Monday, November 21, 2005

Fuck you, Lucy Mangan, you self-indulgent moron


Bad journalism: a step-by-step guide

  1. Find a spurious scientific study, based on a small sample, which takes a substance believed to be good for you and 'proves' it's bad for you, such as decaffeinated coffee.

  2. Caricature people who prefer to consume said substance as "po-faced gimps", irrespective of the fact that they may not conform to this caricature, and may have perfectly good reasons for consuming the substance.

  3. Write an article about it all and publish it in the Guardian.

  4. Sit back, smug in the knowledge that you have achieved precisely nothing of value.

I'm not sure exactly what Lucy Mangan has against people who drink decaffeinated coffee. Perhaps some dreadful health fascist cornered her for four hours at a party and gave her a good lecture about the toxins she was putting into her body, and this is her method of payback. Or, far more likely, she has a problem with being reminded of her own inadequacy by the fact that she is consuming an awful lot of unhealthy things which she enjoys, while a number of other people ("self-indulgent morons", apparently) are taking care of what they eat and drink, on the grounds that they might live longer and feel healthier. How else to explain the irrational delight with which she's seized upon this study? How else to explain her irritation with people who actually don't like the shaking hands, increased heartbeat, anxiety, sleeplessness and cold sweat that accompany intake of caffeinated drinks (at least, in my case)?

There's one thing you can say for Lucy - she does a good line in bile:
The researchers (that's scientists funded by an agglomeration of proper public health bodies, all you decaf doilies who are trying to raise your papery hands in protest) described the findings, which were based on people drinking three to six cups a day, as "very surprising." But for those of us who are sick of being harangued by Quorn-filled, carb-less freaks intent on using their rapidly diminishing physical resources to suck the little remaining joy from the lives of anyone acquainted with them, the results were better described as "very delightful."

"Harangued" - that explains it. Trauma. She really was cornered by a health fascist. Poor Lucy! Imagine her world: she must be surrounded by nannying do-gooders, accosting her every time she raises a doughnut to her lips, admonishing her every time she opens a packet of fags, hissing with displeasure when she buys a bottle of Coke. Dear God! Surrounded by "freaks" all the time! No wonder she's upset.

In the real world, Lucy, the world I live in, no one tells you that you 'shouldn't' drink caffeinated drinks. No one makes a virtue out of drinking decaf(f) (I always spell it with two 'f's, but perhaps typing the extra 'f' is too much work for her). People who suffer side effects from caffeine but still love the taste of coffee have no recourse but to go for the 'adulterated' version (don't worry, Lucy, we suffer for our misfortune - Caffe Nero makes us pay 10p extra!). We don't expect everyone else to follow suit; there are more important health issues out there (eg the possible risks of artificial sweeteners, or the link between artificial colours and hyperactivity in children).

Still, Lucy has been traumatised, remember, so we shouldn't be too hasty to judge her for her shambolic attempt to label the increasing number of people who care about what they put into their bodies as "freaks". Let's be grateful that 'fun' products are still available to her - lard, cocaine, cigarettes, refined sugar, chips, boiled sweets. Perhaps we can take her out for a meal and mix the above up in a bucket like Mr Creosote. Washed down with a triple fully caffeinated chocolate latte (full-fat milk, of course).


Blogger Philip said...

I quite agree. Where does this woman get off with her monotonous stereotypical trivial quadrophonic quinsy? I am a po-faced gimp myself, and I can't stand decaffeinated coffee.

8:15 pm  
Blogger KathyF said...

I'll confess, I once ate Quorn and sipped decaf tea and then harangued poor Lucy.

It was all in good fun, I assure you, but when she went to slap me her wobbly hand missed and knocked over the soy milk I was enjoying.

8:33 am  
Blogger Stephen Newton said...

Have to say I think Lucy's spot on and her peice is far more refeshing than a decaf(f).


5:32 pm  
Blogger Oscar Wildebeest said...

Intriguing, Stephen. How many "po-faced gimps" do you know, who not only drink decaf(f) and eat Quorn, but continually lecture you about the 'evil' stuff you're putting into your body?

If the answer is "more than one" then I can only assume you've been extremely unlucky, much in the way of poor Lucy, and I pity you.

May I offer you some camomile tea?

11:44 am  
Blogger Gary said...

But.. but.. what's the point in decaf? It's not proper coffee, and if it wasn't for the taste I wouldn't drink it at all (and I say that as somebody who could be considered the George Best of the coffee world - doc says I shouldn't drink so much, what the hell, all day latte bender).

I do, however, eat Quorn. And fresh vegetables.

I would also liked to be paid vast amounts to post something of no importance on the back page of a national newspaper pull out. My own blog is proof of my talent in this - shoddy rants poorly informed by whatever I've taken a disliking to that day.

Failing that, they should employ Michael Bywater. The world has been a much poorer place since he stopped writing for the IoS.

4:45 pm  
Blogger Oscar Wildebeest said...

The point of decaf(f) is that you get all the taste of the real thing (and I like it strong, even though 'strong decaf(f)' does sound like a contradiction in terms) without feeling, an hour or so later, that your limbs are twitching and something awful is about to happen. Maybe I'm hyper-sensitive, and not just to remarks about my dietary habits.

If it's any consolation, the decaf(f) at Starbucks tastes as awful as the real stuff, so I don't go there any more (for this and various other reasons).

9:57 am  
Blogger The Moai said...

Good to see you're on form, Oscar. And in the BritBlog roundup, no less.
All the best,
The Moai

9:59 am  
Blogger Gary said...

...that your limbs are twitching and something awful is about to happen

But that's the best part of drinking coffee - paranoia and weight loss through excessive shaking.

Although I'll concede I should probably cut down on the stuff - one step at a time I think. Although it would mean I'd have to finda new home for my lovely coffee filter.

Starbucks = the devil.

12:02 pm  
Blogger Oscar Wildebeest said...

I'd have to finda new home for my lovely coffee filter

No, you wouldn't. They do make the decaf(f) stuff in ground form, y'know. It's not all instant stuff - I don't touch that muck. Even Lavazza have a decaf(f) version. Although try asking for that in a bar in Italy...

10:08 am  
Blogger HA HA HA said...

"...Quorn-filled, carb-less freaks intent on using their rapidly diminishing physical resources to suck the little remaining joy from the lives of anyone acquainted with them..."

...not a few of wohm wreit for teh gadruian. er... garundianad? whatevar! but anyway i dobted er objactevity untal i red taht senatance an than ir elized shes actuly prety shrap. helthy poeople? cunty poeple more like! fuck em.

how anyboddy cuold thikn 80 yers of ninteengrain helth braed an herbel tea beats 50 yaers of steaks an cigs an beer is bayond me.

2:43 am  
Blogger Oscar Wildebeest said...

Howdy, Arlington. I had no idea you read my humble blog. Is this a reward for linking to you?

Oddly enough, you have a good point. Doesn't contradict my point, of course, but a good point nevertheless.

10:09 am  
Blogger Little Angry Man said...

So writing an article in The Guardian achieves absolutely nothing, but is writing a blog entry any different? Hands of(f) Lucy, she's great.

5:18 pm  
Blogger Oscar Wildebeest said...

I never said a blog entry was any different.

You should cut out the caffeine, LAM. You might be less angry.

1:33 pm  
Blogger Little Angry Man said...

Fair enough, I just inferred that.

Alas 'tis the dimwits in this world that make me angry - coffee and caffeine (and Lucy Mangan) are but temporary relief.

10:16 pm  
Blogger Mark said...

Mangan is a bloody awful journalist. Searching for an angle and when she can't find one writes some pseudo-intellectual nonsense to appear insightful.

10:19 am  

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