Twitter has gone into a frenzy this morning over a Daily Mail column by Jan Moir on the death of Boyzone singer Stephen Gately.
Sometimes a sub-editor's headline can distort the tone of a piece. Not this time. Headline and article are as vile as each other:
WHY THERE WAS NOTHING NATURAL ABOUT STEPHEN GATELY'S DEATH
Through the recent travails and sad ends of Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger and many others, fans know to expect the unexpected of their heroes - particularly if those idols live a life that is shadowed by dark appetites or fractured by private vice.
There are dozens of household names out there with secret and not-so-secret troubles, or damaging habits both past and present.
Robbie, Amy, Kate, Whitney, Britney; we all know who they are. And we are not being ghoulish to anticipate, or to be mentally braced for, their bad end: a long night, a mysterious stranger, an odd set of circumstances that herald a sudden death.
Ghoulish definition– a person morbidly interested in death or disaster. So what is predicting and “anticipating” someone's death then Jan?
A founder member of Ireland's first boy band, he was the group's co-lead singer, even though he could barely carry a tune in a Louis Vuitton trunk. He was the Posh Spice of Boyzone, a popular but largely decorous addition.
At best this is an ill-timed insult as insensitive as it is unnecessary. He wasn't my cup of tea but someone described by Andrew Lloyd Webber as “enormously talented” can probably hold a note.
Something is terribly wrong with the way this incident has been shaped and spun into nothing more than an unfortunate mishap on a holiday weekend, like a broken teacup in the rented cottage.
It has been reported as a tragic death. Which it is.
The sugar coating on this fatality is so saccharine-thick that it obscures whatever bitter truth lies beneath. Healthy and fit 33-year-old men do not just climb into their pyjamas and go to sleep on the sofa, never to wake up again.
Whatever the cause of death is, it is not, by any yardstick, a natural one. Let us be absolutely clear about this. All that has been established so far is that Stephen Gately was not murdered.
Gately suffered a pulmonary oedema, an accumulation of fluid on the lungs.
And I think if we are going to be honest, we would have to admit that the circumstances surrounding his death are more than a little sleazy.
After a night of clubbing, Cowles and Gately took a young Bulgarian man back to their apartment. It is not disrespectful to assume that a game of canasta with 25-year-old Georgi Dochev was not what was on the cards.
Cowles and Dochev went to the bedroom together while Stephen remained alone in the living room.
What happened before they parted is known only to the two men still alive. What happened afterwards is anyone's guess.
What happened afterwards is being investigated by the Majorcan Police, who may stand a better chance of establishing the facts than a bigoted, pre-judging hack.
A post-mortem revealed Stephen died from acute pulmonary oedema, a build-up of fluid on his lungs.
Oh right, so you know that then. Sorry Jan I thought you were only aware that he wasn't murdered.
Another real sadness about Gately's death is that it strikes another blow to the happy-ever-after myth of civil partnerships.
And now we really get to your 'point' don't we.
Gay activists are always calling for tolerance and understanding about same-sex relationships, arguing that they are just the same as heterosexual marriages. Not everyone, they say, is like George Michael.
I see, so heterosexual relationships are never hedonistic, promiscuous, or tarnished by infidelity. And your point is of relevance to Stephen Gately's death how exactly?
Of course, in many cases this may be true. Yet the recent death of Kevin McGee, the former husband of Little Britain star Matt Lucas, and now the dubious events of Gately's last night raise troubling questions about what happened.
McGee committed suicide. Gately died suddenly. No connection whatsoever. Troubling questions abound.
It is important that the truth comes out about the exact circumstances of his strange and lonely death.
Apart from Gately's widow, friends and family it is not important for any of us to know any more about it at all.
As a gay rights champion, I am sure he would want to set an example to any impressionable young men who may want to emulate what they might see as his glamorous routine.
For once again, under the carapace of glittering, hedonistic celebrity, the ooze of a very different and more dangerous lifestyle has seeped out for all to see.
(Interesting use of grammar in that first sentence unless Jan Moir is a rather confused gay rights champion)
To sum up your points here Jan I now understand that if Stephen Gately wasn't gay, a celebrity or a singer he would still be alive. Happy civil partnerships are a 'myth' because of one person's suicide and another's tragic sudden death. By comparison, heterosexual marriages are 'happy ever after' stories. If a man dies it is “important” to report in detail any link, however tenuous or irrelevant, that infers that their death is connected to their lifestyle, sexual conduct and fame. Don't forget to belittle any artistic talent they have too. But only if they are homosexual.
The most despicable piece of journalism I've read in a long time.