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Who are the worst writers in The Guardian? [split topic]

Started by Mobbd, January 23, 2021, 03:33:56 PM

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Which 90s rap crew is Elizabeth Holmes going to feud with?

phantom_power

I hear she bought an unreleased Boo-Ya T.R.I.B.E album for $11.89

dissolute ocelot

Last week brought an article in which Adrian Chiles wondered how local government works but never found out. This week, Zoe Williams wonders about "ghost kitchens", places that cook food for delivery rather than on-site eating, and briefly speculates what might go on inside. She's been in restaurants as a customer, and she's heard rumours, but she doesn't actually find out anything. The end.

This isn't actually the worst writers, it's the worst journalists.

Cold Meat Platter


Mobbd

I'd like to give dishonorable mention to Oliver Wainwright, the architecture critic. https://www.theguardian.com/profile/oliver-wainwright

He really is a fucking idiot. I hate him.

This is the way he starts an article last week about African architecture:

QuoteVisiting the International Fair of Dakar is like taking a stroll through the ruins of some ancient Toblerone-worshipping civilisation.

He's referring to the pyramid shape of some historic and present-day African buildings. He manages to trivialise, pander, and patronise (both the cultural subject and the readers) at the same time and before he says anything else at all.

I don't know how you can have the privilege to be sent off on these cultural adventures and presumably to have received a beautiful arts education and still be such a trivial know-nothing Whitey dweeb.

I miss old-fashioned "pretentious" cultural commentators who took their subjects seriously. This article is almost like an extended "bit." Oliver. Mate. You're not a jaded Charlie Brooker sitting in your own filth with only digital cable channels for company. You're a fucking architecture critic with license to travel the world on your company's increasingly rare dime. Fucking act like it.

gilbertharding

Quote from: Cold Meat Platter on January 17, 2022, 11:57:08 PMTakeaways then

Well, no. Not quite.

As someone in the comments to Zoe's article points out, though, if she'd really wanted to know something about Ghost Kitchens, she could simply have read the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2021/apr/25/deliveroo-tech-delivery-restaurant-service-dark-kitchens

gilbertharding

Quote from: Mobbd on January 18, 2022, 11:53:31 AMHe's referring to the pyramid shape of some historic and present-day African buildings.

He isn't though. He's referring to some very specific buildings which were designed in response to an attempt to find a new 'asymmetrical parallelism', and it's just the opening paragraph to quite an interesting round up of Senegalese architecture. How else do you describe form and shape, without recourse to simile and metaphor?

Whoever wrote the headline (Tented Love) can fuck off though. I'll give you that.

Mobbd

Quote from: gilbertharding on January 18, 2022, 01:46:34 PMHe isn't though. He's referring to some very specific buildings which were designed in response to an attempt to find a new 'asymmetrical parallelism', and it's just the opening paragraph to quite an interesting round up of Senegalese architecture. How else do you describe form and shape, without recourse to simile and metaphor?

Toblerones though. Toblerone-worshiping culture. Come on. Utterly trivial, pathetic and banal. It has the same vapid nothingly laziness as some of the columnists rightly loathed here. And to me, it's magnified given the subject matter and Olly's position.

Quote from: gilbertharding on January 18, 2022, 01:46:34 PMWhoever wrote the headline (Tented Love) can fuck off though. I'll give you that.

I almost mentioned that but, as you say, it would have been someone else. They can absolutely fuck off as well though.

gilbertharding

They do look like Toblerone segments though. They're not pyramidal. They're even brown...

While we're on architecture, I was amazed to find out that Rowan Moore (thoughtful, sensitive, liberal architecture critic of the Observer) is the brother of noted Torygraph headbanger Charles Moore.

beanheadmcginty

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on January 17, 2022, 11:50:27 PMLast week brought an article in which Adrian Chiles wondered how local government works but never found out. This week, Zoe Williams wonders about "ghost kitchens", places that cook food for delivery rather than on-site eating, and briefly speculates what might go on inside. She's been in restaurants as a customer, and she's heard rumours, but she doesn't actually find out anything. The end.

This isn't actually the worst writers, it's the worst journalists.

Williams doesn't half type out some shite, and seems to knock out about three different columns a day. Credit where credit's due though, she does show surprising self awareness with this line in her column today about journalists and drinking: "When the nation decided to put in charge of the country a bunch of men whose formative professional years were 80s and 90s Fleet Street, the obvious risks were that they would run the place like a newspaper column, with tiny amounts of knowledge parlayed into huge statements"

Mobbd

Quote from: beanheadmcginty on January 18, 2022, 02:57:27 PMrun the place like a newspaper column, with tiny amounts of knowledge parlayed into huge statements"

Wow!

shoulders

Quote from: gilbertharding on January 18, 2022, 01:52:44 PMWhile we're on architecture, I was amazed to find out that Rowan Moore (thoughtful, sensitive, liberal architecture critic of the Observer) is the brother of noted Torygraph headbanger Charles Moore.

They're related so that bumps down the shock factor by a cool 100%

phantom_power

If you were to judge by the gap between their actual ability and how much praise they get on Twitter then Marina Hyde would win hands-down. Her toothless cockwomblery is always been retweeted by dickheads with "This. Just this" or "Sticking it to Boris"

idunnosomename

Also she is kind of a demi-god for other journalists and broadcasters to heap inordinately superlative praise upon her "bits"

It's like some cult and she's a fetish. Or a totem. I forget. Let's go with a fetish.

But really it's a pressure valve for how far criticism of an establishment can be allowed go. From the daughter of a baronet who started after Christ Church writing with The Sun late 90s

jobotic

Total Queen!

Although if she's that good how come she didn't come up with Maybot or Classic Dom? Huh?

Paul Calf

And she fucked Piers Morgan. You have to question her judgement.

phantom_power

There is no passion or point of view behind what she does either. You could see her being just as comfortable writing the same stuff about pretty much anyone instead of Boris if the audience wanted it. It isn't so much "sticking it to both sides" as "there are no sides"

gilbertharding

Quote from: shoulders on January 19, 2022, 10:40:17 PMThey're related so that bumps down the shock factor by a cool 100%

Erm... I know. They're brothers. Like I said. Or am I missing something?

shoulders

Quote from: gilbertharding on January 20, 2022, 02:57:42 PMErm... I know. They're brothers. Like I said. Or am I missing something?

Sorry, when you typed amazed I didn't detect sarcasm.

My point was that regardless of political differences the fact both of them are related with cushy jobs eliminates any surprise factor and replaces it with 'here we go again'.

gilbertharding

Ah - I see what you mean. Of course, it's never, EVER a surprise to find that one or both of a famous journalist's parents have their own wikipedia page (as is the case with the brothers Moore).

I just read Rowan Moore's wikipedia page, which is a tad more brief than his brother's. It doesn't say whether he fully qualified as an architect, nor why he chose to abandon it as a career. It's quite hard work...

cosmic-hearse

Quote from: Mobbd on January 18, 2022, 11:53:31 AMI'd like to give dishonorable mention to Oliver Wainwright, the architecture critic. https://www.theguardian.com/profile/oliver-wainwright

He really is a fucking idiot. I hate him.

This is the way he starts an article last week about African architecture:

He's referring to the pyramid shape of some historic and present-day African buildings. He manages to trivialise, pander, and patronise (both the cultural subject and the readers) at the same time and before he says anything else at all.

I don't know how you can have the privilege to be sent off on these cultural adventures and presumably to have received a beautiful arts education and still be such a trivial know-nothing Whitey dweeb.

I miss old-fashioned "pretentious" cultural commentators who took their subjects seriously. This article is almost like an extended "bit." Oliver. Mate. You're not a jaded Charlie Brooker sitting in your own filth with only digital cable channels for company. You're a fucking architecture critic with license to travel the world on your company's increasingly rare dime. Fucking act like it.

This article really isn't that bad - it's a somewhat daft paragraph but comparing / naming a building after something it vaguely looks like is extremely common (the Gherkin, the Cheese grater, the 50p Building etc.). Surely you have no beef with the rest of the article?

Oliver Wainwright is generally pretty good - I enjoyed his recent Ricardo Bofill obituary, for example. The Graun's best architecture writers are (were?) Owen Hatherley & Douglas Murphy, but like many left wing writers they don't get much of a look in these days.

Simon Jenkins, on the other hand, is turgid - dreary, ill-informed Scrutonesque trad rubbish.

Mobbd

Quote from: cosmic-hearse on January 20, 2022, 08:29:40 PMThis article really isn't that bad - it's a somewhat daft paragraph but comparing / naming a building after something it vaguely looks like is extremely common (the Gherkin, the Cheese grater, the 50p Building etc.). Surely you have no beef with the rest of the article?

Oliver Wainwright is generally pretty good - I enjoyed his recent Ricardo Bofill obituary, for example. The Graun's best architecture writers are (were?) Owen Hatherley & Douglas Murphy, but like many left wing writers they don't get much of a look in these days.

Simon Jenkins, on the other hand, is turgid - dreary, ill-informed Scrutonesque trad rubbish.

It's nice that a couple of people have defended Olly and I'm happy to wind my neck in but:

As a point of clarification, I'm nominating Olly himself rather than that one particular article; my distaste for his lowbrow wittering has been a slow boil.

And:

I did think to mention colloquial nicknames like the Gherkin in relation to this but didn't want to derail things by going too deep into architecture chat. But since we're here now, my take on it is that those nicknames are applied by people whose space has been suddenly colonised, not by tastemakers or architecture professionals or people writing cultural leaders in national press. The toblerone thing rubbed me up the wrong way in part because of this very issue. Such nicknames for buildings, even when arrived at through local affection rather than nimbyism, have more than an edge of wilful philistinism; given that The People never asked for such buildings to be plonked into their lives, they sort-of get a pass. But expert writers really should do better.

(I realise with horror only now that maybe, just maybe, "the Gherkin" for example was nicknamed by a PR firm. But I'd maintain that my point stands; nicknames for buildings at least outside of Central London are generally named by regular folk, not people we look to and are paid for insight).

Jenkins is indeed a smelly.

cosmic-hearse

I agree that building nicknames should come about 'organically' from the ground up, and not before it's even been built (as was probably the case with said Gherkin - although I think it's one of the few good skyscrapers to have been built in the capital this century).

Trying to stay on topic, this has reminded me of a laughably bad Lucy Mangan column about getting lost in the Barbican, but thankfully it seems to have disappeared from the internet.

gilbertharding

Quote from: Mobbd on January 20, 2022, 10:12:29 PM(I realise with horror only now that maybe, just maybe, "the Gherkin" for example was nicknamed by a PR firm. But I'd maintain that my point stands; nicknames for buildings at least outside of Central London are generally named by regular folk, not people we look to and are paid for insight).

If I remember correctly, 'the Gherkin' was originally 'an erotic gherkin' coined by a journalist: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2000/feb/18/12.

I was informed by a friend who studied architecture in Portugal that in that country (where, presumably, they don't often have reasons to refer to the building at 30 St Mary Ax) it's known as Foster's Dildo (Os vibrador, I guess).

mattyc

I know she'll have been mentioned here many a time before, but Toynbee's latest offering has really got my goat: Toynbee bilge

For the last few years, every time I've seen one of her articles, wringing her hands with concern over some issue or other, I've thought "But where were you when there was a Labour leader who would have taken genuine action on this? Sticking the fucking knife in from the very start, that's where."

This latest one has particularly irritated me as she self-awards herself medal after medal for going on a few protests. One of the hackneyed criticisms of Corbyn was that he was more of a campaigner than a leader, yet Toynbee, apparently the queen of all protesters, tried to destroy him from the word go. Absolute spineless, SDP turncoat, hypocrite weasel of a person.

idunnosomename

Led By Donkeys ffs. Name a single thing they fucking achieved

king_tubby

You leave Olly, Oli, Cameron and Oliver alone, you fiend! They stopped Brexit!

shoulders

They made liberals insulated from most of the impact of Brexit feel smugly superior and entitled, which I can tell you is worth its weight in cum gold.

dissolute ocelot

Quote from: cosmic-hearse on January 20, 2022, 11:56:55 PMI agree that building nicknames should come about 'organically' from the ground up, and not before it's even been built (as was probably the case with said Gherkin - although I think it's one of the few good skyscrapers to have been built in the capital this century).
It does seem as if every building in London has a nickname long before construction starts - the Cheesegrater, the Walkie-Talkie, etc. It's possible they're being made up by the trade press or in the planning process, but I suspect the actual property developers are in some cases coming up with these things in an "aren't we smug?" way (not the Erotic Gherkin, which is much cleverer, but is probably an architectural journalist thing).

cosmic-hearse

Quote from: dissolute ocelot on January 22, 2022, 11:49:29 AMIt does seem as if every building in London has a nickname long before construction starts - the Cheesegrater, the Walkie-Talkie, etc. It's possible they're being made up by the trade press or in the planning process, but I suspect the actual property developers are in some cases coming up with these things in an "aren't we smug?" way (not the Erotic Gherkin, which is much cleverer, but is probably an architectural journalist thing).

Also, property developer blurb describing buildings as "iconic" before they're even built