Oi troll, get your exploitative ass back to England
This week you may have read that controversial UK commentator and TV personality Katie Hopkins has asked to meet with Julius Malema to discuss his singing of Kill the Boer, as part of her visit to South Africa to investigate the plight of white farmers.
Now, I try to avoid feeding the trolls, but since Hopkins has appeared in the news and is already sucking oxygen from the media, I feel it might be useful to set the record straight as far as possible.
For instance, it's worth noting that controversial commentator Katie is neither controversial nor a commentator, the former implying disagreement between two sides that both might have a point, while the latter implies the ability to draw together ideas and present them as something new. Obviously, neither of these is applicable to a professional troll.
As for the assertion that she is a TV personality, well, this would require a personality rather than a sort of rapacious cunning dedicated entirely to turning the petulant self-pity of the British right into money.No, Katie Hopkins is someone who went on reality TV and got noticed by the sort of people who notice contestants on reality TV. From there it was a short crawl into Britain's tabloids, where she put on a laborious performance as a bigoted dancing bear entertaining the villagers with her shabby roars and snarls, before her bosses had no more use for her and she was fired.
Undeterred, she has rebranded herself as an activist for the right, a kind of cracker Joan of Arc determined to protect the West from all the things that stupid people in the West worry about at night.
Which is why Katie Hopkins is here. But, of course, she is not in South Africa to investigate farm murders, and she didn’t ask to meet Julius Malema to discuss them. She came to South Africa for the same reason she wanted to meet Malema: to parlay noise into headlines, and headlines into heat, and heat into money. The first line of her Twitter bio says it all: “For bookings: email@example.com”.
Exploitative hustlers, however, shall not live by race-baiting alone, and this week Katie branched out by tweeting about Cape Town’s water crisis. “Soon each man / woman will have to collect their daily ration from a line,” she typed. “Stand by.”
I wouldn’t mention this largely pointless tweet except that it produced an almost perfect final word on Katie, the world she inhabits, and the people who follow her.
You can find it in the replies, a few tweets down, written by James from Worcester.
It reads, simply: “Why’s this not in the news?”
Oh James. Oh Katie.