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Society Diary: The new worst thing you've ever seen

18 Jan 2019 Voices

Peta's masculinity ad has caused a stir

It’s been a long week of still being in the EU, dear readers, but we have finally reached the weekend. Here to inspire feelings of disgust, amusement and hope, Society Diary presents this week’s charity highlights.

Have we reached peak Peta?

Shock is a highly valuable marketing tool. Piers Morgan reminds of this on an almost hourly basis, whipping up outrage about vegan sausage rolls and valiantly defending masculinity’s right to be toxic. His profile is raised, and so is that of the companies that provoked him. It’s a win-win.

Charities and other non-profit organisations also have a history of using shock tactics, but Peta has gone too far this time. Way too far.

By combining the issues of veganism and toxic masculinity, they’ve produced a video so shocking, so putrid, that Diary is hesitant to present it for you dear reader. But we know you are not one to shy away from reality, so here it is in all its glory. But be warned that some things cannot be unseen:

The message is that high cholesterol foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy products can cause erectile disfunction. According to Diary’s most trusted organ – no not that one – the Telegraph, a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition does indeed suggest that men who combine a regular workout routine with a fruit-rich diet of strawberries, blueberries, and apples can reduce their risk of developing erectile dysfunction by a “whopping” 20 per cent. Fair dos.

Best friends fur ever

Amid the continued Brexit omnishambles in Parliament this week, a moment of respite was provided when a photo of Tory MP Sir Greg Knight holding hands with a cat was unearthed on Twitter.

Late last year, Knight attended Cats Protection’s annual Christmas Parliamentary Reception to celebrate the charity’s campaigning work.


The sweet image (above) over interspecies friendship is even more endearing if you watch Knight’s incredible campaign video from the 2017 general election (watch to the end).

But as much as Diary is a fan of Knight’s recent output, it is deeply concerned that he is being lined up to follow in the Edwardian steps of Jacob Rees Mogg and Boris Johnson as a hilarious toff character that gains influence and then uses his platform to spread dangerous right-wing opinions.

However, Knight yesterday put out a statement calling for “A Better Brexit” so it looks like his rhetoric might need a bit of developing before he launches a bid for Prime Minister.

Kondo effect

And finally, the latest Netflix show that absolutely everybody except Diary is addicted to has had a big impact on charities.

For those readers who have somehow also missed it, ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’ appears to be a TV show about an expert helping people to tidy up.

That might sound like the least exciting premise for a show since Michael Portillo’s Great Railway Journeys, but Diary is persistently informed that it gives the viewer “all the feels”.

Kondo’s trademark is getting her useless hoarder guests to pick up each item of clothing they own and ask themselves if it “sparks joy” within them. This is quite different to Diary’s father’s evaluation method, which is to ask himself “does this have more than six pockets?”

Her other big tip is her “signature fold”, makes every item of clothing look like a ball of socks.

Nevertheless the show has taken the UK by storm and, according to the Huffington Post, has led to an upsurge in donations to charity shops.

This is happening for two reasons. One is obvious: Kondo fans inspired by the show are having a clear out and many of those are donating their unwanted clothes to charities. But the second reason is fantastic.

As Marc Spence, executive director of retail at Scope, told the paper: “Because these items are folded so neatly, more donations have been put into the donation bags than usual.”

Move over, Attenborough, Kondo’s signature fold is saving the planet by inspiring people to use fewer plastic bags than before.

Diary is now a convert and will spend the weekend holding its 15 Spurs replica tops in its hands and hoping at least one sparks something approaching joy.


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