Wednesday, 21 October 2009

The Jan Moir Thing

Okay, so I may be a little late blogging about this now, but I thought I'd finally get round to following up on my previous blog about people hyping up the death of Stephen Gately.

After The Sun, slightly more subtly, implied Gately's lifestyle might have contributed to his death, The Daily Fascist's Jan Moir posted a vitriolic blog that managed to link together celebrity obsession, civil partnerships, sexual perversity, drug use, death, coronary reports and Boyzone into one vile attack on a dead man, his family and the medical practitioners who said his death was a tragic accident.

The original blog is here, and you can read a number of responses just by Googling 'Jan Moir Stephen Gately'.

She writes of 'dark appetites' and lives 'fractured by private vice'. She compares Amy Winehouse, Kate Moss and Britney Spears with Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger and Stephen, saying that watching their allegedly inexorable slide to scandalous death is 'not being ghoulish'. I have to ask, what else is it, Jan?

She then goes on to suggest Stephen Gately died after a night of alcohol and substance abuse, whilst his husband slept in another room with a Bulgarian brought back for, she suggests, some kind of sexual depravity. ('It is not disrespectful to assume that a game of canasta with 25-year-old Georgi Dochev was not what was on the cards,' she writes.) She therefore writes off the professional opinion of the coroner and comes to her own conclusion that the circumstances were 'more than a little sleazy'.

Really, Jan? Let's consider the facts. He was drinking for 8 hours. Say, from 8pm till 4am. Or 10pm till 6am. Last time I checked, my favourite gay night, Pink Pounder at Queens Court, opens at 8pm and closes at 4am. I know many people that arrive at 8pm on the dot and will not leave till they're thrown out. Indeed, when I went this Monday, I didn't arrive till 11pm, but after the party ended I went back to my friend's for a house party till 7am. Which brings me onto the next detail: the Bulgarian friend. Maybe they were planning a consensual threesome between adult men (entirely legal and entirely up to them), but maybe they were also just drinking together. Okay, I'm not naive. Most likely they were planning some three-in-the-bed action, but that's not confirmed, and gay men can just be platonic friends. Not every man I bring home and share a bed with has to engage in sexual congress with me first. The majority probably do not.

Jan also accuses the media of sugar-coating the situation. I don't think this is the case. A snidy hint of sleaze has bubbled under the surface of many tabloid reports on the incident, and I'm sure Jan is probably too ignorant to a) notice this hint and b) not be influenced by it. She probably only reads tabloids, which is why she believes their (and her own) bullshit.

Anyway, there's nothing here I can say others haven't already said, but suffice it to say the 22K complaints the Press Complaints Commission has received is more than enough to vindicate my response. True, she has freedom of speech, but we also have the freedom of speech to speak out against her comments too.

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