Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sorry, but

I am close to being able to coin something similar to the "sofa rule" for Aaro columns. The sofa rule is a useful metric for judging the likely quality of a televised sitcom; you simply count the number of sofas you can see, and if it's a number greater than zero, the likelihood is that it's going to be awful[1]. And so it is with Aaro columns that have a faux-conversational headline. (His mate Martin Kettle also has a line in faux-conversational heds, so it generalises). If this column had been called something like "I don't recognise this ghastly Britain", my heart wouldn't have sunk nearly as low as it did when we got buttonholed with the "Sorry" at the front. The "Sorry" in question is worth an essay in its own right; partly, it's the "sorry" of the pub bore and partly it's yet another example of the Decent Left (domestic grown-up liberal fraktion) desire to paint themselves as plucky little battlers against we the chattering classes, with only the shining sword of truth and the trusty shield of the actual policy of the current government to protect them. The one thing it isn't, is an apology from Aaro for berating us; he thinks we're bastards.

This is not to defend Libby Purves, for fuck's sake. Nobody wants to do that. And the whinging chorus of the Times editorial page is indeed often very dispiriting indeed (by the way, it is entirely worth reading Daniel Finkelstein's comment blog, because his summaries of the Times opeds almost certainly reflect what he had asked his columnists for, rather than what they delivered. This week, Aaro was meant to be giving us ""Surging" is not enough to win in Iraq and the Middle East"). But, and this is hardly a brand new insight of Aaronovitch Watch, whingeing about other people whingeing, is still whingeing and it's often even more annoying than the other kind. If you sneak ahead to the end of Dave's column, you'll see that he doesn't actually have a specific plan or project for all of this talk; his conclusion is just that is it just him, or is everything (in the world of commentary and culture) shit?

And in any case, surely there is a big element of crocodile tears here. Aaro has written on a number of occasions in favour of detention for 90 days without trial, so his indignation at Felipe Fernandez-Arnesto's treatment appears to be only that it happened to a history professor rather than a suspicious looking swarthy type. He is also in favour of identity cards surveillance cameras, smoking bans and Asbos, so his conception of the relationship between the individual and the state does not look like one in which the first word of the phrase "liberal democracy" is doing much work. And while he'll stand up for the right of people "short of incitement, to say and publish what they like" in principle, he is right up there with the John Lloyd agenda of putting in place all sorts of informal sanctions and principles of journalistic professionalism to police the boundaries of what can actually be published without ruling yourself out of polite society (sorry to harp on about this, but John Stuart Mill certainly thought it was important and so do I). It is hard to escape the view that, as an old Eurocommunist, Aaro's seventh paragraph bears rather close reading - it is indeed the "cause" of liberal democracy, rather than any of the specific structures of a liberal state, that Aaro is in favour of, and "the worst democracy" is pretty much all he's really prepared to defend.

And so we reach the end, in which Aaro tries to claim that Ed Balls is a bit cheeky for referring to the anti-Communist[2] side in the Cold War as "we". This stuff writes itself.

Then it's punchline time, and it's based on a massive misunderstanding. Did we really use "all the weapons of culture" to "join ideological battle with Soviet-style Communism[3]"? No we didn't. There was one side which turned over its culture industry to the production of propaganda for its political and economic system, but it wasn't us; it was the Soviet Union. I realise that Aaro's cultural consumption in the 1970s and 1980s might have been rather different from the mainstream then, but even so this is quite a mistake.

It looks like he's been talking to Michael Gove again. Gove is the current theorist of the "Battle of Ideas" - he often really does talk as if the Greatest Intellectual Struggle of Our Time is going to take place in Homeric style, across the centre of the Oxford Union, with the free world represented by Michael Gove in a Spartan helmet and Islamist totalitarianism represented by Tariq Ramadan, two falls, two submissions or a knockout. It has the major advantage over the Henry "Scoop" Jackson Society's plan that this would probably cost no more than low five figures to organise, but it's just as insane, and most "battle of ideas" theorists are also Scoopies, so no net gain there.

We've been proselytising the Muslims since roughly 516 AD and they've been proselytising us for about as long. With not much effect on either side. The one thing I think it is safe to say as a generalisation across Muslims, is that they really don't respond well to patronising lectures. We brought down the Berlin Wall with Coca-Cola, blue jeans and dodgy heavy metal. The first two are still in mass production, and Eddie Van Halen is still around if we need to ramp up on the third. The era of mass anti-Communism was a massive great failure in terms of actual progress made against global communism. The big lesson of the Cold War is that you defeat mass ideologies by boring them to death; without big headline conflicts to stir up the old patriotic fervour, sooner or later the massive gap in living standards leaves them feeling sillier and sillier and they give up. No specific action is required of the mass citizenry, which is why this is the perfect means of long term strategic conflict for a type of society that can't actually command its mass of citizenry into big projects.

If one was producing intelligent propaganda aimed at the Islamic world, one would be making films about young British Asians, and how they manage to peacefully come to terms with the conflicting demands of their religious and traditional roots and modern British society. If we're not producing loads of those at the moment it is not because we're too busy complaining about the trains. It's because we've made so many of them over the last ten years that they've become a fucking cliché.


[1] Before fans of The Royle Family get stuck in, I actually first came across this rule in an interview with Henry Normal, and like all other statistical generalisations it is not intended to cover every single data point.
[2] The Decent TARDIS has clearly been at work here and the Cold War was apparently a struggle against "totalitarianism", rather than Communism. I would actually quite like to see the episode in which Christopher Ecclestone and Billie Piper go back in time and rearrange things so that "we" didn't support any dictatorships and didn't destablilise any democracies.
[3] I swear to you that we also fought the Cold War against all forms of communism (and not a few liberal social democracies), not just Soviet-style communism. Did Aaro really not notice this through the Eurocommunist years? Did he think that he was in charge and able to pick and choose his wars then, too?

47 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't the Islamists the Spartans, with Gove as Pericles, or Thucydides, or something?

The '80s Van Halen look seems to be being revived by Russell Brand. Maybe that's a good omen.

1/16/2007 10:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brilliant column by Aaronovitch – again, he is talking about important issues – liberal democracy and religion. One small error it should be Paul Krugman not Joe Stiglitz.

But your errors? Oh dear. Lets just do the basics. Your sofa rule? ‘…and so it is with Aaro columns that have a faux-conversational headline. (His mate Martin Kettle also has a line in faux-conversational heds, so it generalises).’

What do you do with the fact that columnists don’t do their own headlines the sub-editor does ‘em.

So help me out – if my question is not too faux-conversational – do you really think the sub-editor’s choice of a faux-conversational or even a conversational headline is a guide to the content of Aaronovitch’s and Kettle’s - no, all political columnists conent?

(Clue: there are a lot of subs and a lot of columns out there.)

If you are going to watch a columnist you should have a basic knowledge of how a newspaper works and who is responsible for what.

So why don’t you go back to the start and learn the basics.

And then you might want to read the column carefully – and pick –up stuff like the Krugman / Stiglitz slip – and point that out to your readers.

And when you get all that right, the next thing to do is engage the serious question that Aaronovitch is posing: what are we doing – what sacrifices are we making – for liberal democracy?

1/16/2007 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Good spot about Daniel Finkelstein.

"cabbie" - oh dear me.

1/16/2007 11:26:00 AM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

Krugman and Stiglitz have both made favourable comments about the UK system over the last few years.

Kettle certainly chooses his own headlines, as a glance at the URLs generated by the Comment is Free blog shows. It would not be at all out of the ordinary if Aaro did too from time to time; I note that few other columnists display his verbal tic with the "Sorry", "No", etc headlines. Even if you are right about the subeditors, it would still be a useful warning to know that one of the subs thought the col was on the level of a pub bore.

I love, by the way, people who say "your errors? Let's just do the basics", then make one point, get it wrong and then fuck off.

1/16/2007 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

I'd be impressed to learn what sacrifices Aaro has been making for liberal democracy. Actually I'd be impressed to know the last time he made any sort of sacrifice for anything.

As for Gove, he probably does see himself as Thucydides, though regrettably he has yet to be forced into exile.

1/16/2007 01:30:00 PM  
Anonymous redpesto said...

I'd be impressed to learn what sacrifices Aaro has been making for liberal democracy. Actually I'd be impressed to know the last time he made any sort of sacrifice for anything.

That last piece of apple pie for the sake of his waistline? (See DA's diet stories)

A cheap shot, I know, but hey - I'm not the one who gets to write multi-page articles on 'How I lost weight'

1/16/2007 01:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB - you've just reminded me of another important point (after you get the basics right and have engaged the central question).

If you get something wrong, admit it right away and say 'I'm sorry.'

1/16/2007 02:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're not fooling anyone, Paulie.

1/16/2007 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

That reminds me. That utter fucktard Gove wrote something in this week's Obscurer that made me angry. I was going to blog it.

1/16/2007 04:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Chris Baldwin said...

"I swear to you that we also fought the Cold War against all forms of communism"

Not Maoism.

1/16/2007 08:49:00 PM  
Anonymous bb said...

Chris; I think this depends on whether you consider the Korean and Vietnam Wars to be secondary theatres of the Cold War or as separate imperial adventures. We also tended to stamp on Maoists anywhere they popped up in South America or Africa.

1/16/2007 10:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB – I missed the bit where you say: ‘Anonymous, you were right – I didn’t know that sub-editors do the headlines. Sorry. And you were right too about the Krugman / Stiglitz slip – Aero is referring to Krugman’s NYT piece last month ‘Helping the Poor, the British Way’.'

Finally, I do read Aero Watch regularly – I’m actually thinking about starting a blog Aero Watch Watch. It will begin by drawing attention to the fact that - much to my amusement and no doubt the amusement of the man himself – you have slowly begun to accept more and more of Aaronovitch's arguments. Look at your early stuff and the stuff you are doing now – you engage his arguments less and less. There is less energy to tackle his issues and more and more energy for silly meta-critique like ‘the sofa rule’.

I probably won’t do AWW – I don’t have the time – you seem to have plenty, why don’t you do it? Start with some self-analysis. You could start with the question, what is the difference between my early blogs on Dave and the more recent ones? Or why am I writing more and more about Nick Cohen?

You get the idea.

1/16/2007 11:15:00 PM  
Anonymous Fallhammer said...

Aero - Decently Bubbly!

(One typo is just a typo; a repeated typo is a clue.)

1/17/2007 01:59:00 AM  
Anonymous dd said...

I’m actually thinking about starting a blog Aero Watch Watch

Let me tell you a joke from the comedian Lee Mack's act.

He asks the audience if they can guess what he used to do before he had his current job. (The answer is that he was a jockey). The time I saw him, somebody shouted "Comedian!" from the back of the room.

Mack was floored. He had no response to it; all he could do was to shake the heckler's hand and congratulate him on having delivered the best heckle he'd ever recieved.

Later in the show, he removed his jacket to reveal a T-shirt, with the words printed on it "Some Cunt Always Says 'Comedian'".

1/17/2007 08:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just checked with a mate at the Guardian and apparently, Aaronovitch often used to suggest his own headline; if he doesn't, then it's more likely that someone like Danny Finkelstein will choose it. If the chosen headline is too long or short for the space a sub might make a few suggestions, but they don't usually do headlines on the comment pages. Who knew?

1/17/2007 08:15:00 AM  
Blogger ejh said...

You have a mate at the Guardian? Surely that makes you suspicious enough alrady...

1/17/2007 10:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ask your mate at the Guardian how often Aaronovitch's or any other columnist's headline suggestion was or is accepted - as far as I know, the answer is rarely, if ever.

I think at some point somebody - are you still there bb? - is gonna have to say, 'shit this sofa rule is pretty dumb'.

1/17/2007 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought I made it clear that the answer was "quite often". Look at the Times comment section and you will see that no other columnist has "sorry" and "thank you" in their headlines in the way that Aaro does. So either the subs have a special template just for him (which would be pretty interesting in itself), or they come direct from the man.

1/17/2007 12:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The answer isn't 'quite often'. It is this: Aaronovitch - like most columnists - rarely, if ever, is responsible for his or her own headline.

So you've been watching a sub-editor - not Aaronovitch.

When does the self-analysis begin?

1/17/2007 01:57:00 PM  
Blogger Chris Williams said...

Is it just me, or is 'anonymous' impervious to both reason and evidence? Probably a mate of DA's then.

In the event of his actually putting his electrons where his mouth is and founding AWW, I undertake to set up AWWW, which will pave a path of recursive silliness like no man has ever Watched before.

1/17/2007 02:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Sorry, but' Chris you are impervious to fact. This isn't speculative, it isn't a question of reason or evidence - either it's true or false. You know or you don't.

And you don't know, do you?

1/17/2007 02:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chris, here are a few tricks – no speculation is required – just reading. Go to the Guardian website, type in “writes headlines” and see what comes up. Or better yet, type in “Ian Mayes” and read column after column where he explains to complaining readers that the journalist or columnist is not responsible for the headline to their article – it’s the subeditor.

And then come back and say ‘sorry – you were right. I made a mistake. Thanks for pointing that out.’

Feel better?

Krugman / Stiglitz or Aero / Aaro. We all make mistakes.

Now that that is sorted how about a little self-analysis?

1/17/2007 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

This is on about the same level as judging the legitmacy of Charles II's death warrant on whether the signees used their own quills or borrowed them.

1/17/2007 05:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nope it isn't and here is why:

If you are going to 'watch' Aaronovitch's headlines - let alone generating rules about them - you might want to make sure he wrote them.

Otherwise, it is just kind of silly.

1/17/2007 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

If you think that is what is important, I see no reason to try and dissuade you from holding that opinion.

1/17/2007 07:52:00 PM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

For what it's worth, I can't check the IP addresses, but I don't think "anonymous" is Aaro himself, as he usually emails when we get something wrong.

1/17/2007 08:06:00 PM  
Anonymous bruschie said...

(also, given that Aaro's first comment was "Brilliant column by Aaronovitch", it would be pretty fucking embarrassing if "anonymous" turned out to be him)

1/17/2007 08:07:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bb – you have been silent.

My hope is that you have taken-up my challenge and are pulling together a few thoughts in response to my earlier question. You remember – I thought it might be interesting for you to ‘watch’ yourself and ask yourself the question: what is the difference between my earliest blogs on Dave and my more recent ones?

My thought is that you’ve run out of steam on Iraq and more and more you are agreeing with Dave’s views on domestic issues. Increasingly I have been thinking that he is gradually bringing you around to his point of view

Rhetorically it has been damn absorbing to watch: he seems to be winning you around to his point of view in spite of yourself.

Look inside and give us the straight poop. It would be a really super start for Aaronovitch Watch Watch.

1/17/2007 08:09:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bb - I am disappointed.

I was really hoping you’d be looking at your old blogs and thinking about my question, not my IP address.

Wouldn’t you like to ‘watch’ yourself for a bit? Go ahead – I have and it is damn interesting.

I’ll confess: you have, in fact, made me want to write a novel.

The idea is this: It opens with a blogger who loathes the subject of his blog – who is, wait for it: a political columnist – but slowly the blogger’s views change, and in the end he not only agrees with the columnist, he becomes his greatest fan.

What do you think?

1/17/2007 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger ejh said...

What I find curious is that Aaro - who basically acts as a courtier for the government, supporting everything they do and praising them for it - attracts courtiers of his own, who mimic that behaviour but choose him as their subject.

You'd think they'd want to put a name to their flattery.

1/18/2007 08:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

‘…a courtier for the government, supporting everything they do and praising them for it…’

No, not true at all. Go back and read Dave’s piece after the last election – the one where he suggests Blair should resign – that doesn’t would very courtier-ish to me.

But this is great – exactly the sort of stuff I want for the novel – keep it coming.

You see the novel is a love story, of course – but it is also a journey of self-discovery for bb and his small group of friends.

I see it like this: the novel is written like a blog. We read the political columnist’s comment pieces and then bb’s earnest blog and the sincere discussion, and the reader slowly realises that unbeknownst to bb and his friends they have bit by bit come to take up the political columnist’s views. Of course, their ‘critique’ is truer of them than their target. For example, they endlessly criticise the political columnist for not apologising for a mistake – but when they make mistakes – even very tiny ones – they never apologise. They accuse him of being a sycophant, a courtier – but the reader sees that this is exactly how they behave towards each other. You get the idea – they see their own faults in the political commentator but never in themselves.

My agent loves the idea.

1/18/2007 10:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Gingsters Pork Pie said...

At the risk of indulging the bore, I don't think that B.Boy has been "won round" to Aaronovitch's points of view; what I have noticed is that the site doesn't disagree with Aaro for the sake of it, but is scathing (and therefore more entertaining) when he (in their eyes) gets it wrong.

Aaro is capable of being (far) more reasonable than Nick Cohen - whose traumatic drift to the right has been what fascinates the Watchers most, off late - and so he gets credit for that. Few "Watch" sites are so fair to their "watchees" as this one.

The novel sounds as if it might be of interest to its own author, but I'm not convinced it would sell well. A little geeky and monority-interest, surely. Though there's a book called "Anonymous Lawyer" that's just come out, and looks (in terms of its marketing) set to do quite well. So perhaps the "website novel" will be the epistolary novel of the C21st.

1/18/2007 11:05:00 AM  
Anonymous gingsters pork pie said...

In the spirit of self-correction:
For "off late" read "of late"
For "monority" read "minority"
(Sorry.).

1/18/2007 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Would there be royalties owed to the authors of AW(INCW) from any excerpts quoted, or would you it just be inspired by this site, Ian McEwan style?

If the former, then I suggest to the boys here that they cooperate fully with this project- if it's got 10% of the selling power you claim it would be a nice little earner. On the other hand if I was the anonymous author, I would look at Polly Toynbee watch or some of those others, as they have more comic potential.

1/18/2007 02:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

matthew – thanks for your advice – and it is interesting - but honestly, this blog has tons of comic potential.

gingsters pork pie – thank you for getting the ball rolling. And in the spirit of self-correction I too should point out that ‘doesn’t would very courtier-ish to me.’ Should of course read ‘doesn’t SOUND very courtier-ish to me.’

And you were absolutely spot-on about it being a 21st C epistolary novel. I see it exactly the same way.

Richardson’s Pamela and Clarissa, Rousseau’s La Nouvelle Heloise – did you know Jane Austen’s first draft of Sense and Sensibility was in letter form? I love these and recent works too – did you read Andrew Davies’s Dirty Faxes (1990)? The epistolary genre creates a number of technical problems for the modern writer – why are people writing when they could pick-up the phone? But I think it will work here.

I am thinking I might use this week’s blog – this whole headline thing – as the pivotal point of the novel.

Tell me what you think.

You see there comes a point in the novel when bb and his friends realise that they have made a mistake – they have been attacking the political commentator for his headlines and then it is pointed out to them that the columnist doesn’t write them.

It gets quite dramatic here because they go silent. And in the silence it becomes increasingly clear to all that bb and his friends know they have made a dreadful mistake but they cannot admit it – the tension builds.

They know the have got it wrong and have been unfair to the political columnist.

What are they going to do?

I think it is an important moment in the book because bb’s credibility – and the credibility of the other members of the group – is at stake.

It’s a bit of a cliff-hanger here.

What do you think?

1/18/2007 04:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What do I think? I think that anonymous has made a terrible mistake here.

People who think that he is a fool pretend to be him. A torrent of posts labelled 'anonymous' fills the comments site. Some claim to be anonymous himself recanting in the face of evidence. Others, increasingly hysterical and tangential, are also from 'anonymous', claiming that he has not recanted, since Guardian-derived anecdotes have no purchase.

Paulie claims that he was 'anonymous' but alas! so do many other named posters in a scene that closely references that bit in Spartacus. But with the lights out.

The novel ends in tears, chaos, and the end of meaning. Meanwhile, as if it mattered, more people die in Iraq, and DA himself continues to forget his 'not another word' promise.

Roll credits.

1/18/2007 04:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've emailed Aaro so hopefully we can sort this out. In any case, as I've said about a dozen times, it doesn't actually matter who writes the headlines as long as they are correlated with the quality of Aaro's articles. It is actually a potential reader service of a good subeditor that he can warn us in the headline if a column is going to be dreadful. After all, Terry Scott and June Whitfield did not actually own the sofa shown in "Terry and June" either.

1/18/2007 06:01:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Bogroll said...

I've had an idea for a novel. It's 8 million words long, extremely repetitive, and nothing of interest happens. What do you think?

1/18/2007 06:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh bb – it is way, way too late for the ‘I've emailed Aaro so hopefully we can sort this out.’

You know that Dave doesn’t do his headlines and that as a rule the sub-editor does ‘em.

(And by the way, if it ‘doesn’t actually matter’ why write to Aaronovitch?)

Aren’t we all going to be astonished when the man himself confirms what we – and over a couple million Guardian and Times' readers - already know?

But there is some really first-class stuff here for the book.

I particularly like: ‘the novel ends in tears, chaos, and the end of meaning. Meanwhile, as if it mattered, more people die in Iraq, and DA himself continues to forget his 'not another word' promise.’

What I love about this is it illustrates a distinctive AW judo throw. It is used by bb and others when in doubt or anxious. It is used when a blogger is frightened that they have been caught not telling the truth.

Here is the move: first, point your finger at Iraq, then mention the many people who have died and then hold Aaronovitch responsible.

Simple, isn’t it?

By the end of the novel the reader sees this gesture for what it is: a psychological failure, a failure of character. A failure to engage the important issues the political columnist is posing.

1/18/2007 08:37:00 PM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

Aaronovitch replies!

He always suggests a title, but they don't use them all that often. The subeditors do, in his opinion, overuse the "I'm sorry" tic on Dave's columns; he doesn't know why but thinks it's because he sets his face against the journalistic orthodoxy (I maintain my own pub bore theory, to be frank). He had better luck with titling at the Guardian, mainly because he used to write multi-week columns on similar themes there.

So there you go. I'd note that we've always had a reasonably friendly-enemies relationship with Aaro, and that indeed a determination to be at least reasonably fair to him was probably the major innovation that AW brought to the field of "Watch" blogging. I'd leave that out of the novel though as it doesn't really fit in with the narrative sweep.

1/18/2007 09:15:00 PM  
Anonymous bb said...

by the way, my plan was to wait until this thread reached 50 comments before pointing out that I never claimed in the original article that Aaaro[1] did write his own headlines, but I'm not sure that it ever will, unless "anonymous" plans to use our comments for his novel.

[1]a real in-joke for hardcore AW fans

PS: you are a cunt and Iraq was all your fault, anon.

1/18/2007 09:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Dave doesn’t write his own headlines! Who’d have thought?

You guys have been great – I’ve got a load of material – I’m off to write my novel.

When it comes out I’ll be sure to send you the link to Amazon.

1/18/2007 09:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Dave doesn’t write his own headlines! Who’d have thought?

You guys have been great – I’ve got a load of material – I’m off to write my novel.

When it comes out I’ll be sure to send you the link to Amazon.

1/18/2007 09:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Classic Paulie. Spend all your time obsessing over minutae that nobody else cares about as a way of avoiding the main issues, and then at the end accuse everybody else of doing the same. Fantastic.

You'd be better off writing the novel about yourself, mate. One of them unreliable narrator wotsits.

1/18/2007 10:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Fallhammer said...

"I've got a little book here, and you lot are all going in it!"

Seen that one a dozen times before. What a complete arse.

"Don't tell him, Pike!"

1/19/2007 03:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'The subeditors do, in his opinion, overuse the "I'm sorry" tic on Dave's columns…'

Thankfully a paroxysm that bruschettaboy does not have to endure.

1/19/2007 07:36:00 AM  
Anonymous engels said...

As anyone who knows anything about sitcoms knows, the people who write the jokes aren't the the same people who decide how many sofas to have on the set. That's down to the set designer!!! So your so-called sofa "rule" revelas nothing more than your own incompetence... (continued on page 97)

1/28/2007 03:35:00 AM  

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