The Sun, an institution that recently suggested using gun boats on migrants, claimed fans at Hillsborough urinated on dead bodies before picking their pockets, made up an al-Q’aeda threat to the set of Coronation Street and once stated that any suggestion that straight people could get AIDS could be dismissed as ‘homosexual propaganda’, isn’t a nice newspaper.
It turns out it also isn’t a particularly well-read one. Today it ran a story with the headline “FLAKENSTEINS: Snowflake students claim Frankenstein’s monster was ‘misunderstood’ - and is in fact a VICTIM”, going on to explain (patronisingly) how delicate modern sensibilities have these delicate little stupid young people sympathising with the creature, treating it like a person rather than a hideous monster.
Silly young people! Where could they have got such silly ideas into their silly little heads? Could it be… FROM THE BOOK?
Apologies for the angriness of this paragraph, but: that is what the story is about. That is the story. The story, Frankenstein, is about that. You stupid. You stupid fucking. The story. About that. That is what the story is about. You fucking. Mary Shelley’s book, the book Frankenstein, the book you are talking about, THAT IS WHAT IT IS ABOUT. THAT IS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE BOOK FRANKENSTEIN. You stupid. Jesus Jesus Jesus Christ, Jesus, you stupid, you stupid, stupid.
Mary Shelley thinks the creature should be treated with humanity. Victor Frankenstein comes to realise the creature should be treated with humanity. The creature thinks the creature should be treated with humanity. Captain Walton, who nobody ever remembers because of the many narrative layers of the novel, thinks the creature should be treated with humanity. IT IS WHAT THE BOOK IS ABOUT.
The Sun has now deleted the tweet they put out when the article was published and seem to be claiming the whole thing was a joke. It manifestly isn’t, though, because it makes no sense as a joke. Like, if anyone can parse that joke and fully explain how it’s funny, or at least intended to be, by all means do.
It could be something more sinister than just someone at The Sun not having read a book though. It feels like a manifestation of an anti-intellectualism that basically says to people, do not read, do not question, reading is bad, self-improvement is bad, keep in line. Obey. This is how it works in They Live, Fahrenheit 451, 1984, and how it worked in the Soviet Union, in the Chinese cultural revolution, how it works in North Korea now… A population that is told that reading is bad, that ‘intellectualism’ should be discouraged, is a population kept terrified of questioning authority. This is how you crush people into submission. This is how dictatorships start.
Or it might just be an idiot at a newspaper not knowing what they’re talking about.