I was going to muse on the nature of anonymity on the internet, but I got distracted by Caitlin Moran winning TWO journalism awards last night: Critic of the Year and Interviewer of the Year. Given that for 2010 she was Columnist of the Year, she’ll need to branch out into something new this year because she’s won an award for everything that she does: interviewing, criticising, and columning.
At this point I would love to link you to her interview with Jilly Cooper, which shows that meeting your childhood (or teenhood) heroes can be as amazing as you imagined, but it’s behind a paywall. And I haven’t yet figured out how to link neatly. Suffice it to say that they get “tight” on champagne, and Jilly really does use the word “tight” to describe inebriation. I wonder if it implies a certain level of drunkenness, or if it only applies if said drunkenness has been achieved with champagne? I need a Jilly Cooper dictionary, and in fact my Amazon wishlist does currently hold Class (written in 1979, it has to be hilarious). Top quote from the interview: “I am, essentially, being given a dirty tour of Bath by a pissed Jane Austen.”. I won’t gush on any further about how much I love Caitlin Moran, but it is a lot. In my mind I am about 13 with braces and she is 15 and has cool hair, but she is not one of the bully-ish cool girls, oh no, she is the sort who will occasionally say “nice bag” when someone has a new schoolbag, with no clue that she has caused an incremental rise in that person’s social standing by means of her approval. She just thought it was a nice bag.
The paywall, yes. I can go behind it, and you can’t, because I have sacrificed a virgin at the altar of Rupert Murdoch. Or alternatively I have set up a £2/week direct debit and mentally allocated £1 to Caitlin Moran, 50p each to Robert Crampton and Sathnam Sanghera (spelled right without looking, yes!), and I get everyone else for free. Writers have children and cats and expensive haircuts to support just like everyone else, and I like to feel that my money says “Hey, you, you’re doing good, keep doing it and here’s some cash so you don’t have to quit it to go work in Tesco instead”. In an ideal world I would prefer the site to send my money magically to the writers of the pages that I spend most time on, thereby really rewarding the best writers, but I can imagine how complicated it would get even for a teeny tiny 10-page website, let alone a behemoth like The Times.
So, in summary, Caitlin Moran is great, the paywall is not so evil, I use too many commas, and no-one is going to read this anyway.