Saturday, January 2, 2010
New Year's Rant
First, let me wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year from London (pics C. Getty & Reuters)
In my opinion the internet is spoiling the noble art of the rant. The web is full of nutters who think that a rant consists of illiterate ramblings about subjects they don't understand, such as complex science or economics. Cyberspace is choked by offerings from conspiracy clowns wearing tinfoil hats, offering their personal theories that the world is run by giant lizards disguised as George W Bush and Queen Elizabeth.
Personal or corporate abuse is meat and drink to a good rant but it must be witty and cutting. It should sting rather than bludgeon. Calling someone a rude word, as such, is gauche, boring and says more about the speaker than the speakee.
Daniel Seidel has a good rant about the lost art of the rant here:
As an aside, I particularly liked the link to the rant by the tube letch who raises that great age-old mysteryin a rant - 'Why do ladies put their charms on public display only to get annoyed when men notice the aforementioned delights?'
However, in the literary world it has been the ladies who have shown the way and given us some of the best rants recently.
Ursula Le Guin published an open letter in which she resigns from the Author's Guild after more than three decades of memebership.
Note she builds up steam by taking a standard pot from those in the provinces about the parochialism of those in the centre before discharging her main weapons. That letter is a master class in how to write a crushing put down in a handful of lines without a single wasted word.
PD James skewered Mark Thompson, Director General of the BBC, over the ludicrous bureaucracy of overpaid executives with meaningless job titles here:
Lynda La Plante also slung a ballistic missile at the BBC for their fatuous politically correct commissioning policy and layers of management here:
These ladies are very bright, literate, focussed, and well informed on the subject of their rant.
So feel free, what would you like to rant about for the New Year.