Tuesday, 7 September 2010

SLAPPERGATE: The Footballer Who Ruined Everything

Mrs Coleen Rooney gazes at herself in a mirror in a fashionable upmarket hair salon. She has just been appointed 'style ambassador' to Littlewoods and is having her hair suitably fixed up; one must remain appropriately glamourous when holding such an important position in the harsh eye of the public. Perhaps she was sipping champagne or idly reading through a magazine - we can only imagine. Her phone vibrates on the counter in front of her and she picks it up.

You have 1 New Message from: Wayne

She taps the button to open it with a perfectly manicured hand.

bin boffin sum hooker n d press av found out. soz lol. wayn xx

This, friends and acquaintances, is the closest thing we will see to the Profumo affair in our generation.

Okay that isn't what the text said, I made that part up but the revelation of the alleged infidelities was indeed made via the elaborate method of SMS; something that initially surprised me because I wasn't aware that Wayne Rooney was actually able to read and write - even within the generally less refined literature of texting. You really do learn something new every day.

As the nature of the tabloids dictate, they lept onto the story claws out and salivating like a fat befringed groupie at a My Chemical Romance gig. Interviews were denied and Facebooks were looted for all the titilating pixels available. The alleged prostitute was named and not particularly shamed as Jennifer 'Juicy' Thompson, middle-class, professional village bicycle and long-time wannabe WAG. Today's article in the Daily Mail illustrates her biography with no less than thirteen pictures of her, seven of which offer the reader a glimpse of cleavage to either scoff at or oggle (presumably, for your hardcore Mail reader, both).

Now I know what you're thinking - who cares?

I have no interest in football, overpaid footballers or the women they climb on top of. Yet this story fascinates me simply because of the interesting Upstairs, Downstairs style mechanics at play. It doesn't take much insight to see that there is more to this web of deceit than fury on behalf of Coleen.

Wayne Rooney has always been a joke. In a similar vein to the much deified David Beckham, Rooney is from a working class background and has escalated to millionaire stardom for kicking a ball around. Regrettably, unlike Beckham, he remains ugly as sin; a podgy ogre-featured being who looks like he would glass you and steal your shoes as soon as look at you.

So his marriage to the passable Coleen has always been perplexing when considering that the pair had been dating long before he found success and wealth with professional football. If it isn't the money, it was assumed, it must be love. How sweet!

But no.

He had been cavorting with a lady of the night, and while his wife was pregnant with his child. "That's not how working class heroes are allowed to act", howls the over-interested public as they peer over the garden fence into his private life, "Sack him. Sack him! We can't have a somebody adulterous out there kicking balls on behalf of our nation."

The story therefore becomes the amusing adventures of a boy who done good but now has too much money and isn't spending it on good but on evil: orifice rental.

But there has actually been a distinct lack of focus on Wayne in the deluge of coverage on the scandal. All eyes have turned on 'Juicy' Thompson - presumably because she's less offensive to look at - and because it's easier for your average reader of such publications of the Daily Mail and The Sun to pour bile over a prostitute rather than the man who paid for her services. Here the class aspect is reversed; she is middle-class and that is alien upbringing for a prostitute by these standards. Prostitution isn't for public schoolgirls, they subtly infer, it's for poor people who have ruined their lives and now have to sell themselves to survive. They aren't allowed to actively enjoy their work unless they're being played by Billie Piper in a rompy show on the telly.

There is an interesting bit of hypocrisy at work here. The papers sniff amusedly at her fall from grace of public schoolgirl to wannabe WAG, her desperate attempts to break into the social circles frequented by the rich and famous. And yeah it is funny, in a sort of tragic way, that somebody can live by the goal of bagging a footballer. But to smirk at it you need to overlook the fact that it is these exact same papers who have created the industry in which WAGs become equally important as their footballer HABs. All clothing choices, hair extension lengths, tan levels, sunglass circumferences and heel heights are examined with scrutiny. It feeds out a deceptive loop in which these things gain importance. In fact they've even tried observing the wives of politicians with similar intentions - naturally doomed to failure because government WAGs are generally repellent. So the media has made this the place to be. Yet they can't help scoffing at the seedy tragedy of a woman being allured by it. She must be a tart.

There was a show on ITV a few years back called Footballers' Wives. It depicted the life of Tanya Turner, a chain-smoking, cocaine-huffing WAG with two-inch fake nails and a long line of dead husbands. The series was shameless trash full of champagne sipping and sports cars. The genuinely horrifying thing about it is that it was actually quite a realistic television portrayal of how the world of the WAG is represented on paper: a debauched elite in which scandals are not a question of 'if' but 'when'.

I wanted to round this up with a selection of the best reader comments but it has proved difficult to choose them as the articles have attracted a lot of attention - 171 on this one alone, most of which can be summed up as 'slaaaaaag'. Funnily enough, meanwhile an article on the same website about how Iran is reportedly on the verge of nuclear capability sits alone with no similarly insightful comments. But who gives a toss about the threat of nuclear war when there's mouths to be frothed at the idea of a footballer's sex life? I only hope that in the event of the country being dragged into another war in which the battlefields and targets are all within our own borders that the government smarts up to the fact such a volume of its public's minds have turned to Puritan mush and counter it by printing post-apocalyptic survival techniques in Heat magazine.

No comments:

About Me

My photo
I only make love to Jesus

Blog Archive