Wasting our life on pop culture blogs and gossip sites, so you don't have to.
Promise me something. If a celebrity happens to your family (say your little brother becomes a fifth-generation Sugababe, or your dad is the first tosser fired on Senior Apprentice) swear to me that you'll tear up the "pseudo-concern" card and never play it. It's a crap move, anyway. Any half-wit knows that concern is a substance generally found away from prying eyes, usually on a sofa, surrounded by discarded ice-cream tubs or half-drunk mugs of herbal tea. Not in a tell-all interview accompanied by a glossy photoshoot, in an open letter, or on Twitter.
As 3am.co.uk reports, this week we were treated to Mel B's sister, Danielle Brown, tweeting "I am so worried about you melanie", "all of us are worried about your mental state and are the kids safe???" and finishing off with an unintentionally hilarious "Enough is Enough we need a family meeting.you me mum and dad No Film crew no cameras and NO STEPHEN!!!"
Of all the sneaky, rotten and downright underhanded ways to claim some column inches, pretending to be worried about a famous friend, associate or relative is verruca-grade disgusting. It's presented as a way of being a bitch without looking like a bitch, but the public ain't that stupid.
In the past, such exercises in backstabbing famewhoredom and one-upmanship traditionally took the form of an "open letter", relatively recent examples being Anne Diamond's faux-concerned nosying into Dawn French's weight loss in the Daily Mail and this weird letter from Gordon Ramsey to his mother-in-law, merrily dispatched to the Evening Standard.
(In the interests of historical accuracy I should point out that not all open letters are self-serving, flimsily-veiled hatchet jobs on a celebrity. Some are society-serving, entirely naked hatchet jobs on the establishment. My personal favourite is Siegfried Sassoon's moving anti-war message "A Soldier's Declaration" , but Martin Luther King's "Letter From A Birmingham Jail" is also pretty great.)
Anyhow! Those fine men are dead, and today the open letter has mostly been hijacked by the vindictive, the fame-hungry and the passive-aggressive. And now, for the modern celebrity and their family, there's Twitter, allowing them to bypass such middlemen as publicists and journalists, and publicly humiliate loved-ones in 140-character artillery blasts.
See? I told you it was gross. So never do it.
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It would be churlish of me to mock the DailyMail.co.uk's celebrity coverage, since they do a pretty brilliant job of listing EVERYTHING happening to ANYONE famous ANYWHERE in the world right now, making the site a valuable resource for any entertainment journalist or nosy person. However, they do enjoy a non-story about a pretty girl in shorts, which is what I thought this story about X-Factor judge Tulisa Contastavlos was. Until I got to the bit about the goat, which takes this girl-in-shorts story to another level, in my opinion.
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