Sunday 29 June 2008

No News Is Good News

Less than a week ago, freshly returned from a spell of blissful newslessness in France, I suggested we might all be happier for not following the news. Since then, semi-consciously, I have been almost following my own suggestion. Apart from a quick, dispiriting skim of a single Sunday paper, I have ignored the newspapers altogether - a risky course in my line of business perhaps, but what the hey? I can report that I feel a great deal less miserable about things, a good deal less mentally cluttered, confused and ground down - and I have done more of the things that are worth doing (reading books, listening to music, staring slack-jawed into the middle distance) with the time saved by not ploughing through the depressing, banal, ill-written, self-important, vastly oversized publications that make up our much prized 'national press'.
(On the subject of size, it's always a shock to come across a national newspaper from even 30 years ago - they were tiny! The stranglehold of the printers' unions was in all kinds of ways deplorable - but at least it meant small, easily digestible newspapers - and more time for the population to get on with their lives, doing things more worthwhile than reading the papers.)


  1. Nige, do you think a persons newspaper reading history may say something about them ? mine would be, in chronological order, Daily Mirror, Telegraph, Evening chronicle, Evening News, Times, The Scotsman. I've now stopped taking daily newspapers, mostly hogwash, and were having ongoing, meaningful discussions regarding the Sundays, fed up with Jenkins and Gill, as for Clarkson, an empty headed turd, living off the backs of all of the hard working people in the motor industry. Need Liddle to cheer me up, Martin Ivens is pretty much on the ball, thoroughly enjoy Januszczak, can read BA on the blog, the rest is becoming a blur. The other Sunday may well go, The Scotsman on Sunday, is becoming alarmingly tribal, today hurling accusations at the fiendish English Tories for suggesting altering their daylight saving times, most of the press up here have a pathological distrust of anything Tory, The hatred for Thatcher is surreal. she's less popular than Myra Hindley.

  2. I don't know, Malty, mine began with childhood Telegraph, then youthful Guardian, then all over the place, from everything to nothing. I'm only happy my newspaper-reading days seem to be drawing peacefully to a close. Living in Scotland must be very wearing - cut 'em adrift I say, see how they like it...

  3. Malty, I love The Scotsman! When my husband and I were in Scotland a couple of summers ago, the paper was having a rip-roaring time covering some politician named Tommy who'd been accused of getting it on with a prostitute. His wife came to court to defend him and said Tommy had such a hairy back the prostitute would have been sure to mention it and she didn't, hence, it was a frame job. Tommy offered to take off his shirt to show the court.

    Love it! Is Tommy still a politician? Still hairy?

    BTW, we *loved* Scotland, from Edinburgh to the Highlands, and would love to go back and live there, at least in the summer. Have you climbed Nevis?

  4. Susan, Tommy Sheriden is indeed a character, three or four in a bed romps in hotel bedrooms with hookers, sleaze par excellence, now he and his wife are due back in court on perjury charges, wonderfull stuff, restores your faith in human nature. Now sadly no longer a politician, upset the women socialists and they sacked him. The Scotsman has gone to the dogs since The nationalists came to power, circulation plummeting. Ben Nevis, yes climbed it many times, latest was between Xmas and New Year, been seeing a physio ever since (inability to recognize the ravages of Anno Domini) conditions can be Alpine. If you ever visit again there's a good easy route to summit, Someone took a model T Ford up in pieces in the 1930s.
    Nice to see Barack and Hillary doing a Light of the Silvery Moon number.

  5. Staring slack-jawed into the middle distance is one of my favorite things.

  6. A very erudite, intelligent friend of mine hasn't read the newspapers in 15 years. Nor does he watch TV or listen to the radio. He hears reports from the 'Matrix' from friends, and knows enough about what's going on it in from them.

    Its a question to ask whether he is more or less in touch with reality, being in touch with an unMEDIAted reality.