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Tony Grist

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Still Holding Firm [Aug. 9th, 2009|09:38 am]
Tony Grist
It's a week since I made my resolution to keep off the crystal meth newspapers- and I haven't boken it yet. I may have picked up a copy of the Daily Mail at the in-laws house, but I put it down again pretty smartish. Besides, the Mail doesn't really count, it's the broadsheets that suck me in and waste the precious minutes of my life.

I've been watching the TV news- which tells me enough of what's happening out there to keep me afloat and able to make polite conversation. Let me see, the banks have either been making obscene profits or catastrophic losses- as they do, someone or other has said the retirement age may be raised to 70 by the year 2045 (by which time I expect to be ashes), there was a power boat crash in Dover (illustrated by a tranquil, sunny view of Dover bay), the new commanding officer in Afghanistan- who wears glasses, but otherwise possesses the right degree of aristocratic hauteur- has said the army could be stuck out there for 30 or 40 years, and the England cricket team has collapsed against the Aussies at Headingley.  Gordon Brown is on holiday so we've seen nothing at all of him- which is nice.

Not reading the newspapers has freed me up to do other things- like slap yatch varnish on the window ledge by the kitchen sink, like make plum crumble (from a recipe ganked off a blog), like organise the kitchen, like sort through the first two years of this journal and restore some of the photographs that were lost when we cancelled the contract with the picture hosting site in 2005.

I was badly tempted this morning. The pull of the Sunday papers is particularly strong and insistent (childhood memories, I suppose, of how fat and juicy the Sunday Times used to be with its wonderfully innovative colour magazine) but I resisted.

[User Picture]From: heleninwales
2009-08-09 10:04 am (UTC)
I haven't actually read the papers for years, but occasionally people link to online versions of articles from the broadsheets. But I've become increasingly disillusioned with them because a lot of the stuff isn't even factually correct.

I don't know whether you listen to The Now Show on Radio 4, but towards the end of Friday's show there was the most amazing rant by a guest, who is a scientist, about some of the articles in the Dail Mail (which is apparently busy dividing all inanimate objects in the category of "Causes Cancer" or "Cures Cancer" (apparently they claimed that Facebook causes cancer!). But more worringly was his rant about the article about rape in the Daily Telegraph which completely misrepresented the research paper they'd supposedly based it on.

No, you're right. Far better to save those precious minutes to do something useful.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-08-09 01:02 pm (UTC)
On the rare occasions when I've known the inside dope on a news story the reports have usually got things wrong.

What I really need to separate myself from is the political comment and anaylysis - the articles setting out what politicians might have thought or might be thinking or ought to have done or ought to be doing.
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From: wokenbyart
2009-08-09 10:04 am (UTC)
I rarely read a newspaper - the style of reporting in most of them just pisses me off too much. I get most of my news either via the BBC news website which is the home page on our shared computer (not that the BBC is exactly impartial...) or I hear stuff via the TV news that B watches and I overhear in the next room... or I get the news via B who, after a while, can't keep it to himself!

I could happily live without hearing or reading or seeing any news for a long long time if it were not for one silly notion. I have this feeling, daft old bird that I am, that I need the news to tell me if world war 3 is declared or if we've been hit by a nuke. Er... yeah, I know. If we've been hit by a nuke... if it's local, I won't be here to know. If it isn't, I'd know about it anyway... but you see, I'm very very unobservent (and can't think how to spell that at the moment) and I suspect I'd be sitting, sick, in rubble wondering what'd happened...
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-08-09 01:05 pm (UTC)
I think it's important to have some idea what's happening in the world, so I usually watch the news programmes a couple of times a day. They annoy me very much (Channel 4 News is the least annoying) but I'm not addicted to them the way I'm addicted to newsprint.
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[User Picture]From: pondhopper
2009-08-09 03:34 pm (UTC)
I've gotten away from actual newspapers in recent years. Still, the pull of the Sunday paper is still too much for me to resist.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-08-09 03:49 pm (UTC)
I haven't actually bought a newspaper in years. If I did the problem might not be so bad- but having all the British broadsheets available on line has meant I've been spending hours with them...
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[User Picture]From: jackiejj
2009-08-10 04:04 pm (UTC)
I've always found Sunday newspapers depressing! To me they symbolized long boring stretches of time with nothing to do while the grownups lay about on the dullest day of the week.

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