A Good Thing To Lose #3: OK! Magazine
I’ve been in close proximity to OK! Magazine many times before. My girlfriend, who is an intelligent woman, a Glasgow School Of Art graduate and undoubtedly my intellectual superior, is incongruously drawn to what she quite accurately refers to as “trash”. She seems to hold a preposterous passion for the likes of America’s Next Top Model and lots of other television shows that all seem to feature that bespectacled Chinese guy. Occasionally a friend will interrupt her viewing and pop round to drop off a pile of tatty, creased and out-of-date celebrity-obsessed publications that have apparently already been ingested to their full potential, this friend also seems to be an otherwise intelligent person, also an Art School graduate. I find it fascinating that evidently clever women – I’m sure there must be a few men who read these things too but I’ve genuinely never met any – can be lured into such fatuous, inane shit. What did some talentless starlet snort at the weekend? Who had sweaty armpits on the red carpet? Is their relationship on the rocks? I couldn’t give a toss, and I don’t understand why everyone is so fucking nosy these days.
So I’d been out for a post-gig drink last Monday evening, (we’d been to see Michael Nyman and his band at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall; how cosmopolitan am I?). The night escalated, as they so often do, and soon it was half past two in the morning and all that golden, frothy ale had left me peckish. So, I’m in the queue at the handy health hazard known as the twenty-four hour shop with my junk-food of choice (can’t remember what it was but there was not a trace of it come morning) when I casually glance over at the magazine rack and spy the new edition of OK!. It’s a picture of what appears in my blurry vision to be former Page 3 model Jordan, and the headline, apparently accredited to her, eventually pulls into focus and catches my eye. It reads thus: “RAPISTS SHOULD BE RAPED, THE DEATH PENALTY IS GREAT AND BARACK’S NOT FIT.” Well, dear reader, what else could I do? Having never purchased the magazine before, I realised this could provide me with another of my mind-broadening experiments and decided to buy it. It was such an attractive, sensational headline that I simply couldn’t resist.
By the time I get round to reading it about a week later, it resembles the sort of beaten, dog-eared scrap that you’d find in a doctor’s waiting room – my girlfriend and her mates have already attacked it with zeal. First things first: a cursory flick through the mag before I settle on an article to read. There seems to be a rather disproportionate amount of Lily Allen photos in the latter half, along with the usual film stars and clotheshorses. There’s Claire Sweeney who used to be off Brookside, Girls Aloud (Kimberley stealing the show as always), Carla off Coronation Street, Take That and, of course, Jordan. I must say, my ego is a little bruised when I realise that I seem to know who the majority of these people are. I’m clearly not quite as distanced from the world of trash as I had hoped. So let’s take a more leisurely stroll from the front cover onwards and see what we can find.
Celebrity Big Brother can fuck off for starters. Kate Hudson too – a dreadfully insipid actor on a good day. Now then: Kerry Katona. I’m sure you’ll be pleased to learn that she has finally found happiness and has been smiling “Since the start of 2009.” It’s only been three weeks, love – let’s not drop the antidepressants right away, eh? But she did have a foot-long in Subway so at least she’s eating properly, if a Subway sandwich can be considered in any way proper. My immediate assumption is: does Kerry Katona get free food in Subway in return for being papped outside? Ever the cynic, me...
Ah, bugger! I missed Kate Moss’s birthday party. I hear she’s a right goer, too... Madonna has a toyboy! Madonna’s looking younger! Madonna is a singer, actor, author and film director who can neither sing, act, write nor direct the shite out of her arse! The only discernible talent that Madonna has is a shrewd sense for business and an insatiable hunger for cash! She is an enemy of art, a charlatan selling snake oil to sycophantic sheep; the archetypal goddess of greed masquerading as craft! I’m not really a fan…
Oh Christ, supposedly steamy photos of Victoria Beckham! Talk about a turn-off. She’s Madonna to the power of infinity… Brangelina! Then some slightly creepy photos of celebs with their kids in the park etcetera etcetera etcetera etcetera etcetera etcetera etcetera…
Okay, here we are: Jordan. Might as well read the cover story, it’ll only take a couple of minutes. To my surprise, I find that Jordan – or Katie Andre as she’s now known on her marriage certificate – doesn’t seem all that bad. By her own admission, she’s completely out of her depth when faced with not particularly challenging political questions about her imminent new home, the USA. She makes some very sensible suggestions: a tax-funded health care system for all citizens (“Something like the NHS”) and improved facilities for the homeless and those with disabilities. Fair enough, can’t argue with that. She advocates lowering the legal age of consent and alcohol purchase to 16 and 18 respectively as it is in her native country and believes that same-sex marriage should be legalised across the entire nation. Sounds fine to me. Things go wildly awry, however, when she suggests that – as that seductive headline quote had promised – convicted rapists should be raped. She doesn’t elaborate on who would actually perform this punishment or the moral implications of creating even more rapists than we have already – perhaps she imagines we could lock them all in a pen and let them rape each other? Don’t think that would work. Nor do I think that tattooing the ears of thieves is a sensible solution to stealing. These aren’t particularly intelligent or informed things to say, but then Jordan never claimed to be either intelligent or informed and it’s difficult to deny that her heart’s in the right place.
The article goes on in a similar vein and ends with a question about her English accent: will she change it to become more palatable to the ears of her new (temporary) countrymen? No, she says, “I wouldn’t change anything about myself for anyone.” Really? Is my memory beginning to rust or am I right in thinking that she had breast augmentation surgery for a second time because the readers of The Sun voted for it? Hmmm.
I give up. I’m going no further with this magazine, I’ve got better things to do with my time. I’ve no interest in most of these people, and I don’t care about the private lives of the few that do interest me, which in this edition pretty much amounts to Alison King, i.e. Carla off Corrie. From the photos, it appears that Alison is pregnant, so good for her. I can’t read the article though for fear of Coronation Street spoilers – well, you’ve got to have some excitement in life, haven’t you?
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