Tuesday, 1 November 2011


Spend most of the day feeling cross with a newspaper. Not the South China Morning Post (even though they can piss me off) but the Independent, the newspaper of home, in the UK, which I read online.

They won't let me look at their website, which I do every morning with coffee. That is my routine.

Well not today. Instead, they deliver Error 400 Error 502 and Bad Request, as if I am naughty for trying to look. They know I am cross, because then they mock me, and suggest I might need guru meditation.

Dig says it is all my fault. He says I cannot manage a computer. I cannot believe that. I am taking it personally. After a lot of upset and some lip-peeling curses, I flush out a screen that reads ok.

No, Independent, it is not ok.

Because when I finally do wrangle a scrap of news, what do I find? A stream which is headed by Susan Boyle having a temper tantrum, Katie Price living in a hut, Gwyneth Paltrow doing something, and Michelle Williams doing something else (I don't even know who she is). As a sop to women going through the menopause, or any middle-class female readers with a dented head, next comes the news that Sylvia Plath did some drawing.

Finally, finally, underneath that lot, comes a reference to the Greek financial crisis.

I have slaved all day to receive this.

I am seriously not impressed. This follows the headline of two weeks ago: Rihanna in trouble for touching strippers. A story maybe lifted from the Sun. I am still cross about that, too.

Stupidly, I wanted a newspaper that assumed the impact of the Greek economy is more significant to a reader's life than a glamour model's sleeping arrangements, or what a singer does with a stripper.

Independent, if I want a stream of celebrity shit stories I'll buy a trash celebrity magazine, ok? I remember the days when you wouldn't have been seen dead with Katie Price. When politics, public policy, world affairs, and environmental issues were priorities. But I guess these tedious matters don't really encourage circulation or advertising; maybe they simply don't bring in as much money as Katie Price's bosom.

For my part, if the prurient strand continues, the love affair is over. You may as well be on equal footing with the South China Morning Post.

Shark had to calm me down. She is a better guru than anything the Independent can offer. She handed out three batches of bread (result of experiments with proportions of salt and yeast) and said my reading of China's history (Eastern Zhou to Western Zhou) was interesting. So you can bet she is not on your future readership list either if you insist on keeping it up with Katie Price.

I'm in a minority; the politics of food is still worthwhile to me.


sharon said...

We were similarly pissed off too. However there is an RSS feed to subscribe to for each of the paper's sections which does give you the stories. Yesterday it was rather cumbersome but did work. I will persist with it in the hope that it improves. Loath to forgo the Indy as we have read it since inception.

Rachel M. said...

Yeah the news has become complete crap everywhere. I know more about random celebrities from just reading the header lines then I do of actual news. And I learned all about the Greek financial crisis from boss who went on a profanity laced tirade about the entire mess. I couldn't quite figure out why he was so incensed about it. He totally lost me so I'm still in the dark. Today I walked into his office and thought he was still on the same subject when he announced "Beware of Greeks baring gifts because....." I answered they might be wearing underpants. I'm not good under pressure! Apparently he wanted me to say because they might leave a Trojan horse. I got the exasperated hands and look that says you young people today know nothing about history.

Gweipo said...

IHT and you get NYT free online as well ... and its not all just financial news like the FT.

MadameSmokinGun said...

The Independent is crap anyway - way too 'we're clever and to prove it we'll be sneering about everything and drop in references to things we think you should know but assume you don't because you're never going to be as clever as us'...... Gave up reading that insincere cynical bollocks years ago. Think it's funny they're now only reporting on Susan Boyle (are they not joining in with the 'Subo' tag? ...how sweet) and Katie Price-of-everything-but-value-of-nothing.... How the mighty have fallen etc! Standing at Sainsbury's till the other day I found myself soaking in some magazine called something like 'It's a Great Life' or some such twaddle and every cover headie was 'My abortion hell', 'When muggers stole my mother', 'Anorexia memoirs', 'The facelift that devoured my brain' etc etc.... But surely 'we' demand it!!!??? x