Is the Guardian worse than it used to be?

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My feeling is: Yes, somewhat. But Regular Readers will recall that I am a curmudgeon who doesn't like New Things. So do they really want to agree with me here? Plus, we do have (somewhere round here) a house Guardian expert whose opinion would be interesting.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Some readers might, conceivably, like to know that the Guardian (formerly Manchester Guardian) is a UK daily newspaper which has for several decades been the main print source / gathering-point, as it were, for those on 'The Liberal Left'. Many UK ILE posters, I imagine, know it very well and have done for many years, so I thought there might be some opinions around.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I like the Guardian now more than I have for years. Perhaps the restyle of the mag helped, but generally the Burchill thing works for me and I haven't noticed a drop in quality elsewhere. The Guide has always been shite (and I say that working for PA Listings) but the rest seems cool. Can you specify what's gone wrong for you?

chris, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I hate the Guardian - particularly the G2 section, with it's crappy 'think' pieces, terrible arts reviews and smug phillistinism - and have bought it every weekday and Saturdays for at least the last fifteen years. Because, being a bleeding heart liberal and a news junkie, I couldn't bring myself to read any of the other rags (morning papers are somehow part of my going to work coping ritual.) I flirted with the Independent for a while - and the IOS still has the great film critic David Thomson writing for 'em - but I found it to be even more boring than the Guardian. I suspect that I am far from alone in all this, and that the Guardian survives on the unearned good will of the liberal middle classes.

Funnily enough, I quite like the Guide, partly because Joe Queenan and Byron Coley sometimes write for it, partly because it means I no longer have to buy that useless piece of toss Time Out anymore.

Andrew L, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I've never actually bought a copy of the Guardian, if I did buy a newspaper I'd get the Telegraph, it has a good weather section, obituaries, world news briefs and I like the sports section.

james e l, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I suppose the short answer is 'Trivialization'. One has to be a tad careful using a word like that, because, for instance,

1. The simplification of the accusation may just echo what it asserts about the target (just as 'Dumbing Down' is a dumb, dull phrase);

2. If I don't like Triviality, why don't I read nothing but 10-page reports from the former Yugoslavia? It would be hypocritical of me to say that I simply wanted them to be SERIOUS and SOLEMN and RESPONSIBLE all the time. No, that's not it.

What I mean, I suppose, is that too many features, esp. in G2, now look dashed-off - half-hearted, half-baked, unconvincing, just cliché pies really. Today's Lara Croft piece was just the latest of a million examples. It feels (the terms are problematic here, I know) JOURNALISTIC in a bad way - trite, unconsidered, full of crowd- pleasing Received Ideas - rather than JOURNALISTIC in a good way (that is: dogged, resourceful, brave, mentally agile, snappy and what have you).

It's the world of second-hand Lifestyle phrases that bugs me. The way that adults can still write a phrase like "*that* dress" and not hang their heads in shame.

A rider to all my bile, though, is that my previous, more impressed impressions of the Guardian may just reflect youthful impressionability. (Sentence!) Maybe the same kind of crap used to impress me that now feels rubbishy, faux-zeitgeisty and embarrassing? Maybe, but I suspect it's a bit of both.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Andrew L: I know what you mean - the Labour party factor of Nowhere Else To Go? (And brand loyalty, or whatever you want to call it.) There's actually a Verso book out (yet?) which makes a massive attack on the Guardian as home of neo-conservative (ie New Labour) ideas. I find this rather unconvincing and overstated. Even offensive, come to think of it.

I agree about Queenan too. But most of all, I agree about Thomson. There's almost no point having a thread about Thomson, because people who know what they think about him already know it all and would just send in superlatives.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Andrew L, and indeed everyone: cut em loose and let em drown in their own smug laziness!! I stopped buying it a YEAR ago FOREVER and now buy NO NEWSPAPER and am FREE. (Actually I too buy saturday for the guide — and for the food page in the mag, but the mag redesign is utter shit, and the recipes are in fact on long recycle: eg I have seen Lady Llandower's Duck three times now, always copied (of course) from Elizabeth David Salt, Spices and Aromatics...) The age of the newspaper is dead.

mark s, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Something has clearly gone wrong with G2: the other week they ran a page-long feature on the phenomenon of "Jumping the shark" (referring to that moment when a long-running tv fave finally loses the plot completely, apparently derived from a late episode of Happy Days where Fonzie, yes, jumped a shark). This was all well and good (except it was inane and ripped off from a website [this is a whole other can of worms]), but they ran an almost IDENTICAL story in the Guide not two weeks previously. Do they not read their own paper, or did they simply think the readers wouldn't notice?

What the paper still has going for it: George Monbiot's column, the Diary, Steve Bell, giving review space to Ians Sansom and Penman, and the tv columns of Nancy Banks-Smith. (When N B-S finally pops her clogs I will have to think very hard about buying the paper.)

What is leading the paper ever closer to the abyss: consistently terrible pop coverage (honorable exceptions: Maddy Costa, Betty Clarke); the fatuous new Saturday mag (Zoe Ball on dressing? match the celebrity with the pet? that awful woman talking about words that should be banned??); Charlotte bloody Raven.

stevie t, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

What I mean, I suppose, is that too many features, esp. in G2, now look dashed-off - half-hearted, half-baked, unconvincing, just cliché pies really. (Pinefox)

I agree with you there. They sucker you in with the G2 front cover (and the masthead of the main paper), but when you get to read the cover story it often appears cobbled together and lightweight. I imagine it must be difficult to fill that space with high quality stories day in day out though.

David, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Stevie: agree about Steve Bell, of course. I mean, if only for the sake of 1981 and all that. But actually, he draws and paints better now.

I actually like Peter Preston's awkward, staccato opinion pieces, come to think of it. But not the pompous ones of Hugo Young. Freedland is sometimes good at summing political issues up, but usually he 'sums up' too much - there's too much glibness in the way he marshals it all. (I admit again, though, that it's easy - even glib - to call someone glib.)

Penman strikes me as a red herring. I can see that he doesn't do that to you, cos you have some kind of investment in his career. I agree about Sansom (great left-back, mean penalty, blah blah) - in fact I think that the whole Saturday book reviews section is quite possibly the best feature of the paper. EXCEPT of course the footy. Heroes? How could I forget David Lacey?

BUT I think that you are wrong about N B-S. It doesn't surprise me that older folk make that judgement about her; it does rather surprise me coming from you. She has skills, I guess, but she's terribly repetitive; uses the same lines on the same topics year in year out. It's all too - yes - glib and easy, while dressed up to look aged and thus wise.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I agree with much of what's been said. After Mark Steel and Jeremy Hardy went, it didn't seem as essential anymore. The Observer's the same - just dear old Phil Hogan that still makes me go down the shops Sunday morning

jamesmichaelward, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

My parents used to get a subscription to the Guardian shipped to them for the first few years they were in the States, because they couldn't trust the US Media. The Guardian just isn't the same when it's not printed on that semi-transluscent airmail paper.

I only read it for the Guide and the job listings. Not that either has been particularly helpful lately... ;-)

masonic boom, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Steve Bell is a GOD but apart from that I read it largely out of having nowhere else to go and a worry that I'll become totally detached from the world if I don't read any newspapers at all. I think it might have marginally improved with the loss of Messrs. Hardy and Steel though. Everything they wrote was just as predictable and smug as any of the other writers mentioned above, only with a more left wing stance.

Richard Tunnicliffe, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I don't read anything except the Spectator. Hey Chris, if you work for PA Listings then that means you're in the same building as me.

tarden, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

The Guide last week (or was it the week before) had that BRILLIANT article slamming not just the Strokes, but the entire music hype industry... VERY funny because it was so clearly written by an insider who had been participating in the music hype game for so long.

masonic boom, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

I'd love to comment, but those Observer commissions are keeping me out of the poor house. Anything appearing in the Guardian or the Obs by my deepest and dearest friends is obviously genius...

Mark Morris, Wednesday, 4 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

As bad as the Guardian may have become, it's still better than the so-called "best" American newspapers. Or, if you think it couldn't get worse, it could end up becoming The New York Times or The Washington Post.

Tadeusz Suchodolski, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Reynard's right about the amount of trivial toss that gets in there. Mark's also right about the decline of the newspaper in general. Reynard's spot on re. New Labour - the Guardian's frequent criticism of some Blairite attitudes is one of the great things about it.

There's a lot of irritating stuff, yes. My favourite columnist is George Monbiot, by a mile. Something I like about the Independent when I do get it is that its liberalism is less metropolitan and more about the common good. Needless to say, though, the Guardian's series of articles on public service under that very title were awesome.

The Hemulen Who Loved Silence, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

OK, agree with the Hemulen re. The Common Good.

Today's G2 seems designed to add fuel to my (f)ire: one page of 'Style' after another, including a column on Why We're So Disappointed That Madonna Employs A Stylist.

the pinefox, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Although Toynbee's piece on Labour post-election is admirable.

blue veils and golden sands, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

Broadly I agree with her, yes. It feels a wee bit ironic given her immediately-pre-election pieces telling everyone how urgent it was to overcome apathy and vote for the people she's now criticizing. (But actually I think she was right both times.)

Also good in Guardian: John Patterson re. cinema.

the pinefox, Friday, 6 July 2001 00:00 (13 years ago) Permalink

6 years pass...

oh god, ask hadley today is just... tooth-grinding.

Tracer Hand, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:17 (7 years ago) Permalink

"today"

Dom Passantino, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:17 (7 years ago) Permalink

"At what age is a man too old to wear band T-shirts?"

Martin McCall, by email

"About 15 - that young enough for you, Martin? And to follow one rhetorical question with several more, what in God's name is the point of band T-shirts anyway? To show your allegiance to a band? Do you think anyone else cares? To impress onlookers with your esoteric musical knowledge? See previous reply. To make people stare at your bony chest? Again, I refer you to the first answer. To show that you once attended a live gig? Wow, like, a pair of golden headsets to the guy in the Nirvana '91 T-shirt. In case you happen to bump into the lead singer on the street, he sees that the two of you are kindred souls and therefore invites you to join his band and you then go on the road and have all the manly bonding sessions followed by groupies that your heart could desire? OK, I'll give you that one, although this does suggest that you still harbour the fantasy that you might bump into Joey Ramone in Waterstone's.

"As for ladies in band T-shirts, give me a fricking break. First, gals, a badly cut, poorly made, oversized T-shirt is good for nothing other than wearing to bed and the gym. Second, too often women who wear band T-shirts appear to be going for what we shall call Groupie Chic. It is a style amply modelled by Kate Moss in recent years, and can pretty much be summed up as skinny faded black jeans, ankle boots, a ripped band T-shirt and a cropped fur jacket. In other words, a girlified version of Marc Bolan's or Keith Richards' wardrobe, as though the woman has been so busy, um, sleeping on the band bus she hasn't had time to clean her clothes, so she's now wearing ones belonging to her musical companion. This column has no time for such nonsense."

Tracer Hand, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:19 (7 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, because women have *no* interest in music whatsoever except for sleeping with musicians. What CENTURY is this cretin from?

Masonic Boom, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:21 (7 years ago) Permalink

I think I stopped wearing band T-shirts by the time I was 23. It wasn't necessarily a conscious move tho. I doubt I will ever wear one again tho - I guess it seems lame unless it's an old obscure or overlooked thus hip act (even this I dunno about). I don't notice many people over 20 wearing them. Does Matt DC still have that Save Ferris T?

I only want to sleep with musicians if they are hot as they are (their musical ability is pretty irrelevant in fact).

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:29 (7 years ago) Permalink

dear teh grauniad - a long time ago/we used to be friends...

CharlieNo4, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:32 (7 years ago) Permalink

It went downhill after I left.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:33 (7 years ago) Permalink

or were you PUSHED?

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:35 (7 years ago) Permalink

heh. (sorry alex, no harm intended)

CharlieNo4, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:36 (7 years ago) Permalink

xp

Dom Passantino, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:36 (7 years ago) Permalink

i was being harsh really. i don't care what's on other people's t-shirts that much. just trying to work out why i stopped wearing/wouldn't wear band t-shirts myself.

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:37 (7 years ago) Permalink

Any t-shirt which isn't plain white clearly sucks that's why.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:38 (7 years ago) Permalink

i couldn't agree less

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:40 (7 years ago) Permalink

I still wear band t-shirts if I like the band. Why not? I don't *define* myself or my personality by my music tastes any more, I haven't done that since I was about 18. But that's not the same thing as wearing a band t-shirt.

I suppose the fashion journalist in discussion cannot fathom the idea that clothes are just something you put on, rather than a definition of or statement about your personality.

This is definitely something that happens as you age - or rather, has happened to me as I aged. There's a subtle difference between Statement Clothes and just things you put on.

Masonic Boom, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:40 (7 years ago) Permalink

Guardian editorial worldview circa 2007:

tissp, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:41 (7 years ago) Permalink

why else would you buy a band t-shirt if not as a statement or definition of personality?

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:44 (7 years ago) Permalink

I didn't know it was a band t-shirt okay?

Matt DC, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:45 (7 years ago) Permalink

because you're cold xp

tissp, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:45 (7 years ago) Permalink

In the past I've usually just bought them as a keepsake of a gig I've enjoyed. The piece tracer quotes is idiotic fluff, obv. I'd be embarrased to admit I'd written that.

Pashmina, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:46 (7 years ago) Permalink

Because you like the design? Because you like the music? Because it was given to you (this is where most of mine come from)? Because it was a souvenier?

x-post

Masonic Boom, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:46 (7 years ago) Permalink

you wouldn't actually buy a band t-shirt because you liked the design but not necessarily the band tho...would you?

because you like the music = statement/definition of you/your taste

given to you = not you buying

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:48 (7 years ago) Permalink

you wouldn't actually buy a band t-shirt because you liked the design but not necessarily the band tho...would you?

No, plus I've only ever bought them @ gigs.

because you like the music = statement/definition of you/your taste

Probably yeah, but w/smaller bands there's also the knowledge that in buying it, yr helping to supposrt the tour.

Pashmina, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:50 (7 years ago) Permalink

i actually bought a comets on fire t-shirt solely because the design was so awesome. (it was at a gig, but they hadn't come on stage yet.) then i heard the music and i liked that too. i suppose if i hadn't liked their music, or thought it was boring, it would have posed a problem.

a friend of mine, who shall remain nameless so that alex in nyc doesn't stalk and kill him, bought a huge iron maiden patch when he was 14 and sewed it across the shoulders of his denim jacket. he had never heard a note of iron maiden, but he wound up becoming the biggest iron maiden fan i know, and even sung in a band later, where his vocal style was almost inseparable from bruce dickinson's.

Tracer Hand, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:53 (7 years ago) Permalink

my take on this: do not read hadley freeman.

this resolution made some time ago, stands as strong today as it ever did.

it's a crass and deliberately invidious piece of writing. such an attitude, if sincerely held, could be turned around on pretty much ANY choice of clothing. so forgeddaboudit

Alan, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:53 (7 years ago) Permalink

the last band t-shirt i bought - robyn!

alan i can't help myself, i know i'm sick and need help.

Tracer Hand, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:54 (7 years ago) Permalink

is there a thread for best band t-shirts? must see

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:56 (7 years ago) Permalink

Taste is something that I have. It does not define me. Clothes are something I wear. The statement I am making is "I don't really care about clothes any more."

If I'm going to make a statement about clothes, I'll wear a bright green paisley jacket to a dronerock festival where everyone else is in leather.

I suppose my Hawkwind t-shirt is a statement, it says "ha ha, I'm wearing a Hawkwind t-shirt, I care nothing for fashion, I am wearing the shirt of a band so deeply uncool you can suck my left one because I love them!" But it's certainly not a statement saying that I want to f*ck any of Hawkwind or that I have a musician boyfriend whose Hawkwind t-shirt I'm borrowing, which is the assumption of that article.

Masonic Boom, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:56 (7 years ago) Permalink

> I don't notice many people over 20 wearing them.

*SOBS*

> you wouldn't actually buy a band t-shirt because you liked the design but not necessarily the band tho...would you?

EAR t-shirt with the putney on the front = great. EAR live = terrible. (EAR on CD = ok, plus pram and stereolab were supporting)

koogs, Monday, 3 September 2007 15:03 (7 years ago) Permalink

Isn't the point that readers should care about how to make Creme Eggs with their own kids? Most parents I know are desperate for novel ways to keep them occupied for an afternoon.

Matt DC, Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:01 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

yeah its the process, not the cheapness nor making them tastier than actual creme eggs, i'm guessing

though it would not be hard to improve on hershey-era creme eggs, but that is another story

but yeah this is about women and kitchens and domestic life and therefore not important or deserving of coverage in the guardian, do i have that right?

IHeartMedia, the giant broadcaster formerly known as Clear Channel, (stevie), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:03 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

His live sets are notoriously unpredictable. At the Wireless festival in London last summer he was reportedly booed after pausing the music to offer the crowd an extensive mid-set rant. On the other hand, his Watch the Throne tour with Jay-Z was regarded as one of the greatest hip-hop tours ever.

Whatever else might happen, it’s unlikely West’s Glastonbury appearance will be uneventful.

The Guardian is Glastonbury’s media partner.

This is genuine Phil McNulty vapidity though.

Matt DC, Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:04 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

stevie OTM. Most of these recent examples are harmless.

Minaj moron (Re-Make/Re-Model), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:04 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

Meanwhile they continue to publish cobblers like this.

I'm not really sure what Guardian readers are supposed to gain by reading Simon Jenkins on any subject but still ffs.

Matt DC, Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:11 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

yeah i mean i find the empty politics-as-sports punditry endlessly more egregious and tiresome than any lifestyle piece tbh

IHeartMedia, the giant broadcaster formerly known as Clear Channel, (stevie), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:12 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

but yeah this is about women and kitchens and domestic life and therefore not important or deserving of coverage in the guardian, do i have that right?

self-righteousness doesn't work when your first instinct was to throw out personal insults.

i resent the elevation of male pundits' personal lives as well - i don't really know why somebody is supposed to care about a journalist's life. not least now when they can read their friends or relatives writing about their lives or their families very easily and readily. nor should people have to live to some stupid standard of family existence.

i mean honestly, if it was just "make your own creme eggs" i'd be p much fine with it. i just dislike cult of personality for people who haven't actually done v much to deserve it.

Junior Dictionary (LocalGarda), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:22 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

and when i say "nor should people have to live to some stupid standard of family existence" i include people with families in that as well, fwiw.

Junior Dictionary (LocalGarda), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:22 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

self-righteousness doesn't work when your first instinct was to throw out personal insults.

pls direct me to the personal insults because i'm pretty sure i didn't drop any

i just dislike cult of personality for people who haven't actually done v much to deserve it.

riiiiiight

IHeartMedia, the giant broadcaster formerly known as Clear Channel, (stevie), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:23 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

are you normally this aggressive when someone holds a different opinion?

Junior Dictionary (LocalGarda), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:25 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

I'm with you on this one, LG, not a 100% though.

Walking Close to Melton Mowbray (Tom D.), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:26 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

i'm not being aggressive at all.

IHeartMedia, the giant broadcaster formerly known as Clear Channel, (stevie), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:26 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

has anyone ever labelled you a misogynist because you criticised an article that happened to be written by a woman?

i suppose it'd be okay because you'd know that word only applies to other men.

Junior Dictionary (LocalGarda), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:34 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

The lifestyle features in the Guardian generally irk me because they assume (probably accurately) that the readership enjoys/shares a certain level of income and has access to every new metropolitan fad and fancy - these features almost never question consumerism, middle class privilege or Londoncentrism.

I can see why Zoe Williams gets a lot of work from the Guardian - she can turn out something decentish on pretty much any subject - but there's something a bit gruesome about her using her kids as another source of 'good copy' (again, this applies to plenty of male Guardian hacks, too).

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:35 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

The lifestyle features in the Guardian generally irk me because they assume (probably accurately) that the readership enjoys/shares a certain level of income and has access to every new metropolitan fad and fancy - these features almost never question consumerism, middle class privilege or Londoncentrism.

and a certain lifestyle. the list of people who don't have kids is significantly longer and more diverse than irish dickheads in their 30s - and getting longer.

Junior Dictionary (LocalGarda), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:39 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

has anyone ever labelled you a misogynist because you criticised an article that happened to be written by a woman?

i suppose it'd be okay because you'd know that word only applies to other men.

― Junior Dictionary (LocalGarda), Thursday, March 19, 2015 10:34 AM (11 seconds ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

hmm

1) i am not labelling you a misogynist
2) i am not saying you hated the piece because it is written by a woman
3) you don't seem to think a woman writing about something she did with her family has a valid place within a newspaper like the guardian, but it does, so suck it up

IHeartMedia, the giant broadcaster formerly known as Clear Channel, (stevie), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:42 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

but yeah this is about women and kitchens and domestic life and therefore not important or deserving of coverage in the guardian, do i have that right?

Junior Dictionary (LocalGarda), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:43 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

the list of people who don't have kids is significantly longer and more diverse than irish dickheads in their 30s - and getting longer.

and so the guardian shouldn't do lifestyle pieces about/for people who have kids then? i would have read this piece and enjoyed it last year when i didn't have a kid, you know, people can have interests in people whose lives and lifestyles aren't exactly like theirs?

IHeartMedia, the giant broadcaster formerly known as Clear Channel, (stevie), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:43 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

what exactly is your argument against this piece then? why do you think the guardian is worse off for its presence within its virtual pages?

IHeartMedia, the giant broadcaster formerly known as Clear Channel, (stevie), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:44 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

i just personally find an article about someone making creme eggs with their kids to on the bemusing side of tedious and vapid.

what makes the subject vapid?

IHeartMedia, the giant broadcaster formerly known as Clear Channel, (stevie), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:44 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

what do you think the guardian should be covering instead of a piece on how its readers can bake with their kids, and the writer's amusing account of attempting said endeavour with her kids?

IHeartMedia, the giant broadcaster formerly known as Clear Channel, (stevie), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:47 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

like, i am not trying to be aggressive here, but what is the complaint beyond, "this does not apply to my exact personal experience"? should the entire website only be aimed at you?

IHeartMedia, the giant broadcaster formerly known as Clear Channel, (stevie), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:48 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

i read the guardian food pages all the time - i like plenty of what's there and plenty of it is written by women, fuchsia dunlop is prob my favourite food writer.

i just think this type of "make and do" piece with a journalist and their kids at the centre of it reads more like daily mail.

i'm not sure that my view qualifies as thinking this article has no place in the guardian though - i'm not policing a content trough like the guardian - i just think it was strangely prominent.

i generally find it weird when i'm meant to feel affinity with a columnist. i don't think these articles ever look good.

xpost the complaint is not a great deal more than "i find this piece boring - does anyone else agree this is a step too far into covering a really everyday thing - and that we don't need to read a named journalist's take on something many many people do and are probably doing right now"

you're the one who is tending to try and make my citing the intro more than it actually is.

Junior Dictionary (LocalGarda), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:50 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

Isn't this just part and parcel of commissioning for a newspaper? Very little is going to be of interest to the whole readership because it's by necessity very broad, otherwise you run the risk of looking like the middle-aged Stones fan shaking your fist because they've covered an R&B singer again.

The lifestyle features in the Guardian generally irk me because they assume (probably accurately) that the readership enjoys/shares a certain level of income and has access to every new metropolitan fad and fancy - these features almost never question consumerism, middle class privilege or Londoncentrism.

I don't think it's an assumption, newspapers hold a vast amount of information about who's actually reading now, probably more than ever, and I bet you any money they know full well that features like this play well with a sizeable enough chunk of their readership. I agree they could write them in a way that seems less Londoncentric or, well, smug, a lot of the time, and I don't care about Zoe Williams' family.

FWIW "make your own Creme Eggs" (rather than giving money to Cadburys) is almost self-parodic in its appeal to a certain kind of ostentatiously anti-consumerist Guardian parent.

Matt DC, Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:51 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

well, fair enough, and apologies if i seemed aggressive earlier.

IHeartMedia, the giant broadcaster formerly known as Clear Channel, (stevie), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:51 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

(Many xposts there - that was to Ward Fowler)

Matt DC, Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:52 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

there's been a family supplement in the guardian for at least a decade, probably more

just because an online format means you can now see the saturday supplements you'd have instinctively chucked away in 2005 doesn't mean there isn't an audience for them

as i've probably said before, there's a lot that deserves to be put into this thread, but the harmless stuff the most regular posters choose is...revealing

lex pretend, Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:54 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

i mean, certainly no one writing about food in the guardian should be mentioned here before tony naylor

lex pretend, Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:55 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

accepted - i prob was overly touchy but i honestly wasn't trying to lambast it as little women or something.

Isn't this just part and parcel of commissioning for a newspaper? Very little is going to be of interest to the whole readership because it's by necessity very broad, otherwise you run the risk of looking like the middle-aged Stones fan shaking your fist because they've covered an R&B singer again.

OF COURSE! but come on, this is ilx. if we took this pragmatic approach then why would we even be here? i mean stevie writes about music!

And even within the framework of "not everything in this paper is for me", sometimes a thing leaps out at you and you just think "who cares about your life, zoe williams, why is it held up as something we should read about in a paper as opposed to anyone else's life?"

It feels like the worst kind of media - like what if I do have kids and don't give a shit about baking? Also generally the cult of baking is a pretty suffocating presence in Britain these days.

xpost a revelation shows little to the blind

Junior Dictionary (LocalGarda), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:58 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

my accepted was to stevie, xposts

Junior Dictionary (LocalGarda), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:59 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

tbrr a lot of the time I probably have a more generous reaction to these kind of features than they deserve because they wind up the atrocious pig people who comment underneath them so much

the Creme Egg one I took to be at least partly inspired by that 'pimp my snack' thing which, and I'm not gonna spend time seeing if my stereotypes are accurate right now, seems likely to be the domain of probably-childless 30something males

Reader, I murder dem (DJ Mencap), Thursday, 19 March 2015 10:59 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

don't have any kind of issue with Tony Naylor's writing either fwiw

Reader, I murder dem (DJ Mencap), Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:01 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

re the Kanye news piece that Matt highlights earlier. That was me. That was written, literally, in 10 minutes, while simultaneously cooking my kids' tea, so we could get it out at the time of the announcement - that was all the notice we had. Not only was it written by me in those 10 minutes, it was also put on to a web page by me, had its furniture done by me, had its tags done by me, had its picture added by me. So I apologise for the fact that in those 10 minutes I wasn't able to reach the heights of great writing, as well as doing all the production work. It is what it is.

Unsettled defender (ithappens), Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:02 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

Also generally the cult of baking is a pretty suffocating presence in Britain these days.

get with the cult, baking is AWESOME

IHeartMedia, the giant broadcaster formerly known as Clear Channel, (stevie), Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:03 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

being baked for is the most awesome :)

lex pretend, Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:04 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

i love cooking - like i couldn't live without it - but my office last year had a baking rota and it was this horrible intense thing, it also meant eating lots of food i wouldn't normally eat and feeling like shit.

i'd been thinking this had gone too far for a while and then suddenly it's like you have to spend your free time outside the office baking a cake, due to duress. it does all feel kind of tory too.

Junior Dictionary (LocalGarda), Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:05 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

being baked is the most awesome

sʌxihɔːl (Ward Fowler), Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:05 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

baking your kids is a delight

Junior Dictionary (LocalGarda), Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:06 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

How do you eat yours

sexpost TMIing! (wins), Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:06 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

seems more to do with the oppressive conditions of the modern workplace than baking

lex pretend, Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:07 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

I dunno, I don't find my office too oppressive to be honest - it's mostly pretty positive. But when I have, baking and chocolate do seem to be tools of the oppressor.

Junior Dictionary (LocalGarda), Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:10 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

being baked is the most awesome

^^^^

and yes, enforced baking and also the union jack bunting on the great british bake-off are both terrible. though i do love the actual show itself, as baking is actually a FASCINATING area of cooking (yeast and suchlike are the work of magick) and its vibe is so much more gentle and goodnatured than the awful rote repetition and painfully false narratives of say masterchef

IHeartMedia, the giant broadcaster formerly known as Clear Channel, (stevie), Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:12 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

chocolate the delicious, delicious tool of the oppressor

IHeartMedia, the giant broadcaster formerly known as Clear Channel, (stevie), Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:12 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

look do we even know if homemade creme eggs involve baking will someone read the article and report back please

conrad, Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:15 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

you have to warm up the chocolate at least (i read the article! there were some gently funny bits in it!)

IHeartMedia, the giant broadcaster formerly known as Clear Channel, (stevie), Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:17 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

Sorry ithappens - occupational hazard round here of criticising something someone else reposted here with no context. I get that this sort of stuff is essential to running a website and never intended to be Pulitzer-worthy.

Matt DC, Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:23 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

No worries. It's not the piece I'm proudest of.

Unsettled defender (ithappens), Thursday, 19 March 2015 11:55 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

could've integrated the cooking the kids' tea thing to make it into a surefire ilx hit

cis-het shitlord (Merdeyeux), Thursday, 19 March 2015 12:29 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

Perhaps they should replace it with an article in which Zoe Williams reads solemnly from Doktor Faustus, a child on each knee, pointing out the parallels to the rise of fascism.

realise this is sarcasm but i am prepared to own this point of view

A MOOC, what's a MOOC? (Bananaman Begins), Thursday, 19 March 2015 13:14 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

otm

Junior Dictionary (LocalGarda), Thursday, 19 March 2015 13:20 (2 weeks ago) Permalink


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