Monday, April 25, 2005

A retrospective of Saturday's Guardian. Two (or three) things grated. One was Victor Lewis-Smith's chip shop review in Weekend. Ah, bless, underclass fodder. Nothing wrong with that. But it's the artistic licence he took that just made me exhale a sigh. He reckons he was travelling to this shop in Bridlington on a bus when, "My reverie was interrupted by a pensioner on the bus,yelling to his friend that he would be "spending the whole afternoon up boys". I was a bit taken aback, because Bridlington is a respectable and dignified resort (albeit a little down at heel nowadays), but then I glanced out of the window, saw a department store named Boyes, and realised that the gentleman's intentions were pure..." It would be a good gag but I find it hard, nay impossible, to believe that anyone would spend the whole afternoon up Boyes and therefore, nor would anyone say such a thing. It's just a shop, ferchrissakes, and not an enormous one at that (hardly a department store - it more closely resembles Steptoe's yard). Then Lewis-Smith baltantly ripped off an old Not The Nine O Clock News gag: "I was here for a plate of proper fish 'n' chips 'n' mushy peas 'n' scraps 'n' pickled onions 'n' a side order of 'n's (so many 'n's, in fact, that I wished I could have donated one to the late Ronald Dahl, who had his 'n' shot off in the war)." (NTNON, if I remember correctly, had a sketch that pointed out that Roald was christened thus because his father couldn't spell Ronald). Farewell, Victor, you'd obviously exhausted your supply of original words (though I did love your Little Chef bashing a few weeks ago). Then, in the paper, Mark soddin' Lawson jumped on the blog bandwagon, demonstrating that he doesn't really understand what the 'blogosphere' is about (for starters a blog is, he informs, is "short for weblog or cyberspace diary". Short for cyberspace diary? Eh? How can 'blog' be 'short' for that?) He was searching for political blogs and blogs that would play a part in the campaign but peddles such ridiculous sweepers as "the majority of British blogging is leftwing". Then he roles around and revels in his status as a man what works in traditional media, dissing the form like a man with an obvious agenda (ie, preserving his status as a trad journalist). "I came out of the experience with a fresh respect for editing and mediation. Not all intervention is censorship. At its worst, blogworld most resembles a radio phone-in for leftwing men..." As for this..."But what we're mainly getting from bloggers is media commentary or, even worse, media commentary on media commentary." Oh. Damn. Blast. Sorry, Lawson, you're right. And thirdly...just don't get me started on yet another 3,000 word advert for Simon Callow's Shooting the Actor penned by, erm, Simon Callow.

Tune: Prefab Sprout - Cars & Girls

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