Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Irony squared

How ironic, after writing the previous post (and some others previously in similar vein) I have got my first nasty comment. Books, Inq. linked to my "Sunday Papers" posting, calling it a "review", and someone posted a comment saying what a crap review it was. Well, it wasn't a review, it was an ironic (that word again) comment on motivation for purchasing a newspaper -- does it matter what is in it if they give away a good DVD? Acutally the answer must be "yes", because there was another mildly good DVD being given away in the "News of the World" which I saw next to the pile of Sunday Timeses, but I would not buy NotW even if they were giving away a Viggo Mortensen DVD and that's saying something. (I'd go out and buy the DVD though!) I find the nasty comment strangely hurtful, but why should I care? I know that I dislike the Sunday Times for its dishonest and cruel reporting on HIV in the 1980s. It is not a very "serious" newspaper, but nor is any daily newspaper in the UK except the FT (and that's too stodgy for me). The UK media doesn't have very high standards of accuracy, and tends to have it in for people on principle. (Glenda Slag in Private Eye summed it all up: a column starting "Don't you just love....." followed immediately by a column "Don't you just hate...." the same person.) This is tolerable, one just factors it in and doesn't take it seriously. Apart from occasions when a baseless and dangerous campaign is run week-in-week-out, for no better reason than to gain notoriety (and sell papers), and certainly not in the pursuit of journalistic truth. I still smart from the mean comment, though. I think it is because life is tough enough, and I have found blogging so far to be a civilised and amusing haven. Jenny Davidson posted a negative review the other day on Light Reading, she very sensitively did not mention the author or the book, but linked to it on Amazon instead. I agree with her sentiments.