Friday, August 26, 2005
Rough-hew them how we will ...
"And then my heart with pleasure fills / And dances with the daffodils!"
The Old Sheep of the Lakes has written SOME good stuff, but this was definitely not it. Trite, turgid, unimaginative.
Hence appropriate for the subject matter here, which is (mostly) a Certain Publication that has been described as TOI-late Paper.
Gather round, boys and girls, and let me tell you a pointless little story. Which is very appropriate, because it's all about a bunch of clueless little people.
Or at least one clueless little person.
I ask you - why would any journo do a general story on blogging now? Why, two months after Nilanjana Roy's piece in The Telegraph on Calcutta bloggers (which SHE said was 'hurriedly done') would somebody do a story on " aaah .. hrrrmm .. well, just bloggers, you know. In Calcutta"? Why would you cold-call a blogger and ask for his / her VIEWS on blogging?
What the f**k does anybody care about my views anyway, unless I can express them in writing and make them interesting? Why in fifteen different kinds of fornication would you talk to me about bloggers, without reading their blogs?!
In all fairness, he was a sweet kid. Sounded about eighteen (i.e. a couple of years older than The Duck), faintly apprehensive, a little unsure. My instinctive reaction was to say "No, thank you" and hang up but then he mentioned that he had been referred to me by a friend (Pandit-jee, actually). Noblesse oblige. I held my fire and played the (long-suffering) perfect gentleman to the hilt.
What topics do you write on?
Ummm ... nothing in particular.
So do you generally write about social issues?
Not quite (as Goldie Hawn memorably said in Protocol when the awld bitch knocked on the loo door and asked if she was coming)
No, hardly ever.
So ... what do you write about? (Aaarrgghh .. get ON with it, infant!)
This and that, whatever comes to mind. Very often, a post on somebody else's blog inspires a response.
(Mental note - this question might come up again in the future, so I should work on some posts about (a) kinky sex (b) how to make money quickly ... yes, Mark's Fender and "the chicks for free" (c) decay in the social fabric (d) something involving Alicia Silverstone, a feather and a half-pound of melted chocolate)
The questions were a trifle halting, so I mentioned the bloggers' meet last Sunday. I slightly inflated the attendance figure from nine. Lo and behold, today he writes that "only 10 or 12 people turned up". As Kamu Mukherjee said in Shona'r Kella, "Take Indian porridge!"
Poor chap. He's probably been told that blogs are "cool" now. He had 10 column-inches to fill in 4 hours. Perhaps he doesn't have a Net connection, just a phone. He finds some leads, calls up some people and voila, he has a story on blogs. Good work, kid.
I only wish he'd write in English instead of translating from Bangla. This would rule out solecisms like "writes in the name of", obviously a literal take on "omuk naame lekhe". 'Goes by the name'? 'Uses the pseudonym'? Even 'writes as'? Nope, those wouldn't connect to his readership.
I really should shut up about TOI-late English. I was once disarmingly frank with one of their queen bees. My view was that if they can't find reporters who can write English, they should at least recruit some literate sub-editors instead of leaving the job to satta* pencillers. They've had a ban on me ever since.
A trifle ironic, then, that this young man now seeks my views; my request for anonymity should reduce the number of cuts in his copy.
And now, not only do I waste my time reading what he wrote, I waste more time writing about his writing. So who's the stoopid one here?
Coffee, I need lots of coffee.
* - satta is the numbers racket.