2001-2008
Home
Main
- About TFT
Friday Thing Archive
- Politics
- Media
- Culture and Society
- War On Terror
- People
- Places
- World
- Popped Clogs
- Music
- Books
- Film
- Etc
Help And Info
- Contact Details
- Advertising
- Jobs
- Privacy Policy
- XML Feed

Home > Media

Journojism: Guardian magazine disappears up self

10 July 2005

What is it with the back end of the Guardian Magazine? Who actually subscribes to its weird mix of intellectualism-lite, bourgeois twattery and artsy waffle? Take this article by pop philosopher Alain De Botton, giving his two cents on a photo by Hannah Starkey, depicting a woman staring out of a café window:

'A few years ago , I fell in love with a girl in a photo, even though I couldn't see her face, only her hair, which was a promise of happiness...'

To which we say: no you didn't, you twat. To suggest that you fell in love with the anonymous girl in the photo actually cheapens the concept of love, which isn't about teenage mooning over Betty Blue but actually about a deep connection with another (real) person. What sort of relationship can you have with a photo? You could probably make some sort of orifice in the image, but considering she's got her back to the camera, you'd be fucking the back of her skull, which is about as romantic as life in 25 Cromwell Street.

Botton bibble babbles on in the same vein for a while about the romance of 'those who are misunderstood by others - and happen also to be very beautiful', concluding:

'The picture has just the right amount of indeterminacy to contain all my hopes.'

Hello Pseuds' Corner! What undermines this pretentious dogshit is the fact that the 'girl' (more correctly a woman) is assumed to be beautiful. What if she's just a bit average looking? Does that invalidate her as a romantic figure? Sorry, love, you're not fit enough for my existentialism-lite. Got any mates that look like Catherine Deneuve?

Still, at least with gritted teeth and buttocks you can make it to the end of De Botton's article, which is more than can be said for a column by Benjamin Mee about DIY, which begins: 'One of the things I like most about the ancienne bergerie (old sheep bar) in which we intend to live is -'

NO NO NO! We do not wish to hear about your home in the south of France! We do not wish to hear about your interior design plans, or for that matter your wife or children - who are probably called Jocasta, Ollie and Jemimah respectively.

Another hard-hitting think piece by Caroline Roux desperately tries to turn the idea of working from home into some sort of profound social trend...

'To my mind, the words "home" and "office" really don't go together. In fact nobody thought they did until the mid 1990s when the home office was suddenly everywhere....'

Well, yes and no. Maybe home offices were everywhere amongst your freelance journo buddies, but so what if they were? What does it MEAN? Did no-one work from home before the mid 1990s? We give up... (On the same page, it's worth noting, is a product piece about a deckchair whose canvas takes the form of a Penguin classic book cover. Price? £59.95. For a DECKCHAIR? The mind boggles.)

Move on a few pages and we encounter what a brief TFT straw poll has revealed to be one of the most hated columns in British journalism: We Love Each Other, in which two artsy types express their love for each other. Says Deidre Dolan of her love for her partner:

'It's a fugue state. There nothing I can do but dance. There's no other way to express myself when I feel that good....'

Hmm. We'd suggest you don't express your grief by dancing at funerals, Deidre. On the same page is a column by Jon Ronson, who reveals the shocking fact that 'For a while, our cat Monty has been behaving in a paranoid fashion....' That's as may be, Jon, but we've already turned the page. Unfortunately we've turned to Charlie Porter, who is addressing the hot topic of some men not being interested in talking about clothes: 'I couldn't imagine having no-one to talk to about clothes. It's a natural part of our flap [?], a subject that informs and illuminates everything else we go on about....'

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrgh! Enough!

The baffling thing about back end of the Guardian Magazine is: who the hell actually takes it seriously? The lifestyle it depicts applies only to a tiny minority of well-to-do, rather well-off, arty, slightly pretentious middle class types, ie. Alain De Botton, Charlie Porter and their mates. The worrying thing is that the majority of readers don't lead this lifestyle, but presumably aspire to it.

Perhaps the Guardian Magazine has 'just the right amount of shite to contain all their hopes'.



Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

Subscribe to The Friday Thing for free


 ABOUT THE FRIDAY THING
Bad words ahead The Friday Thing is a weekly email comment sheet. Casting a cynical eye over the week's events, it is rarely fair and never balanced.

A selection of articles from each week's issue appear online, but to enjoy the full Thing, delivered by email every Friday - as well as access to almost five years of back issues - you'll need to subscribe. It's absolutely free.

READERS WRITE
"Razor-sharp comment and gossip." - The Sunday Times

"Hilariously cynical..To describe it as 'irreverent' is to do the newsletter an injustice." - The Observer

"Sharp, intelligent, opinionated, uncompromising and very, very funny. Just like 'Private Eye' used to be." - Alec McKelland

"Wicked" - Channel 4

"Ace" - Time Out

"'We rise once again in advocacy of The Friday Thing. We realize that some of you may be unwilling to spend [your money] on plain-text comment, but you're only depriving yourself." - The Minor Fall, The Major Lift

"Subscribing to this at the beginning of the year was undoubtedly one of the better decisions I've made. Superlative, and utterly marvellous. I look forward to Fridays now, because I can't wait for the next issue. Fucking fucking brilliant." - Meish.org

"Featuring writers from The Observer, Smack The Pony and The 11 O'Clock Show... will continue to attract new subscribers sight unseen" - NeedToKnow

"The Friday Thing is so good it's stopping me from doing a bunk of a Friday afternoon." - Annie Blinkhorn (The Erotic Review)

"So now" - The Evening Standard

"Damn it, you rule. May you never, ever back down." - Paul Mayze

"Ace" - PopJustice

"Snarky" - Online Journalism Review

"Can you please stop making me laugh out loud... I'm supposed to be working, you know!" - Tamsin Tyrwhitt

"Your coverage of stuff as it spills is right on the money." - Mike Woods

"Popbitch with A-Levels." - Tim Footman

"In an inbox full of trite work-related nonsense, TFT shines from under its subject heading like the sun out of Angus Deayton's arse." - Nikki Hunt

"A first rate email. It's become an integral part of my week, and my life would be empty and meaningless without it (well, *more* empty and meaningless anyway)." - Mark Pugh

"Genius, absolute bit of class. And you can quote me on that." - Lee Neville

"If you're hipper than hell, this is what you read." - MarketingSherpa

"The most entertaining email I've had all week. Great tone." - Matthew Prior

"A massive and engrossing wit injection." - idiotica.co.uk

"I wouldn't know satire if it bit me on the arse. But I did like the Naomi Campbell joke." - Matt Kelly (The Mirror)

"Has had an understandably high profile among people who know about these things." - Guy Clapperton (Guardian Online)

"Satirical sideswipes at the burning issues of the day." - Radio 5 Live

"Puerile and worthless... Truly fabulous... Do read the whole thing." - Stephen Pollard

© The Friday Thing 2001-2008 - All Rights Reserved