A few years ago I did a review of The (Sydney) Magazine that came every month with The Sydney Morning Herald. It was basically an awful advertising vehicle - the first eight pages, and every second page after that, were all ads. Due to some publishing edict from on high, the staff writers all had a habit of beginning their articles like this:
We know Sydney is a great city...
Sydney is a wonderful place to live...
Of course, we're all wonderfully privileged to live in Sydney, one of the most beautiful cities in the world...
Sometimes, they would employ a lyrical non-sequitur, for instance:
Dogs make me sneeze. Isn't Sydney a great city?
But usually, brute repetition of the words 'Sydney', 'great' and 'city' seemed to be the thing. Those quotes above are all paraphrases, but I'm not really exaggerating the content of the magazine, which was just the usual yuppie clap-trap, all 'lifestyle' columns with neither life nor style. I filled several lines of my review by just repeating these quotes from the magazine.
Anyway, I got an eerie sense of deja vu when I opened a copy of The Age this morning. The cover of their arts section, (which is sold, in another bizarro editorial decision, separate from the rest of the paper) is titled - wait for it - Winter Reigns: Why Melbourne is the queen of cool. And gets worse from there:
'A2 celebrates all that is great about midwinter Melbourne'.
'In Melbourne we already know this, because winter is the season for festivals...'
'People in Melbourne pretend they like nice, pleasant, calm, don't-rock-the-boat, balmy, sea-breezy weather...'
'Our natural state is winter and Melburnians are so desperate to embrace the cold that even at the height of summer... they rush to Pellegrini's to wrap their icy paws around a steaming flat white.'
'Melburnians love winter fashion because every body gets to wear it, writes JBB.'
The headlines themselves range from cliched and meaningless:
Bleak is the new black
To the downright snobbish:
Peasant food for the time-rich.
What is it about these big newspaper publications that makes them give in to this kind of crass, meaningless pride? Is it a kind of displaced patriotism (patriotism being a bad word now amongst many of the people who regularly read these papers)? The only difference I can see between The (Sydney) Magazine and the arts pages of The Age are that, while the former displays the worst kind of oafish egotism, the latter has a more inward-looking vanity. The Age is like that irritating cousin who constantly talks about what they did and what they're doing and what they will do, but somehow never get to talking about you. The Age affects self-knowledge, but it's all really quite simple and arrogant self-display: they talk about what all of Melbourne is doing and what everyone in Melbourne likes.
Basically, they're huge liars. But they haven't let it stop them yet.
Tim, your links stink, you fink!
- John Bangsund's Threepenny Planet
- Broken Biro
- Poetry 24
- Superlative scribbles
- Kirstyn McD!
- Rorrim a tsomla almost a mirror
- More Sterne
- Cam the man from the Dan.
- Too hot to Raaaaaaandallllllll!
- Erin's Excellently Everlasting Effervescements!
- Slammy Infamy
- Hail Paco!
- Baron Blandwagon, purveyor of cyberbunnies, hawker of Roger Corman, and Misruler of the Multiverse
- The Bolta. Aiyeeeeee!!!!!
- Bad Apple Audrey
- The cartoon church
- Sir Martinkus
- A Zemblanian abroad and at home
- A hodge podge of hotzeplotz
- THE SLAMMA!
- Jottlesby's nottings, or should that be Nottlesby's jottings?
- The Snarking of the Hunt
- Jazzy Hands
- David of Metal City
- David the Barista
- The Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony
- Be an Opinion Dominion Minion!
- ... and Fel
- His brilliant career - from whale sushi to crumbed prawn
- Jo Blogs
- Yet another Tim
- Was two peas, now three peas
- ... Still Life - now with extra rotating cats!
- An Amazingly Awesome Australian Ampersand!
- Blink and you'll miss 'er
- Red in the land of the tigers!
- Wire of Vibe
- Chase him, ladies, he's in the cavalry!
- The Non-palindromical Editrix in Germanium
- Old Sterne
- The briefs...
- ... and the brieflets
- The Purple Blog
- Blairville, lair of all that is wicked and perfidious
- The enticingly acronymical CSH
- EXTREEEEEEEME WYNTER!
- Mark of California
- Silent Speaking
- Lexicon the Mexican
- ► 2015 (106)
- ► 2014 (135)
- ► 2013 (173)
- ► 2012 (275)
- ► 2011 (261)
- ► 2010 (288)
- ► 2009 (290)
- ► 2008 (316)
- The Rants Pants
- A Suggested Cultural Activity
- How to not quite quit
- The Scent of Wet Office Worker
- Underpants of Mystery
- A provocative question
- A Meditation on Human Failings
- Teen Squeam
- A pointless post, in points
- Bottoms! Bottoms! Bottoms! Bottoms! Bottoms! Botto...
- Fat is unpatriotic
- The Weekly Fop #2: Duck Fops!
- Any Tense You've Got
- Fashion! Religion! Bad puns!
- Extra! Extra!
- Review: Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell
- History Segment!
- They Don't Write Books Like They Used To...
- The Weekly Fop #1: Cerealism
- Please Do Not Apply
- An Announcement...
- An Afterthought...
- Too Twee for Two
- If Magazine Subscribers Were Like Football Fanatic...
- For my next trick...
- Tennis? It's All A Load of Balls, Really...
- Six Word Phrases You May Not Want To Hear
- Tales From Earthsea
- A Band Called Rubber
- Postmodernism Explained
- All About Cows
- The Daily Tele Graph
- ▼ June (33)
- ► 2006 (373)
- ► 2005 (287)