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I DON’T KNOW WHY… August 28, 2012

Posted by markswill in Media, Navel Gazing, Politics, Schmolitics.

…I seem to have no time to scribble random tirades and regularly propel them into the ether anymore, but then I don’t know how others have time to read them along with all the other digital effluvia, either. I can barely flick through my Daily Star these days so busy am I dealing with emails, texts, voicemails, cleaning the bath, cooking delicious meals for my legion of close, personal friends who constantly pop in for a little home-spun wisdom, marriage guidance, a cup of sugar or the inside poop on the 4.10 at Chepstow. Life, eh? It’s enough to make you want to marry a Tetra-Pak heiress.

And I don’t know why the government haven’t sacked the entire boards of all the banks we taxpayers bailed out. After all, as Bob Diamond and his crew have proven, they’re all as corrupt and venal as sin, and Cameron and Co. certainly wouldn’t hesitate for a nanosecond in sacking the head of a healthcare trust or board of school governors if the media got on their case, but maybe it’s because at heart they’re all bankers themselves, or at least millionaires, and you just don’t shit on your own doorstep?

I certainly don’t know why the pseudonymous novelist Kate Alcott got away with bemoaning in The Times how it was nigh impossible to get by on £41,000 a year in these straitened times (is that how you spell it, Blez?). Poor darling practically had a nervous breakdown when her middle-class mum chums shunned her at the school gate because she couldn’t afford little Felicity’s ballet classes anymore. Such hideous deprivation reminded me of another overheard party conversation – secondhand, obviously – as some expensively coiffed matron explained that her idea of belt-tightening was “getting the children to muck-out their own polo ponies.”

Mind you, I don’t know why even allegedly left-wing rags like the Guardian, which has now become almost unreadable as well as unaffordable, persists with endless fashion spreads featuring £600 handbags, shoes at £700 a pair and darling little £150 tank tops. Do, indeed can Guardian readers really buy this stuff, or is it merely self-indulgence on the part of the Jennifers and Melindas who for some reason are paid to puff it? Now I’m as vain as the next ex-Guardian reader, vainer probably, but I’m reduced to Uniqlo and charity shops as my personal outfitters. Still, along with whole tiers of sub-editors who on the evidence of the rising tide of typos and tortured syntax are losing their jobs at all the so-called quality ‘papers, they’ll soon be for the chop as well, because Versace and Stella McCartney clearly aren’t gonna be advertising in the Guardian anytime soon. But that doesn’t matter because its über-arrogant editor A. Rusbridger is keen to abandon his paper readers a.s.a.p. so’s he can concentrate on his digital fantasies which lose squillions a year and probably always will.

Indeed I don’t know why anyone reads newspapers anymore, at least if I’m to believe the seers who can afford to spend so much of their expensive time on LinkedIn and MediaWatch telling us that print is dead and that we should all be concentrating on smartphone apps. Which kinda of makes me wonder why the rest of the forum posters, many of whom also seem to be called Jennifer and Melinda in fact, are constantly asking “How do I find an editor for my organic hair products B2B magazine” or advice on setting up an iPad app for owl watchers… and I’m only half-kidding? I could in fact spend hours a day putting such anoraks and dreamers in their place, er, but of course I don’t have the time and on the rare occasions I do I am met with such tsunamis of ill-informed bile that it really isn’t worth it. Such as when I innocently responded to an unasked-for invitation to subscribe to an online-only motorcycle magazine with vaguely sceptical comments about website readability. That certainly larned me.

And I don’t know why summer’s finally here but the time isn’t right for dancing in the streets, festivals are being cancelled (but not our Sheep Music, ho-ho-ho – see last blog) and I’ve been through three brollies in as many weeks… although I suspect global warming.

I don’t know why my car tax and insurance have gone up, petrol’s gone down when we’re supposed to’ve used up most of the world’s oil reserves and no-one on the Today programme ever asks the hard questions about windfarms (because they don’t work), or why politicians keep bottling it on nuclear power… and most everything else that’s important, for that matter?

And for similar reasons I can’t understand how – and I’m cribbing from an excellent piece by John Naughton in a recent Observer and similar observations in the New Yorker and Prospect – Amazon, Facebook and Google, Yahooo and Microsoft are insidiously controlling what we say, think and buy with little or no accountability whilst paying virtually no tax which in order to offset the recession caused by their bankers we dutiful little people (© Leona Helmsley) have to make up for by… paying more car tax.

I don’t know why… and maybe that’s just as well because if I did, I might just take up crystal meth or Scientology.  Still, at least that’s something to look forward to in this endless winter of our discontent.

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1. Paul Blezard - August 28, 2012

Correct spelling of straitened Mark, well done.
Incorrect spelling of A. Rusbridger, poor show!
Apart from that, a thoroughly enjoyable review of er, ‘The State We’re In’ (which, IIRC is the title of an ex-Grauniad hack’s book).
To release some of that bile within your long-suffering old bod, may I recommend a 220metre bungy jump from the Verzasca Dam?
Did me a power of good last week! 😉


markswill - August 28, 2012

Blimey Blez, what a daredevil you are! Thanks for the corrective though, and yes, ‘The State We’re In’ was the title of a book by ex-Grauniad economics editor, Will Hutton, and jolly good it was too. (But nothing like my bilious whinings).

2. Frank W - August 28, 2012

Do you realy not know why? Amazing.
I have all the answers. Simply stand me an exotic and preferably expensive dinner (meat, please, none of your plantie nonsense here) and I will explain it slowly, but only once.
It starts like this (a taster); Guardian readers only pretend to be Guardian *readers* in the same way that they pretend to be caring sharing wearing their hearts on their T-shirt (Atomkraft? Nein Danke!) sleeves… as Rusbridger has long known. They only pretend to shop at Lidl. But I bet you did know that, eh?
Dinner a deux under the Sultan Mehmet bridge next week. See you there?

markswill - August 29, 2012

Sultan Mehmet bridge? Is that an Indian takeaway in Shrewsbury? I do hope so. Points taken though, and Bon Voyage Mr F.

Paul Blezard - August 29, 2012

Strange to relate, I was looking at the Sultan Mehmet Bridge for the first time only ten days ago. My Monotracer-ing companion, Ivan Diamond pictured here, actually swam the Bosporus beneath it a few weeks back, before heading for the James Bond Swiss Bungee jump last week by cabin motorcycle. As a mere lad of 40 he has many more adventures on his ‘bucket list’ still to tick off! I wonder if you have many ‘must do’ activities on a list of your own, Mark?! http://bikeweb.com/node/2535

3. nigel bull - August 29, 2012

Try http://www.newstatesman.com/media/media/2012/05/guardian-editor-alan-rusbridger-peter-wilby for a great piece on where Pretentious Polly and her gang have taken the Guardian. Myself I read the Indi as it is at least not quite so London centric and will at least discuss where some Tory policies have some merit. Granted it’s often accidental but remember without Reagan we might not have had Gorbachev, but might still have the Iron Curtain! The law of unintentional concequences is up there with Newton’s as one of life’s real world truth’s.

Three years ago Prententious Polly’s self-indulgence almost single handedly made G Brown un-electable to many and we are living with the results today. The most left wing party a poodle to the Gideon and his gang, giving a layer of respectability to policies that hit all except those at the top. They of course are getting even richer, whilst the rest of us worry about our futures, which for once even I do!

4. WTK - August 29, 2012

Mark, I don’t have much to say other than my meeting with Gordie Brown was more than underwhelming as he was clearly in the deep end of the pool, don’t know Polly but all journalists are narcissists except you and I, and finally, I would make that last sentence an “and” not an “or”, as in crystal meth AND Scientology to look on the bright side of life…

markswill - August 29, 2012

I completely forgot that you were, maybe still are a confidante of our late leader. G. Brown, and you even now are probably still managing his pension fund. As for ‘Polly’ well come on Terry, you know of whom I speak and your affections for ‘her/him’ should not deter you from the greater truths of emotional inadequacy…

WTK - August 29, 2012

This isn’t pillow talk. Other people may be reading this!!!

markswill - August 29, 2012

Come on (again) Terry, no-one else reads my rubbish. Anyway, I rather like crystal meth.. it has a certain spiritual quality to it which I’m sure you can appreciate.

WTK the Cap Pig - August 30, 2012

Yes, I see the spiritual relationship between crystal meth and Scientology. A direct parallel…yes, now I understand. People will follow a light anywhere…

5. Peter Silverton - August 30, 2012

oh, the energy of you, mark

markswill - August 30, 2012

One tries Pete, one tries.

6. David Cobbold - August 31, 2012

Great stuff Mark, once again, and one of your best.
About time someone stuffed these random (not so) rantings into printed form that more people can read.. Rival to AA Gill with another, more sympathetic, slant? Who takes amongst all those courageous publishers out there?

markswill - September 1, 2012

Steady on David, or I’ll need a bigger crash helmet!

David Cobbold - September 1, 2012

I think that we can find subscribers… at least for the helmet.. How is the Honda by the way?

7. andy tribble - September 1, 2012

Turning into Victor Meldrew, Mark!

G Brown and his crew went because they didn’t know what they stood for, they didn’t know which way they were facing, they didn’t know what was going on, and they didn’t know what to do about it. One minute they were multicultural, then they were banging on about Britishness; they had women-only lists, except when Harriet Harman’s husband wanted a safe seat; then they tried to be capitalist-friendly, because of the cash that capitalism generates, but they didn’t know what to do when the bankers rigged the casino; they poured money into the state-employed sector, but didn’t know what to do when the top state bosses put their salaries through the roof (local government bosses, council house property managers, foreign aid organisers, and many many more). They de-nationalised the railways without organising proper track maintenance. They gave us a vegetarian agriculture minister, a non-driving transport minister, and they sold the gold reserves at the bottom of the market.

If the Tories are protective of their banker pals, it’s only a match for the way that Labour splashed govviment money into their own constituencies, which is why we got two aircraft carriers built in six different places, and why they rushed to rescue Northern Rock – they wouldn’t have done the same for Cheltenham and Gloucester.

When the Euro finally sinks below the waves, as it inevitably will, there’s a possibility that this present lot might have the lifeboats ready; but Gordon Brown’s crew would deny any problem till the last minute, then start shouting at each other, then go under.

WTK - September 1, 2012


markswill - September 1, 2012

Everything you say is true Andy: politics is a career pursued by chancers and charlatans, and that’s why it appeals to ’em. That we voters tolerate it is as much an indication of our apathy as it is our in-built need to be led, possibly more so. Of course if we REALLY had the gumption to rebel against them, their self-serving laws, their nepotism etc., etc., then we would be accused of being anarchists and our likely imprisonment lauded by, well probably by the likes of WTK !

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