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

And how is he that banal, dry of a writer for teaching creative writing?

Yerac, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 12:33 (one month ago) Permalink

xpost I though this was written by a brit at first and was interested.

Yerac, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 12:34 (one month ago) Permalink

I just looked up the college profile data for Vanderbilt from 1999-2000. ~40% of the predominately white undergrad class received need based financial aid. The article was a missed opportunity.

Yerac, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 12:52 (one month ago) Permalink

Again: are any posters (who aren’t me) sharing their opinions on this guy the former recipients of full financial aid (tuition and accommodation) at a US college/uni of the calibre and expense of a Vanderbilt?

suzy, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 12:59 (one month ago) Permalink

I went to UVa so that was public. And my mom was a chinese restaurant waitress and dad in navy, I didn't qualify for need based financial aid.

Yerac, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 13:04 (one month ago) Permalink

xpost I though this was written by a brit at first and was interested.

Like that would happen, amirite uptheworkers etc

ROCK MUSIC (Tom D.), Wednesday, 14 November 2018 13:38 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah, I kind of wanted to know if britain has the same fetishization of the (white) working class. I am approximately the same age as this guy and I always assumed a large enough amount of people attending universities all over the US came from a working class background, especially based upon the age/generation of parents "Coming out" as working class as a thing to overcome seems counterproductive to changing what makes most of america (education, healthcare, fresh food, housing) unaffordable for the majority. I could've and wanted to attend several elite private universities but thought it was an unnecessary, bad financial decision when I had cheaper options.

Yerac, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:11 (one month ago) Permalink

surprise: it does

ogmor, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:12 (one month ago) Permalink

my bootstraps are having a coming out party.

Yerac, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:15 (one month ago) Permalink

How are the issues of education, healthcare, fresh food and housing unrelated to the working class condition? If you're not middle class or above, you're part of the working class, no matter your race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Those concerns aren't erased as a result; it's just an additional category to consider. Or am I failing to grasp the finer semantic hues?

pomenitul, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:17 (one month ago) Permalink

I think I missed a punctuation (.) after "generation of parents". Trying to figure out where I was jumbly. Like, coming out as working class has been this weird humblebrag in the US forever; it's something to overcome instead of changing the system that preserves it. Did that address it?

Yerac, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:25 (one month ago) Permalink

I should probably have put low-income instead of working class there in the part about the systemic preservation of it.

Yerac, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:27 (one month ago) Permalink

Ah, I see what you mean. That sounds like a very US-specific (and frankly depressing) take on the working class. Not that other countries don't have this problem, it's just less prevalent. Such is my impression, at least.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:28 (one month ago) Permalink

As ogmor said there is a similar fetishization of the working class in the UK, not least amongst working class people ourselves. It coexists alongside the prejudices and discrimination that working class people experience everywhere in the world.

two Barongs don't make a Wight (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:30 (one month ago) Permalink

I was trying to find the exact definitions of working class, blue collar, low-income etc. Because a lot of blue collar jobs pay really, really well. I almost became a union electrician in my 20s.

Yerac, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:35 (one month ago) Permalink

see also political candidates talking about how they come from a long line of ranchers or steel mill workers but leave out that their ranch land has oil rigs on it or their daddy owned all the steel mills.

Yerac, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:37 (one month ago) Permalink

One of the fun complications of most class structures is it's not just about money. I think that partly accounts for the frequent exclusion of people of colour from some notions of working classness. Wrong notions, obv.

two Barongs don't make a Wight (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:38 (one month ago) Permalink

loads of middle class kids go into apprenticeships the electrical/plumbing trades in this era, huff up a bit of asbestos, get some tribal tats, earn some good money, act like they talk like idiot yobs in front of their parents!

calzino, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:39 (one month ago) Permalink

That man of the people thing that scumbag politicians and clueless poshoes do is kind of multivalent and class fluid depending on their audience I think.

two Barongs don't make a Wight (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:40 (one month ago) Permalink

Just because venal right-wing politicians are apt at manipulating the working class by stoking its sense of pride, doesn't mean the sociological category is itself meaningless and unredeemable. If anything, this kind of thinking may further strengthen the conmen's position.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:43 (one month ago) Permalink

I used to to work with this young guttermouth Whose dad "worked in a prison". Lol he didn't mention he was an actual professor and taught degree courses in maths!

calzino, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:46 (one month ago) Permalink

I don't think anybody here is saying it doesn't have value as a category? If nothing else, in the UK at least, it feels bred into you on a deep social and cultural level.

two Barongs don't make a Wight (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:48 (one month ago) Permalink

I think most cultures have some version of this fetischization of the working class: honest, hard working folks who form the backbone of Our Great Nation. It's an easy way for the powerful to keep people in their place.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:53 (one month ago) Permalink

karl marx 2 thraed

the Stanley Kubrick of testicular torsion (bizarro gazzara), Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:55 (one month ago) Permalink

Yeah, I just don't know why coming out as "working class" is something to write about as he has; it's a bootstraps story by a relatively attractive, able bodied , white, american man who acknowledges one can't readily determine his sexuality and that he overlooked that his classmates/friends were also working class (ok, you dick). A better take would've been the complete diversity of the university experience going against the current tale that all professors are coastal elites trying to indoctrinate the children with its liberalist gay frog agenda. Between frat parties and MBA resume drops.

Yerac, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 14:56 (one month ago) Permalink

I think most cultures have some version of this fetischization of the working class: honest, hard working folks who form the backbone of Our Great Nation. It's an easy way for the powerful to keep people in their place.

For sure, it's just that when you augment it with the frontier cowboy, hyper-individualist credo of pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps, its worst aspects are exacerbated, since you piss all over the Marxist aim of emancipation from systemic oppression. This isn't unique to the US, of course, it's just more common there. Or so it seems to me.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 15:10 (one month ago) Permalink

I totally did not follow that. Are you saying mocking the bootstraps trope that some people use sincerely (like the guy in the essay) makes things worse?

Yerac, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 15:24 (one month ago) Permalink

No, I'm saying that the US more readily fuses the (individualist) bootstraps trope with the (originally antagonistic, i.e. collectivist and Marxist) notion of 'working class', thus cancelling out any hope for systemic liberation via this particular term.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 15:30 (one month ago) Permalink

xp most industrialised cultures. the honest hard-working thing is a flash in the pan historically

ogmor, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 15:32 (one month ago) Permalink

xpost ah, yes. My problem with the essay.

Yerac, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 15:32 (one month ago) Permalink

there's plenty of classical era shit abt the value of work but obv agriculture is the original industry, the two go hand in hand

ogmor, Wednesday, 14 November 2018 15:34 (one month ago) Permalink

This is great if you want to give yourself an aneurism:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2018/nov/21/how-populist-are-you-quiz

Stollen Valour (ShariVari), Wednesday, 21 November 2018 21:37 (three weeks ago) Permalink

excited to announce that I've been given five articles by The Guardian to explain this political chart! pic.twitter.com/qFfgdrlwEP

— ʙʀᴇxɪᴛ (@Eff__Jay) November 21, 2018

Stollen Valour (ShariVari), Wednesday, 21 November 2018 21:49 (three weeks ago) Permalink

What's wrong with being populary?

Danton Lok (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 22 November 2018 00:40 (three weeks ago) Permalink

This year there has been no avoiding the superstar psychologist from Canada Jordan B Peterson, and if you want to know what he thinks about lobsters and hierarchy you’ll probably have to read his multimillion-selling 12 Rules for Life (Allen Lane). It is both less evil and more eccentric than widely described: those hoping to hate-read it as an “alt-right” screed (or to hate-gift it to someone they don’t like) will be disappointed to find that, far from being some kind of crypto-fascist, Peterson is really a conservative existentialist, a bit like a more sciencey Roger Scruton.

calzino, Saturday, 1 December 2018 13:04 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Guardian best books of 2018.

calzino, Saturday, 1 December 2018 13:04 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Can't believe there's some pig-thick nazi apologists writing in the Graun

Bound 4 da Remoan (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 1 December 2018 13:05 (two weeks ago) Permalink

my book is the best book of 2018 so yes the guardian is getting worse

mark s, Saturday, 1 December 2018 13:11 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Scruton did the full English Breakfast of not very cryptofascist at all complaints on radio 4 last night: PC gone mad, offence archaeology, the invention of islamophobia, Witchunts etc... Probably not the best comparison to make when trying to make JP sound more respectable to libs!

calzino, Saturday, 1 December 2018 13:22 (two weeks ago) Permalink

A less scrutony Roger Science.

Monica Kindle (Tom D.), Saturday, 1 December 2018 13:37 (two weeks ago) Permalink

... sorry, more. LOL Jordan Peterson + science.

Monica Kindle (Tom D.), Saturday, 1 December 2018 13:38 (two weeks ago) Permalink

tbh it's Jung I feel sorry for

Bound 4 da Remoan (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 1 December 2018 14:25 (two weeks ago) Permalink

He particularly concerns himself with the abuse of language and has written two books on the subject: Unspeak (2006) and Who Touched Base In My Thought Shower? (2013).

Bound 4 da Remoan (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 1 December 2018 14:28 (two weeks ago) Permalink

oh wait, lol, is this steven poole's selection? unspeak was pretty good (the book and the blog abt political language deployed to obscure) but i disliked his book on bad cookery writing (even when much of it was and is actually very bad)

mark s, Saturday, 1 December 2018 14:35 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Unspeak looks ok but the rest of his stuff is some "pedant's corner pretending to be baffled by how language actually functions irl" cobblers

Bound 4 da Remoan (Noodle Vague), Saturday, 1 December 2018 14:54 (two weeks ago) Permalink

yes he def went downhill. also he's a bit of a dick on twitter

also we once had an argument on his blog abt baudrillard and the concept of simulation so who's the dick again *surprise reveal*

mark s, Saturday, 1 December 2018 15:03 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Terrific piece on Rusbridger's book: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v40/n23/james-meek/the-club-and-the-mob

Although I will sadly have to see the 'Three Little Pigs' commercial now.

xyzzzz__, Monday, 3 December 2018 15:11 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Washington Post is suggesting they may have bungled one of their biggest ‘scoops’ of the year:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/the-guardian-offered-a-bombshell-story-about-paul-manafort-it-still-hasnt-detonated/2018/12/03/60e38182-f71c-11e8-863c-9e2f864d47e7_story.html

The lead reporter on the Manafort article, Luke Harding, declined to comment on Monday and referred questions to the newspaper’s spokesman, Brendan O’Grady.

In response to questions, O’Grady reissued the same statement the Guardian has stuck by for the past six days: “This story relied on a number of sources. We put these allegations to both Paul Manafort and Julian Assange’s representatives prior to publication. Neither responded to deny the visits taking place. We have since updated the story to reflect their denials.”

WikiLeaks on Monday identified the alleged fabricator as Fernando Villavicencio, an Ecuadoran journalist and activist. A government ministry under Ecuador’s previous government accused Villavicencio of fabricating documents; Villavicencio’s supporters call him a crusading journalist who exposed corruption under former president Rafael Correa.

Villavicencio’s byline appears on the Guardian’s Manafort article, but only in the newspaper’s print edition, which doesn’t circulate widely outside Great Britain. O’Grady declined to explain why Villavicencio’s name was left off the Web version of the article, which was viewed around the world last week

At the very least, having a controversial critic of the last Ecuadorean government, who had been accused of forging evidence the Guardian previously relied on for a story, co-author the piece and then taking his name off the online version looks sloppy and suspicious.

ShariVari, Thursday, 6 December 2018 00:32 (one week ago) Permalink

A piece on The Gurdian's coverage of Brazilian affairs:

In 2011, with Rousseff now in office, Phillips published this article on a supposed wave of “anti-establishment” comedians, featuring notorious far-right comic Danilo Gentili. ”Vote for Dilma because she was tortured?” he quipped. “Fuck that. Did I ask her to be?”, “Seriously,” he went on, drawing nervous giggles from the packed audience. “A president has to be smart. If she was caught and tortured, it’s because she was an idiot.” “It was the edgiest moment in an 80-minute monologue – attempting to poke fun at a woman who had been brutally tortured by the dictatorship. But Gentili, 32, a highly controversial but also wildly popular comedian who is blazing a trail for stand-up comedy in South America’s largest nation, is a man who enjoys living on the edge.” gushed Phillips. Accused of misogyny, homophobia, and investigated for racism, Gentili went on to be a vocal advocate of Dilma’s ouster, and one of Neofascist Jair Bolsonaro’s most high profile supporters. In the years prior to his election, Gentili invited him regularly onto his TV chat show “The Night”, whose other guests included a serving UK Ambassador. Ustra, the secret police chief responsible for Rousseff’s two year long torture which included electric shocks to her vagina, was later eulogised by Jair Bolsonaro during his vote for her impeachment. Living on the edge, indeed.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 12 December 2018 20:30 (six days ago) Permalink


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