Shamelessly pinched from Shouting at Cows
The Guardian has become somewhat of a bête-noire at Shouting at Cows towers, after its flagrant hypocrisy, pointless lifestyle tit-bits and it being awash with nepotism and mate’s favours saw it become merely a horrible waste of trees. The latest Guardian article to make us crush grapes left, right and centre, was a piece entitled ‘The 8 types of student’; nothing more than a crass generalisation about how all students are, essentially, bit part characters from The Young Ones.
Now we love a baseless jab as much as the next person, but during a time of an utterly bleak outlook for students with over a million young people unemployed, 1 in 5 graduates out of work and rising tuition fees, perhaps this wasn’t the most opportune moment to release a story which basically indicated that all students are just unemployable fools who don’t want to grow up. Because that’s why they’re unemployed, after all. Because they’re fools. I’m sure they had a jolly good guffaw about it down at Guardian HQ. “These students, eh! No wonder they can’t get jobs!”
I personally would have included a 9th category, that of the earnest student who got themselves into debt in hope of having a better future for themselves but now find themselves fucked, as there are no jobs available and can’t afford to do a 3 month unpaid internship anywhere. But that would require a degree of rationality. And there’s no room for rationalism in a newspaper that printed a story from the pen of Johnny fucking Marbles, about that era defining moment when he chucked a pie at Rupert Murdoch, making the entire opposition to News International look like a bunch of vapid twits who had drunk too much fizzy pop.
Inspired by this, I scratched my head to discover 8 types of people that would actually read the dross served up by The Guardian, and manage to make it through a whole copy without going berserk and scrawling ‘Football Weekly and arbitrary reviews of coffee beans does not a good paper make’, on the walls of their home, in what would be one of the more nuanced, constructive and eloquent mental breakdowns.
1) Champagne Socialists of the Islington Sect
Arguably the core support of the Guardian, and one we have documented previously, these lot give the Guardian its ‘lifestyle bible’ tag. Normally working in such vital industries as freelance B2B consulting, for these people, the paper will tell them what to read, what to wear, what to think, what to like, what to hate and what to sympathise with in order to be a morally sound person, yet at no point will it make them feel guilty for installing a brand new, £20,000 Scandinavian kitchen. It’s the sort of social group who will read it and pontificate about its stories involving Syria and Governmental spending cuts at dinner parties, before the cheeseboard and dessert wine is served.
They like the fact that the paper will give them moral footing, yet won’t be intrusive enough to suggest that maybe, if you really do care about the people that you espouse to, sending your children to private schools and building your own million pound dream house in Putney probably isn’t the most responsible use of your endless amounts of cash.
2) The Downtrodden Partner
Possibly the most common category amongst ‘sensible’ folk, these are the ones who go back to The Guardian time and time again, simply because it’s the least offensive of all the papers. The Telegraph these days resembles nothing more than the recorded utterances from a 1920′s Billiard Room. The Independent has been a farce ever since the Joann Hari debacle. The tabloids provide nothing but tits and cheap holidays to Spain, while The Mail/Express are COMPLETELY FUCKING MENTAL.
The Guardian has been the go-to paper for those who just want to know what’s going on in the world from the least offensive outlet. The problem these people have, is that for every decent story they read, they seen some bit of rubbish about how to knit jumpers for your apples, or the latest serving of complete tripe from Laurie Penny, concerning what quirky shite she’s been up to this weekend, or some baseless rubbish from her about how THE POLICE ARE TRYING TO BLOW UP THE WORLD! Then they read a half decent scoop again, and promise themselves that this time, it’s different. But it’s never different. Ever.
3) Political Hipsters
Everything is a commodity of status these days. Fashion, housing, haircuts, who can wear the most pointless hat; everything. A knowledge of Politics is no different. These people need easily digestible tit bits from the news to wow their friends down some ejjit-ridden pub in Camden, so they can be introduced to people as, “Oh yah, this is Toby. He’s into politics. It’s kind of his thing.” Sounds often heard from these people include, “fucking Barclays, not paying tax.” When you explain to them that GMG (Guardian’s owners) have been privy to the same tax evasion as Barclays, you’ll see their brain began to fry, whilst they get distracted by a passer-by in a particularly fetching pair of spray-on jeans. At this stage, the only way you can win their attention back is to wow their artistic side by doing something zany, like pissing into a biscuit tin and entering it for the Turner Prize. But by this stage the moment is gone, and you’ll probably be barred from the public house for indecent exposure. And require a new receptacle for your custard creams.
4) Painters and Decorators
Having worked briefly as a painter and decorator in Australia, one thing I can say first hand is that it’s a messy job. You require a lot of newspaper. Thankfully, the Guardian is absolutely massive, and allows you to cover everything from your sofa to toaster, to avoid any specs of paint staining it. Proving that everything has a use!
5) ‘Soppy wet, bleeding heart’ liberals
Caricatures and stereotypes are prevalent on both sides of the political spectrum. For every right wing nutter who thinks the homosexuals will cause the apocalypse, there’s some simpering berk on the left, who thinks that we can save the world through veganism. When Bob ‘£145k’ Crow secured a £50,000 a year deal for tube drivers by essentially blackmailing London, the comments section on the Guardian’s story was awash with remarks like ‘Good on you!’, and ‘Congrats! Good to see proper people getting money, rather than the bloody bankers.’ Now, despite the fact that £50,000 is an abhorrent amount of money for a job where all you have to push a button and pull the brake every few minutes, the tactic used by the RMT to get the raises was not too dissimilar from how the bankers secured their ridiculous salaries, by essentially saying, “Fuck it, we won’t work. Probably get a job in another country, tbh tbf imo, lolz.”
The problem though, is that to comprehend this would require thinking. And some people don’t have time for thinking. If it looks left-wing, and smells left-wing, then that’ll do. The Guardian ran a story where they pissed around Crow’s office and talked about his bust of Lenin, despite the fact that Crow is on £145,000 a year, which IS AN AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT WOULD MAKE VLADIMIR LENIN PHYSICALLY SICK! I might just sit in town tomorrow in a beret and Che Guevara T-shirt, counting a gratuitous amounts of £5 notes whilst fawning groups of people come up and shake my hand, congratulating me for ‘fighting the good fight!’
6) Opposition MPs
Life in opposition is brilliant. You can promise anything and everything because you’re out of power. You can’t produce any of it until you get voted into government. It’s like saying, “If I get elected, could I create a third tap on home sinks; hot, cold and 2004 Italian Chianti? Well, there’s only one way to find out.” [Ed: Fight!] After a half decent performance during the leadership debates, The Guardian strongly backed Nick Clegg, who once in power reneged on all his promises, most notably raising tuition fees. The Guardian then got behind the simpering twat Ed Miliband, holding him up a some sort of second coming of Christ, despite the fact that, not only is he not the best MP in Parliament, he’s not even the best MP in his own family. Opposition MPs therefore see the Guardian as this fantastic resource where they can have some mawkish interview about how much they just ruddy, love the poor, before expecting front page splashes under the banner, “Can this person save the economy?” After all, The Media is always in opposition. They can say whatever they like!
7) Alan Rusbridger’s extended family
Families tend to be supportive. My mum still recounts those moments on a freezing cold Sunday morning, where she’d stand and watch me play football with an enthusiastic look on her face, despite the fact that if you asked her what the offside rule was, she’d be left struggling. What with The Guardian being Rusbridger’s little pet project, I have no doubt that he gets a call from a similarly supportive member of his family every day, talking about how much they enjoyed that pretentious review of a minimalistic French film about a dilapidated country house, where not a lot happens, but we all grow stronger for the experience.
8 ) Middle Class Marxists
Possibly my favourite of the Guardian’s fanbase, these are the over pampered, under worked sect of the readership who have read a bit of Zinn and Chomsky, and think that the US are responsible for everything that’s gone wrong ever. Wars, illness, poverty, the cancelling of Knightrider, the death of former Carry On stalwart Hattie Jacques; everything. They have a modern day interpretation of Marxism, where they don’t want to become “Part of the system, Maaan!” but still want iPads and sweet-ass cameras, which sees most of them living with their parents till they’re 30. These people will attended rallies and bemoan police brutality, after the coppers get another tin of paint or piece of fence thrown at them. Whilst they will have no problem generalising an entire police force as ‘pigs’, if anyone dares to generalise a social group that they’re sympathetic with, then they’re just the worst bastards in the Western World.
The Guardian is great for these people, as they’ll print some rabble rousing story designed to stick the fire into easily influenced bellies of the ‘youf’, before printing a sycophantic obituary to Steve Jobs, or an advert for the latest cannon camera with a ‘60s’ filter. Cause it’s vintage, innit. I love vintage. It’s all, like, old n shit.
So there you have a detailed analysis of the Guardian’s readership. And it must make you proud, that in this time of the media being dominated by sensationalist reporting and opinionated columns, it’s nice to see that one paper can appeal to such a wide array of people. God speed, Grauniad!
Thanks for this as I wouldnt use the Guardian to line my chicken coop so apart from instinctively knowing when the Vegan, lefty Gay rights types employed as Managers by certain large public bodies are Guardian readers I certainly wouldnt get the chance to share such gems.