First off Jan Moir - a Daily Mail columnist - wrote a trashy, hateful, gay-bashing piece about the death of the Irish pop singer Stephen Gately which the Guardian's Charlie Brooker excoriates with rigour and finesse.
It's like gazing through a horrid little window into an awesome universe of pure blockheaded spite. Spiralling galaxies of ignorance roll majestically against a backdrop of what looks like dark prejudice, dotted hither and thither with winking stars of snide innuendo.
On the Mail website, it was headlined: "Why there was nothing 'natural' about Stephen Gately's death." Since the official postmortem clearly ascribed the singer's death to natural causes, that headline contains a fairly bold claim. Still, who am I to judge? I'm no expert when it comes to interpreting autopsy findings, unlike Moir.
... She begins by jabbering a bit about untimely celebrity deaths, especially those whose lives are "shadowed by dark appetites or fractured by private vice". Not just Heath Ledger and Michael Jackson. No: she's eagerly looking forward to other premature snuffings. "Robbie, Amy, Kate, Whitney, Britney; we all know who they are. And we are not being ghoulish to anticipate, or to be mentally braced for, their bad end ..."
I'm sure we all agree there's nothing "ghoulish" whatsoever about eagerly imagining the hypothetical death of someone you've marked out as a potential cadaver on account of your ill-informed presumptions about their lifestyle. All she's doing is running a detailed celebrity-death sweepstake in her head. That's not ghoulish, that's fun. For my part, I've just put a tenner on Moir choking to death on her own bile by the year 2012. See? Fun!
Having casually prophesied the death of Robbie Williams and co, Moir moves on to her main point: that Gately's death strikes her as a bit fishy ... if his death wasn't natural "by any yardstick", what did kill him?
Moir knows: it was his lifestyle. Because Gately was, y'know . . . homosexual. Having lanced this boil, Moir lets the pus drip out all over her fingers as she continues to type: "The circumstances surrounding his death are more than a little sleazy," she declares. ...
Don't hold back, Jan. Have a guess. Draw us a picture. You specialise in celebrity death fantasies, after all. "His mother is still insisting that her son died from a previously undetected heart condition that has plagued the family." Yes. That poor, blinkered woman, "insisting" in the face of official medical evidence that absolutely agrees with her.
After reading Moir's bracing bit of knavery, Anglicans who cannot abide the Church of England's position on the ordination of women and gay people discovered that they can now seek shelter in the comfort of the Vatican Taliban's traditionalist doctrine. To forestall speculation that Maledict XVI has conducted a raid upon the faithful of another christian church,
Ca-ching! Just think of all those delicious new revenues that won't require any capitalization for the Catholic Church. There is the sticky matter of married priests and their families but by keeping the Anglicans separate from the Roman Catholics, there won't be any mingling and thus no bad influence in that regard.
... the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury and the Catholic archbishop of Westminster sat side by side on the top table in a show of unity, but the choice of location reflected the shift in power. Both men played down any suggestion of tension brought on by the decision, but the unease became apparent in the question and answer session that followed.
The archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, informed journalists that he only heard about the apostolic constitution "a couple of weeks ago" and that there was no input from or consultation with Lambeth Palace. ...
Williams said: "I do not think this constitution will be seen as in any sense a commentary on Anglican problems offered by the Vatican. ... It is not an act of aggression, it is not a statement of no confidence. It is business as usual."
Benedict's chief theological adviser, the US cardinal William Levada, ... said that, under the new arrangements, Anglican communities that joined the Catholic church would be able to keep their own liturgy while remaining outside the existing dioceses.