agenda, just in case any of us snowflakes was ever inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt!

    1. The stereotypical Aussie (as caricatured by Barry Humphries) is supposed to have a rich lexicon of abuse terms, mostly based on bodily functions, is he not? (And it usually is a ‘he’, I understand.)

      1. In fact there’s a particularly virulent class of right-wing women who talk about bed-wetters. I suppose since it’s usually women who deal with the consequences of bed-wetting, it’s appropriate.

        1. As there’s usually a rather distressing reason for a young child to wet the bed it’s also a remark that is singularly insensitive and uncaring, so says more about the person using the insult than the recipient. ☹️

  1. The Artist's Child

    Thanks for sharing. Had not heard about this but nothing surprises me about tabloid journalism. I’ve read the book. It’s wonderful and the creature is to be pitied. Frankenstein is the real monster with his experiments. Hard to believe anyone could get so worked up about a fictional character and attack those who have a sympathetic viewpoint. They must have had a slow news day!

    1. This story was ‘sexed up’ taken from a more nuanced report in the Times. Thus, another example of lazy journalism slanted to appeal to the prejudices of the paper’s readership and calculated to froth up a storm in a teacup.

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