Hey, Katie Hopkins!

Hey Katie Hopkins,

I don’t know why people are still talking about, or to you. That statement makes this letter kind of ridiculous, I’m aware of that, but there you go – there’s something about you that makes people abandon reason and just want to cry or go for the jugular. I’m not going to do either of those things, though.

You want people to talk about you? You want people to have an opinion about you? Fine – I’ve decided to pity you.

Part of the reason is this – an article in the Guardian – of all the weird places to publish you, Katie – in which the journo makes it pretty clear that the one thing you can’t stand is pity. What’s the quote that got me? The only response she seems unable to deal with is sympathy. If I glowered at her she would be quite impervious – but a sympathetic look is a kind of agony for Hopkins, making her literally squirm, and I think this has distorted her entire perspective on other people’s problems.

Katie, I spend an unreasonable amount of time thinking about you. Most of the reason for that is because I work, peripherally, in television. I have to know about the people who are generating the most buzz online. I have to watch the programmes you feature in. I have to write funny things about you, about all the different ways on Twitter people would like to murder you (push you off a bridge, under a train, cook you and serve you up).

It gets my goat, doing it, because I know that that’s exactly what you want. As a failed business woman and a wannabe-Apprentice, all you have is your brand. Your blonde, slimy mouthy motif – the tiger troll that television channels seek, because you pull in the numbers. You love it, making people talk about you. And it works.  People want to watch you because we like things that inspire emotion, that make us feel. There are already too many shows out there designed to inspire sorrow, laughter, fear, horror, pleasure. You make us hate – a delicious, dark writhing hate, the kind that exists in most people, but which rarely finds an acceptable outlet. We love to hate you. And you love us for doing it.

Back to that quote though Katie – I don’t want you to interpret this letter as a glower. You’re quite capable of fighting glower with power, and I don’t want to read about how you despise me because I’m red headed, because I’m in a low-income bracket, because I eat McDonalds sometimes.  You’re too good at the 140 character attack, the bitter snap. Are you on Reddit, KH? I think you’d do well on Reddit.

So how should you interpret this letter? As pity. Partly because, yeah, I like the idea of you squirming. But partly because I do, genuinely, find your whole schtick pitiful. That Guardian article is brimming with sorrow for the person you’ve become, and I think it’s important that you know that the soapbox you stand on only exists because people are shaking their heads for and at you – and making money from you. Doing things for other people is a good motivator for some folk, Katie, but I suspect it doesn’t float your boat (speaking of which, how about those floods Katie? Reckon it’s a heavenly revenge on beneficiaries? Of course you do).

I’m sorry that your marriages broke down, that your methods for finding intimacy are derived from the destruction of other unions. I’m sorry that your “business” makes no money, and that the only way for you to subsidize the upper-middle-class lifestyle you view as the holy grail is through what is essentially prostitution. I’m sad at the thought that you’ll probably never eat a Big Mac or a doughnut, knowing that the press would jump on any indication or promise of weight gain. I’m sorry at the thought of your children growing old enough to become media fodder, because you’ve made that future inevitable for them. I’m sorry you got discharged from the army, when your natural place on earth is so clearly as a weapon of destruction. I’m sad for whatever violent compulsion residing within your skin that means your only pleasure comes from pain.

And I’m sorry that it can’t last, Katie. This brand of yours, this soap-box – do you know how temporary it is?

I think you do. And I think that’s why you’re surfing this wave with every ounce of energy you can muster – so that when it crashes to nothing on the shore, you have enough money to out-last that period in your life when you realize that anger and malice isn’t a talent that easily converts to a living wage.

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