A Very Angry Letter

[Sent to the Sunday Express after they printed a ridiculous article about Oasis fans...]

To The Editor -

I have been reading your newspaper for the past five years, courtesy of my parents' choice in newspaper. Over the years, I have used your articles as a way of educating myself about the world around me as I grow up. I have trusted your newspaper to give me the facts of a story, in a neutral manner, to help me make my own judgements and opinions. However, upon reading the article in your newspaper today titled "The day the music died", I have been angered and upset by the false allegations flung at me, my friends and millions of other Oasis fans. I find them to be vile and ignorant. If the author of such a feature - Amy Packer - dislikes Oasis, she is entitled to her own opinion. Even though I disagree with her claims that they "last musically mattered in 1996" (in which case, why have every single one of their studio albums - yes, including those released post-1996 - reached the #1 spot in the UK album charts?), she is entitled to have these views - to write about them, even! However, presenting her views by attacking the fans is highly unprofessional, and I doubt that I am the only person to be left fuming over this article.

Many of the claims made are ridiculous generalisations. For a start, when I saw Oasis live at Wembley Stadium this summer, I did not go for "the opportunity to drink 10 pints of lager". Rather, I went to see one of my favourite bands play the songs that have soundtracked my childhood and teenage years; among them, classics such as Wonderwall and Don't Look Back In Anger. And, out of interest, what exactly is a gig, if not a chance to perform "glorified karaoke" along with thousands of fellow fans who revel in the common interest of loving a band? I, for one, am not entirely sure what you are recommending people do at gigs when they want to show their enthusiasm for their favourite songs.

But the generalisations that I take offence at do not stop there. Unlike your employee suggests, I am not "an identikit, tattooed lager lout"; rather, I have no tattoos and I do not drink alcohol. I also enjoy watching football and listening to indie music, which she seems to believe are mutually exclusive interests. They are not. Is it such a crime to have a diversity of likes, compared to predictable stereotypes that this article seems to encourage your readers to become?

I am 17 years of age. The media portrays all of my generation as drunken, feckless teenage mothers. The media implies that I have re-taken modules to gain good grades at GCSE and AS level. And now, you feel it is necessary to criticise my taste in music. Is it any wonder that most of my generation, saddled with the dangerously low expectations from the doom-and-gloom merchants who plague your pages, are turning out in the gutter? It appears that I cannot do anything right, if one believes what your newspaper prints.

I suppose that you will assume that I am a rare breed among Oasis fans. But it is quite the opposite. My friends who enjoy Oasis's music are - for the most part - sober, civilised people. Yet despite the fact that we are upstanding members of the community, the pioneers and inventors of the future, you continue to pick holes in our self-esteem and ambition when we have done nothing to warrant your abuse.

Although you may enjoy promoting sensationalist, inconsiderate journalism, this article has lost you at least one regular reader. In future, I will be reading a more informed newspaper.

Yours faithfully,

Jennifer Steadman

Posted on August 30th, 2009 at 11:05am


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