| Phew, Lawrence, this is fervid stuff; I admire its (your) passion but wish
| were more calibrated, perhaps. As it is, there's little here with which to
| argue, but only rather to disagree, which need not take up anybody's
| Just a couple of crumbs for the record:
Spot on, maybe, Chris. I felt better for it and there haven't been any
choices since the cat died. Sorry to have raised my voice. It was as much
against your - as I saw it - complacency as against the burns unit of
| The word *seeming* in my post wasn't there to suggest that, for example,
| had grown a kind of opaque film of tabloidish imitation around an
| decent piece of work in order to wrongfoot the likes of us.
Didn't think it did
I just meant to
| indicate that what matters in the dynamic of this argument is that there
| many people, yourself included, to whom the article will, did, seem
| unmitigatedly crass and sensational - and I understand and respect this.
I understand that. & I was saying it *is crass. It is sensational. He can
plead diminuished responsibility if he wants. The Guardian's place in the
Mediocracy may well be a mitigating circumstance, but that does not make the
article any more worthy
| happen to disagree to an extent,
I'm not clear why. I have to guess and that leads to error.
| Gordon Burn,
| for one - might disagree entirely.
He would, wouldn't he.
The strength of your feeling and the
| stamina with which you bear your rectitude cannot in themselves arrogate
| indelibly and universally to that or any other text what is, essentially,
| judgement of and about value(s).
Nor would I have made such a claim.
| You and Ric both seem to me to have a pretty fantastical sense of what the
| Guardian might be *there for*. [Long paragraph went here treating of the
| destructiveness of the idea of 'culture'. Deleted it. Too big to be a
Well, the Guardian isn't there for *anything. It's just there. Ric must
speak for himself, but, for me, I doubt there is any fantasy involved. I
think I see it fairly clearly. I know how it got there, I think. I know what
it's operational aims etc are. So what? I condemn it
One of the things which aroused my anger was a sense that you seemed to be
saying they all have their jobs to do...
| >>>I would like to stuff each and every copy, including everything now
| in them, where the author's and editor's brains don't shine. Except for
| operational phase, that would give me considerable
| I find this more depressing than anything in the article in question.
I can understand that. It's bad rhetoric, isn't it. I didn't believe it as I
wrote it; but my voice was rising and I was holding on. The second sentence
quoted, "Except..." is hyperbole. It would give me no pleasure.
My anger is there, though, and better to express it than deny it, or so my
guru says, though whether it was appropriate to express it to everyone on
the list, I doubt. There he goes again.
| >>>The article is a conscious falling for the *same crap that Barry fell
| This 'fell for' would seem to imply, among other things, that alcoholism
| lifestyle choice. Is that what you think?
Of course not! I was referring to the myth of the Self Destructive Artist.
All that Chatterton, Jim Morrison stuff, leaving aside what he did with it
|I don't have the answer; but I *am*
| interested in forming the questions - about where my personal
& *I was speaking of the personal responsibility of the writer of the
article... I am wary of my judgement. The best advice I could give you would
be not to trust me. If someone paid me to write misleadingly maybe I'd take
it. Judge not lest ye...
as to sanity...
there are clever idiots... there are mad sane people. I worked for one of
*those not long ago. Efficient, hard-working, quick-witted - off the scale
in psychometric tests... and utterly and dangerously barmy, destroying
potential, destroying lives (unless driving people to effect suicide is not
| that one's point of view is *sane* and that contrary views, I can only
| are not.
Again, of course not. I am sure I wrote unclearly in my anger, but surely
not that unclearly.
The idea that the article in question and many like it is a useful
contribution to the world is, in the context, insane. It does greater damage
than you seem to allow and it falls so far short of what could have been
Maybe trying to do more would have led to the article being rejected. & that
would bring us back to "If I didn't do it, then someone else would" - one of
the refuges of the scoundrel
Not dangerously, homicidally insane, just... inadequate, mediocre,
self-serving, off the point... I could go on...
I pick it up. I read it. I want to say "Is that it? Is that the best you can
An article for the ruling Mediocracy
Corless-Smith & Tennyson at the moment - in answer to your question