I’ve been given a great opportunity tonight, something any aspiring writer should really gobble up, and yet I’ve said no.
Firstly thank you to the person who thought it might interest me, this blog isn’t a slur on you. I appreciate any potential outlets for my writing, I’ve made no secret of the fact I’d like to do this for a living. Thank you for thinking of me.
The issue is that I was offered the opportunity to write something for The Sun. I have always wanted to turn the written word into a living, rather than a hobby. The chance to attach my name to a piece of prose published nationally should be something I grab with both hands. However, I cannot go against my beliefs that The Sun newspaper is basically a massive bastard.
A couple of months ago I went into my local Spar shop to buy some milk. Whilst waiting at the counter I noticed an offer on chocolate, and as a growing (outward) man I grabbed a couple of bars of that. When I got to the till the (very pleasant) cashier asked me if I wanted a complimentary Sun newspaper. I explained I did not, I despised everything it stood for, and I left the shop without my purchases. To be fair I was having a bad day, usually I wouldn’t have been so rude, and usually I wouldn’t want to have to go somewhere else and run the errand again.
I went in the local garage instead, filled up with petrol whilst I was there and upon paying I was again offered a free copy of The Sun. I couldn’t very well walk out, I suspect that is borderline theft and I don’t think Louth constabulary would accept my defence that they offered me a free ‘news’ paper. The entire time I was paying for my fuel I was recounting the reasons why I did not want that rag, even though we were short on paper to light the fire.
That’s right I wouldn’t even light my fire with free paper if it was The Sun, I’d rather sit shivering. If I was out of toilet paper, and the only thing that was in reach was somebody else’s copy of the Sun, I’d sacrifice one of my socks. I’d probably even sacrifice one of the pink and blue Ted Baker socks my other half bought me for Christmas.
I can’t give you one solid reason for my stance, other than The Sun being a massive bastard. Maybe it was the appalling vilification of Graham Taylor. Maybe it was the Hillsborough stories and the ineffective manner in which it tried to apologise. Maybe it is the fact they champion celebrity over real news, they destroy lives in the pursuit of sales, or maybe it’s because it is a manipulative and vindictive publication used only to further the interests of those shady characters that own it.
Real news is no longer shared in papers, but in The Sun it never was. It has built a following by masquerading as the voice of the people, when in fact it acted as a voice to the people, people manipulated by cheap holidays, cheesy gimmicks and subliminal hatred. The Sun claims to appeal to the White Van Man, the average guy on the street, when it fact it is those people it seeks to twist into vengeful, hate filled victims of broken Britain. Britain is broken, in the main, because a large portion of it’s population read this god-awful hate filled rag and believe what it says to be true.
It even makes me angry that they are bothered about us. I remember in 2003 when Farnborough played Arsenal in the FA Cup, they were all over it as if they were Farnborough Town through and through. They ran articles about how the whole team cost the same as Thierry Henry’s shoes, and about how they were backing the little guy. I didn’t see them backing the little guy in 2007, when Farnborough folded though, by then they were long gone, jumping on the back of some other little team with a big game. utter, utter bastards.
So it doesn’t matter if they were going to publish my name nationally against (what would obviously be) a well written article. It doesn’t matter to me that exposure of that kind could help me give up the 7.30-5.00 working life in order for me to pursue my dreams. I’d rather work for the rest of my life knowing I stood by one of the few strong principles that I live my life by. There’s no telling if it was a great opportunity or not in truth, but I’m not willing to go against what I’ve preached in the past just to find out.
In the meantime I hope that another good chance will come my way, but if it does not I can at least sleep soundly tonight, and that is a damn sight more than I can say for Paul Cox, who’s brutal (but effective) approach to the beautiful game should keep any so-called ‘football’ manager awake at night.