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


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


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?


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.


> 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

thank god a uk media organization is able to give all of this vital american cultural politics content to the world

the final twilight of all evaluative standpoints (nakhchivan), Wednesday, 22 October 2014 16:40 (1 month ago) Permalink

Renée Zellweger's face is her brand – a new look will change her career beyond recognition
22 Oct 2014: Steve Rose:

Nothing's wrong with Renee Zellweger's face. There's something wrong with us
22 Oct 2014: Jennifer Gerson Uffalussy

Renée Zellweger's new look due to 'happy, healthy lifestyle', not surgery
22 Oct 2014: Xan Brooks

It's not unreasonable to ask where the real Renée Zellweger has gone
2 hours ago: Viv Groskop

Wristy Hurlington (ShariVari), Thursday, 23 October 2014 08:45 (1 month ago) Permalink


pecker shrivellage (imago), Thursday, 23 October 2014 09:14 (1 month ago) Permalink

I despair

kinder, Thursday, 23 October 2014 09:24 (1 month ago) Permalink

all the Zellweger that's fit to print

Barry Gordy (Neil S), Thursday, 23 October 2014 11:22 (1 month ago) Permalink

2 weeks pass...

Jessica Valenti

Taylor Swift in the Blank Space video is the woman we've been waiting for

milord z (nakhchivan), Tuesday, 11 November 2014 15:45 (1 month ago) Permalink

Most overrated


milord z (nakhchivan), Tuesday, 11 November 2014 15:46 (1 month ago) Permalink

Sorry, that is just how I fell.

Fairly peng (wins), Tuesday, 11 November 2014 16:20 (1 month ago) Permalink

Series: Jess Zimmerman column

Is keeping up with what's viral stressing you out? It's not your fault

proper maoist (DJ Mencap), Wednesday, 19 November 2014 17:27 (1 month ago) Permalink

DennisMcScumbag commented on Julien Blanc barred from entering UK.
19 Nov 2014 8:48pm

I am sure he considered it.

And Julien Blanc was not racist or encouraging sexual assault.

disconnected externalized and unrecognizable signifying structure (nakhchivan), Wednesday, 19 November 2014 23:37 (1 month ago) Permalink

(and the author's part in the comments section seems a bit tragic, too)

djh, Thursday, 20 November 2014 00:18 (1 month ago) Permalink

No worries though, it was buried in a full page report on p5 of the main news section.

ledge, Sunday, 23 November 2014 19:36 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Does anyone else get strange things happening when they open the home page in Safari? The pictures are often under the wrong stories. It's great!

Wristy Hurlington (ShariVari), Tuesday, 2 December 2014 08:32 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

he may be understood but at least he has one friend

Ratt in Mi Kitchen (Neil S), Tuesday, 2 December 2014 09:00 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

i get the same thing, it's one of the few joys in looking at the news each morning

sosmix klopp (NickB), Tuesday, 2 December 2014 09:03 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

That's brilliant

Turtleneck Work Solutions (Nasty, Brutish & Short), Tuesday, 2 December 2014 09:09 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

further indignity heaped on poor old Gordon as well

Ratt in Mi Kitchen (Neil S), Tuesday, 2 December 2014 09:12 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

So the NME did an uncharacteristically excellent feature on the UK DIY music scene a few weeks ago. Lots of great bands and promoters featured, individual locales got well observed and excellently researched coverage, a few of the bands covered have been going on for a decade or more with nary a mention in any nationwide press. It was a moment to savour for those of us who have any pride or involvement in UK DIY.

So it's good that The Guardian saw fit to do the same, you'd think? Well, it would've been, if they didn't just effectively reprint the same bands/venues/promoters/info/towns, without acknowledging or giving credit to the relevant journalists, in fact you'd think Gwilym Mumford had done all the work himself. Pretty fucking shoddy, Guardian. Why not give the (excellent) writers behind the piece some work, or at least some credit.

Basically / I Don't Wanna Be / An mp3 / 3-2-0 kb / ps (Craigo Boingo), Sunday, 7 December 2014 19:01 (2 weeks ago) Permalink


rising stones cross (anagram), Sunday, 7 December 2014 21:46 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

n/m I found it

rising stones cross (anagram), Sunday, 7 December 2014 21:46 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

That's 13 years now the Guardian has been, if you will, 'worse than it used to be'.

Letsby Avenue (Tom D.), Sunday, 7 December 2014 21:51 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

It was still a pile of wank in the Manchester Guardian years, it is a faulty premise for a thread title.

xelab, Sunday, 7 December 2014 21:59 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

Are you suggesting that a pile of wank is the worst the universe has to offer?

Alba, Sunday, 7 December 2014 22:30 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

Was just reading a WW1 book and read how similarly appallingly full of shit/gung ho the MG was to the right wing press at the time. Albeit one written by a loathsome prick who writes for the Telegraph!

xelab, Sunday, 7 December 2014 22:39 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

Carl Fogarty wins I’m A Celebrity
1 comment

this is one of the 12 most important stories apparently

نكبة (nakhchivan), Monday, 8 December 2014 01:27 (1 week ago) Permalink

the manchester guardian was more sceptical of the case for war than the conservative press press prior to and during the july crisis

نكبة (nakhchivan), Monday, 8 December 2014 01:29 (1 week ago) Permalink

The Manchester Guardian declared that Britain was in no danger of being dragged into the Austro-Serbian conflict by ‘treaties of alliance’ and famously announced that Manchester cared for Belgrade as little as Belgrade cared for Manchester.

نكبة (nakhchivan), Monday, 8 December 2014 01:31 (1 week ago) Permalink

then the war started

the observer of course supported the 2003 iraq war

نكبة (nakhchivan), Monday, 8 December 2014 01:33 (1 week ago) Permalink

I can't the find the offending quote from the Max Hastings book by the MG after a search, so I am probably talking shite!

"I write for the Guardian," said Sir Max Hastings in 2005, "because it is read by the new establishment"

xelab, Monday, 8 December 2014 02:29 (1 week ago) Permalink

I had a few WW1 books on the go simultaneously recently is my excuse!

xelab, Monday, 8 December 2014 02:40 (1 week ago) Permalink

no i am sure you're right about the liberal papers during the war, once it started there was a strong level of unanimity and the differences prior to it were erased but even some of the conservative papers were sceptical until the declaration of war

that quote from the excellent 'the sleepwalkers' by christopher clark

نكبة (nakhchivan), Monday, 8 December 2014 02:45 (1 week ago) Permalink

Enjoying the Guardian's Will And Kate coverage and how it's stretching journalists:

The evening crescendoed with the long-speculated meeting between Beyonce and Jay-Z and Kate and William midway through the third quarter.

Twist of Caliphate (Bob Six), Tuesday, 9 December 2014 10:32 (1 week ago) Permalink

xp (and a bit of topic) The Sleepwalkers is excellent, apart from the title, which seems inappropriate. IMO Clark shows that the protagonists did anything but sleepwalk into the conflict (though the fact that all the senior figures involved were apparently suffering from heart disease/strokes/epilepsy, insomniacs, workaholics, neurotics, alcoholics, or some combination of these wasn't a great help)

Ratt in Mi Kitchen (Neil S), Tuesday, 9 December 2014 11:32 (1 week ago) Permalink

the title is perfectly appropriate and given his quotations from musil, schweig, roth etc is almost certainly an allusion to the novel by hermann broch

According to Broch, “sleepwalkers” refer to a gap between the death of an ethical system and the birth of another, as much as a somnambulist finds himself in a state between sleep and awake

this is attested to throughout the book, the transition from the bismarck archetype and the measured realpolitik of the 19th c with its delicate multipolar settlement towards a bloc identity that was more paranoid, brittle and reactive in which the incipient demise of the ottoman and then austrian empires a sort of fait accompli

Chairman Feinstein (nakhchivan), Wednesday, 10 December 2014 04:28 (1 week ago) Permalink


Chairman Feinstein (nakhchivan), Wednesday, 10 December 2014 04:30 (1 week ago) Permalink

interesting, thanks, I hadn't appreciated this

Ratt in Mi Kitchen (Neil S), Wednesday, 10 December 2014 07:43 (1 week ago) Permalink

also he explains his choice of title in the very last sentence of the book - "...the protagonists of 1914 were sleepwalkers, watchful but unseeing, haunted by dreams, yet blind to the reality of the horror they were about to bring into the world.”

anonanon, Wednesday, 10 December 2014 08:04 (1 week ago) Permalink

that's what sits less well with me, the idea the protagonists were "unseeing". I think a lot of accusations can be leveled at them, but that's not one of them. Anyway these are quibbles, it's a great book.

Ratt in Mi Kitchen (Neil S), Wednesday, 10 December 2014 09:09 (1 week ago) Permalink

Alan R to step down as editor next year, after 20 years.

Alba, Wednesday, 10 December 2014 16:03 (1 week ago) Permalink

Eagerly anticipating the sacking of every frivolous lifestyle columnist and the Guardian's impending return to golden age ERM-era severity.

Matt DC, Wednesday, 10 December 2014 16:20 (1 week ago) Permalink

Pretty sure I'll get the big job, on a platform of more Adel Taarabt and more Hold Steady.

Unsettled defender (ithappens), Wednesday, 10 December 2014 16:31 (1 week ago) Permalink

Photography is not an art. It is a technology. We have no excuse to ignore this obvious fact in the age of digital cameras, when the most beguiling high-definition images and effects are available to millions. My iPad can take panoramic views that are gorgeous to look at. Does that make me an artist? No, it just makes my tablet one hell of a device.

what a Hot Take!

ey mk II, Wednesday, 10 December 2014 16:38 (1 week ago) Permalink

Challop is free

ledge, Wednesday, 10 December 2014 18:49 (1 week ago) Permalink

hey i did not expect this thread to make me feel better about my arbitrary purchase of the sleepwalkers the other day but it has so theres that

♛ LIL UNIT ♛ (thomp), Wednesday, 10 December 2014 23:43 (1 week ago) Permalink

I bought the broch sleepwalkers the other day as it happens but it was for a gift

tweet deems ur mad f this (wins), Wednesday, 10 December 2014 23:53 (1 week ago) Permalink

The Sleepwalkers really is excellent.

Matt DC, Thursday, 11 December 2014 12:52 (1 week ago) Permalink

My library stock a copy of The Sleepwalkers because of me :-)

I thought Clark's book alluded to the novel. xp

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 11 December 2014 12:54 (1 week ago) Permalink

I couldn't get through The Sleepwalkers. I must be stupid.

Unsettled defender (ithappens), Thursday, 11 December 2014 13:21 (1 week ago) Permalink

The novel is ok-ish. Loved some of the last part but when I tried to re-read the first part it was a tad mundane.

xyzzzz__, Friday, 12 December 2014 00:17 (1 week ago) Permalink

Garcia opened investigations into the conduct of five individuals during the bidding process including three current executive committee members – √Ångel Mar√-a Villar Llona of Spain, Belgium’s Michel D’Hooghe and Thailand’s Wowari Makudi

Chairman Feinstein (nakhchivan), Saturday, 20 December 2014 01:35 (Yesterday) Permalink

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