Samantha Brick returns, to troll the internet


8:20 am - April 4th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


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Yesterday, a woman by the name of Samantha Brick wrote an article for the Daily Mail, titled: ‘There are downsides to looking this pretty. Women hate me for being beautiful‘.

When I first saw this I just shrugged; this is normal Daily Mail fare, surely? But the interwebz felt trolled. Twitter nearly melted with excitement and, inevitably, she started trending.

The Daily Mail, not one to resist the chance for more hits, has kindly asked Samantha Brick to troll everyone again: ‘This bile just proves I’m right‘ – she says, in a possibly the most unsurprising statement of the century.

.

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What I enjoy about her articles is the way her husband enjoys posing next to her.

In the latest one, he gets out a big rifle, just to drive home the point.

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The Daily Mail is loving it. They’ve even published a news article titled – How Samantha Brick became an internet sensation by saying women hate her because she’s beautiful.

Not only was it our top story, it sparked an avalanche of debate across the internet. On MailOnline there was a storm of comments which saw nearly 4,500 posts about her story left on this site.
Admittedly, not all were supportive with many labelling her ‘delusional’ and others accusing her of being deliberately provocative. Others however rode to her defence.

Samantha was more discussed than James Murdoch quitting BSkyB, free ice cream and all the other big news stories of the day and a spoof Twitter account was also set up to poke fun at her.

Not only did the Independent, Telegraph and others write a story on this, er, controversy, but Vice magazine even ran a spoof.

The Daily Mail loves trolling and being talked about. People on Twitter love pointing at things at the Daily Mail and laughing at it. This seems to me like a perfectly harmonious relationship.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. Spotty-faced Marxist

I think you’ll find that it’s all performance art, Sunny.

The bottom picture reminds me of Mira and Marko – there’s something very turbo-folk about it.

2. James from Durham

How does “there is a self-obsessed person writing crap” become “news”? Why is this supposed to be interesting to LC readers, Sunny?

Good old daily mail, demonstrating why it become the number one in the world news website. By ignoring news altogether.

4. Chaise Guevara

That’s weird. I thought I was visting LC, but seem to have blundered onto the Hello! Magazine forums by mistake. Can anyone direct me to the nearest news?

Great stuff. Complaining about a story solely to attract more hits to your site, which is exactly your complaint!

Another stupid woman being given air time to make woman look bad. Typical DM fare.

Why on earth are you giving them anymore publicity?

Oh stop complaining some of you, and enjoy the pic of her husband with the rifle.

8. White Trash

Sally -: “Another stupid woman being given air time to make woman look bad.”

Frighteningly easy though, isn’t it Sally.

There’s a thoroughly distressing posting on the BBC website about the aberannt mating practices of animals, as though we need to know about it: Nature’s weirdest mating practices

Where is the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals (SINA) just when we need it?

The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals (SINA), a national association formed four years ago “to protect our children from the sight of naked horses, cows, dogs, and cats,” will attempt to start a campus chapter of the organization at Harvard, Bruce Spencer, vice-president of SINA, told the CRIMSON yesterday.
http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1963/3/9/college-may-ban-animal-nudity-pthe/

I don’t get twitter. People seem to say so little on it.
As for trending …It’s usually nonsense isn’t it?

Brendan O’ Neill said this yesterday, and I think he has a point:

Once again, the Twitterstorm is turning out to be worse than the thing at the centre of it. Never mind asking “What kind of person writes an article saying how beautiful she is?” It would be far better to ask: “What kind of people get a kick out of joining a temporary gang of online haters and unleashing nastiness on one woman?

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/brendanoneill2/100148998/the-twitterstorm-against-samantha-brick-is-infinitely-uglier-and-nastier-than-the-article-she-wrote/

11. Chaise Guevara

@ damon

I’ll break the habit of a lifetime and agree that Brendan is right on this one.

Happily, this has been balanced out by the ridiculous description of his website at the top of that Telegraph blog:

“Brendan O’Neill is the editor of spiked, an independent online phenomenon dedicated to raising the horizons of humanity by waging a culture war of words against misanthropy, priggishness, prejudice, luddism, illiberalism and irrationalism in all their ancient and modern forms.”

Raising the horizons of humanity? “Phenomenon” as a synonym of “website”? And all this from someone who constantly accuses other people of elitism?

What a ridiculous man. He puts me in mind of a proud knight, convinced that he cuts a dashing and fearsome figure as he charges into battle, oblivious to the fact that he’s riding an overweight Shetland pony.

12. White Trash

A Pseuds Corner cert.

Chaise Guevara, maybe you just don’t get them. What you quoted there, I read as being intentionally bombastic and irreverent. ie: ”not to be taken entirely seriously”.

Where they are deadly serious though (I think) is offering some criticism of the ideas of the broad left – of which LC is very much a part of. They would like it to be constructive criticism more often I think, but that’s often not possible.
This website praises the eco direct action activists and Spiked pans them, and the judgement is to work out who has the better point of view.

This has made the TV news in the US now. I despair.

15. So Much For Subtlety

13. damon

Chaise Guevara, maybe you just don’t get them. What you quoted there, I read as being intentionally bombastic and irreverent. ie: ”not to be taken entirely seriously”.

What’s more the truth is so bizarre that you could hardly write it down without either crying or laughing. Especially if you’re the Times. I mean what could they say? Brendan O’Neill writes for a website set up by a fringe Marxist-Leninist cult that has moved so far to the Left that they do a good impersonation of the Tories, while all the time maintaining their cult-like devotion to the Party and trying to avoid any mention of the sides they took in the Yugoslav war and the quasi-genocide-denial they engaged in at that time?

16. Chaise Guevara

@ 13 damon

“Chaise Guevara, maybe you just don’t get them. What you quoted there, I read as being intentionally bombastic and irreverent. ie: ”not to be taken entirely seriously”.”

Entirely possible, but what’s your basis? Every time I’ve come across Spiked, it’s seemed extremely naive and self-indulgent. I suppose he could be playing some vast meta-game where he spends years satirising himself, but then so could we all, and we could all claim as much if truly desperate.

“Where they are deadly serious though (I think) is offering some criticism of the ideas of the broad left – of which LC is very much a part of. They would like it to be constructive criticism more often I think, but that’s often not possible.
This website praises the eco direct action activists and Spiked pans them, and the judgement is to work out who has the better point of view.”

Ah, you see, that’s where you’re wrong. LC is rubbish in some ways, and we both know it. Spiked is even more so, and I know it even if you don’t. But why on earth would the “judgement” come down to choosing between two blogs? Can’t they both be wrong? There’s more to life and politics than a self-satisfied libertarian and a right-on sycophant.

So Much For Subtlety, first of all, there is no party. (I think) just people who know each other from a long time back and share some broad views.
Which side was the right side in the Yougoslavia war btw? Those for it’s break-up? They may well have got some things wrong, but everyone did.

Chaise. I find that most people hate them, and then often say …. ”but just this one argument was good”. I find them to be very hit and miss, but you have to look for their good bits not the misses. The left has failed mostly thus far, and it doesn’t look like getting it’s act together anytime soon, but in the meantime we have calls like on here the other day for ”students to defend the NHS” and odd stuff like that.
I live next to a university (Queens in Belfast) and going out on Save the NHS demonstrations is the last thing students want to be bothering with I think.
Celebrating St Patrick’s Day. Now that’s something they really go for here. So much so that the police and University get really worried and start panicking about all the drunken disorder.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-17426465

Can I just ask while I’m here, did anyone actually watch ”The Undatables” and Big Fat Gypsy Wedding? There were articles on LC saying how terrible they were going to be, but no follow up – and they turned out to be just about OK I thought.
The British public are not as backward as the LC articles were making out and can empathise and be liberal and mature about issues on reality TV.

Chaise, here’s another good article. Some on the left love to bash the Tories for being posh Bullingdon toffs.

‘Too posh for a pasty’ is not a political critique
The excitable attacks on senior Tories for their privileged backgrounds shows up the poverty of political debate.

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/12308/

18. Chaise Guevara

@ 17 damon

“Chaise. I find that most people hate them, and then often say …. ”but just this one argument was good”.”

Well, I guess that includes me.

“The left has failed mostly thus far, and it doesn’t look like getting it’s act together anytime soon”

Sorry, but what does that *mean* exactly? We’ve made huge progress in lefty areas like worker’s right, equality, progressive taxation, not to mention the creation of the NH-bloody-S. Sure, “the left” (whatever than actually refers to) hasn’t achieved every goal or created utopia, but your way of thinking seems determined to skew towards the negative.

“I live next to a university (Queens in Belfast) and going out on Save the NHS demonstrations is the last thing students want to be bothering with I think.
Celebrating St Patrick’s Day. Now that’s something they really go for here. So much so that the police and University get really worried and start panicking about all the drunken disorder.”

False dichotomy. It’s possible to be an activist by day and get pissed by night. Even more to the point, what you’re doing here is homogenising the whole group. Because it’s not at all possible that some students care more about drinking and others care more about politics, right? This is ever a risk when you start treating a diverse group of people as if they share all the same characteristics.

I ride past two universities on my way to work. There’s lots of drinking and lots of politicking.

“Can I just ask while I’m here, did anyone actually watch ”The Undatables” and Big Fat Gypsy Wedding? There were articles on LC saying how terrible they were going to be, but no follow up – and they turned out to be just about OK I thought.”

Saw 10 minutes of Undateables. It seemed ok. Did the article actually say it would be bad, or just complain about the name and marketing?

“Chaise, here’s another good article. Some on the left love to bash the Tories for being posh Bullingdon toffs.”

A fine sentiment indeed; perhaps someone should ask Brendan to read it before he goes off on another of his “everyone-who-disagrees-with-me-is-an-elitist-waaah” ad hom binges?

”Sorry, but what does that *mean* exactly? We’ve made huge progress in lefty areas like worker’s right, equality, progressive taxation, not to mention the creation of the NH-bloody-S.”

I mean the left of the left I suppose, not New Labour. Sure, the Labour party is more progressive than the Tories, but look at the dissatisfaction in Bradford, and how difficult it is to do anything about that. Ed Milliband just isn’t up to the job, and lefties like Ken Livingstone and Diane Abbott are even worse. That’s what I meant by failed. Ken (who is being strongly backed by LC) is a milder version of Galloway. Of all the people he could have chosen to be his race and policing advisor when mayor, he chose Lee Jasper. Just look at Jasper’s blog. The failed left IMO.

I wasn’t knocking students for their hedonism btw. That’s what being young and away from home is all about. But it wasn’t me who wrote a post asking ”Why aren’t students taking a lead on saving the NHS”? The question could easily come back ”why should they”?
I wonder what percentage of students at Queen’s could even name the health minister.
Given the nature of politics on campus, it’s always going to be a minority intrest I think.
Because it’s next to impossible to bring about change by campaigning and protesting, and students know that.

As for The Undatables and Gypsy Wedding – where’s the follow-up now the programmes have been shown? The LC articles were scaremongering in essence. Gypsy Wedding in particular has thrown up some great insights into the Traveller and Gypsy culture.
And I bet most people who have watched the programmes have a better understanding of those cultures now. The guy who wrote the LC article was from a Traveller’s rights group though and won’t of liked any presentation that strayed too far from his political ideology on Travellers.

Like I said, don’t take O’Neill too literally. There is often some merit in there but it’s not always straightforeward. He is often just taking the P. Which is all you can do sometimes.

20. Chaise Guevara

@ 19 damon

“I mean the left of the left I suppose, not New Labour.”

Hang on. Most of what I listed was fought for by people considerably to the left of labour. And I think it’s a bit odd to bemoan “the left” and then say that you only mean a section of it. It’s like me trying to stick the label “racist” on you simply because racist ideologies tend to be called right-wing.

“I wasn’t knocking students for their hedonism btw. That’s what being young and away from home is all about. But it wasn’t me who wrote a post asking ”Why aren’t students taking a lead on saving the NHS”? The question could easily come back ”why should they”?”

Agreed – they seem to be considered the go-to guys for any leftwing protest. To be fair, those of them who study arts/humanities and aren’t supporting themselves through uni generally have more time that the rest of us, especially for midweek events.

“Like I said, don’t take O’Neill too literally. There is often some merit in there but it’s not always straightforeward. He is often just taking the P. Which is all you can do sometimes.”

To be honest, this just sounds like you’re making excuses for him. Every time he says something dumb, it’s ok, he was joking! Especially as you’ve endorsed one or two of these statements recently, notably “waaah elitists waaaah”.

What I mean by left, is pretty much the causes that LC espouses.
Which is pro Ken Livingstone, supports all the eco-activists who climb up on power stations and chain themselves to things, and (for example) also takes the lazy view that the EDL and the BNP are a really big deal and need mass mobilisations against them.

The word ”elitist” might be the wrong one, because it defines a small minority, when in fact I think they should find a better word to describe that ”us verses the lumpen stupid Daily Mail reading masses” political point of view which Spiked have highlighted often. In everything from that (very funny) Jon Stewart programme and Lady Gaga and all her ”born this way” followers. From that – to Unite Against Fascism, and in the UK, the leftish modern comedians – who started off with Ben Elton in the 80s, and have now became the mainstream …. like you see on that Channel 4 Show ”10 O’clock Live” with Jimmy Carr and Charlie Brooker. It’s not actually elitist, but they do invite you to be one of them, and not ”the other” – the stupid people who used to laugh at Bernard Manning jokes. The ”elite” has become almost a majority.

Jo Brand was another. Remember how she ”shopped” Carol Thatcher for saying a french tennis player had hair ”like a goliwog”?
It was a pretty stupid thing for Thatcher to say of course, but the point is that language police who make public complaints all the time make life intolerant.

This is wildly off topic now, but there’s another thread on the same thing.
When I glance through the recent Spiked articles, I see interesting ones with titles like: ”You can’t blame the riots on trainer adverts” ….. which also contrasts very strongly with how LC presented them.
And another with the headline:

Trayvon Martin and the myth of racist America.
In the US, everyone with a cause to champion and an emotion to release is latching on to the teenager’s murder.

Articles like that are far and away better than anything you ever hear from the regular left IMO.

22. Chaise Guevara

@ damon

I agree about the language police – with the caveat that criticising people for using racist language and the like should also be acceptable. It’s just bully tactics that aren’t (I remember that campaign to get a ballet dancer sacked because her name was on the BNP membership list, which was pretty disgraceful).

As for LC… well, Sunny definitely treats facts as subordinate to ideology, no argument there. I am certain that if the allegations and facts surrounding them that have been made about Ken and Boris recently were reversed, Sunny would still think all the anti-Boris ones were true and all the anti-Ken ones were false or irrelevant.

However, I agree with many LC posts. He doesn’t only write this sort of nonsense, he also supports a living wage, the NHS, that sort of thing. Now, you might disagree, but that’s an ideological objection, not a factual one. You are, rather obviously, trying to dismiss everything on LC by selectively… selecting particularly bad examples.

Also, I think you have a bit of a blind spot about Spiked (the whole “if he’s wrong he must be joking” thing is a giveaway). I think you like Spiked for its cynicism, and fair enough, but don’t apply any cynicism to Spiked itself. You certainly seem to see it as a bit of a Bible, and recently it’s repeatedly been your source for making claims that are frankly too stupid for you. By which I mean, I think that if the idea that everyone who disagrees with you is an elitist had just popped into your head, you’re smart enough to have dismissed it as silly. But if it’s in a Spiked article you seem to think it must be true.

23. Chaise Guevara

Full disclosure, Damon: there is a site that I like partly for its cynicism and its dedication to rationality and facts. I am aware that, rather ironically, I accept the word of this site as gospel far more than I should. So I’m talking about something that I’m guilty of myself. You could call it “enthusiasm bias” or something.

Of course you should say something about people using racist language, but not necessairly shop them so that they are ruined. Even this ”racist police” stuff that has just been highlighted in the last few days could well be dodgy (or harsh). Although I don’t know the facts fully. But coppers are people too, and they could sometimes say some racist things. Particularly if people are practically spitting at them and calling them racists to their faces. We’ll see how it goes.
I think that’s a bit too controversial to be able to argue out here though.
It’s just my inital feeling when I heard of these cases on the news.

One of the best guys on Spiked is their sports commentator. He’s spot on every time.
Everything to do with football fans and how they are treated, recieved and thought of.
And what to do about the kind of chanting and songs that some people in charge of policing football want to criminalise. And he supports the same team as me too.
http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/author/Duleep%20Allirajah/

If you have a problem with any of them articles Chaise, then I can see it’s really not for you. He’s the best guy I’ve ever read on any of that stuff. For example:

Why the FA loves gay footballers
A new campaign against homophobia is more about lecturing footie fans than tackling discrimination.

And I also agree with plenty of LC’s more general points. Living wage, NHS etc. Tomorow is going to be ”black friday” when a million and a half people are going to lose their working tax credits, which can be £70 a week. Disgraceful.
Some of the women who work in my local Tescos are in that position. They only work part time, and now they need to work another eight hours to keep it. I do try to be as left as I can. But it’s often too hard to put up with stuff …. like with the BNP balerina like you mentioned.
UAF were holding protests ouside the English National Opera while she was on stage.
Where’s the definitive LC discussion on things like that?

25. Chaise Guevara

@ 24 damon

“Of course you should say something about people using racist language, but not necessairly shop them so that they are ruined.”

Trying to ruin your opponent is almost always a bad sign. Even leaving morality out of it, it turns a political debate into a personal war.

I do sometimes think that racism is now too often used as an Instant Failure Condition. It’s a bit like being over the drink-drive limit when you have a car accident: even if the other guy was speeding, driving on the wrong side of the road and hit you while you were travelling at 10mph, you get the feeling the court might still decide it was your fault.

“A new campaign against homophobia is more about lecturing footie fans than tackling discrimination.”

To be honest, I’m not a sports guy, and that means I’m out of the loop even on the more broadly applicable stuff like this.

“But it’s often too hard to put up with stuff …. like with the BNP balerina like you mentioned.
UAF were holding protests ouside the English National Opera while she was on stage.
Where’s the definitive LC discussion on things like that?”

I honestly don’t know whether LC covered that or not. Based on previous topics, I’d predict that if Sunny DID cover it, he’d be in favour of the protesters, but I’m putting low confidence in that prediction. Say I’d bet 60:40 for him being pro-bullying.

However, even when Sunny does write articles about how good it is that someone is being bullied by the Righteous Forces of Right-On-Ness, at least that means that the issue is discussed. I suspect most regulars would join me in admitting that they care a lot more about the BTL discussions on LC than about the articles themselves (and, of course, non-regulars barely even know that the BTL conversations exist).

Maybe the ‘BNP ballerina’ story was another of those Spiked articles you might have not hated Chaise.

Why I applauded the ‘BNP ballerina’
Who cares what Simone Clarke thinks in private? Her performance as Giselle was sprightly, springy and brilliant.

http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/2712/

On Sunny’s other website ”Pickled Politics” I was banned by one of his mods from commentating on his BNP and EDL threads. For using arguments like in that article.
They just cut no ice with mainstream ”anti-fascism”.

See some of the shrill threads about the EDL here.
http://www.pickledpolitics.com/categories/race-politics/edl

You can’t get plainer than that. On one side the UAF mentality that is doing ”deep investigations” about the EDL connections. The money trail back to some ”Mr Big”. The connection to the Norwegian killer etc. And on the other side – the ”contrarian view” that it’s all not really such a big deal and not worthy of the fuss.

You won’t really get a discussion on these websites about stuff like that, because the UAF view is too popular and mainstream.
So you might get a slight difference of opinion on whether the EDL should be banned or not, but not anything which tries to come at it from a completely different angle ….. but one that is not supporting the EDL either.
That seems to confuse people. So on that Pickled Politics site, several people presumed I was an EDL or BNP supporter, and said so.

As much as I like somethings about the American website ”Democracy Now” and their frontwoman Amy Goodman – here she is writing in the Guardian about racist killings in the USA, and she is too far gone down the mainstream left road for me to agree with.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/amy-goodman

@11

Brendan O’Neill is a notorious troll. He’s a former member of a so-called political party, the Revolutionary Communists, whose m.o. was doing this kind of thing. This led them to express solidarity with Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, for instance.

This led them to express solidarity with Saddam Hussein during the Gulf War, for instance.

Not that it really matters, but that is not actually correct.

29. Man on Clapham Omnibus

I am minded to consider what ideological structures support the orginal offering and the subsequent backlash and what implications that has for political discourse in the UK. Survival of the prettiest maybe.
More importantly I am somewhat warmed by George Osbourne’s recent budget commemorating the sinking of the Titanic. Drowning by stratification seems such a quitessentially British thing . Many might be left wondering, however,how those in Ist are expected to row to a tax haven without the use of staff!

30. Bifta Jones

The ‘huge’ rifle people keep talking about is in fact a poxy air rifle.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Samantha Brick returns, to troll the internet http://t.co/h976EuZK

  2. Jason Brickley

    Samantha Brick returns, to troll the internet http://t.co/WjcTcDFG

  3. eric the hamster

    RT @libcon Samantha Brick returns, to troll the internet http://t.co/l9RWxmPp <good post @sunny_hundal "harmonious relationship"!>

  4. Matthew Champion

    RE Brick trolling, @libcon makes a good point, Twitter and the Daily Mail enjoy a symbiotic relationship http://t.co/wVX4kFfE

  5. Chipshop-Forks

    Samantha Brick returns, to troll the internet http://t.co/h976EuZK

  6. SJ

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  7. sunny hundal

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  14. Caroline Wood

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  15. leftlinks

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  16. Chris Hawes

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  17. Hugo Z Hackenbush

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  19. It’s so vain, it’s so lame | Elle Amberley Author

    […] Samantha Brick returns, to troll the internet (liberalconspiracy.org) […]

  20. Daniel Pitt

    Egocentric #DailyFail moron Samantha Brick returns to troll the internet http://t.co/HbzeNHnf via @libcon





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