Private Eye for the Satire Guy

first_imgPrivate Eye raises hell. Always has done – it’s been sued more times than anyone can count and provides much weekly amusement, from titters to belly-laughs, at the expense of the famous, the pompous and the crooked (preferably all three in one person). You’d expect the former editor-in-chief, Richard Ingrams, would not have gone gently into any future jobs. So what controversial, high-profile publication does he currently helm? He’s now editor of The Oldie magazine, which caters for those advancing in years. Does he think he’s done anything to improve the image of old people through the magazine? “No, not really. I don’t think I’ve done anything – I’m not in the business of campaigning for certain causes. It’s a bit of a joke.” This doesn’t sound like someone who used to run a magazine famed for strong views on people. The killer streak always perceptible in Private Eye’s style seems to have mutated into the irascibility not unassociated with the elderly. Does he think The Oldie has any other purpose than to entertain, then? Another ‘no’: “The purpose of all journalism and writing, I think, should be to entertain, rather than to have some crusading ambitious aim.” This seems strange given Private Eye’s longenduring vendettas. Is he proud of what he did at Private Eye? He laughs. “I certainly had a lot of fun when I was there. I’m very pleased it’s survived so long, you know, forty years now. In the life of any magazine forty years is impressive; most are gone very quickly. It’s a cause of pleasure.” This pleasure seems to derive from the smugness of getting one over one’s enemy; Ingrams‘ favourite stories from his years at the Eye are “running campaigns against Robert Maxwell, James Goldsmith, Jeremy Thorpe. Those are memorable.” Private Eye was a major irritant to those figures, who made perfect targets for the magazine’s particular brand of pompbursting satire; in Maxwell, fame, self-importance and criminality combined to make him a legitimate mark (in the magazine’s view) for their unrelenting attacks. Was Private Eye a valid forum for such campaigns, in his opinion? “It was certainly very useful for ridiculing public figures. It’s an entirely independent organism, unlike others which are owned by newspaper or media conglomerates; the editor has total control, which is rare nowadays. I was there when Peter Cook was proprietor and there was complete freedom; Ian Hislop now has complete freedom.” Despite fond recollections, no journalist escapes without regrets, especially true for Ingrams since Private Eye could cut deeply. “There were lots of mistake in that long period, but when you consider that it was such a long period, it’s not to be wondered at. Of course, my memory’s bad now so I can’t remember too specifically. Take the Hitler Diaries – we were taken for a ride with those. There was nothing else on that scale – mainly details were wrong. When I look at it again, the Eyewas right, the people it went for were right. There’s a danger when you attack small people who don’t have the money to sue or defend themselves.” We move on to what seems to be a national pastime these days – taking people to court. It is not, however, as prevalent here yet as it is in America, where it’s practically been written into the Constitution. On the subject of suing, does he think the media culture today is becoming overly litigious? “No, in fact I’d say it was the other way round when compared with the old days. Jeffrey Archer, going to jail for lying, has put people off suing and litigation. The media has always been litigious, on the other hand. Journalists are far more selfimportant than politicians and so are more likely to sue. Take Sir Harold Evans, the former Times and Sunday Times editor. He came to think of himself quite highly.” I sense a high–profile rivalry of the sort which newspaper barons used to have, channelling their views through their papers. This is an interesting line worth pursuing, and Ingrams doesn’t seem like he will hold back. I plunge in: does he have any schadenfreude over what’s been happening to Harold Evans and his wife, Tina Brown (former editor of The New Yorker and Vanity Fair whose latest effort, Talk, folded ignominiously)? “Oh yes, tremendous schadenfreude, tremendous. I knew her when she was an Oxford student. The way to get in to journalism was to interview, and she was a fetching young blonde lady who charmed many old men. She’s now a queen bee.” Does he think her fame is commensurate with her ability? “Well, I never had a high opinion of her as a journalist. She was socially very ambitious. Vanity Fairand similar, they’re puff magazines doing publicity for people you’ve never heard of. If you become rich and famous in America and then fail, they turn on you.” I think it’s best to move on in case the Evans-Brown’s lawyers decide to pick up this week’s Cherwell. An innocuous – well, less sensitive – topic suggests itself: does he think a magazine like Private Eyewould go down well in America? But Ingrams is in full swing. “The thing about America is that American magazines are all about people you’ve never heard of – rich businessmen, movie stars and so on. Americans don’t like satire and gossip. Graydon Carter (current editor of Vanity Fair) started Spy, which was like Private Eye. I admired it, but it didn’t last that long. Graydon Carter’s now a prosperous- looking man running Vanity Fair; that’s what happens – you go from satirical to businessman.” Moving away from America (I pray), we turn to the home front. Is there anyone he thinks has a big future in journalism? Anyone he currently admires? “I don’t tend to follow young careers. I like the journalism of the Independentand particularly its coverage of the Iraq War. Robert Fisk, Patrick Cockburn – they’re extremely good.” Some positive comments. Phew. Does he like them for their political views or for the quality of their writing? “It’s probably a bit of both, I suppose. I really admire oldfashioned journalists – the problem with journalists today is that they sit in front of computer screens. It’s old-fashioned going out and talking to people. The problem was when all the newspapers moved into Docklands – they went out of the centre of town and now they’re isolated from the city.” So is journalism more impersonal now? “It’s much more impersonal and not such fun. Back then, the hugga-mugga journalists mixed with one another and with MPs. It’s a very different scene.” As we’re finishing the interview, Ingrams offers the following: “I hope that was suitably Victor Meldrew-ish for you.” Quite.ARCHIVE: 2nd week TT 2004last_img read more

Poet defies, redefines gender norms

first_imgThe Gender Relations Center kicked off its annual StaND Against Hate Week with the event “Man Up: Reimagining Modern Manhood with Carlos Andrés Gómez” in the Carey Auditorium on Monday.Gómez, an award-winning poet, actor and writer, shared his confrontation with society’s rules of manhood through personal story and poetry.According to his website, “Gómez urges men of all ages to break society’s rules of male conformity and reconsider not just what it means to be a man, but what it means to be a good man.”Gómez said his initial awareness of society’s rules of masculinity came when he was told to “man up” by his soccer coach after falling during a game.“If I’m running full speed in front of 200 people, I do a tooth plant in the middle of the field — it’s miraculous that I didn’t lose all of my top and bottom teeth — if I can’t cry there, when am I allowed to express any emotion?” Gómez said.Gómez said he was sensitive as a child but strove to fit the mold of a masculine man after interpreting hints from those around him that valued men most when they acted hard and tough. He said the image was hard to keep up because it denied his natural self.“If you ever try to act like someone you’re not, it’s like the worst feeling in the world,” Gómez said. “It’s exhausting. I was conflicted, I was in anguish, I was hurting. … I was screaming for a reprieve from this person I had built myself into.”Gómez said there were two major turning points in his life that redefined masculinity for him. He said the first came in high school during an open mic night for poetry where he learned about the idea of a gender spectrum — a concept that transcended the traditionally perceived dichotomy of gender.Gómez said the second crystallized moment of redefinition occurred when he accidently bumped up against another man as he exited a nightclub. The man initially incited a fight, but after tears welled in Gómez’s eyes, the man jumped away, Gómez said.“What makes us live in a world where the narrative, the dominant narrative of masculinity, the one-dimension, toxic, patriarchal narrative of masculinity that so many of us … are familiar with in some way … when two men who don’t know each other [have] their bodies unexpectedly bump against each other, we all know that the next thing they have to do is to fight, and it’s over nothing,” Gómez said.Gómez said that day he made a decision to spend the rest of his life challenging that toxic notion of masculinity.“I started to practice breaking the conformity of how I learned to be a guy,” Gómez said. “It was action and it was written; it was rethinking the way I thought about relationships with women, with my other guy friends, with my family.”To communicate his point, Gómez also performed several poems about masculinity, women and beauty.Tags: Gender Relations Center, GRC, StaND Against Hate Weeklast_img read more

McIlroy to compete in Scottish Open

first_img Mickelson won the event at Castle Stuart last year before going on to triumph in the Open at Muirfield seven days later and McIlroy believes the 2014 event at Royal Aberdeen is perfect preparation for the following week’s Major at Hoylake. McIlroy, whose previous Scottish Open experiences came at Loch Lomond, said: “I can think of no better preparation for the Open, especially on a respected course like Royal Aberdeen. There will also be so many similarities I can bring to the following week’s Open Championship. Rory McIlroy is aiming to follow in Phil Mickelson’s footsteps after confirming his return to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open following a five-year absence. “Phil winning the double last year made me realise that the Scottish Open is more than good preparation for the Open – he showed it was possible to win both weeks. “You can play as much golf on links courses as you want, but until that’s in a competitive environment you can never tell how ready your game will be. It really is so important, then, to get some competitive golf on a true, challenging links.” Mickelson has already confirmed his participation in the July 10-13 event. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Elijah Thomas boosts Clemson with versatility in third season

first_imgElijah Thomas positioned himself atop the 3-point arc with his feet pointed toward the rim. Standing at 6-foot-9, ESPN ranked him as the eighth best center in his recruiting class. Back at Lancaster (Texas) High School, Thomas’ head coach Ferrin Douglas said no one could guard Thomas down low. But, in Lancaster’s state title game, Thomas stood behind the 3-point line and swished the jumper. “When you’re a basketball player and you don’t allow yourself under a position,” Thomas said, ”You’re able to put so many player’s aspects into your game, and that’s what makes me versatile.”Pacing Clemson (10-4, 0-1 Atlantic Coast) in rebounds per game (7.4), blocks per game (1.6) and tied for second in points per game (13.6), Thomas doesn’t like to think of himself in one position. The senior has established himself as a potent, multi-tooled force in the paint. His effective field goal percentage of 67.3 ranks 36th in the nation, and it will lead the Tigers into the Carrier Dome on Wednesday night to play Syracuse (10-4, 1-0).Thomas began his career at Texas A&M in 2015. Thomas had struggled with health in the preseason with a foot injury and concussion, according to a CBS Sports report. That December, after playing just eight games, Thomas knew he needed a change. Before the transfer, he averaged 3.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in just 9.9 minutes per game. AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWhen Thomas looked at Clemson, he saw a rising program that could utilize his multifaceted talent. He joined the team for the 2016-17 season when he made nine starts. But by the next season, Thomas blossomed. On Nov. 16 against Ohio last season, he recorded 17 points and 15 rebounds — the first Clemson player to hit 15 and 15 in nine years. About a week later, on Nov. 24, he posted 26 points and 16 rebounds against Texas Southern. In that game Thomas made 10 field goals, showing his prowess for shooting. The once-recruited center is listed now as a forward.“It was a chance I took, and I love it here,” Thomas said.In January of last year, Thomas was thrust into a larger role when senior big man Donte Grantham suffered a season-ending knee injury. Grantham was a premier source of points (14.2), rebounds (6.9) and blocks (0.9). Thomas’ minutes per game increased two minutes to 26 per game to help cover all those areas.Thomas adapted and finished the season averaging 25 minutes per game with 10.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. His 2.3 blocks per game earned him ACC All-Defensive Team honors. The Tigers made a run to the Sweet 16 with Thomas in the middle.When Thomas faced off against Syracuse last March, he found success, tallying 18 points and six rebounds. He went 5-for-5 from the field. Despite being smaller than 7-foot-2 Paschal Chukwu and 6-foot-10 Bourama Sidibe, Thomas dominated the matchup. Chukwu tallied just two points (both on free throws) and Sidibe didn’t score.“He gives us a really good inside and outside balance,” Tim Bourret, Clemson’s 40-year radio broadcaster said. “He’s a guy every night that’s capable of getting a double-double if he can stay out of foul trouble.”Foul trouble has often been a problem with Thomas’ post play. In Clemson’s 14 games, the undersized big totaled four or more fouls in half of them. But Bourret said Thomas has the chance to become a top-10 Clemson big man, placed among Tree Rollins, Elden Campbell, Larry Nance Sr., and Horace Grant. Thomas has distinguished himself through his play style, the same versatility that has brought him to the ACC. Douglas, who also coached former NBA all-star Chris Bosh in high school, knew Thomas was different as a freshman in high school. Something that allows Thomas to play the way he does is his ability to shoot with both hands. Douglas remembers his surprise when he found out Thomas was a natural righty, having seen him take the majority of his shots left-handed. He could shoot just as well with the right.“Eli can play all five positions,” Douglas said. “He’s special, man.” Comments Published on January 8, 2019 at 5:07 pm Contact Eric: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more


first_imgA man has been jailed for two years for his part in a huge cannabis operation despite his friends coming together to get him a one-way plane ticket out of Ireland.Sin Lay Kok – jailed for two years. Copyright Northwest Newspix.Sin Lay Kok was caught by Gardai at the cannabis factory in Portsalon in September, 2014. The Malaysian man was caught red-handed at a house in Magherawarden which had been turned into an elaborate growhouse.Officers arrived at the house following a surveillance operation by a team at Milford Garda station and found the accused with a bag of cannabis clippings in a bag outside the house.Garda Liam O’Riordan told Letterkenny Circuit Court that they had found up to 321 empty pots used to grow cannabis.They also discovered cannabis clippings and buds which had all been dumped at the rear of the house which had been rented from an unsuspecting local man.The total street value of all the plants, buds and emptied pots was close to €300,000.It is understood the operation had been abandoned because a transformer at the bungalow had blown and the operation’s heat source had been taken away.Kok told officers he was merely a cleaner at the house but did realise the plants were illegal.He received €700 to clean the house on one occasion and a further €1,000 to clean it on another.He also occasionally clipped the plants.He told the court that he was driven to the house but did not know who the men were who took him there.Barrister Ivan Toner told the court that Kok was merely a small cog in the wheel and there was also an element of fear for his safety.He said his client did admit cleaning the heating lamps at the house but only planned to stay at the premises for a few days.He was told to keep to himself and to turn out the lights at night.He said his friends had come together and they had arranged to pay for a flight so he could leave the country.However, Judge John O’Hagan said he found it hard to believe that Kok was simply just a cleaner at the house.“If he got that kind of money then I think I would like to go into the cleaning business myself,” he said.He referred to the amount of Garda time spent on detecting such growhouses and also the “terrible damage this stuff dos to our young people.”He said he could recommend Kok’s deportation but that was a matter for the authorities.He said he could not give him sweets for breaking the law and that he had to be punished.He sentenced Kok to two years in jail for the charge of possession of drugs and backdated the sentence until the date Kok was arrested on September 4th last year.He also made an order for the destruction of all the drugs.MAN JAILED FOR €300,000 CANNABIS OPERATION DESPITE OFFER OF PLANE TICKET HOME was last modified: February 5th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:cannabisdonegalgrowhouseMilford GardaiPortsalonSin Lay Koklast_img read more