And (not) in other news today

You will, of course have read in today’s papers all about the killing of Brazilian trans performer, Cecilia Marahouse. Not.

For despite a number of bloggers reporting the story yesterday, the national press appeared strangely indifferent to the story. Which is odd, given just how prominently the topic of Brazilian transsexual murder has been in those same papers over the last ten days or so. You’d think, on topicality grounds alone – the way dangerous dogs are mostly not news, until a particularly gruesome story hits the headlines and then suddenly loads of identikit stories creep out of the woodwork – it would be newsworthy.

Press agenda

Hell: the unfortunate coincidence of this event with Suzanne Moore’s temporary departure from Twitter even gave it an instant hook.

But no. In the same way that a single story based on some very shaky allegations about the trans community’s favourite Doc, Richard Curtis, gets splashed all over the papers, while hundreds of allegations of medical malpractice in respect of the trans community merits barely a footnote, this story excited no reaction at all. Nothing. Nada. Not even a quiver.

Well, apart from Pink News, which to its credit DID report on the story yesterday afternoon.

But don’t worry, folks: the national press DO NOT have an agenda here. Assorted press barons have assured us this is so!

Moore tweets: myth or hit?

Meanwhile, Suzanne Moore is still adding to the mirth of the nation, with yet more Cnutish behaviour out on twitter, threatening Pink News with some sort of unspecified action for daring to link her name to the death. At 10.50pm, she wrote: “Read this piece of shit and Pink News will hear from my lawyers in the morning”.

No, no. Wash your ears out at the back! I said Cnutish and i MEANT Cnutish, in reference to anglo-Danish king, Cnut, infamous for his futile attempts to turn back the tide.

Except, of course, he didn’t. As any fule kno, nowadays: the classic version of the tale has Cnut sat on the beach somewhere, vainly commanding the sea to stop rushing to the shore. While the urban myth debunkment of same reveals that he only did it in order to prove to his courtiers that he did not have divine powers.

Cnut did not attempt to divert the tide. Nor, according to more contemporary reports, did Freddie Starr eat anyone’s hamster Alabama never legislated that pi be equal to 3: lemmings do not commit ritual suicide by leaping off cliffs every so many years.

Still, once an association is out there in the public mind, it often sticks. Short of establishing a charity for homeless Brazilian trans folk – and rolling up her sleeves and decamping, Mother Theresa like to the slums of Rio de Janeiro to dedicate the remainder of her life to that body of people she will now and forever more be associated with a degree of insensitivity to the issue of murder of trans Brazilians.

It no longer matters what she said, how she said it. Time erases detail, leaving behind only the shadow of words used.

The importance of not being earnest

Which leaves me in two minds about yesterday’s tweet. On the one hand, it feels like she really, truly, doesn’t get it.

Within minutes of her twit, the news was circulating yet again: Suzanne Moore threatens libel writs against one of the lgbt community’s few established papers – and its over THAT issue again. Surely…surely she can’t be that daft?

And you know: i don’t think she is. A subsequent tweet, just 6 minutes later, read: “no libel threats. I will just turn their balls in Tesco Value Burgers”. Eeyuw!

Suzanne, i suspect some will be telling her this morning: you can’t do this sort of thing. Or rather, since that sounds like telling her what to do: you can’t do this sort of thing and expect no consequences.

Or is she – and this was my sense last night – just playing? Doing what i do sometimes out on twitter and elsewhere, giving in to the inexorable temptation to laugh and play and dance with words…and regretting it (or not) in the morning, as she wakes/i wake to a bunch of po-faced twitterers who are definitely not amused.

I don’t know. About the only thing i do take away from this is that for good or ill, Suzanne Moore is now chained, for the rest of her literary life, to the issue of “Brazilian transsexuals”. Whenever that topic surfaces in the news, the googlists and axe-to-grinders and eventually even those who have only just been born will trot out that association.

Sisyphus had his boulder: Moore, now, has Brazilian transsexuals, for the rest of her literary life. I hope they are happy together.

jane xx


About janefae

On my way from here to there
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7 Responses to And (not) in other news today

  1. Cathy Butler says:

    I can’t disagree with your conclusion, but…

    “Read this piece of shit and Pink News will hear from my lawyers in the morning”

    I’m trying hard to reread this as an example of laughing and dancing and playing with words, and coming up empty. Had the phrase “this shit” been absent I can see that she might – just might – have passed it off as an ironic comment on the modern tendency of some people (not trans people, they can’t afford it) to litigate at the drop of a hat. But “this shit” is not lighthearted.

    • janefae says:

      say it aloud. I bet you can find ways of saying it that are casual and throwaway, as well as heartfelt and offensive.

      That’s the difficulty with twitter…no verbal colour.

      jane xx

      • Paula Thomas says:

        Agreed that twitter lacks verbal colour but that applies to all written words and she is a writer…

        But I suppose the real danger of twitter is its immediacy with no army of editors and sub-editors to challenge… But wait that’s what the Observer is supposed to have…

        Now that is called irony.

      • janefae says:

        Oh, don’t. There is a pile of irony lurking in the corner of my bedroom that i will need to get back to later today….

        jane xx

  2. I think it has just got to the stage now where she is enjoying the attention! Thanks for your interesting post and also expanding my knowledge of Danish Kings. (I had to google to check it was a real thing)

  3. Trofim says:

    I think you’ll find that at the moment a snide joke was being made about blokes with beards (I get them all the time, as a member of the bearded community) a bloke with a beard was being killed somewhere in the world, probably in Syria. Funny that.

    • Cathy Butler says:

      Are many people killed because they’ve got beards? Has the government legislated so that you need your spouse’s consent before growing a beard? Has anyone pleaded “stubble panic” as a justification for beating up their bearded sexual partner?

      Thought not.

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