Really I should thank Jan Moir. I’ve been looking for a reason to have a bit of a rant and post a new tirade on here, and her disgraceful and embarrassing article posted today on the Daily Mail site is the perfect excuse to let off some steam.
There are so so many things wrong with it, that it seems only fair to address them point by point, just in case she feels that I have missed anything out or not done justice to her vitriolic ramblings by skipping over any of them.
‘Robbie, Amy, Kate, Whitney, Britney; we all know who they are. And we are not being ghoulish to anticipate, or to be mentally braced for, their bad end: a long night, a mysterious stranger, an odd set of circumstances that herald a sudden death.’
To be honest, Jan, I’m not mentally braced for a bad end for any celebrity. Mostly because I have better things to do with my time than sit here and worry about what Robbie, Amy, Kate, Whitney or Britney might be doing at any given hour of the day or night. I can see though, that if all I had to do with my life was sit and write bullshit to peddle to fat, right wing, bigots, then yes, I might have a bit more time for this.
‘In the morning, a body has already turned cold before the first concerned hand reaches out to touch an icy celebrity shoulder. It is not exactly a new storyline, is it?’
It’s not a ‘storyline’ at all Jan. It’s the death of someone’s mother, father, brother, son, uncle, nephew that you’re talking about. Not the latest cliffhanger on a Friday night episode of EastEnders before the ‘dum dum dum dums’ and a shot of the Thames comes up on screen.
‘In the cheerful environs of Boyzone, Gately was always charming, cute, polite and funny.’
I suspect that that’s because he was charming, cute, polite and funny. Which are 4 words that no one need ever worry about shoe-horning in to your obituary, are they Jan?
‘Gately came out as gay in 1999 after discovering that someone was planning to sell a story revealing his sexuality to a newspaper. Although he was effectively smoked out of the closet, he has been hailed as a champion of gay rights, albeit a reluctant one.’
Gosh, I wonder what paper that might have been? Perhaps one that routinely denounces gay marriage, and happily pays for drivel written (for written, read ‘sold’) by an ex-hairdresser’s cousin’s binman who may once have walked down the opposite side of the road to someone who vaguely resembled the celebrity being ‘written’ about.
‘At the time, Gately worried that the revelations might end his ultra-mainstream career as a pin-up, but he received an overwhelmingly positive response from fans. In fact, it only made them love him more.’
Jan, you seem genuinely surprised that people should not have forced him into exile in a foreign land at his vile and unnatural revelations! Which, no doubt, he would have been, if it had been up to you and your Mail cohorts. Heaven forbid that people would accept him for who he is, and let him get on with living his private life happily, and in private. I suspect you would have been more comfortable and willing to forgive him if he’d announced that he was actually Jack the Ripper than a happy, successful, monogamous gay man.
‘All the official reports point to a natural death, with no suspicious circumstances. The Gately family are – perhaps understandably – keen to register their boy’s demise on the national consciousness as nothing more than a tragic accident… Whatever the cause of death is, it is not, by any yardstick, a natural one. Let us be absolutely clear about this. All that has been established so far is that Stephen Gately was not murdered… A post-mortem revealed Stephen died from acute pulmonary oedema, a build-up of fluid on his lungs.’
No ‘perhaps’ about it Jan – why on earth would any family want their loved one’s death debated in all its gory detail in this way, whether it was an accident or not?! Oh, and if I can just point out – you have actually managed to say that you don’t know how he died, that the cause of death was not a natural one, and then what the post-mortem showed the cause of death to be, in no more than 4 sentences. Help out here Jan, am I missing something?! Or are you basically just counting on the fact that there’s a big picture separating the line ‘Whatever the cause of death is, it’s not a natural one’ from the line ‘A post-mortem revealed Stephen died from fluid on his lungs’ and that in the intervening period of having scroll down 420 pixels that your readers will have forgotten the bile spurted before the images and be ready for a whole new bucket of it, completely contradictory to the first one, afterwards?
‘After a night of clubbing, Cowles and Gately took a young Bulgarian man back to their apartment. It is not disrespectful to assume that a game of canasta with 25-year-old Georgi Dochev was not what was on the cards.’
I think it’s completely disrespectful to assume that, Jan. If they’d been a straight couple and had gone back with a single male friend after a night out together, would canasta be on the cards then? Or if they were two single males, who’d gone home with a 3rd single male friend after that same night out, then would canasta be OK? Your bigotry makes me physically shake with anger Jan, and that’s inconvenient, as I’ve still got a lot more to write.
‘Gately’s family have always maintained that drugs were not involved in the singer’s death, but it has just been revealed that he at least smoked cannabis on the night he died. Nevertheless, his mother is still insisting that her son died from a previously undetected heart condition that has plagued the family.’
They didn’t say he hadn’t smoked some weed – they said drugs weren’t involved in his death. Which is exactly what you’ve written. I doff my cap, Jan, you are a maestro at writing the facts in such a way that makes them appear to be the opposite of what they are. I guess the many years you have spent spinning stories from nothing on the back of a fag packet will build that skill. And in fairness, your readership aren’t exactly the type to engage in an intellectual debate about the accuracy or otherwise of your ‘reporting’. Your complete lack of compassion and disregard for his mother’s feelings is also outstanding. Well done you.
‘Another real sadness about Gately’s death is that it strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships. Gay activists are always calling for tolerance and understanding about same-sex relationships, arguing that they are just the same as heterosexual marriages. Not everyone, they say, is like George Michael. Of course, in many cases this may be true. Yet the recent death of Kevin McGee, the former husband of Little Britain star Matt Lucas, and now the dubious events of Gately’s last night raise troubling questions about what happened.’
WOAH there Jan. What on earth has Stephen Gately’s death got to do with the sanctity of civil partnerships?! And really – even if you can wiggle out of that little homophobic jibe – what has his sad and untimely death got to do with either George Michael or Kevin McGee?? Good lord woman, I genuinely don’t quite know where to start on this. What, pray tell, has the sad suicide of one gay man got to do with the – by all accounts natural – death of another gay man, in another country, on a different day? Really Jan, you’re making me swear now. For fuck’s sake. When Keith Floyd and Patrick Swayze passed away, were you troubling yourself with what this meant for white men with receding hairlines the world over? Nope, didn’t think so. Somehow in your little, twisted mind the fact that they had the same sexuality in life means that their deaths are somehow connected? Please.
‘It is important that the truth comes out about the exact circumstances of his strange and lonely death.’
Why? Because you’re a nosy bitch?
‘As a gay rights champion, I am sure he would want to set an example to any impressionable young men who may want to emulate what they might see as his glamorous routine. For once again, under the carapace of glittering, hedonistic celebrity, the ooze of a very different and more dangerous lifestyle has seeped out for all to see.’
Oh the irony of someone as small-minded and hypocritical as you preaching about role models makes me chuckle. See, there you go again making a drama out of someone else’s loss and pain – there’s absolutely nothing to suggest his life was lived dangerously, or ‘oozed’ anything. The only ooze I can see is that greeny slimey one left by your knuckles dragging along the floor.
I mean, really? This is journalism?! You make me ashamed to be a woman, Jan Moir. And worried – as a woman, with brunette hair, I’m desperately concerned that our lives are somehow identical, that are deaths will be forever intertwined, and that I might end up as fat, stupid, homophobic and utterly ridiculous as you.
Oh no wait, I have a brain, and friends, and a heart. I think I’ll be OK.