"Swift's legs beat arctic melt - de Botton's challenge to Daily Mail, &c
January 30, 2014 1:02 PM   Subscribe

The Philosopher's Mail "The world's most popular English language news website is the Daily Mail. People can't stop reading it, but often complain of how it leaves you feeling. So some fellow philosophers and I have joined together with the ex editor of Britain's Daily Express to start the world's only news outlet staffed only by philosophers. We cover a lot of the same material as the Mail, but handle it very very differently."
posted by GhostRider (30 comments total) 46 users marked this as a favorite


The Daily Mail has large photographs and interesting headlines. You'd think this formula would be easy to replicate, but apparently it's not.
posted by cell divide at 1:11 PM on January 30

The Daily Mail has large photographs and interesting headlines. You'd think this formula would be easy to replicate, but apparently it's not.

Ahh my favorite daily uphill battle, trying to get tv news people to post anything except video nobody wants to watch and a condensed-for-broadcast story transcript nobody wants to read.
posted by jason_steakums at 1:16 PM on January 30 [7 favorites]

It's not hard to have interesting headlines if you're willing to just outright lie.
posted by JHarris at 1:17 PM on January 30 [8 favorites]

This is fantastic. Read the articles.
posted by memebake at 1:19 PM on January 30 [15 favorites]

Whaddaya mean they don't have interesting headlines? "Kristen Stewart's socks provide lesson in friendship"? "Interview with the soul of David Beckham"? "Simon Cowell, on holiday in Barbados, proves that suffering is part of the human condition"?

Basically it's the Onion with mildly less snark. Nice follow-through in the articles, too, which are actually good.
posted by echo target at 1:23 PM on January 30 [4 favorites]

Yes, there is something of value in every *article.* The point here being - *read.*
posted by GhostRider at 1:24 PM on January 30 [4 favorites]

I'm no fan of AdB but this is really lovely. Definitely worth clicking through to the articles themselves.
posted by ominous_paws at 1:27 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]

This is not a joke (all right, not just a joke). I will read Philosopher's Mail. I have already subscribed it.
But it won't last long, I'm afraid.
posted by hat_eater at 1:32 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]

Totally great.
posted by colie at 1:33 PM on January 30

The proper job of famous people is to shine glamour in the right places.

There's some really good stuff here, and its all extremely generous in nature. The Beckham interview (with his soul) is really quite sweet and insightful.

Monet looked at people going for a walk in a field
posted by memebake at 1:40 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]

memebake, i just read both those articles and loved them quite a bit
posted by rebent at 1:41 PM on January 30

To be misunderstood by those close by is the fate of most decent people - a dark message that should be inscribed in our hearts, and in elegant letters on the walls of hotels. As the philosopher Seneca observed: 'What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.'

Damn, this is getting kind of dark. Gonna go look at the Onion now.
posted by echo target at 1:49 PM on January 30 [5 favorites]

it's unexpected how gentle and unpretentious it is.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:00 PM on January 30 [9 favorites]

Do the show giraffe birthings? If not, I'll continue rotting my mind with the Daily Mail.

There is even an Irish rebel song called 'The Man From The Daily Mail'

It's mandatory reading..,

My mother called such papers 'Mind Improvement'
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 2:18 PM on January 30

Seriously, you guys. Look at this one, Emma Watson on Caribbean holiday helps us to find love
What is good about these images is, therefore, more accessible to us than we might think: it has little to do with going out with a film star or being twenty three. It has to do with incorporating certain lessons about tenderness and appreciation.

By taking Matt on holiday and unwittingly asking the press along, Emma has done us a favour. She has helped to remind us of some of what we knew at the start and have unfairly forgotten since.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:36 PM on January 30 [3 favorites]

There is a lot of wisdom poured into this work... makes me appreciate how much the "news" really is the opiate of the masses these days.
posted by MikeWarot at 2:43 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]

Basically it's the Onion with mildly less snark.

I can't see it that way at all. The Onion is pure irony and contempt and this seems to be quite deliberately the opposite. The stories seem to be a genuine effort to find something worth saying about the topics the Mail covers. It's a stretch when those topics are pure dross, as in anything that consists of "famous person is photographed with child or boyfriend", but others are worth exploring in much better ways than the Mail does. Whether it's sincere or mock-sincere is almost irrelevant as the result is the same.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:11 PM on January 30 [12 favorites]

I zipped past this the first time through, but thanks to you folks' insistence I've gone back and read the complete articles. Good lord, they're really trying something good here, aren't they? Some sort of mixture of radical acceptance and Marcus Aurelius style pragmatism.

TL;DR: Like others are saying, read the articles, not just the headlines. Pick one and read it all the way to the end.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:00 PM on January 30 [12 favorites]

Wow, this is well worth it for this snippet alone (MeFi generally being the exception which proves the rule, naturally).
posted by lonefrontranger at 4:05 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]

Set up by The School of Life (Wiki)
posted by lalochezia at 6:42 PM on January 30

Took a look at his books on amazon, it makes sense that a new one on media will be out real soon.
posted by GhostRider at 8:17 PM on January 30

"We must learn to disappoint ourselves serenely, deeply, in our own time, about aspects of our relationships before our partners let us down, at a point of their own choosing, when we are not quite ready. We don't get angry in all situations, we only get angry when we believed that particular kinds of pleasure, sympathy, kindness and understanding might be available - and they turn out not to be."

Orthodox Stoic advice right there.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:20 PM on January 30 [1 favorite]

I usually try to post informative and thoughtful comments on MetaFilter, but at this point I would just like to record that oh my god I love this so much.
The price [of paparazzi photos] is an index of our interest. We are six times more interested in Kristen in her jeans, walking through the terminal, than we are in seeing her looking formal on a red carpet. This seems weird at first because the red-carpet is meant to be the special occasion, a time when the star is at their most attractive. But in truth, we're not that keen: we'd rather know the real person. Going through the scanner, Kristen had to remove her Doc Marten's and the world got a glimpse of her wooly oatmeal socks. It was fascinating. We keep on thinking that what people want to see is the red carpet, big achievement formal side of us. But in reality, we crave intimacy. Not in the physical sense, but in the sense of friendship. Friendship is the oatmeal sock version of who we are.
posted by narain at 9:48 PM on January 30 [2 favorites]

How much we wanted Amanda Knox to get away with it was surprisingly insightful.
posted by vytae at 4:22 PM on January 31 [1 favorite]

the Amanda Knox piece is well done.

It's almost like the Onion saw PhiloMail coming -- 2 winners today that are high on truthiness (/ahem) and low on snark:

Report: Today The Day They Find Out You’re A Fraud


Report: Everyone You’ve Ever Had A Crush On Secretly Had A Crush On You, They Still Do, And They’re Waiting For You

Bottom Line: Today is a good day to know how to read.
posted by GhostRider at 6:35 PM on January 31 [2 favorites]

Report: Today The Day They Find Out You’re A Fraud

Wait, what the who the

I would imagine this is one of those comedy harmonic convergences but what if SOMEBODY IS A FRAUD
posted by furiousthought at 4:28 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]

This is great. Thanks, GhostRider.
posted by homunculus at 5:28 PM on February 1 [1 favorite]

Welcome ! :-)
posted by GhostRider at 6:52 PM on February 3

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