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    Marina Hyde

    has a book of her columns coming out, early October I think. Best news of my day so far, can't wait. To be called "What Just Happened?" I believe.

    #2
    Once a week is fine, but I couldn't handle a whole book of those columns at once, brilliant as they are. There's almost too much in them.

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      #3
      It's a bit of a heretical opinion, but I think she's a bit of a flat-track bully, a slayer of easy targets. And a style that for a while seems sharp and clever has become a bit formulaic.

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        #4
        Aren't they all online anyway? Column collections do always seem to reveal the writer's repetitiveness and rather small bag of tricks unless they are truly gifted (Clive James is the only one whose columns seemed to make the transition successfully).

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          #5
          As usual, I think there is a lot in what you say, E10

          It May have something to do with the current state of AngloAmerican politics, with despair being very hard to avoid, but I think she and her readers would benefit from a return to her more eclectic period of looking at culture and even sport in addition to Westminster.

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            #6
            I struggle with 'sketch-writing' style political writing in general - it's all a bit too cosy and tacitly comfortable with the world it purports to be satirising and attacking. It certainly struggled when politics was opened up and polarised in the Corbyn years.

            All a bit too Brandt really.

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              #7
              Very much so.

              It is also a genre that is rather peculiar to the UK and very much (to me) in the fundamentally insincere tradition of masque and pantomime.

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                #8
                Originally posted by E10 Rifle View Post
                It's a bit of a heretical opinion, but I think she's a bit of a flat-track bully, a slayer of easy targets. And a style that for a while seems sharp and clever has become a bit formulaic.
                I don't understand the expression "flat-track bully" but I know what you mean.

                I've lost interest in hearing about how shit everything is. Things have always been shit and always will be shit if we care to notice.
                Last edited by Hot Pepsi; 22-06-2022, 15:07.

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                  #9
                  It comes from cricket, and refers to batters who are very successful when facing mediocre bowling on placid pitches.

                  Somewhat similar US expressions are "shooting fish in a barrel" and "rabbit killer".

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                    #10
                    In baseball terms, it's the kind of person who has a very high number of home runs in their stats, but it turns out that they were almost all scored late in blowout defeats when the decent pitchers have all been removed. At Coors Field. Statistically, they look good, but put them against a good pitcher in tricky conditions and they turn to shit.

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                      #11
                      Oh. I thought it had to do with horse racing. I assumed those tracks were always flat so I didn't get where it would come from. But I understood it in context.

                      Marina Hyde is at least a good writer and has some insights.

                      I've come to realize that an enormous portion of "corporate liberal media" - for lack of a better term - especially on twitter, is just people trying to prove that they're smarter than conservatives and can see the obvious. I don't know who they're trying to prove that too, but I don't care about it any more.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by E10 Rifle View Post
                        It's a bit of a heretical opinion, but I think she's a bit of a flat-track bully, a slayer of easy targets. And a style that for a while seems sharp and clever has become a bit formulaic.
                        I'd say that's a bit too kind to her work, tbh.
                        Last edited by TonTon; 23-06-2022, 09:04.

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                          #13
                          I've enjoyed many of them, but am unconvinced how well they'd work in book form.

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                            #14
                            None of the UK horse racing tracks are "flat" in the way that US tracks are

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by diggedy derek View Post
                              I've enjoyed many of them, but am unconvinced how well they'd work in book form.
                              I got a book of Frank Skinner’s old Times columns last year. Unless you can remember world events from the weeks they were written, it’s pointless.

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                                #16
                                Originally posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
                                Aren't they all online anyway? Column collections do always seem to reveal the writer's repetitiveness and rather small bag of tricks unless they are truly gifted (Clive James is the only one whose columns seemed to make the transition successfully).
                                Heh. Er, so, about my new book...

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                                  #17
                                  I think they're different genres. Your is a chronicle of your professional experiences (as the blurb says) whereas hers is topical commentary.

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                                    #18
                                    Good luck imp. It's on my wish list

                                    I now have a mental picture of Marina smacking the bowling around Worcester

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                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by E10 Rifle View Post
                                      It's a bit of a heretical opinion, but I think she's a bit of a flat-track bully, a slayer of easy targets. And a style that for a while seems sharp and clever has become a bit formulaic.
                                      She's a good writer but I can't read anything she writes these days without thinking about that Jonathan Coe article in the LRB about the pointlessness of satire. Her columns are completely part of the little Westminster theatre she thinks she's skewering.

                                      A snigger here, a snigger there – it all adds up.

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                                        #20
                                        Coe tried to warn everyone

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                                          #21
                                          Originally posted by ursus arctos View Post
                                          As usual, I think there is a lot in what you say, E10

                                          It May have something to do with the current state of AngloAmerican politics, with despair being very hard to avoid, but I think she and her readers would benefit from a return to her more eclectic period of looking at culture and even sport in addition to Westminster.
                                          You have perfectly expressed thoughts I didn't realise I had!

                                          I've always loved Hyde's writing but found I've gone to her columns less and less in recent times.

                                          It's almost certainly because her focus has been narrower and the near sole subject of that focus, the binfire that is mainstream British politics, is even more maddening that usual right now.

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                                            #22
                                            The column's a bit like comfort food, I reckon - when you're feeling pissed off about The General State of Things in the UK, Hyde's a go-to writer just so you can read someone letting rip in a very entertaining and savagely funny way. But the Coe article nails it - it's there to make Guardian readers feel better (and I include myself in this), not to incite a revolution, which is what Britain needs more than anything right now.

                                            I enjoyed Coe's article way more than I did his lousy novel The Rotters' Club.
                                            Last edited by imp; 23-06-2022, 09:43. Reason: 'is' now gone

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                                              #23
                                              When I found out her background, I started reading her columns as written by someone midway through their second sherry of the afternoon while standing at the drawing room window and gazing wistfully at the gardener tending the East Lawn and they made even more sense.

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                                                #24
                                                I don't particularly go to her columns nor avoid them. I click on The Guardian and mooch around, much as I do with other websites. Sometimes her columns make an immediate impact and sometimes they don't. That's about it, really. The same with most columnists.

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                                                  #25
                                                  Thanks Fussbudget for the link to the Coe LRB piece on satire - from the bit I've had time to read so far it seems really thought-provoking.

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