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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen 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 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

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

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

six years pass...

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

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

"today"

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

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

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

It went downhill after I left.

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

or were you PUSHED?

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

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

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

i couldn't agree less

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

Guardian editorial worldview circa 2007:

http://www.astucia.co.uk/images/sce/galibier%20tunnel%20_three.jpg

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

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

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

because you're cold xp

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

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

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

Dear Guardian, the front cover of your 'Feast' supplement, and the photo above appear to show Cadbury's Crème Eggs set in solid chocolate; the moulding on the sides of those eggs definitely says 'Cadbury's' to me.

I am no longer sure what your target audience is; many of your readers would think themselves fairly interested and sophisticated in terms of food; many of your readers are probably pretty competent cooks. But at Easter - which regardless of it's religious connotations, is a landmark seasonal event - your front cover appears juvenile. Please consider the entirety of your readership...some of us are over ten years old.

arli$$ and bible black (bizarro gazzara), Sunday, 14 April 2019 13:16 (one week ago) Permalink

#prayforpraline

The Gapes of Wrath (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 14 April 2019 14:34 (one week ago) Permalink

Those are definitely Cadbury’s despite the recipe telling you to make your own. Outrageous.

Madchen, Sunday, 14 April 2019 14:54 (one week ago) Permalink

I think we can say, definitively, after this latest outrage, that the Guardian is worse than it used to be.

Do you like 70s hard rock with a guitar hero? (Tom D.), Sunday, 14 April 2019 14:57 (one week ago) Permalink

I would imagine it's down to whoever's job it is to actually make the recipes for the photos saying, as any normal person would, "make your own creme eggs? fuck that shit".

where the hell would you get "hollow, hen sized chocolate eggs" from anyway.

what if bod was one of us (ledge), Sunday, 14 April 2019 15:02 (one week ago) Permalink

What came first, the hollow hen-sized chocolate egg or the hollow hen-sized chocolate chicken?

Do you like 70s hard rock with a guitar hero? (Tom D.), Sunday, 14 April 2019 15:03 (one week ago) Permalink

Seems notable that Moreno / Guaido both chose The Guardian as their primary mouthpiece:

https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/apr/15/letters-support-claim-julian-assange-would-not-be-extradited-to-us

Exclusive interviews, leaked / exclusive info, etc. They seem to have cultivated high-level contacts both in government and in the security services in Ecuador. This backfired when Luke Harding’s ‘scoop’ about Manafort meeting with Assange couldn’t be substantiated but they are still acting, more or less, as the scribe for Moreno and friends.

ShariVari, Tuesday, 16 April 2019 06:20 (five days ago) Permalink

lovely fawning interview with war criminal and murderer marine a in today's edition

Headcam footage caught Blackman shooting the Taliban fighter, who had been seriously injured by an attack helicopter, at point-blank range. He was heard saying: “Shuffle off this mortal coil, you cunt. It’s nothing you wouldn’t do to us.”

Blackman insisted that at the time he thought the man was dead. “With hindsight I’m willing to accept he probably wasn’t,” he said. But if he had not shot him, the Taliban fighter would have died of his injuries, he said. “If he hadn’t been dead at the time, his injuries were so horrific that he was never going to survive.”

Asked whether he thought about the man very often, Blackman said: “Honestly, no. It might seem harsh. I don’t think his outcome was going to change. He was going to pass away.”

He said he had no idea where the Shakespeare reference in his imprecation came from. “I’m not a fan of Shakespeare,” he said. “Perhaps it’s a good indicator I wasn’t thinking well. I was plucking things out of thin air. It was one of the most bizarre things.”

Blackman said he had not felt hatred for the man. “It’s easy to develop a hatred of the enemy. I tried to get the lads to put it in perspective. The Taliban used IEDs [improvised explosive devices] and shoot-and-scoot and ambush tactics because that’s the best they’d got. We used attack helicopters and drones.”

but it's fine though cuz he was mentally ill and anyway did u know war is actually quite hard, even the blatantly illegal ones

A book he has written about the case – Marine A: My Toughest Battle – is now being published. It describes the terrible conditions Blackman and his colleagues operated in. Close friends were killed and dreadfully injured and the threat of attack by the Taliban was constant.

Boris Bronfentrinker of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 18 April 2019 09:02 (three days ago) Permalink

cluelessly signing up to a war in another country you have no understanding of and saying "shuffle off this mortal coil, you cunt" before you murder someone is the most real england thing of all time

ogmor, Thursday, 18 April 2019 09:13 (three days ago) Permalink

Mortal coil quote more Parrot Sketch than Hamlet I'm willing to speculate.

Do you like 70s hard rock with a guitar hero? (Tom D.), Thursday, 18 April 2019 09:17 (three days ago) Permalink

asking a murderer whether they were consciously quoting shakespeare as they did their murdering is the most real guardian thing of all time

Boris Bronfentrinker of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 18 April 2019 09:18 (three days ago) Permalink

tom d otm

Boris Bronfentrinker of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 18 April 2019 09:18 (three days ago) Permalink

Looking forward to the similar treatment of a bestselling book by an ISIS executioner.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Thursday, 18 April 2019 09:26 (three days ago) Permalink

That "Allahu Akbar" quote, what made you think of that?

Do you like 70s hard rock with a guitar hero? (Tom D.), Thursday, 18 April 2019 09:28 (three days ago) Permalink

In frothier matters concerning veterans of the Afghan crisis, I was mildly annoyed by Arwa Mahdawi saying that Pete Buttigeig's choice of 10 books is "incredibly pretentious". (Mahdawi's article: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/apr/17/julian-assange-dominic-raab-literary-signalling-gore-vidal-arwa-mahdawi) (Buttigeig's here: http://onegrandbooks.com/shop/curators/pete-buttigieg/)

Tim, Thursday, 18 April 2019 09:41 (three days ago) Permalink

I meant to say "war" not "crisis".

Tim, Thursday, 18 April 2019 09:42 (three days ago) Permalink

That Guardian write-up is the usual libs getting pissy and insecure but I don't like the terms by which Pete Buttigeig praises it. I don't understand what it means for Ulysses to be democratic. Having said that I'm impressed by that list (Palace Walk) that you feel he has actually read it and it's def not fucking signalling.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 18 April 2019 10:13 (three days ago) Permalink

Ulysses is democratic in that Joyce was the least "celebrating ubermenschen"y of all the Modernists who wrote in English maybe

The Gapes of Wrath (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 18 April 2019 10:17 (three days ago) Permalink

i think the 'middle class guy' bit is weirder. I think ulysses-as-democratic-book is fairly well-established (eg it's John Carey's take - ie human or fleshy/social/demotic contra machine/elitism/intellectualism).

Fizzles, Thursday, 18 April 2019 10:20 (three days ago) Permalink

the sunny weather, day off, fact I've got to pop into the butcher's now, and prospect of booze this evening is making me want to dip into ulysses now so thread delivers.

Fizzles, Thursday, 18 April 2019 10:21 (three days ago) Permalink

fine tang of faintly scented urine for the win

mark s, Thursday, 18 April 2019 10:24 (three days ago) Permalink

^ kidneys on the way.

Fizzles, Thursday, 18 April 2019 10:25 (three days ago) Permalink

Liver on the way out.

Tim, Thursday, 18 April 2019 10:28 (three days ago) Permalink

People who say nobody has read Ulysses just because they didn't are very irritating. I'm going to read it again (again) just to spite them.

Ned Trifle X, Thursday, 18 April 2019 10:35 (three days ago) Permalink

I mean fair enough I stopped at ineluctable modality of the visible first time through but you don't just give up goddamnit.

Ned Trifle X, Thursday, 18 April 2019 10:37 (three days ago) Permalink

yes i never got very far every time i tried but that's mainly bcz stephen dedalus is such a dick, i am a very judgy gemini w/no cultural stamina and not finishing books is kind of my superpower, vote mark s

mark s, Thursday, 18 April 2019 10:42 (three days ago) Permalink

I'd like to think calling the Odyssey "not exactly a beach read" was a fun meta gag but I'm guessing it's just a smug pretence of incuriosity

The Gapes of Wrath (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 18 April 2019 10:44 (three days ago) Permalink

I guess you can't fall back on "latte-sipping croissant muncher" when your job is brand strategising

The Gapes of Wrath (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 18 April 2019 10:47 (three days ago) Permalink

It’s not even the incuriosity that mildly irritated me, it’s the smug dismissal of anything other than incuriosity.

Tim, Thursday, 18 April 2019 10:50 (three days ago) Permalink

"books are jerks" is a terrible pose to strike if you're over 13, yep

The Gapes of Wrath (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 18 April 2019 10:53 (three days ago) Permalink

That's no way to talk about Socrates.

pomenitul, Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:01 (three days ago) Permalink

palace walk's a v good shout and ulysses is ulysses but the little gawd-help-us prince at #3 right above the odyssey is extremely offensive

guardian piece obv beneath contempt

difficult listening hour, Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:02 (three days ago) Permalink

Filing that piece under "Literary Criticism" is bold, for sure.

ShariVari, Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:18 (three days ago) Permalink

I don't think it was beneath contempt fwiw - my mild irritation was more to do with the fact that I think Mahdawi's right about Assange and Weinstein and I'd prefer the piece to have thought that through, rather than dissolve into slagging off other public figures who have the temerity to talk about books.

Tim, Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:18 (three days ago) Permalink

"lol books are for dorks...

Since you're here, we've got a favour to ask..."

alt right? all trite more like (Bananaman Begins), Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:19 (three days ago) Permalink

(xp NB correct about Raab also)

Tim, Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:21 (three days ago) Permalink

I'd prefer the piece to have thought that through, rather than dissolve into slagging off other public figures who have the temerity to talk about books.

but it didn't, so here we are

difficult listening hour, Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:24 (three days ago) Permalink

Fair enough - I suppose my contempt runs deeper than yours :)

Tim, Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:28 (three days ago) Permalink

yes i never got very far every time i tried but that's mainly bcz stephen dedalus is such a dick, i am a very judgy gemini w/no cultural stamina and not finishing books is kind of my superpower, vote mark s

Solidarity with fellow judgey Geminis who hate Stephen Dedalus!

He’s even worse in Portrait of the Artist & I only finished that cos I picked it for school and I didn’t want to do Wuthering Heights.

gyac, Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:29 (three days ago) Permalink

Tim is correct. This paragraph is disgusting:

Pete Buttigieg, the Democrat who launched his US presidential run on Monday, has also used books to build his brand. He recently shared his 10 desert-island titles, which made for incredibly pretentious reading. He claims two of his faves are The Odyssey by Homer (not exactly a beach read) and James Joyce’s Ulysses. The latter also happens to be a favourite of Jeremy Corbyn and the most insufferable person you knew at university.

the pinefox, Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:36 (three days ago) Permalink

the most insufferable person i knew that university used to write shit like this tbf

Boris Bronfentrinker of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:37 (three days ago) Permalink

Lol I just read the piece and it reads as though it’s an oral transcript of the author ranting until she gets yanked off stage left by a cane

gyac, Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:40 (three days ago) Permalink

insufferable is one of those complaints where as soon as its levelled at someone you have the strong suspicion they are preferable to the complainer

ogmor, Thursday, 18 April 2019 11:46 (three days ago) Permalink

The bit of the Ulysses appreciation I was struggling with was the "a story about what it is to be human", its a bit lazy to say this is a democratic notion (?), and thought he just emphasized democratic because he is a politician. Then again I shouldn't talk, I would only return to the odd chapter myself, and the last chapter always.

Bernie ftw.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 18 April 2019 12:51 (three days ago) Permalink

if you were going to take 10 books to a desert-island i'd think you'd want complex dense works that repaid numerous readings bc you're abandoned on an island and you're not getting any new books.

Mordy, Thursday, 18 April 2019 16:43 (three days ago) Permalink

like eg the fuck washing a hat thread

... and the crowd said DESELECT THEM (||||||||), Thursday, 18 April 2019 17:03 (three days ago) Permalink

Mordy otm

And according to some websites, there were “sexcapades.” (James Morrison), Thursday, 18 April 2019 23:00 (three days ago) Permalink

Lead article on front page right now is basically an advert for change UK with no actual news content.

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 20 April 2019 15:59 (yesterday) Permalink

i bet it didn't cost that much either.

calzino, Saturday, 20 April 2019 16:01 (yesterday) Permalink

is marina hyde for real

... and the crowd said DESELECT THEM (||||||||), Saturday, 20 April 2019 17:01 (yesterday) Permalink


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