The shallow depths

I’ve put a couple of new links into the "websites I like" section of the sidebar: one for Susan, a link to the daily Polygon puzzle; and a link to Richard Morrison’s collected columns.

I loved Richard M’s article yesterday, "When journalism was face to face, not screen to screen." Here’s an extract:

"It is 30 years, to the week, since I earned my first pay-cheque as a journalist. (I use the word “earned” in the loosest sense.) I recall it vividly. The cheque was for five quid. I was expecting six. Apparently I had misunderstood the pay rates. As I later discovered, editors and publishers — giants of the communications world though they may be — are misunderstood with amazing frequency when they talk to writers about money.

But the truth is that I didn’t care about the missing pound. I was in! Into a glitteringly shallow, inexplicably privileged magazine world of long lunches, endless gossip and free access to any number of desirable concerts, recordings, lavish parties and cute PR girls. While college contemporaries were sweating pints as probationary teachers, working all hours as junior medics, or getting kicked round British Paperclips as management trainees, I had fallen into a trade where the only necessary qualification, it seemed, was the ability to write plausible drivel to deadline while under the influence of alcohol. I thought I would last about three months before some stern authority figure — my mother? my old headmaster? my priest? — discovered what I was up to, denounced me as a fraud, and hauled me off to do a proper day’s work in a real job. "

Read the full article at the link, it is worth it.