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January 01, 2014

2013: A Year of Wretched Writing

Michael Moynihan looks back at the Year That Was Incoherent and Silly.

With blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and all the other platforms I have forgotten about, we were promised a great democratization of media, a Gutenberg press in the hands of everyone who could muster an opinion about anything. And the media has been democratized (please spare me the heavy breathing about the sinister Koch brothers, Murdoch, Buffett, Bezos, Omidyar, and Soros), which has brought us more entry-level journalists, more stupid journalism, and a permanent public record of every half-witted brainwave from every impulsive Twitter user.

...

[I] watched in wonderment as serious magazines and newspapers hung on every revolutionary word of actor and self-appointed pundit Russell Brand, who in 2013 decided he was the monster who has turned on his creator, attacking capitalism, celebrity culture, and corporate control of the media (while skillfully not rejecting the lucrative paydays they provide).

...

Try, if you will, to digest these paragraphs from a recent Brand column on the supposedly corrupt British parliamentary system, surely a contender for the worst column ever published in a mainstream newspaper:

“That politics is bereft of altruists, philanthropists and idealists but instead throbs and bristles with stunted show-offs, who, granted flatter abs and cuter noses, would be jiving and caterwauling on Britain’s Got Talent or staring with glum vacuity down the barrel of a camera in a mock corridor in Holby City.”

I suspect someone bought Brand a thesaurus for Christmas.

“This pith squirt stings because we want our politicians to be motivated by high ideals and compassion and not to secretly seethe every time Harry Styles impeccably saunters through the public mind with hair that gently binds his scalp to the heavens and mankind to the angels.”

...

Brand later informs readers, those drooling sheeple conditioned by corporations, that the British Parliament “is a deeply encoded temple of hegemonic power.” What any of it means is anyone’s guess.

He then goes on to discuss Salon.com, saying it's now a college student newspaper.

via @rdbrewer4.


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