No I in the first par

Every Sunday I like to read the paper. And every Sunday when I get to the magazine, I get the same old shit.

Today’s Sunday Life in the Sun Herald, article by Helena de Bertodano on January Jones, first sentence:

I am sitting in the bar of the Loews Hotel in New Orleans waiting for January Jones, the actress who plays the immaculate Betty Draper in the hit television series Mad Men, set in the early 1960s.

Have you ever read such an uninspired first sentence in all your life? Each week the celebrity story begins the same way: I am sitting somewhere posh waiting for someone famous. Well guess what? If you’ve interviewed the celebrity, then I can work out that you either met them in person or spoke to them on the phone. I’m clever like that.

The Sydney Morning Herald‘s Good Weekend is not immune either. Poor Man Friend is often startled when I hurl the damn thing to the floor in disgust.

Not only is “I’m sitting in the place waiting for the person” the most boring way to start a feature, it’s arrogant. There is a place for using “I” in a feature, but I haven’t seen it done well in a long, long time. And that’s a shame.

9 responses to “No I in the first par

  1. “I’m sitting in a hotel waiting for person X ”

    doesn’t have have the same gonzo edge as:

    “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold”

    The problem is that people who write feature articles aren’t as interesting as Hunter S Thompson…

    • Yet they think they are…

      • I read the Jamie Oliver article in the Good Weekend last night, written by Jane Wheatley. First sentence: Halfway through an encounter with Jamie Oliver, I have a Barack Obama moment: they are so alike.

        Followed by: I may have left something out… We meet at nine… We sit down at a big table with mugs of tea and I can’t remember… He tells me people work hard for him… This is telling, I think… He tells me about Dennis… The previous Friday evening I’d had dinner with a friend at Fifteen… Paul, the sommelier from Melbourne told us… “I left school at 16,” he told us… I’d been puzzling over…I whizzed into the new Italian in Cardiff… I had a bruschetta that was chilly and bland – for the life of me I couldn’t detect… I’m not sure… “It was an epic time,” he tells me… when I ask him… He looks tired, I think.

        FOR FUCK’S SAKE! The article is about Oliver, not Wheatley.

  2. Yeah I’m clapping you from my desk. I freakin’ hate intros like that and they’re so common. I get that sometimes your brain is in a fuzz and you’re trying to just get a feature you don’t care about out but frick that’s just LAZY!

    Plus I’m surprised it gets past the editor. Mine would just send it straight back.

  3. Every Sunday I think I like to read the Sunday paper and every Sunday I am reminded of why I don’t. Case in point.

  4. We don’t have decent Sunday papers here either….

  5. outragedofmarrickville

    My ‘Vanity Fair’ and ‘The Monthly’ subscription finally arrived and my weekends have improved… plus I’ve got Flashman! I gave in on the Sunday papers ages ago. I literally take the TV guide out of the herald and throw the rest in the recycling. The deal with have for SMH includes sun herald whether I want it or not.

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