AGONY AUNT

Ask Daphne, #23: Consuming dilemmas

By Aunt Daphne

Dear Daphne,
I’m a shopaholic who was recently injured in a rage incident in the Westfield shopping centre. Due to my injury I am now having to look online for my shopping needs, as well as it being mandated by the court. Do you have any suggestions for sites I could use?

—Sartorially-challenged in Stratford, sent via Facebook message.

The first step is admitting you have a problem. Similar to myself, you can’t even get that far. I advise you breathe, reflect – genuflect, if you must. Why do you shop? What sends you hurtling, at whatever speed your swollen ankles can carry you, toward the shopping mall, Satan’s mousetrap? The answer lies within. It doesn’t lie, I shouldn’t think, with Fancy, Net-a-Porter or Coach.

Dear Daphne,
I am a consumer of the ancient fire. A denizen of all things springing from the night. I am an apt metaphor for the deepest anxieties and the fear which grips the modern nation. I cry out in the Valley of Kings but receive no response. As such, I am seeking sadomasochistic release and was wondering if you could recommend a website for me.

—Barmy in Bretton Woods, sent via telepathic communication.

I bet you’re a real rag at parties aren’t you? S&M, my dear, is not a hobby or a kooky way to get your rocks off when a slam poet’s circle jerk is off the cards. Like brandy or Piers Morgan, you must be made of a peculiar alloy to enjoy it. In light of which, I won’t offer you my expertise in this field, they already have enough of your type polluting their notice boards.

Dear Daphne,
I love the Kernel (and The Daily Dot), but I was wondering if you knew of any other publications I could read? Online, of course, but if you like them in print, don’t be afraid to say so. I’m trying to branch out of my Buzzfeed/Upworthy/Gawker mindset and learn something new. Thank you.

—Aspirational in Acton, sent via email.

Yes, well, thanks for the cheap compliment you mild emetic. You’ve learnt that from your reading, I bet. There’s nothing wrong with “OMG, like, did you know…” style of journalism, as long as it is counteracted with some burly prose. You must remember that journalism is a form of anxious narcissism which wants to be liked, so you’ll never find an ungarnished opinion, least of all online. Better to pick up some Lawrence or Joyce, mix it with a little James (sounds like something we could all enjoy). Afterwards, comfortably read whatever journalism you damn well please.