Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday papers, for once.

I bought a copy of the Sunday Times today for the first time in years, as they are offering a free DVD of a movie that is around 154 on my Amazon DVD rental list, Donnie Darko (director's cut). All the trendy Time-Outers and other London cool people rave about this movie so I suppose I should see it, or at least Cathy may like it. (A few months ago in the Times, their media columnist opined that it is DVDs that sell papers now. Seems like he's right.) So I shelled out one pound sixty and got about 10 kilos of newspaper round the cardboard DVD sleeve. Malcolm read the sports pages so I guess it was not a total waste. I looked at one of the sections called "Culture", with large picture of Dolly Parton on front. (But remembering Jordan on Times book-review supplement the other week, suppressed irritation). The culture section was predictably rubbish until near the end, after every other possible medium had been reviewed to death, there was quite a reasonable books section. Highlights for me were Brenda Maddox on a new biography of the scientist J C Bernal, a review of a life of Edward III (I usually enjoy reviews of history books without feeling much urge to read the books themselves), and an essay by Brian Appleyard on a Johnathan Glover book about ethics of genetic manipulation. Plenty more (and very varied) to choose from though, but with a more parochial perspective than the Times proper I feel. (The two are quite distinct newspapers.) I don't think I'll be buying the Sunday Times again, though, unless they give away any more good DVDs. It isn't that good a paper, and I still haven't forgiven it for its wickedly irresponsible anti-HIV campaign of the 1980s, under the editorship of Andrew Neil.