Monday, 17 January 2011

Misery loves company

It's cold, it's dark, it's raining and it's Monday. All in all, a pretty depressing combination. But wait, this cold, wet, dark Monday morning is worse than every other cold, wet, dark Monday morning we've had recently as it's - officially - the most miserable day of the year.

It's true! Eminent miseryologists have decreed - in what is a doubtless a scientifically rigorous and peer-reviewed press release - that the third Monday in January is the glummest day of the year for Britons. Hence this headline in the Mail:

The thing is, it's awfully similar to this headline in the Mail:

...which, as you can see from the dateline, appeared on 1 November last year. I pointed out at the time that there seems to be never-ending line of "most miserable" days in the year, creating a steady stream of opportunities for lazy "how to deal with the most miserable day of the year" features in the national press.

If, like me, you're a tragic individual with no life to speak of, it's all rather amusing. But it also raises a semi-serious point. So much of the mainstream press (especially the Mail) are so suspicious and sceptical about the views of scientists - actual scientists, ones who do science and stuff - when it comes to everything from climate change to mass animal deaths. Yet as soon as someone puts out a press release that announces something trivial is "official" in order to gain free advertising for a product or service, they swallow it hook, line and sinker. Why is that?

Or is there actually an important technical difference between depression and misery?


EnglishAtheist said...

Blue Monday's gone beyond pushing a product. Reports about it are kind of depressing, which would be a funny way for Blue Monday to become a reality...

It's a good excuse fro some New Order though:

Welsh Agenda said...

Surey every day is a miserable day in the Daily Mail.

Sean Skipton said...

Obviously misery and depression are two different aspects of human existence, because newspapers never lie. Hence your reporting is slightly inaccurate, as the third Monday in January was designated the most depressing day of the year, not the glummest day of the year (feeling glum being another aspect of this mortal coil). I'm not sure when the glummest day of the year is - should I ask the Daily Mail?