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Julie Burchill

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One of the
Pundits
Icon pundit.svg
And a dirty dozen more
Julie Burchill is a British serial columnist, putative iconoclast and occasional novelist. Burchill made a name for herself by having an "offensive view on everything,"[1] and currently writes for a variety of British newspapers. She has played a hero to many on the right due to her utter rejection of political correctness and most social progressivism, despite referring to herself as a "militant feminist".[2] Right-wingers keep describing her as part of "the left," despite the absence of left-wing views.

Burchill started her career writing about punk rock for the New Musical Express in the late 1970s with her equally obnoxious then-boyfriend/husband Tony Parsons (though he has since calmed down). Her writing style has not changed in 35 years: outrageous trolling, beloved by editors because it's reliably controversial and she gets her copy in on time. She describes her style as "the writing equivalent of screaming and throwing things,"[3] and we couldn't agree more.

Greatest hits[edit]

  • In 2002, London Mayor Ken Livingstone's civic sponsorship of St Patrick's Day celebrations prompted an anti-Irish rant in which Burchill condemned the day as celebrating "almost compulsory child molestation by the national church" and "aiding and abetting Herr Hitler in his hour of need" (a reference to Irish neutrality in the Second World War), also referring to the Irish flag as "the Hitler-licking, altarboy-molesting, abortion-banning Irish tricolour."[4] This Guardian column was later investigated by police as possible incitement to racial hatred,[5] but ultimately she was not charged.[6]
  • "Israel is the only country I would fucking die for. [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is] the enemy of the Jews. Chucking his own people off the Gaza; to me that's disgusting."[7]
  • "Islam and democracy appear to find it difficult to co-exist for long."[8]
  • "Croatia's not a country, it's bloody division of the German armed forces - scratch a Croat, find a Kraut."[9]

Special mention[edit]

In 2005, Burchill said in a critique of English classism, "Picking on people worse off than you are isn't humour. It's pathetic, it's cowardly and it's bullying."[10] Now let's see where she stands on other denigrated classes of people...

  • "[T]hey’re lucky I’m not calling them shemales. Or shims."
  • "And we are damned if we are going to be accused of being privileged by a bunch of bed-wetters in bad wigs."
  • "Shims, shemales, whatever you’re calling yourselves these days..." (Apparently they're not so lucky.)
  • "To have your cock cut off and then plead special privileges as women – above natural-born women, who don’t know the meaning of suffering, apparently – is a bit like the old definition of chutzpah: the boy who killed his parents and then asked the jury for clemency on the grounds he was an orphan."

The above quotes are from a polemic Observer column Burchill wrote in January 2013. Two of the paper's editors responded to the immense backlash by removing the piece from the Observer website and apologizing, causing the usual suspects bleat about censorship; the right-wing paper The Telegraph then reprinted the column online.[11] Following hundreds of complaints, this Observer column and its publication are under investigation by the Press Complaints Commission.[12]

Books[edit]

She wrote a tawdry work of hackery called Ambition in 1989 which should be avoided under all circumstances. Her lesbian-themed young adult novel Sugar Rush was turned into an apparently not awful TV series. Her nonfiction Burchill on Beckham, an attempt to cash in on the name of footballer David Beckham at the peak of his career, attracted "some of the worst notices since Jeffrey Archer's heyday."[13]

References[edit]