The Sinking Sun: Today The Royal Mail Put Shit Through 22 Million Letter Boxes
NORMALLY if someone puts shit through your letterbox, that person is in breach of the law and could face prosecutions.
Yet today 22 million homes had a piece of shit on the doormat, delivered courtesy of the Royal Mail.
Postal workers refused to deliver said item in Liverpool, in deference to local sensibilities, but the rest of England was not so fortunate.
‘FREE HISTORIC EDITION’ announces the front page: ‘THIS IS OUR ENGLAND’.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is The Sun 2.0 2014.
Accompanying this bold claim/confession is a ‘Sgt Pepper’-style collage of a hundred-odd skid-marks and no-marks from the world of sport, politics, royalty and entertainment, plus a handful of more substantial celebs from the olden days, such as Sir Paul McCartney and Geoff Hat-trick Hurst. Between them they are presumably supposed to trigger the kind of patriotic tumescence associated with the likes of Sam Fox in the Currant Bun’s 1980’s ‘GOTCHA!’ heyday.
But this is not the Eighties, and the Sun knows it.
Indeed, ‘The Sun SAYS’: ‘Page One features the 112 people we believe capture the essence of England today. For years ‘English national pride’ was a toxic phrase. Being proud to be English was uncool. Stuffy, small-minded – racist, even.’
Hmm, can’t imagine which newspaper waved the flag for those values… But wait, there’s more…
‘We are happy to say he flag has been reclaimed by ordinary patriotic folk…’
And so on.
In place of jingoism, Sun 2.0 has a sort of tepid ‘Twiglets, hip-hop and The Young Ones’ brand of vibrant, diverse patriotism normally found in free magazines published by the propaganda wing of the local council. Dismally dull and desperate to appeal to a fantasy version of Britain that – for all its attempts to be modern and relevant – feels more like a marketing survey from the last century.
This ‘historic’ issue has of course been produced to celebrate the start of England’s World Cup, and it is fitting that, in keeping with the overall ethos, they have recruited the poster-man-child of modern Eng-er-land, the ubiquitous James Corden. This is the person, let it be remembered, who wrote during a previous campaign of how he hated watching England in pubs and bars surrounded by England fans, because they made him feel uncomfortable.
His article takes the form of a letter to ‘Uncle Roy’ and is signed off, in true luvvie style, with the words ‘love, James’.
In the picture that graces the page, his head, adorned with flag of St George face paint, appears to have been photoshopped onto his body at double its proper proportions. He wears a politician suit and clutches a Sun mug in true Blair-Cameron style. It is a repellent and slightly disturbing image.
‘You have part-ownership of our hearts,’ he says – a phrase which combines the mawkishness of the nu-fan with the corporate management-speak of elite football. It’s queasy and offensive and utterly sad.
The rest of this sorry rag – spread thin even over its meager 24 ad-filled pages – is taken up with: a half-arsed survey (WHAT MAKES YOU PROUD) which says that our favourite things are the Queen and Sunday Roast; an article entitled ‘No one else on the planet comes close to our genius’ (not about football); a rather sad feature on ‘the England super-supporters’ (the sort of bell-ends who feature on the corporate ads that say ‘you are football’, but who are presumably regarded by the shithouses who wrote this as ‘ordinary patriotic folk’); and, in a nod to the Sun’s un-PC glory days, a double-spread of mock front covers from England’s proud history.
Even this is curiously muted. A bit of gloating about Guy Fawks, Napoleon, the Armada, etc, but all safely in the past. No mention of the Belgrano here.
There’s also a load of other rubbish so poor that would shame the Metro free-sheet. One could go on, but to be honest there’s no point.
Whatever your view of The Sun in the past, it always trumpeted its belligerent prejudices and shamelessly rewrote history and bent stories to fit its worldview. It was proud, unrepentant and unapologetic.
This pitiful attempt to cling to the coat-tails of a non-existent public mood almost makes you feel sorry for those involved in its ‘creation’. Almost.
Most people receiving this sorry gift won’t have seen The Sun since it put up a pay-wall on its website. This is presumably intended to tempt them to part with their cash and join the paper’s shiny new family.
Sadly, by the time England kick off in Manaus, most copies of the historic artifact will be wrapped around teabags and coffee grouts and dumped in the recycling bins of this green and pleasant land.
To coin a phrase, Sun guys, they’ve FORGOTCHA.
– Angry Red Tomato