It’s an… oh, I can’t be bothered. Anyone for more tea?

I do like this: anti-outrage blogging [1]. I was thinking along similar lines the other day, as it’s getting harder and harder for me to find things to get OUTRAGED [2] over, or if I get angry it soon dissipates before I can get near a keyboard.

Maybe journalists act as an outrage sponge. We soak up other people’s outrage on their behalf and put it into a finely honed and balanced story [3] , a cathartic exercise which means we don’t have time for any outrage of our own.

A quick aside: this quite probably applies to the sub-editors responsible for headline writing in newspapers. I have a theory they don’t actually write the headlines, they simply kidnap stressed people from the street, poke them with sticks for a couple of hours before telling the person their cat’s been run over. At this point they pose the question: “What’s your opinion of the government’s proposal to raise taxes to improve school dinners?”

“Ahhhhhtheabsolutebastards… stealingourmoneytopayforungreatfulkidstoeatburgers. An absolute OUTRAGE.”

This then translates into a front page headline of: “Now your taxes pay for kids to eat burgers.” [4]

On the old blog, I’d rant until the keyboard collapsed and I fell to the ground in a foaming fit of apoplexy. Here I’m more likely to adopt a Gallic-style shrug and go and get a cup of coffee or, as is more likely, tea [5] . This past week I’ve not been getting outraged about lap-dancing clubs, Chelsea FC, bad TV, council tax going up, air tax and Iraq. Honestly, what can you do, apart from have a biscuit with your cuppa?

I’ve not gone completely soft though. I was sufficiently angered by one media outlet’s treatment of a paedophile story to shout in the direction of my nonplussed housemate fora good 90 seconds, and don’t get me started on the woman who couldn’t work out I wasn’t reversing on my street because I wanted to get into the parking spaced she’d stopped by in expectation of me reversing back all the way up the hill, despite the fact I was clearly indicating and gesticulating that I wanted to pull into the space, as well as the minimal distance she’d have to reverse before there was an actual passing point.

But even then I wasn’t outraged. Just rather annoyed.

[1] Via Tim W’s soon-to-move-home Britblog Roundup.

[2] Copyright, Daily Mail.

[3] Well, it’s a nice theory. A sort of utilitarian journalistic utopia, if you will. But i fear it remains just that: a utopia.

[4] Everybody knows the word ‘Now’ is just shorthand for ‘just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse’.

[5] Although this is generally my default situation. Slow news day: have a cup of tea. Stressful news tea: have a cup of tea. Football reporting: have a cup of tea while I’m waiting to do interviews. Hostage situation: pop round a nearby house for a cuppa during a lull. Chemical fire: nip back to the office, which is only 5 minutes away, for a cup of tea. The reason I was so grumpy by the end the week of the beached ship was down to the fact it’s incredibly difficult to get a decent cup of tea on a cold beach in the middle on winter. Thank goodness for the Salvation Army, who came along to assist midway through the week.

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1 Response to “It’s an… oh, I can’t be bothered. Anyone for more tea?”


  1. 1 Ceri February 27, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    Well Gary, I am OUTRAGED by that blog entry! It makes me want to make a banner and join a rent-a-mob outside an open prison. Or i could just sit here and finish my peppermint tea.


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