Is that a bit brusque? As a child I was told it was an impolite turn of phrase. ‘Please be quiet’ or even plain ‘be quiet’ was preferable. On the bus with those who broadcast their music or expletives or accounts of the weekend’s social or sexual trivia loudly, there will be merely a polite but firm request to lower the volume / grow up but rarely to shut up. However – this week – I take it upon myself to authorise BGOTR bleaders to tell people deserving of the phrase to SHUT UP. Perhaps we could even push for an annual Shut Up day. Unquestionably you will have deserving SU candidates of your own but here are some helpful suggestions to get any shy bleaders started:
Commercials encouraging us to sue our doctors Shut Up.
If you work on a shop till and people talk on their phones while you are serving them, tell them to Shut Up.
Comedians who hide their misogyny – not very well – behind fake irony Shut Up.
Politicians of any party using the words ‘new’ and ‘policy’ in the same sentence when in fact it’s ‘old’ and ‘nonsense’ and obviously Nigel Farage generally Shaaaaadup.
People who think the Bedroom Tax is a bad idea – Shut Up. It’s a great idea just aimed at the wrong people. It should be targeted at those folk with LOTS of spare rooms, living in mansions probably funded by historical misdemeanours and current tax evasion.
T.V. chefs – I mean really, REALLY! If there is anyone left on the planet who doesn’t know how to braise beef or arrange feathered artichokes or flambé chicken livers and rest them on a bed of wilted spinach or toss shallots or marinate guinea fowl or drizzle balsamic vinegar or blanch asparagus or sprinkle flaked almonds or thicken a roux it’s because they don’t want to know so please, PLEASE Shut Up (apart from Come Dine With Me which I saw at my Granny’s and which is really funny). This from someone who, 17 years ago, was on the Halloween edition of Ready Steady Cook.
Clegg, Milliband and Cameron, stop whipping up the immigration bogeyman to distract from the wholesale failure of Western leadership. You’re just agitating the ignorant and the already vulnerable and making discerning people despise you (more) so Shut Up.
Celebrity magazines using the terms ‘exclusive’, ‘shocking’, ‘’x’ reveals all’, Shut Up (metaphorically). It’s not exclusive because everyone already knows. The chances are that if celebrity ‘x’ is revealing all in your magazine they already revealed all somewhere else but with a pout taken from a slightly different angle. Tolerating human rights abuses is shocking. Someone shagging someone who was shagging someone else in last week’s edition is not shocking it’s boring on a delirium-inducing scale.
Self Help books – narcissistic ramblings masquerading as modern day oracles, Shut Up.
Ads inviting you to ‘text this number’ (rather than just fill in the on-line form) if you think you were miss-sold PPI Shut Up.
Racists, whatever your own ethnicity and whomever you are targeting – that spiteful nasty reaction you feel when you see the particular ethnic group your nasty spiteful inner child has targeted, it’s not them causing the problems in your failed life it’s you. You have lost touch with your humanity. Shut Up and go and sit in a corner and have a good think.
The Catholic Church Shut Up about gay people blighting family life and deal with the paedophile priests who, known to you, blighted family life.
Advertisers who use the, your-kids-will-hate-you-if-you-don’t-buy-this-crap technique Shut Up.
Anyone promoting plastic surgery discount packages to young people who have absolutely nothing wrong with them and in a tone suggesting it will solve their self-esteem problems but it’s no more significant than getting your nails painted – could I suggest perhaps they have their mouths sewn up? Ok that’s a bit gruesome but Shut Up.
Anyone who markets themselves as a Royal Commentator and thinks having a bigoted royal consort is endearing Shut Up.
Tony Blair – unless it’s an apology, come on now, it’s time to Shut Up.
People with navels for noses who claim not to have had ‘aesthetic enhancement’, ‘a bit of work’ or whatever other euphemism they use for a face lift Shut Up. Ditto the paralysed zombies claiming not to have had Botox and the hamster-cheeked, rubber dinghy-lipped freaks who maintain they have not had face fillers Shut Up – if you’re able to control your own facial muscles.
Individuals who are always forcing their unsolicited opinions onto you regarding what you should wear / eat / watch / read / buy Shut Up. If someone hasn’t asked for your opinion they possibly don’t want it.
Via e-mail - Russian women offering to marry me, Nigerian princes politely asking for bank details, dubious medical suppliers offering discount Viagra (I’m female and I don’t want to ‘impress the laidees’), anonymous people who reckon they know me from Facebook – you don’t I don’t have a FB page ditto Linkedin / twitter all please Shut Up.
Media outlets that pronounce celebrity tittle-tattle as News, Shut Up.
And this one is possibly a bit specific but here goes. Once I was waiting at a bus stop as parents were dropping youngsters at a school nearby. A runty guy in a business suit – who clearly was nothing to himself or anyone else until he had donned the aforementioned attire – was giving a blokey nod and a wink to another be-suited chap with the words ‘that’s the worst part of the day over.’ He gave the impression in that moment that possibly the only thing he did of any meaning or import was to drop those two children at school. If I am wrong and he was off to change the world in an office somewhere in a tremendously momentous way with panache and humility then I apologise in advance and in anonymity but otherwise to him personally for that one comment Shut Up.
People who, on meeting you, unfailingly take or make a mobile call loudly to someone else Shut Up.
Radio interviewers who shout over their guests.
Spiteful people generally.
Interviewees who say whatever they wanted to say regardless of the question.
Advertisers of dieting products.
Peter Andre and Jordan.
Advertisers of cleaning products.
Miliband for shutting up on the issues that matter – Shut Up.
Personal Injury law firms touting for business.
Nick Clegg just generally.
Celebrities who are famous for no reason.
People who have their mobile phones on in the cinema.
T.V.s on at 3am.
OK. I’ll Shut Up now.