Author Topic: Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?  (Read 13362 times)

Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #120 on: April 04, 2007, 05:35:38 PM »
It's not objectively poor. It's shit, but that's a subjective opinion.

Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #121 on: April 04, 2007, 05:41:50 PM »
I think the average child would find it embarrassing to read. I don't mean that as a cheap shot either but as a serious point.

Beagle 2

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Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #122 on: April 04, 2007, 07:13:41 PM »
That Mangan girl is swinging it more I think, even than Sammo. Yesterday in her column I'm yet to actually discover the point of she did a piece about the Picture Loans advert and how it was shit. Not even the proper Picture Loans advert from over a year ago we all laughed at heartily, realising it was obviously done as shit as possible to get the students and the unemployed stoners talking about it and how shit it was, but the second follow up one with the woman, the Be Here Now of Picture loan adverts, seemingly suffering a similar press backlash. Really, is that it, is that what it takes these days? Never at any point when I've been sat giggling at the bloke out of Picture Loans  going "How much do we want to borrow, £25,000?", and ripping it to pieces have I thought "Y'know, I should be writing this shit down".

The general gist of it was "credit us with some intelligence ad makers!". Credit me with some, The Guardian.

Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #123 on: April 04, 2007, 09:05:45 PM »
Exactly. It's not just Wollaston, who I accept is in danger of turning into a pantomime villain figure who, if he were given his marching orders from The Guardian, would supposedly single-handedly bring about a raising of standards in lifestyle journalism. (Apart from anything, he'd probably become TV critic and, er, "scooter critic" somewhere else.)

No, it is a trend, not merely one writer being appalling. Let me toss into the mix at this point the toss of Deborah Ross of The Independent. Anyone read her "Our Woman in Crouch End" column? She is Private Eye's Polly Filler personified. Apparently Simon Kelner finds her the cleverest, the funniest and all that. I want to punch her in the teeth. (God, and her interview pieces...) The worst thing is, there are about 850 other similar columnists scattered across the press, all of them somehow over-educated but with no actual knowledge about anything.

Still, there might be a (wildly inconsistent) God after all. Glossy magazine So London has gone bust after issue two. Now, ordinarily, I hate to see magazines fold so quickly, but to be honest, on hearing the news, I pissed myself laughing. Staffed largely by people called Appleyard, it's the sort of magazine where the list of staff contributors had "Currently living in/Would like to live in" comments. One of them read: "Currently living in: Holland Park. Would like to live in: Hampstead." The dripping you can hear is my heart emptying. Anyway, it was unreadable G2-style smug bollocks about nothing whatsoever hoping to find a readership mortgaged up to the eyeballs but somehow enjoying that feeling.

Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #124 on: April 04, 2007, 10:27:05 PM »
Quote from: "Part Chimp"
I don't get the "what are you going to do about it?" angle. It always seems to crop up when a critique of writing is involved. If someone plays a bad guitar solo I don't pick up a guitar and try to out-solo them. Nor do I feel obliged to let them know that they've played badly. However, I might go on an internet forum and join a debate about whether the solo was good or bad, because that's fun/interesting to me. Why should my response to an article in a newspaper be any different from that?


I didn't mean it in a nasty way as I said. I can't stand that kind of attitude either - "oh yeah, you think YOU could do better?" You don't have to be a chef to know when food tastes manky. No, the reason I ask is because ELW10 is a very articulate, knowledgeable chap and he really might be in a position to effect change, even if it is small change. Also, the thread spiralled into discussion about the machinations of The Guardian, thanks to comments from "insiders". I think ELW10 upsets himself unnecessarily sometimes though.

Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #125 on: April 04, 2007, 10:28:34 PM »
Quote from: "The Mumbler"
I think the average child would find it embarrassing to read. I don't mean that as a cheap shot either but as a serious point.


I don't think the average child would be interested in it. I'm sure some people are interested in it, though.

Is there any good TV criticism about at all? As I said earlier I enjoy Off The Telly. But in the print media is there any?

Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #126 on: April 04, 2007, 10:31:23 PM »
Mmm, there was a deeply unpleasant but by Ms Ross recently where she stated her desire to pull out the hair of some till-jockey in a shit retail outlet for the crime of... not serving her quite quickly enough. This was stated with absolutely no self-awareness whatsoever.

Quite a lot of these people would appear to have not had proper actual jobs ever.

Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #127 on: April 04, 2007, 10:44:14 PM »
They've paid their dues, they cut the mustard and they deliver. Does anything else matter, Jack? You're just bitter, and no, I can't get you a job like mine.

Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #128 on: April 04, 2007, 10:45:18 PM »
Quote from: "Ciarán"
Quote from: "The Mumbler"
I think the average child would find it embarrassing to read. I don't mean that as a cheap shot either but as a serious point.


I don't think the average child would be interested in it. I'm sure some people are interested in it, though.

Is there any good TV criticism about at all? As I said earlier I enjoy Off The Telly. But in the print media is there any?


Well, there are a few million Doctor Who viewers under the age of 12, so they might be interested in what someone else thought.

"Is there good TV criticism?" No, not at the moment. There are a handful of good writers who happen to be TV critics at present - Nancy Banks-Smith (although as Lalla acknowledged, she's been much better), Thomas Sutcliffe in the Independent, Stephen Pile in the Saturday edition of the Telegraph - but I rarely find their current writings much cop. This is why I wonder if the section editors are part of the problem. Are they setting an agenda, and are writers having to adhere to it?

Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #129 on: April 04, 2007, 10:54:42 PM »
Quote from: "The Mumbler"
Quote from: "Ciarán"
Quote from: "The Mumbler"
I think the average child would find it embarrassing to read. I don't mean that as a cheap shot either but as a serious point.


I don't think the average child would be interested in it. I'm sure some people are interested in it, though.


Well, there are a few million Doctor Who viewers under the age of 12, so they might be interested in what someone else thought.


Yeah, their mates. Not The Guardian's TV critic though.

Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #130 on: April 04, 2007, 11:12:31 PM »
It's pretty irrelevant what the average child - or any child - would think of Wollaston's review. The Guardian is aimed at grown adults. Wollaston's review is for grown adults. Or by sanctioning reviews like this, are they just being "inclusive"?

Mr. Analytical

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Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #131 on: April 04, 2007, 11:13:51 PM »
Aaaaah... that might explain it.

Wollaston's writing his columns with the mentally handicapped in mind.

niat

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Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #132 on: April 12, 2007, 10:12:17 AM »
Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever:

Quote
Ah, lovely, a chance to marvel at the beauty of tigers. It's just a shame they'll all be gone soon

Sam Wollaston
Thursday April 12, 2007
The Guardian


Surely there's nothing in this world lovelier than a tiger, slinking through the jungle, with those enormous feet, then breaking into a lazy lollop, accelerating up to attack speed, and crashing into the water to bring down some hapless deerlike thing?
But, yes, there is! Baby tigers, little tiglets, tiggers, tugging and tumbling playfully and just a little bit viciously, a hint of what's to come. They've got outsize feet already, and that cute way of walking with their feet turned in a bit. They're kittens, but a bit bigger, and bit badder, little asbo cats. Mmmm. I want one. Get me one, Daddy, right now! Quick, before they've all gone!

Because soon they will all be gone, as we see from Natural World (BBC1). You can't really go wrong with a film about tigers, and this one is especially beautiful. India's a perfect backdrop - with romantic, ruined palaces perched precariously on top of jungly hills, and huge fruit bats flopping about in front of the moon. But the message isn't a good one: tigers are on the way out. And here's the evidence - dozens of tiger skins, taken from just one smuggler's truck, all laid out on a road. Actually it looks OK, a road carpeted in tiger skins, in a decadent 1970s kind of way. I might suggest it to my local residents' association. And cars would probably slow down, out of respect, making the streets safer for children. If India's tigers are going down, they may as well do so in a good cause.
Anyway, back east, it's the Chinese who are to blame, for using ground-up tiger bones instead of Viagra - bones for boners. Come on, guys, that's simply wrong, use rhino horns instead - the horn for the horn - because rhinos are less cute. Blake never wrote a poem about one, did he? Rhino rhino, big and grey/charging 'cross the plains all day ... I don't think so.

The Tibetans are also the problem, for making tiger skin the Burberry of the high plains. Well, it was a problem until the Dalai Lama spoke out, with his official fashion statement. "Tiger skins?" he said to his people. "So last year, darling! Burn them!" And they did.

But, most of all, it's India itself that is the problem, for being so hopeless at saving its own tigers. They set up these organisations that have top-level meetings and say all the right things, but very little is actually done and the poachers keep on killing the tigers, right under the noses of the people who are supposed to be looking after them. And now there are these lovely tiger sanctuaries, with guards and everything, just lacking one thing: tigers. Sort it out; tigers are cool.

Surely there's nothing less lovely in this world than the Sussex family in Property Ladder (Channel 4). Mark and Linda, and their teenage kids, Hannah and Ben, have turned themselves, as a family, into a property-development company. "We decided to start property developing mainly to raise university fees for us," explains Hannah. "And also, I guess, to spend time as a family."

Eurrgh! What's wrong with you, girl? Go out with your friends. And you, Ben. Or lock yourselves in your rooms, and put on some loud music. Don't get up in the morning, be less bovvered. You're children, stop developing property. Instead of worrying about the future, live a bit now. Or one day you'll get to the end of your little lives, and though you'll have property empires, you won't have really lived at all.

The Apprentice (BBC1) is based on a big, fat lie. "This is not a game, this is a job interview," says Sir Alan. Except it's not, is it? It is a game. If it wasn't, there wouldn't be all these monstrous freaks present - horrid, two-faced backstabbers no sane person would want anywhere near their company. Be honest, Sir Alan, you don't want them. And they don't want you. Do you really think they gave up their jobs for a slim chance of coming to work for Amstrad? In Brentwood? Or could it possibly have been to get on the telly?

And what kind of job is it, anyhow? If it's so great, how come the two previous apprentices, winners of series one and series two, don't work for you any more? It's a game - you know it, we know it - for television. Not that I care. Because it's bloody good television, just about the best there is right now.


I was going to highlight some particularly cunty parts, but fucking hell, I'd have to highlight the lot. The tiger skins part made me want to track down Mr Wollaston, skin him, and hang his shabby carcass out as an example to other talentless hacks.

Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #133 on: April 12, 2007, 10:18:17 AM »
If G2 slapped a ban on writers using rhetorical questions because they think it looks conversational and therefore not stuffy, it would be a series of blank pages.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #134 on: April 12, 2007, 12:00:29 PM »
It's encouraging to see you can make it as a journalist by typing away fairly thoughtlessly.

'Sort it out- tigers are cool' nicely sums up how much G2 journalists actually care about important issues. Being cool is better than being sanctimonious I suppose, but unfortunately no-one will take you seriously.

'Sort it out- Africa is cool'?
'Sort it out- Affordable housing is cool?'
'Sort it out- The Aral sea is cool'?

Sheldon Finklestein

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Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #135 on: April 12, 2007, 01:36:55 PM »
Quote from: "Sam Wollaston"
India's a perfect backdrop - with romantic, ruined palaces perched precariously on top of jungly hills, and huge fruit bats flopping about in front of the moon.

Gee, I wonder if he has dreams of being a novelist... Call the aliteration police.  Fuck's sake, I can't believe anyone gets paid to write that shit. I was half expecting him to say:
Quote from: "Sam Wollaston"
Yeah, yeah. So what exactly is an endangered animal? Well, it's just like a normal animal, but... it's a bit endangered. Yay, chinnywag!

I wonder, is Sam Wollaston proud of what he writes? I was recently looking through a book of the collected reviews of Kenneth Tynan. On every page, his intellect and perception shine through. And he's funny; witty, as opposed to trying to get laughs with a louche 'eh, lads?' persona. I'm not asking for a reviewer of Tynan's quality in G2, just of the same work ethic. Someone who cared about what they were writing would be nice.

Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #136 on: April 12, 2007, 01:47:55 PM »
Christ, can you imagine John Lahr editing The Wollaston Diaries in 30 years? "Volume 3: 2001-2009: How I Just Sort of Blithered Away About Sod All. Again."

Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #137 on: April 12, 2007, 03:20:02 PM »
Does anyone know what Wollaston did before the Guardian? I'm curious to know how he got hired.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #138 on: April 12, 2007, 03:25:00 PM »
He has no wikipedia entry, so I'm guessing his history isn't long or interesting enough to be of value.

Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #139 on: April 12, 2007, 03:28:35 PM »
That's interesting in itself. From nowhere to a Guardian writer? I'm guessing our Sam got in through connections rather than actual talent - it happens often enough. But weren't people saying "he paid his dues and blah-de-blah" on a previous page?

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #140 on: April 12, 2007, 03:31:38 PM »
I think terminallyrelaxed's argument was that he works and has worked so damn hard as a general office dogsbody to get on the journalism ladder, he's a bit of a hero to be able to churn out 500 words of unintelligble rubbish 3/4 times a week.

Uncle TechTip

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Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #141 on: April 12, 2007, 04:09:21 PM »
According to the top search result on Google his career to date is TEFL then Music Editor & Motoring Editor and Deputy Features Editor, the Guardian.

mothman

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Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #142 on: April 12, 2007, 04:23:43 PM »
TR was actually trying to explain why the Guardian might have this guy doing this stuff - because he's a staff writer and is dependable to at least be there & available when something needs writing. He also touched on how some of the vitriol directed at the Wollaston was cuased from jealousy that he IS able to write for a national newspaper despite having no obvious talent.

Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #143 on: April 12, 2007, 06:27:45 PM »
Quote from: "mothman"
some of the vitriol directed at the Wollaston was cuased from jealousy that he IS able to write for a national newspaper despite having no obvious talent.
Surely that's as good a reason as one could have for despising Wollaston?

rudi

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Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #144 on: April 13, 2007, 05:10:38 AM »
Quote
because he's a staff writer and is dependable to at least be there & available when something needs writing.


I now have the mental image of him settling down for sleep in a dog basket in the editor's office.

mothman

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Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #145 on: April 13, 2007, 11:11:44 AM »
Should we blame Wollaston, or the people who employ him? Not to say that Wollaston isn't blameless. I wonder if he knows how rubbish he is, and just doesn't care; or does he truly believe he's doing good work?

Hell, he could have the last laugh - he might, while slaving away earning a crust writing rubbish TV reviews, be putting the final touches on what would one day be hailed as the first great novel of the 21st century! In 5 years time we might all have signed copies in pride of place on our bookshelves! He'd be an 'A'-Level text!

No, I don't think it's likely, but I have a firm respect for the universe's sense of irony.

Lfbarfe

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Is this the worst Sam Wollaston "review" ever?
« Reply #146 on: April 15, 2007, 12:28:00 AM »
Quote from: "rudi"
I now have the mental image of him settling down for sleep in a dog basket in the editor's office.


Terminallyrelaxed did say that Wollaston was a staffie.