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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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 (nineteen years ago) link

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

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

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 (nineteen years ago) link

six years pass...

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

Tracer Hand, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:17 (thirteen years ago) link


Dom Passantino, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:17 (thirteen years ago) link

"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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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

CharlieNo4, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:32 (thirteen years ago) link

It went downhill after I left.

Dom Passantino, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:33 (thirteen years ago) link

or were you PUSHED?

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:35 (thirteen years ago) link

heh. (sorry alex, no harm intended)

CharlieNo4, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:36 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:38 (thirteen years ago) link

i couldn't agree less

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:40 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

Guardian editorial worldview circa 2007:

tissp, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:41 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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

Matt DC, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:45 (thirteen years ago) link

because you're cold xp

tissp, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:45 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

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

blueski, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:56 (thirteen years ago) link

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 (thirteen years ago) link

> 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 (thirteen years ago) link🕸

another guardian obituary with a nasty take on the 1970s. this time dredging up classic period terf rhetoric.

idk i think the critical terf rhetoric is shown to hold up badly against morris’ observation about kindness in the street. reading the obit did however renew my anger at the stupid, self satisfied and smug terfery of people like helen lewis. snide, nasty people. how dare you assume your stale insular prejudice is worth expression in the face of this:

“a yearning for I knew not what, as though there were a piece missing from my pattern, or some element in me that should be hard and permanent, but was instead soluble and diffuse.”

Fizzles, Friday, 20 November 2020 18:43 (five days ago) link

revisionism about 70s feminism being 100% terfery is vexing- you'd never think it was controversial at the time, or that rejection of sex & gender essentialism/immutability was once considered a radfem position, based on how it gets remembered

likes of lewis, freeman, rowling, guardian etc should surely be called TELFs- afaict they don't have much in common with even the really awful 2nd wave stuff, apart from a few talking points so disconnected from any analysis that they might as well be taken from the far right

Left, Friday, 20 November 2020 21:10 (five days ago) link

anyway death to the guardian

Left, Friday, 20 November 2020 21:10 (five days ago) link

revisionism about 70s feminism being 100% terfery is vexing- you'd never think it was controversial at the time, or that rejection of sex & gender essentialism/immutability was once considered a radfem position

gender essentialism was rare but surely the position the constructionist viewpoint was most prevalent?

Politically homely (jim in vancouver), Friday, 20 November 2020 21:51 (five days ago) link

idk if essentialism was all that rare actually but afaict a constructionist view was often preferred- which like anything can be used in shitty ways but i dont think it’s necessarily transphobic, a lot of trans ppl hold / have held similar positions

these anti-trans liberals seem pretty straightforward biological essentialists, even if they occasionally cite social construction when it’s convenient for an argument. anything that works seems to be their guiding principle- their bigotry doesn’t seem to be connected to even the kind of nominally radical social critique I associate w old school terfs

Left, Friday, 20 November 2020 22:13 (five days ago) link

yes, heartily agree with the last part. silly to call jk rowling terf really when she doesn't seem to be advancing any feminist viewpoints

Politically homely (jim in vancouver), Friday, 20 November 2020 22:26 (five days ago) link

I don't know if you guys are aware that today is Trans Day of Remembrance, or if this discussion is accidental?

I spent the evening reading the great long litany of the dead: - literally hundreds of murdered women (and a handful of murdered trans men and nonbinary people), their last days detailed (or starkly anonymous), in heartbreaking and sickening detail. And of the identified perpetrators of those murders, like way over 90% are cis men - who rape, violently assault, and murder trans women en masse, on a systemic level.

But the conversation you guys are having on this TDOR, is this endless recrimination of... whether it's constructivist feminists or bioessentialist feminists who are somehow responsible for *causing* all this transphobia? (Because, yeah, I'm totally *positive* that these men are 100% down with 70s or 00s radical feminism, that is totally where they get their transphobia from, violent men are soooo inclined to listen to feminists.) Instead of understanding that "terfs" or transphobic feminists or whatever you want to call the various kinds of transphobes - are one of the many symptoms of societal transphobia, and not the root cause.

And every one of these conversations, of whether it's this kind of feminist, or that kind of feminist, acts as this kind of moral smokescreen of blame-displacement - so that we never, ever have to talk about the violent, transphobic, misogynist, entitled men who rape and kill trans women?

And you don't think that's a completely bizarre and off-kilter thing to be doing?

Branwell with an N, Friday, 20 November 2020 22:58 (five days ago) link

yes, I was aware it's the trans day of remembrance.

we're in a thread about the guardian commenting on a thing that was in the guardian. no one is saying that violence against trans people today is caused by 70s feminism. it's just most relevant to what we are discussing itt rn

Politically homely (jim in vancouver), Friday, 20 November 2020 23:13 (five days ago) link

I suppose I live in a bit of a bubble, I had seen the link you posted as it was emailed round my department at work, alongside with lots of other materials, this morning; I have trans co-workers, friends and family members. I don't really encounter transphobia in my day to day life as I'm cis. so it happens that transphobia in the media, which has the tendency to be "feminist", is what I see. I don't think jk rowling is the cause of violence against trans people, but I also know that when someone put up a billboard saying "I heart JK Rowling" by where I lived it hurt people I know. I think it's possible to think prominent people in the media being transphobic is bad while also being aware that they are not the font of all transphobia or as pertinent an issue as the shocking violence against trans people that exists everywhere in the world.

Politically homely (jim in vancouver), Friday, 20 November 2020 23:26 (five days ago) link

the feminist framing seems to be the context in which trans issues are most frequently discussed outside trans circles in britain in terms of actual controversy, the transphobia & misogyny of cis men being already assumed. popularity of this framing means attempts to raise the latter as an issue tend to be shouted down as if they’re part of the same patriarchal violence they’re calling out (and obviously violent men aren’t above using whatever ideological smokescreen is available). there is definitely a disproportionality with the focus on feminism- but in the context of the guardian it’s the primary weapon used, and it does act as a moral smokescreen for patriarchal violence, however relatively minor it might seem. of course we should be calling the actual physical violence out more than we do. the guardian is quite happy to enable it & should be called out for that. but maybe we’re falling into its trap if we accept it’s about feminism in any form

Left, Friday, 20 November 2020 23:35 (five days ago) link

i do actually think rowling is *a* cause of violence against trans people. a minor one if you have to make these comparisons but still

Left, Friday, 20 November 2020 23:40 (five days ago) link

branwell, as a trans woman, can i ask you to please stop continually derailing things whenever people are discussing & complaining about transphobic "feminists" to go "why doesn't anyone care about all the violent transphobic men!!!". everyone agrees that violent transmisogynistic men who murder trans women are bad and no one is really interested in platforming them or treating them as being a valid part of a reasonable debate. there's not much to really discuss there. there are plenty of violent misogynist men who use the cover provided by trans-exclusionary "feminists" to feel justified in their own violence and bigotry though, go look at all the self-proclaimed "gender critical" middle aged men on twitter. no one is saying that transphobic "feminists" are the source of all violence against trans people but as i'm sure you well know, the arguments put forward by transphobic "feminists" have done real damage to trans rights, especially in the uk, and helped to encourage violence against trans people. it's also particularly notable because by presenting itself as 'progressive' and 'feminist' it's become a respectable bigotry even in some otherwise left-wing and liberal circles.

ufo, Saturday, 21 November 2020 00:12 (four days ago) link

i think i was using terf carelessly tbh, so it was a useful reminder (just speaking personally).

Fizzles, Saturday, 21 November 2020 04:45 (four days ago) link

this is a thread where people bemoan the guardian. a frequent strategy that is called out here is the use of so-called progressivist pragmatism to undermine actual progressive discourses and actions. this is something that is not limited to the use of "feminist" discourses to denigrate trans people and to frame the identities of trans people and their rights as a 'question' that people may legitimately hold two sides on. however, this is a very prominent recent feature of the guardian's editorial approach.

The thread seems to have become particularly active in the last few years as the guardian for shreds its reputation for investigative journalism while increasingly peddling click-bait hate reads and, say, advertorials for child labour in the tobacco industry. Literally this is the subject of this thread, distinct from batting down every violent and reactionary piece of hate-content gleefully printed by the uk media which would be an endless, exhausting and thankless job. remember too that participation on this board is entirely voluntary, and threads like this are frequently bumped by the ongoing casual way that people encounter these frustrations daily, they are literally just a way to vent, in this case about a specific guardian-related complaint.

Even so i think its quite important differentiate between the views of a minority of terfy journalists and women's or feminist views in general. it is not my experience that contemporary feminists hold transphobic views or that adminstrators of women's shelters are v concerned about self-identification (quite the inverse, trans women for instance have been part of women's shelters since long before the 2004 gender recognition act). Why then are these voices amplified, and how convenient that the ongoing project of airing these discourses in 'respectable' contexts is increasingly seen as somewhat illegitimate? Might it not be more useful to see how this practice is analagous with other ways progressive discourses are eroded from putatively proximate discursive positions (as is tacitly or explicitly a major theme of this thread)?

Shouldn't we also seek to see discourses how these distort public debate (by amplifying the 'concerns' of a minority of commentariat types and suggesting that these obsessions are more widespread than they, in fact, are) and are also continuous with the kinds of violence faced by trans people everywhere: see how 'gender critical' discourses have recently found a foothold in starmer's army and thus tacitly legitimated as bipartisan. This has real consequences for policy both domestically (the dropping of self-identification) and globally* and it seems far more productive to see these things as continuous.

However, once again, this thread is not specifically about that, it is by its nature reactive. a kind of safety valve for the *myriad* and *particular* ways this one publication poisons the discourse daily.

*contributing to more reactionary interventions in foreign aid allocation, a tactic more identified with the reactionary right in the USA -the global gag for instance- but obviously gaining traction here as the culture war model becomes an increasingly lucrative angle for the conservatives, aped by a right-wing labour opposition

plax (ico), Saturday, 21 November 2020 08:55 (four days ago) link

i was putting together some notes recently trying to explore some of this from a slightly different angle under a title 'so much for the savages.' i stopped recognising that i probably needed to go to people more knowledgeable than me in *all* the areas is covers, so i post those notes here in that spirit, and also with the request for guidance where i've got stuff wrong. it was motivated by the initial suzanne moore bullshit, at the beginning of lockdown, and a passage in a passage from clifford geertz that i'd read. oh god, there's so much, please please tldr it - it's pretty rambly i'm afraid.

I started writing this just as lockdown came in, and ditched it as it seems largely irrelevant. I've resurrected it in the context of the Supreme Court passing employment legislation protecting LGBTQ+ rights, and in what looks like a highly regressive move, the UK government look like they're going to scrap plans to enable gender self-identification. It also comes through trying to think through (v clumsily) what it means to be a cis-het white male in relation minority and marginalised communities and groups, after being asked to <a href="";>present myself as an 'ally'</a> in a company wide diversity and inclusion intiative.

There is an extraordinary passage in Clifford Geertz's 1975 essay, Common Sense as a Cultural System (collected in his superb book Local Knowledge). I should stress, ahead of quoting this, that I am not suggesting intersexed people are in some way equivalent to transgender people, or indeed non-binary and other gender identities. The focus here is the cultural response to non-binary gender identities:

Gender in human beings is not a purely dichotomous variable. It is not an evenly continuous one either, of course, or our love life would be even more complicated than it already is. But about 2 or 3 percent of human beings are markedly intersexual, a number of them to the point where both sorts of external genitalia appear, or where developed breasts occur in an individual with male genitalia, and so on. This raises certain problems for biological science, problems with respect to which a good deal of headway is right now being made. But it raises, also, certain problems for common sense, for the network of practical and moral concepts woven about those supposedly most rooted of root realities: maleness and femaleness. Intersexuality is more than an empirical surprise; it is a cultural challenge.

It is a challenge that is met in diverse ways. The Romans, Edgerton reports, regarded intersexed infants as supernaturally cursed and put them to death. The Greeks, as was their habit, took a more relaxed view and, though they regarded such persons as peculiar, put it all down as just one of those things - after all, Hermaphroditus, the son of Hermes and Aphrodite who became united in one body with a nymph, provided precedent enough - and let them live out their lives without undue stigma. Edgerton's paper indeed pivots around a fascinating contrast among three quite variant responses to the phenomenon of intersexuality - that of the Americans, the Navaho, and the Pokot (the last a Kenyan tribe) - in terms of the common-sense views these people hold concerning human gender and its general place in nature. As he says, different people may react differently when confronted with individuals whose bodies are sexually anomalous, but they can hardly ignore them. If received ideas of "the normal and the natural" are to be kept intact, something must be said about these rather spectacular disaccordances with them.

Americans regard intersexuality with what can only be called horror. Individuals, Edgerton says, can be moved to nausea by the mere sight of intersexed genitalia or even by a discussion of the condition. "As a moral and legal enigma," he continues, "it knows few peers. Can such a person marry? Is military service relevant? How is the sex on a birth certificate to be made out? Can it properly be changed? Is it psychologically advisable, or even possible, for someone raised as a girl, suddenly to become a boy?… How can an intersexed person behave school shower rooms, in public bathrooms, in dating activities?" Clearly, common sense is at the end of its tether.

The reaction is to encourage, usually with great passion and sometimes with rather more than that, the intersexual to adopt either a male or female role. Many intersexuals do thus "pass" for the whole of their lives as "normal" men or women, something that involves a good deal of careful artifice. Others either seek or are forced into surgery to "correct," cosmetically anyway, the condition and become "legitimate" males or females. Outside of freak shows, we permit only one solution to the dilemma of intersexuality, a solution the person with the condition is obliged to adopt to soothe the sensibilities of the rest of us. "All concerned," Edgerton writes, "from parents to physicians are enjoined to discover which of the two natural sexes the intersexed person most appropriately is and then to help the ambiguous, incongruous, and upsetting 'it' to become at least a partially acceptable 'him' or 'her.' In short, if the facts don't measure up to your expectations, change the facts, or, if that's not feasible, disguise them."

So much for savages. Turning to the Navaho, among whom W.W Hill made a systematic study of hermaphroditism as early as 1935, the picture is quite different. For them, too, of course, intersexuality is abnormal, but rather than evoking horror and disgust it evokes wonder and awe. The intersexual is considered to have been divinely blessed and to convey that blessing to others. Intersexuals are not only respected, they are practically revered. "They know everything," one of Hill informants says, "they can do the work of both a man and a woman. I think when all the [intersexuals] are gone, that it will be the end of the Navaho." "If there were no [intersexuals]," another informant said, "the country would change. They are responsible for all the wealth in the country. If there were no more left, the horses, sheep, and Navaho would all go. They are leaders, just like President Roosevelt." Yet another said, "An [intersexual] around the hogan will bring good luck and riches. does a great deal for the country if you have an [intersexual] around." And so on.

Navaho common sense thus places the anomaly of intersexuality - for, as I say, it seems no less an anomaly to them than it does to us, because it is no less an anomaly - in a quite different light than does ours. Interpreting it to be not a horror but a blessing leads on to notions that seem as peculiar to us as that adultery causes hunting accidents or incest leprosy, but that seem to the Navaho only what anyone with head screwed on straight cannot help but think. For example, that rubbing the genitals of intersexed animals (which are also highly valued) on the tails of female sheep and goats and on the noses of male sheep goats causes the flocks to prosper and more milk to be produced. Or, that intersexed persons should be made the heads of their families and given complete control over all the family property, because then that too will grow. Change a few interpretations of a few curious facts and you change, here anyway, a whole cast of mind. Not size-up-and-solve, but marvel-and-respect.

That some of the language and conceptualising can seem out of date now only indicates that in many respects it is out of date. 45 years out of date. The language and awareness of gender identity has changed considerably since Geertz wrote his piece. Nevertheless I'm sure I wouldn't be alone in thinking there are parts of it that seem current.

I was struck by it in the context of the grotesque media circus surrounding a Suzanne Moore article, and today read this excellent piece by Juliet Jacques in the NYT – Transphobia is Everywhere in Britain. It's worth reading through, as it's a clearly stated description of the current state of affairs. However, in reference to the above excerpt from Geertz, it was this section that caught my eye:

To many, the sight of a center-left party failing to support trans rights without equivocation must be baffling — not least to American Democrats, whose party, divided in many ways, is firmly united in its support for trans and nonbinary people.

This passage highlighted something that I expressed elsewhere, that in fact most of the mainstream liberal space of the USA, and I include in this corporate and liberal institutional culture and governance (in eg education and the media), as well as the really quite centrist Democrats, consider trans and non-binary rights to be expected and unquestionable and, as far as I can tell, inalienable.

So, what changed? What's different between the US of then (1975) and the US of now, nearly half a century later, and why does Geertz's description of the US of then remind me so much of the current terrible... I hesitate to call it a 'debate'... a sort of nauseating and quite pathetic public litigation against transgender rights in the UK. Why is the UK debate so backward? How does 'common sense' get progressed?

I should add, and maybe this sort of exploration is necessarily always caveated, but it's clear that the acceptance of liberal institutional culture does not mean gender identity rights are universally accepted; it is still clearly a live and bitter fight against violent and murderous hate, as well as the more structural forces of social conservatism and conservative religion. 2019 was the joint deadliest year on record for transgender americans.

This is specifically about what might be considered the editorial voice in the UK. I'm not in a position to look at corporate, civic or legal standards, other than to note much of what is considered legitimate language and attitude in the commentariat would be unacceptable in most corporate environments of which I'm aware.

But why is the UK liberal media – the guardian is of course notable – so regressive? It is not generally, by which i mean editorially, either interested in the feelings or needs of non binary gender identities other than as a side to a controversy, or thinking honestly, curiously and generously about the frameworks that can be put in place to enable people to live their desired identity in society without hindrance or handicap. It is certainly not interested in editorially campaigning for those frameworks and that thinking.

Instead it is involved in what looks like a bitter rearguard action to spoil and crash any ability to look at the opportunities to improve society, and any obstacles there are to that, as clearly as possible.

uh, it gets even more 'note-y' from now:


How does common sense change? And why has that common sense changed in the liberal institutions in the US and not the UK <- good example of an assumption that needs examining!

The lack of ability for our moribund commentariat to examine what might underlie their assumptions of ‘common sense’ is one of their hallmarks – they are old asserters of a historical status quo. They are people who say that progress stopped when they stopped thinking and examining (eg Suzanne Moore)

Is the controverting of what might be considered common sense into areas of expertise around social and economic liberalism causing the space of what people consider to be their common wisdom to be squeezed, and for it to assert itself aggressively?

the role of marketing in establishing common sense - geertz's example is people's basic 'common sense' acceptance of the germ theory of disease not being based on science, but the move from 'feed a cold and starve a fever' to 'brush your teeth twice a day and see your dentist twice a year' (we might also add in the uk 'coughs and sneezes spread diseases.'

sense held in common – the kantian sense – that allows shared communication
to be clear I am not talking about that, though retaining a sense that it *allows us to communicate* may well be helpful here.

It occurs to me the defence mechanism of common sense is against the vehicles that attack it – expertise, where training and learning have found that the best analysis is one that runs counter to existing common sense (usually sense that is outdated). Maybe we are just seeing a consequence of the rapidly generalised learning across society (no one likes their offspring telling them how things *actually* are), and, conversely, within that general learning, specialisation.

in that sense the failing media, to get specific to the UK, may be performing a specific function of trying to create a fungible language that can freight between specialisations - the need for commentary rather than reportage. there are people who do this certainly, but in general the commentariat retains its common language of communication by erecting barriers around its (increasingly bubble like to the commentariat) common sense.

How would we know if this were the case? What examples of trying to find a common language between different linguistic spaces or conceptual spaces can we find? Layman’s books - danger is we create feelings of expertise which are ‘thin’ to use Geertz’s term.


The question is obviously not here one of intersectionality, but intersectionality as one example handling the complexities and intersections of identity and identity vectors (eg race and gender). Is the US in a more sophisticated position (i tried to avoid ‘advanced’ and ‘mature’ to avoid prejudicing my thought, but frankly those are reasonable words to use), because it has legally and socially litigated frameworks for identity to a far greater extent than the UK?

Such imports from the US (check your privilege) we love to scorn. And I probably need to unpack why that may be a little bit, but it’s worth noting now that we also find ourselves taking them on after a while - for example the professional class love of exercise, scorned by the man with the pint a couple of decades ago as faddy, and in a sense unmanly because of a vain pursuit of bodily image.

Is that litigation because the US is a significantly more plural than the UK? It's very hard to get away from the overwhelmingly white middle class in the UK and a sort of rather silly nostalgia for the moral and societal frameworks of their youth and upbringing that anti-trans commentators can show. (needs support)


As I understand it eye-rolling is technically, historically and literally an invocation of God, but in its mundane form of ‘oh for God’s sake’ is effectively an indication that for the eye-roller, something is typical of a behaviour of a person or group and therefore the content of the behaviour can be disregarded. I wonder to a certain extent whether it forms the same protective ‘warding off’ signal of common sense, as described here by Geertz:

In this context, at least, the cry of witchcraft functions for the Azande as the cry of Insha Allah functions for some Muslims or crossing oneself functions for some Christians, less to lead into more troubling questions - religious, philosophical, scientific, moral - about how the world is put together and what life comes to, than to block such questions from view; to seal up the common-sense view of the world - "everything is what it is and not another thing," as Joseph Butler put it - against the doubts its inevitable insufficiencies inevitably stimulate.

They are not cognate certainly, but it is a sign of denial and dismissal, which says ‘i will not regard this matter further, as it goes beyond what i can reasonably consider’ and while there is no doubt that eye rolling can take place in isolation (god knows I’ve done it), it is also frequently used as a communicative device to people with one whom one wants to assert shared values. Imagine for instance eye-rolling at a person in a room, while someone else on a phone is talking, and you note with alarm the person is room is taking the person on the phone seriously. The alarm is twofold, but predominantly that lack of shared value and the exposure of yourself as the isolated one, the second is suddenly a concern that the content of what is being said matters.

We may with reason see our commentariat as in a collective state of eye-rolling at each other in this as in many other matters. But rather than occupying what even with charity can only be described as a position of ‘we understand and *you* don’t’ (because we are the commentariat and if we didn’t understand, then how could we justify that position?), or because of ‘special access’ to politicians etc ('we have special insight'), it is of course a deeply atavistic mode, incredibly susceptible to authority (who tells you that you are right? you need, like a neglected child, *someone* or indeed the world in same way (data/scientism) to show that you are *right*.)

I am obviously writing this in the context of the fall-out from the Suzanne Moore article, but it’s notable that every time I think of linking it or analysing it, or say a public response like Piers Morgan’s on a public service broadcaster, i’m reluctant to do so because it feels too grotesque and embarrassing to do so. that they are people who are exhausted by the category “commentariat”, precluding a wider expertise or richness they can bring to any subject (and categorical exhaustion they ironically intensify by demanding their right to continue to be heard on public platforms and in the papers).

The principles of intersectionality should for instance tell us to be wary of the resistance of one identity to oppression does not and should not exclude the possibility that those same oppressions are visited on others and that people who do not exclusively define themselves by one identity may be ostracised further - that identity is not a singular matter of excluding that which you are not but a plural matter.

Clearly, the complicated matter of the practical enfranchisement of transgender people and enforcement of their rights, and defining public spaces and legal frameworks to ensure those rights are supported by our public, private and institutional governance is ill-served by this so-called “discourse”.

the irony perhaps is that moore feels her identity is being encroached upon which she aggressively defends from her privileged public platform, by denying people their right of others to their own stories. we must all, when it comes to Moore’s view, live her story, or we are not valid (one might say that this only reflects an uncertainty about the validity of her own story, the need to prosecute it so publicly and the need to ensure other people also participate in and support that story. in some respects that is the point of the commentariat - their actual function.

Moore wants the sense held in common to be dictated by her and her own experience.

Fizzles, Saturday, 21 November 2020 10:26 (four days ago) link

v good post. a lot to swallow at once

Left, Saturday, 21 November 2020 10:51 (four days ago) link

How does common sense change? And why has that common sense changed in the liberal institutions in the US and not the UK

I feel (note: feel, I don't have a ready made pile of citations here) that maybe the UK was on a more progressive path through the 80s and 90s and has regressed again in recent years. My overly simplified reasoning for this is that those lobbying against self identification don't come across as your traditional old fashioned right wing rabid anti LGBT folk.

They sound _reasonable_, they speak of women's rights and safe spaces for women, they speak in the same language as millions of women who have spent centuries fighting for women. They often sound like leftie progressives. It's a convincing narrative when they position their bogey"men" behind that language.

Clean-up on ILX (onimo), Saturday, 21 November 2020 11:40 (four days ago) link

disconnected things, vaguely related to some of the points raised

- the exhaustion and shame over even addressing this stuff is of course an intended effect
- it has also succeeded in provoking a more conservative (reactionary in the literal sense) approach from people trying to counter it- wrt to certain narratives/theories/lives being considered far too complex/embarrassing/risky to consider in this climate- that is pretty troubling in itself
- for all the left/liberal/feminist rhetoric this is functionally part of the far right movement, not just vaguely similar to it- with the same colonial roots (I anticipate the eye roll over any mention of colonialism but britain is one of world history’s biggest gender cops)- & absolutely shamelessly godawful racial politics are universal regardless of political identification
- the trans-friendliness of US liberalism probably shouldn’t be overstated (it’s superficial & extremely conditional)
- what I’d take issue with in the Geertz excerpt are things that still crop up even in many apparently pro-trans and/or pro-intersex pieces so (unfortunately) it doesn’t seem particularly dated to me

Left, Saturday, 21 November 2020 12:02 (four days ago) link

Dw Fizzles, you will never be as incoherent as me.

I’d agree with that, onimo. Which is what the recurring conversation on this thread is about, the inherent danger in what should be progressive allies acting as mouthpieces for regressive values under the banner of feminism.

I can’t tell you how reductive and blindingly sexist it is to be reduced, as a woman, to my fucking organs, which is what my upbringing was like in Ireland, and yet you see supposedly smart and educated women falling for this and pushing this message every day. Can’t stand it!

I was talking to a friend the other day in Poland about the anti-abortion movement there and he felt (and I agreed) that British people were largely ignorant of the grassroots efforts to extend access to women in countries across Europe where it’s either illegal or limited. I am aware of and donate to the various charities and non-profits, for example, that fund travel for women in Poland, Malta etc and the reason those organisations are necessary, but there seems to be real ignorance about this wrt British feminists (you’ll see more articles about the GRA in a week than about the protests in Poland).

Obviously there are people interested and active, but considering the situation in NI and considering that it’s still technically a crime here, I’m surprised how little thought it gets. But this is me talking about one of the most formative political issues of my life.

I suppose this is a very rambling way of phrasing it, so let me try and then end: after abortion was legalised in Ireland, there now exists a slightly unusual situation where the laws that are in Ireland are more liberal than those here in Britain, where it continues to be a criminal offence (albeit one that is de facto legal though it is not prosecuted!)

In Great Britain abortion continues to be regulated under criminal law, but is legally available through the Abortion Act 1967, which permits abortions if there is:

risk to the life of the pregnant woman;
a necessity for abortion to prevent grave permanent injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman;
risk of injury to the physical or mental health of the pregnant woman or any existing children of her family (up to a term limit of 24 weeks of gestation); or
substantial risk that if the child were born, it would "suffer from such physical or mental abnormalities as to be seriously handicapped".

Like that’s crazy to me, that there hasn’t been a big mainstream push to at least remove it from the realm of criminal law. We know how much sustained effort from a minority can change the law in this country (how is Brexit going?) and we know too that the fash never take a day off. So I tie the relative stasis on reproductive rights here with the stasis on a lot of women’s rights as conceived by the commentariat - they have been stagnant for so long and blind to the idea that things could change for the worse so suddenly that they’re incapable of progressing the way they view the world and therefore they obsess over trans and nb people as a live, urgent issue while they pal around with people who are in no way interested in the rights and freedom of women.

The biggest example of this remains the fact that JKR allowed to publish her essay.

The one where @jk_rowling gives right wing grifters, homophobes & transphobes permission for gript 'media' to republish her transphobia.

— Daithi K. (@tvcritics) June 16, 2020

I would really, really like to know why she gave permission to a site run by someone notorious in Ireland as the spokesman for the campaign to keep abortion illegal, whose site publishes all manner of racist filth and conspiracist filth daily. Just glancing at the site now, there are two anti-abortion stories, an antivaxxer story right there at the top and more in the archives. If she didn’t know the nature of the site, it still sends a message regardless of her intentions.

So yeah tl;dr, don’t take progress for granted because it’s easy for things to get worse very suddenly and then of course the fellow travellers never stick to one group of people. Why would they?

scampus fugit (gyac), Saturday, 21 November 2020 12:26 (four days ago) link

yeah the tentacles of us right wing Christian money into abortion rights in Ireland was definitely *illuminating* for those who lived through it and it's v interesting to see much of those patterns repeating in how anti trans narratives are currently disseminated here

plax (ico), Saturday, 21 November 2020 12:53 (four days ago) link

tw: anti-choice content

plax (ico), Saturday, 21 November 2020 12:58 (four days ago) link

You can set your watch by this stuff.

Here we … here we …. here we fuckin go!!!!

— Elvis Buñuelo (@Mr_Considerate) November 25, 2020

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 09:14 (seven hours ago) link

some wag suggested she looks a bit like Evil Paddington

calzino, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 09:16 (seven hours ago) link

In case anyone is wondering where today’s If strip is it’s here

— Steve Bell (@BellBelltoons) November 24, 2020

lol they've bumped Bell's cartoon in the paper edition today. I think some people have had enough of the Starmer/Corbz s+m dungeon.

calzino, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 09:19 (seven hours ago) link

too on the nose from stefrebooted this time

reggae kraftwerk (||||||||), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 09:19 (seven hours ago) link

lol, Moore's complaining about her 'bullying' in The Telegraph today as well.

Scampo di tutti i Scampi (ShariVari), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 09:46 (seven hours ago) link

that Moore piece is actually unreadable in places

boxedjoy, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 09:50 (seven hours ago) link

I have been denounced, alongside bigger and better people such as JK Rowling

boxedjoy, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 09:51 (seven hours ago) link

that Moore piece is actually unreadable in places

Great how she is just chucking racial slurs out there and rambling about how she, not you, is the actual feminist. I really liked the bit where she slags off left-wing writers who can’t write an actual sentence.

scampus fugit (gyac), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 09:55 (six hours ago) link

I’m pretty sure she used to live near us as well as you’d see her on her way to the corner shop, so her bit about local schools, which based on the evidence was...untrue... is a bit strange but I don’t feel like getting into it.

scampus fugit (gyac), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 09:58 (six hours ago) link

The Guardian frequently contains articles stating that some people are offended by Steve Bell and solemnly adding that they, too, are offended, and gravely concerned about what a a bad person he is.

I don't love everything Bell has ever done, but this, too, is one way that the Guardian is worse than it used to be.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 10:16 (six hours ago) link

xp let’s just say she probably was only talking to one type of parent on the school run because other types of parents were invisible to her...

Apparently UnHerd pays a quid a word but maybe not for a 7000-word rant? Still, that’s a lot of money to spit a dummy out.

scampopo (suzy), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 10:22 (six hours ago) link

Steve Bell needs to go away and have a long hard think about his inability to draw all his characters noses like cocks! Tbf I thought the Starmzy s+m dungeon series was neither good nor funny, but offensive ? lol you'd have to be a Sunday School prig to be offended. I was laughing when one person commented he might just be a randy old bastard that needs some sexual release like a rabidly horny pig on a farm!

calzino, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 10:35 (six hours ago) link

I wonder if a thin-skinned knight of the realm has had a word with the Graun, it wouldn't surprise me.

calzino, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 10:39 (six hours ago) link

Great also how she got a dig in at the Open Society funding the Guardian

scampus fugit (gyac), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 10:40 (six hours ago) link

i've got a woman on my twitter calling out the response to this as misogyny, that seems a very spurious call to say the least.

calzino, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 10:48 (six hours ago) link


Naughty Boys Hoo! (Tom D.), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 10:49 (six hours ago) link

I think @suzanne_moore is the most underestimated social-political writer in the UK

— Anthony Barnett (@AnthonyBarnett) November 25, 2020

calzino, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 10:59 (five hours ago) link

we'd all hope that our friends would stick by us if we were getting pilloried on twitter, but so much of her behaviour and bigoted writing has been beyond the pale - why pretend otherwise?

calzino, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 11:06 (five hours ago) link

Argh, I know him a little and this will massively disappoint everyone I know who is involved with oD.

scampopo (suzy), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 11:07 (five hours ago) link

I have liked a lot of his writing over the years, if not always agreeing with it, but he definitely has a decent rep to protect

calzino, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 11:09 (five hours ago) link

Wagon-circling is to be expected but Moore has been a rambling embarrassment for years.

Scampo di tutti i Scampi (ShariVari), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 11:17 (five hours ago) link

It's all fair and well to stick by your pals but friends don't let friends become bitter transphobes

boxedjoy, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 11:19 (five hours ago) link

Suzanne Moore really did say “Paki Lover” with all her chai tea chest. But cool, she’s the victim in all this and liberal media doesn’t have racism problem against Brown and Black people and they’re fully represented in our media.

— The Trashies (@TheTrashiesUK) November 25, 2020

calzino, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 11:26 (five hours ago) link

what's really tickling me right now is that fox-clubbing lunatic in the windmill becoming a leading voice against the likes of transphobes like Moore. Going by his current trajectory, Joylon will be a full-tankie by January!

calzino, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 11:30 (five hours ago) link

Windmill Jolyon says (!):

Moreover, it appears as though Comment is Free was blocked from carrying a piece in support of the Good Law Project litigation. This is not a comment on its younger staff, but I would say the editorial line of the Guardian is more transphobic than that of the Mail.

— Jo Maugham (@JolyonMaugham) November 25, 2020

scampus fugit (gyac), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 11:44 (five hours ago) link

The Guardian has recently refused content in support of trans women from a group of leading feminist cis women. It advances the agenda of (the polls show) a small minority of privileged cis women against one of the most vulnerable groups in society. I am so ashamed of it.

— Jo Maugham (@JolyonMaugham) November 25, 2020

scampus fugit (gyac), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 11:45 (five hours ago) link

oh for god’s sake

— Elvis Buñuelo (@Mr_Considerate) November 25, 2020

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 25 November 2020 11:57 (four hours ago) link

tiny violin gif x1000

Naughty Boys Hoo! (Tom D.), Wednesday, 25 November 2020 12:54 (three hours ago) link

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