The Loneliest Jukebox

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Friday, April 29, 2005

Journalism 101

Inevitably, I knew that comparing a night at Walthamstow Dogs to my recent Las Vegas trip would amount to a fool's errand. I should have also worked out that a gulf exists between the training and expertise of the staff on either side of the Atlantic. This skills gap helps to explain the following remark in my inbox today: "Oh, and don't worry about your anti-social behaviour at the tote window. What's £29 between friends?"

I would apologise, but an apology in today's Sun suggested that it could be pointless. "His parents have asked us to make it clear he was not turned into a fireball, was not obsessed with the number 23 and didn't go drinking on that date every month. Julian's mother did not say, during or after the inquest, her son often got on all fours creeping around their house pretending to be Gollum." My question, particularly aimed at my journalism students, is this: how does a reporter 'accidentally' get their facts wrong in so specific a fashion?

Also in today's Sun is a Chuckle Brothers offer you should refuse: "Have you romped with Barry? Ring The Sun newsdesk on 020 7782 4105." Better still, spare us. Take the secret to the grave with you instead. TMI!

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Just left the building...

Just back from Las Vegas, about the only place I can think of where two full-size animatronic pirate galleons attack each other outside a hotel eight times a day. It's not good to be back, necessarily, but I'm not sure how long I would last out there. It got to Hunter Thompson in the end. So some catching up to do now, and possibly some beans to spill later. TTFN.

Meanwhile my Spiked commentary on the happy slaps craze appears here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Oh my god, they killed Teddy!

The other day I was stranded in St. Margaret’s bus station in Leicester. It’s not the first time and it probably won’t be the last – thank you, National Express. Faced with two hours of boredom on a Monday night and having just read the BBC’s new survey results in the build-up to its Charter Review - more on that later - I also read a comic, for the first time in years. It was called ‘Infinite Crisis’ or something. The Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), whose own DC comic was launched back when I was a teenager working in a comic shop, gets killed in the first issue. It’s not a great loss to me, but someone out there must be a bit upset. Pow! Headshot. Dead. A bit different to the innocent slapstick of the 1980s relaunch of the character, never mind the 1960s original.

If you followed my comments on Ruth Price and Agnes Smedley a while back, Price herself has put out a short commentary on the response to her new book. Read it here.

"Agnes Smedley: On Proving What Her Worst Enemies Had Claimed (Much to My
Regret)" By Ruth Price 4-11-05: History News Network

Monday, April 04, 2005

No Flowers for Karol Wojtyla

Posting has been slow of late, as I've been concentrating on other things. I have not delayed posting because - ding, dong - the Pope is dead, however. Unlike Tony Blair delaying announcing the election date, or Prince Chuck postponing his wedding, I've slowed down due to distractions with other things. It is not as a mark of respect for the man fast-tracked to Sainthood, that's for certain. Two cheers for Peter Tatchell's dissenting remarks; he seems to be finding a niche as a voice not to be restrained by maudlin conventions. He would find a kindred spirit in my flatmate, who was disappointed that John Paul II's US supporters didn't fight to get his feeding tube reinserted, with a view to keeping him in a persistent vegetative state for the next 15 years.

Readers of the print version of TES New Teachers will find my profile of Lindsay Anderson's If (you can buy the video from here). In writing it, I made use of Mark Sinker's BFI Classics book.