Recently I made the mistake of sending someone who I knew liked the Guardian an alert about a news digest they’re offering – with the message attached that I don’t know why she likes the Guardian so much because the reporters use too many commas. I shouldn’t have made that comment, since obviously she didn’t care, but here’s the thing. The Guardian bothers me. I think it’s slovenly. As a news outlet I hold it just a few notches above the Washington Post. I read them because it’s my job, but they’re both messy punditry and I’d rather read the Economist, the New York Times, even the Globe & Fucking Mail. I’d rather read a commie newsletter and balance it out with the Wall Street Journal. I’ll pass on information about it to oblige a friend, but I refuse to ignore the fact I’m fucking sick of “left” publications that mix up counter-culture and social revolution - and use crappy punctuation while they do it. But I didn’t say any of that. I just commented on the Guardian’s abuse of commas.
Anyways, she got stroppy, saying that even though it was sloppy it chose better things to report internationally than any other paper. I mentioned the International Herald Tribune – a paper which also has the benefit of apparently being proofed before it’s published (I didn’t say that last bit out loud, though). She said she didn’t like the IHT because she’d read it on a plane once and couldn’t get into it. What the fuck do I say to that? Nothing. It'd be like trying to convince Adam Smith man wasn't born into a garden so urban centres may have pre-dated agriculture. I wish people were legally obliged to read three newspapers a day. Or else to read a different newspaper every day. That would be so keen. It’s far, far too easy to choose something that doesn’t challenge its readers – playing to the choir, playing to the choir. How the hell we’re supposed to figure each other out like that, I’ve got no idea.