There is no I in celeb*

My pet weekend peeve – because it happens every weekend – is journos including themselves in celebrity interviews. Particularly those who do it in the first sentence. You’re interviewing them, you’ve described what they’re wearing, and I’m smart enough to figure out that you’re probably there. That You Met A Famous Person. Good for you.

In yesterday’s Good Weekend Janet Hawley interviewed John Safran. First sentence:

Heading into the night after spending a long, confusing, ultimately illuminating first day with John Safran, the image that remains for me is overwhelmingly of the lonely comedian.

There is absolutely no reason whatsoever for the “for me” to be there.

Third sentence:

It’s on “the Jewiest street in Melbourne’s Jewtown – 3183”, Safran had told me with a grin as we wove our way past yarmulke-wearing bearded men ambling into kosher delis.

That’s just taking the piss. The story is about Safran, not Hawley. And as much as she’d like to think so, she is no Hunter S Thompson or Tom Wolfe or Truman Capote or any number of great writers who are/were also journalists. The next sentence – the fourth, for fuck’s sake – starts with “I’d” and on it goes.

In Sunday Life, Claire Black interviewed Maggie Gyllenhaal. First paragraph:

“What does it matter? What do you mean by genuine?” I’ve annoyed Maggie Gyllenhaal, although I didn’t mean to. We were talking about celebrities who get involved with “causes”, and I made the point that it can be hard to swallow when there’s a suspicion that it’s a publicity stunt rather than a real commitment.

Again, absolutely no reason why “I” should be there. It’s just lazy, self-important writing. And fucking annoying.

* Yes, I know there’s one in celebrity, but that would ruin my headline

6 responses to “There is no I in celeb*

  1. I noticed the Maggie Gyllenhal opening sentence in the paper and smirked to myself over breakfast thinking about how it would annoy you. Did you read the Mia Freedman article – it echoes an entire conversation Dik and I had had that morning and my hatred of raunch culture as the ‘new feminism’. He wants me to write into the mag and comment on it – but that is only cos you win a watch if you do!

    • Yes, I did read it and thought it was so simple: feminism is equality and choice. How has feminism become a dirty word? I read a comment on a blog a while back, that there are waves of feminism because the patriarchy keeps fighting back. Thought that was quite interesting. As for empowerment through stripping, there was a great line in Ariel Levy’s Female Chauvinist Pigs about how pretending to be a woman whose job it is to pretend to sexually want any bloke is hardly empowering. Or something along those lines.

  2. Think I am building up for an enormous rant on raunch culture (which my spell check quite rightly does not recognise as a word)

    by the way if I have to see another article on these damn teeny vampires and their Mormon sexual resistance I may throw up. Talk about lazy journalism, although its infomercial really.

    • I heard it called sleaze culture today, rather than raunch culture, which I think I like more. And I totally agree with you on the teeny vampires. If newspapers are going to target their content towards teenagers, then they should follow the French example and get the Government to pay for a daily newspaper of their choice for all 18 year olds. Otherwise, I’m not interested in reading about fucking Twilight.

  3. Where do you stand on Mark Dapin? I ❤ Mark Dapin.

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