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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen 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 (eighteen years ago) link

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

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

six years pass...

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

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

"today"

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

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

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

It went downhill after I left.

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

or were you PUSHED?

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

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

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

i couldn't agree less

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

Guardian editorial worldview circa 2007:

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

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

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

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

because you're cold xp

tissp, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:45 (twelve 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 (twelve 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?

x-post

Masonic Boom, Monday, 3 September 2007 14:46 (twelve 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 (twelve 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 (twelve 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 (twelve 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 (twelve 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 (twelve years ago) link

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

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

> 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 (twelve years ago) link

Bingo

---------------six feet----------------- (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 18 March 2020 16:37 (two months ago) link

New development! I am reliably informed that SM has a little list... and uploaded it so all her FB friends could see it and kiss her arse harder,

santa clause four (suzy), Thursday, 19 March 2020 12:18 (two months ago) link

There's a grim fascination in how their actions undercut their arguments

---------------six feet----------------- (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 19 March 2020 12:49 (two months ago) link

"I'm not hateful, I'm speaking my mind" *continues to do hateful shit*

---------------six feet----------------- (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 19 March 2020 12:50 (two months ago) link

having a normal one pic.twitter.com/v5KaU1eRW5

— Cynical Bathtub (@cynical_bathtub) March 19, 2020



The only comment I have to add to this is deeply libellous ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

gramsci in your surplice (gyac), Thursday, 19 March 2020 15:18 (two months ago) link

It's amazing that she keeps hammering the fact that she never goes to the Guardian offices, as if that's going to make trans employees any less uncomfortable about working there.

Even more amazing that she thinks this looks like anything other than a monumental self-indulgence at this particular time.

Matt DC, Thursday, 19 March 2020 15:29 (two months ago) link

Once again, this professional writer cannot write.

Otherwise: reminiscent of Father Ted collecting his Golden Cleric award.

the pinefox, Thursday, 19 March 2020 15:30 (two months ago) link

Oh the irony.

Matt DC, Thursday, 19 March 2020 15:33 (two months ago) link

xp 😅

---------------six feet----------------- (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 19 March 2020 15:52 (two months ago) link

Sarah D*tum all snippy about being a better writer than the signatories in the letter and OH WELL THEY WON’T COMMISSION ME NOW.

Babe, I’ve seen more literate FB hunnis and Twitter reply guys in just a random hour of social media use.

santa clause four (suzy), Thursday, 19 March 2020 17:27 (two months ago) link

Suzy's right!

the pinefox, Thursday, 19 March 2020 20:24 (two months ago) link

I looked at the document as a useful guide to cool commissioning editors.

santa clause four (suzy), Thursday, 19 March 2020 20:32 (two months ago) link

I looked at the document as a useful guide to cool commissioning editors.

santa clause four (suzy), Thursday, 19 March 2020 20:32 (two months ago) link

Sarah D*t*m couldn’t write a post-it, idk where she gets these notions. Some of the worst game writing I’ve ever read (maybe I was spoiled by growing up reading Digitiser but I sincerely doubt it).

gramsci in your surplice (gyac), Thursday, 19 March 2020 20:35 (two months ago) link

She’s been in a terfy white-feminist circle-jerk for a decade, where do you think she gets ideas above her station?

santa clause four (suzy), Thursday, 19 March 2020 20:40 (two months ago) link

Otherwise: reminiscent of Father Ted collecting his Golden Cleric award.

LOL, this is so perfect.

God gave toilets rolls to you, gave toilet rolls to you (Tom D.), Thursday, 19 March 2020 21:38 (two months ago) link

Anyone else look at this today and wonder if John Harris was now producing all of their video content under a number of different guises?

https://i.imgur.com/GvG8ORa.jpg

Wuhan!! Got You All in Check (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 28 March 2020 20:41 (two months ago) link

Crace has always been unfunny, a buffoon at best. Running this tripe is just an abject failure at an editorial level. https://t.co/aqKRj5Wsry

— James Mackenzie (@mrjamesmack) April 2, 2020

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 2 April 2020 21:06 (one month ago) link

god bless the grownups

A rat done bit my sister Nell with Biden on the nom (Noodle Vague), Thursday, 2 April 2020 21:11 (one month ago) link

fellow grauner Chakraborty pointed out earlier that rather than being admirable, his action more exposes the pernicious lie that "NHS debt" always was.

calzino, Thursday, 2 April 2020 21:19 (one month ago) link

looks like Suzanne Moore has gone off the internet because of psychedics you

A rat done bit my sister Nell with Biden on the nom (Noodle Vague), Friday, 3 April 2020 07:49 (one month ago) link

Crace still isn’t as bad as Michael White was but that’s an almost impossibly low bar to crawl under. The Hancock piece is garbage.

I see Katy Balls of the Spectator is being given an increasingly prominent role as a political commentator.

ShariVari, Friday, 3 April 2020 07:58 (one month ago) link

I don't think the Hancock piece is the worst ever, but at the heart of it is this:

To fend off ongoing criticism of the government’s testing programme by committing to 100,000 tests per day by the end of the month.

Given that the government has consistently missed even its own piss-poor targets – we’re struggling to manage 10,000 tests a day at the moment – it was understandable that most of the questions were on whether 100,000 was hopelessly optimistic. But Matt was adamant. He couldn’t exactly promise how many of the tests would be antibody and and how many antigen, but 100,000 was the hill he was prepared to die on. No more bullshit. No more obfuscation. A real target with his job on the line if he failed to deliver.

The article praises MH for promising so many tests, even as it notes that it is unlikely that they will happen.

It notes that he has promised these tests and put his job on the line (?). But assuming that this number of tests doesn't happen, which is likely, will the same commentator point this out and demand that MH resign in, say, a week?

No.

The government has repeatedly promised things and not done them, has mismanaged this crisis very dangerously and damagingly, and here they are being praised for more of the same BS.

That doesn't make sense.

the pinefox, Friday, 3 April 2020 08:46 (one month ago) link

We should be spending this effort scrutinizing the most serious and leftwing newspaper in the UK, the FT

ogmor, Friday, 3 April 2020 08:47 (one month ago) link

You've got to pay for it so..🤷

xyzzzz__, Friday, 3 April 2020 09:02 (one month ago) link

lol, i've still got my employee log-in five years after it should have been cancelled.

A free taste:

https://i.postimg.cc/VNbsRTn5/Delete.png

ShariVari, Friday, 3 April 2020 09:24 (one month ago) link

can't go back to john harris after that

ogmor, Friday, 3 April 2020 09:42 (one month ago) link

Re: Suzanne Moore et al - have we noticed the new form of online arseholism where someone you’re disagreeing with on eg. Twitter pulls the dick move of telling you to stay inside? Or the thing I had last week from a random PR jumping into my mentions/conversation with my friend with ‘stay in doors’ (sic)?

santa clause four (suzy), Friday, 3 April 2020 10:50 (one month ago) link

three weeks pass...

Not a new article at all, but I've never felt as confident that the Guardian is a class enemy as after this: was searching for a good breakdown of what the best homeless charities are to donate to, and I found this article:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/22/how-do-i-help-rough-sleepers-homelessness-money-begging-street?fbclid=IwAR23kuKe2iDGTvKrEsn1L6uIryk-RcL_zjwjzSVjs-o2K7eC1iZz0yLFVrQ

Which included this:

UK homelessness charities are almost unanimous on the question of giving money: it is better not to. Some charities acknowledge the intended kindness, others are vociferous in saying don’t.

Thames Reach, which has been working in London for more than 30 years, says its outreach workers and the Metropolitan police find 70-80% of people begging on the capital’s streets are taking class A drugs such as crack cocaine and heroin, and in Birmingham all 43 people arrested in a crackdown on begging tested positive.

Across the country, four in 10 say they have or are recovering from a drug habit, and a quarter from a drink problem, says Homeless Link, the umbrella body for the sector. Charities and police also report that six in 10 people begging had a home to go to.

Not only does money often fuel addictions to drugs and drink (usually super-strength lager and cider), it also delays people seeking or accepting help with addiction or other health problems and moving off the streets, according to Thames Reach’s online advice, which says: “Giving to people who beg is not a benign act. It can have fatal consequences.”

How idiotic is to assume that:

a) ppl giving beggars money don't know it's for drugs and booze
b) helping someone get the quick relief of a dose of their addiction is morally worse than letting them suffer
c) those who can't get access to their drug of choice will inevitably drop the habit and go into rehab?

Not to mention the paternalistic tone of the charity, which seems more invested in getting ppl to submit to it than actually helping anyone. I know that's the charity talking but a journalist just taking these things as givens is pretty wtf to me.

Daniel_Rf, Wednesday, 29 April 2020 14:19 (one month ago) link

i might feel okay about it if they were ordering gin and tonics or maybe a quick ricard. but super-strength lager? CIDER? not on my dime, buddy! hmph!!

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Wednesday, 29 April 2020 14:47 (one month ago) link

begging a classic topic where ppl overcompensate for the combination of ambiguity & guilt with rationalist prescriptivism

The Cognitive Peasant (ogmor), Wednesday, 29 April 2020 15:39 (one month ago) link

disability and homeless charities have been abysmal during a decade of austerity where they could have done with being more about actively helping people and attacking the causes of their despair, their disenfranchisement and their deaths. Rather than signing gagging orders and being toothless govt lackeys just trying to mop up after a failing state and adopting that vile paternalism on display in that piece. fuck most of 'em imo.

calzino, Wednesday, 29 April 2020 15:58 (one month ago) link

when nearly everyone involved is doing a bad job I tend to think about the structural problems, which might suggest they've all been comprehensively fucked already

The Cognitive Peasant (ogmor), Wednesday, 29 April 2020 16:03 (one month ago) link

one of my fave examples of pathetic, toothless charity kowtowing was the National Autistic Society giving a heartfelt thanks and congratulations to the Conservative govt for u-turning on their policy for people with autism qualifying for blue badges. Without a mention of the test case they had just lost in the high court brought against them by the family of an autistic person, who they gave no fucking support to at all.

calzino, Wednesday, 29 April 2020 16:08 (one month ago) link

aristotle sez it's v hard to be good in a bad society, but afaik didn't really offer much practical advice on how to turn around a bad society, or realise that even pointing out what was bad wld offend ppl and make them dismissive

The Cognitive Peasant (ogmor), Wednesday, 29 April 2020 16:15 (one month ago) link

maybe aristotle was the first person to say: this is just like the thick of it..lol

calzino, Wednesday, 29 April 2020 16:21 (one month ago) link

grandad of all sensibles

The Cognitive Peasant (ogmor), Wednesday, 29 April 2020 16:22 (one month ago) link

counterpoint: "Marx's debt to Aristotle has been noted, but inadequately. Usually commentators focus on the parallels between discrete ethical theories of both writers. However, for Marx, ethics is not a discrete field, but is founded on a conception of social ontology. This thesis links the two by showing that, precisely because of its Aristotelian roots, Marx's political economy of bourgeois society demands an ethical view arising from alienated labour. Marx conceives of bourgeois society as an organic whole. But this entails that is social matter can only exist potentially, and not fully setting up a tension that points to the eventual supercession of its social form. In this manner, Marx's Aristotelian hylomorphism provides the link between the early and the later Marx, between the critique of alienation and the mature works of political economy."

mark s, Wednesday, 29 April 2020 16:28 (one month ago) link

as with dewey being influenced by hegel, appropriating someone's logic doesn't change their politics

The Cognitive Peasant (ogmor), Wednesday, 29 April 2020 16:38 (one month ago) link

I guess breaking news is where all the clicks are, especially in the current situation, but their 'Live!!!' section, which is always at the top, is basically unusable in that every time I see a headline worth reading and click through, the story is nowhere to be seen. Ok not every time, maybe 90% of the time.

a slice of greater pastry (ledge), Monday, 4 May 2020 13:21 (three weeks ago) link

yes otm

kinder, Monday, 4 May 2020 13:23 (three weeks ago) link

Same on the app.

Madchen, Monday, 4 May 2020 19:02 (three weeks ago) link

two weeks pass...

Plan to open mosque in Trocadero in London sparks objections

A video posted on Friday by The Iconoclast, an anonymous white nationalist vlogger, urging people to oppose the plan because of the dangers it posed to the “native people of this country”, triggered a surge in objections to Westminster council.

Another said: “I think it’s a travesty that we should sacrifice a building that was built before our time in such grand detail to Islam, which is not the religion of this country.”

Neo-Nazis rallying on social media to stop part of a building being converted into a mosque doesn’t strike me as particularly newsworthy to begin with - reporting it uncritically, not challenging errors and signal boosting one of them by name is a bizarre choice,

https://i.postimg.cc/xCxTmDht/76586-A37-E599-4698-81-EE-98-C107526-D4-B.jpg

👍

ShariVari, Saturday, 23 May 2020 09:46 (one week ago) link

Ah, the trocadero, historical home of the traditional vr arcade, alien live experience and a big hmv.

koogs, Saturday, 23 May 2020 10:28 (one week ago) link

sheeit, which particular buildings in central London exist in some time vacuum that precludes them having "historical" status? There must be hundreds of historical buildings that have been repurposed as mosques and synagogues, it's part of the rich tapestry of London history that the Graun have always embraced as the leading liberal voice of the UK ... oh scratch that last bit.

calzino, Saturday, 23 May 2020 10:44 (one week ago) link

I think the UK's racists and far right wankers have got their work cut out for them if they think they can turn this into the UK's equivalent of You'll Never Believe It But They're Building A Mosque Near The Site of 9/11.

Is Lou Reed a Good Singer? (Tom D.), Saturday, 23 May 2020 10:57 (one week ago) link

Last time I set foot in that place it was dispiriting to the point of almost triggering a panic attack. Repurposing it as a mosque could only improve it, and the thought of daily calls to prayer echoing across Piccadilly Circus would piss off the gammon to the point of apoplexy. Win-win!

Alert! The virus lives (Matt #2), Saturday, 23 May 2020 11:00 (one week ago) link

(Funland, the arcade was called. there was a Sega connection as well, videos on youtube. i remember it being mostly empty)

koogs, Saturday, 23 May 2020 11:14 (one week ago) link

Have to wonder whether the complainants have been inside the Trocadero in the last decade, right now almost anything would be an improvement.

Wuhan!! Got You All in Check (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Saturday, 23 May 2020 11:18 (one week ago) link

I already consider the site of the old Funland arcade a sacred ground of worship tbh

nashwan, Saturday, 23 May 2020 11:18 (one week ago) link


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