‘A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.’
Sunday is one of my least favourite days of the week. However amongst its lethargy and inertia it hosts one of the most joyous activities available to an Englishman; reading the Sunday Times at a gentle pace.
A shuffle through the hung-over haze to Tesco is very daunting, but returning home with all the supplements and a packet of bacon is like a warm hug on a lonely day. The aroma of bottomless coffee pots, buttered hot toast, b and e, and freshly printed ink can revive even the coldest of souls.
The loud silence of Sunday morning is sweetly off set by the pouring of coffee and the confused rustle of the paper. Rather boringly these majestic onomatopoeic noises are being replaced by a riveting ‘tap tap tap tap tap’, with people deciding to take their news online or with the loose inked free newspapers on the tube.
I take a paper daily; The Mail through the week, The Racing Post on Saturday, and The Sunday Times. Indeed a slap to the right, but that is my choice. I do read the free Evening Standard, which is well written, but it worries me that it is a subliminal speaker’s corner for SOMEONE. The worst newspaper is the free morning paper The Metro – it is poorly written and eaten up by the idiotic sleeping masses in rush hour. Not a cerebral thought arrives from this paper.
On every early morning tube journey a sea of Metros cover faces. There must be a thirst from the populous to read articles, but why do they act like skinflints and always opt for les journals gratuit??
As a child I remember watching adults scrutinize the whole paper, devouring it methodically and reverently. Their serious faces lost deep inside the politics and sport. Once their articles were put to bed, they would further roll out their grey matter and begin an assault on the crossword.
It was almost as if a gentleman’s attire had to include a rolled up Financial Times under the arm. A group of builders were never complete without The Sun to ogle. And I cannot imagine Lord’s without my arsenal of papers, nor Cheltenham Racing Postless!
A newspaper is for me like a faithful companion for the day, lugged around town to help in times of solitude – an article here, a page for the tube ride, or an interview when you arrive early. It is a key cog in the PUHD defence mechanism for seeing a ghastly old acquaintance on public transport – Paper Up Head Down never fails.
The joy of a good paper is that you read the words of a quality writer. Like a spin bowler or an intelligent piece of theatre, the journalists of ‘proper’ newspapers are allowed to carve out well balanced articles on various topics. Indeed they must be au courant but thankfully without the need to traduce.
As the world begins to shun tradition and use digital appliances ever readily, I worry that the newspaper will go the way of the splendid red telephone boxes. Opine ramblings on twitter and blogs (guilty m’lord!) are often ill thought out and unfiltered, but read by credulous gullible folk.
The internet may be a superb addition to life but personally I prefer to take my news from a chap who has percolated his ruminations and taken his time, not a capricious remark thought out over 15 seconds.
Incidentally a paper doesn’t need reception to be read! Freedom of press and speech is integral to the world. If you want to read a paper dedicated to communism, be my guest and buy the paper.
Long live the paper and all the marvellous habits it provides a chap with. If like me you adore the platform, you must buy one daily!