John Patterson: A Pox Upon Cultural Journalism

So, John, I read your article and it seems that your number is up. Perhaps you’ve run out of ideas or things to write about. (In the Internet age? With all this interesting information around? Man, you must really be a dunce if telling Nicole Kidman to retire is the best story idea you can come up with.) I mean, here you are, making one of the most ridiculous arguments I think I’ve read in a while about a celebrity who, truth be told, I really don’t care all that much about. And you’ve devoted about 500 words to this and, good Christ, even collected a paycheck for this bullshit!

If only you’d retire. Because now would be the time. With all the fascinating subjects out there pertaining to film (the advantages of shooting in DV, the effects of YouTube and the efforts at control by Viacom, Hollywood people beginning to bankroll their own projects because the studios are being a bit more wary — to name just three lazy things that come to mind as I remain half-awake), this is the best thing you can come up with? Christ, you make Charlie Brooker look like fucking Updike writing about golf. Of all the mangy dogs hungering for freelancing scraps on Fleet Street, how did you of all people get this gig? Was the editor who assigned this so out of his gourd that he looked upon you, John, the rheumatic runt who nobody wanted, to write this feeble attack piece? Did you boff someone? I mean, there’s simply no rational reason I can fathom for the level of self-entitlement (why should a specific actress cater to you when there are countless others out there who you can enjoy?) and bullshit I get from your article. (If you’re going to write a rant, have a purpose, for fuck’s sake.) How long did it take for you to bang this out, Johnny? 45 minutes? (And can you even write? Isn’t “sweltering hot day” redundant? “AWOL” is capitalized, you dunce, because it’s an acronym. What kind of a lede is “It seems that rock’n’roll is no longer paying the bills for some people?” Why can’t you get your math right? You can’t be seriously suggesting that David Lean should be dethroned because Brief Encounter wasn’t prescient enough to reflect the changing sexual mores of the past sixty years, can you? You didn’t really quibble with Sean Connery’s depiction of Bond because he wore a hairpiece?)

That cultural journalism has declined so readily into this unsubstantiated claptrap and that it chooses to favor the John Pattersons of our world — bitter cranks who, in a just world, would be pumping petrol somewhere — is a sure sign that journalistic standards have fallen.

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