This morning I have nothing to offer but a brief rant. I shall make some token attempt to pick my words carefully, because it is a subject area where I have little intuitive feel for the expected degree of political correctness, and I fear that I may be guilty of providing insufficient balance in my views. I seek no comfort, and I offer no solutions – I wish merely to let off steam for a moment and then move blithely on, and let us hear no more about it.
When I was a young man, setting out on my professional career, I was required to be courageous and wise – sometimes beyond my years and experience. That in itself was a little stressful, but by far the most terrifying thing I used to have to do was to venture into The Typing Pool. In there, the smoke pollution and noise levels were very high, and the chatter was approximately a musical fifth above the pitch I was used to elsewhere. None of this in itself was too dangerous, but if you had ever caught even a hint of the conversation in there you would have rushed out screaming. If your brain was not actually destroyed on the spot you were still likely to run away to sign up for some silent order or other – preferably on a remote island.
The chatter was completely – and I do mean completely – without any import or redeeming merit. It was talk of shoes, and shampoo, and the trashiest of TV programmes, and endless, outrageous, poisonous gossip about anyone and everyone. I still shudder to think of it.
Well, the years pass, and one writes these things off to experience, and after a while I didn’t have to go in there any more. Rank does have its privileges. Eventually, technology changes actually meant that The Typing Pool was a thing of the past, and I began, in idle moments, to wonder:
(a) could it really have been as bad I remembered?
(b) whatever happened to the people who used to work in there? – what else could they possibly do? – were they all right?
I still ponder this occasionally, but as time passes I have become convinced that the people from The Typing Pool (or their direct descendants) are doing very nicely, thank you, and they now run the newspapers and the TV companies. It is now beginning to dawn on me that they have taken over my Internet Service Provider too.
My new-look email service from BT Internet now opens up with the glories of Yahoo News – there is no escape. If someone put a tabloid newspaper through my letterbox bearing the same trash I would chase them down the path with a garden hoe, but I am expected to grit my teeth and live with this as part of my everyday email presentation. I realise that BT (or Yahoo, or probably both) make advertising money from this garbage, and I’m sure they have some clever marketing people who know exactly how to optimise customer satisfaction and ad revenue, but it is also worth remembering that I do pay rather a lot of money for the service, and their choice of news and adverts does not sit well with me, given that our rural broadband speed is struggling to cope with the things we actually want.
Could you possibly have Schwartzheim’s Disease? – Doctors make shock discovery – that is a damned lie.
See intimate shots of Kate and William at Garden Party – no – give me a break.
This cute kitten was rescued from the Thames – it will probably die anyway.
Guide to 10 things your body language says about you – take our test – no – my body hasn’t said anything for years.
Watch the worst open-goal miss in the history of Egyptian league football – no.
Would you wear this £10 dress to Ascot? – no – bugger off.
See the 20 biggest dress mistakes from the BAFTAs! – no – bugger off.
Watch this video of a motorcyclist falling into a vat of glue – no – bugger off.
See this 50-year-old-woman who has discovered astonishing anti-wrinkle trick – no – bugger off.
And much, much more. You can’t fool me – it was long ago, but I have had glimpses of this level of sophistication and good taste before, in the distant past.
Just out of interest – is there an ISP out there with any class at all? I am very much afraid that mine is one of the better ones. No wonder I get depressed.