Page 3 of today's Irish News has some very weird content in a article about a family that have died in an arson attack in Derrylin that’s made the local papers. Specifically taking a prurient interest in the artistic activities of the 19 year old daughter of the family having been a fan-artist and banging on about for 4 paragraphs of copy and an extended caption when it was totally unrelated to the incident, or we'd have to assume so since its just dropped in the middle of the article without comment along with some other random negative details of the families lifestyle. One might charitably assume that they're trying to humanise the victims of a terrible act of violence, but it doesn't quite feel that way. "Details have emerged" of what exactly? That she had a hobby? To me that just looks like rubber necking at best and victim-blaming at worst.
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In this the Irish News seem to have taken their lead from an article in yesterdays Belfast Telegraph which was specifically about this. No other subject, just this. As if this is even a thing that is in the public interest to know. Her brother and mother both died in the fire, yet the BelTel haven't devoted column inches to what they did with their down time. Was Edward Gossett into five-a-side football? Philately? Warhammer 40k? Where's the article about his pass-times?
Also, the PSNI have the guy that did it in custody, surely there's enough in the public sphere that the actual motivations behind this are apparent or at least get-able with a bit of effort?
Of course that would require time and effort, why do that when you can facebook-stalk the victims for juicy shit from behind your desk when you're pretending to work. Also, this is a part of a general pattern of behaviour by the BelTel, who have been involved in outing BDSM practitioners in the past, operate at least one sock-puppet account on Fetlife as well as indulging other types of Mrs Grundy-ism. This is part of a downward spiral in local journalism. I don't seem to recall all three of the locals being as seedy, tabloid-y and generally as shit as their current incarnations even ten years ago. The economic incentive towards lazy attention-grabbing clickbait is very real. I know that print journalism is dying on its arse these days but surely they can do better than kink-shaming murder victims.
The BelTel article is by far the worst offender, making an inordinate deal out of the fact that an erotic picture comes up right after one that Diane did based on her infant daughter (who also lost her life in the fire) on the timeline of the website hosting her art, like a complete n00b. Its a timeline, pictures come up chronologically, that's how it works.
There's quite a large sub-culture of people, mostly young women, who do this sort of artwork. There's a whole community of producers and consumers of it out there. For some it leads on to actual work as an artist, but even for those for whom it doesn't its still a healthy and enjoyable outlet for their sexual and creative impulses.
So-fucking-what if this young woman in her spare time, drew some dirty cartoons? Good. More power to her, I hope that it brought her some pleasure in the short time that she had on this earth. She sold a few? Good. Even better. Any of us involved in the creative arts should be so lucky as to get paid for our work.
The Gossetts extended family have set up a go-fund-me page to cover the costs associated with bringing their relatives back to England for burial. If you'd like to do something useful you can chip a few quid in towards it: https://www.gofundme.com/help-me-collect-my-familys-remains