Monday, August 18, 2008

The secret diary of Mark Frith

The Daily Mail is running extracts from Mark Frith's diaries this week. Frith was the editor of Heat - which we think means he tossed the coin every issue to decide if it was going to be a "Look - they're fat" issue, or a "Scary thin celebs" edition.

Of course, "got up, went in, drew a circle around a sweat patch on Lindsay Lohan's shirt, suggested 'ewwww' caption" isn't going to keep the Mail readers interested, so instead we get Mark's response to September 11th. People hurling themselves to certain death? The largest attack on US soil? The prospect of a generation of fear and war? Why, it makes you think:

Our critics are saying that everything's changed - that there's a new seriousness in the air and that celebrity culture is dead. Perhaps they're right.

But then I watch as female customers come and go. Without exception, they walk past the papers and pick up Heat or OK or Now.

Not much about these women seems to have changed. Although I'm sure they're shocked by what has happened, their concerns are clearly still the same: Will they get to work on time? Will their money last until their next pay packet?

And now more than ever they need entertainment, a diversion from the horrors of the latest news bulletin. They want something frivolous, something to lose themselves in, something glamorous.

What do they want, Mark?
They want celebrities.

The celebrities will save us! They'll make everything all right! If only Bush had thought of that, eh - instead of eventually coming out of hiding to announce war on Osama Bin Laden, he should have just got Paris Hilton to snog Britney Spears. America would have been back on an even keel by teatime.

Note, too, that Frith insists every single woman was buying a celeb magazine - he doesn't recall what men were buying; probably something about locomotives or woodworking. Maybe they were buying the newspapers. But the little ladies, love them, they needed some shots of Rod Stewart, to save their pretty little heads from all the big thoughts in the news.

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