How do you wake up? I wake up pulled from the darkness into the horrid grey light, doom already clinging to me like hair in the shower, and even before I have opened my tired dry eyes properly against the day I am done with it; I am born into a sense of dread. I cannot escape it. And so often my first thought – when I am shaken properly away by the ice-white clarion call of my iPhone alarm – my first thought is almost always, 'What now?' followed frequently by, 'What the fuck now?'
Is this just me? Is everyone else waking up cheerily to wholemeal toast and fresh orange juice, and this is just me? I just feel like this isn't just me.
Anyway, here's what's now:
That – in case you're so out of the loop that you don't know what any of this means; and, if you are, honestly I envy you; I would like to tap a chisel into the exact same part of my brain that is as defunct as yours is, and just forget this year ever happened – that is the British tabloids' reactions to yesterday's news on the Brexit court ruling, which you can read more about here.
In short: three judges have ruled that the government cannot trigger Article 50 without Parliament's approval. All this has really done is make Brexit an even longer process with even more complex negotiations, but Remainers have jumped on the decision with glee and hope, and Brexiteers have just got really mad that the opinions of 48 percent of voters are now going to be slightly listened to.
But we all know I am not here to ask questions like, "Is this good?" or, "Is this bad?" or, "What is the EU?" We all know I am here to do surface-level half-analysis on something unimportant. Come on. This is the drill and we know it by now. This is the dance, where I lead and you begrudgingly follow. Come on. Give me your hand and succumb to me. And so:
WHICH IS THE MOST HYSTERICAL NEWSPAPER FRONT PAGE FROM TODAY'S SELECTION OF INCREDIBLY HYSTERICAL NEWSPAPER FRONT PAGES? A COUNTDOWN
Notes: final scores will be a percentage in terms of "Brexsteria", a fun portmanteau word I made that clashes "Brexit" like a Ferrari into the solid tree of the word "hysteria". I haven't included every front cover because, honestly, who has the time. Although, in case you were wondering, Daily Star have led with "ED BALLS STRICTLY SEXTING SHOCK".
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH
– Top-right-corner Matt cartoon that, like so many Matt cartoons before it, makes absolutely fuck all sense;
– Respectful poppy masthead;
– Three judges who voted unanimously to uphold the fucking law decked out in chilling ice-blue tones like they're all appearing in a Netflix documentary about a trio of professional men who decided for whatever reason to become serial killers;
– Literal column from Nigel Farage, the newt-cum-man who engineered Brexit for, as best I can tell, absolutely no reason at all, which includes the quote "[The British Public] feel that their views are being totally ignored and their verdict thwarted by a rich elite who took the case to court, where unelected judges have struck a blow against Brexit", presented entirely without irony;
– A whole op-ed that seems to confuse "judges upholding the law" with "a deep violation of this country's constitutional rights", which really makes you understand why some Americans are voting and rallying so hard for Trump, i.e. because, deep down, a vast majority of us are fantastic idiots;
– I dunno, is advertising an £18,000 watch on the same front page that bemoans an elite class ignoring the will of the hardworking British people a bit gauche? ijdk;
– I personally find the listing order "Puzzles, Obituaries" very amusing indeed;
BREXSTERIA RATING: 85 percent
THE DAILY MAIL
– Slightly larger, therefore more respectful masthead poppy;
– Advert for a free and gigantic map of Britain in tomorrow's newspaper, which I suppose you can pin to your wall and, using a thick robust pen, draw a line like a wall all around each and every atom of these Great British Isles; God Save the Queen Fuck Europe;
– The way the three judges have been smeared in the weakest possible way, with Lord Justice Sales being done for "working with Tony Blair", Lord Chief Justice Thomas getting it for "liking Europe" and Sir Terence Etherton getting it two-footed for "being a fencer", but not – as the Mail Online noted loudly, before deleting it when they realised it might have been A Bit Much – for being "openly gay";
– The headline "ENEMIES OF THE PEOPLE", which, to be fair, would make a great name for a period Hollywood blockbuster where Tom Hiddleston, a mostly mute but unerringly accurate gentleman sniper, takes down an entire Nazi battalion with just six well lined-up shots, then smokes a tab and shags Tilda Swinton about it, but for a headline about three men doing their jobs to slightly inconvenience the worst public decision ever made is possibly again A Bit Much;
– There are no overwhelming points against, although they maybe could have crammed a Union Flag in there if they wanted to try a bit harder.
BREXSTERIA RATING: 95 percent
– I don't know. Not really much happening here, is there? Photo of Gina Miller but not one chosen to make her look particularly happy and gloating about the decision. Reasoned Polly Toynbee bit about how it's not exactly usual for judges to undermine the absolute power of the Prime Minister. Something about REM. On the Brexsteria front, this is a piss-poor show;
– Treating this like a normal news day and actually putting other news on the front page and giving it a decent amount of space;
– GIVING ROBBIE WILLIAMS, WHO MAY I REMIND THE GUARDIAN IS BRITISH, A MERE TWO STARS OUT OF FIVE FOR HIS NEW ALBUM. DO WE NOT LOOK AFTER OUR OWN ANY MORE?
BREXSTERIA RATING: <1 percent
– This is the most The Sun front page ever in history: three entire shit puns, a free bingo promotion, a royal, an exceptionally misleading headline about Prince Harry's rumoured new girlfriend being a porn star and a lead that is mad about Europe. All this needed was the word "Cor!", something about a Page 3 girl being caught "romping" with someone and a 27-year denial of a national tragedy and we'd be looking at a full house;
– Used a photo where Gina Miller's skin looks darker than in every other newspaper her face has been published in for reasons you can speculate about on your own time;
– The kind of fold-your-brain hypocrisy of a newspaper owned by a loaded foreign elite having a pop at loaded foreign elite under the vague muddy guise of protecting these Great British Isles, God Save the Queen Fuck Europe;
– The words "FOR A GREATER BRITAIN" on the masthead. I mean, surely at this rate we're only six months away from The Sun leading with the headline "FOREIGNERS OUT" with a free fold-and-keep EDL flag in the centrefold;
– No poppy, which is disrespectful;
– I'm sorry, but I can't not deduct points for a pun as bad as "PURRINCESS", and this is coming from a man who has been pushing "Brexsteria" as a viable joke for about 12 paragraphs now;
BREXSTERIA RATING: 90 percent
– Small, so not entirely respectful, poppy on the masthead;
– Lead photo of Gina Miller laughing and looking happy, as if she has one polished Louboutin on the throat of the British people (the good British people, the ones who voted us aimlessly out of the EU) and just laughing, laughing and laughing and laughing, probably with the stench of one of those fancy Starbucks coffees on her breath, those coffees that liberals like so much, looking into the eyes of The Good Ordinary Hardworking Idiot British People and whispering down, low to them, so low that only they can hear it: scum;
– The headline "MAY IS URGED TO CALL SNAP ELECTION OVER BREXIT RULING", because, truly, the only way to defy people asking you to do a mad thing sensibly is to go fully mad;
– Story about the pound actually being alright after it had its best week against the dollar since March, after it went tits-over-arse in June with everyone shitting themselves about Brexit chaos, and now Brexit has just devolved into some tedious admin argument everything is… alright… again? Listen, I said at the top we're not here for real news. Read the Financial Times, if you have to;
– No bingo offer;
– What are the Downton stars up to now?
BREXSTERIA RATING: 50 percent
– GOD SAVE OUR GRACIOUS QUEEN
– LONG LIVE OUR NOBLE QUEEN
– GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
– SENNNNNNNND HERRRRR VICTORRRRRRRIOUS
– HA–PPY AND GLOOOOOORRRRRIOUS
– THIS FRONT COVER SHOULD BE THE NEW NATIONAL FLAG
– BIG POPPY
– ONE-WORD WEATHER REPORT
– WE. MUST. GET. OUT. OF. THE. E. U.
– THE LEAD PARAGRAPH IS LITERALLY "TODAY THE COUNTRY FACES A CRISIS AS GRAVE AS ANYTHING SINCE THE DARK DAYS WHEN CHURCHILL VOWED WE WOULD FIGHT THEM ON THE BEACHES," AS THOUGH WE ARE ACTUALLY AT WAR, AS IF HYPERBOLE AS A CONCEPT IS MOOT
– ZERO POINTS AGAINST
BREXSTERIA RATING: ONE BILLION PERCENT
UPDATE 04/11/16: A previous version of this article said it appeared that The Sun had darkened Gina Miller's skin, as per this fun viral tweet, and because – looking at the photo compared to all other photos – it seemed that they had. However, the photographer who took the picture has confirmed The Sun have not retouched it. VICE Brexteria rating: surprisingly high!
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