Monday, October 11, 2010

Except that my mother doesn’t have a basement

I have a certain amount of time for Andrew Marr, but he really shouldn’t go around casting aspersions on other people’s physical appearances. Apparently he told an audience at the Cheltenham Literary Festival that:
...most citizen journalism strikes me as nothing to do with journalism at all. A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed young men sitting in their mother's basements and ranting. They are very angry people... OK – the country is full of very angry people. Many of us are angry people at times. Some of us are angry and drunk. But the so-called citizen journalism is the spewings and rantings of very drunk people late at night. It is fantastic at times but it is not going to replace journalism. Most of the blogging is too angry and too abusive. Terrible things are said online because they are anonymous. People say things online that they wouldn't dream of saying in person.
Perhaps Mr Marr ought to look in the mirror before popping anybody else’s pimples. Or, as I suggested at The Wall:
Clearly Sturgeon’s Law – “90% of everything is crud” – applies to blogging, but it applies to most other things, including mainstream journalism. Marr might like to kid himself that his profession is characterised by plucky foreign correspondents and dogged investigative reporters, but to be honest, that’s just a thin layer of cream atop a mountain of recycled press releases, parochial banality, celebrity tittle-tattle (much of it entirely invented; “a friend said…”), dog-whistle political shit-stirring, and the sort of un-researched off-the-top-of-the-head lifestyle columns (Liz Jones, Jan Moir, etc) that uphold all the worst qualities that Marr and friends ascribe to bloggers. Clear out your own back yard, first, Andrew.
PS: Shane Richmond weighs in @ the Telegraph; also Robin Bogg, Roy Greenslade @ the Standard.


patroclus said...

Considering that there are millions of bloggers, he may well be right that 'a lot' of them are male, bald, etc. But how does he know this for a fact, unless he's been peeking into a lot of basements?

expat@large said...

I categorically DO NOT blog in my mother's basement. She doesn't have one.


Nice riposte Mr Footman.

That's Not My Age said...

And I am neither single or pimpled!

GreatSheElephant said...

I wish I could have heard the audience reaction to that. Was there a sharp intake of breath, followed by some muted sniggers or was there merely a smattering of sycophantic applause?

Chris said...

'Cauliflower' doesn't go with 'nosed', does it? I though it was usually applied to great flapping outsized lugs.


Fat Roland said...

10% of this blog post was excellent.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Hear hear!

Wot duz that Mista Mar know 'bout kwolity bloggin' eh?

And he should jolly well get a cosmetic procedure or two before casting aspidistras on other people's looks.

E. Studnicka said...

Apparently Andrew Marr hasn't had much experience with Urlai.

Tim F said...

Next you'll be telling me the internet is full of allegations about Marr's private life, Patroclus.

Your mother does have a basement, e@l. But she doesn't tell you because she knows you'll only blog in it.

Or even simpled, TNMA.

GSE: Probably a low-level muttering of "what's a blog?"

Chris: Ears of cauliflower, hearts of artichoke and a knob of butter.

As is 10% of YOUR FACE, Roland.

Or just redecorate his basement, Laura.

I bet he has, Urlai, but he's taken out an injunction to stop us talking about it.

Anonymous said...

Now now. You know he only said all that to get a rise out of you.