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Guardian Gives Shane Warne a Kicking – For His Own Good

You may remember that a few weeks back Metrodaddy was moved to defend the new, svelte Shane Warne from a metrophobic kicking by the British press. Even though his look isn’t really working for me.

It seems I may have to do it again.

The Guardian — ‘the world’s leading liberal voice’ — has finally got around to putting the caring, liberal boot in too, with a piece by Hadley Freeman titled What’s Up With Shane Warne? But the Graun being the Graun it can’t just have an honest bit of metro-bashing. Oh no. It has to do it with a side-order of hypocrisy and and a sprinkling of sanctimony:

‘This is not a plaint of the quasi-misogynistic and homophobic ones that have appeared in other, inferior rags, which can be summed up as “Liz ‘That dress’ Hurley turned Shane into a big queen’.

But  of course that’s exactly what it is. And precisely because it’s the lovely liberal Graun which officially adores The Gays it can be more explicit than The Daily Mail:

‘Leaving aside the fact that he appears to have morphed from the chubby, frosted-tip rogue that he was for several decades into Dale Winton’s blond brother, all with the help of nothing other than the Estée Lauder moisturisers his girlfriend Elizabeth Hurley happens to shill for, it’s the man himself that concerns me.’

But it really isn’t the man himself she’s interested in (who tells us ‘he feels better than he has done in years’). Again and again Freeman’s whinge is that Warne isn’t a man anymore because… he’s not the chubby, blokey cricketer with the bad peroxide job whom she freely admits she wasn’t very interested in. And in fact, the virility of the entire Australian continent has been insulted by Hurley and England’s spaying and gaying of its favourite sportsman.

‘Why has Australia not staged an intervention? And after the humiliations this country have inflicted on… Warne, why has Australia not declared war on Britain?’

Freeman like most Brits (see any UK ad for Fosters) seems to fetishise Australia as some kind of repository of authentic masculinity – when in fact the bathrooms of Sydney are repositories of more male beauty products than almost anywhere on Earth. I suspect that part of the ladies and gentlemen of the British press’ bitter antipathy towards Warne’s makeover metrosexuality is the way it deprives them of their fantasy of being rogered senseless by a sweaty, leathered up Mel Gibson in Beyond Thunderdome.

Now, I realise that Freeman is employed to be bitchy and isn’t to be taken terribly seriously. And besides, her breathless style is a little difficult to follow. Or read. All the same, and for all the ironic and hypocritical smoke this piece puts out, it’s pretty clear that ‘the world’s leading liberal voice’ has some very traditional views on masculinity, even in its ‘Life and Style’ section, which has past form in this area.

But then The Graun has always had something of a puritanical bent, which is in full sermonising mode in this recent piece in the TV Section about the Welsh rugger bugger and galloping metrosexual Gavin Henson, pegged to his latest reality TV venture The Bachelor, which manages to characterise the show as demeaning to women (possibly a contractual requirement at The Graun) but spends most of its time demeaning Henson for being a rugby player who is also ‘a looker’.

Though at least the author David Stubbs is more honest than Freeman about being an old-fashioned girl.

More on The Bachelor soon….

UPDATE 30/08/11

Thanks to Bat020 for alerting me to ‘Where have all the real men gone?’ by Bryony Gordon in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph which despite the ominous title, comes out in doughty defence of Shane Warne and metrosexuality. Leaving ‘the world’s leading liberal voice’ sounding even more b&t:

‘The survey, by Dixons, found that if allowed to travel with just one electronic device, four times as many men than women would take an iron. In fact, portable speakers for iPods come below hairdryers, straighteners and a male grooming kit in the list of travel products men claim they cannot live without.

“We are increasingly seeing men coming into our stores to pick up last-minute travel essentials, such as a hairdryer and travel iron,” said Daryl Humphries of Dixons. “They often hope their girlfriend won’t notice.”

Newsflash, boys: we have noticed. We know that you sometimes use our Estée Lauder Advanced Night Cream (we can smell it on you), that you occasionally reach for our tweezers, and we have seen you studying your wrinkles in the bathroom mirror. And you know what? It’s really OK.’

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