Friday, October 28, 2005

To be world-famous you first have to be famous in America, which I would probably never have managed even had I desired to. Not that I have anything fundamental against America. I have detailed criticisms, but I don't see how you can have those if you hate the whole place: if everything is always wrong, there is nothing they can change. And you have to admire a country so democratic that a mentally handicapped man can become President.

Very thin American men, frantic with worry because their latest boardroom embezzlement is about to be discovered, wear Ralph Lauren clothes on the weekend in order to seem relaxed, just as very fat American men who can swallow a Big Mac like a canapé wear shorts and trainer-shoes in order to seem athletic. Since their only conceivable means of rapid unassisted locomotion would be to roll downhill, the trainer shoes are purely symbolic.
Clive James provides further proof that he is one of the funniest men on the planet. Today’s Independent carries an 8 page essay from his latest collection. I wish I were half as eloquent and I’d be satisfied with being a quarter as funny.

These eight pages save the paper from being a bit of a disappointment. There are numerous typos and obvious factual errors spattered throughout and more than a couple of wholly unsatisfying stories. On page 6, for example, there is a short article informing us, no less than thrice, that Peter Jackson has been ‘fined’ for going over budget on his latest epic, King Kong. By whom, or via what authority we are left to guess. It doesn’t seem to be Universal Pictures issuing the fine because, as the article tells us, they are ecstatic about the film, even despite its unwieldy length.
(Anyone interested in the real and full story can find it here – it’s not that interesting in the end)

It’s a shame as The Independent was paper of choice this time last year at Baillie Mansions. Now it is The Guardian with The Times pulling up a close second (although they both frequently test my allegiance by publishing poorly researched stories about comics).

Worst journalism of the day though (yes, I spent an hour in the gym cafĂ© reading – is it obvious?) was found in the Evening Standard Lite. Their front page ran a story based entirely on a single sentence quote from an American radio interview with Prince Charles. They somehow managed to make the headline and the body of the article contradict each other.

When I said that things here would be quiet for the next week, that was a mistake. I meant the next three weeks. My life at the moment consists of little more than working on the two comics I promised to have ready for Brighton in November.
Oh… And occasionally visiting the gym and reading all their newspapers.

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